Introducing Rich Presence

How easy is it for people to play your game together? With Rich Presence from Discord, it just got so easy, a caveman Junior Dev could do it.If you are testing a game integration with Rich Presence, other users will be able to see it. Please create a private test account and do not join any public servers while testing your integration.
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So, what is it?

Rich Presence allows you to leverage the totally overhauled "Now Playing" section in a Discord user's profile to help people play your game together. Rich game data—including duration, score, current boss or map, and so much more—lives inside Discord. You can spectate a friend's game directly from their profile popout, or party up via beautiful chat embeds with real-time information about open party slots and the party's in-game status. No more exchanging usernames and friend codes, or wondering if there's room for you to join. Rich Presence is a living invitation to play together, or to watch your friends kick butt.

Step 0: Get the SDK

You've decided you want to integrate with Rich Presence. Of course you did! It's awesome—just ask us. You can get the SDK from our GitHub repository. Grab a release build or use our build scripts, and check out the examples while you're there! We support C, C++, Unity, and Unreal Engine out of the box. If we don't have a release type that fits your development needs, roll your own! It's all open-source.
Our precompiled libraries depend on the Visual C++ Redistributable for Visual Studio 2015. If you distribute your game on Steam, make sure to check that box in your common redistributable settings.

So, how does it work?

We worked hard to make using Discord's Rich Presence system as easy as possible. All you need is our header file—what you will interact with—and our library—where we did all the hard work for you—and you are ready to roll!In the header file, you'll find six event-emitting callbacks:
  1. ready()
  2. errored()
  3. disconnected()
  4. joinGame()
  5. spectateGame()
  6. joinRequest()
These six callbacks make up the entirety of what you need to implement. Behind the scenes, we do all the heavy lifting for you.The header file also contains the Discord_RunCallbacks() function. This invokes any pending callbacks from Discord on the calling thread (it's thread safe!).


The first step in implementing Rich Presence is creating an application. Once you've created your application, note and save your Client ID. You will need this to initialize the SDK; this value will be referred to throughout this documentation as both client_id and application_id. Next, scroll down to the bottom of your application's page and hit the button that says "Enable Rich Presence". This will allow you to upload assets to your dashboard for later use. To begin, you'll register your callback functions to the six DiscordEventHandlers and then call Discord_Initialize() with your APPLICATION_ID. If your game is distributed via Steam, you should also pass your application's Steam ID so Discord can launch your game through Steam:
SDK Initialization Example
void InitDiscord()
    DiscordEventHandlers handlers;
    memset(&handlers, 0, sizeof(handlers));
    handlers.ready = handleDiscordReady;
    handlers.errored = handleDiscordError;
    handlers.disconnected = handleDiscordDisconnected;
    handlers.joinGame = handleDiscordJoinGame;
    handlers.spectateGame = handleDiscordSpectateGame;
    handlers.joinRequest = handleDiscordJoinRequest;

    // Discord_Initialize(const char* applicationId, DiscordEventHandlers* handlers, int autoRegister, const char* optionalSteamId)
    Discord_Initialize("418562325121990661", &handlers, 1, "1234");
A quick breakdown on the Discord_Initialize() function:
  • applicationId: your client_id/application_id
  • handlers: the callback functions you registered for each Discord event
  • autoRegister: whether or not to register an application protocol for your game on the player's computer—necessary to launch games from Discord
  • optionalSteamId: your game's Steam application id, if your game is distributed on Steam
When you are ready to publish your integration, we recommend digging into the source code of the SDK and copying discord_register.h, discord_register_win.cpp, discord_register_osx.m, and discord_register_linux.cpp into your installation and update process. By registering your application protocols on installation and update, your players won't need to run the game before being able to interact with invites, Ask to Join, and spectating in Discord.
Shutting DownDon't leave so soon! But when you do shut down your application, don't forget to call Discord_Shutdown(). This properly terminates the thread and allows your application to shut down cleanly.

Updating Presence

The core of Discord's Rich Presence SDK is the Discord_UpdatePresence() function. This is what sends your game data up to Discord to be seen and used by others. You should call Discord_UpdatePresence() any time something important in the presence payload changes.Discord_UpdatePresence() has a rate limit of one update per 15 seconds. Developers do not need to do anything to handle this rate limit. The SDK will queue up any presence updates sent in that window and send the newest one once the client is free to do so. If you are sending presence updates very frequently and wondering why you don't see your Discord presence changing, that's why!
Update Presence Example
void UpdatePresence()
    char buffer[256];
    DiscordRichPresence discordPresence;
    memset(&discordPresence, 0, sizeof(discordPresence));
    discordPresence.state = "In a Group";
    sprintf(buffer, "Ranked | Mode: %d", GameEngine.GetMode());
    discordPresence.details = buffer;
    discordPresence.endTimestamp = time(0) + 5 * 60;
    discordPresence.largeImageKey = "canary-large";
    discordPresence.smallImageKey = "ptb-small";
    discordPresence.partyId = GameEngine.GetPartyId();
    discordPresence.partySize = 1;
    discordPresence.partyMax = 6;
    discordPresence.matchSecret = "4b2fdce12f639de8bfa7e3591b71a0d679d7c93f";
    discordPresence.spectateSecret = "e7eb30d2ee025ed05c71ea495f770b76454ee4e0";
    discordPresence.instance = 1;
Update Presence Payload
typedef struct DiscordRichPresence {
    const char* state; /* max 128 bytes */
    const char* details; /* max 128 bytes */
    int64_t startTimestamp;
    int64_t endTimestamp;
    const char* largeImageKey; /* max 32 bytes */
    const char* largeImageText; /* max 128 bytes */
    const char* smallImageKey; /* max 32 bytes */
    const char* smallImageText; /* max 128 bytes */
    const char* partyId; /* max 128 bytes */
    int partySize;
    int partyMax;
    const char* matchSecret; /* max 128 bytes */
    const char* joinSecret; /* max 128 bytes */
    const char* spectateSecret; /* max 128 bytes */
    int8_t instance;
} DiscordRichPresence;
Update Presence Payload Fields
statechar*the user's current party status"Looking to Play", "Playing Solo", "In a Group"
detailschar*what the player is currently doing"Competitive - Captain's Mode", "In Queue", "Unranked PvP"
startTimestampint64_tepoch seconds for game start - including will show time as "elapsed"1507665886
endTimestampint64_tepoch seconds for game end - including will show time as "remaining"1507665886
largeImageKeychar*name of the uploaded image for the large profile artwork"default"
largeImageTextchar*tooltip for the largeImageKey"Blade's Edge Arena", "Numbani", "Danger Zone"
smallImageKeychar*name of the uploaded image for the small profile artwork"rogue"
smallImageTextchar*tootltip for the smallImageKey"Rogue - Level 100"
partyIdchar*id of the player's party, lobby, or group"ae488379-351d-4a4f-ad32-2b9b01c91657"
partySizeintcurrent size of the player's party, lobby, or group1
partyMaxintmaximum size of the player's party, lobby, or group5
matchSecretchar*[deprecated Notify Me feature, may be re-used in future]MmhuZToxMjMxMjM6cWl3amR3MWlqZA==
spectateSecretchar*  unique hashed string for Spectate button                                  MTIzNDV8MTIzNDV8MTMyNDU0                                  
joinSecret    char*  unique hashed string for chat invitations and Ask to Join                MTI4NzM0OjFpMmhuZToxMjMxMjM=                              
instanceint8_t[deprecated Notify Me feature, may be re-used in future]1
Sending endTimestamp will always have the time displayed as "remaining" until the given time. Sending startTimestamp will show "elapsed" as long as there is no endTimestamp sent.
Here's a handy image to see how these fields are actually displayed on a profile:


Relevant Callbacks:

joinGame() joinRequest()

Relevant Payload Data:

partyId partySize partyMax joinSecretWhen you send the relevant payload data in the Discord_UpdatePresence() call, your player can invite a Discord chat channel to play with them. This invite is tied to the player's party information; if their partyId changes, the invite will expire. If their partySize and partyMax changes, the invite will add, remove, and fill up slots dynamically.Other Discord users can click "Join" on the invitation. Their game will then launch, and the joinGame() callback will fire in their client with the inviting player's joinSecret. The client should reverse hash or otherwise unencrypt this secret and match the players together.

Ask to Join

Requires Approval
To enable the Ask to Join button on your players' profiles, you'll need to be approved by us. Submit your integration for approval on your app's developer dashboard. While there, you can also whitelist individual accounts for testing. Those accounts will have the Ask to Join button enabled on their profiles. For an in-depth explanation of what we look for during approval, see Getting Approved.When Player B clicks the Ask to Join button on Player A's profile, the joinRequest() callback fires for Player A, sending the following data:
Ask to Join Payload
typedef struct DiscordJoinRequest {
    char userId[32];
    char username[344];
    char discriminator[8]
    char avatar[128];
} DiscordJoinRequest;
Ask to Join Payload Fields
userIdchar[24]the userId of the player asking to join
usernamechar[344]the username of the player asking to join
discriminatorchar[8]the discriminator of the player asking to join
avatar*char[128]the avatar hash of the player asking to join—see image formatting for how to retrieve the image
avatar can be an empty string if the user has not uploaded an avatar to Discord
When it fires, your game should surface this data with a Yes or No choice for Player A to accept whether or not they wish to play with Player B. Then, call Discord_Respond() with Player B's userId and the appropriate response code:
Ask to Join Response Codes
The Ask to Join request persists for 30 seconds after the request is received, regardless of whether you have called Discord_RunCallbacks() within that window. Therefore, keep these two points in mind:
  • Ensure you call Discord_RunCallbacks() as frequently as possible to ensure your game client is up to date with any data from Discord
  • If the player is in a state in which they cannot interact with an Ask to Join request—like in the middle of a match—you should not send a joinSecret in the presence payload


Requires Approval
To enable the Spectate button on your players' profiles, you'll need to be approved by us. Submit your integration for approval on your app's developer dashboard. While there, you can also whitelist individual accounts for testing. Those accounts will have the Spectate button enabled on their profiles. For an in-depth explanation of what we look for during approval, see Getting Approved.

Relevant Callbacks:


Relevant Payload Data:

spectateSecretWhen you send the relevant payload data in the Discord_UpdatePresence() call, your player will gain the ability to invite a Discord chat channel to spectate their game. This invite is tied to the matchSecret and will expire when it changes.Other Discord users can click "Spectate" on the invitation. Their game will launch, and the spectateGame() callback will fire in their client with the original player's spectateSecret. The client should reverse hash or otherwise unencrypt this secret and spectate that player's game.


Security is of the utmost importance to us here at Discord, and we know it is for you, too. That's why we want to make sure that you properly understand matchSecret, joinSecret, and spectateSecret so that your game data is safe and secure over the wire.To keep security on the up and up, Discord requires that you properly hash/encode/encrypt/put-a-padlock-on-and-swallow-the-key-but-wait-then-how-would-you-open-it your secrets.Secrets are obfuscated data of your choosing. They could be match ids, player ids, lobby ids, etc. You should send us data that someone else's game client would need to join or spectate their friend. If you can't or don't want to support those actions, you don't need to send us secrets.

Rich Presence Field Requirements

All fields in the DiscordRichPresence object are entirely optional. Anything you choose to omit simply won't be displayed; the UI will dynamically adapt from the full Rich Presence object all the way down to the basic presence view. We highly encourage you to include as many fields as you can to make your game as attractive and interactive for other players as possible. However, if you choose to be a bit more selective, here's a handy table for what each piece of Rich Presence requires:
Rich Presence Field Requirements
FieldCustom ArtworkSpectatingJoiningAsk to Join

Your New Developer Dashboard

Included with the launch of Rich Presence is an overhaul of Discord's Developer Dashboard. We want to make Rich Presence as easy as possible to use. Our first step is helping you ditch your CDN. You're welcome.OK, well, not entirely. But! Discord will host any and all artwork that you need to have the very richest of presences. Upload an image, tag it with a key—preferrably one you can remember—and bam. It's ready for Rich Presence use. Head over to your applications page to check it out!
Asset keys are automatically normalized to lowercase. Be mindful of this when referring to them in your code.

A note on testing and Game Detection

In order to test your Rich Presence integration locally, you and your testers will need to make sure that your game client is detected by Discord. If your game is not automatically detected, presence data will not be shown. To detect your game, go to User Settings -> Games -> Add it! and select your application from the dropdown list. Every user working with your local development build will need to follow these steps in order for Discord to detect their presence.If you don't see Rich Presence data in your profile while testing, make sure you have the correct process selected for Game Detection. Also make sure you don't have multiple instances of Discord running—if you do, your presence might be changing in one of those!If you are having issues with your release build not being detected, send us an email at and we'll add it to our database for you. If you distribute your game via Steam, Discord will auto-detect your game if it is marked as released and running from Steam. Local testing clients and un-released games may still need to be manually added.If you're testing on your own, we recommend downloading two separate release channels of the Discord desktop client. You can log into the stable, public test, and canary builds with separate credentials, making testing easier for a single developer.

So, what now?

Get to coding! We can't wait to see the awesome integration you come up with. If you need some quick questions answered, look no further than our Rich Presence FAQ. If you want to know how to make your integration the best it can be, read our Best Practices Guide. If you're ready to release, consult our Launch Checklist and make sure you haven't missed anything!