Discord’s new Game Tab seems handy, and also metal?

Discord

Steam and Discord seem to be butting heads a lot lately – Valve aren’t happy with just the lion’s share of the PC digital games market; they want Steam to be where players do their socialising and chatting, too. Discord’s latest shot across their rival’s bow is the Games Tab, currently rolling out to the games-focused chat software right now. Essentially, it turns Discord into a general gaming info and social hub which you can launch games from, join other people via, and even keep up on news feeds. It also has a very silly informational video within.

The Year is Future, so intones the video below. You should watch it, and it will fill you with information. I also had to watch it at 1/4 speed in order to snap the picture in the header above, and the experience was quite disconcerting and also kinda cool, especially once it all goes off the rails at the halfway point.

The full feature list is quite extensive, including Spotify integration so that you can sync up with what your friends are listening to. This also reminds me that I’ve not installed Spotify since getting this PC half a year ago, so I should probably go about fixing that.

The Games tab is apparently rolling out right now, so might not be on your Discord screen quite yet. Give it a couple hours, restart the program and maybe do a little dance and it’ll appear eventually, I’m sure. While you’re waiting, why don’t you go click right here to join the RPS Discord group? We’ve got chat, and games, and apparently I just joined there tonight despite having been writing here for months? I am so behind on everything.

Discord is free. It is also very good. Get it here. Or read a bit more about the Games Tab here.

30 Comments

  1. Don Reba says:

    W… T… F… did I just watch? 😲🤦

  2. April March says:

    Were those people playing games lifted directly from the Wii release ads?

  3. Mungrul says:

    Call me old fashioned, but I still prefer Mumble or Teamspeak for voice comms.
    Mostly because they support rather awesome positional audio.

    My minor experience with Discord was like being exposed to a hyperactive 12-year old mainlining sugar whilst forcibly playing really bad pop music at me.

    Or maybe I’m just too old.

    • Dominic Tarason says:

      I’m really not sure how that’s the case – Discord is mostly a dark grey box on my desktop with IRC-like chat. Did you just join a random voice chat channel? Because why would you ever do that? Ever?

      • Mungrul says:

        Nah, I was invited to join a group channel whilst playing The Division. I found the mix of people playing different games distracting, and the jukebox annoying.

        On top of which, I have complete control over my Pi Mumble server. And it’s not trying to be a sodding social network at the same time, plus connecting to it takes seconds and doesn’t get bogged down downloading mandatory updates. Similar sort of deal with Teamspeak, apart from it not being open source like Mumble.

        Look, I get it’s “free”, and features all sorts of “cool” features that the kids like such as emojis, streaming and all that bollocks, but as an actual VOIP app, it’s limited and doesn’t offer the features I expect.

        • cafeoh says:

          What are the features that made you stay with mumble/TS, beyond positional audio?

          • Mungrul says:

            Well if ou’ve never experienced positional audio, I can tell you it’s a pretty big feature, but beyond that?
            The software is completely under my control, running on hardware I own.
            Familiarity also plays a large part, I’ll admit, but I also don’t see the need for a VOIP app to try and do anything other than be a VOIP app.
            And another huge factor, especially for Teamspeak, is how well it integrates in to games and allows mod makers to do cool and interesting things. For god’s sake, there are separate radio and voice modes when in ARMA 3, and the radio channel can get blocked by geography, gradually degrading over distance, adding to the sense of immersion.

            Discord?
            When it’s not trying to be a videoconference / streaming / IRC lite client, just does really rather basic audio with no true game integration.

          • malkav11 says:

            On the other hand, with Discord there’s basically no setup, there’s no need to host or pay for a server, you can trivially switch between a desktop and web or mobile client as needed, and inviting people is point and click.

            I can understand how something like Mumble or Teamspeak could still be a better solution for particular specialized purposes, but for just hanging out with internet folks and playing multiplayer games with voice chat, give me Discord any day and thrice on Sundays.

            I really don’t need it to bloat into a bunch of random other features though, so I’m skeptical of the Games tab idea.

          • cafeoh says:

            @Mungrul

            I got you. I’ve never used positional audio in Arma 3, I don’t doubt this must play a huge part in immersion (just the radio sound when switching comms on already plays a huge part). Although on the subject of “basic audio” and integration, discord has great audio quality (if you select it) and has an overlay. It allows you to see what people are playing and have their “rich presence” which shows meta information for games that supports it.

            I’ll say though that discord is a different use case entirely for many people. To me it replaced steam chat, TS/Mumble/Skype and IRC in one fell swoop but the majority of the time I use it as a replacement to IRC more than anything else, and apart from being able to be used in a terminal (afaik anyway) and host your own server, it completely surpasses IRC in every way.

    • haldolium says:

      TS³ has better, more reliable VO. Better controls and a lot less bugs. It’s not about the features, it’s about doing one thing very very good.

      Discord VO can be really terrible and full of bugs.

      Otherwise it obviously offers much more.

      The ad still is super dumb but the feature might be nice.

  4. satan says:

    Waiting for somebody to buy out Discord, so I can see what it becomes.

    • brucethemoose says:

      Please no. I kinda like Discord, and being bought means they’ll try to over-monetize it, which will kill it.

      I’d be happy if Valve bought them, though. I think they’d just integrate it with Steam, and otherwise not bother changing it for the worse.

  5. Captain Narol says:

    Interesting.

    Does Discord detects which games you have installed on your computer or do you have to add them manually one by one ?

    • Luminomancer says:

      Pretty sure you can connect it with your steam and other accounts and then it asks for permission to get the data needed to show what games you have

      • Gurrah says:

        Permission? When I booted up Discord yesterday I was presented with the new interface and it displayed my recently played games without ever having asked me, and not just Steam games either – it apparently looked at battle.net as well and arranged the games from most to least played. I am seriously considering deleting Discord, I’ve grwon fond of my groups in there but it seems they are collecting waaay too much data for my liking. But I guess that’s what we pay those free services with, data.

        • ersetzen says:

          When looking at the games tab discord asked me for permission link to i.imgur.com

          Edit: There is an option to disable all data collection that isn’t necessary for the service. Presumably the events are still logged anonymously but if you are worried about data collection enabling it should work for you.

  6. emily riposte says:

    Wait. Steam wants me to actually _use_ their community features? Why don’t they design them to be even slightly pleasant to use then?

    • April March says:

      Why even bother? I wouldn’t doubt that the small percentage of Steam users who actually brave these features mean that it already has more users than Discord.

  7. Viral Frog says:

    Look at all these features I won’t use! I wonder if this update is going to prevent Discord from forcing half of my games to run below 20 FPS? Doubtful. At least the games I need Discord for actually run properly. But it’s nice to sometimes chat while playing other games… thanks for that nifty new feature, Valve!

    • jman420 says:

      I’ve been using discord for a while now and never had a problem like this…maybe its an issue on your end? Maybe just don’t use the overlay if that is causing problems? I’ve used discord quite a bit and haven’t had any real issues with it at all. The guy complaining about going into a random room above..well..he may be a little dense…

  8. racccoon says:

    A trickle of competition on steam is not what PC gamers want, they want a landslide of competition, that way steam may eventually vanish into its own selfishness creating its own steam black hole and be gone forever..

  9. WoodGuyThreepBrush says:

    I don’t like Discord to be honest. It seems like every time I go to use it, it’s forgotten my headset. So I have to reconfigure it each time – It seems to be totally random about whether it works or not once I set it up again – sometimes it finds my headset and works, sometimes it finds it but doesn’t work. Other times it doesn’t find it at all.

    Using steam messages to for chat is much more convenient, with it only occasionally crashing. The only issue that keeps Discord on my machine is that I’ve not found a way to have a 3+ Steam voice chat.

  10. nottorp says:

    I don’t know how others feel, but I need another list of my games like a fish needs a bicycle. I’d very much like Discord to start up with a list of my current conversations, but it appears that is not possible.

  11. skyturnedred says:

    I had no idea Devolver had bought Discord.

  12. Evan_ says:

    I like Discord. I play a lot of below-the-radar titles that my actual buddies never would. It was always a great tool to find company for gaming – even if I wanted fellows that speak my obscure native tongue.

    I don’t like when a software I like gets a big new feature no one asked for. But I like the idea here. If the two friendly guys I know from the Factorio Discord starts playing Dominions 5, I indeed wanna’ know about it and join.

  13. Stevostin says:

    Amazing how you can pick that angle (I think I read steam was trying to improve its discord integration somewhere) and not notice the basic narration of the Discord Trailer is -let’s put it positively- a direct “Tribute” to Valve’s GladOS from Portal.

  14. g948ng says:

    Funny, I use TS specifically because it does none of all that crap.
    Talking to people doesn´t require all that data tracking bloatware.

  15. Bobtree says:

    My Games tab in Discord is full of random users from mutual servers playing games I’m not interested in. There needs to be a friends-only option, or a my-games-only option, or both.

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