Introducing MarsXP: The Trailhead Gamification Project

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Trailhead is Salesforce’s gamified learning platform, delivering engaging, bite-size content, as well as testing your abilities. Launched in 2014, Trailhead has undergone several enhancements over the years, constantly adding new functionality designed to challenge and incentivise.

Trailhead encourages users to have fun whilst learning and gamification has played a huge part in making Trailhead appeal to thousands of Salesforce enthusiasts.

So, what is gamification and why does it play such an important role in learning?

“The application of typical elements of game playing (e.g. point scoring, competition with others, rules of play) to other areas of activity, typically as an online marketing technique to encourage engagement with a product or service.”

Source: ‘Gamification’ Wikipedia

Gamification has been shown to have many benefits including increased motivation and the ability to retain knowledge and acquire new skills.

Examples of gamification in Trailhead include earning points and badges, as well as achieving ranks such as Mountaineer and Ranger.

What is MarsXP?

Is it an eXtra Powerful chocolate bar? Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No! MarsXP is a new level of gamification for Trailhead!

As a huge Trailhead fan, I went on a quest to investigate this new Project, and explore the “next frontier of learning”.

Source: Trailhead “MarsXP: Optimize a Real Estate App for Mars”

What’s new?

Designed for Advanced Admins, this virtual interactive experience has a series of objectives to accomplish rather than instructions. This Project is going to challenge you in new ways as you find clues and rely on your existing Salesforce knowledge to accomplish your objectives.

Top Tip: You’ll need to create a brand new playground for this Project!

You’ll begin your mission as a Space Traveller by landing on a new site, where you’ll find clues, complete tasks, and so on.

Sounds good right? Here are a couple of sneak peeks from the Project:

Earning this badge is great to prepare for your Salesforce Certified Advanced Administrator exam as it focuses on extending Salesforce with custom objects and apps, data access and visibility, formulas, and validation rules.

You can find more information on preparing for your Advanced Administrator exam here.

Your turn!

I love games, so much so that I even invented one last year, but enough about me; it’s time for you to hit the trail and don’t forget to tell us what you enjoyed the most.

Bonus news

In completing this project, I discovered another new, exciting addition to playgrounds: the ability to install a package using the ID directly on that org. Just like that, boom! This bypasses the need to log in with your playground credentials in order to install a package, which is ace, as finding your credentials for a Trailhead playground can be time-consuming and tricky!


2 thoughts on “Introducing MarsXP: The Trailhead Gamification Project

  1. I just completed it and enjoyed the learning exercise. I like gamification. But it felt a bit too childish to me.
    I’m curious what others think. It felt like a typical project but with more advanced graphics and game features (like hidden clues).
    I kind of prefer the regular hands-on projects. What do others think? Is it my age? I’m a baby boomer. Do you 20-somethings enjoy this game-like feel more than a regular business scenario?
    You could make it less playful and have people click on pictures of different clients to “get clues” as you would if you were a consultant.
    Actually, I like the idea that what a client says are clues. “Gathering requirements” implies they are ready to pluck, like ripe apples on a tree. Real comments by users are more like clues, and you have to be a detective to figure out what they REALLY want, based on what they SAID they want.

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