If you run a Discord server, you have various options to provide neat features for your players. One of those features is the addition of bots. Customizing your server is simple once you learn how to add these bots.
In this article, I’ll go over how to set up a Discord server, introduce you to the world of bots, and explain how to add bots to your Discord server (and why you might want to).
Setting Up a Server
Setting up a Discord server isn’t complicated, and it’s free. Discord is available on Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, and Linux. In this example, I’ll set up a Windows desktop server.
Once you’ve downloaded the setup file of your choice, run DiscordSetup. The setup program will download a dozen updates and launch the opening screen. If you don’t already have a Discord account, you must register one; it’s quick and painless.
Once logged in, click “Create a Server,” enter a server name, and choose a region. Your region choice should be in your geographical area of the world. You can add your own custom 128×128 icon if you like. You can see our incredibly creative version of this in the snapshot below.
Hit “Create,” and we’re done – that’s all it took, and now our fully-featured Discord server is ready to roll.
What Are Discord Bots?
Bots are computer programs that interact with human beings (and sometimes with other bots) to perform certain functions automatically. A website with a helpful chat window immediately opens up, offering to talk with you about their product or service; that’s a bot. If you use Reddit, you see bot interactions (beep! boop!).
Bots can be helpful or infuriating, depending on their purpose, their design, and how they are deployed. On Discord, bots provide a variety of productive and not-so-productive features to the community on the server where they “live.”
For example, some bots play music, bots that offer amusing memes on request, bots that fetch your game stats for you, and bots that play a loud air horn noise on the channel when prompted to do so.
Finding Good Bots
The Discord world is full of bots; thousands of freely-available bots are out there. There’s a list of some silly and semi-useful bots here if you like, but more serious bots can be found on the Carbonitex website, which is regarded as one of the best repositories of Discord bots.
Another reputable repository for Discord bots is called, simply enough, Discord Bots. For the truly hardcore, a GitHub search for Discord bots will find just about everything in the public view.
Adding Bots To Your Discord Server
Adding Bots to your Discord server can be a lengthy process the first time around. Once you get the hang of it, it’s quite simple.
Step 1 – Turn On Administrator Access
To add bots to your Discord Server, you must be an Administrator. If you don’t own the server, checking with the owner before adding anything is probably a good idea.
- From your Discord home page, select the server you’d like to add the bot to (on the left-hand side of the Discord Website).
- Once Selected, Choose the drop-down menu (The server name in the top left-hand of the screen with a small down arrow next to it).
- Tap “Server Settings.”
- Tap “Roles.”
- Scroll down to the General Permissions setting and toggle “Administrator” on.
- Click “Save Changes.”
Step 2 – Get the Bots You Want
It’s important to note that depending on your Bots’ source website, you may see “Invite” or “Add Bots.”
- Find the Bot that you’ll add to your server.
- Tap “Invite” or “Add Bot,” whichever is listed.
- Follow the prompts – This will take you through a series of permissions and ask for Administrator access which is why Step 1 is so important.
- Authorize the Bot and complete the Captcha.
There are several options for bots; some may differ in their process, but following the prompts will make the installation successful.
If you have trouble finding your server, ensure you are logged into Discord in the browser you use for the Bots’ website. Also, verify that you are signed into the correct account.
If you want to add someone as an administrator on your server, check out this TechJunkie on adding a new administrator.
One popular Bot is Dyno, a full-featured bot with moderation features, music-playing abilities, CleverBot integration, and many other features outside this article’s scope. It’s been added to more than 1.4 million Discord servers, so it’s kind of popular.
You can get Dyno from the Carbonitex website.
- Click the green “Add Bot to Server” button. This will bring up a confirming dialog from Discord, asking you to choose which server you want to add Dyno to.
- You’ll need to be logged in to your server for Discord to know that it’s you trying to add something.
- Select your server and click “Authorize.”
You may have to fill in an “I’m not a robot” captcha, but after that, the bot will be automatically added to your server, and you’ll be taken to the administration page for managing Dyno on your server.
If you’re more hardcore and want to add bots without bothering with the pretty interface, you can also add them directly. You’ll need to know the client ID of the bot, and you’ll need to be logged into your Discord server. (This is the method you’ll need to use for most GitHub bots, which don’t have a web interface.)
- Open your browser and paste the following URL: https://discordapp.com/oauth2/authorize?client_id=<Bot_Client_ID>&scope=bot&permissions=0.
- Change ‘Bot_Client_ID’ in the above URL with the client ID of the bot you want to add.
- You may still have to authorize the bot even though the command uses Oauth2 to do that very thing.
Authorizing Your Discord Bot
Discord is very careful with bots and sometimes requires multiple authorizations to enable one to work. Even though the platform uses Oauth2 to enable a permitted bot to access and interact, you may still be asked to authorize it within the channel.
Some Popular Discord Bots
Now that you know how to add bots, what are some of the bots you should add? Well, only you know what kind of environment you want your server to have. Here is a list of more popular Discord bots and why you might want to add them.
Pokécord lets your friends catch, train and battle Pokémon while on your server. Fun and silly.
Dank Member displays memes and has a variety of other meme-related features.
Pancake is a basic multi-featured bot with moderation features and music playing.
Nadeko plays games, offers to gamble, and has administration tools.
MedalBot lets your users record clips.
RickBot offers more than 4500 custom soundboards.
Groovy is a music bot that supports Spotify, YouTube, and Soundcloud.
Mantaro is a customizable “fun” bot.
A translator is a multilingual bot that provides instant translation between more than 100 languages.
More Bot Resources
There are a lot of resources out there to help you choose, customize, and even create your own Discord bots. Here are some of the most popular and useful bot-oriented resources available on the Web to help you get the most out of your bot experience.
Discord.me is a large Discord community where users can add and promote servers, but the site’s overall mission is to “help people find online communities they love.” The site has 33 categories of servers, ranging from Military to Mature, Anime to Art, and Fitness to Furry.
An active blog keeps community members up to date, and the site features an NSFW toggle that lets you avoid (or seek out) the “after dark” servers that are out there.
This site is a goldmine of great resources and examples for bot developers.
Bastionbot.org takes an interesting philosophical position for the bot world – rather than having a dozen bots, each running their functions, Bastion attempts to be an all-in-one bot that can handle everything a server might need.
Bastion’s feature list includes music, games, giveaways and promotions, a suggestions channel, voting, user profiles, virtual currencies, leveling systems, a server shop, filters, searches, game stats, messaging, moderation features, emojis, “fun” features like airhorns and quotes, starboard, scheduled commands, and triggers and reaction events. Bastion is a full-featured bot that can do almost anything you want it to do and regularly adds features.
Tatsumaki, like Bastion, is a multifeatured bot with a wide range of capabilities but is aimed more at moderation and utility users.
It has many moderation features and is well-suited for people with established servers who want to establish a richer ecosystem of utilities.
Carbonitex is a statistics-collecting website devoted to Discord servers and bots and is an amazing resource for those who want to see where the action is in the server and bot playing field. You can invite Carbonitex to monitor your server and collect statistics to show where you are in the great server ecosystem.