Up For Debate - Do You Take Game Achievements Seriously?

Written by Jon Sutton on Mon, Oct 15, 2018 10:25 AM

Ever since, one fabled day, Microsoft unleashed the Xbox 360 on an unsuspecting public on November 22nd, 2005, gaming achievements have been quite a big deal. Up until then, the mere act of playing and enjoying a game was its own reward. But all of a sudden we were being fed small dopamine hits for seemingly simple tasks, watching out Gamerscore tick ever upwards.

It didn’t take long for there to be an outcry that the PlayStation 3 didn’t feature achievements, and thus trophies were eventually born. There followed a frenzied period for a few years where it seemed just about everyone was caught up in the rush for achievements and trophies. People were actively seeking out terrible games with easy achievements, or avoiding great games with impossible trophies. The gaming world sort of lost its mind a bit, myself included.

After a while, achievements found themselves layer into just about everyone. Valve added Steam achievements, EA did the same and then Ubisoft followed suit. Now, over a decade later, achievement fever has died down somewhat. However, for those trying to extract as much play time out of a game as possible, this feature remains as the ultimate carrot on a stick.

All these years later though, are you still into game achievements. Were you ever? It’s easy to see the benefits when implemented correctly. Achievements can steer gamers into playing in a new one, trying out new tactics bumping up the difficulty. When they’re implemented thoughtfully they can be a heck of a fun way to discover all that’s possible in a game, particularly that which originally seemed impossible. They can get players to try out factions they ordinarily wouldn’t in a strategy game, or try to speedrun through a game as quickly as possible.

Unfortunately, most game achievements tip over into lazy. Getting an achievement for finishing a level isn’t fun. Or booting up the game. Or grinding 2,000 kills with a specific weapon. The difficulty of getting these doesn’t really matter, they just don’t actually add anything new to a game aside from watching an achievement or trophy score tick upwards. I’ve earned more than my fair share of hollow achievements, and it’s the habit to kick when you’re locked into it.

What ultimately did it for me though was when I picked up a Wii U (I know, I know). Nintendo has never bowed to pressure on achievements. It has games with in-game achievements, like Smash Bros or Kid Icarus, but it’s never implemented some over-arching system. After years of trying to get Steam achievements, Gamerscore and Trophies, it was a blessed relief to play on a system where none of it was even possible, breaking me out of my achievement bind for good.

So I’d love to know where everyone else stands on this one. Are you big into collecting achievements? Are they just unnecessary? Do they encourage you to play a game in ways you ordinarily wouldn’t? Get voting and let us know why below!

Do you try to unlock game achievements?

Do you like game achievements?

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10:15 Oct-17-2018

Sometimes, but it depends on the avhievement. If they give cool rewards or doing it is cool.

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22:02 Oct-16-2018

I don't really take achievements seriously. Sure they are nice to have, something to ding on when you do something. But I don't care about getting them all, maybe some I feel are interesting to actually do. But most of the grind achievements or progression achievements I just don't care about.

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22:04 Oct-16-2018

You will get them anyway, as you play the game. Or if you play and grind it long enough. Only achievements I actually did try to do are some in Wordl of Warcraft, because you get companion pets or mounts or something from them. So there is actual reward at the end.

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16:01 Oct-16-2018

i used to do some of them but when a glitch occurred that stopped half my achievements for marvel ultimate alliance, even though they were basically just calling out completion of levels, i gave up. i completed the game but all the achievements from the middle of the game are nonexistent.
when i do it now, its for diablo 3 seasons. if you havent played, then just know its about getting to the next achievement sets to complete a season fully and get the specific armor at the end.

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20:55 Oct-16-2018

Diablo 3 achievements are the only ones that I have ever considered being worth while, unfortunately it seems that they always require online play to unlock which I absolutely detest so I have never completed any of them. A total waste for people like me that prefer to play alone.

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03:07 Oct-16-2018

Nah, i just finish the story and then move on to another game xD.

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23:52 Oct-15-2018

I am old... so achievements in games mean nothing to me. Just an unneeded distraction from the game that I am playing.

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21:56 Oct-15-2018

As long as they aren't impossible to get or timed/limited edition ones (like on L4D2, the one with the christmas 2011 hunt or something like that, glad that there's a workaround to get it).

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21:14 Oct-15-2018

Only if they unlock some sort of playable content.

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07:45 Oct-16-2018

totally first and probably the only time i genuinely cared about it was assins black flag to get the various in game cheats.now only if it gives me in game cash

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03:01 Oct-17-2018

Starfox 64 comes to mind.

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20:30 Oct-17-2018

I usually play BF so my achievements are the weapon assignments. Probably not in the true sense of an achievement, although some are more difficult to grab.

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17:54 Oct-15-2018

It's weird. I couldn't care less about them and I never put any effort into unlocking them. Yet, I do feel good every time the little achievement window pops up and I like seeing what I've unlocked on the game's launch screen. I don't think I'd notice if they were not there at all but I admit there is some little trigger of joy that goes off in my brain from them.

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16:41 Oct-15-2018

Game achievements are for ppl that can't stand not being congratulated every minute they play the game.

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16:42 Oct-15-2018

The only achievements that I found bearable, were the Bad-ass ranks in Borderlands games.

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17:00 Oct-15-2018

For me it's a sort of completionism. I strive to achieve everything I can, as long as it's minimally bearable.

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19:38 Oct-15-2018

The only achievement I even bother is 100% completion (all quest, sidequest, etc, not some fancy achievement trophy or icon), because then I won't have any regrets left and get a feeling of finishing the game completely.

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21:57 Oct-15-2018

I see achievements as side missions in games. It's not part of the story line, but it's part of 100% completing a game.

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07:50 Oct-16-2018

Not true mate havnt you ever challened your friend to play the entire game of project IGI with only a hand gun without the silencer these are by the devs simple

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08:47 Oct-17-2018

Haven't played multiplayer games in years. I'm usually the lone wolf type.

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16:27 Oct-15-2018

I do have certain achievements that i would rather get rid off though. Like the Beastiality achievement from Huniepop... lol

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17:21 Oct-15-2018

Those kind of achievements have "Too Much Information" written all over them...


May even give people the wrong idea. Don't worry, I won't judge you though.

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10:36 Oct-16-2018

Exactly, since you can't choose what achievements a game gives you or not, if you get something you don't like. you're stuck with it XD

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18:18 Oct-17-2018

No offence, but I think it'd be very "weeb" already if you even own that game

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16:26 Oct-15-2018

I like them, and try to go for them when i can. It does give some feel off accomplishment. However, if you have to put 10 hours or more in to getting 1 achievement, i don't really care for it.. they have to be somewhat achievable.


The best one's are those that you have to have skill for, or have to do something special.

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15:51 Oct-15-2018

Achievments are fine, in fact i like being given some mark that i have managed to do something that takes effort, like the Space Gnome achievment in Half Life 2 Ep 2, that was some fun and a bit hard, or the Knightfall protocol from Batman Arkham Knight, it's all about having a bit of a challange, not that i actually searched for the riddler's trophies, but he was a challenging boss. That's what i really want from achievments really, to be there when i do something great and to be my aim to try to do something great, challenging and harder than normal.

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15:19 Oct-15-2018

Remember back in the day (96-99's) before we got internet(no guides and walkthroughs) and playing Tomb Raider,Legacy of Kain, and when i discovered some secret room,or alternate road,etc, the feel was enormous.That is what i call,at least for myself, an a achievement.Or when i got to discover by accident the blowing up of the sheeps in Warcraft II (despite playing it for a year)- good times.

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05:29 Oct-16-2018

LOL! I had cheats and walk through guides back before then. I remember having them all the way back into the late 1980s. Nintendo Power which had all kinds of cheats and walk though guides was awesome back in the day. Sometimes they would even send out an ultimate cheat guide that would cover every game in multiple franchises. Later other magazines started being published that did the same for non Nintendo titles. Game guides and cheats have been around a lot longer than internet for the average gamer. ;)

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15:11 Oct-15-2018

I don't even care about these game achievements as it is no good use to me.

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14:44 Oct-15-2018

I used to somewhat care back in the 360 days, but after that I stopped caring.

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15:18 Oct-15-2018

My words exactly.

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14:28 Oct-15-2018

The in-game achievements? Yes.
Steam achievements? Maybe
Grinding in Star Wars BF2 to feel a sense of accomplishment? I am not a lunatic.

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14:20 Oct-15-2018

I don't even look at what steam or uplay or whatever system has in terms of "achievements" - it's all nonsense anyway. Either a senseless grind or something stupid like "Congratulations - you finished a level/quest! YAY!!! Yaaaaayyy!"...


To me, real achievements are things that you do in a game that are genuinely impressive. Like a speedrun, a funny glitch you caught on shadowplay, your skill in the game...


I have a friend who used to spend many many hours playing and replaying the games to get "100% completion" on Steam. And I'm talking stuff like "Finish the game on X difficulty", then replay for "finish the game without using X", then "finish the game using ONLY X"...fool...

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13:50 Oct-15-2018

I don't know why I only look forward to get trophies on PS4 (even to platinum games), but on Steam or Xbox One I don't even care for achievements.

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12:46 Oct-15-2018

I think it's good incentive sometimes - my most recent was stretching spider-man out to get platinum. Also on certain games such as telltale where it's literally just for playing it's a bit pointless.

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12:00 Oct-15-2018

I never care of Achievement. It's pretty much empty way to pat your shoulder for something they think you should do. I like good tutorial. I like system that encourage people by substance rewards of specific play style.

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