I thought I was done with Microsoft’s achievements. I no longer hunted down games with easily obtainable points. No longer stuck with bad games just to get the big 50- or 100-point achievements upon completing them. No longer felt the desire to stay a good 100,000 points ahead of my friends, who clearly didn’t take achievements seriously enough. And then those sneaky bastards at Microsoft decided to implement an achievement leaderboard onto Xbox One’s dashboard.
I’m now back into achievements just as much as I was when Gearbox’s Randy Pitchford threw down the gamerscore gauntlet in 2008. I haven’t quite sunk to the level of playing bad games yet (as I have plenty of good ones to get to first), but I am no longer retiring games as soon as they are completed. I first dive into the achievement list to see if if any points are there for the taking, or what kind of effort is required to land the triple-digit lunkers.
The leaderboard is a stroke of genius on Microsoft’s part. A feeling of satisfaction washes over me when I look at the rankings and see my name in the number one slot. Conversely, I start pulling out my hair when I fall out of the top slot, or, as I witnessed two weeks ago, fall to eleventh place. IN NO UNIVERSE SHOULD I EVER BE IN ELEVENTH PLACE FOR ACHIEVEMENTS!
I find myself plotting out ways to earn a couple of hundred points in a night. The leaderboard has also opened up a new line of dialogue between me and my friends. That dialogue is usually taunting and showboating. The leaderboard, which may seem as arbitrary as the points themselves, is breathing new life and fun into the hunt for points. I once again find myself grinning when I hear the achievement sound ring out. Thanks, Microsoft. I feel like I should punch/hug you for making achievements meaningful again.
Rather than keeping all of my achievement-unlocking secrets to myself, I decided to put together a list of the games that deliver the easiest points. Should you find yourself obsessing over them like I do, or locked in a gamerscore battle royale, I hope this guide serves you well. It’ll be updated whenever I find a new game that you need to know about.
6180 The Moon
Time Requirement: 3-4 Hours
If you’re respectable at platformer games, 6180 The Moon is a fun little game to venture into. While the challenges are difficult, checkpoints are in great abundance, and progress is inevitable if you stick with it. For each planet that is unlocked, the player nets a nice 50- or 100-point achievement. There are only two challenging achievements:
Gravity Free (40 Points)
M2 is the easiest stage to unlock this achievement on. It may take a few tries, but you should be able to make it to end without hitting the jump button.
Faster Than Light (40 Points)
As the difficulty ramps up, light is needed to make progress easier. While this achievement can technically be unlocked on numerous levels, VR3 is the one most people have had success with. Run along the barriers and you should be able to make it without the light.
Time Requirement: 3-4 Hours
I played the living hell out of Another World when it originally
launched in 1991 under the name Out of This World. To much surprise,
time has not affected this game in the slightest. The cinematic visuals
are just as stunning now as they were back in the day. The same goes for
the gameplay. Yes, it can be frustrating and demanding of precision,
but in a fair and challenging way. It’s another game that can easily be
digested in one sitting. And yes, you’ll reach the required 100 deaths
for an achievement well before reaching the game’s final act. If you’re
aiming to get all 1,000 achievement points, you’ll want to use this
guide. A few of the achievements push you to do something at a specific
time. Here they are:
Secret UFO: 100 Points
From the outset of play, when you
free yourself from the cage and grab the gun, wait around for a 15 to 20
seconds for a UFO to fly across the top of the screen and deliver 100
Explorer: 50 Points
A little ways after freeing yourself
from a cage and downing a few guards, you’ll find yourself in a small,
dome-shaped structure with a window on the right side. Walk over to it
trigger a cinematic view and the achievement.
Free Fall: 75 Points
During a chase toward the end of the
game, you’ll be reunited with your companion. He’ll throw you across a
large gap. Purposely drop into the gap to unlock the achievement.
Batman: Arkham Knight
Time Requirement: 10-15
Price: $59.99 (DLC additional costs)
Thanks to an influx of achievement-heavy DLC, Batman: Arkham Knight has quietly become one of the easiest games to rack up gamerscore in. Completing the main game alone can net you between 500-600 points, depending on how thorough you are. Each single-player DLC campaign can be completed in under half an hour for fast 30- or 50-point achievements. To get all of the points, you’ll need to play the AR challenges extensively and net 21 stars in all categories.
Time Requirement: 5 to 7 Hours
Contrast pumps out 100 point achievements when any stage is finished and delivers a huge 200 point gift when the game is completed. Smaller 25 point achievements are peppered along the critical path. The toughest achievements are tied to the collectibles. If you can find all of the collectibles in a level, you’ll get a 50 point achievement. Here are some of the tricker ones:
To the Heroes Among Us: 25 Points
In Act 1 do not enter the Ghost Note Theater. Instead, walk past it down the road and activate the gramophone to create a shadow path up to the a switch that activates the Extra Life 2012 logo and achievement.
The Cyclops’ Bottle: 25 Points
In Act 2 activate the carousel and then ascend to the rooftops using the shadows. Keep working your way to the left across the moving shadow path to the final rooftop and an opening that leads to a row of tables with umbrellas over them. The bottle should be glowing brightly on one of these tables.
Time Requirement: 8-10 Hours
I’m having a good time with Costume Quest 2. The combat is repetitive (especially in the early stages), but the humor and charm keep the game interesting. The story is also a fun ride. Achievements don’t necessarily come quickly, but are all in 50 or 100-point chunks. Most of them are tied to stuff you’ll complete on the critical path. Only three should be difficult to get:
45 Card Pickup: 50 Points
You’ll have to find all of the cards, many are hidden in chests, some are dropped by monsters, others are only obtained through trading with NPCs. You’ll have to be thorough and willing to backtrack to get this one.
Creepy Card Shark: 50 Points
To earn these points you’ll need to use every Creepy Treat Card in the game. You’ll have to start doing this from the outset of play. This can be extremely difficult if you are going for the Hardcorn Mode achievement, as one of your characters won’t be able to attack.
Hardcorn Mode: 100 Points
If you keep a character dressed in the Candy Corn costume for every battle you enter, you’ll earn 100 points. The battles are balanced in a way that you can win every fight with just two people attacking. I recommend keeping the costume on the second character. Just make sure you don’t accidentally change the costume in the overworld.
Every Telltale Game
Time Requirement: 5-8 Hours
Price: $4.99 an episode
No, this is not a joke. Completing any Telltale game nets the player 1,000 achievement points. Each season of a game is five or six episodes lasting approximately five to eight hours. All of the achievements in every Telltale game are tied to story moments, so you can’t accidentally miss one. The games in the series you should play first: The Walking Dead, The Walking Dead: Season 2, Tales from the Borderlands. If you like what you see The Wolf Among Us is worth a look. Game of Thrones is the longest of the bunch (and the least satisfying) Minecraft: Story Mode is shorter, but still not complete as of this writing.
Fibbage: The Hilarious Bluffing Party Game
Time Requirement: 20 Minutes and Up
To earn Fibbage’s achievements quickly, you’ll either need a number
of technology-savvy friends (the preferred method) or a number of
tablets and phones at the ready. I unlocked 650 of the points using one
phone and a tablet within 20 minutes of playing. The achievements
outline exactly what you need to do. To unlock the additional 350
points, you’ll need to play an 8-player game, win the Thumbs Cup, fool
every other player with a lie in a three-player, and play every question
in the game. In 20 minutes, I only managed to play four percent of the
questions. That one will take some time to unlock the 100-point
Forza Horizon 2 Presents Fast & Furious
Time Requirement: 2 to 4 Hours
Price: $9.99 (Free Until April 10)
Complete the first race in this game and you’ll earn a nice 100-point achievement. Over the next two to four hours of racing, the game doesn’t ease up on spitting out the points. Every new car that is unlocked nets you a 40-point achievement. The skill-based achievements also come quick. This is one of the easiest games on Xbox One to get 1,000 points in. Just complete the core races and you should get every achievement. You don’t have to worry about the secondary feats and collectibles.
Time Requirement: 4-5 hours
Game Informer’s Joe Juba wasn’t a fan of Never Alone, but I found it to be a charming experience that bears its heart and takes players on a colorful adventure through the tundra. It also spits out big-point achievements from start to finish. This is a game that you can unlock 1,000 points in in one sitting. There are only a couple of achievements that you may have to go back and get after the first playthrough. Enjoy the game first and foremost, then go back and mop up the points later. The big thing: Listen for owls. When you hear one, find it. Always check to the left at the start of each level for an owl. Here are the achievements that may give you a little trouble:
Dendrologist: 50 Points
Within the opening moments of The Forest level you’ll hear an owl that you need to find. Don’t worry about it until you find yourself circling back toward the beginning. You’ll end up on a ledge with a tree across a small gap to the left and ice that must be broken below you. Don’t drop down to break the ice. Jump across the gap, hit the tree, and continue on to find the owl.
Insightful: 200 Points
After you finish the game and find all of the owls, which should mostly be accomplished in the opening playthrough, go into the video player. You don’t have to watch every video all the way through, but for whatever reason, just clicking all of the videos and backing out doesn’t seem to work, either. I had to watch five or six of them fully before the wonderful 200 point achievement popped up.
Ori and the Blind Forest
Time Requirement: 8-25 hours
Without going for any achievements in my initial playthrough, I walked away with 725 or the 1,000 points offered. If you want to unlock most of them, do not venture to the lower sections of the volcano before getting everything you can from the other areas. Once you engage the final boss, there’s no turning back. A completed game can no longer be accessed. Most of the achievements I unlocked came from the critical path, including a nice 100-point achievement for completing the game. You’ll need to play the game numerous times to unlock all of the achievements, as some are tied to feats like “complete the entire game without dying” and “complete the game without using an Ability Point.”
Pneuma: Breath of Life
Time Requirement: 3-4 hours
If you can tolerate an annoying narrator for a few hours, you should be able to unlock all 1,000 points from Pneuma: Breath of Life. I didn’t look at any guides for Pnuema, and walked away with all but two of the achievements. Here are the two you’ll need to keep an eye out for:
Spirit: 50 points
In chapter 2, you’ll need to activate five torches. To do this, you’ll need to deploy a number of techniques, like looking at them, looking away, and walking backwards. At this point in the game you should be acclimated with these techniques. Just hunt down the torches. Some of the torches in the world do not count for the achievement. You need to find ones that can be interacted with. The final two torches are right after the bridge with the eye that you need to interact with. Once they are activated, a pillar will appear with a message that gives you the achievement.
Soul: 50 points
This achievement is a pain in the butt, requiring you quit the game and bounce around to different chapters. The best advice I can give is to watch this video for the solution.
Time Requirement: 15 minutes to 100-plus hours
No, Rare Replay doesn’t deliver an easy 4,000 points, but you can add a few hundred points without playing any games. All you have to do is launch a game and you’ll earn 15 gamerscore just for firing it up. You can do this for all of the games in the collection.
Time Requirement: 4-5 hours
After just one game, I unlocked six achievements. Around 700 achievement points can be unlocked in under an hour. The only difficult achievements are the 140-point “The Winner Takes All,” rewarded for completing the game, and “Champagne and Caviar,” unlocked after collecting 15,000 coins.
Time Requirement: 3-4 Hours
The Swapper’s achievements are next to impossible to unlock without using a strategy guide. The game offers 10 achievements, all tied to 10 incredibly well hidden terminals – often tucked away behind solid walls. The video below shows off the location of each terminal, and the methods needed to reach them, all while not spoiling any puzzle solutions.
Thomas Was Alone
Time Requirement: 2-3 Hours
Outside of getting stumped on a few puzzles, I had no problem flying through this wonderful platformer. You won’t have to go out of your way to unlock the achievements awarded for jumping 1,600 times or dying 100 times – you should get those roughly halfway through the game. The only achievement that warrants unconventional play is “Part of the Problem.” To earn this one, place a character on Laura and put your controller down. After a minute or so, the achievement will ring out. To earn the Thomas Was Not Alone achievement, you’ll need to complete the bonus levels, which are unlocked after the credits roll. As for the collectibles, here are the levels you’ll find them in:
Spawn – 0.3, 0.5
Array – 1.8, 1.9
The Golden Fleece
Origin – 2.4, 2.9
Associations – 3.4, 3.8
Purge – 4.4, 4.8
Invert – 5.1, 5.4
A Noble Quest
Iterate – 6.2, 6.7
Design – 7.1, 7.10
Generation – 8.5, 8.10
Exit Through the Gift Shop
Y+1, X+1 – 9.2, 9.10