How To Use Discord’s In-Game Overlay?

Discord is a VoIP and instant messaging software that includes plenty of unique features. One such feature is Discord overlay. Discord overlay lets you voice/video chat and stream from your PC while playing the game.

You can use Discord from your browser, on your mobile phone, or from your desktop.

discord in game overlay

What Is Discord’s In-Game Overlay?

In Discord, the overlay is the graphical layer that can be added to some games so that you can interact with other individuals on Discord and play the game simultaneously. You can use the Discord overlay to follow chat topics, and see the incoming calls or notifications as you play the game, even on a single monitor. Most of the AAA titles have some support for the Discord overlay, but it doesn’t work with all the games.

Essentially, you can use the Discord Overlay for messaging and voice chatting as you are playing a game.

It is very simple to use while in the middle of gaming, as it can be opened and closed at any point.

You can use it while you are playing a game with your friends so that you can coordinate and chat easily while you play. Also, if you are planning to stream your gameplay, it’s going to be really useful for you. You can manage it while you are in the game.

This feature is made very easy and customizable for your comfort. You can make the overlay invisible, or make it show up over your game, or even have it just for the selected games.

It also doesn’t consume that much additional power, making it even better since it will barely affect your game. However, your results may vary depending on how powerful your PC is, so be sure to test it out before using it in a ranked match.

How to configure the appearance of the overlay?

When in-game with the overlay enabled, the list of users in your voice channel will display in the top-left corner. If you press the “Toggle overlay lock” key, which defaults to “Shift + `”, a full Discord window will open.

To configure the overlay, go into Discord’s settings by clicking the cogwheel icon in the bottom-left corner of the app. Once in the settings, switch to the “Overlay” tab. Here you can configure the appearance of the overlay. “Enable overlay” is an overall setting, if the slider is off, then the overlay will be disabled completely. “Toggle overlay lock” is the keyboard shortcut to open the full overlay view, this is denoted by “Shift + `” by default.

This setting is the key binding that you use to open and close the overlay. I suggest using a combination that you’ll unlikely press in the middle of the game to ensure that you don’t accidentally bring it up.

 For example, you can use Shift + ! , to bring it up in-game.

The “`” character is a backtick, the key between tab, escape, and 1 on most keyboards.

Now, you can reposition the list of users in your current voice channel by clicking and dragging it by the eight-dot icon in the top-left corner. You can also hide the voice channel icons by clicking the unpin icon.

If you click the pin icon in the main Discord window, it will pin the chat to appear over your game, even when the overlay is closed. When the chat window is pinned, a second icon will appear next to the unpin icon that allows you to configure the transparency of the window, so it doesn’t end up completely blocking part of your screen.

These next three settings are sort of related to each other.

“Avatar size” configures the size of the avatars for people in the same voice channel as you. Avatar Size is just simply how big the avatars or PFP of each person is. You can choose between small and large.

“Display names” can be used to configure if and when usernames are shown next to avatars. This setting simply allows you to always display everyone’s name, only while they’re speaking, or just don’t display their names at all. This is why it’s important to have a good Discord PFP so that people can easily recognize and know who you are.

“Display users” is used to configure if avatars are always shown, or if they only show up when the respective user is speaking. This allows you to choose to display users always or only when they are speaking. This is a helpful feature if you always want to know who is talking, since their name will automatically be displayed.

“Overlay notifications” configure where any Discord notifications show up on the screen. If you don’t want to receive any notifications, click the circle with a line through it in the center. If overlay notifications aren’t disabled, you can configure if text chat messages show up as notifications or not with “Show text Chat Notifications”.

How to configure which games allow the overlay?

If you switch to the “Game Activity” tab, you can see a list of games that Discord has detected you playing at some point. Here, you can configure which of the games can use the overlay by clicking the toggle overlay icon on the right-hand side.

Note: These settings only apply if “Enable overlay” is enabled in the “Overlay” settings. If “Overlay notifications” are enabled, you may see a notification to remind you that the Discord overlay is available, when you open games.

How to Pin Windows to Discord’s Game Overlay?

Once your overlay is up and running, you can pin a text chat window over your game. Launch any game and then press Shift + ` (or whatever key combo you set earlier) to bring up the in-game overlay menu. Click the pin icon to make a window appear, even when you lower the in-game overlay menu. You can adjust the opacity of this window by clicking the Opacity icon and adjusting the slider.

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What Can You Do in the Overlay?

Aside from displaying the users in the voice channel, which includes music bots, you can also do different things using the overlay. You can quickly mute, deafen, or even disconnect from your current voice channel.

Additionally, you can also drag and position the avatar menu anywhere on your screen. You can also message, mute, and adjust a user’s volume straight from the avatar menu.

You can also start or stop streaming, and change the stream’s frame rate and resolution. Furthermore, you can check your DMs, reply to different users or servers, join other channels, and switch from one server to another.

How To Disable Discord Overlay?

Disabling the overlay completely is very straightforward. Simply follow the steps below.

Open The User Settings Menu

  • Open up Discord, and look to the bottom left of your screen, and you should see a cog wheel icon near your username.
  • Click on it to open the User Settings menu.

Open The Overlay Menu

  • On the list on the left-hand side of the User Settings menu, underneath the Gaming Settings subheading
  • The overlay should be near the bottom.
  • Click on it.

Turn Off the In-Game Overlay

  • Simply toggle off the switch at the top of the screen labeled Enable In-Game Overlay.

How To Disable Discord Overlay for a Specific Game?

Instead of disabling Discord overlay altogether, you can simply turn it off for certain games. This is ideal if you enjoy the interface more when you’re playing a more casual game with friends, but when focus and an unobscured screen it is absolutely paramount, like when playing a competitive FPS like CS: GO) then you can just set it to be disabled for that specific game at all times. This way, you don’t have to keep manually turning the overlay on and off every time.

Open The Game Activity Menu

First, go into user settings and select Game Activity, which should be located under the same Gaming Settings subheading.

Toggle The Overlay for Each Game

Find the game from the list and toggle the display on and off depending on your preference.

Consider Customizing Your Discord Overlay

Rather than going the whole hog and disabling Discord overlay, it might be worth trying to customize the experience somewhat from the overlay menu.

Navigate to the overlay menu on Discord, then go on and modify some settings to make the overlay less obtrusive when you’re gaming.

  • You can decrease the size of Avatar,
  • Set names to only appear when people are speaking or never,
  • Have users only appear while speaking,
  • The position that Discord text chat notifications appear on your screen can be modified,
  • The text chat notifications can be disabled altogether.

Binding a Hotkey

  • Binding a hotkey to a function allows you to fit and forget about that function as long as you remember your hotkey. Just remember to bind your overlay to a key that you don’t use frequently while gaming, so that it doesn’t just pop the overlay while playing another game with a similar binding.

Customizing Visual Elements

An example here is to set the display names to Large, and others to Only While Speaking so that you only see whichever of your friends or teammates is speaking at any given point in time.

You can also go on and select whichever corner to display these visual elements, by checking the small boxes inside the larger box corresponding to the corner that you want your overlay displayed at when in a voice chat.

And make sure that you go into Game Activity and select the games that you want the overlay on top of.

Don’t forget to close and restart Discord in order to lock down your settings before launching any application to see if the changes have been made.

Customizing Your Notifications

You can now receive a call, by selecting the popped notification while in an overlay without having to minimize the game that you were playing, and seamlessly jump back and forth between the call and your game.

Texts can be answered by opening their corresponding threads in the same way that you would when you accessed the main app, in the overlay, and shoot that quick text back in between the game session.

And finally, you can interact with game invites, all the while still being in a game and not having to minimize out of it.

Discord stream overlay

Discord stream overlay can be connected and integrated with two extremely popular streaming services, OBS and Xsplit, both of which are known for the multitude of game settings they provide to streamers while they are playing games.

The stream kit is easy to install, has plenty of useful features, works with past versions of Discord apps, and grants you extra control over each server and voice channel you are in, and not necessarily just your own.

Stream Overlay Properties

The OBS and Xsplit, compatible stream overlay, is one of the best ways to moderate your Discord chat and Discord voice channel while playing and streaming the best games.

It consists of three parts, all of which can be found on the Discord website.

Status widget

The first piece of this highly customizable overlay is the status widget, which can decide whether you will appear online or offline to the Discord members while playing.

It can also enable or disable the invite link to your server depending on your preferred settings, as well as decide which Discord notifications show up on your screen.

Furthermore, all these settings are easy to adjust. To do that, head over to the download page in your browser and enable or disable features from there.

Chat widget

The chat widget, being part of the obs stream overlay, can be accessed and edited from the website, and it allows you to control things such as servers and chat channels you will receive messages from while streaming, whether the chat will be faded out on your screen, and how much.

It even lets you decide if only your friends can message you while in a game, or any member of your server.

You can, too, choose how the text will appear on your screen. You can resize it, shift its position, change its color and opacity, and more.

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Voice widget

This widget is mostly oriented towards controlling the voice channel communication you have access to while streaming. An example, is when you are simultaneously playing a MOBA or an MMO with a team and talking to your audience on stream.

The game overlay allows you to decide which participants in the voice call will be shown when you switch from open Discord to your game, and in which way. The people currently speaking are the only shown in your game overlay, greatly reducing the amount of clutter on the screen while you play your game.

Additionally, you can make it, so the names of the speakers are hidden, making it convenient to voice chat without distracting yourself from either the game or the stream.

How to Get the Most Out of the Stream Overlay?

The overlay is incredibly easy to both install and use, and integrating it with both your Discord server and the twitch account doesn’t take long.

Your server members will now know when you are streaming without having to check their email for updates or manually go to the stream is likewise a big boost, as it makes you much more visible and noticed.

Likewise, the message suppression feature allows you to have complete control over what parts of the chat you see and from which server. This, together with the voice chat settings provided by it, makes the Discord stream kit an incredible tool for any dedicated streamer that plays multiplayer or free offline games.

You can even make yourself unavailable on Discord without having to hide your activity status.

Finally, the overlay is regularly updated, with the latest updates focusing on both security and convenience.

An unfortunate downside is that you will have to download the Discord app as this service cannot be run from the browser, but it is a small price to pay for the sheer number of features that you can enable.

Adding the Discord Overlay to Your Account

Find the overlay on the stream kit website, “steamkit.discord.com”. Once you follow the link, you will be offered a choice between two different overlays: One works with OBS, the other with XSplit.

Discord Overlay

Your choice will naturally depend on what streaming service you are using, but there is nothing stopping you from installing both.

Once you press the installation button, it will start downloading the overlay, simultaneously triggering the authorization prompt in your Discord app. Because of this step, you cannot use the overlay with the browser version of Discord.

Next, go to the user settings of your Discord and add the overlay to the list of authorized apps. This will allow you to actually run the stream kit Discord overlay on your PC.

In addition, these permissions regulate what the overlay can do automatically and are very important as such.

Once installed, you will have to connect your new overlay to either OBS or XSplit.

In OBS, copy the link into the OBS client after finding the New browser source option. Set Discord overlay as the name so that you don’t forget what it is, make the dimension match those on the website, to ensure that your overlay works, and you are all set.

What to Look for in the Discord Stream Overlay?

Convenience

The main benefit of this game overlay is the sheer convenience it provides the user with. Not only that the user settings are vast and versatile, but they are also quite easy to learn. The fact that the Discord app can be connected to a number of others can make your twitch stream, or YouTube, a much easier task.

Simplicity

The Discord overlay is quite simple to use for all it offers. All you need to do is find it in your browser, download and install it, and it will provide you with quite a few benefits by default.

After that, you can always change and adjust the settings directly from the website, and the overlay runs automatically when you start streaming, displaying what you want it to and hiding the rest.

Because of this, the system is very easy to get used to, and you don’t have to spend weeks learning how to focus on your play while juggling a complicated piece of software.

Security

With the constant updates both Discord and its overlay receive by the publisher, this piece of the software remains incredibly secure to use, allowing you to focus on your game without having to worry that your data can be compromised in any way.

That said, the Discord overlay deserves its spot as one of the more popular streaming services on the market.

How do I enable stream overlay in Discord?

This can be done either from the website where you download the overlay or, alternatively, through the Discord settings themselves.

Furthermore, you need the Discord app installed to use the overlay, just as you need it for streaming, so make sure you are not using the browser version of Discord.

In the overlay, you can adjust many things, such as the appearance and position of notifications, the appearance of people you are in a voice call with, etc.

How to set a custom playing status on Discord

What is custom playing status

Status on Discord shows other users your current availability or what game/app you are running. There are basically two kinds of status on Discord:

  • Availability status
  • Playing status

Availability status gives you four default options such as idle, online, do-not-disturb, and invisible.

In playing status, discord recognizes the verified game/app running on your device and shows the name of it below your name as a status with the game activity feature.

How to add and change playing status on Discord

To show others what you are playing right now, follow the steps below to start changing your custom playing status:

  • Open the Discord app or via browser and then click on the User Settings gear located at the very bottom-left side
  • Then go for Activity Status in the category list
  • Next, turn on the slide bar to display the current activity as a status
  • If Discord doesn’t detect your game/app, you can add it manually by clicking Add it button
  • In the drop-down menu, select any app that is running on your device and click on Add
  • Once the app is added, click on its name and change it to the game name that you want to show
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Now that you know how to set and change gaming activity on Discord, you can also set status to any funny playing unique status, which depends on your creativity.

How to Fix Discord Overlay Not Working

Enable Discord’s In-game Overlay

If you want to use the in-game overlay feature of Discord, then you need to enable it first. Since the overlay feature is not enabled by default,

Restart your Computer

Restarting your system can get rid of temporary glitches that are causing the overlay to disappear from your screen. Therefore, restarting your computer and relaunching Discord can help you fix the Discord overlay not working issue.

Run Discord as Administrator

Running Discord with administrative rights will help you bypass restrictions, if any, and can, possibly, resolve Discord overlay not working while playing games.

Add Game Support

A common reason why Discord’s overlay simply stops working is that the game you are playing is not supported. As a result, the application is unable to detect that you are actually playing anything.

Fortunately, there is a way to manually add the game to your Discord list of supported games.

Before you follow these steps, ensure the video game is running.

  • Open User Settings.
  • Under Activity Settings, open the Activity Status tab.
  • You will see a list of all the games you have previously played. You can ignore those. Instead, press the Add it! Button.
  • Select the appropriate window/game name and press Add Game.

From now on, Discord will detect this particular game and the overlay should activate when you start it. You will need to repeat this process for every game that isn’t detected automatically.

Rescale the Display Screen

If you are using the scaling feature to make things look bigger and to improve the visibility of apps, then it might be the reason why you are unable to see the overlay. Rescaling the display screen to 100%, you can be able to fix the “Discord overlay not showing” issue.

Change Discord’s in-game Overlay Position 

It is possible that you may have mistakenly removed the overlay from your screen and yet, the overlay feature is working perfectly fine. In such situations, changing the overlay position will help you resolve “overlay not working” issues

Turn off Hardware Acceleration

When you enable hardware acceleration on Discord, it utilizes your system GPU to run the games more efficiently. Although, it might also cause problems while running the in-game overlay feature.

Resolve Conflicts with Third-party Antivirus software

It is possible that the third-party antivirus programs on your system might be causing problems with the overlay whilst in-game. This usually happens because the antivirus software or Windows firewall may flag Discord overlay as suspicious and wouldn’t allow it to run. Moreover, it might lead to the malfunctioning of apps or some of their features.

  • Check if there is any Discord-related entry on the Block list of the Antivirus program installed on your system. If there are such entries, you need to shift them to the Allow list.
  • Alternately, you can disable the antivirus program or Windows firewall on your system temporarily, just to check if it resolves the problem or not.

Use a VPN software

You can use VPN (Virtual Private Network) to mask your location and to access & play online games. In this way, you will be using a different server to access Discord. Unfortunately, using a Proxy for Discord can make your system more vulnerable to virus attacks and hacking.

Close Background Running Applications

Often, applications running in the background might interfere with Discord and prevent the in-game overlay from functioning properly.

Update or Re-install Discord

If you are using an outdated version of the Discord desktop app, you need to update it. This will not only get rid of bugs, but also get the overlay to function properly. Fortunately, the app is designed to update automatically as and when you connect to the internet.

If the app gets updated regularly but Discord’s in-game overlay issue persists, then reinstall Discord on your PC. Reinstalling the application can help you fix corrupt or missing app files and potentially fix the Discord overlay issues.

Disable NVIDIA Shadowplay Overlay

NVIDIA Shadowplay’s overlay is probably the most commonly found overlay, as it is included by default with NVIDIA GPU drivers.

This is how to disable this overlay:

  1. Open GeForce Experience
  2. Click Settings (the cogwheel in the top-right corner).
  3. Go into the General tab, find the In-Game Overlay setting, and disable it.

With this disabled, return to Discord, re-enable Discord’s overlay, start your game and test it.

Disable AMD Radeon Overlay

Naturally, the process is slightly different from the NVIDIA’s overlay.

  • Either right-click your desktop and select Radeon Settings, or use Alt + R to open the Radeon Overlay.
  • Once the Radeon Settings window is open, click the cogwheel in the top-right corner to open advanced settings.
  • Find the General tab, then navigate to Preferences
  • Here, scroll to the bottom to find the In-Game Overlay and disable it.

AMD Radeon’s overlay is now disabled. Start Discord, run your game, and test whether the overlay is working.

Conclusion

Discord app is known for its convenience to the gaming audience, where you are able not only to chat and find friends, but see what games they are playing. Though the platform is quite simple to use, it can easily become confusing for novices to find out how exactly to use a particular feature.

Discord really does provide all the settings that gamers, in particular, want from a VoIP app. Make sure your overlay is as clean and unintrusive as possible, while also displaying all the information you need to keep up with your team.

Discord Overlay is an excellent feature for all those who want to stream games, talk over game strategies while playing, and message a friend while playing games. The overlay option gives you great accessibility to do other tasks while you are gaming.

Definitely, this feature is an efficient and useful tool. It allows you to use Discord effortlessly without having to leave the game or switch tabs. Start using the Discord overlay feature today, so you no longer die while replying because you were alt-tabbed.

The In-Game Overlay Discord option permits you to simultaneously use voice chatting and messaging features while playing a game. It is excellent to enable Discord overlay when you are playing a game with your Discord friends, and you want to coordinate and communicate or during your gameplay streaming quickly.

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