Discord's new 'Rich Presence' promises to simplify spectating and playing with friends

Rich Presence—no relation to Rich Knuckles—is a new game integration option available through Discord that enables users to know more about what their online friends are playing, and more importantly, to share invites and launch games in party or spectator mode, all from within the Discord application. 

"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," the Rich Presence "How To" page explains. "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." 

The system has to be implemented in individual games via the Rich Presence SDK in order to work, but a number of developers and publishers, some of them very high profile, have already signed up to take part. It's not yet active in every game on the list, but it's coming.   

  • Call of Duty: WWII by Activision
  • Divinity: Original Sin 2 by Larian Studios
  • Payday 2 by Overkill
  • Battlerite by Stunlock Studios
  • Duelyst by Counterplay Games
  • SpeedRunners by DoubleDutch Games
  • Tooth & Tail by Pocketwatch Games
  • Foxhole by Clapfoot
  • Unturned by Smartly Dressed Games
  • osu! by PPY
  • Holodrive by Bitcake Studio
  • Killing Floor 2 by Tripwire Interactive
  • Brawlhalla by Blue Mammoth Games
  • Squad by Offworld Industries
  • GRIP by Caged Element
  • We Need to Go Deeper by Deli Interactive
  • Move or Die by Those Awesome Guys
  • Hellion by Zero Gravity
  • Ballistic Overkill by Aquiris Game Studio
  • Descenders by RageSquid

“Rich Presence removes the friction PC gamers often feel when joining game sessions with their friends, “ Discord CEO Jason Citron said in a statement. “It gives players a clear at-a-glance understanding of what their friends are playing, how they are playing it, where they are at in the game, and a one click way to jump in and join. For developers, this becomes a valuable way to help super-fans engage more deeply with other players in their games and get the word out in their game communities.”     

This is what it looks like.

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.