Back in 2021, Duolingo introduced legendary levels — the ultimate test of how well you know a skill.
They proved to be pretty popular (despite non-premium members having to part with their hard-earned gems to attempt them) with Duolingo trees across the world going from gold to purple.
However, with the introduction of the new learning path, legendary has undergone a couple of significant overhauls.
The guys at Duolingo have always enjoyed tweaking legendary, but they’ve done it so much in the last few months that it’s been hard to keep up!
But worry not. In this article, I’ve rolled up my sleeves and done my best to give you the most accurate explanation of the current state of legendary. I’ve also put together a little video so you can see how it currently looks on mobile.
Hopefully, by the end of this article, you’ll be an expert in all things legendary!
Let’s get into it!
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What are Legendary Level Challenges on Duolingo?
As of February 2023, legendary levels are different depending on which platform you’re using.
On mobile, legendary levels are described as “extra-hard challenges” that you can take to prove your proficiency in a level on your learning path.
Once you’ve completed a standard level, you’ll have the option to complete one of these one-off challenges.
If you’re a free member, the legendary level challenge will cost you 100 gems. If you’re a Super member, however, you’ll get to tackle legendary for free.
Back in the day, legendary levels used to be purple and were the very last level in a skill. For completing a legendary level, you would receive a purple crown.
However, with the introduction of the new learning path, this has all changed.
On mobile, getting a level to legendary will simply turn the level step gold.
Legendary is quite a bit different on desktop.
Instead of focusing on levels, legendary on desktop focuses on units.
They also have a different name – legendary trophies.
To unlock a legendary trophy, you need to complete the entire unit. Once you reach the end of the unit, you’ll have to tackle up to 8 legendary challenges.
In this way, it works out pretty much the same as on mobile – each unit has 8 levels so you still end up completing the same number of legendary challenges. The main difference is simply when you do them, and what you unlock.
Also, desktop is still rocking the traditional purple look. And to make things nice and confusing, non-legendary levels on desktop are gold!
Why, Duolingo? Just why?!
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How does legendary work?
Whether you’re on mobile or desktop, the legendary challenges themselves work in pretty much exactly the same way.
The challenges are divided into 2 sections with a checkpoint in the middle. Reach this checkpoint, and you will guarantee yourself at least 20 XP.
In this sense, legendary challenges are similar to timed challenges. The only difference is that there is no time limit, so you can take as much time as you like to answer your questions.
This is good, as legendary challenges can be pretty difficult. That’s because you don’t get any of the hints that you get in the usual lessons.
So if you don’t know the meaning of a word or sentence, you’re not able to tap the words to reveal their meanings.
To complete a legendary challenge, you need to complete the 2 sections. If you’re a Super member, this is pretty straightforward as you get unlimited lives. If you’re a free member, however, you will have to contend with the heart system.
Once you’ve completed a legendary challenge on mobile, the corresponding level step on your learning path will turn gold.
On desktop, you will move a step closer to unlocking the purple legendary unit trophy.
How used to work – the different styles
Duolingo have experimented with a number of different formats and styles for legendary over the last couple of years.
Even before the introduction of the learning path, it seemed as though they were making tweaks and changes on a weekly basis!
Before the new learning path, a typical legendary level would look like this.
Once you’d completed the first five levels of a skill on your tree, you’d then be able to go for legendary.
You’d usually have to complete as many as 4 challenges.
A typical challenge contained 20 questions and you needed to make fewer than 3 mistakes to advance to the next one.
The questions were basically the same as the ones you’d get in your usual lessons — except, just like today’s legendary challenges, you didn’t get any hints!
(Notice how the words aren’t underlined)
Once you got 10 questions correct, you’d guarantee yourself 20 XP.
But if you made three mistakes before hitting the 10, you wouldn’t earn any XP for your efforts 🙁
This is one of the major differences between the old legendary and the new legendary. Back in the day, even Super members were limited to just 3 lives, which made legendary a lot harder to complete.
If you managed to get 20 questions correct without making more than 2 mistakes, you’d earn at least 40 XP and advance to the next challenge.
Once you completed every challenge, your skill would turn purple!
The no-mistakes and timed formats
When Duolingo first launched legendary levels, they seemed to be undecided on how to make them harder than the normal levels.
They kept switching between a no-mistakes format and a timed format.
For old time’s sake, I think it’s worth going back over some of the stuff they experimented with!
The following example is a mash-up of two of the formats they tested.
You’ve probably worked this out already, but the main difference between the two was that, in the one format, you weren’t allowed to make mistakes; while in the other, you had to race against the clock.
Everything else — such as checkpoints, XP, number of challenges and no hints — were the same.
(Everything that follows is from the original article. Click here if you want to skip forward):
Whenever you boot up a Legendary Level, you’ll notice that you will have several challenges to complete. Most of the time you’ll have four but sometimes it can be three.
Each challenge is worth a maximum of 20 XP. If you get to the first checkpoint, which is reached when you get 10 questions correct, then you’re guaranteed to earn at least 10 XP. Fail to reach the first checkpoint, and you’ll be booted out of the challenge empty-handed.
As you can see, the exercises are pretty much exactly the same as the ones in the standard lessons. The most obvious difference being that the sentences aren’t underlined with the usual dots. This means that you can’t tap them for a translation, which really tests your knowledge of the skill.
Once you complete a challenge you’ll be able to move onto the next one. The good news is that once you’ve completed a challenge it serves as a sort of safety net, meaning you can’t fall any lower. So if you manage to complete the first challenge, but then you fail to complete the second challenge, you won’t be sent back to the beginning. Instead, you simply repeat the second challenge as many times as it takes until you complete it.
Once you have completed all of the required challenges, you will unlock the purple crown.
How much XP can you earn from a Legendary Level?
Completing a legendary level challenge is probably one of the best ways to earn XP.
If you manage to reach the first checkpoint in a challenge, you’ll earn at least 20 XP.
If you manage to complete the challenge, you’ll earn at least 40 XP.
Throw in a combo bonus, and you could earn as much as 45 XP for a completed challenge.
And if you whack on an XP boost, you could earn up to 90 XP for just one completed challenge!
Do you have to pay for legendary?
Unfortunately, if you want to tackle the legendary challenges, you will need to pay.
You will either need to sign up for Super Duolingo in order to receive unlimited legendary attempts. Or you will need to pay for each attempt individually with gems.
As above, each legendary attempt will set you back 100 gems. So if you’re planning on doing legendary challenges regularly, you will definitely want to consider signing up for Super Duolingo.
How many Legendary Levels are there?
This depends entirely on your language course, as each course on Duolingo has a different number of units and levels.
If you’re working through the French path, for instance, then you’ll have absolutely LOADS of legendary challenges to complete. This is because French is one of the most popular languages on Duolingo, and therefore has the most packs, units and levels.
If you’re working through the Polish path, however, then you won’t have as many to complete as there isn’t anywhere near as much content.
This is always changing though as Duolingo are regularly adding new content features to their courses.
RELATED: The Complete List Of EVERY Duolingo Language
When should you go for the Legendary?
There’s no right or wrong way of going about this. Once you complete a standard level, you’re more than welcome to go for legendary there and then.
Alternatively, you can continue to work through your path and unlock as many new levels as possible.
The latter tends to reflect how I approach my Duolingo courses.
I’ll generally press forward and complete the unit. Then I might play around in the personalised practice section, then come back to the path and press forward some more.
Once I get more comfortable in the language, I might then go back to some of the older units and get some of the levels to legendary.
However, if I’m really comfortable with the language and I’ve already completed the tree, then legendary challenges are pretty much all I do!
Take French for instance. I’ve had a very on-off relationship with French over the years, so I’ve still got loads of units to work through on the path. As such, I’m not really that focused on legendary. Instead, I focus more on ploughing through the path and expanding my comfort zone.
However, it’s a different story for my Italian path, which I completed a loooooong time ago. It’s nowhere near as big as the French tree either, so all I’m doing is going through my units and turning every level legendary.
This is the approach that works best for me. But, again, if you would prefer to absolutely nail your levels before progressing further, then don’t hesitate to tackle the legendary challenges there and then!
What is the point of legendary? Is it necessary?
This is a really common question and completely understandable.
After all, Duolingo expect you to either sign up for Super or part with 100 gems for each challenge.
Is this really worth it?
I’ll be honest — if you’re a free member and you have little interest in signing up for Super, then I’d have to say no.
This is because legendary doesn’t introduce any new content. It just makes your lessons a bit harder, testing your proficiency slightly more than the standard lessons.
Beyond this, the only other thing you’re getting is a different colour on your path.
It certainly isn’t the thing that convinced me to sign up for Super!
So if you’re a free member and you have to spend 100 gems every time, I’d personally recommend saving them for heart refills.
However, if you’re a Super member, you’ve completed a big chunk of your path and you want to keep going with your language, then legendary is a great way of stretching out your course.
This is where I’m at with Italian at the moment. I’ve completed the path and I’m trying to keep in practice for when I go to Italy. As such, going back through the path and getting everything to legendary is a pretty good exercise!
For more legendary content and general Duolingo chat, feel free to follow me on Twitter.
You may also be interested in some of these articles:
Duolingo Levels – Everything You Need To Know
Duolingo New Learning Path Review
My description of Legendary is that they’ll never crack again and yet today I have two purple crowns that have cracked. Has anyone seen that yet?
Hey Jennifer! Yep, it’s happened to me too. Seems to be the latest in a long line of tweaks to the format. I expect they’ll change it again tomorrow!
Just noticed that myself. Not happy, since I spent gems to access the legendary crown lessons so I wouldn’t have to keep fixing cracked crowns.
I’ve already gotten most of my levels to legendary.
Will those be counted?
I can’t find a button to upgrade to legendary in my 20 gold levels. Is this a bug?
Hey Alexandros! It could be that Legendary Levels haven’t been rolled out to your course or device just yet. If they are available then you should get the opportunity to turn them purple once you’ve completed the first 5 levels in a skill. I know Duolingo have been doing a lot of A/B testing with the LLs so I’d recommend waiting a little while and they’ll probably show up eventually 🙂
Thanks for answering me! They showed up some weeks ago!
“It will never crack again”. Until it does. My supposedly mastered purple crowns are cracking just like the gold ones do. So what’s the point of mastering them?!
Hi. I can’t get legendary crowns in my Japanese Course despite the latter being the 3rd most popular course. I use an Android phone. Does the legendary levels only support IOS?
Hi Brachy! Take a look at this Reddit post from earlier this month. Looks like Duolingo are starting to test the Legendary Levels on Android devices 🙂
Hi Matt! Your posts really help. I am taking Spanish. Why do I need to spend 100XP points to earn each purple crown? I don’t have a lot of XP. Is there another way? I don’t know if it is worth it.
Thanks for your kind words 🙂
I’ve just taken another look at the Legendary Levels and can see that Duolingo have updated them again. However, I can’t seem to find anything that says you need to spend XP in order to earn the purple crown. I’ve just unlocked one in the Italian tree and received 40XP (+5xp combo bonus) for completing each challenge — and I didn’t have to spend anything (XP, Gems etc) in order to attempt them. Perhaps Duolingo are doing some more A/B testing? In any case, feel free to drop me a screenshot at email@example.com and I’ll be more thank happy to have a look for you 🙂
I think Traci means “100 gems”. I have the same issue, I had 3000-odd gems built up and now I’ve blown them all taking the Legend challenges.
There are some errors in this article. They are not timed and they do not prevent your crowns from cracking. You are allowed to make up to three mistakes in each segment of the challenge.
My Legendary levels crack repeatedly. Although it tells me that I will receive XP when I repair them, it seems that I am also CHARGED the Gems all over again. I have lost about 3000 Gems in the last month or so and couldn’t figure out why. Someone suggested that it’s because I’m maintaining my Legendary levels from a Basic (not Plus) account. In my book, it’s a rip off; I’m going to see how long it takes for them to deteriorate back to plain old level 5. I’m swearing off Legendary.
I have just discovered your site and find your information on all things Duolingo very helpful. Thank you for your wisdom.
I’ve been doing DL French for some time and have recently tried the Legendary challenges. More than once I have completed all but one or two sessions thinking I would come back to finish the rest so have said “Not now” to “Do you want to continue”
I have returned later to find that I have lost all progress on that skill and have to start my quest for the purple crown all over, including repaying the points to take the sessions over again.
Are you aware of others who have experienced this? Thank you.
Hey Ru! Many thanks for the kind words!
I can’t say this is something I’ve ever come across. Usually after completing a challenge it takes me back to the main Legendary screen and the only option it gives me is to start the next challenge for 40 XP. It’s always saved my progress.
You say that you have to repay the points to take the sessions over again. I’m assuming then that you’re a free member? If so it might have something to do with this as the Legendary Levels are a Plus feature for the most part. Although as far as I’m aware a completed challenge should serve as a checkpoint — so if you complete the second challenge of a LL, that should always be your starting point until you complete the third challenge — whether you’re a Plus member or not. But I could be wrong.
Feel free to send me an email with some screenshots to firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll do a bit more digging!
I have cracked purple crowns to. Also, to achieve it, I can make up to three mistakes instead of having to ace the challenges. I am on the French course and I have a couple of purple crowns and I normally had the timed ones but now it was three mistakes.
My entire family has signed up to learn French on Duolingo. On my and my kids accounts, we are able to do legendary levels without paying gems, but on my husband’s account, he is required to pay 100 gems for each legendary level. What’s different about the accounts? As far as we can see all of our settings are the same so we don’t know why one of us has to pay and the rest don’t.
Our entire family signed up on Duolingo to learn french. I have two children who are under 18 and then my husband and myself. The kids and I are not required to use gems to purchase legendary levels or participate in the lightning challenges, but my husband is. Why would this be?
So frustrating when the legendary crowns crack, I use to think it was ok because it made you practice but it interferes with your progression. You need to be able to practice skills as you want to not when they crack. I don’t wanna lose purple crowns but I can’t keep going all the way back to the basics everyday. Sort it out Duo!
Since about June 13, 2022 the Legendary levels on Duolingo Web seem inoperable.:(
As of this week I only get 25XP instead of the usual 45XP for completing a hard practise on a legendary level. Do you happen to know why this is?
I’m really frustrated as it feels as if I’m being pushed towards the premium service in order to complete my course. I’ve completed all the levels in Welsh and only have the legendary checkpoints left to complete – but each one requires me to spend lots of gems. I simply don’t have enough gems so have been logging in hourly to earn gems by watching ads. Not much fun especially if each ad only gives you 5 or 6 gems!
Every other level in my progress is now locked, so I can’t go back in to practice and earn gems that way. If I use the practice to gain free hearts feature, that doesn’t earn me any gems.
So basically unless I’m prepared to start paying for Duolingo, I can’t complete my course 🙁
I will sure miss that animation with the purple floating Owl and the Shining Crown above it. Does anyone have a link to a gif of it?
They had just come out with the new graphics for super and all the new graphics looked great! I was surprised when they changed it over to the new format so quickly after that.
I was previously collecting legendary skills to use as a cheap way of earning xp. I thought one was paying gems in order for it not beeing too cheap.
The path-update (which I haven’t recieved yet) will remove the ability to select which skill I want to practise, right?
So the question for me is: Is it worth spending gems now (i.e. before the update) to get skills to legendary? What gain will I have from that after the update?
(If I get the press release correct, legendaries will be converted section wise – so maybe it is only worth spending enough gems to convert the section? But even so I don’t get the value of anything beeing legendary after the update. Maybe someone can explain the advantages for me.)
Thank you for all the insight. I noticed as of a few days ago, the three hearts have disappeared in the Legendary exercises. They now have to be completed with no mistakes. You have the option to continue for 50 gems, or go back to the beginning of the level. I do subscribe to Super DL and did have the three-mistake wiggle room until earlier this week. What gives?
I prefer the original legendary format. This change has thrown me off a bit.
I’m at a loss. I had all units at legendary level up to 160. I had 40 to go in this new path design to finish the whole course at the legendary level. I just went in and tens of units have all lost the new yellow legendary colour. Im not liking that at all!!
Legendary levels and trophies are GOLD now! I didn’t like it at first because gold used to represent completed non-legendary skills. However, I got used to it, and I actually like the “new” legendary color. Update the article to mention the change!
When Duolingo introduced the major overhaul they made, I had already completed all the levels of the Italian course including legendary levels. I’ve got super Duolingo which should include unlimited legendary. However, I have no access to it. (If I push on the trophy at the end of the unit, it does nothing). When I get Some of the Daily Quests, one of the 3 says to do 4 legendary levels. So how can I do that? Im using an iPhone – is that why?
Hey, thanks for the “new” article! Glad you finally updated it after I asked you to on December 15th. I have a lot of legendary units on my Spanish course, and I hope to get more soon.
I have completed my ‘tree’ in Spanish for some time and have been working my way through the legendary levels in each unit. But today when I achieved a legendary level with 100% success I got a blue ‘congratulations you have achieved legendary level two’ sign.Does anyone know what this means?