Guilded vs Discord — Which one is better for you?

Many of you might have seen people talking about a new platform called Guilded and heard that it’s similar to Discord. Some of you might have even given it a small test run and found it to be a lot like Discord, yet somehow very different. I’m here to tell you they do have some things in common, but there are also some key differences that may affect your decision on which platform you choose for your community to call home.

To start, I need to clarify a small misconception that even I had when I first heard about Guilded. It isn’t really all that new — in fact, it’s existed since 2017. Initially it was only a website with a forum system for gaming guilds, but it eventually became a fully-fledged communications platform in 2019.

If you would like to check out Guilded use this link!
If you haven’t used Discord before click here to check it out!

Now, on to the reason you’re reading this article, what are the similarities and differences between Discord and Guilded? Let’s take a look at what they have in common first.

What is the same?

Guilded may look like a reskin of Discord at first, but I feel there is a very good reason for this. Using a UI that feels familiar makes it easier to transition from one platform to the other.

Guilded (Left) vs Discord (Right)

When joining a server on Guilded, the first thing you’ll notice is that both use Categories and Channels that seem to work the same on the surface. Guilded has Text and Voice channels that function mostly the same as Discord’s, though I’ll go into their differences later.

The next thing you’ll notice is Roles on the right sidebar. These look quite literally just like on Discord. From what I can tell, the only difference is that while Discord has Online, which includes the “@everyone” role, Guilded has Member, which includes the default “Member” role and all “Flow Bots”.

The next similarity is where you find your server settings on Guilded. Even though the settings themselves are different, getting to them is exactly the same as on Discord. This applies to categories and channels as well so finding your way to the important stuff should be relatively easy if you’re comfortable with Discord.

Getting to Server Settings. Guilded (Left) vs Discord (Right)

For the most part, using the core functions of Guilded will feel just like you are on Discord. You send messages the same way, you chat in voice the same way, and you use emojis in messages or reactions the same way. Guilded and Discord share a lot of similarities, but these similarities did not originate from Discord. In fact, a lot of the UI layout and design is inspired by a platform called Slack which has existed much longer than both Discord and Guilded.

Image of Slack’s UI

What are the differences?

Now we get to the meat of the matter. Just as you’ll notice similarities when opening Guilded, you will also notice many differences. When clicking on your username, you’ll see that you have an actual User Profile that people can find you by. This profile can be customized with a banner, a tagline, games you play, and your social media links. It even has a status feed similar to Twitter and Facebook — one of many popular user requests that Discord has yet to add to their platform. Discord’s only effort to any kind of “user page” has so far been the recent About Me and Nitro-locked Banner.

Let’s have a closer look at what Community Builders can get out of Guilded that Discord doesn’t have and vice versa.

Channel Types

The first and biggest difference is the channel types. Discord offers 4 types of channels, 6 if you count NSFW and Rules channels. These are: Text, Voice, Stage, and Announcement channels. Guilded has 10 different channel types that all perform a different function and all of them look different when a user interacts with them. By contrast, Discord’s Text and Announcement channels look the same when a user clicks on them to view them.

If you would like to read more about Discord channels, you can check out our article on Channels and Categories.

Let’s have a closer look at which channels Discord and Guilded both have:

  • Text — Both platforms have text channels, but on Guilded they have the added benefit of threads. A thread is a sub-channel attached to a specific message within a channel. Messages in the thread do not appear in the parent channel, reducing clutter and spam. Discord will be releasing threads in the months to come, but we don’t know if they will include things like archiving. Guilded already has the ability to archive all threads and channels.
  • Voice — Voice channels on the two platforms also initially feel the same. However, each Guilded voice channel comes with an attached text channel that you see when clicking on the voice channel. This solves a pain point many Discord admins have with wanting to allow users without a mic to interact in voice but not wanting to clutter the main channel list. What makes Guilded voice channels even more powerful is Voice Rooms, sub-channels that people can join to be separate from the main conversation. This design will be familiar to people who used Mumble servers. Two other interesting additions are the Whisper and Broadcast options. Whisper allows you to voice chat privately by sending a Whisper to someone else in the voice channel. Broadcast allows you to send your voice to all Voice Rooms that are sub-channels of the one you are broadcasting from.
  • Streaming — On Discord you do not have an actual streaming channel, but there is a feature many people use to share their screen. Originally called “Go Live”, it is now just “Screen Share” found inside voice channels. On Guilded, you have streaming channels, which are essentially their version of “Go Live” but with an attached text channel like on their voice channels.
  • Announcement — Discord’s announcement channels are text channels that can be followed, allowing their messages to be “published” to another server. For Guilded, Announcement channels act as an official feed of important announcements within the server and provide formatting options you wouldn’t get in a text channel. Announcements are also fed to the Overview tab of a server, which we will discuss later in this article. If a Guilded announcement channel is set to public, it can also be used as a blog that people can visit from a browser just like any other blog on the internet. The only missing part is the ability to follow the channel from another server like you can Discord.

Now let’s look at what extra channels Guilded has to offer:

  • Calendar — On Discord you must use a bot to integrate a calendar into your server and this process can be painstakingly difficult. Guilded, on the other hand, includes calendars inside the app. This means arranging events is a much simpler task and becomes a seamless experience. There are many automated features to this as well. For instance, users can RSVP, which can also have a form attached that they need to fill out. When the event starts, a thread-styled sub-channel which can be used for voice, text, and streaming will be created under the associated calendar channel. This sub-channel will automatically archive once the set event time is over. Alternatively, you can archive or delete it yourself before the time runs out.
  • Schedule — I have often been told that arranging events or meetings around people’s available time is a chore, and I can completely agree with this statement. Luckily, Guilded has solved this with schedule channels. They allow users to choose their available days and times so that everyone is able to visually coordinate. Members with the “Create Event” permission can then create an event straight from the schedule channel. This isn’t the only benefit of schedule channels. With Flow Bots, you can use the indicated availability of a user to give them a role during the times they have set.
  • Forums — Exactly what the name says, it’s a channel that is a forum just like the ones you get on community sites or game sites. You can create topics, which have more formatting options than text channels, and you can reply to these topics. It’s a way to have longer conversations that can easily be lost by a lot of chat. Forums also allow for pinned topics and locking replies to a topic.
  • Lists — Another handy tool for organizing things on your server. List channels allow you to create complex lists with comments and the ability to view completed list items. You can also create a thread from a list item to discuss it with other people.
  • Docs — Something Discord lacks is an easy way to share static information, but this isn’t the case with Guilded. Docs channels allow you to create resource documents and forms right from the app, removing the need for an external service such as Google Docs. These docs can also have comments and reactions..
  • Media — Yet another way Guilded solves the sharing of static information. Media channels allow you to upload images and videos in a gallery-styled channel. They even allow for the pasting of video URLs to quickly share a video from YouTube along with its description and title. Others can comment on the media and leave reactions.

With the amount of channel types Guilded offers, you can clearly see their aim of bringing every tool a community uses into one place, something Discord has only recently started to address and are very much behind on. Where Discord relies on bots and external sites to give these tools to their users, Guilded opted for including it in their platform directly. However, that does not mean that Discord’s method is bad. A new user will find Discord easier to learn as it has much less core functionality compared to Guilded. Guilded is more targeted at people who are up to learning the platform because they have a need for all these tools.

Interface

As mentioned before, the UI looks similar on both platforms, but Guilded has some key differences that aid in improving the overall navigation of a server. One, or rather, four of these differences are the tabs that appear above the channels in any server. Let’s take a closer look.

  • Overview — This acts as a way to quickly see what is happening in the server without scrolling through a bunch of channels. Some of the things you’ll see in this tab are: Upcoming Events, Latest Announcements, and Recent Forum Posts. Everyone can view this tab, including people interested in joining the server, but what they can see is dependent on their roles or if a channel is set to public or not.
  • Members — Here you will see all of the server’s members. Depending on the permissions you have, you can also perform certain actions from here such as: kicking or banning, editing roles of multiple people at once, messaging a group of members, removing multiple users, and much more. The most powerful part about this section is being able to sort members to see when they were last online, which will allow you to find users that may no longer use Guilded and remove them from your server or give them an inactive role.
  • Applications — If your server is not set to “Open entry” (which means setting it public) then users need to fill out an application and request to join your server, this is where the Applications section comes in. From here, you can approve or deny users, edit your application questions, share your application link, or change your recruitment from open to closed. Applications are what Discord’s Membership Screening aims to become one day, but Guilded beat them to the punch by already providing an advanced screening system in their platform. Only people with permissions to “View Applications’’ can see this channel, but the different actions listed above also have their own permissions.
  • Audit Log — Similar to the Audit Log tab that a Discord server has, but with better sorting and filtering options . Requires the “Update Server” permission to view it.

These are only some of the ways Guilded makes getting to the important stuff just a bit easier, but the UI has a lot of other subtle differences that make the experience easier. Things like being able to archive a channel instead of deleting it and allowing you to set a server as a favorite so you can hide the server sidebar when it’s not needed. The one thing Guilded is missing that I would like to see is Server Folders like what Discord has.

Server Groups

One of the biggest issues Discord servers tend to have is too many categories and channels for different parts of the community. Guilded has an elegant solution to this problem: Server Groups. These are sub-servers within a server with their own place on the sidebar.

Server Groups

Server Groups can be used for any sub-group within your community. Are you a multi-platform gaming community? You can have a group for each platform! Maybe your community is all about programming, so why not have a group for every code language your community supports?

Server Groups removes the clutter of a lot of categories in a single place and moves them all into their own sections within the whole of the community. You can lock a group behind a role, set a name for it, give it an avatar, set a game for it (if it is for a game), and add a description to it. Organization becomes a breeze with Server Groups!

Other Differences

Guilded offers a lot more features that Discord doesn’t have, but this article would become awfully long if we covered them all, so here is a quick rundown of some other features:

  • Server Subscriptions — With this feature you can monetize your server as if you were using Patreon, but with a fee better rate of 2.5% instead of Patreon’s 5–12%. You can set tiers with different rewards such as: roles, server xp, and access to secret Server Groups.
  • Flow Bots — These are built-in automation bots that work on a trigger system, which means you set it to do something when a certain action happens. You set them to welcome new users, give out roles for messaging in specific channels, announce when someone is live on Twitch, and a whole lot more. There are some parts lacking at this time, but Guilded continues to add more features to it. Flow Bots don’t require any kind of programming knowledge and all Guilded servers have access to them by going to your Server Settings and clicking on the Bots tab.
  • Server Discovery — Both platforms have a form of Server Discovery, but one is easier to gain access to than the other. Guilded’s form of Server Discovery has no requirements — unlike Discord which has a 7,000-member count requirement. Discord’s Server Discovery is also not publicly facing, requiring users to actually be on the application to search for servers. Guilded, on the other hand, has a publicly facing discovery system because all servers are connected to a URL. This means you can use Search Engine Optimization (SEO) to get your server searchable via a search engine thus making your server more discoverable. How effective this is has yet to be tested by us, but it’s definitely a major plus when trying to build a community.
  • Tournaments — For communities based around competition, Guilded offers a Tournament feature where you can set up and manage a game tournament straight from the client. I have not personally investigated this feature much, but I do know that this is something that you would usually have to do via an external site with Discord.

Is Guilded better?

There is no short answer to this because there are things Discord has going for it that Guilded is still working on, such as third-party bots. Discord’s sheer popularity will keep it as the frontrunner for a very long time, but Guilded has the potential to compete with Discord as it aims to give a community all the tools needed without ever leaving the client or using third-party websites — something I can personally get behind.

Unfortunately, Guilded is still very closed-off from the rest of the world as its monetization options and the partner program is locked out to a lot of countries. Discord is also a much more stable platform right now — the client generally runs very smoothly, and its mobile app is better than the one Guilded offers. Discord is also just a much easier platform to learn for those just getting into community building.

Conclusion

Now to finally answer the question, “Which one is better for you?”, the answer is: it’s a matter of preference. Both platforms offer a lot. Guilded has a lot of community tools, while Discord offers an already large, established user-base. Does your community need a high level of organization, event calendars, and ways to share static information all in one place? Then Guilded is likely going to meet your community needs. Is your community a laid-back group that you would just like to grow while meeting new people? Then Discord’s popularity and user-base is what you need.

Guilded has the potential to compete with Discord head-to-head. If Discord doesn’t start giving their users more of what they need, it will start losing those users to Guilded. That said, I do not believe Guilded will “kill” Discord as they each serve a different group of people.

Who will we be using at CBB? Check the bottom of this article for a link to our community!

If you liked this article and publication, please consider leaving a 👏 applaud. It will let our authors know that you found this kind of information worthwhile.

If you want to continue discussing this article and other ideas in this blog or related topics, join the Community Builders Discord server where CBB conversations are occurring!

Our blog is sponsored by Statbot, the premier statistics and analytics Discord bot and dashboard for your community. It is an absolute must-have for any server that is serious about its growth and well-being. When a server has Statbot in it, you know it’s aiming to be the best of its kind! Statbot tracks member count, messages, minutes spent in voice, activity, and statuses. It offers many ways to view and use this data to help grow your community, such as, automatic role assignment according to users activity in your Discord server (A.K.A. Statroles), and channel counters that allow you to display all kinds of stats about your community to others as a channel (A.K.A. Statdocks). If you run a Discord server we highly recommend getting Statbot to help track your growth and augment your community.

Have ideas for content you’d like to see on the blog? Make a suggestion!

Think you have what it takes to write for CBB? We’re hiring authors! If you are interested, please fill out this application and join the Community Builders Guilded server where CBB operations are based. We look forward to seeing you!

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Knowledge, stories, and data to help you run your successful online community. Community building is a daunting task, especially when you consider platforms that are literally named “Discord”. We’re here for you! Curated with love by our dedicated staff and support by Statbot!

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Lela Benet

Lela Benet

Community Manager for https://communitybuilders.blog/ and https://statbot.net/ | Content Creator on YT https://www.youtube.com/channel/UClXtD1WNfgzpQB1whIdHRtA

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