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Transforming Productivity with Open Source Gamification: Habitica

· 4 min read
Bekah Hawrot Weigel
Developer Experience Lead

Today is day 13 of my 29 Days of Open Source Alternatives series, where I'll be exploring open source alternatives to proprietary software in the categories of Game Development and Multimedia, Development Tools and Platforms, Productivity and Collaboration Tools, and more. If you'd like to see the list of the open source alternatives I'll be covering this month, head over to my 29 Days of Open Source Alts Page. This is our second post in the Productivity & Collaboration Category.

A couple of years ago - mid-pandemic - I was diagnosed with ADHD. Maybe it was unsurprising to people who knew me, but it was surprising to me. I didn’t have the symptoms I had heard about. I did well in school, I accomplished all of my tasks, all-in-all I was what some might consider incredibly productive. What I learned about myself and my ADHD is that I had created decades of coping mechanisms that I didn’t even realize. I tended to lean into the things that I was good at.

That was easier when I wasn’t a mom. As a mom of four kids during a pandemic, I was struggling. It’s harder to maintain habits when there are constant distractions around, whether that’s a kid who wants a snack, laundry that (constantly) needs done, or code that needs to be written. I think it was around that time that I first used Habitica.

Motivate yourself to achieve your goals. It's time to have fun when you get things done! Join over 4 million Habiticans and improve your life one task at a time.

Habitica is an interesting blend of a role-playing game (RPG) and a task management tool, meaning that your everyday tasks become gamified. It uses game mechanics to motivate and encourage you to form positive habits, break negative ones, and achieve your goals. In some ways, we can compare Habitica to Todoist or Trello, but more realistically, it's closer to Habit Rabbit or Forest. In this blog post, we'll explore Habitica's features and their open source community,.


  • Task Manager: Organizes activities, objectives, and chores through interactive lists.
  • Gamification Elements: Rewards, leveling up, abilities, gear, and group quests.
  • Social Networking: Collaboration in guilds, competition, and sharing of achievements.
  • Habits and To-Do Lists: Reinforces behavior patterns by tracking good and bad habits.
  • Mobile Applications: Dedicated iOS and Android apps for productivity on-the-go.
  • Browser Extension: Conveniently add and complete tasks via a browser extension.

Community & Open Source Metrics

Habitica's community and open source metrics showcase its impact:

    • Stars:: 11.2k
    • Watching: 282
  • Forks: 4k
  • License: GPL v3
  • Commits: Approximately 25K commits, signifying steady development.
  • Contributors: 807 total contributors

If we look at those numbers, we’d probably say that they have a really thriving community of contributors. But if we look at the most recent numbers, we see that there have only been nine contributors (not including dependabot) in the last three months.


Where have the contributors gone? There’s a joke in there about a habit app and consistent contributors, but I’m not going to make it. It looks like they’re trying to find new contributors, based on their README message.

their docs asking for more contributors

If their contributors consistently contributed at the rate of their star increases, then I don’t think that this would be an issue. This is another case where we can say that stars do not equal health of an open source project.

Star History Chart

If we saw the number of new contributors equal the number of new stars, we’d see a thriving project. Instead, we see this over the last 30 days.

contributor dashboard

Let’s Help

If you're willing to help, then so am I. If you take on an issue, drop it in the comments. For every issue you drop and complete, I'll take one too. Here's how to get started:

Getting Started - To get started as a contributor, check out their docs. Issues -


Habitica can be a really great way to track your habits, create new habits, or break bad habits. But what if we use this opportunity to create a new habit together? What if we committed to #100DaysofOSS together? Or if we committed to supporting open source maintainers together? What's something that we all can work towards that helps us to hit our goals together?