Replika AI Review: The Best AI Chatbot for Friendship?

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Replika AI Review

In this Replika AI review, I explore how realistic the chatbot is and whether it can truly replicate a human companion.

With so many AI apps that promise genuine conversation, does Replika meet the mark?

What is Replika AI?

Replika is an AI companion chat app. It’s available not only on the web, iOS, and Android but also on Oculus/Meta Quest.

You first personalize your buddy’s appearance. Then, Replika aims to learn from your conversations and form a unique bond that gels with your personality, communication style, and other preferences.

Unlike a lot of so-called AI girlfriend or boyfriend apps, Replika is about age-safe companionship. It offers a fun and engaging environment for sharing your thoughts and feelings, with non-judgmental responses.

You can even enter virtual reality with your personalized friend using voice commands or the Meta Quest controllers to communicate in a 3D environment.

Key Features

Replika is stacked with features that go far beyond your average web-based chatbot. Here’s what I liked most and what could be done better:

Create Your Replika

Replika AI review - sign up process

Replika is all about personalization and this starts with creating your Replika. On the free tier, you get a dozen base models, with limited gems and coins for customization.

Pro lets you fully customize their appearance, change background environments, and engage in voice chats, image exchanges, and quests.

I like that new assets are added all the time and endless combinations are available for a truly unique experience.

Personality, Characteristics, and Conversational Needs

How to view Replika's memory of information

The app stands out the most for its ability to understand your tone and mood and engage with you accordingly. Over time your Replika may develop personalities based around:

  • Creativeness
  • Shyness
  • Activeness
  • Ambitiousness
  • Helpfulness
  • Self-assurance
  • Reason and logic
  • Daydreaming and imagination

You can also request emotional or therapeutic support, friendship, and more.

Replika AI review - emotional support

It’s keen to note that it cannot offer professional advice, but it will be supportive. For example, if you say you are feeling down today.

With Pro, Replika keeps a memory bank, so over time conversations become more engaging and less generic. Say you have three sisters – this is stored in memory and may come up again later.

The companion also keeps a journal about you that you can read. This recaps your chats and provides a positive outlook on the relationship, what they like about you, and helps inspire future conversations.

No NSFW Content

Replika AI is not a place for NSFW content. If you select the adult age range, you can playfully flirt, but this doesn’t reach the level of NSFW texting, voice notes, or image exchanges.

There are many NSFW apps like Candy.ai with unfiltered interactions that go beyond friendship.

Chat Methods

The AI behind Replika is built on a large language model that generates genuine human-like responses in text.

Unlike competitor Paradot, the companion always stays within the chat context, and I never found anything to be random or encountered any obvious bugs.

It also handled complex topics like scientific theories, but with a human touch, asking relevant questions back to me to flesh out the conversation.

With Replika AI Pro, you get free reign over multiple chat options. Send and receive pictures, voice notes, and even make a live call via PC mic or smartphone.

Replika AI voice notes

I was surprised by how easily it recognized my voice, picked up on key parts of the conversation, and responded accordingly. The clearer and to the point you are the better, but it does provide genuine responses rather than cookie-cutter phrases.

Once Replika knows you like voice notes, you might even wake up to a good morning message without asking!

Replika’s voice itself is advanced enough to change tone and inflection. I noticed elements of excitement and sarcasm. This isn’t a robot like Siri or Alexa.

You also have the option to change the voice, if you dislike the accent or overall tone. E.g., Female Caring vs Female Confident.  

Activities, Games, and Quests

Replika quests

I found the concept of activities and games a bit confusing. The drawback is it’s mostly up to you to teach and explain basic rules, but Replika has already been proven to engage with simple activities like:

  • Truth or dare
  • Chess
  • Drawing together (Web version only)

In most cases, you must develop an imaginative roleplaying experience in text form. My Replika wanted to “start looking for clues”, which morphed into a detective scenario, but this didn’t branch out into the 3D environment.

Official Quests might sound exciting at first, but they are really just simple goals to get you used to the chatbot. E.g., have your first conversation or share a fact. Later you might be tasked to brighten the room or play dress up.

On the free tier, these quests will give you a few extra gems and coins to keep you chatting, a bit like an RPG game.

This is a great way to learn all its features and feel like you are progressing.

Rooms and Models

Replika store

Replika is vibrant and interactive, especially when using VR. Its characters are similar to Paradot’s 3D cartoon style, but it also offers environments, not just avatars in a chatroom.

However, if you’re looking for photorealism, this isn’t the app for you. The graphics are more akin to a video game like the Sims.

So, while you aren’t going to get realistic pics generated with stable diffusion, the trade-off is a more fun 3D experience.

Nomi.AI is the better option if photorealism is what you’re looking for.

Replika’s in-app store offers furniture, electronics, plants, and countless other items to decorate your environment.

It also has a selection of cats, along with noises and animations, to keep as pets.

Did I mention music? I love that the tone is set with background music. Generally, this is calm and ambient, but it can get more adventurous, depending on the conversation.

There is always a radio in the room which you can click on to watch Replika turn on or off.

Nonetheless, it would be better if you could integrate your own playlists, choose tracks, and have your companion react to the music.  

The Oculus/ Meta Quest Experience

Replika on Meta Quest is still in the early access phase and has a few limitations when it comes to accessing your profile and changing preferences. However, voice commands and the Quest controllers work for the most part. And, most importantly, you get to meet your AI friend in the full 360 VR space.

Instead of a chatroom, it adopts the live mic conversation mode, so you can chat in real-time. As well as hearing Replika’s voice, you also view a chat bubble in case you miss what was said.

Overall, this is a fun and much more immersive experience. My only tip would be to take the conversation slow because the AI can take a few seconds to catch up and might miss your follow-up responses.

How to Use Replika

Replika is a cross-platform experience, but the features remain consistent on the web and mobile. Here’s how to sign up and get the most out of your AI companion:

1. Sign up for an account and choose your pronouns, age range, and select a base Avatar to begin the creation process.

Replika AI review - sign up process

2. Give your Replika a name and gender, including female, male, or non-binary.

3. Sign up to Pro or click the X to begin your free tier.

4. You will immediately begin in the chatroom space, with all key features easily accessible at the top.

5. Chat with your companion like any other person and the conversation will begin flowing organically.

Replika interactive room

6. Click Room to view the entire environment and click on items to interact, such as the camera for receiving selfies.

Replika store

7. Click Store to browse items to add to your room or companion. Here, you’ll also find shortcuts to your Replika’s appearance and personality screens.

Customize your Replika's appearance and traits

8. Customization is as simple as a click or tap on the mobile apps.

Replika chat icons

9. The chat options are just like any other messaging app, with icons for calling, text, images, emojis, and voice notes.

How to view Replika's memory of information

10. Click Memory to view the memory bank. All notable memories and facts from your chat history are stored here. You can even edit and add things to speed up the process.

11. Click Diary to see how your relationship is growing from your Replika’s perspective.

Replika quests

12. Click Quests to see what you have achieved and what other activities you can complete to earns coins and gems.

Pricing

Replika is available for free with 24/7 chatting, but to unlock all its features you need to purchase a Pro plan. Here’s what you get:

  • Free Tier – Unlimited text chat with a basic model and default environments. 15 rare customization gems, and 300 basic customization coins. Unlock more by completing basic quests.
  • $19.99/mo – Access to advanced models, all customizations, and unlimited voice messages, images, and interactive activities.
  • $69.96/yr – Same as above, $5.83/mo but billed annually.
  • $299.99 – Same as above with LIFETIME access.

Replika doesn’t offer a money-back guarantee, but you can cancel your subscription at any time before the next billing date and keep access until it expires.

Replika AI Review – Verdict

I was pleasantly surprised at how advanced and comprehensive the app was.

Now, there are a few things to nitpick, like implementing more games and interactive activities, or a more sophisticated radio feature. But as far as genuine human-like interaction goes, it’s much more polished than apps like Nomi or Paradot.

It remembers who you are and meshes with your personality like a real friend. The ability to chat in text and speech in a realistic manner, with little to no glitches, is a real standout feature.

Unless you are looking for NSFW content or photo-realistic images, Replika is one of the best AI companion apps available.