The short answer is yes; there are countless benefits of having a dedicated channel for your community to interact and engage on. As arguably the largest platform of its kind in the world of gaming, Discord is the ideal place for you to grow your community. In this blog, we’ll show you how to set up your own Discord server and how you can benefit from the platform.
Why do I need a Discord server for my indie game?
There are a number of key advantages to setting up a dedicated server for your game, including:
- Community engagement – platforms like Discord provide your players with a central hub where they can meet like-minded people, discuss your game, and engage with both you and their fellow players.
- Direct communication – not only can your players engage with each other, but a Discord server gives you a direct line to communicate with fans of your game. This is ideal for announcements and updates, as well as for answering any questions or concerns your players may have.
- Feedback – a more informal, friendly setting provides you with the unique opportunity to gather feedback from your players. In a Discord server, you can see how your audience responds to your game in real time and even use tools, such as polls, to gather data.
- User-generated content – within a Discord server, fans are likely to share their own experiences with your game, including images, fan art, videos, tips, tutorials and more. Sharing this community-driven content across other platforms not only helps to bring your game to a wider audience, but it also helps to emphasise the community behind it. Players are more likely to engage with your game if they see others interacting with it, and seeing you sharing fan-made content will reinforce your place within that community.
How do I set up a Discord server?
Setting up your own server is much less complicated than it looks. First, you want to make sure you have a Discord account – you can easily set one up here. Once you’ve downloaded the app and logged in, you’ll find a plus symbol on the left-hand side. Click on this to create your new server.
For an indie game, you’ll want to select ‘Create My Own’ and customise it with your game title, logo and a brief description so that it’s recognisable to players who want to join. From there, you can start organising your server into channels – we recommend having different channels for general chat, announcements, and game discussions to start off with.
How can I grow my server?
Once your server has been built, you can click ‘invite your friends’ to generate an invitation link. You can then share this across your other platforms and profiles, such as X (formerly Twitter), TikTok, Instagram, forums, your website, and more.
To help your community grow more rapidly, you can offer incentives for your players. For example, you could offer exclusive demos or beta testing for those on your server.
Another tip for gaining new Discord members is to run competitions. This could require members to invite friends to the server, or it could be a social media competition that requires followers to also join your server to be in with a chance of winning a free copy of the game, merch, new skins, or whatever prize you can offer.
What content should I be sharing on Discord?
Unlike other social media platforms, Discord is a much more conversational app. Unlike Facebook and X, where you’re mostly posting to a feed for others to interact with, on Discord you should make your players feel part of the conversation. Chat with your players, share updates and behind-the-scenes details of your game, and encourage them to ask questions. Developers who are active within their Discord servers are more likely to grow a loyal community of players
As your community grows, you can assign moderator roles to trusted members and set up bots and integrations to help your server essentially run itself. While your presence will be crucial for engaging your fanbase, the core benefit of a Discord server is that your fans have a space to interact with each other and thrive as a community.