If you’re trying to win your Duolingo League, then you NEED to know about XP Boost. This little power-up won’t do much to help you learn a language, but it will help you earn a bucket load of XP!
So in this article, we’ll go through everything there is to know about XP Boost, including what it is, how you earn it, and the best way to use it.
Let’s dive in!
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What is an XP Boost?
An XP Boost is a power-up that temporarily doubles the amount of XP you can earn. It lasts for 15 minutes and applies to the XP you earn in the standard lessons.
Usually with a Boost active the maximum amount of XP you can earn is 30 XP: 10 XP for completing the lesson, 5 XP for a full combo bonus, multiplied by 2.
However, if you complete the final lesson of a level while the Boost is active, it can be as much as 50 XP: 20 XP for completing the lesson, 5 XP for a full combo bonus, multiplied by 2.
And if you complete a legendary level with your Boost active, you could as much as 90 XP!
The XP Boost only applies to the lessons you complete in your tree and the timed challenges, so you won’t earn double XP for things like stories or audio lessons.
How do you get an XP Boost?
As of December 2021, there are three ways to unlock XP Boosts.
The traditional way is to complete a crown level. When you earn a crown, you’ll usually bag yourself an XP Boost as well.
I say ‘usually’ as this only tends to apply to your first crown of the day. If you unlock another crown while your boost is active, you won’t unlock another boost. Once the boost expires, you should then be eligible to unlock another by earning another crown.
Keep in mind, however, that if you earn a crown by skipping a level you won’t unlock an XP Boost. The only way to unlock the boost is to complete the level fully.
When you unlock a boost in this way, you’ll get a notification confirming that it’s active for the next 15 minutes. Unfortunately, you can’t save it for later: you have to use it there and then, otherwise it goes to waste.
early bird reward
Another way to earn an XP Boost is to hop onto Duolingo as early as possible and complete a lesson.
For this you will earn an Early Bird Reward XP Boost.
This one differs from the crown-level XP Boost in that it doesn’t activate straight away; you have to wait until 6pm in your local time.
But the nice thing about this one is you get more choice over when you can use it.
Once the clock strikes 6, it will unlock in the Shop and you’ll be able to claim it at a time that suits you (so long as it’s on the same day you earn it).
To bag yourself an early bird reward, you just need to hop on and complete a lesson before midday.
The third way to earn an XP Boost is through the Practice Hub.
The Practice Hub is a pretty new feature and isn’t currently available to all users. As with the majority of Duolingo’s new features, it appears they’re doing a spot of A/B testing, so only some users will be able to unlock an XP Boost in this way.
It also appears to be a premium feature, so free users won’t be able to use this anyway.
Not to worry though, as it’s probably the least effective of the three methods. This is because you can only earn one XP Boost per week through the Practice Hub. You simply complete the week’s challenges (which should only take you about 10-15 minutes) and you’ll unlock your weekly Boost there and then.
You’ll then have to wait for the next week’s challenges in order to unlock another Boost.
How to know if you have an XP Boost active (and how long you have left)
There are a few ways you can figure out if you have an XP Boost active.
The best way is to navigate to your Shop screen, where it will tell you how much time you have remaining.
Sometimes you’ll also get a little badge on the left-hand side of your main lesson tree telling you your Boost is equipped and how much time you have left on it.
Alternatively, you can just wait until the end of a lesson and look at the XP you’ve earned. You should be able to spot whether it’s doubled or not, but if you’re still not sure, then just look at the colour: if the XP Boost has been applied, your XP will be in purple!
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How to use an XP Boost strategically
If you’re a regular reader then you’ll know I’m not the biggest fan of XP in its current form. It encourages bad habits and can distract you from your original goal of learning a language.
I prefer to spend my time watching TV shows, which research shows is one of the most effective ways to learn a language.
As such I’m not really bothered about the XP Boosts.
However, if you’re a big XP hunter then XP Boosts are something you’ll definitely want to factor into your accumulation strategy.
So here’s how to use your Boost effectively:
The traditional way
As I mentioned earlier, when you unlock an XP Boost the traditional way, you have to use it there and then. This means that if you unlock one at the end of your Duolingo sesh, you’re not going to get anything out of it.
The goal, then, is to make sure you unlock your Boosts at the beginning of your daily Duolingo sessions.
To do this, you will need to ensure that your first lesson of the day is the final lesson of a skill level (i.e. the one that earns you a crown). You can do this by getting yourself to the very end of a skill level the day before, so you’re nicely set up at beginning of the next day.
Doing this will ensure that all of the XP you earn following your first lesson is doubled for 15 minutes.
What you’ll notice with this strategy is that you can do the same lessons and commit the same amount of time, but get a lot more XP for your efforts.
So if you’re desperate to win your Duolingo League, this is an approach you’ll definitely want to take advantage of!
the early bird way
Another strategy you might want to adopt is to spread your daily Duolingo lessons across the day, rather than completing them all at once.
With this strategy, you’ll want to complete one of your lessons as early as possible to give yourself the best chance of earning the Early Bird Reward. A great time to do this would be over breakfast or on your commute to work (if you’re not driving, of course!).
Then, come back to Duolingo later in the day to complete some more lessons with the Early Bird XP Boost active. This way you’ll still be racking up the same number of daily minutes on Duolingo, but you’ll also rack up a lot more XP as well.
For best results, consider combining this with the traditional way of earning XP Boosts. Complete crown levels early in the day so you can double your XP there and then. Then come back to Duolingo later in the day for some more lessons with the Early Bird Reward Boost active.
What do you think of XP Boosts?
In the grand scheme of things I don’t think XP Boosts are particularly important. For me, learning a language comes first, and everything else — such as what league I’m in — comes second.
But what do you think about XP Boosts?
Do you factor them in to your daily Duolingo sessions?
Do you think they give some users an unfair advantage?
As always, let me know in the comments!
I think that it is worth mentioning that the xp boost doubles for the legendary levels as well so it can give you a bunch of xp doubling the 25 you get from those. another way to use them well is doubling the double xp challenges, or hard mode this way you can get 4x xp! thanks for the article i enjoyed the read!
Great shout, Alex! Both excellent ways to get more out of your XP Boosts!
I notice I get XP boosts when I use my Android phone, but not when I use my MacBook.
Yes, it annoys me too because suddenly I do Duolingo more often on the application of my phone than on the web browser of my computer.
A hack that I use with the XP boost is using the boost on legendary challenges. That way you could possibly end up earning minimum 80XP and maximum 90XP. So if you’re trying to win a league that’s definitely a route to success.
That’s a really great shout!
I just started using Duolingo more seriously and I notice what you mean. it can seriously make someone forget about the main goal-which is learning the language- and getting anxious about winning a league! because to win lots of XP, you have to learn lots of lessons in a short amount of time and it lessens the quality of your learning(at least for me).
On the other hand, since only first 10 can advance to the next level, if the competition is intense, you don’t have any choice but to gain lots of XP in order progress in your learning journey! otherwise you stay in a league forever if you don’t care that much about XP.
So I guess the key is to find a middle way.
In my opinion the competition and earning XP helps you to stay motivated on the short term. In the end that will help you to keep learning on the long term.
It doesn’t work off line! I got a boost just as I was taking off and had to switch to airplane mode. All the lessons I did in the air were normal XP, and when I landed it had expired. 🙁
It is good for those like me who has a goal of doing at least something every day. Getting a boost keeps me on Duolingo at least 15 minutes)) with the hopes I won’t fall out of the league on some other day. As I study multiple languages there, there is always some with a crown level approaching. Sometimes it even motivates me to take another 15 minutes. While on other days I can just do one lesson.
I’ve gotten the “You’ve earned the Early Bird bonus” pop up several times—usually message indicates “boost” will be available to unlock in “x” hours. DANG if I can find the Boost when I go back to check later.
Anyone else had this experience?
I ended up here googling this as it’s the first time I’ve had it happen and the Early Bird Reward is showing up in the Shop section under Special Offers. It gives the option to Claim Reward and says it expires at midnight. I’m not sure how long it lasts so I guess I will find out later when I click it!
I’ve gotta admit I don’t like the XP league thing. Mostly because I’m incredibly competitive and so I am focusing on the competition and not learning and so I’ll kind of rush through lessons and not really focus on what I’m learning.
It’s helped me build the habit but now I kind of need to rein it in. It’s also added anxiety and honestly a negative feeling about the app. I keep telling myself I’ll just get to diamond and I’ll stop… It’s stupid, it’s meaningless, and my dumb human brain fell for it.
I hate that we cant us our laptops for the XP. Even the crown XP doesn’t show up on my computer. Thats incredibly annoying since learning (typing/navigating the lesson) is so much easier on the laptop.
I do a lesson before noon to unlock Boost after 6pm, before Midnight. Sometimes I get and extra boost for Happy Hour. When is Happy Hour ?
I use these xp tricks in my iPhone but was disappointed to find the Android app didn’t grant me an early bird boost, nor even list it as an option in the shop.
Another note – the timing of using the boost is different between legendary crown tests and normal ones. For legendary the double points is locked in when you start the test – you can see it says 80 at the top right progress bar instead of 40. Then you can take as long as you like even if it goes over the 15 mins.
But for normal tests the doubling time is checked at the end, so sometimes you take too long and miss it by the end – which I find makes me hurry, not pay attention, make more mistakes, which takes longer and so I’m more likely to miss it anyway!
I agree with the others that the points system can distract you from the learning.
I’m at unit 6 in Spanish and I think I’ll quit trying to stay in the diamond league after this, as it’s got unnecessarily stressful! Some of the super players are ridiculously active I honestly don’t know how they score like 2000 or 5000 points per day without cheating (like re-listening to the podcasts all day or something).
I just wish you could turn off the leagues thing altogether. I don’t want to be told I’ve “failed” because I choose not to compete!
For racking up xp when I want to get in the top 3, I have a couple strategies:
– For Android, install Gboard and also any languages you’re studying. It will suggest completions on words, so you don’t have to type the whole thing and risk typos (some typos Duo will forgive, such as accent characters, but some typos, no). And if you don’t mistype too much, it will suggest the word you’re looking for anyway. Sometimes you might have to pluralize it or it will suggest the masculine form before the feminine form, so you have to watch out a little there.
– I have a “sugar language” – one that I only completed enough lessons to activate the challenges. I did this with Spanish after I started struggling to complete challenges on time with the main language I was trying to learn, French. Now I occasionally brush up on a limited set of Spanish words from time to time, so I can rack up XP fast when desired. This, along with the auto-complete, allows me to finish a 40xp challenge usually under 1:10. I’ve gotten as low as 48s. Depends on how much typing you have to do. It’s been a long time since I failed on one.
I don’t get too carried away with the XP, but it helps to get you out of the demotion zone. I think the speed required in the challenges are helpful as well. In a real world conversation, you have to think faster and more fluidly. But since I don’t do it much in the main language I’m trying to learn, and the Spanish vocabulary is intentionally very limited, there’s probably little benefit.
I had the early bird EP for a while and then the option just went away. Why is that?
I agree that the competition takes over. It’s really annoying that I don’t get double xps when using the iPad as it’s actually much easier for me. I do believe it focuses away from learning the language.
I wish they would incorporate a way to turn off the league competition or opt in. Some people love the competitive motivation and others find it distracting. Choice! Also I wish you could have the leagues be premium users and free version users separated.
Do xp boost work with restoring skills as well?
Though I have mixed feelings about the xp competition…
is the boost only available on mobile device ? Because I never received any 15 minutes boost , I use Duolingo a lot, and I should have “received’ this.
… I managed to finish #1 in the diamond league, without any boost ! (2 times)
but for sure, sometimes I didn’t understand, how people could get so many xps in a so short time…
…there seem to be ways to cheat massively, I am currently in a league where the top opponent managed to score above 8000XP in one hour…
If I use all the tricks (early bird, alternating between crowns and legendary or even skipping units with xp-boost active) hardly can get over 2000XP per hour…
Obviously this has nothing to do with learning, but rather racing through assumptions.
Also the figure of 2000 is strictly using languages I’m perfect in already.
How come XP boosts are not available when using Duolingo on a laptop/computer ?
Also when I have an XP boost and using Duolingo on my iphone, it doesn’t work and I end up not earning the number I should be getting. Sometimes I even LOSE point (?!!).
I have sent several emails to Duolingo support about this but never got any answer.
My motivation is rapidly disintegrating because of the frustration…
I never got any “boost” !!!! (at legendary level, of course I earn more XP per lessons).
Is it because I do Duolingo on PC ???
I did over 2000 crowns. I also did it many times at midnight (can’t do it earlier). Zero boost ever.
(However, all crowns have disappeared, in october 2022)
I definitely don’t like to do Duolingo on mobile phone. I go so much faster on the computer. (and the android simulator is not efficient, I gave up to use it).
I understand that’s useful to do A/B test, but I would have been glad to get sometimes a little sparkle, too.
You are correct, the XP boosts being discussed are not available when you’re doing Duolingo on your PC.
I wish you could use the boosts in the browser mode. I have an easier time doing more lessons consecutively when I can run Duo on my PC with a physical keyboard
Although, thinking about it, that may be why they haven’t put XP boosts in browser mode 😛