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Discord vs Slack – Gaming, Working or Both? (Our Team’s Feedback)

Discord vs Slack
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I’m not a gamer. To tell you the truth, the most advanced game I played was Mario back in the 90s. However, I’m here today, talking about an app specific to gamers – Discord – and comparing it with Slack, the biggest team chat app there is.

As luck would have it, some of my coworkers are gamers and heavy Discord users. They helped me out and shared some expert opinions about Discord for this comparison. As for Slack, I’ve become a bit of an expert in it, since I’ve written a number of reviews on this app. Primarily, the Slack alternatives, Slack vs. Flock, Slack vs. Skype and other articles which you can find on the Chanty blog.

Speaking of which – we are Chanty and we are building the next best team chat app. With so many team communication tools, we started a comparison marathon where we actually use different apps within our team. We analyze them, learn about their pros and cons and use all this knowledge to create something better than the rest. If you want to give Chanty a try, sign up and give it a go – we would love your feedback.

For those who are in a hurry, here’s a short Slack vs. Discord comparison table:

Slack Discord
Target audience BusinessGamers
Primary featureText communicationVoice communication
Pricing
  • Freemium
  • Standard $6.67 user/month
  • Plus $12.50 user/month
  • Free plan
  • Nitro plan $4.99 user/month
Message history limit10 000 messages in Free planUnlimited
IntegrationsLimit of 10 integrations in Free plan

800+ integrations in paid plans

9 integrations (game, social media and some other services), API integrations
Video conferencingFor no more than 2 persons in Free plan

For up to 15 persons in Paid plans

Up to 8 persons in Free plan
Screen sharingYes (in paid plans)Yes
Interface color options8 options for a sidebarEither light or dark theme
Storage limit5GB in Free plan, 10GB-20GB in Paid plansUnlimited
File upload limit1GB8MB in Free plan
50MB in Nitro plan
Limit for channel membersYou may receive a limitation system notification starting at 8,5K membersThe default online concurrent user limit is 5,000 but it can be raised
Conversation threadsYesNo
Voice-only channelsNoYes
Push to talkNoYes

Slack vs Discord comparison

However, if you want more details and our feedback, keep on reading.

Discord vs. Slack concept

At their core, Discord and Slack and very similar. Both are team chat apps with a similar interface. Both apps have team communication organized in channels. The biggest difference between the two is their target audience, and of course, their specific features. Here is how both tools position themselves:

Discord – Free Voice and Text Chat for Gamers

Slack – Where Work Happens

Slack primarily focuses on the business sector. Discord is fully designed for gamers. However, this doesn’t mean that there are no gamers on Slack. Similarly, it also doesn’t mean that there are no business teams on Discord.

To this day, Discord has become a synonym for gaming. In fact, they even have a website with a list of Discord servers (teams) where you can look for groups that match your interests. The majority of servers are about gaming, but you will see all sorts of different communities. Essentially, there is a server about everything. Ariana Grande fans, Android app enthusiasts, Girl Scouts and many others – all have a place on Discord, making it more of a social network than a team chat app.

Discord open server Discord open server

The first thing to mention is that Discord is focused on voice chat. The main reason is that gamers need high-quality, lag-free voice chat to communicate with each other when playing different games. Discord fits the bill perfectly, providing reliable voice communication all around.

This is how Discord users think that Discord and Slack are different:

I like to describe it (Discord) as a ‘real time Reddit’ because of the way that you join many specific servers (subreddits) and join ongoing conversations (posts). Slack is not like this a lot because it focuses on building a service that is curated for businesses and internal communications so in turn, Slack comes off more like a conference call or a corporate chat room. 

– Noah Weidner, Discord user

Discord vs Slack pricing

If you’re looking for one major reason why people are looking for Slack alternatives, it’s the price of the app. This is the biggest roadblock for people who try Slack and I can see why this happens. Slack’s pricing starts from $6.67 per user per month. If you want to get rid of the limitations such as the limit of 10,000 searchable messages and 10 integrations. If you want more features, such as 99.99% uptime, guest access and 24/7 customer care, you will have to pay even more, $12.5 per user per month.

Discord is free and it has very few limitations. Unlike the free plan in Slack, you will keep your team’s message history. If you like Discord so much that you want to pay for it, there is a Nitro plan, which gives you a few perks. These include 50MB of space, the use of a GIF avatar, higher quality of screen sharing, animated emojis and a profile badge that says how long you’ve been supporting Discord.

Discord vs Slack interface

Discord’s user interface is pretty similar to the one in Slack. Your contacts are on the left and conversations are on the right. However, Slack’s interface seems better because all of the channels, DMs and apps are clearly visible on the right. On the other hand, Discord is slightly more complicated. You have to find channels and direct messages under different menus.

In Discord, you can choose a light or dark color scheme. On the other hand, Slack only allows you to customize the sidebar with the contacts and apps and you can choose one of the 8 available colors. If you know your way with code, you can even customize the entire Slack scheme using custom CSS and changing the CSS file of the desktop app. Overall, there are lots of customization options in Slack, and it’s no longer just a communication app. In fact, it gets more cumbersome with each year.

Sidebar customization options in Slack

For example, it took me more than five minutes to find where you customize Slack’s color options. On the other hand, I found it immediately in Discord. Although it’s built for gamers, Discord seems more intuitive when it comes to setting up the app.

If you’re looking for an app that is truly intuitive and easy to use, I strongly recommend checking out Chanty. If you’re a gamer, I’m not sure it will meet all of your needs, but it will definitely help you with work.

As mentioned before, servers in Discord are teams in Slack. There are a lot of people saying that switching teams in Slack is more difficult than switching servers in Discord. In my own testing, I’ve found that this is not true.

When you set up a Discord account, you can join and leave servers as you please. You don’t have to go through the whole onboarding process with each team you join, which is the case with Slack. On the other hand, once you do go through the onboarding process for each new team, switching teams in Slack is super easy, just like switching servers in Discord.

Discord vs Slack conversations

There are several ways to have conversations in Slack. These include:

  Public conversations

  Private channels

  Direct messages

On the other hand, Discord’s channels are organized into text and voice. The good news is that Discord’s channel settings are very advanced and you can set roles and permissions for any channel member. Therefore, you can also use private channels in Discord.

The limit of team members is a big deal for gamers. Although Slack doesn’t have the official limit for team members, such a limit still exists. There was a report of a team with 8,500 members getting the message such as “You’ve reached the maximum number of users”. Since that time, the limit was raised, but no one went far enough to test it out. At the same time, Discord announced that their limit is 5,000 online users in a channel. However, it’s not set in stone – you can contact their support and lift this limit.

One controversial topic is threaded conversations. Some people love threads, others hate them. One way or the other, Discord doesn’t have this feature, so no need to worry about it.

Discord vs Slack voice & video calls

In Slack, you can make video calls between two people only, unless you’re on a paid plan. If you’re paying, the limit extends to 15 people. Also, anyone can share their screen during a video call, no matter what plan you are on. Slack doesn’t separate video and voice calls and you can access both with one button.

Voice and video call buttons in DiscordVoice and video call buttons in Discord

Voice calls are the essential Discord feature. As mentioned above, there are special voice channels where you don’t even have to start a voice call – just jump in and start speaking to people. Gamers love these features because they can play and talk with their friends.

Also, one great feature in Discord’s voice calls is how many people can participate. As mentioned, you can talk with up to 5,000 users at the same time. There is a limit for video calls though, and you can see up to 9 of your friends at a time – which is a lot better than 2 in Slack.

When it comes to quality, I’ve tried video calls in both apps and the best way to describe both apps would be satisfactory. It’s far from perfect (especially on a retina screen), but you can see your friends just fine.

Video call in DiscordVideo call in Discord

Video call in SlackVideo call in Slack

Slack’s video call settings are fairly basic. On the other hand, Discord’s settings are much more advanced. You can control things such as echo cancellation and noise suspension, for example.

Voice and video settings in DiscordVoice and video settings in Discord

Voice call settings in SlackVoice call settings in Slack

One more useful feature in Discord is push to talk. Instead of letting everyone hear you through the entire game, you can turn on your mic with a key combination of your choice. Once again, this is a gamer-specific feature and it’s naturally, missing in Slack.

One thing that has to be mentioned is that both tools are missing built-in voice messaging. Slack allows you to record and send voice messages, but only if you use third-party integrations. Discord users have been requesting this feature lately, but without any luck. However, Chanty lets you share voice messages instantly so you can chat on the go with ease.

voice messages in Chanty

If you want to find out more about this feature, feel free to book a free demo of Chanty today!

Discord vs Slack notifications

Notifications are a key part of every chat tool. You probably don’t want to get annoyed with a notification every minute, so the ability to control your notifications is crucial. However, you don’t want to miss something important either. You’re in luck, because Slack lets you control everything.

Notification settings in SlackNotification settings in Slack

Besides the settings that you can see, there is a whole page with notifications in Slack. For example, you can set up keyword notifications, so that every time someone types a certain keyword, you get notified.

Notification preferences in SlackNotification preferences in Slack

Discord’s notification settings are just as impressive. You can make a robot speak your notifications for you, if you want, which can be useful when playing. You can adjust your notifications for each channel and server to set up where you get notifications. Also, you can mute entire channels.

Notification settings in DiscordNotification settings in Discord

Discord vs Slack integrations

When it comes to integrating with other apps, Slack is the clear winner. There are more than 800 apps that you can connect Slack to, which is quite a number. Since Slack is meant for work, it integrates with apps you might need at work. Slack gives you notifications from your work apps directly in its own app.

On the other hand, Discord doesn’t connect with any work apps. 

You can, however, integrate Discord with your favorite games, as well as social media networks such as Facebook and Spotify. Also, you can connect Discord’s API with a multitude of bots

IntegrationsSource

Discord vs Slack file sharing

Both apps allow you to share files. In Discord, the size limit is 8MB, but you can upgrade to the paid Nitro plan and unlock the limit to 50MB. On the other hand, Slack’s limit for files is 1GB.

While 1GB is quite a lot, you can’t keep these files forever. The total file limit is 5GB in the free plan and 10GB per user in the paid plan. On the other hand, Discord boasts about its unlimited message and file history. This sounds amazing, especially since you always need access to the files you shared in the app. There is a trick though. Since the file limit is just 8MB, you won’t be sharing too many files. You can always upgrade to Nitro and get 50MB per file, though.

You can also share Google Drive files in Slack, as well as code or text snippets, which is great for work uses. Discord, on the other hand, only lets you share files from your own device.

If you want to upload a file in both apps, you have to give additional confirmation, which is unpractical if you want to upload a large number of files at once. This is one issue that is fixed in Chanty – we made it super easy to upload files in bulk.

Discord vs Slack file search

If you need to search for files, Slack is the better options. It lets you see the files you shared in a particular channel and files that others have uploaded. You can also search within the document (such as Word documents), which is great if you forget the name of the document, which happens a lot in my case. Unfortunately, Discord’s file search is rather poor in comparison. I couldn’t find a file by its name or its contents.

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Discord vs Slack summary

Both tools are great, let’s get that one out of the way first. Each app has its own purpose and target audience. 

All of the communities and integrations with games, as well as the focus on voice communication – these are the reasons why Discord is a social network and a tool for gamers. On the other hand, the number of integrations, the great search function and the focus on text all make Slack a team chat app for businesses. By the way, if you want to learn more about Slack, do read our Slack review.

What you choose as your team chat app depends on the goal you want to achieve. There are people who use Discord for business and Slack for gaming. We hope that this article answered all of your questions and helped you make the right decision.

If you still don’t know which team chat app to use, we suggest giving Chanty a try. If you take a look at the pros and cons of both apps, we took the best from each one and made them even better. Chanty is the smart, AI-powered team chat that makes it super easy to communicate with your team, no matter if it’s for work or gaming.

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Olga Mykhoparkina

Olga Mykhoparkina is a Chief Marketing Officer at Chanty – a simple AI-powered team chat. This powerful and free Slack alternative is aimed to increase team productivity and improve communication at work.

Having a 9-year experience in digital marketing field, Olga is responsible for Chanty’s online presence strategy, managing an amazing team of marketing experts and getting things done to change the way teams communicate and collaborate. Follow Olga on Twitter @olmykh or feel free to connect on LinkedIn.

23 comments

  • great article, however a couple of things you said re discord

    “Discord doesn’t let you turn off notifications for a specific channel either.” in the channel itself you can “mute notifications”

    “You can also search within the document which is awesome in case you’ve forgotten the name of the document. Unfortunately, I haven’t found the file search feature in Discord which proves one more time – Slack is for business and Discord is for gamers.”

    The search bar has options that you can search for files and their content too

    I am currently searching for the alternatives to Slack, I am an avid Discord user for gaming side of things, and personally feel Discord just offers that bit more in user friendliness that Slack. Of course that is my personal opinion 🙂

    • Thank you for heads up, Fi. I’ll take a closer look at the search through the document functionality in Discord as well as notification settings. Discord is a great tool, but it’s obviously not designed for business needs. Also, if you are looking for slack alternatives, we recommend you to join our amazing community of Chanty early adopters:)

    • Actually, Discord lets you mute specific channels and yet you can search for the file you sent

      P.S It doesn’t matter if it was for gamers or not, you can use it the way you like

  • Discord had extended notification settings. Theyre just not in the overall app settings.

    You can configure per server if and how you want to receive notifications. This includes the “all, @mentions, none” option you pointed out discord hadnt.

  • Hello Olga. I’d like to say, great article! Good to see how this is all weighed off objectively, with facts. I would however like to state a few mistakes regarding Discord you have made:

    Firstly, Discord seems to have no hard limit to users, as stated here: https://discordia.me/server-limits. They will have to contact Discord however, as users may start to experience issues. They will be moved to better hardware on Discord’s side at that point.

    Secondly, files can be found in channels. In discord, there is a search bar, where you can specify what you are looking for, by who and what sort of messages, amongst much more.

    Thirdly, you can set notifications for each server, and specifically for each channel. I can see why one may miss this, however, as it’s not in the main settings of the application. When you do find those settings, which are on a pretty logical place all things considered, you’ll see you have a great amount of control over notifications. Furthermore, you can even control what kind of notifications certain roles can trigger in your server’s settings (or in PMs, you can control what kind of users can directly message you).

    Fourthly, and finally, it may be nice to generally mention how much control server owners have over roles and what these can do. Servers often have “staff”, so the more factors you can control, the better. And Discord delivers strongly here, even as much as weighing the order in which you place roles, for hierarchy of how they are shown on a user, or in the users list.

    In my company, we use Slack. And indeed, we look through alternatives because of the costs of Slack, and the limits it still imposes even when you go premium. The main reason we do not use Discord is the data limit, as we often have to send files through. Additionally, people tend to not want to use Discord here because of the connotation it has with gaming, seeming “not business-like”. Finally, it also has to do with the setup. With Slack, the company can issue an account for an employee easily and set up all channels central to the employees. Discord requires some setup for the employee, as well as a lot of settings diving if a manager wants to set up a Discord for their company. This is at least what I see most that limits the usage of Discord: the setup time for companies.

    • Yoran, thank you so much for your detailed comment. As we are getting closer to 2019, lots of changes have been made to the tools we’ve reviewed, so we are definitely going to revisit an article soon and update it with actual information. Your feedback helps a lot and we’ll consider the points you’ve mentioned when rewriting it. Meanwhile, I’d love to grant you with Chanty access, I hope you don’t mind if we email you the details for Chanty early access.

    • >” The main reason we do not use Discord is the data limit, as we often have to send files through.”

      Hi Yoran, curious to know about your usage scenario. Is there a reason for uploading specific files to discord/slack server rather than say, link to google drive or shared files on a service like Box etc?

      Thanks

  • Discord has an API where you can integrate pretty much whatever you want through the creation of a bot.
    There may also be bots out in the wild that you could use.

    • Thank you for your comment, we’ll be updating this article soon as it’s been a while since we wrote it so a lot of things have changed. We’ll make sure to address your point.

  • Hello olga, Thanks for sharing the valuable information. There are couple of things that you have shared about discords, as the other app discords mixes low key design with high technology features.It can be safe while other chats app.

  • Hi, can you cite an official source for “Discord claims to have an unlimited message and file history” please? I couldn’t find any, only users testimonies.

    • Hi dear Josue. Thanks for your questions.
      I wrote to Discord support recently and they replied they “don’t have a file storage limit, only an upload limit”. I haven’t seen them announcing it anywhere in public, though. As for the unlimited message history, I see this article by Discord’s CTO saying they “decided early on to store all chat history forever so users can come back at any time and have their data available on any device”.
      Regards, Aleksey.

  • I’d also like to point out that Discord has some serious problems with their security response and customer service. They most recently had one of their internal bots cull a significant number of users, and not only was support unresponsive with no notifications of the issue, moderators and employees on their reddit sub went out of their way to discourage people from reporting the issue on the sub. Representatives of the company were terse and argumentative, in spite of people in the forum trying to express understandable frustration and provide constructive criticism.

    I would be highly suspicious of a service that is such a lightning rod that will arbitrarily disable or delete your account or server with no notification or explanation and is publicly hostile towards criticism.

    • Hi Malcom,

      Thanks for mentioning this. When you are using a tool that’s free it’s really hard to expect high quality customer care. However, if you give Chanty a try, you’ll get a totally different experience. We pride ourselves on providing excellent customer service and reacting to the support requests asap. Join our close knit family of Chanty advocates and enjoy more organized and effective team communication!

  • I´ve found this article really useful because I´m building a free online community around online businesses. I think i´m gonna evaluate which my future users already have and use then stick with it.

    They are really similar, I will also evaluate chanty for my own work team.

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