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Xbox Revamps Achievements on Xbox Live – Adds Challenges + Rewards

June 13, 2013 1 Comment

Microsoft is not only unveiling a new Xbox console later this year, they are also revamping achievements on Xbox Live. They are expanding how they work and also adding challenges to the mix. Challenges are time sensitive and can actually earn you goods like digital artwork, new maps, unlockable characters, temporary stat boosts and more.

Tons was written about it on Major Nelson’s Blog, here is a nice chunk of the details below.


Cierra McDonald – Program Manager @ Xbox Live

In addition to Gamerscore, which will remain as a critical part of the Xbox gaming experience (and yes, your Gamerscore from Xbox 360 will carry forward to Xbox One – there’s only ONE Gamerscore (see what I did there?)), consumers can now unlock digital artwork, new maps, unlockable characters, and temporary stat boosts via achievements. And this is not limited to games! Other Xbox One applications such as video and music apps can now use Achievements to bring you awesome sneak peek content, early access, or subscription extensions. Only games will give you Gamerscore.

There are now two types of Achievements: achievements and challenges. An achievement is probably already familiar. There’s a goal or activity you must accomplish and a reward that you receive upon completion. You can unlock an achievement at any time, be it on a game’s launch day or 3 years later. I guess you can say an achievement is like a promise in that sense. A challenge, on the other hand, is more like an opportunity – better grab it while you can! It is also comprised of a goal and a reward; however, challenges are time-bound (as in, real life time). That means you can only unlock during its eligible time window, and if you get close but don’t complete the goal when it ends… *Kanye shrug*

Achievements and challenges are both officially considered Xbox Live Achievements, so they inherit many of the same benefits:

  • You can unlock them and win their rewards
  • Once unlocked, they are saved to your achievement history
  • They each have an icon to visualize the cool thing you did
  • They often are associated with a Game DVR capture to show your friends that you are better than they are
  • Developers can release more of them after the game’s initial release (more on that in a bit)

There are also some notable differences between them:

Challenges are time based. As just noted, challenges are only available for a certain period of time. Only your activity during that timeframe will count toward unlocking the challenge. Achievements do not expire, so you can unlock them at your leisure.

Challenges do not give out Gamerscore. We want everyone to have the same shot at increasing their Gamerscore to its highest potential. Since challenges are intentionally temporary (an opportunity) and achievements never expire (a promise), only achievements may offer Gamerscore as a reward.

Challenges may cross titles, but achievements cannot. Achievements cannot be shared across titles whereas challenges are allowed to span multiple titles.

Challenges can be unlocked by the community. Community challenges are typically goals that exceed what a lone player can accomplish in the given period of time. Imagine, for example, a game releases a headshot weekend challenge that requires players to cumulatively headshot 1 million baddies in a 3 day period. And every person who participates and meets the challenge’s goals gets the unlock on his or her achievement history and reaps its reward.


You can read more on Major Nelson’s Blog



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