Daily routines, tasks, and even creating new habits aren’t the most exciting things to do. They take hard work or are just so monotonous that you’d rather put things off. But Habitica seeks to change all that by gamifying your life. I spent a week trying out both the free and premium versions so I could share my experiences in this Habitica review.
Habitica is a free app and web tool designed to increase productivity, improve habit building, and generally make the daily grind less boring. It does all this through gamification. Instead of just doing things because you have to, Habitica motivates you by using your daily tasks and habits to build a character, buy equipment, raise pets, battle monsters, and gather together with fellow players.
It’s available for iOS, Android, and browsers, so you can can use it pretty much anywhere. Even Linux and Windows mobile users can bring up Habitica in their browser. Currently, there are over four million Habiticans playing.
The first step is to create an account and a basic character. Before you get too excited, you can’t do too much customization with your character, such as more clothing styles and equipment, until you’re at Level 10. In a week, I’ve reached Level 8, so it doesn’t take long to advance if you stick to your habits and tasks.
During setup, you create a username, avatar, and choose a few interests or habits. From there, you’re free to add whatever habits, to-dos, and dailies you want.
The next step is to start adding what you want to do. I’ll warn you in advance that the entire setup process does take a little while, especially if you’re adding many items. However, this is worth it as once you’re set up, everything’s fairly easy to manage.
Habitica created these as my default habits.
I recommend leaving the “Add a task to Habitica” because that reminds you to add new to-dos. Plus, when you tap the + sign beside any habit, you get rewarded. But, be honest if you want this to work. If you tap the – sign, you lose health and coins. Just tap the purple + at the bottom to add new things.
I was pleasantly surprised to see the option to add a bad habit to break. When you set up a habit, you choose whether it’s positive or negative. Negative habits take away things. Only tap the orange negative if you do the bad habit. This motivates you to stop it.
Repeat the process for Dailies and To-Do’s. At first, I wasn’t really sure what the difference was between everything. However, I’ve discovered:
- Habits are things you want to add to your life or take away.
- Dailies are things you routinely need to do. You can set these up for daily, week, monthly, and even yearly.
- To-Dos are one-off tasks to do on a given day. This is just your basic to-do list. You can also add a checklist of items to go with a to-do.
I highly recommend taking a look at the New User Guide to help you get started and better understand the wide variety of features. Habitica does let you set up reminders and notifications, so you won’t forget things.
I took some time to really explore things for my Habitica review. There is a lot to take in. The main menu takes you where you need to go. For full disclosure, I’m using the Android app. I did have to visit the web version in order to view my Stable for some reason.
From here, you can view items you’ve earned or bought, visit the various shops, customize your avatar, and socialize.
As you check off items and even check in daily, you get rewards for free. This includes equipment, health boosts, experience points, gold, pet eggs, and more.
On the main screen, you can buy rewards using the Rewards icon at the bottom right. In addition to in-game items, you can also create custom rewards to buy, such as watching TV.
I like that in the free version there are plenty of things to buy with gold. You have to pay for gems with real money, or if you subscribe, you can buy a certain amount of gems with gold each month.
Some of the various things I discovered to do include:
- Work toward special achievements (earn more rewards and gold)
- Shop for special items
- Build a stable of pets/mounts
- Take on various challenges created by other users
- Join parties to tackle quests and monsters (bosses) together
- Take on quests to battle monsters
Battling means sticking closely to all three of your checklists (Habits, Dailies, To-Dos). Missing anything causes damage, which is in addition to the damage you take from simply missing them. However, you get bonus rewards if you complete a quest.
The stronger you get over time, the easier it is to take on harder quests and bosses.
Free vs. Premium
I’ll admit that free is somewhat limited. Gems are necessary for so many things, but it can get expensive buying them. With a subscription, you get so much more. Habitica was kind enough to let me try out the premium version for this Habitica review.
You also get special items. I started earning more in the daily drops, which was a nice bonus. Plus, buying gems with gold that you earn is much cheaper. Gems let you buy more things, join challenges, and more.
Subscription prices are as follows:
- $4.99 for one month with 25-gem cap
- $14.99 for three months with 30-gem monthly cap and a single mystic hourglass
- $29.99 for six months with 35-gem monthly cap and two mystic hourglasses
- $47.99 for a year with 45-gem monthly cap and four mystic hourglasses
This is actually cheaper than many much simpler apps. Plus, you’re not just playing a game. You’re improving your life and staying on top of tasks.
Rating: (5 / 5)
I’ve loved using Habitica and may continue with the subscription. However, the free version offers everything I need to increase productivity, manage my to-do list, and create better habits.
I’d recommend starting with a few things first as you learn the app. By the time I was ready to write my Habitica review (yes, it’s being checked off my To-Do list now), I went from just a few habits and one bad habit to:
I’ve advanced quickly, which is a nice motivation. I’m looking forward to continuing and gamifying may daily life. It’s fun, easy to use, and offers a great system for motivating you, no matter what you’re trying to accomplish. I do feel like turning my daily routine and habits into a game has helped me stay on track better. Being able to buy things to boost my character, socialize with others (including working on habits together to earn gems), and see my virtual character grow as I grow is incredibly motivating.
Check out Habitica for yourself. You have nothing to lose but so much to gain. If you like games, it’s a fun twist on the traditional productivity app.