Often, when playing video games on PC, people need to solve two problems: How to talk to each other, and how to organize people long enough for the game to begin.
There has been a long line of apps developed to solve that problem. Free messaging tool Slack combines the approachable interface of apps like Slack with video and voice chat, a la Skype. With 250 million users, it has become one of the most popular, with 14 million people logging on every day. Playing games on Discord is great for chatting with your friends, but it can also be used as a place to socialize, find other players, and congregate.
You can learn everything you need to know about Discord right here, including how to get it, what it costs, and why you should check it out before playing your next multiplayer game.
What is Discord?
As with Skype or TeamSpeak, or a professional communication platform such as Slack, Discord is a chat application. Specifically designed for video game players, it provides them with ways to locate each other, coordinate play, and talk with each other while playing. It allows users to communicate through video calls, voice chat, or text, depending on their preference
The discord is especially helpful if you are playing PC games. The app offers search functions that allow you to find other users and add them to a friend’s list so that you can quickly chat with them. Many people use it not only to talk to each other while playing games but also as a social and organizational tool.
As a result of this breadth of capabilities, Discord has also gained popularity as a semipublic, forum-style community platform. Groups of players can create or join “servers,” which are both public and private, where lots of people can meet and chat.
The majority of servers are related to gaming, but there is also a wide variety of servers dedicated to other things, such as anime, cryptocurrency, self-improvement, and making friends. Furthermore, there is no requirement that servers be created for gaming, so if you want a place to discuss something in Discord, you can always make one. There are several good resources for finding and searching public servers, such as Discord.me, Disboard.org, and Discordservers.com.
Last but not least, Discord is free.
What makes Discord different from other platforms?
There are a lot of free communication programs available online, but Discord stands out because it selected chat options. A user-friendly interface lets it combine the best features of widely used programs, including Skype and Slack. It wouldn’t be much use if a voice chat program slowed down your game while you were using it, so Discord’s team dedicates themselves to making it as efficient as possible.
Many users have embraced Discord because of its versatility as a place to meet and chat with others who share similar interests, not just their friends. Part social network, part communication app, Discord offers something for everyone. Users can join public or private “servers” through the app’s chat rooms, but it also offers a social forum for organizing gaming parties. In essence, you don’t need video games to use Discord: It’s a great way to join with friends on a private server, or meet new people on a public one.
If you create a Discord server, you can assign different roles to members in some ways. For example, you can create roles for other administrators and moderators, or you can create a role for your most active members. In addition to making it easier to manage your server, setting up different member roles will provide members with different access permissions as well as reward them for being active.
The discord client can also be accessed in many ways, so you can use it even if you do not own a gaming PC. This app comes in three forms: a PC program you can download and install on your computer – the lightweight version ideally suited to running in the background while you play games – a web-based version, and a mobile version. Therefore, you can interact with your Discord chat servers from basically anywhere, which enhances the social capabilities of the app.
Make a server (or find one)
What is Discord all about? It’s all about servers. In a similar fashion to other chat apps, such as Slack, Discord lets you create chat rooms, which it refers to as servers. The person you invite gets a link that lets them join the server, where they can either chat by text or by voice with other members of that server. As opposed to one giant live forum, each server can be segmented into “channels” for specific discussions. Text and voice versions of the channels are available to make the channels even more accessible. On your server, you can also make individual channels private, so only people who have been invited will be able to access them. Furthermore, the whole server can be either public or private, with anyone able to join.
Discord allows you to interact with multiple servers at the same time, making it a great social hub. You can have a private server for you and your friends only, so you can coordinate before playing a game, while also being a member of a variety of public servers (for example, we joined the Pokémon Go Discord server to find other players to raid with). No limit exists on the number of servers you can join. Switching from server to server is simple: Your list of servers is shown on the left side of the app, and choosing your destination is as simple as clicking one or the other.
It is as easy as clicking a link to join a server, although typically you must be invited first. There are a lot of public servers through Discord that anybody can join. For instance, in Los Angeles, Pokémon Go players have organized a public “PoGo LA” server to coordinate the game. In addition, Discord offers “verified servers” – servers that are provided by game studios and other notable companies to serve as official community forums for fans to converse with each other and with game developers.
A server of your own can also be created easily. You can switch between the servers easily by viewing a list of them on the left side of the app. Adding your server can be accomplished by clicking on the “plus” icon. It is just a matter of giving it a name and a picture, selecting a server location near you, and that’s it – the server exists and Discord will generate a link that enables others to join.
Your server will display voice and text channel lists to the left of the screen once you log in. Using the “plus” icons near the top of each list, you can easily add and name new channels. Each channel has a variety of control settings, including the ability to make them private or invite-only, as well as to choose who can send invites.
In addition to being able to create a list of “friends” that you can contact directly outside of any server, Discord lets you create a list of contacts.
If you have already joined a server, you can find your friends’ names there and add them to your list. The “Add Friend” button can be found at the bottom of the screen when you right-click on a user name. This will send the user a friend request. By clicking a user name, you can access that user’s User Profile. From there, you can add the user as a friend.
You can also add users as friends by searching for them. Using the search field at the top-left of the screen, you can find them if you know their username and their privacy settings allow you to search for them. By clicking on the photos of any user on the list, you can then add those public people as friends.
Friend requests can also be sent directly from the friend list, without having to search. Within the Discord client program, you can add friends by clicking the blue “Add Friend” button on the top-left side of the screen. When you click that, a field will appear that allows you to add the user’s complete user name and their four-digit “DiscordTag.” The user name you’re looking for will look like this: HelpyHelpnotbot#8877. Your friend will need to provide that information to you before you can add them to Discord.
When you have some friends, clicking their names in your friends’ list lets you send them a direct message, or request voice and video calls. Without a server, you can set up group videos or voice chats with multiple friends.
Create a profile and connect accounts
With Discord, you can connect your social media accounts (such as Steam, Twitch, Twitter, Spotify, Xbox, etc.) to find out who your friends are and enhance your profile. Because the app combines private communication with public chat rooms, connecting accounts goes beyond connecting to friends you’re already friends with through Discord. Furthermore, it allows people to know who you are in the real world, should you choose to do so.
The process of connecting your accounts is the same as it is for connecting accounts in other chat or social media apps – you are prompted for your passwords for your other accounts to be able to connect. Having the ability to look up people you meet on Discord on other media portals has the added benefit of making Discord more like a social network on its own. When it comes to finding like-minded players in various games, it can be helpful if you use it to access public servers.
If you are more concerned with privacy, you can toggle the option to hide your connected social media accounts within your Discord profile settings. You can also make Discord show which games you are playing in a status-like message in each server’s user list and within your profile if you connect your Xbox account to it.
How to Make a Discord PFP Avatar?
You can switch between servers with Discord, which is one of its most distinctive features. Several server roles allow you to change the nickname associated with your profile, so you can go by different names in different communities. However, even if you’re an admin, your profile picture (also known as PFP or avatar) must remain the same.
In other words, make sure your PFP on Discord is perfect. PFPs can be either image (JPGs or PNGs) or animated GIFs that reflect your Discord personality. Instead of a photograph, many people use an illustration, icon, anime, or cartoon character.
You must create your PFP outside of Discord, then upload the image or GIF to your Discord profile as your avatar. In the PFP media uploader, there are no editing tools – images can’t be rotated, filtered, cropped, or given padding after being uploaded.
How to make a custom PFP avatar and upload it to Discord?
Step 1: Choose your PFP avatar
Think about what character or personality you want to use for your Personality Profile. People often choose something that personifies them: a character, moment, illustration, abstract drawing, or cartoon. To get an idea of what your PFP should look like, look at other people’s PFPs on the server you’re joining.
For my PFP, I wanted to use Zelda from Smash Bros. As a base image for my PFP, I found the following image using Google Image Search:
Step 2: Resize and upload the PFP
Click Start Editing at Kapwing.com. Upload your image to begin creating a new project.
Discord’s profile picture is always a circle no matter where you are. You should make your profile picture circular, to begin with, because unlike platforms like Facebook, it remains circular even when users click your profile.
To crop your picture to a square, click Crop after you have uploaded it to the Studio. Click “Done Cropping” to return to the studio once you’ve created a square image.
Once again, select your image layer in Studio and drag the Rounded Corners button to the far right. You will now have a perfect circle in your Discord PFP. The background can be made transparent if you like.
Step 3: Adding text, erasing the background, and filtering
By clicking Export Image, you can get the circular version of your Discord PFP if it has been completed. It is also possible to make your PFP avatar look more unique by using other tools as well.
A common PFP avatar technique is to remove the background of your picture using the Erase button. After erasing the background behind Zelda with the magic wand, I uploaded an image of flames for the background.
Adding an overlay: You can use Adjust to change the color or contrast of your PFP. With the Text and Images tools, you can add text, stickers, GIFs, and overlays. You might find these useful if you want your PFP avatar to participate in a movement, such as Black Lives Matter or Pride, or to show solidarity with an important cause.
Using Image Search, I found an “overlay with rainbow stripes” and used the “Adjust” tool to make it half-opacity.
A status (like #OpenToWork on LinkedIn) or identity can similarly be indicated using shapes, text boxes, or stickers. The Upload modal allows you to add emoji directly to your PFP’s canvas.
Adding a border: A colored border can be added to your PFP by selecting the Outline button on the right. To customize, you can increase or decrease the thickness and resize.
Text: You can add text to your profile picture to send a message or create a meme. You can add a text box simply by clicking the Text button on the toolbar on the left. You can customize the font, color, style, position, and animation of your text once you’ve entered it.
You can also add a colored border to your Discord PFP to make it stand out from the rest. You can do this by clicking on the circle option in the left toolbar. By dragging the corner buttons to the canvas’ edges, you can remove the circle’s fill color. The outline color can be changed to the color of your choice, and the width can be increased until it is as thick as you want.
Avatars can also be uploaded as animated GIF files in Discord! Your PFP can be converted into a GIF by adding an animated text or video clip. Once you’ve made the clip of less than second, select settings (looks like a gear in the upper right) and then choose GIF to create a GIF file of your avatar.
Your PFP currently has a file size limit of 10.24 MB, which means any GIF avatars must be under a second long and have a white background rather than a transparent one.
Step 4: Adding it to your Discord profile
Select “Publish” to process your Discord PFP, then “Download” to save it to your device.
For the mobile app, it’s the bottom right button on the main screen, and on the desktop, it’s the gear in the bottom left. By selecting Edit and clicking or tapping on your profile avatar, you can browse through your files and upload your new, circular PFP. The picture will be ready to upload on all your servers immediately since you already formatted it.