April 17, 2024

Leaderboard for Gamification in Mobile Apps

In this blog, we'll discuss the popular gamification feature: leaderboards. We'll explore how various consumer apps use them to boost user engagement.

Ananya Vairavarajan

Curious about how to elevate user engagement in your mobile app? One such a way is to add the interesting gaming element of leaderboards!

Leaderboards add a competitive edge, turning app usage into an exhilarating game. Imagine users striving for the top spot, competing with friends, and eagerly returning for more.

In this blog, let’s deep dive into what are leaderboards and  how they are used in different B2C apps with some examples.

What are leaderboards in gamification?

A leaderboard is a form of gamification element that enables users to engage in friendly competition with peers and gauge their standing within the community.

Here's a concise breakdown of why leaderboards are a key ingredient for a successful gamified experience:

  1. Competition ignition: Leaderboards tap into the innate human desire for competition. By showcasing users' performance rankings, they create a friendly or fierce rivalry, motivating individuals to strive for improvement and climb the leaderboard.
  2. Intrinsic motivation: The visibility of one's progress on a leaderboard provides a powerful intrinsic motivator. Users are more likely to engage consistently as they seek recognition and satisfaction from seeing their name ascend the ranks.
  3. Social connectivity: Introducing a social component to leaderboards amplifies their impact. The ability to compare scores and achievements with friends or a community fosters a sense of connection, transforming a solitary app experience into a shared, communal adventure.
  4. Retention boost: Leaderboards contribute significantly to user retention. The ongoing challenge to maintain or improve one's position keeps users returning to the app regularly, creating a habit-forming cycle that contributes to sustained engagement over time.
  5. Rewarding progress: Leaderboards effectively reward users for their dedication and progress. Whether it's achieving a high score, completing challenges, or maintaining a winning streak, the leaderboard becomes a symbol of recognition.

Examples of leaderboards in mobile apps


Duolingo incorporates a leaderboard feature that enables users to engage in friendly competition with peers and gauge their standing within the community.

It has different leagues (Silver, Gold, Pearl) based on the lessons they complete.

Duolingo employs leaderboards in its app


Unacademy's leaderboard uses gamification to motivate learners.

Users are encouraged to actively engage with the app by seeing their rank compared to others, such as taking practice tests and attending live classes.

This can foster a sense of competition and community among learners.

Unacademy uses leaderboard

Challenges faced while creating leaderboards in-house

Developers need to build the core mobile app. They need more time to keep adding and monitoring leaderboards(designs, content, analytics, etc).

On top of that, every new gamification experiment with leaderboards takes 2 weeks to build, another 2 weeks to make the app release, and another month or so to understand whether your leaderboards have achieved the desired engagement.

Build your unique leaderboard adventure in a no-code manner with Plotline

Plotline's in-app engagement platform is designed to integrate leaderboards and other interactive gamification features like streaks, badges, spin-the-wheel, scratch cards, and quizzes. Additionally, you can use other UI elements like tooltips, spotlights, stories, coachmarks, PiP videos, etc., to educate, retain, and motivate your users effectively.

If this sounds interesting, start your free trial with Plotline and we can explore how we can boost engagement and retention for your mobile app.

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