Discord was born out of the necessity for a way to communicate with other players while playing online competitive or cooperative video games. The app’s history begins with the release of OpenFeint back in 2009, a mobile social platform for gamers on both Android and iOS (then known as iPhone OS). Anyone who owned an iPhone, iPod touch or Android device around that period probably has some memory of OpenFeint, especially if they played the massively-popular endless runner Jetpack Joyride, which has OpenFeint support built into the app natively. Despite the prevalence of the platform from its launch through 2011, OpenFeint was not long for this world, shutting down permanently in 2012 after being purchased by a Japanese gaming company in 2011.
Jason Citron, one of the primary developers and founders of OpenFeint, used the money from the sale of OpenFeint to open Hammer and Chisel, a game development studio, in 2012, the same year OpenFeint closed down for good. Their first game was to be Fates Forever, marketed as the first MOBA (multiplayer online battle arena—think League of Legends or DOTA 2) for mobile devices.
Though the game received generally positive reception upon its release on iPad in 2014, Fates Forever failed to generate any sort of popularity with the public, eventually leaving the app discontinued and unavailable to be downloaded from the App Store in 2015. While working on the app, Citron told VentureBeat in an interview in 2015 that his team has run into problems when trying to communicate while playing other online games, specifically pointing out problems with VoIP apps like Skype and Google Hangouts. Most VoIP apps are taxing on systems, and playing games on your mobile device or computer while simultaneously hosting a voice chat can cause significant slowdown and resource usage.
This led Citron and his team, following the failure of Fates Forever, to begin work on a new VoIP system built with gamers in mind that wouldn’t rely on older technologies or forcing users to share IP addresses. The software launched to the public in May of 2015, and since then, the app has grown a massive user base of PC gamers. Though Discord has a full chat-based application, as well as clients for Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS, the app is primarily known for its VoIP interface that allows for latency-free calls over a dedicated Discord server, making for a better gaming and recording experience than anything you’d see through Skype or Google Hangouts.
Of course, Discord is far from just a chat app. You can also use Discord to see what games your friends are playing, whether through clients like Steam or manual input. Here’s how to display your game status in Discord.
Manually change your online status in Discord
Discord has four options for your online status: online, idle, do not disturb, and invisible. These are similar to most other chat applications, allowing you to display whether you’re available to speak. However, this is different than what your game display is. To manually change your online status in Discord, right-click your avatar in the Discord client and select your status. You will need to manually change it when you need to or it will go back to automatic when you restart Discord.
Manually change your game status in Discord
Discord has an auto-detect system that looks at what is running on your system and can recognize a bunch of games. For example, if it sees LeagueofLegends.exe running in Windows, it recognizes this as a game file and will populate your status message to “Playing League of Legends.”
These are ‘verified’ games. That just means the Discord database knows what the game executable looks like and can recognize it in Task Manager. It will then populate your game status message with that status. You cannot manually edit verified games as far as I know. Although there is a hack to work around it. You can edit unverified games or other programs though.
- Have the game open and running in the background.
- Open Discord and navigate to User Settings.
- Select Games from the left menu and then add it on the right.
- Manually add a game or program from the list that appears.
- Type something witty in the “Game Activity” message box.
You need to have the game or program running in the background for Discord to detect the running process. Just Alt-Tab out of the game, open Discord and follow the steps above to get this to work. This is meant for games but if you want to have a status message for a different program, you can.
Once complete, your status message will appear in Discord for as long as you have the corresponding program open. Once you close it Discord will do the same as it does with any other game, change the message to something else.
If you don’t want Discord to show the world you’re playing The Sims 4 for the eighth day running you can turn off game status. Within the Games menu, you can toggle off the setting that says ‘Display currently running game as a status message’.
Change Verified game Status in Discord
Even though you cannot edit verified games in Discord, you can influence how it works. As the system looks in Task Manager at running processes you can manually add a process and get Discord to display that instead of the game you’re playing. For example, say you’re playing The Sims 4 but don’t want the world to know. Open an unverified game or program, get Discord to pick it up and name it something else.
Notepad++ is a useful program for this. It uses very few system resources and it is currently unverified in Discord. Have it running in the background, have Discord pick it up, give it a custom message and then start your other game. While it isn’t guaranteed to work, it does work. I tried it and three of four times Discord stayed with Notepad. This is also a good way of having a custom game status when you’re not playing anything.
Game status is a neat way to tell the world what you’re doing and what you might be playing. It’s also a way of being witty or clever and adds another element of fun to an already very cool system. While restricted a bit by the verified game system, there is a way to game that so it isn’t all bad.
How do you show what Game you’re Playing on Discord Mobile?
There are two ways to do this on mobile, either by putting your own “Custom Status”, or going into User Settings > Game Activity.
- Click the upper left dropbox represented by the 3 horizontal lines.
- Find your name at the bottom of the screen and click it.
- You will now see your online status options.
- Click “Set Custom Status.”
- You can now put any status you want.
User Settings > Game Activity
- Click the upper left dropbox represented by the 3 horizontal lines.
- Find your name at the bottom of the screen and click the settings option represented by the gear.
- Scroll down to the “Game Activity” tab and click it.
- You’re now at the “Game Activity” tab.
- You can now choose to display what you’re playing
Overall, Discord is great for gamers and non-gamers alike. It’s an incredibly powerful VoIP and messaging app, and we think it’ll satisfy the needs of most users looking for a tool to communicate with, whether you’re gaming or otherwise. With its low price of entry, wide availability, and solid video chat implementation, Discord is one of the best messaging apps you can get today.
If you want to chat with your friends through discord, you can use this inexpensive microphone that attached to your phone. Check it out!
You can create your own discord server, this blog post shows you how.