Slack vs Discord: Game on!

Andjela Vidojevic

Last updated on: May 26, 2022

In today’s business world, finding the right team chat app can make all the difference in creating a collaborative work environment where everyone thrives.

These apps help streamline your online team communication and allow you to share messages and files in real-time across physical distance.

However, business messaging apps like Pumble, Slack, and Discord are many, and they all come with unique features and benefits.

So how do you choose?

In this blog post, we compare two popular communication apps — Slack and Discord — to help you get a better picture of which one is right for you.

We’ll compare the two apps in terms of:

  • Pricing
  • User interface
  • Communication
  • Notifications
  • Search options
  • Security
  • File sharing and storage
  • Integrations
  • Support

If you don’t feel like reading the entire thing, hop to the overview below.

Otherwise, if you want an in-depth comparison of Slack’s vs Discord’s features, read the blog post and see if you agree with our verdict.

Slack vs Discord

Slack vs Discord overview

Slack and Discord are both immensely popular communication apps. On the surface, they have similar user interfaces, but how do they differ?

Slack is probably the best-known work app for internal communication used by millions every day.

Slack allows remote-first and hybrid teams to successfully communicate and collaborate in an online environment. 

An administrator can create a dedicated workspace in Slack where teams can then send instant messages, make voice and video calls, share files, and much more.

Slack
Slack

While Slack is aimed at businesses and their needs, Discord caters to online communities, primarily gamers.

Just like Slack has workspaces, Discord allows you to create servers where communities or teams can come together for work, play, or fun.

You can assign roles to individual users on each server and set different permissions for each role.

Discord
Discord

Bear in mind that, as a business-oriented app, Slack’s focus are organizations — a company chooses an organization-wide pricing plan, and individual users can’t switch to other plans on their own.

On the flip side, Discord caters to individuals who choose a pricing plan independently — even Server Boosts (paying for server upgrades) can be individual or collaborative, i.e. individual users can contribute toward boosting a server together.

Here’s an overview of the two apps’ features, side by side.

FeaturesSlackDiscord
PricingOne free and three paid plans (starting from $8)One free and two paid plans (starting from $4.99)
InterfaceSimple and intuitiveA bit more elaborate
Communication optionsCommunication in workspace channels, primary feature: chatCommunication in server channels, primary feature: voice
NotificationsHighly customizable notification preferencesCustomizable notification preferences
Search optionsHighly advanced; you can narrow down your search via modifiers and filters, and search within shared filesAdvanced; you can narrow down your search using several filters
File sharing and storage options– File uploads up to 1GB
– Free: 5GB storage total
– Paid: starting from 10GB storage per member
– File uploads up to 8MB (free)/100MB (Nitro)
– Unlimited file storage
Integrations2,400+ integrations with a variety of third-party appsSeveral gaming-related native integrations, bots and webhooks
Support– Free: standard support
– Paid: Advanced support options
Standard support
SecurityStandard security, no self-hosting optionStandard security, no self-hosting option

For a more detailed comparison of Slack vs Discord, keep on reading.

💡 Pumble Pro Tip

Want to know how Slack compares to other popular team chat apps? We got you covered:

💵 Slack vs Discord pricing 0:1

Let’s face it — Slack never stood a chance in this round.

While Slack’s Free plan is highly limited and insufficient for most users’ needs, running a server on Discord is practically free and comes with all the core features.

Slack’s pricing
Slack’s pricing

Slack offers 3 paid plans starting at $8/user per month. Its Free plan mainly exists to give you a taste of what it’s like to collaborate in the app. (The website itself says that the Free plan is the best way to “try Slack”.)

And, no matter the size of your business, you will have to transition to a paid plan eventually. That’s because Slack’s Free plan notoriously limits your message history access to the last 10,000 messages and gives you 5GB of storage space total.

Moreover, the Free plan only allows for 1-on-1 video and voice calls.

Discord’s Nitro plan
Discord’s Nitro plan

On the other hand, the free Discord plan allows for unlimited access to your message history, as well as unlimited storage per individual user. A video call can host up to 25 people, whereas there’s no limit to the number of users on a voice call.

Plus, while Slack limits the number of workspaces you can create to 1 in all but the most expensive Enterprise Grid plan, you can create up to 100 servers on Discord for free.

Discord offers two paid plans for $9.99 and $4.99 respectively — Nitro and Nitro Classic. The upgrades you get with either plan are mostly cosmetic — animated emoji and avatars, profile badges, and better-quality videos.

Ultimately, most Slack users are on a paid plan, whereas most Discord users rely on the free version. That piece of info is enough to seal this round in Discord’s favor.

💡 Pumble Pro Tip

If you find Slack too pricey and Discord not professional enough, we recommend you check out why Pumble might be the best free alternative to both:

Pricing plansSlackDiscord
Free plan YesYes
Free trialNoNo 
Cheapest paid plan$6.67$4.99
Most users onPaid plansFree plan
Overall impression ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

📱 Slack vs Discord interface 1:0

It’s difficult to compare Slack’s and Discord’s interface considering they were designed for different audiences — businesses and gamers respectively.

Slack’s interface
Slack’s interface

Slack’s interface is quite slick and intuitive for the average user. The focus is on ease of use and navigation, with all the channels and DMs on the left side of the screen.

Discord is a bit more elaborate interface-wise. That makes sense since Discord lets you access all the servers you’re in with one set of login credentials, unlike Slack, where you need to log into each individual workspace separately.

Discord’s interface
Discord’s interface

Consequently, in Discord, you can switch between servers vertically lined on the left-hand side of the screen. When you click on a server, you get all the server channels on the left side, just like in Slack, and you can see all the server members and their roles and status on the right side.

Conveniently, you can also see all the active video and voice calls on the server and join them with ease.

However, all your DMs fall under a completely different menu, independent of the server. This means your conversations will be a bit all over the place, making it difficult to navigate multiple “workspaces”.

Regarding aesthetics, both apps have their perks.

Slack allows you to switch between light and dark themes, but it also offers a myriad of nuanced theme options. If you’re feeling creative, you can even make a fully customized theme choosing any colors you like.

Making a custom theme in Slack
Making a custom theme in Slack

Discord has a dark and a light theme. There are ways to customize your servers and even add other themes via plugins, but doing so is much more complicated than in Slack.

(Rarely seen) Discord’s light theme
(Rarely seen) Discord’s light theme

While both apps’ interfaces come with benefits for their respective communities, Slack decidedly wins this round due to its highly intuitive design.

InterfaceSlackDiscord
LayoutSimple and intuitiveA bit more elaborate
Customization AdvancedAdvanced 
Overall impression ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

💬 Slack vs Discord communication 1:1

Let’s compare how text, video, and voice communication work on the two apps.

Text communication

Regarding textual conversations, both apps support both direct messaging and group communication.

Both apps allow for group communication through channels, either private or public, which you can also organize into categories.

Slack's channels
Slack’s channels

While Discord imposes a limit of 500 channels per server, in a Slack workspace, you can create an unlimited number of channels. On the other hand, the free version of Slack limits your message history to 10,000 most recent messages, whereas Discord comes with unlimited message history access.

Both apps allow for mentions and reactions, gifs and custom emojis, and other fun perks.

Slack and Discord both let you format your messages as well. But, while formatting options are straightforward in Slack, in Discord, they require some maneuvering and hotkeying.

There’s one notable difference that makes Slack slightly better for textual communication — threads.

Discord users repeatedly asked for threads and finally got them in 2021. However, compared to Slack’s branched-off conversations, they are more limited.

Creating a thread in Discord
Creating a thread in Discord

Discord threads expire after 24 hours in the free version of the app, but even on a boosted server, a thread can’t be active for longer than 3 weeks.

💡 Pumble Pro Tip

Unlike Slack, Pumble’s FREE plan comes with unlimited message history, just like Discord. But, Discord limits the number of channels you can have per server, whereas, with Pumble, you get unlimited channels for free.

See what more you can get in the free and paid Pumble plans:

Video/voice communication

While Slack might be better for textual communication, Discord is the king of voice and video communication.

Slack’s Free plan limits your video and voice calls to 1-on-1s, whereas paid plans allow for up to 15 members on a call.

Discord takes video and voice communication to the next level, which makes sense since these are the most important features of a chat app for gamers.

Creating channels in Discord
Creating channels in Discord

Apart from text channels, Discord also has voice channels, where thousands of people can join in on a voice call, and up to 25 can join in via video at the same time — for free! Paid plans and Server Boosts can up your video and audio quality, which is already better than Slack’s.

CommunicationSlackDiscord
Chat history 10,000 most recent messages with the free planUnlimited
Mentions and reactionsYes Yes
Threads Yes Yes (but they expire)
Channels Private and publicPrivate and public
Text and voice
Message formatting StandardStandard (not as straightforward)
Emojis and GIFsEmojis yes, GIFs noYes 
Overall impression ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐​​⭐

🔔 Slack vs Discord notifications 1:0

Advanced notification settings are a vital prerequisite for ensuring the team chat app is not distracting your team.

Slack and Discord both provide many options for tailoring your notifications to your preferences.

In Slack, virtually everything is customizable. You can create your own minute-by-minute notification schedule, set different preferences for desktop and mobile, choose the specific look and sound of your notifications, and much more.

Some notification settings in Slack
Some notification settings in Slack

Discord allows you to mute specific servers, channels, or even annoying users who keep spamming the main. Moreover, you can tailor notifications for each individual channel and set different notification preferences for desktop and mobile. 

You can even have a robot voice speak your notifications to you (which is handy when you’re in the middle of a game session, not to mention quite cool).

Discord’s channel notification settings
Discord’s channel notification settings

Discord’s notification options are fun and highly customizable, but Slack is a clear winner because you can customize literally everything. While in Discord you can mute channels for a certain time, in Slack you can set notification schedules and even reminder notifications.

Slack also allows you to set notifications for specific keywords so that you get notified whenever they are mentioned anywhere.

NotificationsSlackDiscord
Notification configurationAdvancedMedium  
DND mode Yes Yes
Mute channels and direct messages Yes Yes
Overall impression⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

🔍 Slack vs Discord search 1:0

Slack is a definitive search champion, as it has myriads of options to help you find what you’re looking for. The only problem is, if you’re on a Free plan, you’ll only be able to search within the last 10,000 messages — the rest will be lost forever.

You can search for messages, people, channels, and files. The best part — you can even look for specific content within the sent files if you can’t remember the file name.

Search in Slack
Search in Slack

On top of that, there are many modifiers that allow you to filter and tailor your search. For example, you can exclude results with specific words, search via emoji reactions, or search only within threads.

Search options in Discord
Search options in Discord

Discord’s search function is not bad either, allowing you to narrow down your results via several filters, but it can’t compare to Slack’s elaborate modifiers.

One upside of Discord in this round, though, is the fact you can search your entire message history, no matter the pricing plan you’re using.

SearchSlackDiscord
Message and channel searchYes Yes 
File and people searchYes Yes 
Search file contentYesNo
FiltersYes Yes
ModifiersYesNo
Overall impression⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

🔐 Slack vs Discord security 1:0

Both Slack and Discord encrypt your data and support standard security practices, such as SSO and two-factor authentication, but Slack is more reliable.

In essence, Slack was built with businesses in mind, which need tighter data security practices, whereas Discord is community-based. This means you get less control over your servers than Slack admins get over their workspaces.

Slack boasts a page full of security certifications and attestations, including:

  • Workspace Admin Control 
  • SOC2
  • SOC3
  • ISO/IEC
  • CSA
  • APEC
Slack’s various certifications
Slack’s various certifications

With individual users in mind, Discord offers a wide array of privacy and security features, which you can set for both servers and DMs.

Privacy & Safety settings in Discord
Privacy & Safety settings in Discord

However, it’s important to bear in mind that, if you’re planning on using Discord for business, you will have much less control over your messages, especially DMs. As we’ve mentioned, DMs are separate and independent from servers, and you have to trust individual users to stick to the best privacy and safety practices.

💡 Pumble Pro Tip

While Slack’s and Discord’s security practices are admirable, they lack the best safety and privacy measure you can implement — self-hosting.

Hosting your team chat app on a private server is the best way to be fully in control of your data and privacy.

On top of all the standard security measures, Pumble offers a self-hosting solution. Check it out:

SecuritySlackDiscord
Two-factor authenticationYes Yes 
Advanced security Yes No
Data encryptionYesYes
Self-hostingNo No 
Overall impression⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

📂 Slack vs Discord file sharing and storage 1:1

Sending files is an important part of effectively sharing information in an online environment. In this department, Slack and Discord could both use some improvements.

Slack lets you share files as large as 1GB, but its Free plan is exceptionally limiting when it comes to file storage. You can only save up to 5GB of the most recent files in total. With paid plans, you get more storage per user (10GB and 20GB for Pro and Business+ respectively).

Sharing and saving a file in Slack
Sharing and saving a file in Slack

Discord, on the other hand, doesn’t limit your file storage space at all — you can access everything you’ve ever sent or received.

However, there’s quite a catch — you can only send files up to 8MB. If you buy Nitro, you can upload files up to 100MB, which is still significantly smaller than the files you can share in Slack.

Alternatively, you don’t have to buy Nitro if multiple users boost your server and you get Level 2 and 3 perks (50MB and 100MB upload size for all server users respectively).

Sharing a file in Discord
Sharing a file in Discord

Either app could work better for you, depending on what type of files you need to share. However, if neither option is satisfactory, maybe you should try Pumble — the FREE plan allows you to upload files larger than Discord’s paid option (125MB) and you get double the storage free Slack gives you (10GB).

File sharing and storageSlackDiscord
File storage – Free: 5GB per workspace
– Pro: 10GB per member
– Business+: 20GB per member
– Enterprise: 1TB per member
Unlimited
Largest upload size1GB– Free: 8MB
– Nitro: 100MB
Overall impression⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

🖇️ Slack vs Discord integrations 1:0

Third-party integrations are a great perk for remote and hybrid teams since they make it easier to have all the apps that support your workspace connected and always at hand.

Slack and Discord integrations are a true reflection of their initial purpose.

Slack’s integrations
Slack’s integrations

As a business-oriented tool, Slack integrates with over 2,400 apps, from basic tools most teams use on a daily basis to specialized apps relevant to different departments.

However, the free version of Slack only lets you connect with 10 other tools.

Discord doesn’t really integrate with any work-related apps.

You can connect your personal account to other gaming-related platforms, such as Twitch and Steam, as well as social media networks, such as Facebook, Spotify, and YouTube.

Discord’s connections
Discord’s connections

When it comes to server integrations, you can connect with third-party apps via webhooks or add some of the many popular Discord bots for a better and more fun user experience.

So if you’re looking for native integrations with popular SaaS apps, Slack is a far better and much more straightforward option.

IntegrationsSlackDiscord
Number of integrationsOver 2,400 integrations with various apps Several native integrations with gaming-related platforms, bots
Overall impression⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

ℹ️ Slack vs Discord support 1:0

Slack and Discord both have extensive help centers where users can find many answers without having to contact support.

They both have community forums and allow you to contact them via website forms.

However, Slack’s paid plans take the support you can get to the next level.

Slack’s Help Center
Slack’s Help Center

With the Pro plan, you get priority support. Business+ gets you 24/7 support with a 99.9% guaranteed uptime, and with Enterprise, you are assigned a dedicated success team.

Discord’s Help Center
Discord’s Help Center

Unfortunately, Discord’s Nitro plans don’t come with additional support options, which makes Slack a clear winner of this round.

SupportSlackDiscord
Customer support AdvancedStandard
Knowledge baseYes Yes 
Bot feature Yes Yes 
Overall impression⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

🏆  Slack vs Discord Verdict 8:3

The winner is evident from the numbers below — Slack takes the cake with 8:3.

Features SlackDiscord
Pricing (user/month)01
User interface10
Communication11
Notifications10
Search10
File sharing and storage11
Integrations10
Support 10
Security 10
Total score83

Bear in mind, though, that this doesn’t mean Discord is a bad option — Slack is just a better option for businesses that want to be more in control of their online workspaces.

Slack has a more intuitive interface and offers better customization options, but the free version of Discord gives you the functionality that you can only get with Slack’s paid plans.

However, remember that these two apps are far from your only two options.

Looking for a Slack or Discord alternative? Try Pumble

If neither Slack nor Discord fit your needs, you may want to give Pumble, a free team chat app, a try.

Pumble provides you with:

  • Highly intuitive interface
  • The core of Slack’s paid features for free 
  • Unlimited users, channels, and chat history in the free plan
  • 10GB of free storage
  • Video calls
  • Self-hosted option

So, if you’re looking for a secure and user-friendly communication platform, Pumble is a great option for you.

You can sign up for a free account and check it out yourself!

Andjela Vidojevic is a writer specialized in team communication and collaboration with a focus on the remote work experience. She’s a remote worker herself, so while writing, she relies heavily on her own experience as well as on extensive research, which she dives into with great gusto.

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