Duolingo Status Icons Explained – What Do They Mean?

Have you ever flicked through your Duolingo leaderboard and noticed the little status icons next to people’s profile pictures?

Perhaps you’re wondering what they mean and how you access them?

And what about the limited edition status icons you get for your Year In Review?

Well, in this article, I’ll walk you through everything you need to know.

Let’s jump in!

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What are status icons on Duolingo?

Status icons on Duolingo appear next to your username in your weekly leaderboards.

They’re basically just emojis that you can use to express how you’re feeling, show support for something, or subtly communicate with others in your league!

Some of the status icons are static — meaning they don’t move — whereas others are dynamic — meaning they come with a little animation.

Most of the status icons are automatically available. However, others (what we could call premium status icons) you have to pay for with gems (mobile only) or unlock by doing certain things.

There are also some limited edition ones that become available at the end of the year as part of your Year in Review.

How do you change your status icon?

It’s really easy to change your status icon. However many users seem to struggle as Duolingo doesn’t make it 100% clear!

Mobile

On your mobile device, tap the league icon…

Then, tap the status icon next to your profile picture. It will either be an empty slot or have an icon already…

You’ll then be presented with a choice of status icons. Pick one that takes your fancy, then tap ‘done’…

You should now have a status icon next to your profile picture on your leaderboard!

Desktop

The process is even easier on desktop!

All you need to do is click ‘leaderboards’…

Then you’ll have the option to set your status in the top right of the page. Pick one that takes your fancy…

And with just a single click, you will have a brand new status!

How do you clear your status icon?

To clear your status icon, all you need to do is tap ‘clear status’ on mobile devices…

Or, on desktop, click ‘clear’…

Once you’ve done this, you’ll have a little blue placeholder next to your profile picture where the status would be. This placeholder is only displayed to you — so other people in your leaderboard won’t see it!

How to unlock more status icons

It’s possible to unlock more status icons, however, this will depend on the device you’re using.

By the looks of it, desktop users have access to the full array of status icons automatically, meaning they don’t have to unlock any.

However, on mobile, some of these status icons are locked behind a gem-wall. To unlock the party-popper status, for instance, you’ll need to spend 500 gems!

That said, there is a workaround…

If you select one of the ‘premium’ status icons on desktop, I’ve noticed it will also carry over to your mobile device. So even though I haven’t unlocked the party-popper status on mobile yet, by selecting it on desktop I can display it on all devices.

So, if you’re running low on gems, and there’s a premium status you really want on mobile, consider heading over to desktop and setting it there.

There’s also a special status icon for winning the Diamond Tournament, which we’ll take a look at shortly!

All status icons (2023)

As of December 2023, there are a standard 12 status icons to choose from.

The majority are emojis that are the same for everyone. These include:

  • Cool Duo
  • Angry Duo
  • Party-Popper
  • 100
  • Flex
  • Turd
  • Eyes
  • Trophy*
  • Popcorn
  • Dumpster Fire**
  • Flag
  • Cat

Cool Duo, Party-Popper, Flex and Eyes are the 4 dynamic status icons on mobile, and (unless you get them for free on desktop) these will cost you 500 gems each.

On desktop, every status icon is static.

The only variable status icon is the Flag icon. This will always reflect the language course you were taking when you chose the icon. So if you’re learning Italian and you choose the Flag icon, you’ll get a little Italy flag next to your profile picture.

This remains the same even if you switch to another language course. So if you move to the Spanish course after choosing the Flag icon, you’ll still have the Italian flag next to your profile picture.

*The Trophy status icon gets replaced with the limited edition Diamond Tournament trophy if you manage to win the Diamond Tournament (more on that below).

**The Dumpster Fire status icon appears to get replaced with your Year in Review status icon (more below).

Limited edition and special status icons

You may have noticed some status icons in your leaderboards that I haven’t included above.

Some of these status icons include swords, planets and shooting stars. Duolingo dish them out every year as part of their Year in Review.

For instance, I’m currently rocking the limited edition sword icon for getting the Galactic Legend learner style…

The Year in Review status icons are usually only available for a few weeks after getting your Year in Review.

From what I remember, the 2022 statuses were available into early January before disappearing — so don’t get too attached to them!

To get your limited edition status icon, all you need to do is share your Year in Review when prompted. (Sometimes this will glitch so you might need to share it a few times in order to unlock it!)

Then, you can toggle between it and your other icons in the usual way…

Another special icon is the Diamond Tournament icon, which is a little purpley-blue trophy…

To unlock it you have to win the Diamond Tournament — which is no mean feat!

What do status icons mean?

Since Duolingo introduced status icons, a lot of users have been wondering what they mean.

To be honest, it’s hard to say! They’re just little emojis that you can put next to your profile picture. It’s not really that deep!

Although having said that, I’ve seen them used in at least 3 different ways since they were introduced.

Express a mood

The first way is to express a mood. I mean, that’s what emojis are for, right? To convey a feeling or emotion that might otherwise get lost in standard text.

So if you’re pumped to do your daily lessons, then you might feel like choosing the Flex icon.

Or perhaps you’re really not feeling it, in which case you might go with the Turd icon!

Show support

Another reason you might want to display a certain status icon is to show your support for something.

In most cases, you’ll end up using the Flag icon for this. It could be that you’re loving your Italian and you want everyone in your league to know about it!

I’ve also seen a lot of Ukraine flags popping up in the leaderboards over the last year as well. A lot of people have been learning Ukrainian to show their solidarity with Ukraine, and displaying the flag next to their names in the leaderboards is another little way of doing that.

React to others in your league

The other main use of status icons is to react to what’s going on in your league.

The main status icons for this are Angry Duo, Eyes and Popcorn.

Usually, you’ll see a lot of Angry Duo icons in the top positions of the league, as users battle it out to take number 1 spot! This happens a lot in the Diamond league as some of the XP totals are crazy high.

But the Eyes and Popcorn icons are also really common. These are definitely two of my favourites!

I tend to use them when everyone else in my league is racking up huge amounts of XP. I’ve never been that bothered about the leagues so it’s always good fun to see other users scrapping away to take the top positions!


For more tips, explanations and walkthroughs, feel free to follow me on Twitter.

You might also be interested in some of these guides:

How to change your Duolingo app icon

How to remove a language course on Duolingo

How to use Duolingo offline