How To Add, Manage and Delete Roles in Discord

Posted by Jamie on December 23, 2018

Especially if you are running a Discord server with a lot of users, you will want to be particular about who can do what on your server. Otherwise, either you will go crazy trying to manage everything yourself, or people will start to run amok. Fortunately, Discord has an ingenious method of setting what each user can do on your server that makes it easy and fast for you to manage.

Within Discord, there are currently thirteen server permissions (e.g., the ability to ban members from the server), nine text permissions (e.g., the ability to @ everyone on the server) and six voice permissions (e.g., the ability to mute other members). Assigning all 28 of these permissions on a per-user basis would be tedious even for administrators of the smallest servers.

So instead, you create a few roles, each with a specific set of permissions, then assign a role (or multiple) to each user. For example, you can make a “Thor” role that can only ban people and do nothing else on the server. Then a “Loki” role that can only talk on the server – nothing else. People with both the “Thor” and “Loki” roles will be able to both talk and ban people, but those with only one or the other only have the permissions associated with their role.

How to add roles in Discord

Once you have configured them, you can use roles across channels to control all users on a server. So it is worth taking the time to set up some basic roles before you even have anyone on your server. You can always come back and add more later if you need to.

  1. Log into Discord and access your server.
  2. Select the small drop-down arrow to the right of the server name and click “Server Settings.”
  3. Click “Roles” in the left pane. You should see a single role called @everyone.
  4. Click the “+” icon at the top of the center pane to add a role.
  5. Name the role something descriptive and assign it a color (colors are important, because they inform users of each others’ roles).
  6. Review all 28 permissions, toggling on only the ones you want to be associated with that role.
  7. Select “Save Changes.”
  8. Repeat for each new role you want to create.

Assigning the different permission levels to different roles allows you to create a hierarchy according to trust. You can assign lower roles to newbies and higher roles with more permissions to those you know well.

To assign a role to a user:

  1. Select your server, then click “Members” in the left pane.
  2. Select the small “+” next to the username and select the role from the menu.
  3. Repeat for each user on your server.

Remember, you can add as many roles as you want to for each user.

How to manage roles in Discord

Managing roles in Discord is much the same as creating them. You can add more roles should you need to and modify the permissions within each. Depending on how you want to run your server, you could get away with creating just two roles, admin and user. As your community grows, you can add others.

You might have noticed the left column on the Roles page, which displays the names of all roles you have created. Usernames on the server will display the color of the highest role assigned to a user. That makes management even easier: Users can easily recognize who the moderators, admins, etc. are on the server, and should behave accordingly.

How to delete roles in Discord

It is rare that you would need to delete a role in Discord, as you could simply not assign it. However, if your account is becoming cluttered with unused roles, here’s how you can delete them.

  1. Select the small dropdown arrow next to your server and select “Server Settings.”
  2. Select “Roles” in the left pane and select the role you want to delete.
  3. Scroll down and click the “Delete [role name]” button.
  4. Confirm by clicking “Okay.”

Role permissions

Permissions is a subject worthy of research before you jump in. To view a list of all the permissions you can assign to a role, check out the Unofficial Discord Wiki. Not only can you assign permissions to roles but also permissions for channels and category permissions. This page on permissions on the Discord website is very useful in deciding how to use roles and which roles should have which permissions.

You do not have to go quite so in depth with roles and permissions; you can just assign full permissions to one role and no permissions to another. Much depends on how you want to run your server. One of the coolest things about Discord is that you can keep it as simple as you like or make it as refined as you dare. It is entirely up to you – and the best part is no matter what, as the owner of the server, you will always have every single permission available.

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