Discord and Slack are apps that share some superficial resemblance, despite the fact that one of them is positioned as a free voice and text chat for gamers, while the other takes a much more professional position as an application in which work takes place. These philosophies describe each app pretty well, but some people use Discord for business and others use Slack for games.

With these similar feature sets, we’ll see if Discord or Slack is better, and if either of them is ready to act as a solution for both business and gaming.

Illustration of Slack vs. Discord

General conclusions

  • Business and performance oriented.

  • Basic service is free but extremely limited, most teams will have to pay for each team member.

  • Large file downloads.

  • Excellent application integration.

  • Games and community focused.

  • The service is completely free with an optional add-on Nitro plan that provides some bonuses.

  • Features such as video conferencing and screen sharing are free.

  • No application integration.

The biggest difference between Slack and Discord is the specific focus of each app. Slack is for business, Discord was originally conceived as a free replacement for players like Mumble, Ventrillo and TeamSpeak . Slack supports huge file uploads and has great app integration, while Discord is deeply rooted in video games and allows a large number of users to connect and disconnect from voice channels at will.

Slack and Discord also disagree that the free version of Slack is very basic, while the free version of Discord has all of its important features. Slack is also based around a team manager or company paying a monthly fee per user, while individuals sign up for Discord on their own, join and leave servers at their own discretion, and choose whether or not to pay for a premium membership.

Hardware Requirements: Both are the same

  • macOS 10.10 or higher.

  • Windows 7 or higher.

  • Linux Fedora 28, Ubuntu LTS 16.04 or Red Hat Enterprise 7.0 or higher.

  • iOS 11.1 or higher.

  • Android 5.0 or higher.

  • macOS 10.10 or higher.

  • Windows 7 or higher.

  • Only for 64-bit Linux

  • iOS 10.0 and up.

  • Android 5 and up.

Slack and Discord have very similar system requirements, meaning they both run on most hardware. They have very loose requirements depending on the operating system version for Mac, Windows, Linux, iOS, and Android, and both of them can also work directly in most modern web browsers.

Pricing: Discord Nails free plan

  • The free plan is available with limited functionality.

  • The team manager pays $6.67 per user per month for the standard plan or $12.50 per user per month for the optional plan.

  • The free plan is limited to 10,000 messages.

  • No group voice or video calls with the free plan.

  • Screen sharing with paid plans only.

  • Free plan with all features.

  • Individual users can pay $4.99/month for the Nitro premium plan

  • No message limits on the free plan.

  • Voice and video calls are available for free.

  • Screen sharing is available with the free plan.

Slack and Discord have free plans, but Discord provides a lot more value at this level. Slack limits your group calls, video calls, screen sharing, and other features if you don’t pay, while Discord’s premium plan only adds a few perks, such as higher file upload size limits and the ability to stream higher quality videos.

Another difference is that Slack is based on organizations that pay per team member a per seat fee, while Nitro’s discounted subscription is paid by users individually and provides benefits for all the servers they belong to.

Interface: Slack is easier to use and navigate

  • Channels and direct messages in one central location.

  • Light and dark themes.

  • Custom themes.

  • Servers and channels are in one menu, and direct messages are in another.

  • Light and dark themes.

  • No custom themes without installing BetterDiscord.

Slack is a little easier to use and navigate when you’re just getting started because it presents everything in one central place. Once you join a team, you will see all available public channels, private channels, contacts, and direct messages in the left column, all centrally located and easily accessible.

The default Discord screen places all your servers, which are similar to Slack commands, to the far left, while the text and voice servers for your currently active server are located to the right of it. You can see the list of server members on the far right, but you need to go to another menu if you want to view your contacts or check your direct messages.

These apps are easy to use once you get used to them, but Slack is a little better organized so more people will probably find it easier to figure it out right away.

Text chat: Slack does text well

  • Divided into channels and direct messages.

  • Limited to 10,000 messages with the free plan.

  • Divided into channels and direct messages.

  • There is no limit on the number of messages.

Text chat is Slack’s main focus, and it does text chat pretty well. The team leader can create separate channels for specific projects and other purposes, allow anyone to join, link them to specific people, and fine-tune other settings.

In Slack, anything that is not a channel is a direct message. Each of your contacts is clearly listed in the same directory structure as your channels, allowing you to easily switch between channels and direct messages. You can also easily create a group direct message to chat with multiple people.

Discord is more focused on voice chat, but it still has a very functional text chat system. Each server has one default text channel, and server administrators can create as many additional channels as they need. Channels can be opened per server member or blocked through a robust permission system for specific members.

Direct messages are available through another menu where you can view all your Discord contacts, whether you’re using any servers, in a central location. You can also create group direct messages from the same menu, which are primarily focused on text chat but also allow for video conferencing.

Even though Slack is pretty well organized, Discord is an excellent text chat app thanks to the fact that Discord lets you add friends and chat whether you’re using any servers . This allows it to act as a general chat or messaging app on top of everything else.

Voice and video calls: discord overcomes slack

  • No video conferencing with free plan.

  • No screen sharing with the free plan.

  • Voice and video calls for up to 15 team members on paid plans.

  • Voice messages are available through third party integrations.

  • Voice channels with up to 5000 simultaneous users.

  • Voice calls and video conferences for up to 9 users.

  • Screen sharing through group messages and voice channels.

  • All voice and video features are available in the free plan, with higher resolution behind the paid plan.

  • Advanced voice call management, including push-to-talk.

Discord is primarily focused on voice chat and provides a much better experience to Slack in almost every way. Slack blocks video conferencing and group voice calls behind paid plans, while Discord provides free voice channels to accommodate up to 5,000 users at once. Discord also lets you group direct messages to host video calls for up to nine users at the same time.

The biggest difference between Slack and Discord in terms of voice calls and chat is that every Discord server has at least one dedicated voice channel. Users can join this voice channel and immediately chat with anyone who is also on the channel. There is no need to make a call as the channel is always active.

Administrators also have the ability to create multiple voice channels on the same Discord server for various reasons, allowing multiple groups to chat while playing different games or for other purposes.

Discord also supports the more traditional voice calling that Slack has. Users can make voice calls to each other regardless of whether they are on any mutual servers, and group calls can also be made, allowing three or more people to talk at the same time.

Slack’s free plan is limited to basic two-way voice calls, and even the paid plans are limited to a maximum of 15 people.

Integration: no competition, Slack has more

  • Integrates with over 800 apps.

  • No game integration.

  • Cannot integrate with applications.

  • Integration with bots allows you to expand the functionality of your server.

  • Closely associated with games, as well as some social media platforms.

Slack is so far ahead of Discord in terms of integration that it’s not even a competition. If you’re looking to integrate with a third party application, Slack is the system you’re looking for. In fact, Slack has a list of over 800 apps that you can integrate with, while Discord doesn’t have this functionality at all.

Discord supports some game integrations, such as showing what game you’re playing and sometimes even letting people join you or see you from inside Discord.

Discord also has strong integration with bots, which can do some impressive things, but it’s not the kind of solid app integration you get with Slack. Discord also has limited integration with Spotify Facebook, Xbox, and a few others, allowing Discord to show, for example, what music you listen to or what game you play on another platform.

File Sharing: Depends on what you’re willing to pay for

  • Files are limited to 1 GB.

  • Free plans are limited to a total of 5 GB, paid plans are limited to a total of 10 GB.

  • Old files are removed to make room for new ones.

  • The files are always easy to find.

  • The file upload size is limited to 8 MB.

  • Nitro subscribers can upload up to 50MB of files.

  • Files are saved forever.

  • Old files can be hard to find.

Slack and Discord allow file sharing, Slack limits uploads to 1GB, and Discord to 8MB. Discord Nitro Premium Plan subscribers have increased the maximum upload size to 50MB.

Slack is by far the winner in this department, although it’s important to note that free Slack accounts can only upload a maximum of 5GB before old files are deleted. Paid plans can increase this up to 10 GB. Discord, with its much lower file size limits, never deletes your old files or puts a maximum limit on total uploads.

Because Slack has such solid app integration, you can also share Google Drive files to bypass restrictions.

Slack is also the best option in terms of finding previously uploaded files. While you risk deleting old files to make room for new ones, you can easily see a list of all files uploaded to a channel. Discord doesn’t have this feature, you need to use the main search instead.

Final verdict: Slack is for work, Discord is for games

Slack and Discord are great tools that serve a wide variety of purposes. Slack excels in facilitating collaboration between team members both locally and remotely, while Discord is a fantastic way for gamers and other communities to get together and talk about their shared interests.

Slack has excellent collaboration tools, with tons of third-party integrations, large file uploads, easy file searches, and very basic video and voice calling. While Slack can be used for both business and pleasure, it’s definitely more focused on business.

Discord has excellent voice and video capabilities, especially at the free tier, making it perfect for gamers and other similar communities. Of course, it can be used for both work and play, but Discord is simply not designed to facilitate team collaboration, but to allow people to easily communicate through text and voice. Discord is probably the best option if you’ve had to use the same app for both purposes, but chances are you don’t need some important features.

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