Habitica app review: roleplay your way to completing your to-do list

Adorable animals! Graphs! Peer pressure!

Love playing Pokémon Go but hate your Evernote to-do list? Habitica was designed just for you.

Habitica is a gamified website and mobile app that pushes you towards self improvement in your search for in-game rewards. Completing tasks or ticking off good habits earns you experience points, in-game currency for better gear and a chance to find eggs to raise into pets. Forgetting your daily tasks or missing deadlines saps your health. Form parties with your friends and tackle quests together.

The best part? Habitica is free to use and open source. So if your goals include working on your programming skills, pixel art or writing, you could improve them while contributing to the Habitica community.

Habitica progress bars
Get your experience up while keeping your health from dipping too low. And collect weird pets.

The way Habitica structures your goals is perfect for many types of procrastinators. Tasks are divided into “Habits”, “Dailies” and “To-dos”. Create and set habits for things you generally want to do more (or less!) of in your life. Going for a run, writing a blog post or going a day without a cigarette might make it onto your habits list. Mark your habits with the + sign when you do well and hit the – button when you slip. Your habits will change colour as you work on them, letting you know at a glance where you need to focus.

Create and set dailies to work on those nagging things you know adults are supposed to do, but that regularly escape you. Checking off your dailies multiple days in a row will earn you bonuses. The app tracks your streaks – how many days in a row you’ve accomplished each daily task – and offers handy analytics to see how you’re doing.

Habitica Dailies
How much could you get done with rewards and graphs?

By default your day ends at midnight, but night owls can tweak the settings to end your day’s tracking later.

Getting your to-do list set up in Habitica is going to feel a lot like any other to-do list app. Add what needs doing, a deadline and the difficulty of the task. Completing items gives you experience, gold for equipment, and makes progress in game quests. The harder the task, the more you get from ticking it off.

But beware: missing deadlines will cost your character health, and if your health dips to zero you’ll die, losing a level and a random piece of equipment. Yikes!

Gadgette’s verdict

Habitica is a brilliant app for helping add an extra layer of motivation for the inconsistently motivated, but it can’t work magic – you still have to actually do the tasks!

To better chain you to your commitment for self improvement, Habitica uses peer support and pressure strategically. The app has built an extensive and carefully moderated community where users can trade tips and tricks, offer support and band together for themed self improvement campaigns. The real peer enforcement comes into play when you form parties for in game quests. On your own, skipped dailies and missed deadlines will cost you health points. In a party, skipped dailies or missed deadlines hurts everyone on your team.

Even if you’re not swayed by the gameplay or chance to collect cute in-game pets, not getting screamed at by your mates is a fantastic way to add a bit more motivation to your life.

Habitica is available free for iOS, Android and web.

Images: screenshots/Habitica

Jessica Rose
About Jessica Rose 10 Articles
Jessica Rose is a self taught technologist obsessed with fostering more equal access to technical education and meaningful work in the tech industry. Equipped with an American accent and based in Blighty, she's always excited to hear about the weird projects people are working on.