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How to Build a Discord Clone App

How to Build a Discord Clone App

Creating a Discord clone is an intriguing project that dives into the world of real-time communication. This endeavor requires a solid foundation in messaging infrastructure, alongside robust audio and video streaming functionalities. A successful clone hinges on delivering a seamless user experience, emphasizing security, and fostering an engaging community environment. Starting with these core principles, you’re on the path to crafting a platform that could rival Discord in connecting users across the globe.

What is A Discord Clone?

A Discord clone is a chat app that replicates the features and functionality of Discord. Discord is a popular chat app that is used by gamers, streamers, and other online communities. It allows users to communicate with each other in real-time, using text, voice, and video chat.

Discord clones are typically built using web and mobile development technologies, such as React and React Native, Node.js, and MongoDB. These technologies allow developers to create chat apps that are highly scalable and reliable. Additionally, the use of chat SDKs can simplify the tech stack and complexity of building a Discord clone.

There are many benefits to building a Discord clone. First, it can be a great way to learn about web development technologies. Second, it can be a great way to create a chat app that meets the specific needs of your users. Third, it can be a great way to build a business.

If you are interested in building a Discord clone, there are many resources available to help you get started. Here is an excellent resource available to help you get started. Building a Discord clone can be a challenging project, but it can also be a very rewarding one. If you are up for the challenge, I encourage you to give it a try.

Can Discord Be Cloned?

It’s technically feasible to develop a clone of Discord, a platform renowned for its real-time messaging, voice, and video chat capabilities tailored to communities and gamers. Creating a Discord clone involves replicating its essential features, such as text channels, voice rooms, direct messaging, server and user management, and possibly custom emojis and integrations with other services. However, several factors should be considered:

  1. Technical Complexity: Building a system that supports real-time communication efficiently at scale is challenging. It requires a robust backend, efficient data handling, and scalable infrastructure.
  2. Legal and Ethical Considerations: While cloning the functionality of an app is generally legal, directly copying the design, code, or any copyrighted material from Discord could lead to legal issues. Moreover, ethical considerations around user privacy and data protection are paramount.
  3. User Experience: Discord has set high expectations in terms of usability, performance, and community features. Matching or exceeding these expectations requires thoughtful design and a deep understanding of user needs.
  4. Security: Ensuring the security and privacy of communications on platforms like Discord is critical. Implementing end-to-end encryption and safeguarding user data are essential steps in building trust with your users.
  5. Community Building: One of Discord’s strengths is its vibrant community. Replicating this aspect involves not just building the platform but also fostering a community culture and encouraging engagement.

How Can I Clone the Discord App with ZEGOCLOUD

If you’re interested in cloning the Discord app, there comes ZEGOCLOUD. One excellent solution is to utilize ZEGOCLOUD’s In-app Chat SDK for building an outstanding chat application. ZEGOCLOUD’s SDK is a robust tool that empowers you to create a Discord-like chat app effortlessly. It offers a wide range of features, including text chat, voice chat, video chat, and file sharing.

zegocloud adds chat feature

With its user-friendly interface and high scalability, ZEGOCLOUD’s In-app Chat SDK becomes an ideal choice for developers aiming to develop a Discord-inspired chat app. Discover the possibilities and ease of creating your own chat platform, similar to Discord, with ZEGOCLOUD’s In-app Chat SDK.


  • A ZEGOCLOUD developer account – Sign up
  • Activate In-app chat in the admin console
  • Install NodeJS
  • Fundamental understanding of web development

Upon meeting the specified requirements, you are ready to progress to the subsequent phases.

Getting Started with Your Discord Clone

Create a new project

  1. To initiate a new React Native project named Zego-zim-example, utilize the convenient command line utility provided. Simply employ the Node.js npx command to run the utility effortlessly, without the need for installation.
npx react-native init zego-zim-example
  1. To execute the project on iOS, open it in Xcode and navigate to Product > Run. You can as well use the following command:
yarn react-native run-ios
  1. To compile and execute the project on Android, simply execute the following command in your terminal:
yarn react-native run-android

Import the SDK

Before proceeding with the implementation of our Discord clone, it is essential to import the In-app Chat SDK. Follow these steps to import the SDK using NPM:

  1. To begin the installation process of the SDK, open a terminal window and navigate to the desired directory. Execute the following command to proceed:
npm install @zegocloud/zimkit-react-native
  1. Integrate the SDK into your project. Insert the codes below to your main JS file.
import { ZIMKiti18n } from '@zegocloud/zimkit-react-native';

Create a ZIM SDK instance

To enable client login and facilitate message exchange, both clients A and B need to initiate a ZIM instance using the create method. By utilizing the AppID obtained during the initial prerequisites, they can establish individual ZIM SDK instances for seamless communication between them.

By default, the ZIM SDK employs the AppSign authentication mode. To modify the authentication mode, either reach out to Technical Support for SDK 2.3.0 or later or make the change independently for SDK 2.3.3 or later.

To establish a ZIM SDK object, employ a static synchronized method and provide the AppID and AppSign. The create method generates a ZIM instance solely upon its initial invocation, returning null for subsequent usages.


ZIM.create({ appID: 0, appSign: '' });

// To avoid hot updates that return null multiple times, get a single instance of the ZIM SDK using the getInstance method.

var zim = ZIM.getInstance();

Set event callbacks

Customizing event callbacks, such as SDK error notifications or message-related notifications, invoke the on method before the client user’s login.

// Receive error codes by setting up a callback for the error event.

zim.on('error', function (zim, errorInfo) {
    console.log('error', errorInfo.code, errorInfo.message);

// Listen for connection status changes by setting up a callback for the event.

zim.on('connectionStateChanged', function (zim, { state, event, extendedData }) {
    console.log('connectionStateChanged', state, event, extendedData);

// Receive one-to-one messages by setting up a callback for the message event.

zim.on('receivePeerMessage', function (zim, { messageList, fromConversationID }) {
    console.log('receivePeerMessage', messageList, fromConversationID);

Log in to the ZIM SDK

To enable message exchange and token renewal, both client A and client B must log in to the ZIM SDK. To do this, they must:

  1. Generate a user object using the ZIMUserInfo method.
  2. Call the login method with their respective user information and the Token obtained from the previous prerequisite steps.
// User IDs should be limited to 32 characters and can consist of letters, numbers, and the special characters: ~!@#$%^&*()_+-=`;',.<>/\.

// userName must be limited to 1-64 characters.
var userInfo = { userID: 'xxxx', userName: 'xxxx' };


During the login process:

For Token-based authentication, provide the Token obtained from the [Guides - Authentication] document.
For AppSign authentication (default mode in SDK 2.3.0), leave the Token field empty.


zim.login(userInfo, '')
    .then(function () {
        // Login successful.
    .catch(function (err) {
        // Login failed.

Send messages

To send a message from client A to client B, utilize the sendMessage function with B’s user ID, content, and message type. This function returns a ZIMMessageSentResult and triggers onMessageAttached with a ZIMMessage. Before sending, you can utilize onMessageAttached to retrieve the message’s ID or local ID.

// To send a 1V1 message, set the ZIMConversationType to Peer.

var toUserID = 'xxxx1';
var config = { 
    priority: 1 // Set the message priority to one of three levels: low, medium, or high. Low is the default.

var type = 0; // The session type can be one-on-one (0), chat room (1), or group chat (2).

var notification = {
    onMessageAttached: function(message) {
        // todo: Loading

// Send a 1V1 text message. 

var messageTextObj = { type: 1, message: 'Text message content' };
zim.sendMessage(messageTextObj, toUserID, type, config, notification)
    .then(function ({ message }) {
        // Successful messages.
    .catch(function (err) {
        // Failed messages.

Receive messages

Upon client B’s login, the message sent by client A will be delivered to the callback function specified in the receivePeerMessage method.

// Register a callback to receive one-to-one messages.

zim.on('receivePeerMessage', function (zim, { messageList, fromConversationID }) {
    console.log('receivePeerMessage', messageList, fromConversationID);

Log out

To initiate the logout process for the client, simply utilize the logout method.


Destroy the ZIM SDK instance

To remove the ZIM SDK instance completely, invoke the destroy method.


Run a Demo

To gain a comprehensive understanding of the functionality of ZEGOCLOUD’s In-app Chat SDK, you can explore our sample demo.


Building a Discord clone chat app can be an exciting venture that allows you to create a customized communication platform tailored to your needs. By following the step-by-step process and leveraging the right tools and resources, you can develop a feature-rich app that facilitates seamless connections and collaboration among users.

Read more:

Discord Clone FAQ

Q1: What are the key features to include in a Discord clone?

Essential features for a Discord clone include text channels, voice channels with high-quality audio, direct messaging, server and channel creation and management, user roles and permissions, and integration capabilities with other services and platforms. Additional features might include file sharing, custom emojis, and bot integrations to enhance functionality.

Q2: How much does it cost to develop a Discord clone?

The development cost of a Discord clone can vary widely, typically ranging from $20,000 to over $100,000. Factors affecting the cost include the complexity of features, the choice between native or cross-platform development, the geographic location of the development team, and the design’s sophistication.

Q3: How long does it take to develop a Discord clone?

Developing a Discord clone can take anywhere from a few months to over a year, depending on the project’s scope, the development team’s size and expertise, and the specific features and technologies implemented. Starting with a minimum viable product (MVP) and progressively adding features can be an effective strategy for managing development time.

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