Twitch declares war on Discord with the full launch of the Twitch Desktop App

The Twitch Desktop App, which was revealed to the world back in March, is now in full release. The app covers all things Twitch "from streams to memes," as well as a number of features not available through the web, including voice and video calls, servers, and "Dark Mode." 

Twitch described community servers as "a place to call home 24/7 with text and voice rooms," where followers of streamers can hang out and socialize even when the streamers themselves are offline. If that has any sort of familiar ring to it, you might be thinking of Discord, which already does basically the same thing. In a fun bit of coincidental timing, Discord began testing a new video chat feature today, something that's also present (and fully operational) in the Twitch Desktop App. 

The Twitch Desktop App also features support for game modes and addons through the CurseForge modding community, the new Friend Sync function "will help you find all your friends from across the creator-verse," and of course there's that Dark Mode, which isn't nearly as ominous as it sounds: It's basically a low-intensity screen mode intended to make late-night streaming easier on your eyes. 

The app sounds like must-have software for Twitch users, but what's especially interesting here is the increasing amount of crossover between services: Discord is clearly maneuvering for a slice of the Skype pie, and Twitch is just as clearly gunning for Discord. Is a shakeout that leaves one or more of them in the dust inevitable? Fans of individual streamers will follow them wherever they may be, but in the bigger picture I have to wonder how long less dedicated gamers will want to stick with multiple pieces of software that do basically the same thing. And as those apps continue to expand their offerings, they're bound to become increasingly indistinct—not a good place to be when you're trying to stand out from the crowd. 

The Twitch Desktop App is available for download at

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.