Slack vs Discord: Game on!
Last updated on: April 26, 2023
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:
- User interface
- Search options
- File sharing and storage
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 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.
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.
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.
|Pricing||One free and three paid plans (starting from $8)||One free and two paid plans (starting from $4.99)|
|Interface||Simple and intuitive||A bit more elaborate|
|Communication options||Communication in workspace channels, primary feature: chat||Communication in server channels, primary feature: voice|
|Notifications||Highly customizable notification preferences||Customizable notification preferences|
|Search options||Highly advanced; you can narrow down your search via modifiers and filters, and search within shared files||Advanced; 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
|Integrations||2,400+ integrations with a variety of third-party apps||Several gaming-related native integrations, bots and webhooks|
|Support||– Free: standard support|
– Paid: Advanced support options
|Security||Standard security||Standard security|
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 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.
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:
|Cheapest paid plan||$6.67||$4.99|
|Most users on||Paid plans||Free plan|
📱 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 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.
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.
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.
While both apps’ interfaces come with benefits for their respective communities, Slack decidedly wins this round due to its highly intuitive design.
|Layout||Simple and intuitive||A bit more elaborate|
💬 Slack vs Discord communication 1:1
Let’s compare how text, video, and voice communication work on the two apps.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
|Chat history||10,000 most recent messages with the free plan||Unlimited|
|Mentions and reactions||Yes||Yes|
|Threads||Yes||Yes (but they expire)|
|Channels||Private and public||Private and public|
Text and voice
|Message formatting||Standard||Standard (not as straightforward)|
|Emojis and GIFs||Emojis yes, GIFs no||Yes|
🔔 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.
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 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.
|Mute channels and direct messages||Yes||Yes|
🔍 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.
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.
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.
|Message and channel search||Yes||Yes|
|File and people search||Yes||Yes|
|Search file content||Yes||No|
🔐 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
With individual users in mind, Discord offers a wide array of privacy and security features, which you can set for both servers and DMs.
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.
📂 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).
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).
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 storage||Slack||Discord|
|File storage||– Free: 5GB per workspace|
– Pro: 10GB per member
– Business+: 20GB per member
– Enterprise: 1TB per member
|Largest upload size||1GB||– Free: 8MB|
– Nitro: 100MB
🖇️ 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.
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.
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.
|Number of integrations||Over 2,400 integrations with various apps||Several native integrations with gaming-related platforms, bots|
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.
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.
Unfortunately, Discord’s Nitro plans don’t come with additional support options, which makes Slack a clear winner of this round.
🏆 Slack vs Discord Verdict 8:3
The winner is evident from the numbers below — Slack takes the cake with 8:3.
|File sharing and storage||1||1|
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
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!