Discord Overlay: Gets You Banned?

Here’s why Discord Overlay most likely won’t get you banned:

These days, using Discord Overlay should not be a problem and won’t get you banned.

In the past, there were a lot of reports that Overlay could unintentionally get people banned.

If that was ever the case, the issues seem to be resolved on a wide scale.

You can use Overlay as much as you like.

So if you want to learn all about Discord Overlay and why it’s pretty much safe to use, then you’re in the right place.

Keep reading!

Discord Overlay: Gets You Banned? (All the Info)

What Is Discord Overlay?

I’ll take you through the details of what you need to know about Discord Overlay and gaming bans, but it will all make more sense if we take a minute to cover Discord Overlay in the first place.

For those who haven’t used it yet, Discord is a voice and text messaging app that allows for live conversation via computers and other electronic devices.

It’s in the same vein of technology as Skype, Zoom, WhatsApp, and plenty of others.

I’ll skip the greater details regarding Discord and what makes it similar and dissimilar from other apps.

The thing to know here is that Discord Overlay is a specific feature available for Discord users.

So, just because you’re using Discord, that doesn’t mean you’re using Overlay.

Overlay itself allows you to see Discord information while you are playing a game, even if the game is in fullscreen mode.

So, you can still manage Discord communications without the need to minimize or navigate away from the game screen.

You can activate or deactivate Overlay by going into the Discord settings.

Look for “Activity Settings.” Under that category is the option for “Game Overlay.”

You can toggle it on or off, and you can adjust the specific settings when you use it.

Does Discord Overlay Get You Banned?


That covers enough of the basics for us to really get into today’s topic.

Does Overlay get you banned?

Generally speaking, no.

Discord Overlay should not get you banned from any game account.

But, that’s a broad generalization, and it’s important to understand a little more about account bans, why they happen, and why this general rule might not always be true.

Every game developer gets to determine their own rules for users.

A common thread among these rules is that cheating is forbidden, and if you are caught cheating, you will be banned.

On top of that, every publisher gets to decide what they consider to be cheating.

So, if a game developer decided that using Discord Overlay is cheating, then they could ban you for it. It’s entirely up to them.

That said, it’s not a stance I’ve been able to find among any publishers.

Especially with mainstream titles, Discord Overlay is not considered cheating on any level, and it’s not a violation of the rules.

A little side note for clarity: a game developer can actually ban you for any reason.

They don’t have to accuse you of cheating, but it’s one of the more common reasons cited among bans.

How Could Discord Overlay Get You Banned?

So, even though Discord Overlay usually won’t get you banned, it’s possible that it could, and there’s a reason I need to explain tied to all of this.

Even if a game developer has no problem with Discord or its Overlay, there still could be an unintended problem.

A lot of modern games use cheating detection software.

This is automated software that looks for indications that a person is cheating.

For many games, one of the easiest ways to cheat is to run programs in tandem with the game.

An aiming bot in a shooter game, a map hack in an arena game, along with many other cheats would all involve running cheating software alongside the game itself.

Some interfere with the game’s code directly. Others don’t.

How does Discord Overlay fit in?

Well, it helps Discord run in tandem with your game.

So, cheating detection software that doesn’t account for Overlay might assume that it is a cheating program.

So, it could mistakenly flag Overlay, and people would be banned.

But, even though this is a possibility, it doesn’t seem to be happening on any scale that I can find.

It looks like Overlay is quite safe to use with your games.

Why Do People Think Discord Overlay is a Problem? (2 Reasons)

If all of this is true, then why are people so worried about Overlay?

Well, that comes down to two things.

First, there is an assumption that Overlay is the cause of bans, even when it isn’t.

Remember when I told you that a game developer can ban you for any reason?

Well, that actually does happen, and bans don’t always come with detailed explanations for why they happen.

That means that sometimes, people get banned, don’t understand why, and mistakenly blame Overlay.

The other issue is that when Overlay was new, there were widespread reports that it caused problems for users.

#1 Issues at Release

Let’s take a deeper look at this issue.

Discord originally launched in 2015, and the first version of Overlay was released in 2016.

Over the next year, there were complaints that using Overlay was getting people banned from their games.

Now, Discord has not formally acknowledged that this was the case.

In fact, there is no clear consensus that Overlay was a problem.

But, enough people complained that it became accepted common knowledge that Overlay might get you banned from a game.

Over the next two years, those complaints started to fade into the past.

Despite that, the assumption has remained alive.

#2 Using It Today

I did a deep dive looking for complaints of bans related to Overlay.

After 2017, the number of complaints starts to dwindle.

By 2019, they were rare, and as of today, they’re pretty much non-existent. 

Every once in a while someone will dredge this up, but Discord has a pretty good track record of investigating the claims and resolving issues.

It looks as though Overlay is not causing bans anymore, if it ever did.

Is Discord Overlay Cheating?

So, you can safely assume that Overlay will not get you banned from your favorite games, and there’s a good reason for that. 

Overlay doesn’t directly change or use game code.

All it does is interact with your operating system so that the Discord info overlays on top of a Fullscreen application (hence the name).

It’s not offering specific gameplay advantages or anything like that.

It simply allows you to control your conversations with people while you play.

While there is no centralized governing body among gaming developers, the general sentiment is that it’s not cheating to talk to your friends while you play.

Because of that, Overlay should remain safe to use moving forward.

If there ever is a problem, you can assume that Discord and game developers will work to fix it.


  • Theresa McDonough

    Tech entrepreneur and founder of Tech Medic, who has become a prominent advocate for the Right to Repair movement. She has testified before the US Federal Trade Commission and been featured on CBS Sunday Morning, helping influence change within the tech industry.

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