Getting started

When to shard

Before you dive into this section, please note that sharding may not be necessary for you. Sharding is only necessary at 2,500 guilds—at that point, Discord will not allow your bot to login. With that in mind, you should consider this when your bot is around 2,000 guilds, which should be enough time to get this working. Contrary to popular belief, sharding itself is very simple. It can be complex depending on your bot's needs, however. If your bot is in a total of 2,000 or more servers, then please continue with this guide. Otherwise, it may be a good idea to wait until then.

How does sharding work?

As an application grows large, developers may find it necessary to split their process up to run parallel to one another in order to maximize efficiency. In a much larger scale of things, the developer might notice their process slow down, amongst other problems. Check out the official Discord documentation on the topic.

Sharding file

First, you'll need to have a file that you'll be launching from now on, rather than your original index.js file. It's highly recommended renaming that to bot.js and naming this new file to index.js instead. Copy & paste the following snippet into your new index.js file.

const { ShardingManager } = require('discord.js');
const manager = new ShardingManager('./bot.js', { token: 'your-token-goes-here' });

manager.spawn();
manager.on('launch', shard => console.log(`Launched shard ${shard.id}`));

The above code utilizes discord.js's sharding manager to spawn the recommended amount of shards for your bot. The recommended amount should be approximately 1,000 guilds per shard. Even though you provide the token here, you will still need to send it over to the main bot file in client.login(), so don't forget to do that.

TIP

You can find the methods available for the ShardingManager class herehere. Though, you may not be making much use of this section, unlike the next feature we will explore, which you may learn about by clicking this link.

Getting started

You will most likely have to change some code in order to get your newly sharded bot to work. If your bot is very basic, then you're in luck! I assume you probably have a stats command, by which you can quickly view your bots statistics, such as its server count. In this code, you likely have the snippet client.guilds.size, which counts the number of cached guilds attached to that client. With sharding, since multiple processes will be launched, each process (each shard) will now have its own subset collection of guilds. This means that your original code will not function as you expect it to. Here is some sample code for a stats command, without sharding taken into consideration.

// bot.js
const Discord = require('discord.js');
const client = new Discord.Client();
const prefix = '!';

client.on('message', message => {
	if (!message.content.startsWith(prefix) || message.author.bot) return;

	const args = message.content.slice(prefix.length).split(/ +/);
	const command = args.shift().toLowerCase();

	if (command === 'stats') {
		return message.channel.send(`Server count: ${client.guilds.size}`);
	}
});

client.login('token');

Let's say your bot is in a total of 3,600 guilds. Using the recommended shard count you might end up at 4 shards, the first 3 containing 1,000 guilds each and the last one containing the remaining 600. If a guild is on a certain shard (shard #2, for example) and it receives this command, the guild count will be 1,000, which is obviously not the "correct" number of guilds for your bot. Likewise, if the message is received on a guild in shard 3 (shard IDs are zero-indexed), the guild count will be 600, which is still not what you want. "How can I fix this?", you ask? Well, that's why we're here, isn't it?

FetchClientValues

First, let's take a look at one of the most common sharding utility methods you'll be usingone of the most common sharding utility methods you'll be using called fetchClientValues. This method retrieves a client property of all shards.

Now, take the following snippet of code:

client.shard.fetchClientValues('guilds.size').then(console.log);

If you run it, you will notice an output like [1000, 1000, 1000, 600]. You will be correct in assuming that that's the total number of guilds per shard, which is stored in an array in the Promise. We can both assume this isn't the ideal output for guild count, so we will need to make use of an array manipulation method, specifically Array.reduce().

It's highly urged for you to visit that link to understand how the method works, as you will probably find great use of it in sharding. Basically, this method (in this case) iterates through the array and adds each current value to the total amount.

client.shard.fetchClientValues('guilds.size')
	.then(results => {
		console.log(`${results.reduce((prev, guildCount) => prev + guildCount, 0)} total guilds`);
	})
	.catch(console.error);

While it's a bit unattractive to have more nesting in your commands, it is necessary when not using async/await. Now, the code at the top should look something like the below:

	if (command === 'stats') {
-		return message.channel.send(`Server count: ${client.guilds.size}`);
+		return client.shard.fetchClientValues('guilds.size')
+			.then(results => {
+				return message.channel.send(`Server count: ${results.reduce((prev, guildCount) => prev + guildCount, 0)}`);
+			})
+			.catch(console.error);
	}

BroadcastEval

Next, check out another handy sharding methodanother handy sharding method known as broadcastEval. This method makes all of the shards evaluate a given script, where this is the client once each shard gets to evaluating it. You can read more about the this keyword here. For now, essentially understand that it is the "client" object.

client.shard.broadcastEval('this.guilds.reduce((prev, guild) => prev + guild.memberCount, 0)').then(console.log);

This will run the code given to broadcastEval on each shard and return the results to the Promise as an array, once again. You should see something like [9001, 16658, 13337, 15687] logged. The code being sent to each shard adds up the memberCount property of every guild that shard is handling and returns it, so it's each shard's total guild member count. Of course, if you want to then total up the member count of every shard, you can do the same thing again on the results returned from the Promise.

client.shard.broadcastEval('this.guilds.reduce((prev, guild) => prev + guild.memberCount, 0)')
	.then(results => {
		return message.channel.send(`Total member count: ${results.reduce((prev, memberCount) => prev + memberCount, 0)}`);
	})
	.catch(console.error);

Putting them together

You'd likely want to output both pieces of information in the stats command, so let's combine these two examples using Promise.all():

const promises = [
	client.shard.fetchClientValues('guilds.size'),
	client.shard.broadcastEval('this.guilds.reduce((prev, guild) => prev + guild.memberCount, 0)'),
];

Promise.all(promises)
	.then(results => {
		const totalGuilds = results[0].reduce((prev, guildCount) => prev + guildCount, 0);
		const totalMembers = results[1].reduce((prev, memberCount) => prev + memberCount, 0);
		return message.channel.send(`Server count: ${totalGuilds}\nMember count: ${totalMembers}`);
	})
	.catch(console.error);

Promise.all() runs every promise you pass to it inside of an array in parallel, and waits for them all to finish before returning all of their results at once. The result is an array that corresponds with the array of promises you pass - so the first result element will be from the first promise. With that, your stats command should look something like this:

	if (command === 'stats') {
-		return message.channel.send(`Server count: ${client.guilds.size}`);
+		const promises = [
+			client.shard.fetchClientValues('guilds.size'),
+			client.shard.broadcastEval('this.guilds.reduce((prev, guild) => prev + guild.memberCount, 0)'')
+		];
+
+		return Promise.all(promises)
+			.then(results => {
+				const totalGuilds = results[0].reduce((prev, guildCount) => prev + guildCount, 0);
+				const totalMembers = results[1].reduce((prev, memberCount) => prev + memberCount, 0);
+				return message.channel.send(`Server count: ${totalGuilds}\nMember count: ${totalMembers}`);
+			})
+			.catch(console.error);
	}

The next section contains additional changes you might want to take into consideration, which you may learn about by clicking this link.

Resulting code

If you want to compare your code to the code we've constructed so far, you can review it over on the GitHub repository here .