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How to enable Discord overlay in game

Discord has an overlay that allows users to quickly view the app in a smaller window on the screen without exiting their game. It appears regardless if a game is running in windowed mode, or in fullscreen. The concept of an overlay is simple but many users have trouble enabling it. Here’s how you can enable the Discord overlay and what you can do if, after following these steps, it doesn’t appear.

Enable Discord overlay in Game

To enable the Discord overlay in a game, make sure;

  • Discord is signed in and running.
  • The game you want to use it in is installed on your system.
  • You’ve launched the game at least once while Discord was open/running.

Once you’ve gone through the above three requirements, follow these steps to enable the Discord overlay in games.

  1. Open Discord.
  2. Click the cogwheel button at the bottom left to access Discord’s settings.
  3. On the Discord settings’ screen, go to the Overlay tab.
  4. Turn the ‘Enable in-game overlay’ switch on.
  5. Go to the Game Activity tab.
  6. At the top, you will see the game you just played highlighted in green. Click the monitor icon and the overlay will be enabled for the game. If your game isn’t highlighted, go through Added Games and click the monitor icon next to a game to enable the overlay for that game.

Game not listed in Discord Game Activity

If the game you played isn’t listed, you can manually add it.

  1. Run the game you want to add.
  2. Open Discord.
  3. Click the settings button at the bottom of the column on the left.
  4. Go to the Game Activity tab.
  5. Click ‘Add it’.
  6. Select the game from the listed apps and click Add Game.

Fix Discord Overlay not working

  • If the overlay does not appear/ work, make sure you’re running a compatible game. According to Discord, the following games will not be able to show the overlay, or the overlay may appear sporadically.

  • Make sure your game does not require Vulkan as Discord does not have support for these games at present. Likewise, it will not support exceptionally old games.
  • Your antivirus may flag the overlay or Discord itself as harmful and prevent the overlay from appearing. Look for items/files that your antivirus has blocked and allow Discord to run if you find it listed there.
  • Make sure other overlays are not interfering with the Discord overlay. Discord is not the only app that has an in-game overlay. Windows 10 has a game bar, the Nvidia Gaming Experience adds its own overlay, and various other gaming apps you have installed on your system may do the same. Disable other overlays and see if the Discord overlay appears.
  • Make sure you restart both Discord and the game after enabling the overlay.

Conclusion

The Discord overlay is still a work-in-progress. It may seem like a simple concept but showing content on top of a game isn’t easy for a whole host of reasons. To some games, the overlay may seem ‘hacky’ and it may be blocked. For others, it may simply be a matter of not allowing other windows to be pinned on top of it. It’s complicated and Discord is working to add support for additional games.

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