Welcome to the Discord family! We're thrilled to have you join the crew, so we put together this guide to help you get acquainted with Discord's ins and outs. This guide is meant to help cover Discord's basic functions, so that you have an easy access point to get set up and talking with minimal difficulty.
1. Sign up & Verification
2. Joining / Starting a server
3. Server Customization: Roles & Channel Permissions
4. Basic User Setup
5. Customizing Notifications
6. File viewing & uploading
Sign Up & Verification
Signing up to use Discord is very simple. For starters, you don't even need to provide an email address to open Discord! If you open discordapp.com, you can click the "Open Discord" button, enter a username (you can always change this later!) , and hop right in:
You'll be able to enjoy all of the chat functions Discord has to offer, but it's important to claim your account by verifying your email address. This will ensure that you keep your username and Discriminator (those four digits next to your user name), as well as remembering all the servers you've joined!
To claim your account, just click the Claim Account button in the orange banner at the top of the app:
This will bring up your User Settings tab, with a prompt to enter an email address and password to send a verification email:
Click the link in the sent email, and you're good to go!
Servers: How do they work?
Most of Discord's text and voice conversation happen within servers. Servers act as individual hubs split into two parts: text channels and voice channels. Think of any server you join as a giant treehouse- each text channel within a server represents another room within your treehouse that you can chat with your friends! You can hop between text channels as quickly as you like, but you can only set up one tin-can voice line at a time- In Discord, you can only be a part of one voice channel at a time.
The column on the very left-hand side of your Discord app is your server list. Any time you add a server, you'll see it pop up as a small circular icon in this list, and they'll show up vertically:
Check it out: You can also rearrange your server list by dragging them up and down.
To add a new server, click the "+" icon at the very bottom of the server list.
Instant Invites: The Keys to Success (and servers)
Now that you've created a server, there's one more step to inviting your friends. Generate an instant invite to your server by clicking the "Create Instant Invite" icon next to your general channel
As a bonus, you can right-click on the #general channel to invite your way to victory:
You'll wind up with link that you can easily copy, then paste and send to your friends for them to join your server. If you've got an invite that you'd like to turn into a server, just click the same "+" icon at the bottom of your server list, but click "Join" instead of "create"!
For further information on using Instant invites, check out Instant Invites 101.
Roles and Channel Permissions: Customizing your Server
You've got a few tools at your disposal to customize your server with different text channels that can serve a variety of purposes. Discord's Role system lets you give a label (or multiple) to each user with specific permissions imbued in those roles. In the Roles tab in your Server settings menu, you'll be able to control what normal users can do (denoted by the '@everyone' role):
And what extra permissions are granted to other roles:
By creating a "totem pole" hierarchy of roles, you can administer ranks to users with cascading moderation privileges. Do you want only admins to be able to delete pictures and messages? How about who can change each other's nicknames? All that is totally up to you! Go crazy and check out the role management article for some more information.
Channel Permissions: Individual exceptions to global permissions:
While roles serve as a global permission set for all users in a server, text and voice channels can have their own exceptions to global permissions. By clicking the channel settings cog icon next to the text or voice channel, you can edit specific permissions in the "Permissions" tab:
Pressing the "+" sign in the Roles/Members column will allow you to select a role or specific user to add a channel exception to.
These can range from simple mod-only chat channels to more complex server-region splits, so we wrote up some examples to get you started:
Basic User Setup:
Once you've got your servers settled and your account locked down and accounted (pun.. intended?) for, you can check out your user settings and other menus for some basic user customizations. Check out your User Settings tab by clicking the cog icon next to your username:
Even customize what game appears in the "Now playing" spot under your username for using Discord's overlay:
If you're looking for a setting that affects your user profile, and isn't server specific, the User Settings menu is the place to start.
Discord's notification settings allow you to customize how often and how obtrusive you want notifications to be. The settings are broken down into two sections, per-server, and global.
In your User Settings menu, you'll see a "notifications tab" for editing your global notifications settings.
Here you'll be able to adjust whether or not you receive desktop notifications, Text-To-Speech messages, and adjust the sounds that play for Discord's various functions.
To edit notifications on a per-server basis, click the downwards arrow next to the server name, and click the "notifications settings" option:
This menu allows you to choose to mute a whole server, suppress @everyone and @role mentions (in case anyone gets a little too trigger-happy), and choose how often you get desktop notifications in that particular server.
File viewing and Uploads:
In addition to chatting in text channels, you can upload pictures, GIFs, and other media as long as each file is under 8mb in size. There's two different ways to do this:
Drag-and-Drop mania straight from your vaults on your computer,
Or clicking the upload file button next to your text box:
Not only can you upload pictures and GIFs and files for transfer, but Discord also supports Vine, Soundcloud, and YouTube embeds in text channels as well! entering a URL for those will embed the video/song in the chat for you to watch whenever you'd like.
If you're looking for other ways to level up your Discord experience, we've got a whole bunch of additional tools ready to be used at your convenience.
- If you're a streamer, check out our stream kit, to add some cool bots to help manage and enrich your Discord community.
- If you're programming-savvy and want to tweak some code and customize your own bots, check out our developer docs and get cracking.
- If you find yourself loving Discord and want to spread the love, check out our Hypesquad portal, and get some awesome swag and rep Discord at some fun events.
- If you've got other questions or want to dive deeper into Discord's features, check out our help center, or reach out to us on Twitter or Facebook!