For years gamers, tech nerds, and anyone else extremely online have known that the Internet is a great tool for communication. With the internet, we can connect with family members during a pandemic, or endure bad jokes from our bosses in a virtual reality metaverse. At the end of the day, people matter; The internet only creates the paths to them.
However, these online tools are also important. Discord and Guilded both allow players to create their own chat servers to chat with their friends. They help maintain pre-existing online communities, as well as foster new ones. They basically serve as a digital home, so it’s important that you know what you’re getting into before you plant your roots. If you want to keep chatting with your friends online, for video games or whatever, which app should you choose?
A chat platform just needs to get out of the way so that the conversations, the real focus, can shine. This is true for work tools like Slack, as well as game tools like Discord and Guilded. Fortunately, you can’t go wrong with either service. Discord and Guilded are virtually identical, to the point where you can import your Discord server settings into Guilded without skipping a beat. For more details, see our explainer What is Discord and how do you use it?
Both servers present you with a large main area to view ongoing conversations, as well as side panels for browsing the different servers you’ve joined and seeing other members online. Discord’s interface is a bit messier, but only because the busier communities on Discord have more servers worth checking out. Both applications allow you to create public servers or private servers that require invitations. Both allow you to act as moderators to keep your community clean.
Discord and Guilded also let you create new channels within your server to help focus communication, but each department approaches their organization in slightly different ways. With Discord, you can write to text channels, talk to audio channels, or broadcast and send video messages. You can have up to 500 channels and separate them into 50 categories. Meanwhile, Guilded offers more specific (bordering on a niche) dedicated channel types, such as ad channels, bulletin board channels, or document channels.
All a player chat platform needs to do is help you and your teammates discuss League of Legends or Overwatch strategies before the game begins. However, there are some nifty extras that make all the difference when selecting the platform that best suits your team’s needs.
You can use Discord and Guilded on the desktop through dedicated apps, access them through web browsers, or download their Android and iOS apps to a mobile device. Due to its overwhelming popularity, Discord integrates directly into your PlayStation Network or Xbox Live accounts, so you can use it while playing on consoles, a huge bonus. Other integrations, such as Twitch live streaming and Patreon crowdfunding, work with both Discord and Guilded.
Discord and Guilded are both free, but Discord sells two premium tiers. For $ 5 per month or $ 50 per year, Discord Nitro Classic users can edit badges, upgrade their profile badge, and share custom emojis across multiple servers. For $ 10 per month or $ 100 per year, Discord Nitro subscribers can download 100MB files and “boost” servers to unlock premium benefits for everyone. You can also purchase individual boosts separately.
Guilded does not have a premium level. You can subscribe to individual servers if the owners allow it, and partner servers may receive special benefits. Still, you can enjoy everything Guilded has to offer for free, including 1080p / 60fps video streaming with 256kbps audio. With Discord, free users can only stream at 720p / 30fps with 96kbps audio and have to pay for higher quality.
Guilded’s most intriguing additional feature, however, is its focus on esports. Considering how esports relies on synergistic team communication and larger engaged communities, this is a smart approach to take for a chat app for gamers. You can research upcoming tournaments, read stats for top players, and take advantage of tools specifically designed for individual competitive games, such as Apex Legends and Knockout City.
This one comes down to subjective taste, as you may find Discord’s console integration far more useful than Guilded’s free, high-quality esports and video streaming tools. Still, the two services are pretty much the same when it comes to unique signing features.
Where can you find the strongest communities?
We can’t stress enough how any social chat service lives or dies thanks to the strength of its communities, and this is where Discord gets ahead of Guilded. Chances are you’ve heard of Discord. Over a quarter of a billion people use Discord. Microsoft has tried to spend billions of dollars on Discord.
With so many people gathered in one space, you can find and join any collaborative community you can think of on Discord, from diversity advocacy groups to Nintendo fans. Beyond games, people use Discord to study homework, watch movies, or listen to Spotify together. A single Discord server can have up to 500,000 total members and 25,000 online members at a time. The fact that a server could even potentially reach such a high limit is a testament to the number of people who use Discord.
With only a fraction of that user base (tens of thousands versus tens of millions), Guilded can’t help but feel less alive as a result. It doesn’t matter if all you care about is talking with friends, but the exchanges between old and new communities make these apps special. Even without the dedicated esports features, you would probably have an easier time hosting a tournament on Discord just because you could reach a lot more potential participants.
Guilded was recently purchased by another in-game juggernaut, Roblox. Perhaps with these considerably additional resources at his disposal, Guilded’s combat could become more competitive in the future.
Home is where the heart is
In terms of judging their qualities, Discord and Guilded have more in common with dating apps than with cutting-edge gaming hardware. Sure, we can talk about video quality, integrations, and other perks, but at the end of the day, the chat service that lets you communicate with the most people provides the best experience. Community is king, and so is Discord.
Overall winner: Discord
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