Xbox Teams Up With Discord to Bring More Voice Chat to Your Games

The new feature, available for public beta testing Wednesday, connects Microsoft's Xbox video game console with one of the world's biggest social networks.

Ian Sherr Contributor and Former Editor at Large / News
Ian Sherr (he/him/his) grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area, so he's always had a connection to the tech world. As an editor at large at CNET, he wrote about Apple, Microsoft, VR, video games and internet troubles. Aside from writing, he tinkers with tech at home, is a longtime fencer -- the kind with swords -- and began woodworking during the pandemic.
Ian Sherr
2 min read
Logos for Microsoft's Xbox and Discord next to each other.

Two of the biggest names in gaming are teaming up.

Microsoft / Discord

Microsoft's Xbox will be getting a little more social, as the video game console begins working with the voice chat software in Discord, the popular gaming social network. The feature will arrive as a public beta test for Xbox Insiders Wednesday, with wider availability planned soon.

"You will be able to chat with anyone on Discord via voice channels or group calls directly from your console making it easy to connect with friends across mobile, Xbox, and PC," Eric Voreis, Microsoft's principal program manager for player experiences and platforms, said in a statement. He added that the feature had been "highly requested" from Xbox players.

Microsoft's move to add Discord to the Xbox is the latest way the company is making its video game console more inviting to the broader gaming world. Microsoft has reportedly sold more than 15 million of its Xbox Series S and Series X consoles since their launch in 2020, but the company's focus has increasingly expanded to subscription services that go beyond selling hardware.

The setup screens for connecting Xbox and Discord.

What the login process looks like to connect Discord with Xbox.

Microsoft and Discord

Its most popular effort has been Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, a $15 per month subscription that offers access to more than 100 games including the company's hits like the world building game Minecraft and space war epic Halo Infinite. Microsoft's said it plans to continually expand its service, including through its mammoth purchase of game maker Activision Blizzard for more than $68 billion.

Microsoft had reportedly attempted to buy Discord for $10 billion last year, but those talks appear to have fallen through. The service, launched in 2015, has grown to become one of the most popular apps in the gaming world, including by YouTube personalities, streamers, podcasters and hackers. Overall, the company has said, it counted more than 250 million registered users. Those include gamers using Sony's PlayStation video game console, which Discord teamed up with in a similar way last year.