Tech Review: Habitica

Tech Review: Habitica

Habitica

For those who have mastered the to-do list or want to add some extra incentive to getting shit done, Habitica is a great way to game-ify your tasks and responsibilities. I’ve been using it for about six months and I absolutely love it.

Habitica is most reminiscent of an RPG. You pick a class, get gear, level up, and distribute stat points. I primarily use their website, though I also have their app for checking things off on the go.

The four classes you can choose from once you reach level ten are warrior, rogue, mage, and healer. Each has their own benefits. A mage can cast spells to “freeze” your current daily tasks, so you don’t get penalized for not doing them. Rogues have increased perception to help them find items for quests or obtain things like pet eggs and food. Each level gives you a stat point to invest into your character’s strength, intelligence, perception, and constitution. Like I said, for those who play RPGs, all these things will seem pretty familiar to you.

Habitica motivates you by rewarding you for completing your tasks. You gain experience, gold (Habitica currency that you can use to buy things like equipment), and other random items like pet eggs and food. I really love this aspect of Habitica. As someone who will play RPGs until her eyes begin to cross, the “luck” aspect of getting a cool item makes checking things off pretty addicting.

Habitica avatar and stat bar. Habitica avatar and stat bar. My avatar has sunglasses is on and is riding a golden t-rex on a cloud. I also have a pink fox pet.
My super cool avatar. The red bar is my health, yellow is my current experience relevant to what I need to level up, and blue is my mana bar for casting different abilities.

In terms of the “list” elements, there are three categories: Habits, Dailies, and To-Dos. The To-Do column works exactly like a to-do list. Have errands you need to accomplish? Put them here! Habits are a way to reward good behavior. I have habits for exercising, reading, and even refreshing my Little Free Library.

Lastly, the Dailies column is for things you do on a routine basis. You can set the task to be done every day or things on a certain day of the week. For example, I have to check book sales for SBTB every day, but setting up the SBTB books on sale newsletter is a Friday task. In the Dailies column, I’m able to set the frequency for tasks and on what days they need to be accomplished. For Dailies in particular, the more times the finish a task in a row, you get a “streak.” Forget to do a daily and the streak resets to zero. Your tasks are also completely private. If someone views your profile, all they’ll see is your avatar and character stats.

Habitica also has quests! Mainly, these quests give special pet rewards like unicorn and t-rex eggs, which can turn into pets and even mounts. Thankfully, these quests can be done solo (for us introverts out there) or with a group. Some colleagues at Book Riot started a Habitica group, so we often do quests together and it really holds us accountable.

The quests come in two types: drop quests and boss quests. In order to complete a “drop quest,” you have to collect certain items. Those items are “dropped” randomly by completing a task. You can take different steps to increase your chances of obtaining coveted items.

Boss quests rely on doing damage to a menacing creature. Completing tasks increases the amount of damage you do. Forgetting to complete daily will result in the creature attacking you and you’ll lose some health. If you’re in a group, anyone who forgets a daily will result in the entire group losing health. So it’s to everyone’s best interest to encourage your groupmates!

A screenshot of a boss quest - a triceratops with a health bar beneath

There are also community-wide tasks you can participate in! The most recent one I can think of is an initiative to promote mental wellness. Habitica encouraged users to add a daily where you write down one thing you were thankful for that day. And don’t worry, Habitica will keep you updated on site events every couple weeks; you won’t miss anything.

If you’re curious about the companion animals you’re able to get, there are wolves, tigers, pandas, lions, foxes, flying pigs, dragons, cacti, and bears.

The potions, which determine an animal’s color, start with their base color — white, desert, red, black, skeleton, zombie, pink, baby blue, and gold. So, if you want a red wolf, hatch the wolf egg with the red potion. To turn your red wolf into a mount, feed it red foods (strawberries). Through quests and holiday events, you can earn special eggs (unicorns, hedgehogs, etc) and special color potions (purple, peppermint, etc). There are so many combinations and I’m definitely determined to hatch them all!

Some of the pets you can earn - lions, foxes, and flying pigs

Admittedly, once you get to a certain level (I’m level 75), the new stuff is limited to doing quests to get new eggs. But you’re also racking up items you no longer need. I wish there were something you could do with the excess items you have. It’s minor grievance, though, and I’m confident Habitica will come up with some fix for this. They’re constantly adding new features and updating the way things work.

If you’re a list maker like me but want a fun incentive to completing tasks aside from just the self-satisfaction of crossing something off a list, give Habitica a try. I know it seems intimidating, but the learning curve it really easy and they walk you through all the basics. For anything you’re unsure about, Habitica also has a helpful Wiki and a Reddit subthread for things that may not seem apparent. If you give it a try, let me know how you like it! You can find me on Habitica under the name ImAnAdult!

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