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. 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 there are 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.

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 application, 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.

How Does Discord Earn Money?

For now, Discord’s primary source of income is user subscriptions and a recently embedded game store. There are two versions of subscriptions which are termed “Discord Nitro”. One variant includes the ability to play games from the store for free and costs $9.99 per month.


The other costs $4.99 per month for those who do not want to play games from the store but would like to get 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, and upload 50Mb files instead of 8Mb ones.


Discord Store Global Beta went live on October 16, 2018. It contains different games which can be sorted by genre, release date, and title. There are free games available by subscription or paid games at an affordable price. Playing and installing games only is available for Windows. And there are only two currently acceptable ways to pay for games either by a Credit Card or via PayPal. Discord refund policy is described here. There are also country banned games can be found. Those games are unable to be purchased or installed. It is due to the game itself and the country which had blocked the game.


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

VironIT software development company’s business analyst can determine how much it will cost for custom web and mobile application. However, the prices provided below only apply for MVP projects and may increase depending on added content.

Discord Website MVPDiscord Android MVPDiscord iOS MVP

Front-end $10,300 – $13,700

Back-end $8,500 – $11,500

Design $3,000 – $5,000

Testing $2,900 – $3,800

Project Manager $1,900 – $2,800


$26,600 – $36,800

Front-end $11,000 – $13,300

Back-end $8,500 – $11,500

Design $3,000 – $5,000

Testing $3,000 – $3,700

Project Manager $2,000 – $2,500


$27,500 – $36,600

Front-end $8,250 – $10,250

Back-end $8,500 – $11,500

Design $3,000 – $5,000

Testing $2,600 – $3,300

Project Manager $1,700 – $2,200


$24,050 – $32,250


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