From a gaming perspective, voice-over-Internet-Protocol (VoIP) communication comes in extremely handy during cooperative or multiplayer gameplay. Players can focus on pressing the necessary control buttons for their games rather than press the in-game voice chat button. Many games do offer a toggle button option for voice chat, however, audio quality and latency is still an issue. Two decades ago, when online gaming was on the rise, these issues greatly hindered proper team communication and coordination. Then came the concept of VoIP which more or less mitigated all of these issues.
When it comes to VoIP applications, TeamSpeak and Skype have been dominating the market for over 15 years. However, the past few years saw the rise of a new and unique application known as Discord. Discord was initially released in 2015, and it’s primary feature was user friendly access when it comes to VoIP communication. For the next two years, the company focused on adding new features to Discord and ways to monetize it since it was a free software. They later added two much needed features – video calling and screen sharing. At present, Discord is a globally popular VoIP application and is growing at an incredibly fast pace.
Discord’s screen sharing feature is useful for both gamers as well as non-gamers. Corporate users and officials can use it to broadcast presentations during a conference; gamers on the other hand, can use it to livestream games and other similar applications. The screen share feature allow users to livestream both desktop video as well as audio. It also allows an user to livestream any specific window or application, similar to other live streaming softwares. However, on August 9, 2019, Discord announced a brand new feature called Go Live, designed specifically for video game livestreaming.
Discord Go Live
The previous screen share feature is available for private chats and can livestream the entire window or other applications. Discord Go Live, on the other hand, allows an user to livestream only the game in a voice channel. Using the Discord Go Live feature will require the host to enable Game Detection, after which they can choose to livestream their gameplay. A game can be livestreamed to upto 10 users in a voice channel, including the host. An user can easily activate or deactivate their stream through the desktop application or the Discord overlay. A notable feature of Discord Go Live is that multiple users can stream their gameplay in the same voice channel.
All Discord users will be, by default, eligible to livestream their game at 720p. Users with Nitro Classic subscription will be, however, able to stream at 1080p. As for Nitro subscribers, they will be able to stream at 4K. These additional features will also work in fully boosted servers.
Is it actually useful?
We can consider the Discord Go Live feature as more of a community oriented feature rather than a professional streaming platform. Even though certain features of Discord are similar to Twitch and Mixer, Discord Go Live feature, as of present, is definitely not meant to compete with these. However, due to it’s ability to stream content at an incredibly low latency, your friends can now watch your gameplay almost in real time and keep up with it. Maybe a few years down the line, Discord will further improvise on this feature and launch a full fledged streaming platform. This, however, is pure conjecture and should not be taken as a confirmed statement. Therefore, when it comes to the utility of Discord Go Live, it might serve as a nice online gathering where players will get together, have a nice chat, while watching each other’s gameplay.