Ranks or Badges? What's better to gain?

  • 13 October 2021
  • 1 reply

Userlevel 2

I had recently read on the Community, about how a fellow member (will try to find them) wanted to clear up their feed of questions and how they’d planned to provide a limited time badge to those who would help in this particular activity!

To me that sounded very interesting and pretty much irked my interest to try and grab that badge (but of course I know nothing about the problem statements or their services! :grinning:)


But this got me thinking to understand how & where badges and/or ranks can be used. I want to know what seems more “powerful/attainable/calling” for a member -- is to go up a rank or earn a badge?

Furthermore is there a general way of how these two are to function with each other? We’re trying to incorporate this into our latest gamification framework and it becomes tricky when you’re trying to set the conditions in place -- is too much to achieve? is it far fetched for a member to accomplish ‘n’ number of answers/topics etc.? (I assume it just might come down to trial & error)

1 reply

Userlevel 7
Badge +3


There are indeed some very good ways to make use of both actually, and the only real limits are your creativity and what you want the community to achieve. The short answer is that you can make use of both, since they’re integrated within gamification but work in slightly different ways. You can however set them both to trigger at the same time, just like how roles can be triggered by gamification as well. It might take a bit of button pushing if you want the same action to trigger all three at once, but it’s possible to do.

But here’s the longer answer.

Badges are best used mainly to reward specific actions, such as contributing really high quality content or reaching a certain number of Best Answers for example - but there’s a huge range of uses for these. They work best for things that aren’t too difficult to earn, but also don’t necessarily get handed out to absolutely everyone but it also depends on the use case. There’s some communities where awarding badges for lots of different things works really, really well. I think Sonos is one of them last time I checked. On the other hand, there’s OVO (where I’m a Super User), which only has a select few badges that are awarded manually for special things. These show up on your Profile and next to your posts, but only one badge will show at a time next to your comments to avoid breaking the layout and causing other issues.

Ranks meanwhile, are best used as a bit of a more long term goal - similar to how you’ll usually want to avoid promoting a Super User too quickly after they join. They always show up next to your username and are very visible, so you’ll definitely want to name them creatively in a way that fits with your community and brand image. The inSpired Community is definitely a great example of that! For the most part, you could think of the ranks as being like a levels system in Pokemon games. Just like how I level up as I gain more experience in battles (after all, I am a Blastoise!), community members gain more points as they contribute, so you could hook the ranks into this to a certain extent for a basic setup. But you can also do more advanced tricks. A really good example might be that instead of ranking up purely on points alone, a user ranks up as a result of getting Best Answers or replying to threads to encourage participation. You could even mix things up with a combination of the two if you wanted to experiment.

Whichever way you go however, the exact parameters to use are very much down to individual communities. What works for OVO, Sonos or inSpired probably won’t work for Freshworks because the traffic you get might be massively different from what we get here. Feel free to set something that you feel works initially, and tweak it from there as needed. You’ll eventually find the right balance with a bit of trial and error. Don’t be afraid to experiment, because you’ll definitely nail it eventually.

As for which one is more powerful… Personally I’d say they’re both about equal but since they’re used for slightly different things, it’s not always that easy to compare the two. :)