TeamSpeak vs. Discord: Choose the Best Option for Gamers [Detailed Comparison]

Edited by Ben Jacklin

If you’re looking for a place to voice chat online with friends or talk to other online gamers while you work through a campaign together, you’re probably considering Discord vs. TeamSpeak. These platforms are the top voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) platforms for gamers and special interest audiences, but which one is the best? Let’s explore these applications, how they work, where they excel, and how you can choose between them.

Quick summary

  1. For high-quality voice chats: TeamSpeak

    It’s great for users looking for highly secure internal voice communications. It provides positional audio for 360-degree audio experiences along with customizable user settings.

  2. For streamlined experience with more features and benefits: Discord

    If you want more than just talk to other users, Discord is the perfect choice. Make video calls, hold private conversations over chat, and create hidden channels.

  3. Editor’s choice for editing recorded video calls: Movavi Video Editor

    Suitable for beginners, this video editor is perfect for editing recorded video calls and meetings. Trim and cut out unwanted parts, add your intro and subtitles, enhance video quality, and easily share your videos right from the program!

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What is TeamSpeak?

Key features:

  • Pricing


  • Automatic microphone audio adjustment and background noise reduction

  • Customizable user settings and permissions 

  • Positional audio for 360-degree audio experiences

  • Secure data storage and sharing

  • Direct text messages and team chat capabilities

TeamSpeak is a VoIP platform that’s popular with online gamers. The platform started out as an instant messaging application, but with the growing popularity of online gaming, streaming, and VoIP capabilities, its developers quickly shifted its focus to gaming and eSports. Like many chat and forum platforms, users can create and join servers in TeamSpeak dedicated to specific topics or games. For example, there might be a server dedicated to conversations about a campaign that a group of friends are playing online together. Joining this server enables players to chat with each other while playing. TeamSpeak has multiple pricing tiers, starting with a free license that offers users one virtual server and access to thousands of other servers. To use it, you will need to have your own host server. If you don’t already have a private server, TeamSpeak has a tool to help you find one. If you want to host more than 32 users on your server, you can opt for a paid gamer or commercial license.


  • Excellent audio quality

  • Low bandwidth use to prevent game lag while chatting

  • In-game overlay capability


  • No text-to-chat feature

  • Free subscriptions require self-hosted server hardware

What is Discord?

Key features:

  • Pricing

    $0-9.99 per month

  • Video call capabilities

  • Voice message features

  • Topic-based channels

  • Notifications when friends are active

  • Low latency audio and video

  • Hidden channel capabilities

  • Customizable user permissions

Discord is another voice chat platform with a focus on gaming. Discord is made up of numerous servers, which are organized into channels based on their topics. Whereas TeamSpeak started as a more generalized VoIP program and narrowed its focus to gaming, Discord did the opposite. It started almost exclusively as a gaming chat program, but in recent years, Discord has branched out and now has servers dedicated to a wide variety of topics and interests. Another big difference is that users can create and manage Discord servers for free instead of paying for hosting. Discord does have a two-tier paid subscription called Nitro, which ranges from $2.99 to $9.99 per month. With a paid subscription, users can upload larger files, customize emojis, and create custom profiles. The top-level Nitro subscription also offers HD video streaming.


  • Extensive informative FAQs for ease of use

  • Enhanced text features and emojis

  • Fast, responsive user interface


  • File size limit for uploads with a free account

  • No high-resolution video with a free account

Comparing TeamSpeak vs. Discord

Now that you have a basic idea of TeamSpeak and Discord, and you know a bit about how they each work, let’s get down to the nitty-gritty of TeamSpeak vs. Discord and how to choose the best platform for your needs.

User interface

First, let’s talk about ease of use. TeamSpeak is not the most intuitive platform around. Users must be fairly tech-savvy to download the application, install it, and launch it. Plus, if you don’t already have a private host server, you’ll need to get that sorted out before you can use TeamSpeak’s software. On the other hand, getting started with Discord is as easy as creating an account, finding a channel you like, and joining a server. You can also start and run your own server on Discord from anywhere, as well. 

We could say that Discord wins this round based on sheer ease of use, but it’s also more visually pleasing as well. Some users have likened TeamSpeak’s interface to Windows 95, an operating system that’s actually older than a lot of TeamSpeak and Discord users. In comparison, Discord is updated and sleek, with an attractive interface that’s familiar to today’s users.

Winner: Discord

Audio quality

Both Discord and TeamSpeak are primarily focused on voice chats, which makes sense as they’re both VoIP platforms. But how good is the audio experience with each? This area is actually a little bit complicated. When we look at the programs’ audio codecs, Discord seems like it should be the clear winner, as it uses the Opus codec, which has long since surpassed the two codecs that TeamSpeak uses (CELT and Speex). With that in mind, tech-savvy users who like having a choice between codecs might prefer TeamSpeak.

Beyond the codec issue, TeamSpeak offers all of its users audio with a bitrate of 100-Kbps. Discord users with free accounts can only enjoy up to 64-Kbps audio. If you opt to pay for a premium Discord account, you can get your audio up to 384 Kbps. Of course, if you crank up the audio bitrate, it also impacts your bandwidth, which can be frustrating, as well.

Winner: TeamSpeak


Bandwidth is like gold for a lot of online gamers. If you’re running a high-FPS game online, you need to preserve your bandwidth to decrease the likelihood of lag and glitches that can disrupt gameplay. This is especially important for streamers who broadcast their gameplay online while recording an audio and video feed. 

Discord’s sleek interface, video capabilities, emojis, and customizations are all highly attractive, but they also come with a lot more bandwidth usage. While TeamSpeak is a bit harder to navigate and doesn’t come with all the bells and whistles that Discord has, if you need to preserve bandwidth, TeamSpeak wins.

Pro-tip: streamers who play high-FPS games often use Discord, despite its higher bandwidth usage. Keep your game running smoothly by shutting down programs and apps that you’re not using for your game or chat. If you still experience lag, run Task Manager to ensure that no applications are running in the background, eating up bandwidth.

Winner: TeamSpeak

Text and video chat

TeamSpeak has long reigned as the go-to VoIP companion to online games and eSports, and its developers have kept it focused on this arena. As a result, TeamSpeak doesn’t include a lot of other features, such as video capabilities or text chats. Discord gives users the ability to talk to one another, hold private conversations over chat, and make video calls. If you need to do more than just talk to other users, Discord is the clear choice here.

Winner: Discord

Security and privacy

When it comes to security, both platforms have taken measures to ensure that users’ information is kept private and safe from cyberattacks. With that in mind, TeamSpeak boasts high-level encryption and customizable user permissions on self-hosted servers. TeamSpeak also allows users to participate anonymously, which is not an available feature with Discord. This capability can be a double-edged sword when it comes to moderating servers and ensuring quality interactions between users.

Discord’s security is not quite as tight as TeamSpeak, but users can take steps to protect their information and their accounts. If you’re using Discord, be sure to use a strong password, enable two-factor authentication (2FA), and customize the Privacy & Safety section of your User Settings to ensure maximum security. 

Pro-tip: always enable 2FA and check your privacy settings before starting a new server or joining a server on either platform. 

Winner: TeamSpeak


Price may not be the most important factor when choosing a VoIP app, but it’s definitely one of the first things users ask about. If you want to join existing servers on TeamSpeak or Discord, you can use either app for free. You can also host a single server with up to 32 participants for free on TeamSpeak, but you’ll have to pay for server hosting if you don’t have your own server hardware. 

Discord, on the other hand, allows users to host servers for free on the platform without the same limitations that TeamSpeak places on its users. Adding virtual servers and participants starts at $55 per year on TeamSpeak, and goes up from there to as much as $500 per year. Discord does have paid licenses, starting at $9.99 per month. Premium Discord subscriptions give users access to features like streaming videos in HD, customizable emojis, and other fun benefits. While these features will enhance your Discord experience, you can still enjoy all that Discord has to offer with a free account. For our money, Discord is the better option when it comes to pricing.

Winner: Discord

Add-ons, plugins, and integrations

Both platforms have available plugins and integrations to enhance the user experience. For example, there’s a 3D audio plugin for TeamSpeak that allows you to hear audio in surround sound, as if you’re surrounded by your team, clan, or group in your game. Discord discourages most plugins, though, as the platform is designed to provide the full experience users are looking for without the need of add-ons. Discord also includes 3D sound as a default feature. So, while TeamSpeak has more options for add-ons, Discord may still provide a similar experience without making a lot of changes.

Winner: TeamSpeak

Text chat

While both platforms include text chat capabilities, Discord stands out as the top competitor here. TeamSpeak lets users chat in plain text, which is functionally adequate, but it leaves something to be desired in terms of user experience. People are accustomed to using emojis and enhanced text features in all text communications across all kinds of applications. From texting on your phone to sending DMs and commenting on social media posts, emojis, and other text features are a part of the way we communicate today. Text chats in Discord feel more engaging and natural, thanks to these small features.

Winner: Discord

Content and searchability

Users looking to join servers dedicated to their specific interests or games will have an easier time in Discord than TeamSpeak. TeamSpeak organizes its servers by geolocation, which is great if you’re looking for local chats. However, if you want to join a server based on a topic, you might be searching for a while. Discord, on the other hand, groups its servers under topic channels. So, if you want to find a server dedicated to your favorite podcast or you’d like to join a clan or campaign in a game like World of Warcraft, you’ll have an easier time with Discord.

Winner: Discord

Our top pick: Discord

Comparison parameter



Voice chat

Video chat

Private texting

Free version

Yes, up to 32 slots

Advanced security

Enhanced text chat


macOS, Windows, Android, iOS

macOS, Windows, Android, iOS, browser (web-based app capability)

Having weighed the pros and cons of Discord and TeamSpeak, we would recommend Discord for most users. Corporations that want a solution for highly secure internal voice communications that have on-premise server hardware might find TeamSpeak to be the better option, but alternatives like Slack or Skype for Business might work just as well with more features. For individuals, and especially gamers and streamers, Discord gives an overall more streamlined experience with more features and benefits. It’s easier to set up, includes more features (including video chat), and you don’t need to figure out how to host your own server to get started.


When it comes to the best VoIP app for your gaming, special interest, and streaming needs, TeamSpeak and Discord are both incredibly popular. If you need to ensure that your communications are 100% secure and preserving bandwidth is a top priority, you might go with TeamSpeak. On the other hand, streamers and online communities all over the world are moving to Discord, with its ease of use and numerous features. Whichever application you choose, if you’re recording videos of your sessions for presentations or other later use, we recommend Movavi Video Editor to take your video from raw footage to a sleek, professional finished project.

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