How To Add Bots To Your Discord Server
Gamers and online team members of all sorts worldwide have learned the virtues of Discord, the online service that provides voice chat for games and online groups of all sorts. Discord is the successor to programs like Teamspeak and Ventrilo, and now has millions of users around the world. You can use Discord to coordinate your guild’s raids, to run a D&D game online, or even just to chat with friends about particular topics. If you run a Discord server, you have a wide variety of options to provide neat features for your players. One of those features is the addition of bots. In this article, I’ll go over how to set up a Discord server, introduce you to the world of bots, and explain how to add bots to your Discord server (and why you might want to).
Setting Up a Server
Setting up a Discord server isn’t terribly complicated, and it’s free. Discord is available on Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, and Linux. In this example, I’ll be setting up a server on a Windows desktop. Once you’ve downloaded the setup file of your choice, run DiscordSetup. The setup program will download a dozen or so updates and then launch the opening screen. If you don’t already have a Discord account, you’ll need to register one; it’s quick and painless. (There’s a whole TechJunkie article on how to join Discord if you need a little extra guidance.)
Once you’ve logged in, click on “Create a Server”, enter a server name, and choose a region. Your region choice should be in your own geographical area of the world. You can add your own custom 128×128 icon if you like. You can see our incredibly creative version of this in the snapshot below.
Hit “Create” and we’re done – that’s all it took, and now our fully-featured Discord server is ready to roll.
What Are Discord Bots?
Bots are simply computer programs that interact with human beings (and sometimes with other bots) to perform certain functions in an automatic way. If you’re in the online world at all, you have almost certainly interacted with a bot. That oddly friendly girl on Tinder who wanted you to follow her on Instagram? Quite probably a bot. The “customer service agent” who first talked to you when you were having trouble with your cable service? That was a bot, at least at first; if the bot couldn’t answer your question, it kicked you over to a human without any interruption. Ever visit a website and had a helpful chat window immediately open up offering to talk with you about their product or service? That was a bot. If you use Reddit, you see bot interactions (beep! boop!) all the time.
Bots can be helpful or infuriating, depending on their purpose, their design, and how they are deployed. On Discord, bots provide a variety of productive and not-so-productive features to the community on the server where they “live”. For example, there are bots that play music, bots that offer amusing memes on request, bots that fetch your game stats for you, and bots that play a loud airhorn noise on the channel when invoked.
Finding Good Bots
The Discord world is full of bots; there are thousands of freely-available bots out there. There’s a list of some silly and semi-useful bots here if you like, but more serious bots can be found on the Carbonitex website, which is regarded as one of the best repositories of Discord bots around. Another reputable repository for Discord bots is called, simply enough, Discord Bots. For the truly hardcore, a GitHub search for Discord bots will find just about everything that it is in the public view.
Adding Bots To Your Discord Server
To add bots to a server, you have to be an administrator on the server. This can either be a server that you run yourself, or just one on which you’ve been given administrator permissions – although in the latter case, you should make sure that the bot you want to add is cool with the other administrators. (If you want to add someone as an administrator on your server, check out this TechJunkie on adding a new administrator.)
The first step, naturally, is finding the bot you want to add. For purposes of this article, I’m going to walk you through adding Dyno, one of the most popular Discord bots. Dyno is a full-featured bot with moderation features, music playing abilities, CleverBot integration, and a lot of other features outside the scope of this article. It’s been added to more than 1.4 million Discord servers, so it’s kind of popular.
I’ll be adding Dyno from the Carbonitex website. The first step is to click the green “Add Bot to Server” button. This will bring up a confirming dialog from Discord asking you to choose which server you want to add Dyno to. You’ll need to be logged in to your server for Discord to know that it’s you trying to add something. Select your server and click “Authorize”.
You may have to fill in an “I’m not a robot” captcha, but after that the bot will be automatically added to your server, and you’ll be taken to the administration page for managing Dyno on your server.
If you’re more hardcore and want to add bots without bothering with the pretty interface, you can also add them directly. You’ll need to know the client ID of the bot and you’ll need to be logged into your Discord server. (This is the method you’ll need to use for most GitHub bots, which don’t have a web interface.)
- Open your browser and paste the following URL: https://discordapp.com/oauth2/authorize?client_id=<Bot_Client_ID>&scope=bot&permissions=0.
- Change ‘Bot_Client_ID’ in the above URL with the actual client ID of the bot you want to add.
- You may still have to authorize the bot even though the command uses Oauth2 to do that very thing.
Authorizing Your Discord Bot
Discord is very careful with bots and sometimes requires multiple authorizations to enable one to work. Even though the platform uses Oauth2 to enable a permitted bot to access and interact, you may still be asked to authorize it within the channel. While a pain if you are adding multiple bots, I think this is a good thing.
Some Popular Discord Bots
Now that you know how to add bots, what are some of the bots you should add? Well, only you know what kind of environment you want your server to have, but I’ve compiled a list of some of the more popular Discord bots and why you might want to add them.
Pokécord lets your friends catch, train and battle Pokémon while on your server. Fun and silly, really.
Dank Memer displays memes and has a variety of other meme-related features.
Pancake is a basic multi-featured bot with moderation features and music playing.
Nadeko plays games, offers gambling, and has administration tools.
MedalBot lets your users record clips.
RickBot offers more than 4500 custom soundboards.
Groovy is a music bot that supports Spotify, YouTube, and Soundcloud.
Rythm is a fully-functional music bot that is very stable.
Mantaro is a customizable “fun” bot.
Translator is a multilingual bot that provides instant translation between more than 100 languages.
More Bot Resources
There are a lot of resources out there to help you choose, customize, and even create your own Discord bots. Here are some of the most popular and useful bot-oriented resources available on the Web to help you get the most out of your bot experience.
Discord.me is a large Discord community where users can add and promote servers, but the site’s overall mission is to “help people find online communities they love”. The site has 33 categories of server, ranging from Military to Mature, Anime to Art, and Fitness to Furry. An active blog keeps community members up to date, and the site features a NSFW toggle that lets you avoid (or seek out) the “after dark” servers that are out there.
Bastionbot.org takes an interesting philosophical position for the bot world – rather than having a dozen bots each running their own functions, Bastion attempts to be an all-in-one bot that can handle literally everything a server might need. Bastion’s feature list includes music, games, giveaways and promotions, a suggestions channel, voting, user profiles, virtual currencies, leveling systems, a server shop, filters, searches, game stats, messaging, moderation features, emojis, “fun” features like airhorns and quotes, starboard, scheduled commands, and triggers and reaction events. Bastion is a full-featured bot that can do just about anything you want it to do, and it adds features on a regular basis.
Tatsumaki, like Bastion, is a multifeatured bot with a very wide range of capabilities, but is aimed more at moderation and utilities users. Tatsumaki has a large number of moderation features and is well-suited for people with established servers who want to establish a richer ecosystem of utilities.
Carbonitex is a statistics-collecting website devoted to Discord servers and bots, and is an amazing resource for those who want to see where the action is in the server and bot playing field. You can invite Carbonitex to monitor your own server and collect statistics to show where you are in the great server ecosystem.
Want more information about Discord? TechJunkie has created a variety of great articles on the platform.
Here’s our guide on how to hide Discord channels.
We’ve got a tutorial on how to kick someone off a channel on your server.
Here’s a walkthrough on how to enable screen sharing in Discord.
We have a guide to automatically assign roles in Discord.
Discord isn’t your only choice – here is our list of the best Discord alternatives.
Here’s how you can create a spoiler tag on Discord.
If you don’t use Windows or Mac, you’ll want to check out our guide to installing Discord on Ubuntu / Linux.
Heavy chatters will want to see our tutorial on how to change the text color in Discord.