Guild Review | PCMag
Discord may have started as a communication tool for gamers, but the chat service has grown so important that gaming is only one of its many uses, next to listening to music, watching movies and even homework. Upstart rival Guilded is putting the game back in the spotlight. The messaging platform offers many useful features for socializing in gaming communities, as well as hosting gaming competitions. These tools can’t go this far without a large user base to back them up, but if you’re looking for a Discord alternative, Guilded is your best bet.
Getting started with Guilded
To set up a Guilded Server, you visit the website, download the desktop app, or download the mobile app for Android and iOS. I mainly tested with the desktop app. When you initially create your server, you name it, add a description, and specify the games it focuses on. Creating a server doesn’t require any in-depth technical or hosting knowledge, unlike the open source Twitch Owncast alternative. It’s as easy as setting up a Slack workspace or creating a Discord server.
Guilded is free. Creators can activate paid subscriptions on their own servers and offer personalized rewards, such as access to exclusive channels and “profile flair” bragging rights. They can also join Guilded’s partner programs for additional perks, such as early access to new features and priority support. But there is no subscription for Guilded as a whole. There is no equivalent to Discord Nitro, which offers premium features starting at $ 5 per month.
In fact, part of what Discord charges you, Guilded gives it to you for free. Only Discord Nitro users can send video at 1080p / 60fps, while all Guilded users benefit from this high quality and low latency. Guilded also supports higher audio at 256kbps compared to Discord’s 96kbps audio. If all you plan on doing is texting, you won’t notice much of a difference, but Guilded’s powerful multimedia feature will appeal to gaming enthusiasts who spend all day consuming their hobby through services. live streaming video games.
Organizing your server
As a captain, you set various permissions and assign roles to server members. For example, you can delegate power to people on your moderation team. You can even rename roles, in case you’d rather be “Big Boss” than “Captain”. The servers are public or private, and you can ask anyone who wants to join your private server to complete a custom request. Ask them to explain why they would make a great addition to your merry group.
When it comes to communication, Guilded is pleasantly straightforward. Two lists, one for channels and one for the member directory, frame the large main area where you will see new messages. The interface looks pretty much identical to Discord, so you shouldn’t have any issues making the transition. Guilded even allows you to directly import your existing Discord server model into its system. Other integrations include Patreon and Twitch.
Customize your server to add personal spice. Upload your own avatars, banner images, and emoticons. With Webhooks, Guilded automatically extracts and displays data from the Internet on your server using IFTTT or similar services. With widgets, you preview your server on external websites. You can also create your own robots to automate certain processes. For example, one bot can send a welcome message every time a new member joins, while another gives experience points to users who complete certain tasks. Full bot functionality, including access to the Guilded API, is still in beta.
The servers have the expected communication methods, such as direct messaging and screen sharing. However, Guilded goes above and beyond by also providing many categories of channels that meet even more specific needs. In addition to channels for chat, voice, and streaming, you can create a dedicated announcements channel, a bulletin board-inspired channel, or channels to collect lists, documents, and other media.
While unique interfaces are nice, some of these categories of channels don’t offer much more than you could achieve with a text channel set for a specific topic. Some seem redundant, like the categories for a calendar and a schedule. Still, I liked having this level of power on my server. I could imagine that these categories of channels serve my community in a higher level of detail than Discord.
If you are creating too many channels and feeling overwhelmed, you can sort your channels into groups, which are basically sub-servers within your main server. Let’s say you are using a server for fighting game fans. Create a group for Tekken 7 and another for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.
Prepare for the next battle
Among gaming communities, esports communities particularly benefit from tools that make it easier for members to organize. Guilded targets these competitive gaming fans. In addition to finding public servers, you can create and find Featured Tournaments. At a glance, you’ll see the time the tournament starts, the league hosting it, the game you’re playing in, the teams you’re competing against and the prize pool.
Guilded includes unique features tailored to specific popular esports. If you are a League of Legends player, you can filter your searches for League of Legends servers in your area. Guilded also maintains a database of player stats and preferences to better match players with similar skill levels on the same servers. You won’t consistently improve if you only play people who are exponentially better or comically worse than you. Other supported games include Apex Legends, Overwatch, and Knockout City.
However, it’s the people that power communities, not the cool features. Tens of millions of people use Discord, while only tens of thousands use Guilded. So there are just not that many people, although those people are on average more passionate about esports. Currently, Guilded does not place any limit on the number of users that can exist on a single server, unlike Discord which caps at 500,000, but I think that is only because there is not enough users to test these limits.
If you just want a place to chat online with your existing personal friends, Guilded’s lack of popularity shouldn’t be of concern to you. But if you’re an esports player trying to find and fight the best of the best, Guilded’s small size probably doesn’t give you the big picture.
I should note that Guilded was recently purchased by the makers of the very popular Roblox. The platform still promises to serve all games, only now with a lot more resources at its disposal. Perhaps this acquisition will allow Guilded to grow into a legitimate competitor to Discord.
As a mainstream online chat service, Guilded won’t be overthrowing Discord anytime soon. Nonetheless, Guilded has every right to exist, as it provides useful communication and organization features for players, especially competitive players, and only has room to grow. Guild users may be the few, but they are the proud ones.
The bottom line
While nowhere near as popular as Discord, Guilded Servers provide powerful tools for organizing and communicating with members of your gaming communities.
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