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How to Create an App Like Discord

25.10.2018 Victoria Daneeva
How to Create an App like Discord

If you ever considered how to create an app like Discord, this article presents the tech stack. There the main features are described as well as distinctions from other applications in the same field. In addition, custom development costs are provided.

What is Discord?

Discord is a 100% free Voice over IP (VoIP) application. The application was developed mostly for gamers to maintain their communication and released on May 13, 2015, by Hammer & Chisel (now Discord Inc.). Discord has been rapidly gaining popularity and has already gone beyond the gaming community into other areas, such as gaming, giveaways, chatting and making friends, looking for groups in games, cryptocurrency, and even politics.


Discord Features

People can use Discord for chatting, sharing media files, and making calls. All these features are based on Web Real-Time Communication (WebRTC) and Peer-To-Peer (2p2) networking technology.

Technically, the Discord application is a system of dedicated servers. Each server is created by a person who becomes an administrator (admin) of the server. The admin is free to create any text or voice channel, as well as set various privacy parameters at both server and channel levels. As soon as a Discord server is created, many settings should be applied either for protection or convenience.

Server Setup Features

Verification levels help to prevent bots and spam accounts from mass connections to a channel.


Role management the admin can assign different roles and set up its hierarchy by using drag-and-drop functionality.


Permissions are based on roles which are assigned to server members. The permissions are used to limit or provide users with opportunities to join voice or to read text channels.


Transfer ownership is used to transfer all management rights to another account.

Channel Setup Features

Role-exclusive channels can be either voice or text. Only people who have permissions are allowed to read, send messages, or join a voice channel.

Priority speaker privilege can be given to a role or a person, either server or the channel levels. When several people begin talking, the priority speaker receives the benefit and all other voices are turned down. This function works only if “push to talk” is an input mode.

Social Features

Friend list shows the current online, offline, idle, and do not disturb (DnD) status of friends. Mutual servers, friend requests, and blocked accounts can also be seen on the friend list tab.


Group chats can be created among a person’s friends. Irrespective of whether those friends have any mutual servers, a group chat will be created.

Announcement channels are used to deliver information to all the server members with different permissions.

Private voice and video calls without joining a server both p2p and group. A private chat group is created instantly with a group voice or video call.

Stage channels allow you to broadcast a live audio conversation to a group of listeners without worrying about people talking over one another, and some of the other pitfalls that come with traditional voice channels. Stage moderators have the power to mute or even remove someone as they’re speaking.

This Clubhouse-like feature is available now on all platforms where Discord is available, including Windows, macOS, Linux, iOS, Android, and the web.

Stage channels

Discord bots are used to entertain users, listen to music, manage roles, gather news, make announcements, and even receive donations. Music bots can join any voice channel and broadcast music. Game bots allow the playing of games on a Discord server among members. Regarding bots, any users who are able to code well can develop a bot and implement it into a server.


How to Create an App Like Discord

Discord is a large-scale application that has a wide audience of more than 130 million subscribers and constantly processes a significant amount of information. The technologies which were used to develop Discord can be considered Best Practices.

To develop the server part of the VoIP application like Discord, the most productive technologies for highly loaded systems have been used, comprising Elixir, Erlang, Golang, C++, and Python. An alternative method to develop the server part is to use Node.js. It would be cheaper, easier, but it will only work up to a certain server load.

User Interface is based on React, Flux, and Electron. React is based on a JavaScript framework and Flux is an application architecture. React and Flux both have libraries for building up a UI. Both deal only with the view part. Electron is now developed by GitHub and is considered to be an open source framework for web- and desktop-based applications.

The Android application is developed on Kotlin and Java. Java is the official language for Android development and Kotlin is a first-class supported language for development on Android, which works efficiently with Java. Either Kotlin or Java have significantly large libraries, which reduces the time required to develop a project.

The iOS application is developed on Swift and Objective-C. Both languages are native for developing applications on iOS. Apple is focused on Swift by developing the language and supporting the community. Objective-C is hard to learn, but has existed for many years, well tested, and will therefore work in a stable manner.

Encryption is provided by TLS for text chats, DTLS for voice over browser, and XSalsa20 for voice over desktop app.

Discord-like Apps with VoIP Functionality

Talking about Discord app alternatives, we can highlight applications like TeamSpeak, Twitch, Mumble, and Slack.

The first three are also mostly used for voice communication and are popular among gamers. In TeamSpeak, for example, there are paid servers. If anyone wants to own a server, they need to pay. It is expected that TeamSpeak will gain more popularity in the nearest future, because it became an official voice supplier for the Overwatch League recently. Which means that pro players prefer to use this VoIP application.

Twitch has its own peculiarities except for the VoIP capacities, like the ability to download and update add-ons for games. It is very convenient because users just can manage add-ons in one app without looking for a certain folder on their PCs. Moreover, Twitch is a huge streaming platform with more than 15 million active users per day.

How Does Discord Earn Money?

For now, Discord’s primary source of income is user subscriptions. There are two versions of subscriptions, which are termed “Discord Nitro”. One variant includes the 3 months Xbox Game Pass and costs $9.99 per month and $99.99 for a year with a 16% discount. The upgrade can be gifted to any discord user you want.

Discord Nitro

The other costs $4.99 per month with a limited amount of benefits given for the subscription. Both subscription variants allow the selection of a personal Discord tag with numbers, as well as providing the ability to share a screen of higher quality, use custom emojis, boost favorite servers, and upload up to 100Mb files instead of 8Mb ones.

Discord Nitro Classic

How Much Does it Cost to Create an App Like Discord?

VironIT software development company can determine how much it will cost for Windows, Android, and iOS app. However, the prices provided below only apply for MVP projects with a number of features and may increase depending on added content.

Android App
Task Development Cost
Approximate Development Cost $21,000
UI/UX Design $4,000
Project Management $2,200
Quality Assurance $3,100
Approximate Total MVP Front-end Development Cost $30,300
Approximate Development Cost $52,000
Project Management $12,700
Quality Assurance $7,700
Approximate Total MVP Back-end Development Cost $72,400
The overall MVP Android App cost (Front+Back-end) $102,700


iOS App
Approximate Development Cost $23,200
UI/UX Design $4,000
Project Management $2,400
Quality Assurance $3,500
Approximate Total MVP Front-end Development Cost $33,100
Approximate Development Cost $52,000
Project Management $12,700
Quality Assurance $7,700
Approximate Total MVP Back-end Development Cost $72,400
The overall MVP iOS App cost (Front+Back-end) $105,500


Windows App
Approximate Development Time $30,300
UI/UX Design $4,000
Project Management $3,100
Quality Assurance $4,600
The overall Windows App MVP cost $42,000

If you have ever thought of developing an app similar to Discord, our team can help. Email us at Start creating your application like discord by contacting us.

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12 responses to “How to Create an App Like Discord”

  1. Helena says:


    Hey thank you for this article. How much do you think a desktop version of a VoIP app like Discord will cost?

    • Victoria Daneeva says:


      Hello! I think it depends on what app we’re talking about. For macOS or Windows? Windows app costs $42,000 and a macOS version will be something around $50,000.

  2. Deol says:


    Can you create an app with a number of features from Slack and Discord?

    • Victoria Daneeva says:


      Yeah, of course. You can contact our sales managers or via “contact us” form and we’ll discuss the details and give you a quote.

  3. Natt says:


    – Hello. Are these prices in the article real?

    • Victoria Daneeva says:


      Yes, they are. We estimated the MVP projects of the apps with our team and applied our rates.

  4. Monique says:


    What technologies should be used in Discord web app?

    • Victoria Daneeva says:


      The Discord website is made in ReactJs. It is a frontend Javascript framework. It is used for creating single page applications.
      To create a website like Discord, first, you need to learn react or any other Javascript framework like VueJs or Angular Js and then create the Api’s for it using PHP or some other server sided-coding language.

  5. Mattagi says:


    Can you also create a desktop version of an app like discord? Or just mobile and web?

  6. atmosferis says:


    When you build a voice chat and text messaging app like Discord, you mustn’t overlook the issue of encryption and data protection. Messaging apps aren’t public boards or Facebook Feeds, even if there are hundreds of users in a chat. Any information can go through apps like Discord, including personal data and sensitive business information. Today, the best way to protect user data is with end-to-end encryption using TLS protocols .

  7. Sam Reid says:


    Hi. I’m a co-founder at an early-stage startup (been working on the concept for 8 months and about to launch in August). Do you have any advice on where and how can I find beta testers for an app like Discord?

    • Darya Tryfanava says:


      Hi, Sam.

      Here’s a list of sources where you can find beta testers for free:
      – Twitter. Find testers using the common hashtags #Betatesting #Betatesters #Testmyapp #Indiedev
      – Reddit. There are specific subreddits to help you find beta testers.
      – or Active websites to find new betas.
      – Quora. The earliest adopters and influencers can be found answering questions on Quora, so make sure to reach out to them, engage with them, and get their feedback about your app.
      – Simple, straightforward, easy to use. Powered by Instabug.
      – Hacker News. Submit your app to ShowHN, but make sure to follow the rules.
      – Beta Family. Beta Family is a crowd testing platform for beta testing iOS and Android applications.

      In addition to this list, you can send out personal invitations to those who might be interested in your app. For this, you can use social media – mainly LinkedIn, but also Facebook and Twitter.

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