Do you feel a sense of accomplishment when you unlock a new piece of equipment for your character in a videogame? What about when you team up with friends to vanquish a boss? Have you ever wished that life came with those feelings?
This article explores Habitica, the productivity app that takes advantage of these feelings to gamify your life and help you build productive habits.
What Is Habitica?
Habitica started out as a web application called HabitRPG. Then as now, the platform promised to help you build productive habits by associating real-life activities with in-game rewards and consequences.
You can still access the platform via a web browser on just about any connected device. But Habita has also launched free mobile apps for Android and Apple devices.
How Habitica Gamifies Your Life
There are a number of ways in which Habitica effectively gamifies your life. The primary routes are through avatar customization, the in-game rewards system, and challenges.
Your Habitica Avatar
When you set up a Habitica account, your first task is to create an avatar. The platform maintains a charming 8-bit style and intuitive menus. While the customization initially seems limited, options actually include a wide range of body types, skin tones, glasses, and even wheelchairs to make your character feel truly unique.
All of these early customizations are freely available without spending any in-game tokens. However, as with any RPG, much of the incentive to play comes from earning in-game currency to buy new clothes and equipment or to unlock clothes and equipment by besting challenges.
If you know what makes a good RPG, you may be wondering where the roleplaying comes in.
Well, as you advance in the game, you unlock different clothing and equipment items that change how you interact with quests and challenges. But more on those later.
In-Game Tasks and Rewards in Habitica
The beating heart of Habitica is the Tasks page, used for managing habits that you want to work on. When you first play the game, there are preset habits that you can keep, delete, or edit to make your own. Just tap a task to open its edit panel.
Habitica groups tasks into Habits, Dailies, and To Do’s.
Habits are things that can be done multiple times each day. Use this feature to reward yourself for completing tasks like eating healthy snacks or punish yourself for things like drinking soda instead of water.
Dailies are jobs that you need to do once each day, like going to the gym. When you check off these habits, you gain experience. When you go to bed without checking these habits off, your character loses health. When you gain enough experience, you level up and your health is restored.
To Do’s are tasks that you only need to do once, like organize your closet. Habitica allows you to set the reward value for tasks on your own, so saving To Do’s for big events and making them worth more experience is a good idea.
Navigating Habitica’s Reward System
Health and experience are not the only factors in Habitica’s reward system. When you complete tasks, you also gain in-game coins that you can spend in the Market on equipment, customization options, and more.
Completing tasks also periodically gives you eggs, food, and hatching potions. Combine eggs and hatching potions to create in-game collectible pets to show off alongside your avatar. Feeding the pets their favorite foods levels them up.
In the Rewards panel of the Tasks pane, you can also give yourself real-life rewards to treat yourself to after meeting certain benchmarks or by spending earned in-game currency.
You can use real money for in-app elements, but all of the elements are personalization items like backgrounds. So, while these in-app purchases can be fun, they do not let you buy your way out of working on your habits.
Social and Support Features
So far, all of the features discussed can be used solo. However, teaming up with other Habitica users unlocks additional social features.
If you personally know someone else using Habitica, you can form a Party to chat and view one another’s avatars and game progress. Parties can also team up on Challenges, habits that you work on together to defeat in-game bosses for rare equipment and rewards.
If you need more support or advice on making and breaking habits search for a Guild. Guilds are larger groups of Habitica users with common goals that share their successes and struggles in a group chat. You can also check into the Tavern to pause your Dailies and challenges if you need to take a break.
What Habits Could You Gamify?
Use Habitica as a way to remember to do your chores, reward yourself for eating right, or make tasks at the office more fun. No matter what your good and bad habits are, pegging your success to a cute 8-bit hero can help you to stay on top of them.