If you live in constant fear of losing your Duolingo streak, then it might be time to get yourself some streak freezes!
A streak freeze gives your Duolingo streak some extra protection, and should allow you to rest easy at night!
In this article, I’ll guide you through everything you need to know about streak freezes. We’ll look at what they are, how you get them, how they work, and whether or not you should use them.
Let’s get into it!
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What is a Streak Freeze?
A streak freeze on Duolingo allows you to pause (or in this case ‘freeze’) your streak.
This means that if you miss a day — i.e. you don’t login and complete any lessons — then your streak won’t reset to 0.
A streak freeze is basically a safety net that gives your streak that extra bit of protection.
If you miss a day while a streak freeze is active, your streak will remain exactly the same, meaning you won’t lose it, but you won’t gain a day either.
For a streak freeze to work, you need to have one active before missing a day. It’s not something you activate after losing your streak!
How do you get streak freezes?
There are currently two ways to get a streak freeze.
The main way is through the Duolingo shop.
On mobile, simply tap the gems icon at the top of the screen…
Then scroll down to the streak section, find streak freeze, and tap the gems…
Each streak freeze costs 200 gems, so you’ll need to spend 400 gems for a full refill…
On desktop, click the shop icon…
Then, go over to your power-ups and equip your streak freezes…
I’ve already got them equipped in the example above, but a single streak freeze will cost you 10 lingots.
The other way to get streak freezes is through the streak society. Once you hit a certain tier, you’ll get the opportunity to activate an additional 3 streak freezes!
You’ll know if you’re eligible by checking your streak society goodies.
To do this, on mobile, tap the streak icon…
Swipe across to streak society and tap ‘enter now’…
Scroll through your rewards. If you’re eligible, you’ll have 3 extra freezes waiting for you. Tap ‘activate’…
As of February 2023, streak society is only available on mobile, so unfortunately you won’t be able to take advantage of the extra streak freezes if you only use desktop.
How many streak freezes can you have?
All Duolingo users start with a maxium capacity of 2 streak freezes.
This means that you can buy as many as 2 streak freezes at a time and they will both be active.
You can only buy as many streak freezes as your capacity allows. So if you can only have as many as 2 streak freezes, then you won’t be able to buy anymore if you already have 2 equipped.
You can only lose a streak freeze by using it, meaning there’s no expiry date!
If you’re a member of the streak society, your maxium streak freeze capacity is extended to 5.
In this case, the same rules apply — you can still only buy as many streak freezes as your capacity allows, so if you have 5 equipped, you won’t be able to buy any more.
That being said, I’ve noticed that if I equip all my streak freezes on mobile, then head over to desktop, for some reason it says I have 6/5 equipped…
I’ve no idea how I’ve managed to do this! Maybe it’s a glitch or there are some continuity issues between mobile and desktop. Feel free to drop a comment below if the same has happened to you!
How many times can you use a streak freeze?
You can use a streak freeze as often as you want — so long as you have one equipped, of course.
This means that you can use a streak freeze 2 days in a row.
In fact, so long as you have the gems to keep buying them, you could use a streak freeze every day for a year if you really wanted to!
This will keep your streak intact, without you needing to login and complete a lesson.
How to see your streak freezes
It’s really easy to keep track of your active streak freezes.
On mobile, simply tap the gems icon to open the Duolingo shop. You streak freezes will appear in your items section, which will also include things like XP boosts and timer boosts.
It’s basically the same process on desktop, as well. Simply click on the ‘shop’ icon and your active streak freezes will be showing in your power-ups section.
Should you use streak freezes?
Whether or not you should use streak freezes has long been a contentious question in the Duolingo community.
Some believe it defeats the purpose of having a streak, while others argue it’s a good way to keep them motivated.
Although I’ve got a full complement of streak freezes active, I’ve never actually used one. I’ve always wanted to keep my streak completely accurate, as this is what keeps me motivated!
However, we’re all different, and I can see it from both sides.
Let’s consider some of the Fors and Againsts to help you decide whether streak freezes are right for you!
One of the best things about maintaining a really long Duolingo streak is that the streak itself becomes really motivating.
The longer it becomes, the more you want to keep it.
This continues to reinforce itself, meaning you keep coming back to Duolingo again and again.
In the long run, this is really good for your language learning prospects.
Losing your streak, particularly a really long one, could be seriously demotivating and could result in you giving up.
So having a streak freeze in place helps to avoid this.
However, something to keep in mind is that using a streak freeze will mean your streak isn’t really a streak.
A streak is designed to reflect the number of consecutive days you’ve shown up and used Duolingo.
If you miss a few days here and there, but your streak remains intact, then to what extent is it really still a streak?
For many, the accuracy of the streak doesn’t matter. As above, the number itself, rather than its accuracy, is what matters, as this is what motivates them to keep coming back.
But for others, knowing that the streak has holes in it would be problematic.
Sometimes, life gets in the way. It’s not always possible to login in and do a lesson.
Perhaps you’ve been away on holiday in a place with limited internet connection.
Maybe you’ve been ill and haven’t been able to get to your phone.
Or perhaps you’ve just been so busy with life that Duolingo has naturally fallen down on your list of priorities.
In these scenarios, it’s understandable why you might want to use a streak freeze, especially if the number matters more than its accuracy.
My biggest concern about streak freezes has always been about how they affect the habits we form.
In my experience, learning a language requires consistent exposure over an extended period of time. That means even a few minutes a day, every day, is ideal.
Maintaining your Duolingo streak is one of the best ways of doing this. Not only does it motivate you to create that habit, but it’s also a good representation of the habit.
If you’re using streak freezes, however, then things become a little distorted.
In most cases and for most users, I don’t think there’s a problem using one when you absolutely need to (e.g. illness, work, no internet etc).
The problems start when you start using them too often.
Perhaps one day you just don’t feel like it. No worries, you can just use a streak freeze.
The problem is that now you’ve set a precedent — and I can guarantee it will happen again.
Over time, this will zap your language learning motivation, until eventually you may just give up altogether.
Anyone who tells you you can become fluent with Duolingo alone is lying.
It’s a great active learning tool — one of the best available if you ask me! — but you need to supplement it with other forms of active and passive learning.
One of the biggest mistakes many make is spending too much time on Duolingo and not enough time actually using the language they’re trying to learn.
It could be out of fear, laziness, or just not knowing what else to do!
Using a streak freeze is actually a good way of getting you off Duolingo for a bit — allowing you to explore other language learning avenues like TV shows, books, music, language exchange apps, etc — while also keeping your streak intact.
Because, if you think about it, are you more concerned with your Duolingo streak, or your language learning streak?
That’s definitely something to think about!
Most of the talk about whether to use streak freezes concerns things like motivation and accuracy.
But actually, it’s also worth pointing out that streak freezes aren’t cheap!
At 200 gems a pop, you’ll have to have a decent gem haul in order to keep using them.
Using streak freezes regularly, therefore, will put serious strain on your gem reserves.
Whether or not you want to use streak freezes is entirely down to you. There’s nothing wrong with it. So long as you use them to stay motivated, as opposed to because you don’t feel motivated, then you’ll be on the right track!
For more on streak freezes and other Duolingo-related goodness, feel free to follow me on Twitter.
You might also find some of these articles interesting:
- Duolingo Streak Society – Everything you need to know
- Super Duolingo Review
- 3 reasons to build your Duolingo streak (this needs updating, as my opinions have changed quite a bit, but it’s still a useful read!)