The easiest way to describe Discord is as a digital Roman forum—a porous community hub where you go to shout and listen to others shout. In a given server, there are games, commerce, fights, even courts of law (if you count moderators). It’s a good analogy, but it falls short for one important reason: The ancients didn’t have bots.
Discord bots bring order to the entropy of online communication. All of the top Discord servers are rife with bots, providing much-needed security, structure, information, and entertainment. One might let users opt into roles so others know where they stand in the community. Another might call up relevant information on the price of a popular good—IRL or in a video game. There are polling bots, music bots, security bots. But unless you join dozens of Discord servers, you might not know what’s out there.
WIRED has done that for you. Here are our favorite Discord bots:
From 5,000-person public Roblox servers to 10-person online friend groups, these are the bots every server should have at least one of. These multi-use bots provide basic organizing and infrastructure for an easy-to-navigate and active Discord server. These are going to let you assign roles (either automatically or by letting users choose roles with emoji reacts), filter spam, set rules for users, and log moderator events, and they offer a whole bunch of other mundane tools that are important for managing a large Discord server.
MEE6: MEE6 should live on every server. And live it does on 16 million. The bot is a ubiquitous and uniformly helpful presence on servers with 15,000 members or just five, welcoming new users with an automated message and kicking them out for spamming memes. MEE6 facilitates moderation, custom commands (like answering frequently asked questions), and creating polls and can log activity on a Discord server relevant to moderators.
One thing Discord users love most is its ability to sort users into different roles or titles—for example, “Call of Duty players” or “moderators” or “Twitch subscribers.” Roles are a great way to give users permission to view or not view certain Discord content. A server owner can notify only their Twitch subscribers or moderators about a specific thing without @everyoneing, and users can identify who to contact if they have questions or what other gamers share their love of Rocket League. MEE6 lets users opt into up to 250 roles by clicking on particular emoji under a Discord post. A lot of servers incentivize users to rank up roles—which MEE6 facilitates—by paying extra money to content creators, performing certain tasks, or just sticking around long enough.
For a premium fee of $12 per month, MEE6 offers more advanced custom commands (like letting you know when a streamer is live on Twitch) and moderation capabilities.
Carl-bot: Carl-bot has a lot of the same functionality as MEE6, including up to 250 reaction roles and welcome messages. It can log events, create polls, and rate limit spammers. More importantly, it lets users implement some more advanced custom commands without a premium fee. It’s just a little harder to grok than MEE6, which has a simpler user interface. Carl-bot’s premium fee, $5 a month, upgrades the reaction role system and improves text commands.
For a Secure, Clean, and Friendly Server
Discord servers can get, generously, a little toxic. It’s what happens when you toss a bunch of anonymous gamers into a chatroom. And now that Discord has become so popular, a lot of servers suffer from problems with spam. To keep your digital space safe, kind, and spam-free, consider adding a couple of these bots:
Captcha.bot: When you join a new server with Captcha.bot, you receive a direct message prompting you to verify that you are a human. Users go to Captcha.bot’s website, log back into Discord, and pass a captcha to gain server access. It’s a great way to ensure your public server is human-only (minus the bots you added in intentionally!).
Modmail: If your server is larger or needs a strong divide between users and “staff,” consider adding a ModMail bot. Messages to the server’s moderators go to a separate channel with a shared inbox. Mods’ personal direct messages don’t get flooded with requests to remove the #anime channel!
Tatsu: Leveling bots let users gain XP and ranks based on how much they participate in a server. Mods can set higher participation levels to correspond to server roles. On top of being a fun side game, it has a fringe benefit of making it clearer to newcomers which people have been around for a while and who to turn to for support. Tatsu is a more full-fledged leveling system, with credits and points that can be spent on profile cards, pets, and other cosmetic items. Some currency and items are global, meaning they carry over across Discord servers.
For a Fun-Filled Server
Sometimes you can’t rely on users to make a Discord poppin’. These bots add a little extra something to servers—be it minigames, music, or random bits of madness.
Hydrabot: This music bot can play tunes from services like Spotify, SoundCloud, and Bandcamp. Multiple other music bots, which also allowed streaming from YouTube, were recently disrupted or taken down entirely when YouTube forced them offline. Naturally, this happened shortly before YouTube started testing its own, albeit slightly different, integration with Discord. Hydrabot should be safe from takedowns (from YouTube, anyway) since it doesn’t support streaming from the video site, plus it comes with administration tools, so it won’t become useless if it ever stops being able to stream music.
Epic RPG: This popular text-based bot facilitates a serverwide role-playing game. Players can hunt monsters, upgrade their armor, buy and sell goods, and level up through simple text commands. It’s a cute background addition to a server, but definitely not the main show.
Idle RPG: A less active (hence “idle”) role-playing game that allows players to customize Dungeons & Dragons-like characters and send them out on quests. From there, players can buy and sell items, battle, and even start families.
HaikuBot: A simple bot that detects any message with a 5-7-5 syllabic structure and converts it into a haiku. Offers a small burst of joy.
For a Server With a Purpose
Some Discord servers are for just chatting with IRL friends or linking up with strangers for games of Valorant. Others are more involved—organizing online tournaments, planning Discord-wide events, or even designing elaborate role-plays. These are our picks for bots to help facilitate Discords that need a little assistance with planning.
Sesh: This calendar bot can be used to generate events from messages, customize time zones for specific users, link to Google calendar, or use polls to choose ideal times for certain events. Scheduled events are a relatively new feature for Discord, so a bot to help manage them is a huge aid.
Apollo: Another calendar bot for Discord, this one can set automatic reminders to let users know when an event they signed up for is coming up. This bot also has a premium tier if you subscribe to the company’s Patreon that adds custom roles for attendees, unlimited recurring events, and the ability to restrict who can sign up for the event.
Mimu Bot: Some servers integrate their own currency systems so users can purchase new roles or digital items. In-server economies are not uncommon, but ones as cute as Mimu Bot’s are. The bot’s kawaii aesthetic and cutesy currency system (cookies) make it a lot less daunting than other currency bots.
Member Count: It can be hard to determine how many Discord users are in a given server without a lot of scrolling and adding. Member Count provides customizable server statistics simply and easily.
If you’re looking for more great Discord bots, find and enter some popular Discords or explore thousands of bots on Top.gg.
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