Points are stimulating gamification mechanics. You may provide quantitative, measurable feedback for users with them. Points indicate the users' development and in-game or learning progress. Points are relevant to the Layer of Feedback (see Model). Points can come in the form of experience (focus on the spiritual aspect), reputation (focus on the social aspect), and/or virtual currency (focus on the material aspect).


Strong effect

Points are one of the key elements of gamification. Their function is to give users feedback, adjusting their behavior. When users earn a certain number of points, they learn what type of actions the game expects from them, which of those are the most valuable and which do not affect the outcome of the game at all.

Weak effect

Be sure to track if the amount of points received is an accurate reflection of the game's set of values. The game's set of values should at the same time reflect corporate or social values, as sometimes gamification may collide with the area where it is implemented.

Duration of the effect

A game that can be completed by earning a certain number of points is suitable for short-term objectives. When the gamification is long-term, you should implement a system that resets points or converts them into other items. Note: the bigger the gamification element is, the lower is its value (when the user receives a lot of points for each micro-action, it will no longer be seen as significant).

What can I do with this?

The main goal of gamification is to motivate the user to act in one way or another. One of the simplest yet efficient motivating mechanics of any game is earning points. The user can become satisfied with the result and get a sense of fulfillment by earning the points.
The trickier it is to earn points, the higher is their value. You can also further adjust users' in-game behavior by taking points away for certain types of action. Points can be taken away when the user either made an undesirable action or, contrariwise, did not make a desirable action.
It's better to make the points perceived as the means and not the goal, so that their value lasts longer. Points should be accumulated not for the sake of their amount but rather to obtain or discover new elements of the game.
When the points are perceived as a value themselves, the user's satisfaction level and in-game status rise as their number increases. The ability to accumulate the points is another motivating mechanic for completing the actions for which the game was designed. Points can be collected to be later spent on other elements of the game.
Demonstration of points to other users also positively affects the players' motivation. When players report their achievements, they raise their in-game social rating and set benchmark for other players to follow.