How To Write Rules for Your Discord Server

Discord Aug 11, 2022

One of the most important founding steps for any Discord server is to write your server rules. The rules are guidelines for members on how they must behave in your server, and provides a baseline for moderators to punish users who break them. Today, I'll be showing you how to make your rules the best they can be!

Thumbnail by Roonie

Discord-native Rules Channels

Firstly, if you have community features enabled on your server, you can turn your rules channel into a special channel type, as shown below.

Rules Discord channel type showcase
You can see the usual # symbol has been replaced with a book with a checkmark

To do this, head over to the Community tab of Server Settings, then navigate to Overview and select your Rules channel from the Rules Or Guidelines Channel dropdown menu.

Once you've done this, the channel will have a special header icon and will automatically direct users to the top.

Now enough waffle, let's get into writing those rules!


Basic Rules

Before we can look into how to lay out your rules, we need to take a moment to think about the actual rules themselves. What are users allowed to do in your server? Are there limits on certain things, like how many messages can be sent before it's considered spam?

It goes without saying that Discord's Terms of Service or Community Guidelines must be upheld within any server, or you risk disciplinary actions, such as your server getting deleted.

Make sure that you go into as much detail as you can, and really specify what each rule means. Specifying, for example "You can't send more than 5 messages in a chain or it will be seen as spam", means that users can't find 'loopholes' in your rules, or attempt to exploit ambiguity to their advantage.


Basic Rule Suggestions

Some basic rules I find that most servers have is:

・Don't spam.

・No advertising outwith dedicated self promotion channels.

・Moderators can take action on anything they feel necessary.

・Do not exploit loopholes in these rules.

・Only speak in English.

・Spoiler misuse in prohibited.

・Respect all members of the server, and avoid toxicity.

Here is a more advanced Server Rules template: https://trello.com/b/KpOyYPjn/discord-server-rules-by-xynox


Layout

Deciding on a layout can be tough, especially as many servers use wildly different layouts. The three main layouts though are plain messages, embeds and context menus. Don't worry, I'll show you each different type and explain them in detail.

Plain Message

The simplest of all layout types, a plain message set of rules simply involves typing the rules in your text box, and hitting send.

Example of Plain Message Rules - Server Rules credit of Sound's World

This method is recommended if you frequently update your rules or make changes to them as all you have to do is edit your message; dashboard-free!

Another advantage to plain message is that you aren't limited by the 2000-character limit of embeds. Granted, yes you are still burdened by Discord's character limits, but it's easy to just send multiple messages within the same minute and have it still look clean.


Embedded Messages

Easy to configure and easy to manipulate to look pretty, embeds allow users to see rules and descriptions at a glance. Using a mix of Inline & Regular Fields can result in easy-to-read columns, that help new users understand what behaviour is and isn't acceptable.

Example of Embedded Message Rules - Server Rules credit of Epic's Plaza

You can also add a colour of your choice to the side, allowing them to look on-theme with your server.

You can create embeds using sites such as Discohook which creates embeds through webhooks, or by using a bot. Most mainstream bots such as Dyno, Carl-bot, MEE6 and Sapphire have a message embedding feature.

You can also create Hyperlinks within embeds; another one of their main advantages. To create a hyperlink, paste this into your text box: [Your Text Here](https://netcord.site).

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Make sure to replace "Your Text Here" with your own text for the link and "https://netcord.site" with your link!

This would display Your Text Here in your embed, but in blue and, upon clicking, would direct you to https://netcord.site. This allows links to appear as text, resulting in a much cleaner look, in my opinion.

For example, in the screenshot below, they have used this method to keep the links to Discord's TOS and Guidelines, but have them look like plain text.

Hyperlinks example - Credit to Traversal Turtle

A fairly new concept on Discord, you can use custom bots or Sapphire to create a dropdown menu on your main message or embed, allowing users a more detailed explanation on perhaps brief rules in the main message.

For example, in the screenshot below, we can see the main rule is "Be respectful; keep negativity to a minimum."

Rule #1 detailed explanation embed - Credit to Planet Roonie

This message may pop up after selecting the Rule #1 option in a dropdown connected to a Plain Message or Embed, allowing the user a more detailed description of the rule.

It also allows for more transparency on what is and isn't allowed within your Discord server.


What rules do you have in your Discord server?

That's all for today, hope you enjoyed today's article. Make sure to join our official Discord server to discuss further on this topic or suggest new articles!

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EpicOverlord

Scottish // 16 // He/Him // Discord Server Owner, Manager & Moderator // High School Student