Once you become a moderator, it’s important to know what tools are at your disposal to help manage your Discord server. While there are many bots that cover both manual and automatic features of moderation, understanding how these bots work will be difficult without knowing how Discord’s native moderation features function. Due to the discrepancies in functionality between the mobile and desktop clients, throughout this article the instructions for navigating Discord will be in terms of the desktop client. Before reading this article, it may be useful to learn more about role and channel permissions here.
The first thing you should do is turn on developer mode for Discord. This will allow you to copy user, channel, and server IDs which are extremely helpful for moderation, reporting issues to Discord, and dealing with Discord bots. Read here for instructions on turning on developer mode and getting IDs.
The Administrator permission is a special permission on a Discord role in that it grants every Discord permission and allows users with that permission to bypass all channel-specific permissions. Because of this granting this role to any user or bot should be done with the utmost caution and on an as-needed basis.
Because bots can automate actions on Discord, bots with this permission can instantly delete all of your text channels, remove your emotes and roles, create hundreds of roles with the Administrator permission and start assigning them to your other users, and otherwise cause unmitigated havoc on your server faster than you can even understand what is happening. While the chance of this happening with larger or more renowned public bots is low, you should be mindful that this is the sort of power you are giving to a Discord Bot if you grant it the Administrator permission and only do so if you are confident the bot and its development team can be trusted.
Before giving this permission to a user, consider if giving them a role that has every other permission enabled will serve your purpose. This way you can at least protect your channels via channel permissions. You may also find on further consideration that the user in question does not even need every permission, and will be fine with only a couple of elevated permissions. If you do give Administrator to anyone, it is highly recommended to enable 2FA for your server as described in the next section.
Discord has several role-specific permissions that grant what would be considered “administrative functionality” to users (not to be confused with the actual Administrator permission). These permissions are considered sensitive enough that if you are in a server where two-factor authentication (2FA) is required for moderators, these permissions are disabled. You can read more about what 2FA is and how to enable it on your account here. The permissions for which this applies are as follows:
If you aren’t using a bot for server moderation, your moderation is going to be done by using Discord’s context menus. How to access each menu and how its options work will be discussed in detail below.
The Server settings items allow you to configure the server as a whole, as opposed to managing individual members. Note that depending on the exact permissions you have as a moderator and whether or not your server has boosts or is verified/partnered, not all options shown may be available to you.
On Desktop: Right click on the server name and go to Server Settings
On Mobile: While viewing the server list, tap the server name and then Settings in the bottom right.
The important menu items for you to know are the following:
User options allow you to manage individual server members. You can manage them from the Members server option as noted previously or through the following:
Desktop: Right click on a user’s name anywhere in the server (online list, mention, message, or their voice channel presence)
Mobile: Tap a user’s name anywhere in the server and then tap the “manage” option. If you only want to kick or ban a user you can do so without tapping the manage option. You can also copy their user ID by tapping the three dots in the upper right instead.
The most important menu options for you to know are as follows:
These are accessed in a similar fashion to member options, but are only visible while the user is in a voice channel.
The most important menu options are as follows:
This menu allows you to manage a specific message on the server.
Desktop: Right click anywhere in a message, or mouse over the message and click the three dots to the right
Mobile: Press and hold on a message
The most important options on this menu are as follows:
Some permissions are integrated into other areas of Discord or are more implicit. The following permissions should only be granted to moderators or trusted users.
While some advanced Discord server configurations may require otherwise, the following permissions are generally good to give to everyone:
A common functionality of most Discord bots is the ability to mute a user not just in a voice channel but in a text channel as well. However, there is no Discord permission that allows you to “mute” a user in such a fashion.
Instead, what happens is that a Discord bot creates a “mute role” and then for every channel in the server sets the channel permissions for that role such that users with that role are not allowed to send messages or add reactions. When you mute a user through the bot, it assigns them that role and thus prevents them from interacting in the server’s channels.
It is also possible to set this up yourself and then manually assign the mute role to users that need to be muted from chatting.
A lot of moderation on Discord is done using bots. You can find plenty of them by doing some research online. Some options include MEE6, CarlBot, Zeppelin, Dyno, GiselleBot, Gaius, and more. You can learn about some of these bots and what auto-moderation looks like here.
To invite a bot to a server, you must have either Administrator or Manage Server permission
The goal of this article is to familiarize you with Discord permissions and moderation actions so that you can more effectively moderate or manage your own server. Now that you’ve finished reading this, hopefully you have a better idea of how to navigate Discord’s menus and manage your members and messages.