Discord servers provide a way for communities to come together in a virtual space for messaging, chatting, and sharing files. When you get an invite to join a new Discord server, the immediate question arises – can I check it out before joining?
You may want a glimpse of the server setup, channels, and members before committing. While joining is required to fully access a server, it is possible to preview basic server information without accepting the invite.
This guide will cover different techniques to view and learn about a Discord server anonymously before opting to join.
Benefits of Previewing a Server
Here are some benefits of previewing a Discord server before officially joining:
- Learn about the server topic and purpose
- Get a feel for the community and conversations
- Check if the server content interests you
- See server roles and hierarchy structure
- Identify level of activity through recent messages
- Learn about server rules and guidelines
- Avoid joining unwanted or spam servers
Taking a quick look helps decide if you want to join for real.
Limitations of Server Previews
However, keep in mind major limitations when previewing servers:
- Cannot view individual chat channels and full message history
- No ability to write messages or interact with members
- Owner names and online member list hidden
- No access to member-only rooms
- Limited info on overall member size and count
You only get a high-level snapshot, not full access.
Using Instant Invite Links
The easiest way to preview a server is using its instant invite link. Server owners generate invite links to share publicly or with specific users.
Here’s how to use an invite link to preview:
- Get the instant invite link for the server you want to check out.
- Paste the invite URL into your browser address bar while logged out of Discord.
- The invite page will display basic server details like name, topic, rules, and a preview of some channels.
- Review the preview, and then decide to join the server or close the tab.
No need to accept the actual invite!
Enabling Developer Mode
Enabling Discord’s Developer Mode shows the unique server ID for invites. This ID can be used to look up more server details:
- Turn on Developer Mode under Advanced settings in Discord.
- Look for the server ID under the instant invite URL.
- Search the ID on sites like Disboard to find associated public listings about that server.
- The listings may contain additional details and member numbers.
Developer Mode reveals more technical insights.
Checking Server Discovery Listings
Public servers listed on Discord’s Server Discovery can also be previewed:
- Go to https://disboard.org/ or other discovery sites.
- Search for the server name or topic you were invited to.
- If found, the public listing will showcase information like member size, topic, and requirements.
- Determine if you want to join based on the public data shown.
Discovery lists provide transparent previews without needing an invite.
Looking Up Public Servers
For large public servers, you can often find them via Google searches:
- Search for the server name + “Discord”
- Go through news articles mentioning the server
- Check forums like Reddit for server invites
- Follow links to preview the server as explained above
Public servers typically have information and invites easily searchable online.
Estimating Server Member Size
When previewing a server, look for these signals of member size and activity:
- Number of members displayed
- Number of currently online members
- Recent message volume in previewed channels
- Diversity and number of chat channels
- Presence of member-only rooms
While not exact, these give a sense of server size and engagement.
Joining with Secondary Account
A more direct option is to join the server with a secondary Discord account:
- Create another Discord account for evaluating servers
- Accept invite and explore server fully with the burner account
- Leave server after information gathering without impacting main profile
Use burner accounts ethically and legally.
When Previews May Not Be Possible
In some cases, you may be completely unable to preview a server before joining:
- Private small servers unlisted publicly
- Servers with preview disabled to protect privacy
- Expired instant invite links no longer working
- Need permission or approval to access server
If a server owner desires privacy, they can restrict any preview ability.
FAQs About Discord Server Previews
Here are some common questions:
Can I see full message history without joining a server?
No, it’s impossible to read full message history in channels without joining a server. Previews only show a limited recent sample.
Do server admins get notified when I use an instant invite link?
No, previewing a server via invite link does not send any notification to the server admin or members.
Where can I report an illegal or abusive server?
You can report concerning servers directly to Discord via their official Trust and Safety form.
Can someone see my username when I preview their server?
When logged out, your identity remains anonymous. But leaked invite links could potentially identify previewers.
What are the risks of joining servers with a secondary account?
Main risks are getting your secondary account banned or blocked which could lose access. Always abide by terms of service.
Previewing a Discord server before committing to join offers benefits like seeing the community culture and activity levels. While limited, using techniques like instant invite links, discovery sites, and public information allow conveniently assessing servers anonymously. Just be mindful not to misuse or abuse preview privileges. Now you can make informed choices about joining new Discord servers!Sharing Is Caring: