https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Miiichaela

Leaderboards made Duolingo less fun for me

EDIT: To clarify, I no longer engage with the leaderboards at all. I simply ignore them. That is not a problem. My point here is that the few weeks I spent participating in the competition have left a permanent impact on how I feel about using Duolingo every day, because it made me burn out and feel discouraged. I haven't been able to return to my previous level of enjoyment.


So, I have been on a constant streak ever since the day I installed the app—over 8 months. I used to enjoy it every day, using the app multiple times a day, regularly going over my daily 50xp goal.

I am a competitive person, and when the leaderboards started, I wanted to give it a real shot. I used the app more than ever until I reached the ruby league. Within a DAY, someone else was already approaching 2,000 xp. I spent all of my free time trying to catch up and I stopped enjoying myself. I finally decided that participation was not worth the stress.

In my experience, there is really nothing to look forward to with this feature. What am I going to do with more lingots? In the Clubs, there was always something to look forward to, because we could interact with each other and entertain each other with funny responses. There was still an element of competition, and it was easier to win.

I feel that the leaderboard feature pushed me past the point of meaningful learning in order to grind out a ridiculous number of points, and I haven't been able to get back my previous level of enjoyment. I still practice daily, but now it feels like a chore, and that makes me sad.

July 30, 2019

142 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kiyomice

Some people simply enjoy competition and in some cases it helps motivate them to do more than they usually would. It can be fun.

Of course, not all people feel this way, and that's fine too.

July 30, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Szei

Before I begin, I'll just say that you should be able to opt out of leaderboards.

That said, leaderboards were actually beneficial for me until I got to Ruby and I personally like them.

The key is to not take them too seriously. I mostly ignored them, but would check once a day and if it looked like I was close to the promotion threshold I would do some extra lessons. In other words, I would do more of my usual routine which was helpful.

The problem for some is that leaderboards cause them to do less beneficial things that they wouldn't normally do just to get more exp (for example, repeating easy lessons over and over).

I can't fix leaderboards for people who take them too seriously to the point of being harmful, but I can suggest a fix to leaderboards for people like me who found them beneficial but flawed.

I have 2 problems with leaderboards.

1. It's too quick to get to Ruby after which leaderboards become meaningless

What they could do is divide each league (Ruby, Diamond, Gold, etc) into multiple tiers to improve the longevity of leaderboards for those of us who like them (again, there should also be an option to opt out entirely).

For example:

  • Ruby 1
  • Ruby 2
  • Ruby 3
  • Diamond 1
  • Diamond 2
  • Diamond 3
  • Gold 1
  • Gold 2
  • Gold 3
  • Silver 1
  • Silver 2
  • Silver 3
  • Bronze 1
  • Bronze 2
  • Bronze 3

2. The fraction of people who do not get promoted or demoted each week is too high. It makes leaderboards less meaningful.

In most leagues, only 15/50 people (30%) will change leagues each week. In the suggestion below, 30/50 people (60%) will change leagues which keeps the leaderboards relevant for those of us who like them (again, if you don't like leaderboards, there should be an option to opt out entirely).

  • Rank 1-5 move up 3 leagues (for example, top 5 in Silver 3 would move up to Gold 3).
  • Rank 6-10 move up 2 leagues (for example, from Silver 3 to Silver 1).
  • Rank 11-15 move up 1 league (for example, from Silver 3 to Silver 2).
  • Rank 16 - 35 stay in current league
  • Rank 36-40 move down 1 league (for example, from Silver 3 to Bronze 1).
  • Rank 41-45 move down 2 leagues (for example, from Silver 3 to Bronze 2).
  • Rank 46-50 move down 3 leagues (for example, from Silver 3 to Bronze 3).

Finally, I just wanted to repeat that you should be able to opt out of leaderboards if you don't like them. These suggestions are aimed towards people who like leaderboards. If you don't, then the option to opt out should be made available.

July 31, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kiyomice

I wish Duolingo would give the option to opt out, but unfortunately I doubt it will happen.

July 31, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/NAMTRAN232238

It does. First, go into privacy, and turn off "Make my profile public", and goodbye Leaderboard.

August 1, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kiyomice

That's not the same thing as being able to simply opt out of the leaderboards. I don't want my profile private.

August 1, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/WASHEDINTHEBLOOD

i agree that many people dont like it, but i do. you should have an enable or disable.

August 1, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Cathy351269

This only hides the leaderboards from you. You are still in a league, and you will drop down to the next lower league each week until you are back down to bronze. I don't want to have to make my profile private -- I want my teams back!

August 1, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/xXLiza_KinderXx

thanks so much i will give you a lingot if it works!

August 1, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/xXLiza_KinderXx

it worked thanks NAMTRAN232238

August 1, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/f20s29

Thanks so much! I am out of the leaderboards now!

August 1, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Philxzy

thank you !

August 1, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jennifer899861

Worked like a charm! Thank you!

August 1, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PewDiePie653762

great suggestion

July 31, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AutumnJunior

I think its Saphire

August 1, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/fallingleaf_271

Great idea! I wish the Duolingo team would add this.

August 2, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Oliochi

I strongly agree with this point

July 31, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PotatoSanta

Saying any form of motivation is fine would be a good response if Duolingo kept the other motivation options available.

August 1, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AnoschNoori

damn how many languages can you speak irl??

August 1, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jay709846

I like the leader boards, though I respect everybody's opinion as much as I can.

August 1, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/lil_ray_07

me too

August 2, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mwbrand1

Many people on Duolingo have reached the same conclusion as you. Here's two of the best posts on this topic with a lot of discussion:
Leagues turned me into a person I wasn't. (My story of cheating to get to the top)

Leaderboards should be optional

I haven't been able to get back my previous level of enjoyment with Duolingo, and that makes me sad.

I disabled the leagues by setting my profile to private. After that, I quickly returned to my previous level of enjoyment.

To disable leagues, go to Settings/Privacy and un-check: Make my profile public. If you don't want to set your profile private, here is a post that tells you how to block the learderboards: https://forum.duolingo.com/comment/33039989

July 31, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LICA98

they won't tho as they're just seeking attention

August 2, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/annefrank_301

I don't mind the leaderboards but once your at the ruby league its too hard! I think the top 10 should get rewards instead of the top 3 in the ruby league. And it should be more gems than just 5,10 and 15 gems. But they should update the shop! The shop should have way more stuff you could buy with your gems like other bonus courses, tests and stuff to dress up Duo! Gems are basicly worthless!

July 31, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Aleezium

At this point I would even spend Lingots on different color themes for the app or website.

July 31, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Miiichaela

Me too

July 31, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/alouisaw

Same here!! Or vocabulary lists or something

July 31, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/WVJoy

I would like to be able to get "immersion" dialogues that you can listen to at regular speed, then 3/4 speed. That was how I learned Italian in college - decades ago.

July 31, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Miiichaela

I completely agree!

July 31, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DanielleNo676236

Yah, they should peddle in Duo-Plus content... like make ad's go away for 2 days. Why do I want a streak amulet....again? I Duo more on weekends anyways.

July 31, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Msanjose1

annefrank_301 - Have you considered giving your lingots to people who are just starting out in Duolingo? What may be worthless to you could really help someone maintain their streak or buy extra hearts. If nothing else, it could give them a boost in confidence.

August 1, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RobertPetm

Is there a way to give people lingots other than through the forum?

August 1, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Msanjose1

RobertPetm - I don't think so. If you know someone that you want to give lingots to, have them comment to any post.

To speed up the process, hold down the Enter key while you are clicking on the "Give Lingot" link. I tried it on your post and gave you four.

August 1, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/walian21

I had a guy last week who collected over 10000 points in a week. How??? Do you have a life?

July 31, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KVRMx

Yeah. Currently, I’m at 3,100. Leader of my ruby league. I’ve won the first, second, and third prize previously in the ruby league. Do I feel like I’ve achieved anything worthwhile? Not really. Am I enjoying myself no. I fluctuate between wanting to set my settings to privacy or trying to be more balanced in my thinking. I try not to be a competitive person but this new system brings out the worst in me.

July 31, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Anastasia_LL

It's not impossible, but if you literally spend almost all the time training. A curious story happened to me last week. Last week I had quite a lot of free time and spent it on Duolingo (not because of the competition itself, but it was really fun for me. I also used tests-outs for some languages I already know to reach a higher level and stories. So sometimes I was getting more points than average). But I could never reach #1 in the list. The more points I was getting the higher gap there was. If I got say 500 more points that person also got about 600. When I got about 1000 points, she got 1100 more. But she didn't do it constantly, only when I was approaching to her level. And even in the early morning. I wondered what she was learning and was surprised that she was only learning one language: English from a local language. And she had reached the highest level a long time ago and was just repeating the same tests over and over (she had about 200,000 points in English). That made me even think it was a bot, but I am not sure. At least it is a very weird behavior.

August 1, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PewDiePie653762

easy, you can redo stories. they might be doing the same story over and over and getting 20 xp every time

July 31, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PhilTaylor173273

I will redo lessons that are gold, but it is not for points. I need to review all the stuff I have learned in order to progress further from a strong knowledge base. I have no one to practice with, so without using or reviewing, I will lose all I have learned.

August 3, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/OswinHull

They should really put something where you can't do the same lesson over again more than a few times after gold.

July 31, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jay709846

He probably doesn't do anything else. Better than fortnite, but obviously he has a few health issues. No offence dude. I had a guy who got 2347 xp on monday.

August 1, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/coheight14

Duo is being used for teaching now. This could be a teacher or a dedicated student who is pushing themselves to be better for the upcoming school year...Maybe?

July 31, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Msanjose1

walian21 - Please don't be so judgmental of those who are high achievers. To be sure, there are cheaters in the Duo world, those that do the same lessons over and over and over and over again just to get points. (You can tell by going on Duome and seeing that they have not leveled up or learned anything new in a while.) That said, there are quite a bit of true achievers on this site. I don't know them personally but I am certain they have a life. Would you say that Elon Musk or Bill Gates or Zuckerberg didn't have a life before they "made it"? These people are not my heroes per se but I mention them because most people have heard of them. And the argument that you use is that if people achieve so much, the rest of their life must be empty.

One of the people I am following has nearly one and half million XPs with so many golden owls, I can't even remember. He is not likely a bot as I've seen him comment on the boards. I also know he has a Youtube site.

So he definitely has a life, perhaps not as exciting as yours, but it is still his life. Please don't be so dismissive of people's efforts and accomplishments.

August 1, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/xXLiza_KinderXx

i totally agree!

August 1, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/anomalousjack

I wouldn't pay too much attention to the leaderboard thing if I were you. Besides, how does someone get 2000 points in a week? Well, that might not be as mysterious as it first seems when you think about it.

If you're already well advanced in your language learning, to practice one of the first, let's say, four units in the tree should take you about 2 mins right. So, if you just keep practising those first few units over and over while others are taking on new units, consulting dictionary, posting in discussions etc you're bound to rise to the top of the leaderboard. But then you're in a totally different game altogether, one that has very little to do with language learning, but rather of competing with other people doing the same thing as you to see who can end up on top each week. So you see, you can't really compete with that, at least not if you are here to learn anything useful.

Now there are those people who can have fun with video games for an hour or so. Nothing wrong with that. But then there are always those who will spend hour after hour locked in their rooms, downloading the latest cheats, doing whatever it takes just to end up at the top of a list of names. Unfortunately, the gamification elements of Duo encourage that kind of thing. So just enjoy, and when the fun goes out of it, or you feel you're not learning anything anymore, it's time to stop.

July 31, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/coheight14

I can gain upwards of 1500 points a week but that is only because I work from home and when work is slow and I have the place to myself, I practice, practice, practice. However, it has taken some of the "fun" away from learning to be constantly seeing my position on the leaderboard and comparing myself against others. It's all mental, I guess.

I think one of the main take-aways from what I'm getting at is that we should be trying to practice every day (if possible) to work on our chosen language (or languages). Life gets in the way and sometimes that streak you're chasing just is not as important as other events that come up!

July 31, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/anomalousjack

Thanks to anyone who is posting in response to my post and sharing your experiences. I should add that the point of my post is to show how easily the leaderboards can be cheated and that the Duo system is weak and flawed. It's not my intention to demerit anyone's genuine hard work.

July 31, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/OswinHull

I'm one of those 2000 point a week people. Actually I probably get more than that in a week. Right now I'm like halfway though the Spanish tree. I cycle through like twenty lessons on different skills and I probably start a new skill every day or two. Takes me about 1 hour in the morning and an hour at night. I feel like if I can't go through the lesson really quick without having to think a lot I don't have a good enough grasp of the material. Anyway I think the way I'm doing it is very useful from a learning perspective. I'm not just trying to mine points. Because I cover a pretty large scope of material every day and add new words every day it helps me a lot to learn new words, sentence structures, etc and retain them over time. Also if I wasn't doing that much per day it would probably take years to get through all the material. I also do a lot of stuff other than duolingo. I'm trying to learn the language as fast as I can and I'm putting the work. Maybe some people just mine points but I'm in the ruby league and right now I'm second place. I feel like I could easily spend more time in duolingo and it would be time well spent in terms of learning. So I don't really see a problem with people mining points. I think it just depends on how much you want to use duolingo. So far I think its a really good tool. I don't know if you can really over use it unless you are literally just doing the same lesson over and over that you already have gold on.

July 31, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AidanBarry

I'm similar, I try to work through an entire skill in a day (60 lessons), add in a story and some revision of previous material and that's 1,000 odd points, and it takes about 2 hours a day (typically 3 sessions of 40-odd minutes).

It's what I do instead of playing video games or watching sit-coms.

I don't give a damn about leaderboards, I do this because I want to be able to talk to my wife in her native language, and she doesn't have the patience at my current ability.

August 1, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Miiichaela

It is definitely realistic to get 2,000 XP in a week, but this was in a single DAY.

July 31, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/anomalousjack

It's bizarre! A number of people working in shifts maybe? Or a bot or hack of some kind? It's a terrible representation of achievement because people are at different levels and doing different languages. Besides, you can create your own mini leaderboard by friending people anyway (the only real benefit of friending people that I can see), so I don't really see the point of this feature as it is.

August 1, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AidanBarry

Have you never been bored before? 2,000 XP takes about 3-4 hours - I know plenty of people who can play video games, or watch daytime TV for that long. I can easily read a book for that long, I can also spend that much time on Duo in a day if I've got nothing else to do (not in one sitting though, my brain would fry).

You do you. Other people doing what they do isn't a comment on you at all.

August 2, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/NicolaToom2

I'm also getting a lot of points every week at the moment. This is because I am learning four languages and I'm at quite an early stage in learning some new writing scripts (Japanese and Arabic). I need frequent repetition to help me learn the new systems. I aim for 100xp on each language each day, which takes me about an hour all together. I really enjoy it, I would do more if I had more time. It's got nothing to do with mining points.

July 31, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PhilTaylor173273

I will redo lessons that are gold, but it is not for points. I need to review all the stuff I have learned in order to progress further from a strong knowledge base. I have no one to practice with, so without using or reviewing, I will lose all I have learned.

August 3, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Boo721127

I'm extremely competitive, but...

The first time I saw someone with 2000XP on Monday, I knew I had to draw the line and not even try to beat that. I couldn't even get to 700XP on the rare slow days when I didn't have much work to do, it would be insane to try for three times as much for an entire week.

It does help that, for some reason, my brain doesn't see gathering XP as the most important thing here. Getting something wrong (usually due to typing like a raging maniac instead of carefully like the normal person) is a thousand more times frustrating than not being first.

I want to be able to carry out a proper conversation in German. That's my goal here, the sole reason why I signed up. Sure, I do enjoy the game aspect of it, maintaining my streak and placing high are motivating. But at the end of the day, they're just how I plan to move closer to my goal, not the goal itself.

I go to Germany a few times a year because, well, it happens to be the closest and cheapest place where so much of what I find interesting happens. And I may like my space to myself, but when I'm around people, I want to talk to them and it's so insanely frustrating not to be able to express myself with ease. I'd say with the same ease I express myself in English, but that feels so far away. Yet, it is what I really want.

My current level does make a whole world of difference (which is something I never realised until I went alone to a country where I didn't speak the language at all and most people didn't know any foreign languages). I can ask for/ give directions, read signs, understand announcements, have a basic conversation with the hotel staff, read ingredients when I'm shopping. But I couldn't carry out a real conversation, for example say all I've written here in German without mistakes, without awkward constructions, without awkward breaks.

Fixing that would be my trophy, not being first here every week. I'll still try my best with the leaderboards as well, but that's not the main priority.

Today, for example, I'm at a more grammar-heavy lesson. I've gone way past my 50, but I can't focus on XP when grammar is where I'm starting from almost zero with this course. All my German knowledge prior to Duolingo was from watching TV (RTL, ProSieben...), staring at labels on various things (sweets, cosmetics and the likes) and actually going there. Which means that, while I haven't added too many words to my vocabulary, I have been able to finally understand a lot about the way sentences are constructed. So it would be a very bad idea to put gathering XP before trying to improve where I need the most.

July 31, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DanielleNo676236

yah, You cant put an XP number on participating In Real Life! (let alone every other study method... books, TV) Is it bad I try to think of it that way though? :) IRL i think of it in terms of like... exposure minutes/hours. But then not every minute of listening to the radio is actually that precious Learning Zone where you "level up" ....Ah, its so hard to actually watch yourself get better. Believe me, it's more amazing to watch other people progress in language as a teacher, or parent. Im sure you have friends that can hear the difference every other month!

July 31, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/3linguist

Same, Michaela. Some is already approaching 2,000+ XP whilst I am lingering at the bottom trying to catch up. But hey, at least we all are learning something while we're at it, right?

July 30, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Msanjose1

Miiichaela - I'm sorry, a thousand times, I am truly.

I still participate in the leagues but I still generally hate them. They motivated me somewhat so that was a positive. By looking at Duome, I saw a lot of people who were genuinely aggressively pursuing learning. But I saw more people who were racking up points by practicing the same basic schtick over and over and over and over and over and over .... So depressing to even be near those people. But I have learned to focus on those that are trying to learn.

As if the "cheating" wasn't gross enough, there have been a few disgusting avatars. One week, I almost got demoted because I couldn't look at the league standings because one dude had the ugliest avatar ever. Just thinking of it right now makes me feel dirty.

I recently came across this quote and it has helped me avert my focus from negative people. "I AM HERE TODAY TO CROSS THE SWAMP, NOT TO FIGHT ALL THE ALLIGATORS." (It is from a book called the Art of Possibility.)

I hope you find your Duolingo stride again.

August 1, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Miiichaela

Thank you for this response, and that's such a great quote to keep in mind!

August 1, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/gracie.anne7101

I thought Duolingo was about learning languages, not about who can do more activities than someone else. I always make sure I understand something, instead of looking at the leaderboard.

July 31, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mimmymonster

I can completely see that. I used to feel that way about leaderboards but I have to say it’s actually started to motivate me to do more. As someone who has considered themselves a beginner for the last couple years (okay a decade) I never believed I’d move past bronze. If it bothers you don’t even click it. I try to keep unnecessary competition out of sight. I too wish there was more motivation though. Maybe make New outfits. Have a checklist of achievements or a better “store” to spend the lingots

July 31, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/WVJoy

The love of learning gets quashed in a leader board. For someone like me, who works about 85 hours a week, I can only do so much Duo. I get up at 04:15 to do Duo while I drink my coffee. On my day off, I do a little extra. The quizzes are even more depressing - when they kick you to the demerit list, it really makes you feel like - what is the point?

July 31, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/anomalousjack

Your post is a very poignant one and highlights very well the negative aspects of gamification on Duo. I always believed the leaderboards were a badly thought out idea that have been poorly implemented and that users should have option to opt in or out of leagues. Your post convinces me even further in that belief.

July 31, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SPortz

SO true!

August 2, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SmashCookie

Same story, I disabled the leagues, it just isn't worthy to spend that much time, it isn't optimal for learning.

Althought I miss seeing my friends on the normal xp scoreboards I feel better learning at my own pace without any incentive to earn exp.

July 31, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Scrapple8

On my boards Duolingo has introduced a new feature called group rewards. I just started noticing this 2-3 weeks ago. If the 50 people the group get an aggregate 35K points, everyone in the group gets 25 lingots. So if you get stuck in a competitive group where you have to get 3000, 4000 or more XP to get a prize you will probably reach your group goal by midweek. That is what you used to get by finishing third when they had no group rewards.

July 31, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ConnorH2

I struggled at first with the leaderboard but now I've just let go of caring. I haven't dropped below 45th yet so haven't ever dropped down a league, and that's all I worry about. Been in Gold League for about 3 weeks because I just can't crack the top 10, but hey, I'm more competitive with myself than anyone else - the only thing that pisses me off is when I finish a week having gained less XP than I had the week before.

July 31, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Alan518560

I found the leaderboard by accident, but I agree with what you say. At the moment I'm working below my true level but want to complete the lessons in their correct order, so to speak. This means I can pile up massive XP without really trying-doesn't mean anything though. I think you can turn the feature off with the phone app, if you wish.

July 31, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MaryBalzot

Maybe there should be a leaderboard for streaks. Steady practice and growth is better than a day or two using this course as a video game.

July 31, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/J.Luxe

That's sad that using Duo now feels like a chore to you.

I set my profile to private once I noticed the leaderboards. Doing that allowed me to not see them.

However, most recently, I decided to make my profile public again...and voila! The leaderboard is in my line of vision again.

For some reason, I can overlook it now and not care about being involved with it. Maybe it's because I know that it doesn't have much to do with how I learn my target language. Knowing that makes it easy for me to dismiss.

August 1, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TavarishKotik

Same. I suffer from anxiety and cannot stand the pressure, so I set my profile to private as soon as the feature was implemented. It would be driving me mad otherwise.

August 1, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AmalieB39

I didn't like the leaderboards at first, because there were obviously people who were not putting in true effort to gain their XPs. I stuck with it and progressed to the next level each week, just to see if Duolingo would deal with those exploiting the system and to find out if the competition would help my learning. I'm now staying in the Ruby League.

The caveat: I'm one of those who doesn't have the opportunity for an active life, so I can spend hours on Duolingo daily, if I choose to. I work on Skills that are below Level 5 for the first 100-200 XPs daily (until my brain basically says, "No more! Enough!"); and then I do Timed Practice on specific skills or global strengthening. I've been surprised at how much better I've gotten at scanning sentences, locating key words or simply comprehending it all quickly, and all the hard, fast practice is making specific sentences and grammatical constructions become more rooted in my long-term memory.

I can certainly understand the frustration of those with more responsibilities and less time for Duolingo. There's no way to gain lots of XPs without the time to work on it. But for those of us who do have the time, it can be of real benefit. The competition just encourages me to work harder. And if I get tired of it, I too will just step away. I will still have gained a lot by participating while I wanted to.

August 1, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MichaelRGB

I sympathize, but I had the exact opposite response. I'm learning more and more effectively because I, for some reason, care about those numbers on the board. It helps me engage more to see that I'm neck and neck with someone and we keep passing each other. I also do more of those earlier exercises now and not just the more complicated skills, and I'm realizing how far I've come and am also able to really brush up on what I forgot. This also is giving me more motivation.

And, before the new updates, I felt like I had little reason to go back and do early lessons, but now I actually am back in the swing of things again. I might just be a different kind of person, but I love the competition with the new system, given that people aren't cheating the system and are doing lessons they need to work on.

I'm not focusing on the leaderboards solely, but using them to help me stay motivated for when I get bored of this or that or the other. Try maintaining and promoting, but dont worry about being in the top 3 all the time. The chests really don't seem worth it. Hope this helps.

August 1, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Msanjose1

MichaelRGB - I am glad you are able to use what is working for you. Ignore the rest. That is pretty much how to make it in Duolingo. Gave you a few lingots.

August 1, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MemberOfBigDiam

Get streak protection and take a day and a half off

July 31, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Miiichaela

Not a bad idea, I never thought of skipping a day on purpose...

July 31, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/poptartrainboww

I agree, I also find them stressful and try to just ignore them. But they are always visible. It would be better if you could choose if you wanted to participate in competitions against other players, instead of It happening automatically and always have them right in your line of vision.

July 31, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/anomalousjack

And who are these people? They aren't even studying the same language as me!

July 31, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/George776941

I think that it would be nice to be able to interact with other players. The few that would try and make it a dating opportunity would need to be dealt with; I understand this. But to eliminate discussions takes away other opportunities.

August 1, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/J-Dusa

My experience kind of followed yours, but then veered away. Regarding the Leader Boards, when I first discovered them, I came...I saw...I conquered. I wanted to be (and STAY!) numero UNO!! Then, I realized I wasn't taking the time to really UNDERSTAND the whats and whys, bc I was hurrying to get through the lesson... to make sure I was way ahead.

When I realized that I was so busy competing against people I don't know, I was failing ME. WHAT?!? So now, I'm still doing it everyday...but it's more important to be certain that I knoooow what I'm saying...that it all sinks in. I've gone back to competing against myself, which has always served me well...which is probably why I speak English pretty well. It's not a chore for me; and if I were to skip a day, I would TRULY miss my studies.

Competition against others was a distraction. I no longer spend 4 hrs per day on my studies, but I retain so much more...again. I hope it becomes your passion, and becomes fun for you, again. G/L!! :))

[NOTE: I still really like the Leader Boards. I'm just no longer obsessed. Also, does anybody know if there's anything beyond RUBY??]

August 1, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Finlay745011

different people have different ways of learning, just because you have an issue with a completely free language learning tool, doesn't mean that it should be changed.

August 1, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/valeriestruthers

I've noticed that the most competitive leagues were gold and the one before ruby (which I can't remember what that one was) with both weeks I only just got into the promotion zone. Though in Ruby league it is a lot more chilled, considering you only don't have to be in the bottom 5 to be demoted, and if you don't care about coming in first then it isn't a big deal. Though I would quite like to be demoted back down to Bronze but I'm just going to keep going at my regular pace (however I suspect I will be demoted when I go back to school).. You could also opt for a more "lazy league" if you just wait until a lot later in the day on a Monday to do your lesson, then most of the people you will be in a league will not be trying to race to the top :)

July 31, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Elizabeth528513

If you go to your profile and privacy you can turn off the leaderboard from even being shown. You won't be followed, either.

July 31, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BowlerCat

I genuinely think some people might be using bots, or at least questionable methods, to get that many XP in such a short time. 2000/10 is 200 so vaguely 200 lessons a day. If they tested out about 10 times a day it would work, but still... who would bother/why? Like you said, there isn't much to gain from winning now...

July 31, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AidanBarry

I seem to average around 1,000-1,200 XP a day - I typically do 1.5-2 hours. It really doesn't take all that much. Improving my language skills is more interesting to me than the vast majority of stuff on TV.

August 2, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TimothyKim479567

I like them. I keeps me going, but I understand how some people could be annoyed with them.

August 1, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jasmine789471

Agreed, just ignored it. It's not a problem for me, I'm learning at my pace, not competing with others...

August 1, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Seattle_Scott

I finally turned off leagues, or leaderboards or whatever you call them. So distracting and obnoxious. If I want someone to perform social experiments on me I'll go hand out on FB.

August 1, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/howareutoday1234

YES YES ME 2 less fun

July 31, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/memitsch

Complaints about leaderboards are okay, but when I hear, "I'm a competitive person", as if we who dont obsess about the leaderboards are not competitive...

July 31, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MaddyLuvsToLearn

I agree. thanks for sharing!

July 31, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BelizetheGospel

Agree with you 100%

July 31, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sammyharxx

personally i like it however thats only because im at number 1 right now XD

July 31, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mazsoIa

I enjoy seeing how I compare to people I'm actually friends with in comparison to XP, but ever since the the push away from levels I'm considering quitting use of Duolingo altogether.

July 31, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Oldsparky57

Thanks for the thoughtful post. I also found myself pushing my limits, just to get to the ruby league. Then what? Did I really enjoy it? No. Did I retain much of the "learned"? No. My goal is not doing 50 points a day.... just 20.... and I will "slack out" of the leader board ;-)

August 1, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Philxzy

I just don't like them. I'm not competitive with others, just with myself. So I miss the chart that used to show my use over a period of time (is it still there somewhere?)

August 1, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Philxzy

I did easily find the chart as soon as I wrote that I couldn't find it . . .

August 1, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/smahtcanuck

I spent an awful lot of time getting to Ruby. Did my life or my experience with Duolingo improve at all by this accomplishment? No. I spent a bunch of time I can never get back just because I felt really competitive, and it really wasn't worth it in the end. So I'm back down at sapphire now and do not care if I end up falling all the way down.

The thing is there are always going to be people who somehow have the time and determination to get thousands of xp to move up the leaderboard. I think for most users of Duolingo it's probably healthiest to ignore the leaderboards. For one thing, you can end up losing an awful lot of time that you could have spent on other things if you get obsessed with climbing the ranks. For another thing, certainly in my experience I would say lessons stopped being enjoyable at all when I did so many of them just to get more xp.

I have a much healthier balance now, spending only the amount of time I want to on it, enjoying the amount I do and leaving myself enough time to spend on other things in my life.

August 1, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TimShirey

Appreciate your post. A good reminder.

I can become addicted to competitions/games and the leaderboard feature was actually a real motivator for me at the start to practice every day.
One week I finished first (one goal reached). I then stayed in the top 10 every week to finally reach the Ruby league (another box checked off) and this week will make it three weeks in a row without being demoted! Whew! What did I just learn (retain!)...? Hmmm...Not much... I was too busy trying to earn more XP points and move up the leaderboard.

Getting a bit stressed just trying to keep from being demoted. After this week, I'll aim to finish in the top 45 one last time and then let it go!! No more worrying about being demoted!
Time to relax and enjoy the process again.

Starting next week... I'll go back and review everything I flew through in order to accumulate the weekly XP points and I can actually focus my attention on learning and retaining it!


I like the idea of allowing us to spend lingots to access themed vocabulary lists, print-out worksheets, word games (word search, etc), a free month (for paid subscribers), or unlock (for a month?) a feature of the paid subscription, a %discount on a green Duolingo owl T-shirt, etc..

August 1, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SPortz

D'accord! I found exactly the same thing. I get too competitive and I think it definitely detracts from my learning. It's better for me to go slower, repeat the phrases, do it in a meaningful way. The leaderboards add nothing to my actual absorption of the language and I think that we should be able to opt out. Keeping a daily streak is good, 'cause it keeps one consistent but just adding up huge points does not promote my learning experience.

August 2, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Andre989530

The leagues got me in the habit of completing an entire lesson manually instead of testing out - just because it gives me more XP. I found that doing so since they added them has actually helped me a lot.

With that said however, most of the people in the Ruby league are obviously hacking or one another exploiting the XP system so there's no use in actually competing.

July 31, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AidanBarry

Cheating, or maybe, just maybe - doing more than 20 minutes in a day

August 2, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PeaceForce

What, no Timed Practice dogfights?!

July 31, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/EichiYoshi

at this point i do duolingo every day so i dont drop out of ruby league. i just wanna brag to my friends lol.

August 1, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LucianoAnz

well just dont let yourself become so competitive, you dont have do win. I don't care about the leader boards. If I ever win is just a pleasent bonus, but I never actively pursued it since it is simply not in the best interest of learning. And thats why we use the app right? To learn

August 1, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RobertPetm

I agree. I like competition but once you get to the ruby league it’s meaningless to “win”.

August 1, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ReadingTillDawn

I agree with the challenges, partially. It's a good idea, but one that you should have to be able to willingly sign up for. People go nuts trying to beat the people who are placing, and yeah, it encourages you being more active, but gets annoying.

I think it'd would be way better if they had like an option to participate in them. Personally, I like learning at my own pace and don't like how it kind of pressures you into it. Personal opinion, though. I just think a lot nicer if they had like a "Participate In Challenge?" button or something for those who like the challenges.

August 1, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/WarriorCleberz

For me, leaderboards are not necessary for me, but a useful chatbox between students I'd like very much!!

August 1, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/lolsydnee

i kinda agree, the leaderboards help make things more challenging. but it does become less fun when you're an overachiever imo. once you reach the top three, it becomes a matter of simply trying to stay at the top rather than actually paying attention to what you're learning.

August 1, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Elijah108533

I too don't enjoy that feature. I myself is not a competitive person. So upon seeing the leaderboards, I just simply try hard to not notice it.

August 1, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/xopher1

Your experience mirrors my own exactly. I got caught up in trying to attain the Ruby league. All of the fun drained away and now I feel trapped in the leaderboards.

August 2, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Blake897394

I just ignore them completely

August 2, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Turlur

This leagues thing has, more than anything it seems, revealed to people just how not competitive they really are at duolingo.

When leagues were first introduced, I decided I wanted to place 1st in every one. By the time I got to the Ruby league, wining 1st meant banging out 11,000xp in a single week, frequently breaking 2,000xp/day. Completely unsustainable for me, but after I did it, I settled back into a more reasonable 300xp/day. I've found this to be, ironically, enough to win 1st in the Ruby league more often than not.

I'm not saying this to brag, I'm saying this because the fact of the matter is, the leagues aren't actually very competitive. An hour a day is enough to casually place in the top 3 of the highest league. At an hour a day, it would take you 1-2+ years to reach a B1/2 level of fluency in even a Class 1 language. If you aren't putting at least that much into this, why do it at all? Are there really people here who are okay with taking 5 years to learn remedial Spanish?

You miss the lower level of competition in the clubs because it validated you more, but when the competition got steeper and you failed to rise to that challenge, your ego took a blow, and you let that ruin your time on here. The leaderboard didn't make this less fun for you; you made this less fun for you.

This won't be a popular comment, but I don't care. Too many people in these forums act like they're made of glass, and too many more on here readily enable this behaviour.

August 2, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TimShirey

(@turlur) Measuring one’s commitment to a language and time devoted to really learn a language extends way beyond the time they are able to spend behind the computer w/Duolingo!

This thread seems to be more about a self check to make sure we don’t get caught up in earning XP points (leaderboard) at the expense of good learning habits.

For example, I really needed to go back and review earlier lessons. Unlike your experience in the ruby league, had I spent an hr./day on “review/practice” lessons, I would have been demoted from the ruby league I was in. Staying in the ruby league (in my case) required moving on to new lessons when I needed to go back and review previous lessons. Ego/validation had nothing to do with it.

For me (not the case for everyone!), the leaderboard, which I enjoyed at the start, eventually became a distraction from good learning practices.

August 2, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Turlur

You can rack up more XP faster by doing timed practice than by doing new lessons, so what you're saying doesn't add up.

August 11, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TheeTwitch

As a new user, the leaderboards were fun for a day or two, now they feel like a useless competition. If there were some more features to go with it, I am happy with it. If not, I don't like how it's set up.

August 2, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AeF9FWYe

I also enjoyed the clubs much better because of the interaction among the members. I experienced the same "burn out" very quickly, and just as quickly decided that the competition was a negative for me. I have been enjoying Duo for over a year now and want to keep enjoying it. I no longer pay too much attention to this competition. I've dropped from Ruby to Silver and have been maintaining at this level practicing no more than I would without the competition. I might drop down another level at any time, but oh well...I'm enjoying my learning experience.

August 2, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/13LizLogs

For me, it's counter-productive. I got caught up in the leaderboard for a while, but it makes me rush through each lesson so I retain less. My aim is to learn a language, and I need to take it slowly, especially speaking and listening, so I like to listen several times to speech and repeat it. Also it's better for me to slow down and analyse my answers, especially those I get wrong, rather than just rush on and parrot the correct answer next time. Also, I really want to learn 'Spanish' Spanish and am learning from UK English, so I sometimes have a bit of extra translating to do in my head (sometimes duolingo doesn't accept something in UK English, though it usually does), and remembering Castilian Spanish pronunciations. Thirdly, I don't believe you can learn a language on Duolingo alone, so instead of chasing XP up the leaderboard I should be using other internet resources, consolodating classwork, revising my own particular vocabulary on Anki, and especially for me listening to Spanish being spoken in a wide range of topics. Sadly, I have a competitive streak, so I'd like to be able to turn the leaderboard off. and just not get distracted by it.

August 2, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/J-Dusa

I get that the Leaderboard is distracting. I find that, when I compete against myself, ONLY, I get better results. I learn more...I DO more...and I get to decide how much I can do each day.

As far as the pronunciation of the woman is concerned (this is not intended as a response to 13LizLogs, but to others), haven't you noticed that, when speaking with a native speaker, there are elisions or dropped syllables all the time, and it depends on where they're from how/when they do it. Maybe she's just showing us what we'll encounter irl. -shrug-

August 12, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Mihaly_A.Shilage

We should have a way to opt out of leaderboards IMO

August 2, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AmrAmmar5

I totally agree with you.

August 2, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Franco219395

I never realised the leaderboard takes the combined total of how ever many languages you are learning - I was learning Italian and embarked on Spanish today and it totals the points from both. Maybe this is how some people accumalate points so quickly, especially if you don't test out, because points are easier gained in the early stages of learning. Especially when combining languages such as Italian and Spanish, just a thought.

Having said all that for the first time this week I climbed a league, not quite sure how that happened as I wasn't even paying attention to them, until duolingo notified me of moving up a league.

August 2, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/-Tsuki-

I find them cool actually, but if you don't like them that's your opinion and I get what you're saying. :)

August 3, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Tim_actuary

The succinct summary of my post:

YOU CAN'T COMPETE WITH THE MANIACS WITHOUT BECOMING ONE YOURSELF!

My goal is to complete one or two circles/lessons each day, and this has gotten me promoted to gold in a few weeks, and will likely get me promoted again this week.

I used to play Ebony for a while. Then it became clear that people were literalyy playing for 18+ hours a day to accumulate XP's or build things or whatever.

The moral of the story is that you really shouldn't expect to be at the top of an internet game unless you are willing to spend all your time at it, literally, because, with 100's of millions of people out there, there's always a few that will.

Perhaps this will be a useful lesson for the next time a similar situation comes up.

August 6, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/WASHEDINTHEBLOOD

competitions are fun! thumbs down this if you like, but it is so true. these leagues are the best! thx duo.

July 31, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/poptartrainboww

They can be fun yes but I think it would be better if you could separately chose to enter them instead of having them visible and being active in them without even having a say in it. For some people it can be very stressful and therefore even discouraging to use Duolingo when you have to compete with others automatically even if you don't want to.

July 31, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AmalieB39

A very good point. I hope they become optional, and people who choose to participate are grouped according to their average daily XP level and the language they are working on the most. They are set up now to discourage those who can't compete due to other commitments and responsibilities. The point is to learn, and to fit the learning into the lives we each have.

August 1, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/OswinHull

I wish they would do a deal with papa johns where you can buy pizza with so many lingots.

July 31, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/WASHEDINTHEBLOOD

as if

July 31, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SandraOute

I love the leader board. Sometimes I look at it and sometimes I don't. This helps me to enjoy Duolingo.

August 1, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/StudentAid16

To people in chat: you can disable leaderboards in profile

August 1, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Foblin

I wanted to deactivate the leaderborads since the third or fourth day they were on but not by turning private on (I didn't want to lose contact with some of the people I follow).

It was only about one week ago that I managed to make them dissappear from my eyes (not totally deactivated, though... but better that than nothing). Anyone interested can find how I did it here: https://forum.duolingo.com/comment/33304326 looking for mwbrand1's post.

August 1, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/lil_ray_07

Leader boards just encourage me to work harder.

August 2, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jason478458

I love it!

August 2, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/dhandhaani

But I personally like the leaderboards, because somehow it motivates me to keep going with the course.

August 2, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Andrezzin

don't be sad

August 3, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PhilTaylor173273

Just don"t click on the leaderboard. Simple, stop whining.

August 3, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/GloriadeGudalupe

And what happens to all the ones I saw in the ruby league the previous week... I do not even see their names demoted?

August 5, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/J-Dusa

Does anyone know how many RUBY (RWBY) Boards there are (...and what comes after Ruby)?

August 6, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Msanjose1

In case this hasn't been seen by the posters in here already, here's a link to a recent post by Algarve11 that gives options on how to get out of leagues.
https://forum.duolingo.com/comment/33039989. Options 2 and 3 would allow you to turn off the leagues but be able to continue seeing the people you are following and are following you. I have not tried Option 3 but I know for sure Option 2 works. Good luck.

September 16, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/luccasdlopes

ukh

August 1, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DanFarber1

You can just grind and give me the lingots.

August 1, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rishisundar

+1

August 2, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sadness

Oh no, you can show off your internet points anymore? Why even live anymore, right?

July 30, 2019
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