The Discord Nitro logo.
Discord

Discord Nitro is a way for power users of the most popular gaming chat app to supercharge their experience. Find out if you’re better off using the free tier, or if the paid service is worth it.

What Is Discord Nitro?

Discord Nitro is the premium subscription tier of the most popular gaming chat service in the world. It comes with global access to custom emojis from all the channels you’re part of, a custom Discord number tag, animated avatars, and server boosts for your favorite communities.

It’s available in two variants: Nitro ($9.99 per month), and Nitro Classic ($4.99 per month). There are also significant discounts for year-long subscriptions, with Nitro priced at $99.99 per year, and Nitro Classic at $49.99 per year.

RELATED: What Is Discord, and Is It Only for Gamers?

Paid Discord vs. Free Discord

The Discord Nitro Classic Subscription page.

The free version of Discord has all the necessary features for talking to your teammates, participating in channels, and starting a server of your own. However, Nitro offers the following additional perks that might improve your Discord experience:

  • Global emojis: Most Discord servers have custom emojis created by the community or the server owner. Typically, these can only be used on the servers on which they were made. Nitro allows people to use any emoji they have in their library, on any server.
  • Upgraded Go-Live streaming: Go-Live is a feature that allows you to stream your game to a small group of people. You can stream up to 720p at 30 FPS on the free tier, up to 1080p at 60 FPS on Classic, or at source quality on Nitro.
  • Custom Discord tag: Each Discord username has a random, four-digit number after it. Nitro allows you to change that number to anything you want, as long as that name and number combination isn’t taken.
  • Screen sharing: You can share your screen with your friends in up to 1080p at 30 FPS, or 720p at 60 FPS.
  • Increased upload limit: On the free tier, you can only send files up to 8 MB, but Nitro Classic and Nitro subscribers can upload files up to 50 and 100 MB, respectively.
  • Animated avatars: Paid subscribers can use an animated GIF as their avatar instead of a static image.

All subscribers also get a small badge next to their username that shows they’re a Nitro user.

Nitro, Nitro Classic, and Server Boosts

The Discord Nitro Server Boosting logo.

Aside from higher-quality streaming and the file-size limits, the main difference between the two subscription tiers is Nitro includes two server boosts, which ordinarily costs $4.99 per month. The Classic tier has no boosts. However, both tiers get a 30 percent discount on boosting.

While making and running a Discord server is free, server boosts allow you to grant certain benefits to servers you own or frequently visit. There are paid tiers for servers to which its members can contribute. Each server on Discord has a level that grants it a certain amount of perks, and each of these levels corresponds to boosts. For example, getting a server to level 1 requires 2 boosts, level 2 needs 15 server boosts, and level 3 takes 30 boosts.

Here are the benefits of increasing a Discord server’s level:

  • Additional community emoji slots (up to 250)
  • Better audio quality for voice channels
  • Improved video quality for Go Live streams
  • Increased upload limit for everyone on the server
  • Custom server URL and banner

For owners with active servers, Discord Nitro is enough to give their server Level 1. Owners also have access to the Buy a Level feature, which allows them to instantly purchase the number of boosts needed to reach the next level. Server upgrades are also beneficial for companies using Discord for workplace communication.

For members, boosts are a great way to show your support for a community you’re active in. This is especially helpful if you’re engaged in a smaller, community-driven server.

Is Nitro Worth It?

If you only casually use Discord to voice chat with your friends during games or join group discussions, you likely don’t need the power features of Nitro.

However, if you use Discord daily, and it’s part dozens of servers, you might get a lot of use out of Nitro’s global emoji system, improved Go Live streaming, and increased file-size limit. You could also get Nitro Classic if you have no plans to boost a server.

If you’re a creator or community leader who owns a server, Nitro is definitely worth it. The price of two server boosts costs as much as a monthly Nitro subscription, without the added benefits and 30 percent discount on future boosts.

RELATED: How to Invite People to a Discord Server (and Create Invite Links)

Vann Vicente Vann Vicente
Vann Vicente has been a technology writer for four years, with a focus on explainers geared towards average consumers. He also works as a digital marketer for a regional e-commerce website. He's invested in internet culture, social media, and how people interact with the web.
Read Full Bio »

The above article may contain affiliate links, which help support How-To Geek.