Duolingo leagues are definitely one of Duolingo’s biggest and most popular features.
These weekly leaderboards add a competitive and motivational edge to your language learning experience, which can push you even harder to complete your daily lessons.
But what exactly is a Duolingo league? How many leagues are there? What’s so special about the Diamond League (and the Diamond Tournament)? Are people cheating? What’s the best strategy for winning? And does your Duolingo league really matter?
All will be revealed — let’s get into it!
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What are Duolingo leagues?
A Duolingo league is basically a weekly leaderboard containing 30 random users from across all platforms, including IOS, Android and desktop.
To join a weekly leaderboard, all you need to do is complete a lesson. Then, head to your league tab and you will see yourself in a leaderboard with a group of other Duolingo users.
League leaderboards are ranked on XP — the user with the most XP at the end of the week will finish top of the leaderboard and get promoted to the next league.
The promotion zone can cover as many as 20 users, and this will depend entirely on which league you’re in. The current breakdown is as follows:
- Bronze – Top 20
- Silver – Top 15
- Gold – Top 10
- Sapphire – Top 7
- Ruby – Top 7
- Emerald – Top 7
- Amethyst – Top 7
- Pearl – Top 7
- Obsidian – Top 5
- Diamond – No promotions
Anyone who finishes 24th or lower — in what is known as the demotion zone — will be relegated to the previous league.
And if you finish outside both the promotion zone and demotion zone then you’ll stay in your current league for another week.
Follow me on Duolingo!
Up for some friendly competition? Then be sure to follow me on Duolingo!
My username is DCiiieee 🙂
(If the link doesn’t work then just type my username into the ‘Search for friends’ bar on the app)
How many leagues are there in Duolingo?
There are currently 10 leagues in Duolingo.
When the league system first launched there were only 5, with another batch of 5 being added in a subsequent update.
The leagues are the same across all language courses. So whether you’re learning Spanish or Hawaiian, you’ll compete in the same 10 leagues as everyone else.
What are the different Duolingo leagues?
From bottom to top — with 1 being the lowest and 10 being the highest — the 10 Duolingo leagues in order are:
Bronze is the starter league. From there, the goal is to work your way up through the leagues all the way up to Diamond — Duolingo’s highest league.
Once you’ve done that and you’ve finished every single league, you will progress onto the Diamond Tournament (more on that below!).
Duolingo Diamond League
The Diamond League is the highest league on Duolingo. It differs from the other leagues in a couple of ways.
The first is that only 5 users can be relegated and there are (technically) no promotions.
Diamond is usually the most competitive of the 10 leagues. Although only 5 users can be relegated, you have to be on your A-game to stay in the league for another week.
XP totals are usually really high—often in the thousands—so you may need to do more lessons than usual to avoid getting demoted back to the Obsidian league.
Winning the Diamond league is even harder. I’ve been using Duolingo every day for over 6 years and I’ve only won it a couple of times!
And what do you get if you win the Diamond League? A swanky achievement,
some gems and a pat on the back from the owl.
After that, the league resets, and you have to do it all over again (if you can muster the energy!).
the diamond tournament
Back in November 2021, Duolingo introduced something called the Diamond Tournament.
Duolingo experimented with this for a few months before removing it. However, they brought it back a short time later. And now it’s a firm fixture in the league lineup!
So how does the Diamond Tournament work?
Basically, to qualify for the Diamond Tournament, you need to finish in the top 10 of the Diamond League on a week that the Diamond Tournament is running.
That’s because the Diamond Tournament doesn’t run every week, due to the fact that each tournament has 3 weekly phases.
If a new tournament is about to begin, it will say “Top 10 qualify for the Tournament” at the top of the leaderboard.
However, if it says “The next Tournament is starting soon”, then even if you finish in the top 10, you won’t be entered into a tournament at the end of the week…
If you do manage to qualify for the Diamond Tournament, then you’ll notice there are 3 weekly stages:
Every week the users with the lowest XP totals are eliminated and returned to the Diamond League. Those with the most XP progress to the next stage.
The Duolingo Tournament Finals is the last stage, where those with the best XP totals over the previous two weeks battle it out to be crowned Diamond Tournament champion!
The Diamond Tournament is currently only available on iOS and desktop.
When does your Duolingo league end?
Your Duolingo league will end at some point between 22:00 and 01:00 on Sunday night/Monday morning — regardless of your time zone.
A new league will begin shortly after the last one finishes. Simply complete a lesson to be placed in a new league.
The general consensus used to be that the leagues would reset at 00:00 UTC every Monday. However, it’s clear from Reddit that users across the world tend to see their leagues reset around midnight in their local time.
So if you’re in the UK, for instance, your league will finish several hours before someone in the US. This also means your new leaderboard will begin several hours earlier as well.
Are people cheating in Duolingo leagues?
Because some of the XP totals — especially in the Diamond League and Tournament — are so crazy high, it gets people wondering whether some users are cheating.
All too often (and this isn’t just limited to the Diamond League) there are users that top the leaderboards with seemingly impossible XP totals.
These are often accumulated in short periods of time by profiles that haven’t used Duolingo for that long.
While I don’t think this has been definitively proven, some have questioned whether some users are using dodgy algorithms to hack their way up the leaderboards.
For sure these are some pretty high totals. Certainly wayyyyy higher than I’ve ever managed!
However, it doesn’t necessarily confirm they’re cheating.
In fact, as we’ll see later in the article, there are ways you can hit these numbers — so long as you’re strategic (and you have a lot of time on your hands!).
How to get out of Duolingo leagues
If you find the leagues annoying, or you’re just not that competitive, then you might want to opt-out.
Unfortunately, there isn’t a clear-cut way of doing this yet.
But there is a workaround.
To get out of Duolingo leagues, you will need to make your Duolingo profile private.
To do this, simply head over to the Duolingo website, hover over your profile picture and click Settings.
On the next page, click Privacy Settings, then uncheck the box that says “Make my profile public” and click SAVE CHANGES.
Be aware though that this won’t just get rid of the leagues — it will also make it impossible for other learners to find or follow you!
How to win your Duolingo league
If you’re desperate to finish top of your leaderboard and win your league, then you’ll definitely want to consider some of these tips.
These tips won’t guarantee you victory, but they’ll definitely improve your chances.
Naturally, you’re going to have an easier time winning the Bronze League than the Diamond, but in any case, these tips will give you a fighting chance regardless of which league you’re in.
wait to join your league
If you want to win your league, the first step is to… wait.
You may think that you need to come out of the blocks charging.
But actually, you’re much better off holding back and biding your time.
Duolingo places you in a new leaderboard once you’ve completed your first lesson of the week.
If you complete your first lesson first thing on a Monday, then guess what? You’re going to be placed in a leaderboard with other early birds.
In my experience, these guys are more likely to be the hardened Duolingo users. These are the guys that will show up on Duolingo every day and pour hours and hours of their time into completing lessons and racking up XP.
Make no mistake — if you want to win your league, then you don’t want to be competing with these guys, even if you’re an industrious learner yourself!
Instead, you will want to wait it out and give yourself a better chance of being grouped with the more casual learners (like me!).
These are the guys that only usually complete a few lessons a day, so won’t be earning crazy high XP totals.
This ensures you won’t need to be earning tens of thousands of XP to come out on top.
If you’re a streak freak, you probably won’t want to wait too long to join because you won’t want to lose your streak.
In which case, I’d recommend waiting until the last few hours of Monday (or pop on a Streak Freeze if you’re not bothered about the purity of your streak).
XP Boosts are absolutely essential in the battle for the top spot.
These handy little power-ups double the amount of XP you can earn in a lesson for anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes.
Timed Challenges are pretty much essential if you want to win your Duolingo league.
Lightning Round and Match Madness give you the chance to earn up to 40 XP every couple of minutes.
Better still, if you do them with an XP Boost active, that becomes 80 XP every couple of minutes!
You can see how easy this is in the video below.
You’ll want to do at least a couple of these a day depending on how intense your leaderboard is. They’ll help your comprehension speed loads as well!
perfect lesson boost
Perfect Lesson Boosts don’t ordinarily add a lot of XP to your lesson totals.
But, when used with an XP Boost, you stand to earn an extra 20 XP per lesson.
They’re available from the Duolingo shop, cost 100 gems and last for 15 minutes.
As the name suggests, you only get the boost if you complete your lesson perfectly. So you’ll want to use them when you’re super confident with the skills you’re looking to work on.
Legendary Levels are up there with timed challenges when it comes to earning lots of XP quickly.
However, if you’re in a position where you can attempt them, they’re probably one the best ways to conquer your Duolingo league.
If you go about them in the right way, you stand to earn as much as 110 XP for every completed challenge. If you know your stuff, you could probably get this done in under a few minutes every time.
harder lesson, double xp
Every now and then as you’re working through your course, you’ll get the option to do a harder lesson for double XP.
It’s not something you can spontaneously activate but you usually get the option every few lessons.
They usually cost 20 gems and give you the chance to earn twice the amount of XP in your lesson.
The base amount is usually 10 XP so this will give you the chance to earn 20.
If you can spare the gems and you don’t mind cranking up the difficulty, you’ll want to accept these challenges every time they pop up.
When it comes to Duolingo, I’m really not that competitive. As I’ll explain later, I’m really not that bothered about the leagues — I’m more interested in learning my languages!
I know many of you are. So using the tips above, I’ve devised this simple strategy that will give you a solid chance of coming out on top of your Duolingo league.
Wait as long as you can before completing your first lesson.
Ideally, hold back until 11pm on Monday night.
You won’t get the Early Bird XP Boost, but hopefully, you will get placed in a less competitive league.
This should ensure you won’t need to earn some of the crazy high XP totals we saw earlier!
tuesday to friday
Feel free to jump on Duolingo as early as you want.
In fact, the earlier the better, so you can bag yourself the Early Bird XP Boost.
You won’t get this until 6pm, so you’ll want to pencil in an evening session as well.
Once you’ve done this, focus on completing your current level on your lesson path. This will activate a 15-minute XP Boost.
You’ll then want to dive into a timed challenge (either Lightning Round or Match Madness) or a legendary level and keep bashing them out until your XP Boost has expired.
Continue completing levels and doing timed challenges for as long as you desire.
saturday to sunday
Again, try to jump on Duolingo as early as possible (before 12pm) so you bag yourself the Early Bird boost.
Then go about completing your first level of the day.
Once you’ve done this, instead of jumping into a timed challenge, you’ll instead want to head over to the shop and activate a Perfect Lesson Boost (if available).
Then head over to your learning path and dive into a legendary level. You’ll want to line these up through the week so you have as many to complete on the weekend as possible.
If you manage to complete a legendary level flawlessly, you’ll earn as much as 110 XP (assuming you’ve got an XP Boost and Perfect Lesson Boost active).
I recommend legendary levels instead of timed challenges on the weekend, as the weekend timed challenge (XP Ramp Up) is nowhere near as effective as the weekday ones.
Duolingo league repair
Demoted from your Duolingo league? Worry not — you now have the option to reverse it.
The League Repair tool gives you the opportunity to keep your place in your league for another week. It’s not cheap though — coming in at a mega 2000 gems!
To do this, simply head over to your league tab at the beginning of a new leaderboard. If you’ve been demoted, Duolingo will ask if you want to keep your place for 2000 gems. Simply hit the repair button and you’ll be entered back into the league you dropped out of.
Is it worth 2000 gems? Probably not. I think you’d be much better off saving them for heart refills and legendary attempts.
But if you’re really attached to your league — perhaps it was a really brutal week and you only missed out by a few XP — and you’ve got gems to spare, then it’s definitely a nice option!
Does your Duolingo league matter?
Look, even though I’m not that competitive on Duolingo, I like the leagues.
I mean, it makes sense. Duolingo’s not just a language-learning app. It’s also a game.
So why not have some weekly leaderboards?
I see a lot of people making a massive deal out of their leagues.
They get annoyed because someone they’re never going to meet managed to earn a few more XP than them, denying them victory in a league that — let’s be honest — doesn’t really matter in the grand scheme of things.
The most important thing on Duolingo — the thing that brings us all to Duolingo in the first place — is learning languages. Everything else is secondary.
Remember that — and consider some of the following as well:
xp is flawed
The league system encourages you to focus on earning as much XP as possible. This would be fine if more XP equaled more progress in your target language.
But it doesn’t.
As it is, the easiest and quickest way to earn XP is to take shortcuts.
Notice how the tips above do absolutely nothing to help you in your language.
When your focus becomes XP, you naturally gravitate towards things that will give you as much as possible in as little time as possible.
That means rinsing timed challenges every couple of minutes and doing nothing to move forward with your language.
XP, as we’ve seen, doesn’t correspond to proficiency. Someone with 10,000 XP in French could be lightyears ahead of someone with 100,000 — IF the person with 100,000 spent all their time gaming the system.
some users have an unfair advantage
Another reason you probably shouldn’t worry about your Duolingo league is that many have an unfair advantage.
What is that you might ask?
We’ve already covered it — XP power-ups.
John could do 10 Spanish lessons without any power-ups active. With perfect combo bonuses, he earns a total of 150 XP.
Sophie does the same 10 Spanish lessons with perfect combo bonuses. However, she has an XP Boost and a Perfect Lesson Boost active. That means that while John was earning 15 XP per lesson, Sophie was earning 50.
Same lessons, same amount of time.
John has 150. Sophie has 500.
You can say that’s smart. And, sure, it’s part of the game.
But Sophie hasn’t learned anything more than John… yet she comes out 350 XP ahead.
And it doesn’t end there.
Duolingo doesn’t award more XP to those who complete the harder lessons in a course.
Sure, you get the ‘harder lesson for double XP’ thing that pops up every so often.
But I’m talking about the levels in the latter units of a course. The hard stuff.
These levels take longer to complete, not just because they’re harder than the stuff in the early units, but because the questions can be so much longer.
There’s no compensation for this XP-wise. Those who only review the early units or spend their time bashing out timed challenges will almost always come out on top of those who are trying to make progress in their course.
And then there’s the premium membership. No ads. No hearts.
This not only speeds up the lessons but also allows premium users to keep plowing on — even after making 5 or more mistakes.
The bottom line — the leagues simply aren’t an accurate reflection of the thing that matters most on Duolingo: learning a language.
pressure and burn-out
It’s a tiring old business trying to win (or even stay in) your Duolingo league, particularly in the higher ones. The XP totals are often astronomical.
So when your league becomes a priority, this can put enormous pressure on you to rack up huge XP totals in a short amount of time.
This is exhausting and unsustainable in most cases. If you begin to associate Duolingo with fatigue, then, over time, you’ll be less inclined to show up and complete your lessons.
And if you want to learn a language, this ain’t good.
Sadly, I see this happen all the time: users racking up loads of XP for a few weeks and then disappearing, never to be seen again.
This is what happens when the need to be the best overtakes the desire to learn a language.
what i prefer instead
When it comes to Duolingo success, the most important thing (for me at least) is to not lose sight of why you started using it in the first place.
I can pretty much guarantee you didn’t sign up because of the league system. Most likely you signed up because you wanted to learn a language.
So focus on that, and nothing more. It’s easy to get caught up in the gamification of Duolingo, thinking that there’s a correlation between those who finish top of their leagues and their ability in their target languages.
But as we’ve just seen, it’s rarely this clear-cut.
My advice is to take the league system lightly. Don’t prioritize it. Simply see it as a bit of fun that adds to your motivation.
In my experience, it’s better to focus on other things.
On Duolingo, I believe moving forward along your lesson path and keeping your streak going should be your main focus. Moving through the units is a clear sign of progress, and a solid streak shows you’re developing a strong language-learning habit.
And don’t forget that fluency in your target language will depend as much on what you do away from Duolingo as what you do on it.
Innovative Language, for instance, offers high-quality content in over 30 languages — including Spanish, French, German and Italian — that, when used alongside Duolingo, will take your listening and speaking abilities to crazy new levels.
A quality VPN, such as NordVPN, will open the doors to an almost endless supply of movies and TV shows in your target language.
And LingQ will help you turn your favorite content — such as books, blog posts, song lyrics, and even Netflix shows — into your most effective lessons.
It’s here that the learning takes place — not at the top of your Duolingo league. Don’t forget that!
Have your say
The league system is definitely a massive part of Duolingo.
But what do you think of it?
Does it motivate you to do your daily lessons?
Has it helped you progress in your target language?
Are there any changes you’d like Duolingo to make?
What are your thoughts on the ‘cheating’ debate?
Let me know in the comments!