Discord Arrives On Xbox Today, But It’s Not Perfect

In great news for those who’ve long since sworn off Xbox’s fiddly party chat, you can now use Discord Voice natively on your Xbox.

Discord functionality is included in the latest system update and is rolling out today to all Xbox owners across Xbox Series X|S and Xbox One. Its release marks the first appearance of official Discord audio functionality on a major console.

That functionality does come with a few disclaimers, so here are a few clarifying points, straight from the Xbox Wire post:

  • Features typically found in Xbox party chat are not supported in Discord voice channels, such as Invite everyone to game, Join game, Switch to game chat, Party overlay, View profile card, and more.
  • You can’t mix Discord friends with Xbox friends. A Discord voice channel will contain Discord friends, while Xbox party chat will contain Xbox friends.
  • Switching between Discord voice channels on console is not supported. You’ll need to retransfer audio from Discord again to switch to a new voice channel.
  • Discord voice channel audio can’t be broadcast through Xbox live streaming.
  • Discord is not available in all countries/regions.

So, what does that mean for you? For starters, you can chat via Discord while you play, but you won’t have all the features you usually get from using an Xbox Party. This appears to be because Discord friends lists and Xbox friends lists are still considered separate entities. That means Xbox can’t (or won’t) apply its feature set to someone else’s platform. Finally, if you use your Xbox to livesteam to platforms like Twitch, your audience won’t be able to hear you. You’ll still need to use Xbox’s native tools for that.

In the end, this is not a complete (or even entirely ideal implementation), but it’s also a lot better than nothing, so I’ll take it.

You’ll need to get a few ducks in a row to get it up and running on your Xbox. First, you’ll need to link your Discord account to your Xbox. Even if you’ve already linked your Xbox account to your Discord account, you’ll still need to follow this step to its conclusion. So head over here for step-by-step instructions on how to get your console linked. Once you’ve done that, you’ll be able to join any Discord call or voice channel and send it to your Xbox.

The news comes only days after Xbox announced it was retooling the Xbox Party Chat noise gate to keep it from transmitting every incidental background noise through the mic. When you’ve got a voice comms tool as solid as Discord coming to your platform, I suppose you need to pull your socks up a bit.

For its part, PlayStation announced last year that it would also implement Discord functionality on its PS5 and PS4 consoles. Unfortunately, this has yet to materialise, but I doubt Sony will be far behind.

You can check out the Xbox Wire post in full over here.

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