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What's new in v3.1

Welcome to this next major release in Discord4J, a reactive wrapper library for the Discord REST API and real-time Bot Gateway with voice capabilities.

After a year of feedback from users since releasing v3.0, we collected a series of changes to provide and support more use cases and bot configurations. While some of these changes could make their way into following v3.0 minor releases, some involve deeper design work that would have an impact on present releases in terms of binary and behavior changes.

In addition, since Discord is an evolving platform, some of its changes also have impact in the type structure that makes it difficult to implement every change in minor releases. As such, a new major release is the opportunity to include all of these changes and prepare the library structure for future additions more rapidly.

Maintenance mode for v3.0#

After v3.1.0 releases, only bugfixes will be accepted in the 3.0.x branch.

Architectural changes#

DiscordClient is split from Gateway actions#

In order to support more use cases, such as bots that don't use the Gateway to perform some actions, components related to REST API operations are now structurally separated from the Gateway operations.

This means a DiscordClient no longer gives you access to the Store abstraction for cached entities from the Gateway and is now used to spawn Gateway connections and operating the REST API directly.

Moving forward, the new GatewayDiscordClient represents the place to fetch and work with Gateway-based entities. You now acquire this instance every time to subscribe to DiscordClient::login or GatewayBootstrap::login after creating it with DiscordClient::gateway.

Shard group creates a GatewayDiscordClient#

One of the main goals for this release is to lay the groundwork to build distributed bot architectures, a model where bot components are split across multiple processes.

Since many configurations exist, we decided to orient the creation of GatewayDiscordClient towards "shard groups" that encapsulate caches and events around an arbitrary number of shards. A brand new GatewayBootstrap API provides creating simple, sharded, monolithic or distributed bots from a single place.

One EventDispatcher publishes for a shard group#

Building a shard group creates a context that aggregates payloads from joining Gateway connections, publishing Event instances to a single EventDispatcher, simplifying managing a sharded bot within a process.

For this reason, Event instances are now aware of the shard they were created by.

Caches are shared across a shard group#

Since Gateway updates are processed within a shard group, Stores, our entity cache abstraction, are created once per group. This eases management for single-process sharded bots.

Important API changes#

For a more exhaustive list, please look at API changes.

Promote Snowflake class to common module#

We moved the discord4j.core.object.util.Snowflake type to discord4j.common.util.Snowflake in order to support all modules across the Discord4J project using it. We feel it is a great abstraction to handle IDs and the primary token of addressing particular Discord entities across the lifetime of your application.

Other types affected by module promotion: Image, Permission, PermissionSet. See Moved types.

Behavior changes#

Login completes on connect instead of disconnect#

An important change in this major update is the change of the login() method existing in DiscordClient. We feel that the method makes most sense if it returns a Mono that completes as login succeeds, instead of logout, and to return a GatewayDiscordClient handle for the underlying gateway connections.

Spec code is run on subscription time#

Previously in v3.0, Spec consumers were called on assembly time, meaning when a reactive pipeline was declared. This could lead to unexpected code execution so moving forward this was changed in alignment to the expectation of reactive programming where no significant work should happen until you subscribe.

New features#

Gateway intents support#

Add support to establish Gateway connections using the Intent system, reducing the inbound event load on your bot. See GatewayBootstrap::setEnabledIntents or GatewayBootstrap::setDisabledIntents

Wait until Gateway connections are ready#

Allow customizing the behavior whether a GatewayDiscordClient should be obtained immediately (similar to v3.0 behavior) or to wait until all shards in the group have connected (Discord "READY" status). Check GatewayBootstrap::setAwaitConnections

Custom EventDispatcher#

Allow changing the EventDispatcher implementation for event handling. Check the class for builders and factories.

Entity retrieval strategy#

Allow modifying the behavior of the getXById methods in GatewayDiscordClient. By default, like in v3.0, if a requested entity is not present in the Store, a REST API request is made. Since this might not be desired, you can globally change the behavior at GatewayBootstrap::setEntityRetrievalStrategy or per-call through GatewayDiscordClient::withRetrievalStrategy.

Custom Reactor resources used by REST, Gateway and Voice#

All Reactor resources used by Discord4J can be configured, across REST, Gateway and Voice operations. You can now control almost every aspect of Discord4J threading model.

Guild member request behavior#

Allow providing a custom MemberRequestFilter to more explicitly control member requests should be automatically issued. Check GatewayBootstrap::setMemberRequestFilter.

On-demand guild member request (lazy loading)#

Add methods to directly request for guild members, such as GatewayDiscordClient::requestMembers.

REST-only entities#

Allow working with Discord4J without an active Gateway connection. Just create a DiscordClient and perform calls through the getXById methods to use REST API directly.

You can also obtain a "REST entity" which wraps a particular entity with its ID (no actual data) and can be used to perform actions without unneeded API requests. These are available directly through one of the entity types supported: RestChannel, RestEmoji, RestGuild, RestInvite, RestMember, RestMessage, RestRole, RestUser, RestWebhook.

Obtaining a RestClient can be done through GatewayDiscordClient::rest or any DiscordClient instance, capable of directly querying the API or creating such REST entities.

Normalized internal data representation#

A large effort is made into converging our many internal data structures into a more maintainable approach. We decide to use Immutables library to model the Discord domain through Data classes. All are created with a Builder that can simplify their usage when interacting with some API, particularly through REST-only entities.

ShardCoordinator abstraction#

A new abstraction is created to support coordination of Gateway IDENTIFY requests across multiple processes.

More sharding configurations supported#

A builder to configure how a shard group creates shards is available through ShardingStrategy and can be set at GatewayBootstrap. The total shard count can be fixed or used as recommended by Discord, connect specific shards by index, and support a sharding concurrency value or "very large bot sharding system".

Improved rate limiting implementations#

Provide a new approach to rate limit which increases throughput without locking structures. This is used across all of Discord4J: REST request queue, REST global rate limiter, Gateway identify limit and Gateway outbound limit.

Custom maximum missed heartbeat ACK#

Bring back a setting from v2 to help deal with connection instability by avoiding detecting zombie connections too early.

Custom Voice Gateway connection factory#

Provide new API to customize Voice operations and tasks, in an effort to help integrate it with other tools and frameworks.

Custom Gateway invalidation strategy#

Allow customizing the actions that should occur on the entity cache on shard invalidation (non-resumable disconnections)

Custom Gateway destroy handler#

Allow customizing the actions that should occur when logging out a shard group from the Gateway.

Custom Gateway to Event mapping#

Allow customizing how are Event instances created from the Gateway updates, potentially enriching or disabling the original handling.

Custom or extend Gateway configuration#

Provide access to the low-level GatewayClient configuration, allowing extension for custom GatewayClient factories. This is particularly useful to create distributed bot architectures.

API changes#

Signature changes#


  • Login returns Mono<GatewayDiscordClient> and emits on Gateway connection instead of disconnection.
  • Can only be created from factory methods.
  • Methods that retrieved entities like getGuildById now return REST-only entities. If you want to keep the old behavior, create a GatewayDiscordClient through one of the login methods.


  • Methods that configured Gateway-specific options were moved to GatewayBootstrap.


It is now a Flux<ByteBuf> operator.


Constructor made private. This class was also made immutable with a rich set of methods to customize more options.


Migrate to reactive API.


Method getReason now returns Optional. In addition, improved toString() method and added getContext(). A related class CloseStatus also had its getReason method changed in the same way.


getTrace now returns a List<String>.


getChannel now returns a Mono<TextChannel> instead of Mono<MessageChannel>.

New types#


Our own color class to avoid a java.desktop module dependency.


A place to customize many Reactor related options.


A read-only view for the entity cache (store) contents.


New class to group shard operations across JVM boundaries.


New class to group shard index and count.


New class to group sessionId and sequence.

REST-only entities#

Introduce types related to rest module operations.


Refactored all parameters used by DefaultGatewayClient and extracted them to this new class.


Allow customizing the process in which Gateway payloads are processed and converted into Events.


  • New event: ReactionRemoveEmojiEvent

Moved types#


Moved from discord4j.core.object.util to discord4j.common.util

Permission and PermissionSet#

Moved from discord4j.core.object.util to


Moved from discord4j.core.object.util to


Moved to the discord-json project which is now a dependency of discord4j-common.

Renamed types#


Formerly JacksonResourceProvider.


Formerly RetryOptions, it is now immutable, split from the stateful ReconnectContext


Formerly RetryContext.

Removed types#


Shard information can now be obtained from each Event.


State and resources held by this class were relocated to appropriate components:

  • GatewayClient are now located in GatewayClientGroup which is accessible from a GatewayDiscordClient
  • RestClient is now the parent class of DiscordClient so methods can be called directly from it
  • StateHolder is now available at GatewayResources, accessible from GatewayDiscordClient
  • EventDispatcher is accessible from GatewayDiscordClient
  • VoiceClient was replaced by a VoiceConnectionRegistry, a far more powerful alternative, accessible from GatewayDiscordClient


GatewayClientFactory was removed as it can be now be used in a functional way within GatewayBootstrap::login(Function).



Removed interface, along with SimpleBucket, as part of the rate limiting implementations rework.



Add getShardInfo.


Add resume states to GatewayStateChange.


Add new methods related to chunk index, count, etc.





  • No longer possible to set debug mode. Use the reactor-debug-agent or Hooks.onOperatorDebug() at the start of your application if you wish to retain this capability.