The DRM system has always been a rather contentious topic among gamers. Most people don’t like being limited as to when and where they can play games that they’ve already paid for. As Discord lets developers offer their games on their own channels, DRM free games aren’t always easy to identify.
With there being no quick and easy way to tell if a Discord game can be played offline or not, knowing what to look for is a great help. In this article, we’ll show you how to check if a Discord game is DRM free.
What Exactly Is DRM?
DRM stands for Digital Rights Management. In the simplest of terms, it’s a way for software developers to prevent people from copying their games. By requiring a game to log-in online before it can be launched, this theoretically prevents the same copy from being used by multiple users. Each game has a unique serial number, and the DRM system allows only one copy to launch.
Advantage of DRM Free games
So, DRM being a useful dev tool should be great, right? Well, not quite. DRM has been known to affect the performance of games and may cause them to run poorly. Also, if a game has DRM that means you need to be online to launch it. Even if the game doesn’t have online play options.
Fortunately, a lot of developers have heeded the calls of players and have removed DRM entirely. DRM free games allow them to be played offline. As long as you have it installed, you can play it anytime you want to.
Now that we know the advantage of getting DRM free games, let’s cover getting games from Discord itself.
Before recent changes, Discord tried its hand at being a game distribution platform by offering games through Discord Nitro. Discord Nitro is a subscription-based premium service that offers custom tags, animated avatars and a lot of other useful services. Discord Nitro also used to have a game store. This was discontinued however on October 15th, 2019 and the games library can no longer be accessed.
The Discord Store Channel
Although Discord no longer offers a centralized game store page, developers can still sell their games directly on Discord. Developers are offered this option by creating their own Discord Store Channel. Not many developers have taken advantage of this though. You’ll know if a certain game can be bought directly from Discord if it has a Store tab, as shown in the image below:
The option is always available for developers. If they want to, they can always offer their games directly.
Checking If Games Have DRM
Now that you’ve come across a game on Discord that you might want to purchase, it’s time to know if it’s DRM free. This isn’t really obvious as, unless you’re GOG, no one really announces their games as DRM free. The best way to find this out is to check the game individually. This is done by:
- Check dev channel for DRM announcement
A lot of developers know that players dislike having DRM on their games. Players argue that it kills performance and some even actively stay away from games that have it. Developers can take advantage of this by touting having a DRM free game as a feature and announce it on their channels.
- Check the forums
Another great way of finding out if an upcoming game has DRM is to check the game’s forums. Sometimes people with insider information leak bits of info to excite the player-base. News that a game can be played entirely offline is something that can ratchet up the excitement. If you want up-to-date news about a particular game, then the official forums are a good place to go.
- Check games listings
Believe it or not, there are actually places on the internet that lists games that are DRM free. Although not exactly centered on games that are available on Discord, some games do release on multiple platforms. If a game is listed as DRM free on Steam or GOG then there’s a good chance that if it’s available on Discord it’s DRM free as well.
- Test if game can be launched offline
If you’ve scoured the net and have yet to find information on a particular game, the last option would be to run it offline and see if it works. Admittedly, this isn’t really the best solution you can turn to. As you need to have an actual copy of the game to even attempt this. But if you know someone that already owns it, it’s no big deal to have them disconnect from the net and try to run the game.
A Potential for Growth
Discord doesn’t really have a great record as a game distribution platform. Sites like Steam, Origin, GOG have a tighter control on the market. However, with its Store channel options allowing developers to offer games direct to their fans, the potential for growth is there.
Knowing if a game being offered is DRM free avoids any further hassle, especially for the bare bones Discord Channel store. Have you ever come across a game that you thought was DRM free but actually wasn’t? Do you know how to tell if a game on Discord is DRM free? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.