What Is Guilded? Roblox’s Discord Alternative
Earlier this week, Guilded’s Founder and CEO announced that they had been acquired by Roblox, the popular sandbox game/metaverse platform that has played host to virtual performances by Lil Nas X and KSI, and is currently being played by someone you know right now. We’ve covered Guilded in the past and many of us here at EsportsTalk have been keeping a close eye on it. For its purposes, Guilded serves as a very robust and gamer-focused alternative to Discord, and now that the Guilded team has access to the resources Roblox has to offer, we can speculate on what new developments are on the horizon for Guilded.
Gilded Communication For Your Friends & Community
Guilded provides a feature-dense experience as a communications platform, especially for communities that emphasize competitive play or in-game community events. With a myriad of ways to communicate and interact, Guilded serves as a mix of community board, resource library, neighborhood pub, and voice chat solution. Let’s go over a few of the features that really make Guilded stand out as an alternative to Discord.
CALENDAR – One of the features that I’ve routinely made use of is the calendar feature. The calendar is a relatively straightforward and unexciting feature, but having it exist naturally within the ecosystem of my Guilded server and available to everyone in my friend group is super convenient and gives less excuses to people who routinely forget when raid times are.
Calendar events can be customized to require RSVPs, restrict attendance to specific server roles, limit attendance, and include URLs to anything that may be pertinent to your event, like a video guide on a particular raid you and your guild have been trying to clear.
FORUMS – The forums feature can be easily confused with the threads feature, which Discord recently implemented, but it’s actually a full-blown message board that those of us from ye elden days of the internet that older users can appreciate. The appearance of the message board doesn’t have the same nostalgic charm of the phpBB Sonic the Hedgehog Forum you wasted your middle school years on, but its functionality and presentation will definitely suit communities who are accustomed to long-form communication.
One of the features I really appreciate is just being able to format your posts. It would have been simple and quick to just make the forum feature like an elongated version of the app’s text channel chat, but the forum feature definitely feels like it was designed for a user base that’s relied on message boards to keep up with their communities. I can definitely see this feature being appealing to communities that do play-by-post roleplaying.
STREAM CHANNELS – Guilded now has a streaming channel feature where you can stream your webcam or your screen to people in your server. What sets this apart from Discord’s feature is that streaming channels will have their own dedicated voice channel, allowing to better organize your server’s channel structure and layout. It’s a small detail, but it’s greatly appreciated for those of us who experience zen by having their channel list nice and tidy.
PERFORMANCE – The quality of voice call and video streaming I’ve experienced in Guilded outpaces Discord. Guilded provides users with 256 kbs audio bitrate, no questions asked. I’ve also been able to video stream in Guilded at 1080p in 60 FPS for my friends. While these features are a little more demanding on your system, they are welcome as standards for both video and voice. Not having to pay monthly for increased performance is nice too.
What We’d Like to See Next
Roblox acquiring Guilded means the Guilded team probably has more financial resources available to them. Having additional funds means more personnel to work on new features and improving existing ones. Here’s a few features that we’d like to see Guilded prioritize in the next couple of months that could make it a better alternative to Discord.
IMPROVED MOBILE EXPERIENCE – Guilded’s mobile app could use a little more attention as sometimes the experience can be a little clunky. The team at Guilded has done well addressing some of these issues as changelogs routinely have notes regarding fixes to the mobile client. With Roblox backing, it won’t be long before the mobile experience is just as sleek as what we see on the desktop app.
GAME INTEGRATION – Discord’s Rich Presence has made it an activity center for gamers as they can typically log onto Discord and see what their friends are playing, spectate the game, or request an invite to party/invite friends through Discord. It seems that Guilded is on its way to launching something similar with game presence and Twitch integration, but for an app that markets itself as a communications solution for gamers, a feature like this could go a long way.
IN-APP MACHINE TRANSLATION – This feature may not be super in demand by Guilded’s community, but it would be greatly appreciated for those of us who have international members in our servers. Having the ability to quickly machine translate a line of text in a text channel rather than opening up Google Translate would be greatly appreciated and reinforce the community aspect of the application.
Right now, Guilded probably sits comfortably in Discord’s shadow as an alternative, but with Discord looking to branch outside of gaming and pursue more mainstream appeal, Guilded could definitely pick up the slack to bring a tight and focused experience for gaming communities. With Roblox acquiring Guilded, this isn’t that much of a pipedream.