Disclaimer: I am a Guilded Partner, so my opinions may be biased in favor of it.
Tired of paying for access to emotes across multiple servers on Discord? What about needing to pay for the ability to upload screenshots or video clips over 8 megabytes? Well, using Guilded, a Discord alternative, you get access to all of those features for free and more!
Table of Contents
What Is Guilded?
Guilded is a community-building program similar to Discord. It has been in development since the spring of 2018, with its roots as an addon that expanded Discord’s functionality. Eventually, the software became its own thing, adding many of the features that made its former host a popular choice among gamers. As a result, it is steadily gaining in popularity with the base features and new ones that set it apart.
How does Guilded Compare to Discord?
Guilded has a very similar UI to Discord, with many cloned features being almost carbon copies of what the OG community building software pioneered. This isn’t necessarily bad because it allows users to migrate to Gilded without learning an entirely new UI.
It also differs in the offering of various channel types. I’ve compiled a table of these:
|Channel Types Available
|✅ (720p limited for free users)
|✅ (Source quality available to free users, though limited bitrate results in diminishing returns)
|✅ (Only in Voice Channels)
|✅❌(Has a Basic Event System)
Text and Voice Features are Nearly Identical
The text feature is a pretty standard implementation across both programs. The same goes for video.
However, the big difference is the allowed resolutions to start a video stream.
Discord limits you to 720p video streaming on the free plan, while Guilded lets you stream 4k video. However, due to the limited bitrate being hardcoded into both programs, there may be significant compression artifacts when using higher than 1080p video.
Guilded’s Voice Channels Are More Advanced
Think about this. If you play Battlefield, you could have a main voice server for the map. Then you can create “Team A” and “Team B” voice channels, where the Commander for each team stays. Then you can set up Squad sub “sub” voice channels where each Squad goes too. Then the Squad leader can send a message up to the Commander, where they can organize the teams. The Commander can then ‘broadcast’ to all squads saying, “Charlie squad needs help at A” or similar.
You do not have to do this, though. If you prefer, you can get by with just one voice channel and no sub-channels. So, in reality, you can have a simplified voice system, with multiple separate voice channels on the sidebar, just like Discord, but it takes 2 clicks or taps instead of one.
Both Have Forums, But They Differ Slightly
Both platforms have a Forums feature, with some differences.
Guilded feels closer to a traditional Bulletin Board or Forum software like vBulletin or phpBB. This means that Guilded forums may be easier to adopt for seasoned forum goers.
Discord’s forum feature is a bit more barebones or simplified. With that said, there is one advantage of Discord forums – The tags feature. In my opinion, Guilded does a better job with this feature overall despite not yet having tags.
Media Gallery – A Win in Simplicity
Next up is the media gallery. It is a well-designed channel type perfect for those memes, artwork, and YouTube & Twitch video embeds (yes! YouTube video embeds). It would be nice if other platforms were supported down the road, for example, TikTok.
This is a superior implementation to how Discord does it, which is just literally shoehorning media display into the text channels. With that said, you can mimic Guilded’s media gallery channel type with specific settings in Discord’s forums, but it’s not the same experience as a gallery designed from the ground up to be a gallery.
Guilded’s gallery functions include a “masonry” style overview. When you click on an image, there’s a sidebar to comment on the image view, which doesn’t clutter up the Masonry view and nicely shows only the pictures and title/caption.
This design is simple, effective, and better in almost every way.
Live Channels – Separate from Video For Private Streaming
As for their “live” channels, Guilded separates them into their own channel type called Streaming. This is different from how Discord just tacks onto voice channels.
The advantage of this is:
- Organization becomes easier
- It is easier to tell where certain content is because there are specific channels for it
However, the implementation of audio capture could be better. That is somewhere Discord excels, especially when it comes to playing back audio from an output source like a YouTube Video.
Audio Fixes are in the Works
Thankfully, the Guilded developers are working on streaming and audio improvements. They remain committed to continuously improving the platform, and they have made tons of improvements (nine to be exact) over the last year alone! You can check the changelogs to see everything being worked on.
Some of these tweaks include better support to pick up more audio sources, which in the past has been flagged by anti-cheat safety checks that detect Guilded as cheating software. These next rounds of additions to streaming channels should hopefully fix that!
These are just some of the feature comparisons between Guilded and Discord. They (Discord) recently released “Server Subscriptions” to community enabled servers, but Guilded’s had this feature for ~2+ years now. They only take a 2.5% cut, versus Discord’s 10% cut. You can link Patreon to both platforms, as well.
Another visual benefit to Guilded is that you can use capitals and spaces in your channel names rather than be all lowercase-with-dashes. Helps keep things organized, and looking nice at the same time!
How Easy is Guilded To Use?
Guilded can be easy to use if you use the more basic channel types like Text and Announcements. Their Voice system is akin to TeamSpeak and Mumble, so if you’ve ever used anything like that before, you’ll know how the voice system works here. It is a tiered voice channel system, where multiple “main” voice channels are nested in the one main voice channel. Then you can nest in sub-voice servers.
What Are Guilded’s Unique Features?
There are many potential ways to organize your server here on this platform. There is 5 additional channels, of which my favorites include the more full-featured Calendar, Documents, and Gallery channels. I’ve gone over those in detail above. However, there are a few others I want to mention.
Did I also mention, that Guilded lets you have unlimited pinned messages in servers and DMs? Yep! There is no limit to how many pins you can put in a server channel or a Direct Message to a friend. That is a really nice-to-have feature.
You Are Allowed To Modify the Client Itself
The team allows you to modify your client with ReGuilded, and other ways with some restrictions. As long as you don’t use it to get ‘advantages over others,’ things like a custom theme are perfectly fine. This has been confirmed by the developers of Guilded.
Guilded, being a Discord alternative, also offers “Sub-groups,” which some people call Sub-servers. You can essentially have “mini servers” underneath/inside your main server area. This is perfect for multi-game communities or communities with multiple teams.
If you want to take a look at what some of these unique features can offer, you can check out the Mesozoic Haven guilded server! We have a couple of channels in various areas of the server that you can take a look at. We’d love to have you come chat with us!
My Favorite Channel Type – Calendars
In their Calendar features, you can have an actual calendar view rather than just a list of events. You can RSVP for events, just like Discord. But where Guilded excels is in the ability to set recurring events. This is very useful for streamers so they can put in their weekly schedule and then not forget to keep re-adding new events every week or two. Set it up once; it is all automated from there on out. Just add any special one-time events, and you are good to go!
Then there is the Documents channel. There is one thing I hope they add in the future, and that is the ability to set either a single document in the channel to automatically load or to set a default channel with multiple documents to open by default. That would make organizing your server even better!
Mini Servers Inside Your Main Server? YEP!
This is really nice for pretty much all communities. You can have a staff “sub-server” to keep things clean and organized on your primary server. This can also extend to having a private Subscriber area and a different group for each of the primary games your community plays. Perfect for the ultimate organization!
Here are screenshots of how the mini servers could be laid out.
As you can see, there is plenty of organization features on Guilded, the best Discord alternative, that makes creating a clean (in the way the channels are laid out) community easier. If you have OCD, for example, this could be perfect for having everything neatly laid out and organized! That’s one “leg up” on Discord right there!
In conclusion, Guilded is a platform that you should at least play around with and get a feel for to see if it is something you think your community would like. It may be hard to convince the majority to move over to Guilded, so there is a bot called Parrotbot that can bridge chat between Guilded text channels and Discord text channels using webhooks. That way, people can slowly move over if they wish.
Message from MonoDex: This is a post contributed by KensonPlays, a Streamer I interviewed and also a good friend of mine. He runs his own blog, Mesozoic Haven, which is all about Dinosaurs and games he streams. If you like that sort of thing, I recommend checking it out!