How to Make Discord Reaction Roles

step by step discord reaction roles tutorial
Adding Discord reaction roles helps to boost engagement among your server’s members. Discover how to add your own reaction roles with this step-by-step tutorial.
step by step discord reaction roles tutorial

Table of Contents

Adding Discord reaction roles helps to boost engagement among your server’s members. Additionally, it allows you to keep your Discord server organized by automatically assigning certain permissions and aesthetically-pleasing differentiators to users. Today, you will learn how to make reaction roles on Discord, as well as the most well-known bots to leverage this feature.

Related 👉 How to Start a Discord Server for Your Online Community

What Are Discord Reaction Roles?

Simply put, Discord reaction roles are roles users can assign to themselves by reacting to a message with an emoji that represents the desired role.

Discord roles are highly customizable. You can assign permissions to each role according to what level of access to the server you want each user to have. Additionally, roles allow you to change aesthetic features, such as fonts or username colors.

To set up Discord reaction roles, you will need to add a bot to your server. Depending on the bot you choose, you will have different features available to personalize reaction roles and automate other tasks.

Many community builders grow their Discord communities by adding reaction roles and automatizing other tasks with bots. For example, Orbit, which helps community builders with insights, exclusive resources, and community support, uses reaction roles to create a more interactive experience.

orbit 1


orbit 2

New members that join Orbit can choose in which channels to participate depending on their interests and if they want to also join the social channels.

On the other hand, Late Checkout, another community-building Discord server, uses roles more simply. They only have one role apart from Discord moderators and it’s for Crypto College, their educational cohort. Participants of Crypto College can access that role by reacting to a message and completing the required validation.

There are many bots to choose from, and we will later cover the best Discord reaction roles’ bots. But for now, I’ll show you how to make reaction roles on Discord by using CarlBot.

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How to Add Discord Reaction Roles to Your Server Step by Step

The step-by-step process is very easy and will allow you to make Discord reaction roles super quickly. Let’s check what phases this method involves:

#1: Add CarlBot to your server

To add this bot to your server, you first need to go to the CarlBot’s website. Next, click on “Invite” in the upper left corner.

add carlbot to your discord server

Later, choose which server you desire to add the bot to.

authorize carlbot

After you click on continue, you will see a screen with all permissions the bot will receive on your server. Click on “Authorize”, complete the captcha to prove you are not a robot, and that’s it! CarlBot is now inside your Discord server.

The bot guides you through a setup process immediately afterward. You can set up custom prefixes, a welcome message, moderation configurations, automod, and reaction roles, all directly from CarlBot’s website.

carlbot configurations

However, we will show you here how to create Discord reaction roles directly from your server, once the bot is already there.

#2: Create the desired roles

Now that CarlBot is already in your server, let’s create some roles. First, go to “Server Settings” by clicking on the arrow that appears next to your server’s name.

discord server settings

Once in Server Settings, go to “Roles“. Here is where you can create new roles. The answer to which roles to create will depend on your server’s purpose, and for this example, we will create roles according to each member’s career.

discord server roles creation

This way, each user that enters this hypothetical server can select a role according to the activity they most identify with. To create a role, click on the plus icon that appears above the roles list.

Each time you create a role you will be able to choose a role name, a specific color (which changes the username color of the user with that role), an icon (if your server is level 2), and additional options. Configure each role according to your liking.

Additionally, make sure you toggle the box next to the “Display role members separately from online members” option every time you create a role. This will ensure that members who have chosen a role appear separately from the rest in the members’ list inside your server.

display role members separately from online members

Lastly, make sure that “carl-bot” is the first role (that is, the role with the higher priority). If it isn’t, simply drag it into the first position. Once you created all the roles you need in your server, it’s time to move to the next step.

#3: Set up Discord reaction roles

From now on, we will need to use CarlBot to make Discord reaction roles. To start, open any channel, type “?reactionrole make” and hit Enter.

After that, CarlBot will prompt you to select the channel in which you desire reaction roles to appear. To do that, type “#” and select the chosen channel.

how to make discord reaction roles with carlbot

#4: Add title, description, and colors to your message

After you selected the channel, is now time to choose which title and description you want to appear in the message users will see when they enter the channel. To do so, separate the title from the description with a “|”. For example,

Select your role! | Here you can choose a role according to your main activity:

You can also type {roles} to have the description replaced with a list of each emoji and its associated role. For instance,

Select a role! | {roles}

On the other hand, you will also be able to choose a color for the reaction roles’ message. To do this, type the desired hex code in the chat and hit Enter. To search for hex codes for different colors, try this color picker.

discord reaction roles step by step

#5: Select each role’s name and emojis

We are almost done. Now, you need to select an emoji for each role. These emojis are what users will be clicking on to claim their role/s. To do this, type “:” and the name of the emoji you wish to add or explore all emojis by clicking the smiling face on the far right of the message bar.

Once you have chosen an emoji for that role, type “@” and select the correct role. Then, hit Enter and repeat the process for all the roles you created in step 2. CarlBot will react with a checkmark if everything is okay, as you see below:

discord reaction roles example

And that’s it! You now have successfully added Discord reaction roles to your server.

Best Discord Reaction Roles Bots

Assuming that you already decided on the Discord vs Slack comparison to building your community (hint: one of the defining characteristics is that Discord is practically free!) let’s now explore which bots can help you to create reaction roles on Discord.


CarlBot is the bot we just used to explain how to make reaction roles on Discord. It’s one of the most well-known bots for this purpose. But besides adding reaction roles, CarlBot automates several other functions, allowing community builders to save a lot of time by not doing them manually.

It comes with pre-made commands that you can customize to suit your server’s needs. Additionally, CarlBot helps to organize channels by automating tasks like counting the number of users on the server, removing spam messages, and starting games and other activities.


You probably have heard about Mee6, since it’s another very popular Discord bot. It allows you to create reaction roles, similar to CarlBot.

Additionally, you will be able to leverage other features like setting up a welcome message, creating custom commands, including streaming and social media alerts, and adding levels and XP points to your server. The bot also includes many plugins to unlock other features in the categories of moderation & management, utilities, social connectors, and engagement & fun.


Zira is a Discord bot that specializes in reaction roles. It includes 4 different types of reaction roles (normal, once, remove, and toggle). Zira also includes the possibility of automatically assigning roles to new users or bots that enter the server.

If you are looking to create highly customizable and very specific reaction roles, Zira is for you. Since this bot specializes in reaction roles, it has many options and settings to create reaction roles that are very specific to your server.


This is a multi-purpose Discord bot that automates moderation tasks. It includes a web dashboard to enable, disable, and configure virtually all aspects of your server. And, of course, you can make Discord reaction roles with Dyno.

Dyno includes classic moderation tools, for example, reports with mod logs, timed mutes, and bans. It also has fully customizable auto-moderation and anti-spam features. Additionally, you will find other features such as auto roles, custom commands, announcements, joinable ranks, AFK status, reminders, and more.

Whether it’s a simple emoji or an animated GIF, reaction roles are an interactive way to keep users engaged. Additionally, bots are great to automate other server management tasks. Now that you have thought about reaction roles and bots, it’s time to start thinking about getting your first community members on Discord!

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Paola Baselica

Hey there! I'm Paola, and I like to call myself a word wizard. Since 2018, I've been writing content for diverse places across the web. Now I'm rocking it with Unita's copywriting crew, where I get to explore, write, and polish up the coolest communities you'll ever find on the web. It's been a wild ride, and I'm here to make every word count and every story pop 🎨✨📚