User and a GuildMember Difference in discord.js

In the Discord API, a User is a basic object representing an individual Discord user, while a GuildMember is a more specific object that represents a user who is a member of a server (also known as a “guild” in the Discord API).

Developers using discord.js often encounter User and GuildMember. Creating powerful Discord bots requires understanding the difference between these two entities. This article compares discord.js Users and GuildMembers, highlighting their differences. Let’s begin!

Introduction to Discord.js

Discord.js is a JavaScript library that provides an interface for interacting with the Discord API. It enables you to create bots, write scripts, and automate various tasks on Discord. With Discord.js, you can programmatically manage your Discord server and create custom interactions with users.

What is a User in discord.js?

A User in discord.js refers to a Discord user account, regardless of whether they are a member of any servers (known as “guilds” in the Discord API). Users have a unique ID, username, and avatar, and they can participate in direct messages, group DMs, and servers.

A User object contains information about the user, such as their username, discriminator, avatar URL, and ID. It does not contain any information about their presence in a specific server, or their server-specific information such as roles or nicknames.

Some of the properties of a User in discord.js include:

id: A unique identifier for the user.
username: The username of the user, without the #1234 tag.
avatar: An URL to the user’s avatar.

What is a GuildMember in discord.js?

On the other hand, a GuildMember in discord.js represents an individual’s membership within a specific guild (server). It contains information about the user’s presence, roles, nickname, join date, and more. A GuildMember is an extension of the User object, providing additional guild-specific functionalities.

When developing bots that interact with guilds, understanding and leveraging the GuildMember object is crucial for managing server-related tasks, such as assigning roles, fetching member lists, or moderating user actions.

GuildMembers have all of the properties of a User, but they also include additional information and behavior specific to their membership in the guild. Some of the properties of a GuildMember in discord.js include:

joinedAt: A Date object representing when the user joined the guild.
nick: The nickname of the user within the guild, if one is set.
roles: An array of Role objects representing the roles the user has within the guild.
voiceChannelID: The ID of the voice channel the user is currently in, if any.

Why is it important to understand the difference?

The actions and information you can access in discord.js depend on whether you use a User or a GuildMember. Changing a member’s roles on a specific server requires a GuildMember object. Instead of using a User object, you’ll get an error because it doesn’t have the server-interacting properties or methods.

Additionally, if you are working with multiple servers, it is important to keep track of which server a GuildMember belongs to. A User can be a member of multiple servers, and the GuildMember object for each server will be unique and contain different information.

How to access GuildMembers

To access a GuildMember in discord.js, first retrieve the server (or “guild”) the member belongs to. The guilds.cache collection contains all the bot’s servers. After retrieving the guild, use members.cache to access its members.

Here is an example of how to retrieve and log information about a specific GuildMember:

// Get the guild the member belongs to
const guild = client.guilds.cache.get('Guild ID');

// Get the GuildMember object for the member
const member = guild.members.cache.get('User ID');

// Log information about the GuildMember
console.log(`Username: ${member.user.username}`);
console.log(`Nickname: ${member.nickname}`);
console.log(`Roles: ${ =>', ')}`);

Key Differences between User and GuildMember

Membership: The main difference between a User and a GuildMember is their membership in a guild. A User is any Discord user account, while a GuildMember is a specific Discord user account that is a member of a specific guild.

Properties: As a result of their different membership status, User and GuildMember have different properties. For example, a GuildMember has a joinedAt property that represents when they joined the guild, while a User does not.

Behaviors: GuildMembers also have behaviors that are specific to their membership in a guild. For example, they can be assigned roles, change their nickname, or be kicked from the guild.

Using the discord.js Library to Work with Users and GuildMembers

Discord.js requires a Client class instance to interact with users and guild members. Retrieve, modify, and manage users and guild members with this class.

To retrieve a Discord user by ID, use Client.users.fetch(). To retrieve a GuildMember by ID, use Guild.members.fetch().

Here’s an example of how to retrieve a GuildMember and modify their nickname:

// Retrieve the GuildMember
const guildMember = await guild.members.fetch(userID);

// Modify the GuildMember's nickname

Additionally, you can use the Client.on() method to listen for events related to users and guild members. For example, you can listen for the guildMemberAdd event to automatically welcome new members to your guild:

client.on('guildMemberAdd', member => {
// Send a welcome message to the new member
member.send(`Welcome to the guild, ${member.user.username}!`);

Can a GuildMember be a part of multiple guilds?

Yes, a Discord user account can be a member of multiple guilds, and in each guild, they would be represented as a separate GuildMember with its own properties and behaviors.

Can a User become a GuildMember?

Yes, a User can become a GuildMember by joining a server (guild). When a User joins a guild, they become a GuildMember with all of the properties and behaviors associated with membership in that guild.

By understanding the differences between these two fundamental concepts, you can make the most of your Discord bot and create custom interactions with users on the platform. Whether you’re a seasoned Discord developer or just starting out, this knowledge will be an invaluable tool as you work with the Discord API.

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My name is Nohman Habib and I am a web developer with over 10 years of experience, programming in Joomla, Wordpress, WHMCS, vTiger and Hybrid Apps. My plan to start is to share my experience and expertise with others. Here my basic area of focus is to post tutorials primarily on Joomla development, HTML5, CSS3 and PHP.

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