Skilltree help you plan your non linear path to aquiring any skill

2 Minute Read


If you think about how an educational career is set up it actually already is a rudimentary skill tree. Lets say you want to become a doctor. In Germany you would need to accomplish primary school to continue on to middle school, this would lead to high school. Here you will ideally get the best grades possible so that you get the highest chances to getting into a medical university. In the medical university you will then need to accomplish all the steps to become a doctor. This may take another 5-7 years of passing all kinds of exams so that you can begin with your doctorate thesis which will then finally make you an official doctor. All these steps could be displayed in a skill tree like in video games. Skill trees often start from one general starting point and then keep branching off, displaying gained abilities and thereby unlocking new paths to take. Each skill acquired on the way allows you to work on more complex steps down the line. 

Examples from games

Borderlands 2
Below you can see a skill tree from the game Borderlands 2, the character has three main skill trees to follow reaching full points on one of the skills on each row unlocks the next row until you get to the last skill. Eventually if you play continue playing the game excessively long  you will be able to unlock all skills. This skill progression requires you to make choices along the way, making you chose one path over another. This is similar to choosing a specialization in an educational degree.

BEAMER3K. (2015). BL2 Gaige SkillTree. Sep 16, 2015.

Path of Exile
The game Path of Exile has one of the most complex interwoven skill trees that exists in games. As complex as it looks, one must note that each character class starts from a different point. But comparing this to real life one could think of each character class as a personality type in real life. Each personality type has certain strengths. That doesn’t mean that anything is off limits for an extrovert for example. With some skills an introvert might have an easier time acquiring, but an extrovert can still go down that path it might just take longer and harder to reach. Either way this is just another example of a skill tree which applied to human life, is and will always be an abstraction or simplification of the complexity we all deal with in our lives. But taking that into account we could learn a lot from the simplified format of skill acquisition in games. 

Path of Exile Skilltree. photograph.

How does it benifit my everyday life

Skill trees are like a planning tool. A good skill tree will allow you to visualize what steps are necessary to get better at your desired skill and ideally you will have created a tree that allows for alternative paths leading to the same end result. (Or different specialized end results) Skill trees are basically the visualization of goal setting. 

How i can implement this gamification idea

Basically any mind map tool works for this purpose. I suggest using Miro this mind mapping app is free for up to three mind maps, its intuitive and can be linked to many other applications. 

Here is an Example of a skill tree I developed for my drivers license.