There’s been a boom in the popularity of messaging and video conferencing platforms, among them Discord. Discord is popular for having many useful features for gaming and collaboration, as well as for using less data than its rivals. However, you might be looking for something more, or something different, than what Discord is offering. If you are, then you’ve come to the right place. In this guide, we’re giving you a rundown of the best Discord alternatives you can download to your phone right now.
Inside This Article
- What Is Discord?
- Why Switch to a Discord Alternative?
- 18 Best Discord Alternatives
What Is Discord?
Discord, at its core, is an instant messaging app that’s designed for building communities. It was launched in 2015, with gamers originally being the main target market. But over the years, the platform has become the home of other communities as well, such as writers, K-pop stans, film enthusiasts, artists, workmates, enterprises, or just regular groups of friends.
Each community has its own server, which is basically the chatroom. To avoid cluttering the chatroom, you can make separate channels for the different topics your group discusses. In these channels, you can send text and multimedia messages, join voice chats, and even make your own Discord emojis.
Why Switch to a Discord Alternative?
Discord is a great platform for creating communities, connecting with friends, and managing tasks with coworkers. However, it has its fair share of drawbacks, too. A notable one is the lack of safety, especially when it comes to larger servers. Discord only uses standard encryption. Unlike end-to-end encryption, in which only the receiver can decrypt a message, standard encryption doesn’t guarantee that no one can intercept your messages en route.
Besides the lack of end-to-end encryption, there are a couple of other limitations to take note of as well. If you’re looking for great video quality, then Discord might not be for you. Plus, the app’s file upload limit is only 8 MB per file, whereas the limit for other apps is usually at least 25 MB. You can get a higher file upload limit (50 MB), but you’ll have to get Discord Nitro, which is $9.99 a month.
17 Best Discord Alternatives
If any of those limitations are a deal-breaker for you, it might be time to turn to another app for your group chat needs. Below are 17 of the best Discord alternatives you can try out.
1. TeamSpeak 3
TeamSpeak has been around much longer than Discord, having been launched in 2002. Much like Discord, TeamSpeak is an app that started out as a hub for in-game communication. With this app, you can make your own private server or join any of the public servers and channels to make new friends. You can also ask to join a public server by contacting the group’s admin.
What makes TeamSpeak a great Discord alternative is that it’s equipped with AES encryption, which ensures that your conversations are secure and private. Its key features include synchronized bookmarks, Push-To-Talk and voice activation, and identity and contacts management. It also gives you detailed information about channels and their players as well as player status notifications. Plus, it rolls out updates pretty regularly; if you notice bugs in the app, they won’t be there for long.
It might not seem like it, but Telegram works well as a Discord alternative. It’s got all the basics of a messaging service: text messaging, file sharing, voice chat, and (more recently) group video calls. Plus, it’s highly customizable, so you can make the app work and look however you want it to.
But more than that, Telegram’s great for hosting communities and coordinating teamwork as well. Through the app, you can join and create both public and private channels, which can house up to 200,000 members. Within these channels, you can set up bots for certain functions, such as setting reminders, creating to-do lists, sending relevant news articles, and even playing music. You can also send documents, video files, and audio files as large as 2 GB.
In terms of security, Telegram keeps your messages private by using three types of encryption: AES, RSA, and Diffie-Hellman secure key exchange. You can also send Secret Chat messages, which are end-to-end encrypted and can be programmed to automatically disappear within a set time.
Price: Free with limited features; paid plans start at $6.67 per month.
Slack is one viable option if you’re looking for a Discord alternative for work or business communication. If you want to try out the app first, you can go for the Free Plan. With this version, you get integrations with up to ten apps, like Google Drive and Office 365, personalized notifications, and a total of 5 GB for file storage. However, you only get access to 10,000 of your group’s most recent messages. Plus, you can only have one-to-one voice and video calls within the app.
If you want more features, you can get any of its three paid plans: Standard ($6.67 per month), Plus ($12.50 per month), and Enterprise Guild ($32 per user per month). The bigger your group is and the more admin controls you need, the higher up the plan tier you’ll go. But generally, these paid plans will give you full access to your group’s message history, tighter security, more file storage, unlimited app integration, and more customization options. With a paid plan, you can also join voice and video chats with up to 15 participants.
Price: Free with limited features; Business plan costs $3 per user per month
Chanty is another Discord alternative you can use for task management and business communication. With this app, you can create and join team workspaces, exchange text and voice messages, share files as large as 1 GB, join group audio and video chats, and track your team’s workflow.
What really makes Chanty stand out is its task management features. The app lets you easily create, assign, discuss, and set deadlines for tasks from within your workspace. Plus, you get a Teambook, which helps you stay organized and keep track of members, shared content, and your progress with tasks. You can also customize your notifications and integrate Chanty with other apps — like Asana, Trello, and Google Drive — to maximize your team’s productivity.
5. Troop Messenger
Price: Free with limited features; Premium plans start at $2.56 per user per month
Troop Messenger is another great app you can use instead of Discord. It offers tight security for business communication and has got the basics down: direct messaging, unlimited group chats, group and one-to-one video and voice calls, and file sharing, among others.
Besides those features, this Discord alternative also allows for screen sharing, live location tracking, integration with multiple apps, and contacts management. Troop Messenger also makes managing your messages easier with advanced filters. With this feature, you can mark a conversation as important, remind yourself to respond to a message later, and many more. If you’re an admin, you can easily run and oversee a group by using the Admin Dashboard and Group Controls.
Price: Free with limited features; Business plans start at $2 per user per month
Another Discord alternative you can use is Element. It’s primarily designed for team collaboration, but you can also use it for gaming and other purposes. It has a free version, which is already useful enough on its own. With this version, you get the basics: end-to-end encryption, direct messages, unlimited group chats, and voice and video calls for both one-to-one and groups. Plus, you get widgets for in-chat collaboration, file sharing, full access to your message history, and screen sharing.
You can also go for a paid Business plan if you need more features. There are four plan options: Nickel ($2/user/month), Silver ($3/user/month), Gold ($4/user/month), and Platinum (price depends on the features you get). Nickel will suffice if you only have a team of five or less. Silver is good for up to 25 users, and Gold is for a group of up to 100 users. For much larger groups, you’ll need Platinum. These paid plans offer more flexibility, tighter security, as well as audit and moderation bots.
Price: Free with limited features; paid plans start at $3.25 per user per month
Mattermost is another messaging app that’s great for team collaboration. Plus, it makes use of military-grade security, so you won’t ever have to worry about prying eyes in your group chats. The app allows you to exchange text and voice messages, share files of any type, and have audio and video conferences with your groups. Like Discord, Mattermost also allows you to set up bots for specific tasks within your chats.
This Discord alternative offers two paid plans: Enterprise E10 ($3.25/user/month) and Enterprise E25 ($8.50/user/month). These paid versions offer encrypted push notifications, advanced access control policies, and Office365 integration, among others.
8. Steam Chat
With Steam Chat, you can easily see who among your friends are online and/or in a game and organize events with them. You can also create custom categories for your chats and add contacts to your favorites bar. Want to invite a friend to your group chat? You can easily do so by generating invite links, which you can send through text or email. The app also lets you share all kinds of content, whether it’s a video, tweet, higher fidelity link, GIF, or Steam emoticon. Plus, your notifications are customizable per friend, group chat, and chat channel so you’re guaranteed to get alerts that matter most to you.
9. Microsoft Teams
Price: Free; paid plans start at $5 per user per month
Microsoft Teams isn’t really designed for gamers, but it still works well as a Discord alternative. The app lets you send direct messages, create group chats, and create dedicated channels to avoid clogging up your chats. Also, you can now set up one-on-one and group voice and video calls within the app.
Team collaboration and task management are also made easier through Microsoft Teams. Through the app, you can transfer files of any type that are as large as 100 GB. You can also track your team’s progress through task lists, which allow you to assign tasks, set deadlines, and mark completed tasks. The app also offers screen sharing, a virtual whiteboard, and virtual breakout rooms so you can make the most out of your meetings. And all that is topped off with enterprise-grade security.
Price: Free with limited features; Pro starts at $4.50 per user per month
Flock is another good Discord alternative you can check out. With the free version, you can exchange unlimited direct and group messages, get access to 10,000 searchable messages per group, and participate in one-to-one video calls. However, some features are limited. For instance, you only get 5 GB total of file sharing. In addition, you can only have single-admin groups, and you’re only allowed to join up to ten public channels.
Of course, the Pro version offers more features. With a paid plan, you get unlimited access to your message history, group video calls, screen sharing, and 24/7 priority support. Plus, you can assign multiple admins for your groups to make moderation easier. Every member of your group is also allowed to share a total of 10 GB of files.
11. Google Hangouts
If you and your group all have Gmail accounts, then you can consider using Google Hangouts as a Discord alternative. Like other messaging apps, Hangouts includes direct and group chats and audio and video calls with up to ten members. Perhaps the main advantage that Hangouts has over Discord is that it’s easier to navigate. Thus, it’s great if you have members in your group that aren’t very tech-savvy.
With Hangouts, you can send status messages, emojis, stickers, maps, and all sorts of content. Plus, similar to Discord, you can also set up bots in your group chats to automate certain tasks. With the help of bots, you can easily set meetings, send reminders, take attendance, and more.
Price: Free; paid plans start at $5.83 per user per month
Wire is another Discord alternative that’s great for team collaboration. It’s equipped with end-to-end encryption so you can communicate with your teammates and clients securely. Through the app, you can send direct and group messages, photos, and files in any format. Wire also allows for video calls for up to 12 participants and voice calls for up to 25 participants. Plus, by using secure Guest Rooms, you can still communicate with your partner or client through Wire even if they don’t have a Wire account.
Skype isn’t as feature-heavy, but trust us, it works well as a Discord alternative, especially if you don’t need the advanced gaming tools that Discord has. Skype has all the basic features you need for text, audio, and video chats, and it’s easier to navigate. Plus, you can create video or voice calls with up to 100 participants.
Like Discord, you can also share your screen on Skype. However, you don’t have the option to share just a part of your screen. The app also lets you share photos, GIFs, videos, documents, and all sorts of files with your friends, family, and workmates.
Price: Free with limited features; Pro starts at $3 per user per month
Another Discord alternative you can try out is Rocket.Chat. This app lets you host your own communities and create both public and private channels for easier collaboration. It’s also end-to-end encrypted and allows for external collaboration with guest users.
If you want more features, you can opt for either the Pro or the Enterprise version. Pro is suitable for workforce teams, and Enterprise is for those looking for more advanced features and security. With a paid subscription, there’s no limit to how many members can join your group chats. Plus, you get 25,000 monthly push notifications if you’re using Pro and unlimited push notifications if you’re using Enterprise.
Mumble is an open-source Discord alternative that’s primarily used for gaming. It’s very similar to Discord in that it’s also designed for low-latency audio calling and uses less Internet bandwidth than most messaging apps. Among its advantages over Discord is that it uses chat encryption and has better audio quality. The app even allows you to send messages without touching your phone, thanks to voice-activated audio transmission.
On top of that, Mumble also grants you access to thousands of public servers. When you find your favorite servers, you can make a list of them for easier access later on.
FortKnoxster is another great app you can check out if you’re looking for something more secure than Discord. It’s equipped with layers and layers of protection, including end-to-end encryption, blockchain technology, and AES and RSA encryption algorithms. Plus, the app makes use of digital signatures so you’re sure that the messages you receive are from verified contacts.
Just like other messaging apps, FortKnoxster also allows for text messaging and voice and video calls for one-to-one and groups. You can also share files of whatever type, including photos, voice messages, and videos. Plus, the app also has a screen sharing feature, so you can easily show your presentation or share your gameplay with your group.
Pinch is another Discord alternative you can try out if you’re a gamer. It’s a voice chat app that works in the background of your games, so you can talk with your friends while also running your mobile games. On your contacts list, you’ll see who’s online and whether your friends are in-game.
The app also lets you easily invite your friends to play without having to leave the game you’re on. Plus, you can customize your notifications so that Pinch sends you alerts when your friends go online and start playing a game. You also get solid and clear audio quality when you go on Pinch voice chats, so you can easily strategize with your friends during games.
Whether it’s for gaming, team collaboration, or just virtually hanging out with friends and family, the apps on this list work well as Discord alternatives. They more or less offer the same functions and are more secure than Discord.
We hope that this guide helped you choose a Discord alternative that works best for you. Have you tried out any of these apps before? Share your experience with us in the comments!