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:
|Primary feature||Text communication||Voice communication|
|Message history limit||10 000 messages in Free plan||Unlimited|
|Integrations||Limit of 10 integrations in Free plan|
800+ integrations in paid plans
|9 integrations (game, social media and some other services), API integrations|
|Video conferencing||For no more than 2 persons in Free plan |
For up to 15 persons in Paid plans
|Up to 8 persons in Free plan|
|Screen sharing||Yes (in paid plans)||Yes|
|Interface color options||8 options for a sidebar||Either light or dark theme|
|Storage limit||5GB in Free plan, 10GB-20GB in Paid plans||Unlimited|
|File upload limit||1GB||8MB in Free plan|
50MB in Nitro plan
|Limit for channel members||You may receive a limitation system notification starting at 8,5K members||The default online concurrent user limit is 5,000 but it can be raised|
|Push to talk||No||Yes|
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
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 paid plans start 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 Slack.
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 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 Discord
Video 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 Discord
Voice 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.
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 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 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 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 with a multitude of bots. As an example, you can manage Trello boards directly from Discord.
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.
The article was updated March 2020