You Can (Mostly) Block Discord's New Ads

Traditionally, Discoord has been an ad-free experience, and social apps are better for that. Unlike Facebook or

Alas, as you may have read, that's changing: Discord is now rolling out "Sponsored Missions," a new experience developers can choose from that will subtly promote their games to Discord users. They may not work much like traditional Internet ads, but they are ads. Fortunately, there is currently a way to disable them.

What are Discord Sponsored Tasks?

As Discord highlighted in its announcement, Sponsored Missions are an opportunity for PC gamers to earn rewards by streaming gameplay to friends or through in-app activities. Developers can set up tasks that Discord users can take advantage of. For example, Epic Games and Lucasfilm Games launched Star Wars May 4 holiday missions last year: Fortnite players can do this by live streaming their gameplay to friends or by accessing the app in the Fortnite Discord server.

While this may sound harmless enough - don't do quests if you don't want the in-game perks - the bigger problem with quests is that Discord plans to use them as in-game ads and use traditional internet advertising strategies to deliver them to the game player. The company will offer Quest pop-ups to users based on their age, location and gaming habits. So when you see a task popup appear in the lower left corner of the Discord window, you know the app decided to offer you this specific task based on these data points.

How to turn off Discord ads

Discord doesn't make it very clear, but there is a way to disable these in-game rewarded ads and the tracking that comes with them. First, open Discord and head to Settings > Privacy & Security . Here, disable the switch next to in-game rewards (also known as quests) .

That said, even if you opt out of task ads, you may still see them. In particular, you may encounter these pop-ups while in your gift inventory or whenever a friend is currently using one of them. Fortunately, for now, the Quest experience is generally pretty non-intrusive. Let's hope this stays the case - there are so few good places to hang out on the internet anymore.