Duolingo XP. It’s everywhere you look. Your profile, your league, your challenges, your stories. It’s inescapable.
It’s been around for as long as I can remember (and the owl has been blowing up my phone since 2014!).
But what exactly is XP? How do you earn it? And what does it mean in the grand scheme of things?
In this article, we’ll go through everything you need to know.
What is Duolingo XP?
XP is short for experience points. Whenever you complete something on Duolingo, you earn XP.
In theory, the more XP you have, the more advanced you are in your target languages.
In practice, however, this isn’t really the case, but we’ll get to that later.
How do you earn Duolingo XP?
There are lots of ways you can earn XP on Duolingo.
The most common way is the good old fashioned way: completing lessons.
For every lesson you complete, you’ll usually earn 10 XP. This is exactly the same in the easier lessons as it is in the harder lessons.
Depending on how many you get right in a row, you’ll earn a combo bonus. This can range from 1 to 5 XP.
When you complete the final lesson in a skill, you’ll earn 20 XP instead of the usual 10 XP (think of this as a reward for earning a crown).
Other ways you can earn XP include:
- Timed Challenges (e.g. XP Ramp Up)
- Mistakes Inbox (Plus)
- Audio Lessons
- Mastery Quiz (Plus)
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What’s the point of Duolingo XP?
Traditionally XP was always one of the main barometers of your Duolingo progress, way back before fancy things like Crowns came in.
Nowadays it’s pretty much all about your League. XP is the currency that matters in this domain. To make progress (or avoid demotion), you need to earn more XP than those around you.
It’s also used for measuring your streak. When you first boot up Duolingo you’re asked to set yourself a daily XP goal. This can be either 10, 20, 30 or 50 XP. In order to keep your streak alive, you need to hit your XP target every day.
Duolingo XP hacks – How to earn XP quickly
I’ll be honest, this isn’t something I’m really into.
For me, Duolingo is about learning a language. It’s not about getting loads of XP as quickly as possible.
If it’s not going to help me learn, then I’m just not interested.
But hey, we’re all different, and I know some people are into that kind of thing. Especially if you’re really invested in the league system or you’re looking to unlock some achievements.
And just to be clear: When I say ‘hacks’ I don’t mean it in a literal sense. You’re not going to get your account suspended for doing any of the below. They’re just shortcuts that will help you earn a lot of XP in a short amount of time.
So if you are looking to rack up XP quickly, here’s how:
The XP Boost is an essential tool for maxing out your XP.
Think of it as a steroid for your XP hauls. When active, XP Boost will double your XP earnings. So if you earn 15 XP at the end of a lesson, the Boost will double it to 30.
XP Boosts last for 15 minutes and can be unlocked by completing Crown levels.
Coasting through the beginner lessons is one of the easiest ways to rack up XP quickly.
There are only a few questions to answer in each. Turn off the listening and speaking exercises to get through them even quicker, and pop on an XP Boost to double your earnings.
Note however that you can only practice a completed skill for the full 10 XP once a day. After that, it comes down to 5, then 0.
XP Ramp Up
Same as for the beginner lessons. XP Ramp Up is ideal for blitzing your XP when you’re just starting out in a language course. The questions should be basic and you shouldn’t need to do too much typing.
There are a couple of variations, and the one you want is the Lightning Round. This format is usually available from Monday to Friday, every week.
Rinse, recycle, repeat for as long as you want. Turn off the listening and speaking exercises to give yourself a better chance of earning the full 40 XP. You should be able to do this every few minutes.
Note that XP Boosts don’t apply to XP Ramp Up.
This one is for the Plus members. They’re not that easy either. But if you know your way around your language, then Legendary Levels are a great way to rack up XP quickly.
Each successful level is worth 40 XP and can take anywhere from 2 to 5 minutes to complete. You get three lives and no hints, so you need to bring your A-game if you want to earn the full 40 XP.
If you manage to get 10 questions right, then you’ll still take home 20 XP.
And yes, XP Boosts do work for Legendary Levels. So go in with one of these bad boys active and you stand to earn a massive 80 XP per successful level!
Stories are awesome. They’re super interesting and genuinely help you with your language acquisition. They’re also a great way of racking up XP quickly.
A story can be worth anywhere from 14 to 28 XP. They’re usually pretty short and fairly easy to work through. You can also repeat them at your leisure so there’s a constant source of XP on offer.
Note however that XP Boosts don’t apply to stories.
How much XP do you need to be fluent?
This is a bit of a misleading question, as it suggests that XP bears any correlation to fluency in a language.
Let’s be really clear on this: It doesn’t.
In my experience, the best measure of proficiency in a language on Duolingo is your crown total. The more crowns you have in a language, the more advanced you’re likely to be.
Duolingo also has a scoring system (Duolingo Score) that they use to measure proficiency. If you tap on one of the unit castles in your lesson tree, you’ll see a typical score for learners who have completed it. The more units you complete, the more advanced you are likely to be in your language.
And as we’ve seen, XP can be gamed. You can rack up stacks of XP in a short space of time by completing easy lessons and rehashing old material. So it’s feasible that a learner with 10,000 XP is just as advanced, if not more so, than a learner with a 100,000.
Does Duolingo XP matter?
Which is why, in its current form, your XP doesn’t really matter that much.
A couple of minutes on XP Ramp Up can yield more XP than 20 minutes tackling challenging material.
The effort/reward balance is completely out of whack. Someone with 50,000 XP in French could be significantly further along in the language than someone with 100,000, if the person with 100,000 spends all their time taking shortcuts.
But this is what the league system encourages. Units and crowns won’t help you get to Diamond. It’s all about XP. And if the easiest way to earn XP is to take shortcuts, then that’s exactly what a lot of people are going to do — even if it doesn’t help them learn the language.
What does XP mean to you?
XP is one of the oldest measures of progress on Duolingo. But does it really matter?
Let me know what you think in the comments below!