Why Trophies/Achievements are Pointless

September 1, 2011

Unpopular Opinion

1) No Value

It’s like working for free.  You play an endless amount of hours to collect every trophy/achievement in a game, and then you finally master the game by collecting 100% of everything. You get a sense of accomplishment for about 30 seconds, and then realize that you spent the last few hours of your life collecting things that ultimately don’t matter.  Instead, Sony and Microsoft should keep track of your trophies/achievements and reward you with free games on PSN/Xbox Live when you reach a certain percentage. Now if I knew that I would be rewarded in some way, then I’m all for using extra hours on pointless “do this, collect that” errands if I know that I can get a free game out of it. Otherwise, it’s pretty pointless.

2) Distraction to Gaming

I’m sure that many people have experienced moments when you are in the middle of an intense firefight while being completely immersed in the experience, when all of a sudden, you hear a “ting” with a box that appears in the corner of your screen. Well that little sound and visual just ruined a portion of the experience. Not only that, but players are often caught focusing on a game’s objective, that oftentimes, they’ll remember of a trophy/achievement they could get by jumping over an enemy 10 times (or some other absurd goal, if you didn’t catch the sarcasm). It becomes a distraction to the game play and again, something that is completely pointless. What is worse are players who review all the trophies/achievements before they even start playing a game so that they can get everything. Players are no longer playing a game for the experience, but rather to “collect them all.”

3) The More You Have…

Ever compare your trophies/achievements with someone else? Does it make you look cooler? No, it actually makes you look like someone who does nothing but sit on his/her couch playing video games more than anyone else. Not exactly something to brag about. While I agree that trophies and achievements do bring about more replay value (which is a good thing), don’t become a “trophy/achievement whore” that needs to collect 100% in every game. It’s pointless and detracts from the overall experience of a game. Play because it’s fun…no one likes working for free.

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21 Comments on “Why Trophies/Achievements are Pointless”

  1. Matt Says:

    3 pretty lame reasons….i just wasted 5 minutes reading this when i could have earnt a bronze trophy in that time

    Reply

  2. Jeremy Says:

    Why does it matter to you the reasons for which people play games, and who are you to dictate what is and isn’t fun?

    I was going to write a long rant explaining in great detail why you’re wrong and simply stereotyping all gamers who choose to go after trophies/achievements, but it’s just not worth it.

    You know what’s more pointless than trophies/achievements? Trying to write an article that convinces others how they should choose to be entertained.

    I won’t be back to read any responses.

    Reply

  3. cjvita Says:

    You just wrote the dumbest article I have read in a while. 1. The ting distracts you? wth is wrong with you? what kinda of point is that? 2. trophies/acheivements have value. For eg. as a gamer, I want recognition for the awesome things I do in video games. Like getting a Platinum on SSF4, or a platinum on FF13. I enjoy getting rewarded for doing things others can’t do. As a human being it is just natural, don’t you think? Your last point about sitting on the couch playing games alot is also stupid. Everyone has there own interest and enjoy whatever it is they like doing. If you go to the club every night, does that make you any different from the guy that plays video games alot? no!!! it doesn’t. it only means you are doing a different activity, that just so happens to be the it thing to do. Your article sucks, try again.

    Reply

  4. Anzil Says:

    who asked for ur opinion?

    Reply

  5. James Says:

    I couldn’t agree more with some of those points. While trophies do have their benefits, on a personal level I find they suck out all the fun out of some games when I try and hunt them down. Whenever I return back to a game that doesn’t support them (particularly those on Nintendo platforms which don’t support them all), it’s a breath of fresh air as I just don’t have that distraction trophies pose to me (I’m weak to trophies and HAVE to try and unlock some), and thus I’m left to play games the way I want to.

    I still believe a game should arguably be good enough for me to want to try out cool things or play the entire game though without a trophy or achievement to spur me on.

    I have a feeling trophies exist to keep players loyal to a particular gaming platform – after all, most gamers wouldn’t want to live up their 50,000 gamerscore by purchasing a game (most likely an all-formats title) on another platform.

    I think my biggest issue with achievements is the grand score and restrictions put in place. Why do download-only XBLA games only have 12 achievements? Why must all achievements have to add to 1000 points? These seem like decisions based on the monetary value of the games themselves, rather than doing the games justice.

    These issues seem to conflict with the achievements themselves too, limiting their scope for each game.

    Of course, this is just me – I just find it so hard to ignore trophies because when I do, it feels like I haven’t completed the game enough. And thus it’s difficult for me to escape from their (potential) issues.

    Reply

  6. joe Says:

    This comment has been removed due to inappropriate content.

    Reply

  7. Cruncher Says:

    I also think that trophies are useless but it’s my opinion and I can understand why people love them. That said… Saying that trophies give you nothing is so wrong … Not everybody work for money…

    A trophy it’s like a grade you know… if you get a A in your exam after hours and hours of studying you can be proud even if this A change nothing at the end… Some people gets A cause they want to go medschool or something similar but sometimes it’s just to prove yourself that when you put time and effort you can accomplish thing !

    Reply

  8. Pete Says:

    Trophies/achievements just add more playability to a game. Three lame reasons you got there buddy. Cute article too.

    Reply

  9. ROB LOWWWWWWWWWWWWE Says:

    I concur with this artical and i feel this artical has a straight fact and if people cant understand and see what the article is saying then it shows we live in a narrow minded world

    BY THE WAY IM SO HOT !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ROB LOWE FTW!!!

    P.S NEVER TRUST BUS DRIVERS THEY CAN RUN YOU DOWN IF YOUR LATE!!

    Reply

  10. Boromir Says:

    1) Intrinsic value means nothing to you I suppose. Looking at both Uncharted Platinum’s I can be proud to know that I played the game to the fullest extent that the Developers created. Trophies were supposed to be displayed in Home and may still be in the revamp this fall

    2) If you dont want to get distracted don’t go for the trophies! Easy as that…it’s not like 99% of games dont let you go back to the point you were at. Other trophies make you strive to go for that 10 person online killstreak or do something faster….to most it’s better than mindlessly doing something to get from point A to point B

    3) No I wont look at someone’s level 17 trophy collection and go wowowwwww this dude is amazing…similarly I wont say look at how lame this person is…Ill think wow they must really love the crap out of this game…however I will scoff if someone has trophies that are obviously there to boost your score(Im looking at you full grown men who bought Ice Age 3 and the Hannah Montana game!!)

    But if I see somebody I know (and am somewhat competitive with) got say the trophy for beating Resistance 3 on Hard I will probably accept the challenge and try to obtain the same trophy. Then I get extra enjoyment out of a video game.

    Trophies/achievements aren’t the most useful things in the world but they are a part of gaming culture now and they give you an extra oomph to get through the game and do/explore things you normally wouldnt. A good set of achievements can really make a game more enjoyable.

    Reply

  11. Penelope Says:

    If I achieve something I want (in this case a trophy), I’m satisfied. If I don’t give a s*** about a trophy, I won’t get it. It’s not rocket science.

    Reply

  12. mario Says:

    i play game for fun but, i like to i try to get the trophies some times there games tht suck and people still play it just for trophies, i wouldn’t waste my time on a game tht is not even worth playing. Sometimes there’s trophies tht u got to buy add on’s or multilayer for days, i skip on tht i just play the game on camping if i get trophies on the way. besides i havent even play dmc 4 and metal gear solid for ps3 now don’t tell me tht i just go for trophies .

    Reply

  13. R17 Says:

    I completely agree with you on this whole fascination with instant gratification. Years ago gamers completed their own challenges without the need for a virtual 3×5 flash symbol and weak sound effect to acompany it. Again this is soley my opinion but I personally feel this gaming generation has put a greater concentration on personal rewards and public recognition with gamer cards and online leader boards. Great article!

    Reply

  14. Shadowripper195 Says:

    hey i agree with you but on certain instances.
    1) To me going for the trophies makes the games longer
    2) You should only go for the trophies for games you really enjoyed
    3) There are some people who take these trophies way to far and those people should get “REAL LIFES”.
    4) Some games are just looking to be “platinumed”.

    I not saying ur wrong but mostly Right, but go for the trophies for the games you loved or thought were great!!!!

    Reply

  15. RockN Says:

    You’ve sparked some serious (and at times crude) debate here. Good job.

    Personally, I like achievements. I never manage to earn them all, on account of I don’t have the time or the patience. But I like having that score on my PSN and Xbox Live accounts. To me it’s more like, “Here are my games, you should try them out too!”

    I can understand why someone would not care for achievements and to be frank, no one should be made to. But I’ll play for both fun and achievements. When it stops being fun, I stop playing. That’s usually how I roll.

    Reply

  16. Michael Grella Says:

    It would be nice if you got some Microsoft points for getting hard achievements or complete them all.

    Reply

  17. na Says:

    you are complaining about the trophy system and yet you are posting your psn game card in the right side of the blog and by the look of it, seems like you are just sit in your couch getting trophies.

    Reply

  18. Aj Says:

    I remember completing some real old 8-bit games where I couldnt save, or even pause in some cases. Sitting for hours on end with out food or drink to eventually complete the game. You’d be granted with a thank you for playing and a pixleated picture to represent what happened next in the story (the happy ending) or the Now youve completed it, try it again, in double speed.

    Isnt that less rewarding than having trophies and a platform to boast from? I got nothing but panda eyes to show for my efforts.

    Learn what real gaming is all about!

    Reply

  19. argus9 Says:

    I like (most of) the commentary this article is sparking, and I’ve got to say that I agree with both sides of the fence. Achievements are intrinsically a great way to extend a game’s replay value, and to reward the player for doing some exceptional actions in the game. Think of it as a timeline of the long hours you’ve put into the games you love. That being said, not all game developers use achievements and trophies to their full potential, and have you doing some ridiculous stuff for a little nonsensical recognition (pelvic-thrust another player for 10 consecutive seconds in Uncharted 3? Just kidding…maybe. I’m looking at you, Nick :P).

    The blame for frivolous trophies and achievements really falls on the game developers, not the system itself. Let’s say Modern Warfare 3 had an achievement you unlock when you kill 5-6 players in a few consecutive seconds using only a gun (no grenades, killstreaks, etc.) in a matchmaking game. That, to me, is a true achievement, and something worthy of displaying on your profile. It really shows your progress as a player and how much your skills are improving. It’s not about getting physical compensation, it’s about pride. And that’s something Infinity Ward could program into their own game. Then again, you probably get a trophy for beating Hannah Montana (which, let’s be honest, is an achievement in and of itself), and that’s just a waste. Let’s not cast the blame on the achievement/trophy system, but on the companies that make games with achievements that are just too easy to get.

    Reply

  20. banjo Says:

    Achievements and trophies are for idiots who don’t know much more fun games used to be with all this usless s*** tacked on.

    Reply

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