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

Discord vs Slack
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I’m no gamer. The most advanced thing I’ve ever played was Mario back in ’90s. And yet, here I am, comparing Discord, the most popular chat for gamers, with Slack, the biggest hype in the team communication history.

Luckily, some of my colleagues at work are a hell of gamers as well as heavy Discord users. They’ve helped me out by sharing expert opinion regarding Discord. As for Slack, I’ve become an expert myself after writing a good bunch of articles (Slack alternatives, Slack vs Flock, Slack vs Skype and many more) that you are welcome to check out.

Now, our traditional disclaimer – we are building Chanty, an AI-powered team chat. Since there are so many team communication tools out there, we’ve started this ‘Slack vs’ marathon to actually use different chat software products within our team, analyze them thoroughly, learn about their pros and cons and design a better, cleaner, easier to use and much more affordable team chat. Sign up to join our fast-growing community of Chanty users and share your feedback. 

For those of you who are in a hurry, here’s a brief Slack vs Discord comparison table:

Slack Discord
Target audience BusinessGamers
Primary featureText communicationVoice communication
  • 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

If you want more details and feedback, keep on reading.

Discord vs Slack concept

In a nutshell, Discord and Slack are very much alike. Both are chat software with a similar interface where team communication is organized into channels. The biggest difference is their target audience and therefore, the focus on the specific set of features. Here’s how the tools position themselves:

Discord – Free Voice and Text Chat for Gamers

Slack – Where Work Happens

Slack’s primary focus is on business sector while Discord is designed for gamers from head to toe. However, this doesn’t prevent gamers to hang out in Slack. It also doesn’t keep business teams from taking advantage of some features that are limited in Slack, but are free in Discord.

Discord has become a synonym for the gaming community. In fact, they have a dedicated website with a list of servers (teams in Discord) where you can look for groups of people according to your interests. Although servers devoted to gaming dominate this list, you’ll still see all kinds of folks here. You’ll find a server for pretty much anything. Ariana Grande fans, Android enthusiasts, Homeless Girl Scouts and many more have been united under Discord’s roof turning it more into a social network rather than a team chat.

Discord open server Discord open server

First things first, Discord is focused on voice chat features. The reason for it is that gamers need high quality, lag-free voice chat to communicate with other players along the game. Discord meets their requirements perfectly, providing a reliable voice communication feature.

This is how Discord users see the difference between Discord and Slack:  

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 asked me to name one major reason why people are looking for Slack alternatives, that would be the price. It usually becomes the biggest roadblock for those who’ve tried Slack. Well, I can see why it happens. Slack’s paid plans start at $6.67 user/month. There’s no other way to get rid of 10K searchable messages limit, 10 integrations limit and two people in a video chat limit unless you pay. If you want to get some extra features like 99.99% guaranteed uptime, guest access or 24/7 customer care, you’ll have to settle for a monthly based payment of $12.5 user/month.

Discord is free with little limits. Unlike Slack Free plan, you won’t be losing your team’s message history. However, if you appreciate Discord enough to support it with a monthly payment, there’s a Nitro plan which gives you some perks like extended size for a file upload (50MB rather than 8MB in free plan), use of a GIF avatar, higher quality screen sharing, animated emoji and a profile badge displaying how long you’ve supported Discord.

Discord vs Slack interface

Discord has a user interface that is quite similar to Slack. Contacts are on your left while conversations are happening at the right side of the screen. However, I think Slack has done a better job at organizing its left panel – all the channels, direct conversations and apps are clearly visible. On the contrary, it takes some time getting used to Discord’s interface as its channels and direct messages are located under different menu tabs.

You can customize the color scheme of your interface in Discord whether you like it light or dark. In Slack, it’s only the sidebar with contacts that is customizable. You can choose one of the eight color options for the sidebar. If you are tech savvy though, you can customize the entire scheme with custom css, changing the css file of the desktop app or using custom css widgets in Slack. Overall, due to more in-depth customization, Slack is no longer a simple communication tool. In fact, it tends to get more and more cumbersome with each year.

Sidebar customization options in Slack

E.g. it took me more than five minutes to find where do you actually customize your color scheme in Slack. At the same time, I instantly found that same setting in Discord. Although Discord is designed for gamers, it seems like a more simple alternative when it comes to user and account settings.

In case you are looking for a simple and easy-to-use communication tool, I strongly recommend you to give our AI-powered team chat a try. I’m not sure it’ll suit your gamer’s needs, but it’ll definitely benefit you in every way at work.

As I mentioned earlier, servers in Discord are teams in Slack. I’ve come across feedback that it’s much more difficult to navigate between teams in Slack than servers in Discord. Well, it’s not exactly true.

On the one hand, once you’ve set up a Discord account, you are free to join and leave different servers. You don’t need to go through the entire onboarding process to join another team like you do in Slack. On the other hand, after going to the trouble of joining multiple teams in Slack, navigating between them is pretty much as easy as between servers in Discord.  

Discord vs Slack conversations

Conversations in Slack are organized in public, private channels and direct messages. Discord divides channels into text and voice. However, channel settings are so advanced in Discord that you can assign roles and permissions to any member in the channel. Therefore, the concept of a private channel can be easily implemented in Discord.

I know the limit of people in the channel is a big deal for gamers. Although Slack doesn’t announce the official limit of people in a team, it still exists. Once, a Slack team of 8,5K members reported getting the “You’ve reached the maximum number of users” message from the system. The limit was raised since then, but nobody went far enough to find it out. At the same time, Discord has officially announced their 5,000 online concurrent users limit in a channel. But you can contact support and get it raised.

One of the controversial topics in Slack is conversation threads. Some love them, others hate them. One way or another, it’s good to know Discord is missing this feature in case you are a big fan of threads.

Discord vs Slack voice & video calls

Video calls in Slack are available between only two people unless you are on a paid plan. If you are, however, the participants limit extends to 15 people. Moreover, you are also free to share the screen during a video call. Slack, unlike Discord, doesn’t separate voice and video calls offering both features under a single button.

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

Voice calls are the heart of Discord. As I mentioned previously, there are dedicated voice channels where you don’t have to start a voice call – just get in and start speaking. Gamers find these features quite useful as they can play and talk with compadres at the same time.

Another great perk of voice calls in Discord is the number of participants. As I mentioned above, Discord claims to support channels with 5,000 online concurrent users at the same time. When it comes to video calls, however, you can chat with up to 9 friends. Sounds much better than a limit of two in Slack, doesn’t it?

Now to quality. I’ve tried video calls in both apps and the best word to describe video quality in Slack and Discord would be satisfactory. It’s not perfect (not on a retina screen for sure) yet, you can see your friends fine.

Video call in DiscordVideo call in Discord

Video call in SlackVideo call in Slack

Video call settings are pretty basic in Slack and way more advanced in Discord where you gain control over things like echo cancellation or noise suppression.

Voice and video settings in DiscordVoice and video settings in Discord

Voice call settings in SlackVoice call settings in Slack

Push to talk is another useful functionality in Discord video calls. Rather than staying audible throughout the entire game, you can choose to turn on your microphone every time you press a key combination of your choice. Again, this feature reflects the gamer’s needs and is, therefore, missing in Slack.   

At the same time, neither of the tools has a built-in voice messaging feature. In Slack, you can record and send audio messages via third-party integrations only. Discord users have been requesting the feature lately, but with no luck so far. In Chanty, however, you can easily share voice messages to make an instant reply on the go. 

voice messages in Chanty

Feel free to book a demo with our team to try out voice messaging and many other cool Chanty features.

Discord vs Slack notifications

Notifications are an essential part of every chat tool. As you are probably not a big fan of being irritated every minute by an annoying popup, the ability to control notifications is crucial. At the same time, you don’t want to miss something important. Luckily, Slack offers in-depth control over all kinds of notifications.

Notification settings in SlackNotification settings in Slack

Apart from these settings, there is an entire page of Notification preferences in Slack. For instance, you can set up a keyword notification (once someone types in a specific keyword you’ll get notified) for a specific channel, set up do not disturb mode and many more options.

Notification preferences in SlackNotification preferences in Slack

Notification settings in Discord are also impressive. You can even make a robot speak notifications for you! This is definitely useful when playing a game. You can also fine tune per-channel and per-server notifications to be alerted e.g. when someone @mentions you. As an option you can mute a channel completely.

Notification settings in DiscordNotification settings in Discord

Discord vs Slack integrations

Slack is a clear winner when it comes to integrating third-party software. The 800+ apps you can connect to Slack is quite an impressive number. Since Slack targets teams at work, it integrates the tools companies use at work. Slack (just like our app, Chanty) allows you to receive notifications from the software you are using at work directly into your team communication tool.

Discord doesn’t directly connect your apps at work.

However, you can integrate it with your favorite games, as well as Facebook, Spotify and some other tools.  Moreover, using Discord Official API you can connect many tools via diverse range of bots. For example, it’s possible to manage Trello Boards right from your Discord.   


Discord vs Slack file sharing

Both Discord and Slack let users share files. There’s a limit of 8MB for the files you share in Discord. However, you can upgrade to the Nitro paid plan and extend this limit up to 50MB. The limit for a file upload in Slack is an impressive 1GB.

You can’t keep your files forever in Slack. The limit is 5GB total storage in a free plan and 10GB per member in a paid plan. Meanwhile, Discord claims to have an unlimited message and file history. This sounds inspiring, especially when you need to keep the constant access to all the files you’ve exchanged in Discord. But here’s the trick – with 8MB Discord lets you upload, you won’t really share files much. In other words, Discord limits the ‘endless’ storage space with a strict file upload limit. Many users complain about it, but hey, there’s always a Nitro plan upgrading your limits.    

Apart from files, you can also share Google Drive files, posts, code or text snippets in Slack which is quite helpful at the workplace. At the same time, Discord lets you share files only from your computer and that’s about it. Well, gamers don’t exchange code pieces that often, do they?

Uploading a file both in Slack and Discord requires additional confirmation. This makes it difficult to upload a bunch of files at once. FYI, we’ve considered this issue in our team messenger and bulk load of files is a breeze via drag and drop file sharing in Chanty.  

Discord vs Slack file search

I’ll keep this short – if you need to search for files, go with Slack. Not only it lets you see all the files you’ve shared in a particular channel or the files that others have uploaded. You can also search within the document which is awesome in case you’ve forgotten the name of the document. Unfortunately, neither I wasn’t able to find a file by its name in Discord, nor I managed to perform search within document content, which proves one more time – Slack is for business and Discord is for gamers.

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Discord vs Slack summary

At the end of the day, Slack and Discord are both great tools. Each app is designed for its purpose and target audience.

Various communities, integrations with the most popular games and the focus on the voice communication feature shape Discord into a social network and online chat tool for gamers. At the same time, a whopping number of integrations, powerful search and the focus on text communication make Slack what it is now – a team communication tool for businesses. (Want to learn more about Slack? Check out our Slack review article). 

The choice of the team chat tool depends on the goal of your team heavily. There are plenty of teams using Discord for business as well as Slack for gaming. Hopefully, this article has answered the questions you’ve had and helped you choose the right app for you.

If you are still hesitating which team messenger tool to choose, we strongly recommend you to try out Chanty. Considering other messengers’ pros and cons, we’ve built a better chat for your team. It’s a simple AI-powered tool and a single notification center with a built-in task manager that is a breeze to use. Enjoy the high-quality audio and video calls in Chanty and connect the tool with a ton of apps. Feel free to book a demo and give our team chat a try!

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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.


  • 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: 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.

  • 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!

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