Ring, ring, hello

Is Discord ending our long, cross-platform nightmare?

Xbox and Discord have a new way to make voice calls on your console, opening up all sorts of cross-platform possibilities.

Living room with Microsoft Xbox Series X (L) and Sony PlayStation 5 home video game consoles alongsi...
Future Publishing/Future/Getty Images

Starting today, you can now use Discord voice chat on your Xbox. The feature is limited to members of the Xbox Insiders program to start, with plans to roll it out to everyone “later this year.” The move should make talking to players on PC (and maybe someday, PlayStation) even easier if you own an Xbox Series X/S or Xbox One.

Input has reached out to Sony for an update on its own Discord support plans on PlayStation and will update this article accordingly.

Connecting Discord — Connecting Discord to your Xbox is somewhat involved. On an Xbox, if you’re already an Insider, pressing the Xbox button and navigating to “Parties and chats” and then clicking on “Try Discord Voice on Xbox” should throw up a QR code that will bring you to the Discord app (or prompt you to download it). From there, you can link your Discord and Microsoft accounts.

You can use your favorite Discord voice channels on Xbox.Microsoft

You can also initiate a similar process from the Discord mobile and desktop apps from the “Connections” tab in “User Settings.” It’s worth noting if you’ve connected your Xbox account in the past you’ll have to do it again to get voice chat enabled.

You’ll have to reconnect your Microsoft account if you already added it to the Discord app.Microsoft

From there you should be all set to hop into voice channels and even transfer calls from the Discord app to Xbox. You can check out Discord’s thorough explainer for more information and answers to frequently asked questions.

What about PlayStation? — If, like me, you found this announcement surprising, it might be because all signs pointed to PlayStation offering Discord integration first. Though Microsoft was rumored to be considering a $10 billion acquisition of the chat company in 2021, Sony was ultimately the one who invested in Discord and promised deeper integration was on the way.

So far Discord hasn’t popped up on PlayStation, but Xbox integration means that when it does, chatting between consoles without having to relying on shitty in-game chat is now a possibility. Supporting Discord is more of a testament to how popular the app is than Microsoft or Sony’s willingness to run more open platforms, but if it changes what the average player expects, who knows what’s possible?

I can easily imagine a utopian future where I can run multiple different chat apps and shop at multiple different storefronts — now it’s just a matter of making the consoles behave more like the powerful computers they already are.