Discord is the world’s most popular gaming chat platform, which has voice chat, video call, text chat functions, and even video streaming functionality (albeit in a more limited form compared to dedicated streaming services such as Twitch). The base version comes as a free application available for PC, Mac, and mobile, requiring you just to download the application and create an account.
However, for those that want to unlock additional features on Discord for either themselves or their favorite servers, there are various payment options available. ‘Boosting’ is basically the Discord term for upgrading. You can use ‘Nitro boosts’ to upgrade your own account, giving you additional perks for every server you are a member of. ‘Server boosts’, as the name would suggest, apply to specific servers only, but improve the experience for everyone in the server and are a great way to contribute to an online community.
Discord Nitro is available in two variants, both of which are subscription services you can either pay monthly or as an annual subscription for a 16% discount. “Nitro Classic” is the cheaper of the two variants, at $4.99 monthly or $49.99 per annum, and offers a more stripped-down version of the service; “Nitro” offers more features for $9.99 per month or $99.99 for a year.
With the free version of Discord, you can talk to your online friends inside and outside of games, participate in channels, and start a server of your own – for many people these functions will be sufficient. The benefits of the paid tiers can be broadly grouped into cosmetic enhancements, performance enhancements, and Server Boost savings.
- Nitro Badge: Nitro subscribers get a small badge that displays alongside their username, signifying they are a Nitro user.
- Animated Avatars: Nitro users can upgrade their static image avatar to an animated GIF.
- Custom Discord Tags: Standard usernames on Discord have randomly generated, four-digit numbers at the end. Nitro subscriptions allow you to modify this end number to read as anything you want, as long as another user hasn’t already taken that name and number combination.
- Global Custom Emojis: Discord servers have the option for the server owner or its members to create custom emojis, however, these can only be used on those specific servers. A Nitro subscription allows people to use these emojis on any server they like.
- Upgraded Screen Sharing: With the free version of Discord your screen sharing settings usually max out at a resolution of 720p at 30fps. With either version of Nitro, you can share your screen with your friends up to 60fps at 720p resolution, or at a 1080p resolution at 30 FPS.
- Upgraded Streaming: Discord has a limited streaming feature called “Go-Live”, which allows you to stream your game to a small group of people (unlike with Screen Sharing they do not have to be your friends on Discord). As with screen sharing, the free version of Discord enables you to stream up to 720p at 30 FPS on the free tier. Nitro Classic enables you to get up to 60fps at a resolution of 1080p, and the more expensive Nitro subscription lets you get 60fps up to full source quality.
- Increased Upload Limit: Free tier Discord puts a cap on the size of files you can share of 8 MB. Nitro Classic upgrades the upload limit to 50Mb, and Nitro takes it one step further at 100 MB.
- 30% Off Server Boosting: Vanilla Discord charges $4.99 per month to boost the server of your choice. With either Nitro or Nitro Classic, you get 30% knocked off this price, so you pay $3.49 for each Server Boost per month.
- In addition to this, Nitro subscribers get two bonus server boosts as soon as they sign up to use wherever they like as long as they maintain their subscription. These can be switched from server to server. Nitro Classic users do not get this function.
For the casual Discord user, Nitro is probably an unnecessary expense. If you are not interested in screen sharing or streaming (which is functionally quite limited on Discord compared to Twitch for instance), then the payment options for both Nitro and Nitro Classic seem somewhat extravagant just for the cosmetic upgrades. Having said that, people do pay significantly more for in-game cosmetics elsewhere, so if this is your thing, go for it!
One area in which the more expensive Nitro subscription (i.e. not Nitro Classic) does offer value is for those who intend to purchase server boosts anyway. At a cost of $4.99 per boost, per month, if you were looking to pay for two boost subscriptions anyway then you might as well get a Nitro subscription and get all the additional Cosmetic and Performance upgrades as well, not to mention 30% off any additional boosts you buy.
Discord can be a particularly difficult program to navigate, especially if you aren’t up to speed with all the intricate features it comes equipped with. For that reason, we’ve put a number of tutorials together showcasing some of the stand-out features of this great app. Below are some of the best – including some bug fixes. For an exhaustive list of all our Discord guides, grouped by category, take a look at our How To Use Discord page.
- What is a Discord Server Boost and is it worth it?
- What is Discord Streamer Mode? How does it protect your stream?
- How to make a Discord bot
- How to add roles in Discord
- How to make and deleted a Discord server
- Discord text formatting
- Discord not updating
- How to disable Discords new reaction feature
- How to delete a Discord account
- Can’t hear people on Discord
- Discord mic not working