I’ll admit it. I’m slightly addicted to Fortnite. The game itself is great and ever-changing, keeping me hooked. Both @tarakane36 and @oliverhowe14 have covered this topic and done an excellent summary/analysis of the game and it’s rise to popularity.  giphy

Since I myself cannot do a better job describing the game, I’d like to call our attention to one of my favorite aspects of not only Fortnite but online gaming in general: Discord.

For those unaware Discord is a free software available for download on both PC and mobile devices. The software was designed specifically for gaming communities, and at its core it serves as a platform to allow gamers to talk directly with one another. This is similar to the Xbox Live “Party” feature (and the PS4 equivalent) but is unique in that it is  a whole separate application and can be used across platforms. For a game like Fortnite for instance, my friend Cam will utilize discord on his phone while I have it on my computer and since we are able to play with one another, it allows us to chat as well. Obviously there is in game chat options but if someone were to disconnect or experience an issue in game chat becomes obsolete. Discord allows for us to communicate with one another regardless of connection to the game.

Screen Shot 2018-04-14 at 3.00.50 PM.pngAttached above is a screenshot of one of the many additional features of discord that I love, the ability to create channels – this one aptly titled “Rolly rolly”. Channels help to showcase a few of Discords extra features including the ability to not only text chat, but create multiple voice parties within one channel. Creating a channel is extremely easy (just a few clicks) while joining a channel requires only a link from someone already within said channel. This ease allows large groups of people to easily come together (as you can see this channel has 36 members). What I really love about discord though is not only does it tell you whether the person is online, but if they are using PC is actually has the ability to tell what game your friends are playing while they are online. This comes in handy when say I check discord on my way home from class to see if any of my friends are already playing Fortnite or whether I should text them to get on. It’s not a huge feature but Discord is filled with little but effective technologies such as this that really make it have a strong appeal than any other team speak platform.


My two complaints against the product are as follows. One is that I think you should be able to install it on your home gaming console (that isn’t PC). This would help really fill the rift that exists between PC and console gamers, although I understand why certain console makers may be hesitant to allow such a thing. The other complaint is that discord simply isn’t well advertised, which is actually why I wanted to make this post. I was surprised as to how many of my friends had never even heard of it. It’s truly a great platform that benefits from scale, and I hope that you and your friends now have the awareness to go out and give it a try.

Anyway, back to Fortnite.



  1. NeroC1337 · ·

    Fellow Discord user! I learned about Discord when it first came out through watching streamers using it on Twitch. I also, of course, convinced all my friends using it. back when people are using TeamSpeak, Steam Voice-Chat, even Skype. It’s simple to use, the UI looks clean, and like you mentioned the chance to create your own channel. Everytime I want to see if people are playing games, I just jump into the channel we created.

    Now I think Discord does have a future for areas outside of gaming. Another option would be replacing conference call. Given that Discord even have Video Chat option, you could give permission to whether or not a person could talk in a channel, join a channel, invite other people into the channel, etc. I would see a company using Discord as its main communication method. Great connection, low latency. However, I know little about their way to make profit, any idea?

  2. HenryChenChen · ·

    Nice post. Thanks for letting me know such great app. I play different games such as Fortnite and H1Z1, but I am actually one of them that had never heard of discord. And by reading your post, I will definitely give it a try. I think such gaming communication tool that across platforms is necessary because you want to play different games with your friends. This would make the gaming experience a lot more fun. I like those useful mini features that you have mentioned such as creating channels and showing what your friends are playing. These features are impossible in the in-game chat and make Discord so cool.
    By reading @neroc1337 ‘s post, I’m also curious about their ways to make money, is their advertisement in Discord? Or any Membership fee?

  3. JohnWalshFilms · ·

    Although I’ve never played Fortnite, I do think Discord is a brilliant concept – a platform that can obtain users and network effects no matter what the popular game is at the time. The ability to keep chatting if the game crashes and across multiple devices is huge. Have you had a poor experience as of yet? Does Discord have other competitors in this space?

    Lastly, to echo the first two questions – how do they make money??

  4. oliverhowe14 · ·

    As a casual Fortnite player I have heard of Discord, but I never really gotten around to figuring out what it actually was. It seems like a great product and a great service, but what differentiates this from party chats on consoles besides the fact that Discord is not available for consoles? It is very convenient that Discord can bridge the gap between mobile gaming and PC gaming.
    But like what others have asked, how do they make money?

    1. profgarbusm · ·

      @oliverhowe14 @walshqh @henrychenchen @neroc1337
      I’ve looked into it and it seems that Discord actually started on donations and is now launching Discord Nitro which gives additional benefits and features for customers who pay a small monthly fee!

  5. Nice post. I’m not huge into Fortnite (but my son is). Will have to check out discord.

  6. Jobabes121 · ·

    Haha nice post! I use discord often when I play Overwatch or PUBG (I have not tried Fortnite yet, but I will have to try soon!). As I use PC, I have never thought in Xbox/PS4 users’ shoes, so you bring up a valid point. I learned that there are more than 45 million fortnite players around the globe, and quite many of them play on console. This again shows that discord can dive into the console capability beyond simply sticking to PC.

    I used Skype prior to using Discord, but it honestly is amazing given that it creates less lag in using this app and other gaming programs at the same time. The mic capability is incredibly clear, and the video screen feature has no glitch. Simply looking at its functionality, I just had much better experience in using Discord as a communication tool than Skype. It also shows which user is playing what game and so forth, so you can easily tell if your friends are playing or not. Great communication tool, and I am glad you brought it up!

  7. jamessenwei · ·

    Cool post. Contrary to your observations, I feel that Discord is more popular than you make it out to be. A lot of my friends use it, some of them that don’t even play games. I have heard about my non gamer friends who use Discord as a replacement for general messaging and I feel that Discord has potential to be a general communication tool (a replacement for Skype for example). Like @jobabes121 said, it’s fast. The service works pretty well for group voice chat. That being said, personally I don’t really like using Discord myself. I feel that the user interface for the app is a little clunky. The controls of the app has a huge learning curve to it that me and my friends still occasionally struggle with may be a reason why it’s hard to advertise. I still think its cool though. Discord for Business would probably be better than Skype for Business if it existed.

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