Duolingo XP Boost - Everything you need to know

Duolingo XP Boost – EVERYTHING You Need To Know

[Last updated: February 21, 2022]

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.

The XP Boost only applies to the lessons you complete in your tree, so you won’t earn double XP for things like Stories, Audio Lessons or Ramp Up.

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 at least 6 hours before you can use it.

But the nice thing about this one is you get more choice over when you can use it.

After 6 hours have passed, 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).

In my experience, the best time to complete a lesson to earn the Early Bird Reward is sometime between 00:00 and 09:00. I think it’s based on how soon you complete a lesson compared to other users, so the sooner you complete a lesson, the better!

Practice Hub

The third way to earn an XP Boost is through the Practice Hub.

Practice Hub Duolingo

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 Plus 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 three challenges (which should only take you about 10-15 minutes) and you’ll unlock your weekly Boost there and then.

Practice Hub XP Boost

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!