HomeWinBuzzer TipsHow to Add Roles in Discord Manually or with Bots

How to Add Roles in Discord Manually or with Bots

We explain how Discord roles work, some best practices for using Discord roles effectively and how to create and manage them manually or with Discord bots.

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Roles in are a way to assign permissions and privileges to different members of a Discord server. Roles can be used to create hierarchies, organize groups, customize colors and nicknames, and more. In this guide, we will explain Discord roles, some best practices for using Discord roles effectively and how to create and manage them.

Discord roles are one of the most essential features of the instant messaging social platform, and they can make your Discord server more fun, functional, and secure. With some creativity and planning, you can create roles that suit your Discord server's needs and goals.

What are Discord Roles?

Discord roles are a set of permissions that can be assigned to individual members or groups of members in a Discord server. Permissions are the actions that members can perform, such as sending messages, creating channels, banning users, etc. Discord roles can have different permissions depending on the settings of the server owner or administrator.

Roles can also have cosmetic features, such as a color and a name. The role's color determines how the members' names with that role will appear in the user list and chat messages. The name of a role is displayed in the member's profile and in the role list. Roles can also have a special feature called “hoist”, which means that the members with that role will be separated from the rest of the members in the user list.

Discord Role Icons

Discord role icons are small images that appear next to the names of users who have a specific role in a Discord server. They can be used to indicate a user's rank, status, or function within the server. For example, a server owner might have a crown icon, a moderator might have a shield icon, and a member might have a star icon.

Discord role icons can be customized by the server owner or administrator using the server settings menu. To create a custom role icon, one must upload an image file that is 128×128 pixels or smaller with a transparent background. The image file can be in PNG, JPEG, or GIF format. Once uploaded, the image can be assigned to any role in the server.

Alternatives to Discord Role Icons: Emojis and Text-Art

One of the simplest ways to create a role icon is to use an emoji. Discord supports a wide range of emojis, both standard and custom, and you can easily select one from the emoji picker when creating or editing a role. For example, you could use a 🌟 emoji for an admin role, a 🎮 emoji for a gamer role, or a 🎨 emoji for an artist role.

Discord supports Unicode characters, which are symbols that can be typed using certain keyboard combinations or codes. Unicode characters include letters, numbers, punctuation marks, and various symbols from different languages and cultures. For example, you could use a symbol for a fighter role, a symbol for a musician role, or a symbol for a balance role.

Best Practices for Using Discord Roles Effectively

Discord roles are a powerful tool for managing your Discord server but they require some planning and organization. Here are some tips for using roles effectively:

  • Use descriptive names for your roles that reflect their purpose and function.
  • Use colors that are distinct and easy to read for your roles.
  • Use hoist sparingly and only for important roles that need to be visible at all times.
  • Use mentionable roles only for roles that need to be notified frequently or for special occasions.
  • Use permissions wisely and only grant the ones that are necessary for each role.
  • Create separate roles for different categories of members, such as staff, moderators, bots, VIPs, etc.
  • Use role groups to organize your roles into logical sections.
  • Use bots or integrations to automate role assignments based on criteria such as activity, level, reaction, etc.
  • Review your roles regularly and update them as needed.

Using Discord Bots to Manage Roles

For large communities, using a Discord autorole bot or more specifically a reaction role bot is a convenient way to manage roles. Discord autorole bots are programs that can automatically assign roles based on certain criteria or triggers. Discord reaction role bots allow users to assign themselves roles by reacting to a message with an emoji or another specific answer. This is a convenient way to let members choose their preferences, interests, or identities without using commands or asking a moderator. There are also other ways of autorole bots you can use, such as Discord welcome bots or Discord activity level bots, which assign roles based on the activity and engagement of members.

You can find a Discord role bot or or other Discord autorole bots that best fit your needs on a Discord bot directory such as top.gg, If you you have no previous experience with Discord bots, please see our guide where we explain step-by-step how to add bots to Discord servers. Read on to learn how to self-assign roles on Discord using such bots.

Self-Assigning Roles on Discord with Bots

One of the features that Discord offers is the ability to self-assign roles to users. This can be useful for organizing your server, giving permissions, or creating a sense of community. However, setting up self-assignable roles can be a bit tricky if you are not familiar with the process. Here are the steps you need to follow to enable self assign roles on Discord:

  1. Create a role that you want users to be able to self-assign. (see detailed steps below)
  2. Create a channel where users can self-assign roles. You can use an existing channel or create a new one. Make sure that the channel is visible and accessible to everyone who needs to self-assign roles.
  3. Add a bot that can handle self assign roles. There are many bots that can do this, such as Zira, Reaction Roles, or YAGPDB. You can find them on websites like top.gg as explained above.
  4. Configure the bot to assign roles based on reactions or commands. Depending on the bot you choose, you may need to use different methods to set up the self-assign roles. For example, with Zira, you need to use commands like `z/message` and `z/role` to create a message with reactions that correspond to roles. With Reaction Roles, you need to use commands like `rr!create` and `rr!add` to do the same thing. With YAGPDB, you need to use the web dashboard to configure the role menus.
    Test the self assign roles and make sure they work as intended. You can do this by reacting or typing the commands yourself, or asking other users to try it out. If something goes wrong, check the bot's documentation or support server for troubleshooting tips.

How to Create and Assign Roles in Discord (PC)

To create and manage Discord roles, your server needs the “Manage Roles” permission which is set at the Discord server level. Follow along to see how to do this.

  1. Select the Discord server and click on the menu button next to its name
     
    Windows 11 - Discord - Server - Menu
  2. Select “Server Settings”
     
    Windows 11 - Discord - Server Settings
  3. Select “Roles” and click “Create Role”
     
    Windows 11 - Discord - Server Settings - Roles - Create Role
  4. Enter a “Role Name”, select a color and click “Sace Changes”
     
    Windows 11 - Discord - Server Settings - Roles - Create Role - Name Color
  5. Switch to “Permissions”,  select all of the permissions for the Discord role and click “Save Changes”
     
    Windows 11 - Discord - Server Settings - Roles - Create Role - Name - Color - Permissions - Save
  6. Switch to “Manage Members” and “Add Members” for the Discord role
     
    Windows 11 - Discord - Server Settings - Roles - Create Role - Name - Color - Manage Members - Add
  7. You can search for the Discord name or Discord Nickname to find them and click “Add” to assign the Discord role to the community member
     
    Windows 11 - Discord - Server Settings - Roles - Create Role - Name - Color - Manage Members - Add
  8. You can also assign selecting a member in the server or channel list and click + to assign a Discord role to them
     
    Windows 11 - Discord - Server - Member - Add Role
  9. Just select the relevant Discord role from the Roles list
     
    Windows 11 - Discord - Server - Member - Add Role - Watchdog
  10. You can also right-click the community member to assign a Discord role quickly
     
    Windows 11 - Discord - Server - Member - Right-click
  11. This will open the context menu where you can select the Discord Role with one mouseclick
     
    Windows 11 - Discord - Server - Member - Right-click - Roles - Watchdog

How to Assign Roles in Discord Mobile

To create and manage Discord roles, your server needs the “Manage Roles” permission, which is set at the Discord server level. Follow along to see how to do this.

  1. Select the Discord server and click on the menu button next to its name
     
    Android - Discord - Server - Menu
  2. Select “Settings”
     
    Android - Discord - Server - Menu - Settings
  3. Tap on “Members”
     
    Android - Discord - Server - Menu - Settings - Members
  4. Tap the three dots next to a member name
     
    Android - Discord - Server - Menu - Settings - Member - 3dots
  5. Check the Discord role that you want to assign to the community member
     
    Android - Discord - Server - Menu - Settings - Member - Check Role

How to Create and Edit Roles in Discord Mobile

  1. Select the Discord server and click on the menu button next to its name
     
    Android - Discord - Server - Menu
  2. Tap “Settings”
     
    Android - Discord - Server - Menu - Settings
  3. Tap “Roles”
     
    Android - Discord - Server - Menu - Settings - Roles
  4. Select the Discord role you want to edit or tap that + button to create a new role
     
    Android - Discord - Server - Menu - Settings - Roles - Watchdog
  5. Change the Discord role name, color, and permissions
     
    Android - Discord - Server - Menu - Settings - Roles - Watchdog - Edit

How to Manage Roles in Discord (PC)

  1. Select the Discord server and click on the menu button next to its name
     
    Windows 11 - Discord - Server - Menu
  2. Select “Server Settings”
     
    Windows 11 - Discord - Server Settings
  3. Select “Roles” and click the pen button next to the Discord role name
     
    Windows 11 - Discord - Server Settings - Roles - Edit
  4. You can change the details of the Discord role in “Display”, “Permissions” and “Manage Members”
     
    Windows 11 - Discord - Server Settings - Roles - Edit

How to Delete Roles in Discord (PC)

  1. Select the Discord server and click on the menu button next to its name
     
    Windows 11 - Discord - Server - Menu
  2. Select “Server Settings”
     
    Windows 11 - Discord - Server Settings
  3. Select “Roles”, tap the three dots next to the Discord role name and then  “Delect”
     
    Windows 11 - Discord - Server Settings - Roles - Delete

FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions About Discord Roles

What's the best way to organize roles in a Discord server for clarity and efficiency?

Organizing roles effectively involves planning your server's hierarchy and grouping similar roles together. Start by defining the purpose of each role, such as administrative duties, community engagement, or special permissions for events. Use distinct, descriptive names and colors for each role to avoid confusion. Group roles by category, such as “Staff” for administrative roles and “Members” for general roles, to make the server's structure intuitive. Regularly review your role structure as your server evolves to ensure it remains clear and efficient.

How can I make a role invisible on the member list but still active?

To make a role active but invisible on the member list, navigate to Server Settings > Roles, select the role, and disable the “Display role members separately from online members” option. This keeps the role's permissions intact but integrates its members with the general list, making the role invisible in the user list. Use this for roles that don't require visibility, such as backend permissions or silent moderation roles.

Can I set up role-based channels that only certain roles can access?

Yes, creating role-based channels allows you to control access and maintain privacy. For each channel you wish to restrict, go to the channel settings, select ‘Permissions', and add the role you want to have access. Adjust the permissions to grant or deny specific actions within the channel. This setup is ideal for creating exclusive areas, such as team-specific channels or VIP sections, enhancing both organization and privacy.

How do I handle roles when merging two Discord servers?

Merging servers requires careful planning, especially for roles. Start by documenting the roles and permissions in both servers. In the destination server, recreate the roles from the source server, paying close attention to the hierarchy and permissions. Consider consolidating similar roles to streamline the merged server's structure. Use manual assignments or enlist the help of a Discord bot to reassign roles to members, ensuring each person receives the correct permissions in the new server setup.

Is there a way to bulk edit roles or do I have to edit each one individually?

Currently, Discord requires each role to be edited individually as there's no native bulk edit feature. This means adjusting the permissions, name, or color of each role separately through the Server Settings > Roles menu. For large-scale changes, plan your edits in advance to streamline the process, and consider using Discord role management bots for more efficient handling of repetitive tasks.

How can I prevent role abuse or misuse by members with role management permissions?

Preventing role abuse involves careful assignment of the “Manage Roles” permission and regular monitoring. Only grant this permission to highly trusted members and clearly define guidelines for role management. Set up a log using a bot to track role changes, providing accountability. Regular audits of role assignments and permissions can help identify and rectify any instances of misuse promptly.

Can I automate role assignments based on voice channel activity?

While Discord doesn't provide a direct feature for this, certain bots can assign roles based on voice channel activity. Look for bots that offer voice activity tracking and can assign or remove roles when users join or leave voice channels. This feature can be used to reward active participants or manage access to voice channel-specific roles.

What are some common pitfalls to avoid when setting up roles and permissions?

Common pitfalls include overcomplicating the role structure, granting unnecessary permissions, and creating too many similar roles. To avoid these, maintain a simple and clear role hierarchy, grant only the necessary permissions to each role, and regularly review your roles to consolidate or remove redundant ones. Clear documentation and communication of role functions and permissions can also help prevent confusion and misuse.

How do I troubleshoot issues with roles not working as expected?

Troubleshooting role issues involves checking the role's permissions, the server's role hierarchy, and any channel-specific permission overrides. Ensure the role has the correct permissions and is placed appropriately in the hierarchy. For channel-specific issues, verify the channel permissions for conflicts or overrides that may affect the role. Consulting Discord's support documentation or community forums can also provide solutions to common problems.

Is it possible to temporarily disable a role without deleting it?

Directly disabling a role isn't possible, but you can effectively disable it by removing its permissions. This makes the role inactive without deleting it, preserving its settings for future use. Alternatively, you can create a new placeholder role with no permissions and switch members to this role temporarily.

Can I set up a system where members can ‘level up' and gain new roles based on activity?

Setting up a leveling system involves using bots like MEE6, which can track user activity and automatically assign roles as users reach certain levels. Configure the bot to assign new roles based on predefined activity milestones, creating an engaging progression system that rewards active participation in your server.

How do I ensure that my role setup is inclusive and respectful to all community members?

Ensuring inclusivity involves engaging with your community to understand diverse needs and preferences. Use neutral, respectful language for role names and descriptions, and be open to feedback and adjustments. Regularly review your roles and permissions with inclusivity in mind, and consider creating roles or channels that support diverse community segments.

Can roles be used to restrict access to certain bots or bot commands within a server?

Yes, you can restrict bot command usage by setting up specific roles with permissions to use those commands and configuring the bot to recognize these roles. This can be done in the bot's settings or command permissions, ensuring that only members with the designated roles can access certain commands, providing control over bot interactions within your server.

How can I use roles to create an automated moderation system in my Discord server?

Automated moderation involves assigning a bot to a moderation role with necessary permissions, such as message management and member moderation. Configure the bot with rules or triggers to automatically perform actions like muting, kicking, or banning based on specific behaviors. This setup helps maintain server rules and manage member conduct efficiently.

What strategies can I employ to make role management more efficient as my Discord server grows?

For efficient role management in a growing server, regularly review and streamline your role hierarchy, consolidate similar roles, and utilize role management bots for automated assignments based on criteria like membership duration or activity levels. Establish clear guidelines for role assignments and permissions, and engage experienced community members in the role management process to distribute the workload.

Extra: How to Change Your Name or Nickname on Discord

If you are new to Discord, you might be wondering what the difference is between a Discord user name and a Discord nickname. In our other guide, we will explain the main features and functions of both, and how you can customize them to suit your preferences.

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Extra: How to Make a Discord Server

One of the features that makes Discord stand out is the ability to create and join Discord servers, which are essentially groups of channels where people can chat, voice call, stream, and share media. In our other guide, we will explain what Discord servers are, how to create and join Discord servers, and some tips for managing and moderating them.

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Markus Kasanmascheff
Markus Kasanmascheff
Markus is the founder of WinBuzzer and has been playing with Windows and technology for more than 25 years. He is holding a Master´s degree in International Economics and previously worked as Lead Windows Expert for Softonic.com.