Dear Microsoft, Xbox Series X Is A Chance To Fix Achievements

Ahead of the release of Xbox Series X, Microsoft should consider rethinking how it handles the numeric value of Xbox Achievements.


Hey Microsoft, we need to talk about Xbox Series X--specifically, we need to discuss how to use this console generation change to fix how Xbox Achievements work. And yes, this direct confrontation is necessary because, if the Xbox One is any indication, you haven't yet recognized how annoyingly flawed the Achievement system has been since the days of the Xbox 360.

So I'm here to politely (but firmly) tell you what's up. For the sake of the Series X, I reach out to you now and beg that you fix the numeric system for Xbox Achievements going into the next console generation.

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It's not like the entire Xbox Achievement system is flawed--we can salvage most of it! It actually is a great system for the most part. I love that each Achievement tracks its unlock percentage, rewarding players with a special ping when they manage to earn one that has less than a 10% completion rate. It's also a pretty cool way of seeing where exactly a majority of a player base falls off of a game. Did you know, for example, that of all the people who started Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice on Xbox One, only 79.99% actually played long enough to unlock the Shinobi prosthetic, and that number plummets to 39.17% for defeating the game's first official boss (Gyoubu Masataka Oniwa)? It's quite the fascinating look at how hard that game can be for some.

Anyway, to get back to the point of the matter, despite what it does well, the Xbox Achievement system is deeply flawed because of the numeric Gamerscore values you've attached to individual Achievements. And the thing is, I wouldn't even hate the whole Gamerscore thing if you just didn't allow developers and publishers to decide the individual numeric values for their games' Achievements, because sometimes these companies take it upon themselves to be creative and associate said value to some greater meaning.

Sometimes, this is fine. It's fine. And other times it's very much not fine--namely, whenever someone thinks it would be "oh so clever" to make the numeric values for the Achievements in their game not be a multiple of five. So unless you fully complete a game and earn the traditional complete score of 1000 points, your overall Xbox Gamerscore is ultimately not going to be a nice round number.

This is a game-breaking issue for me and no I'm not exaggerating, stop looking at me like that. I've witnessed my Xbox Gamerscore become a number that is no longer divisible by five a few times now and each has been more physically painful than the last. Do you realize how hard and time-consuming it can be to fix this problem whenever it comes up? I sometimes have to force myself to keep playing games I don't want to play or buy obscure indie titles with odd numbered numeric Achievements in order to offset a different game and even out my Gamerscore again.

Doom Eternal is the latest game to annoy me. Every Achievement in Doom Eternal is divisible by five except for two: "Darn It, They Keep BREAKING" and "It's a Magic Number." The former awards you 33 points for performing 33 unique Glory Kills in a single save slot while the latter nets you 67 for killing 666 demons.

Honestly, I don't particularly like Doom Eternal. I don't want to keep playing Doom Eternal. And yet, I am still playing Doom Eternal. Why? Because if I want those 33 points to be evened out, I have to keep going and kill at least 666 demons. And don't tell me to download and play Threes again instead--I won't do it! I don't want to keep playing Threes!

So please Microsoft, fix this. Just enact a policy that all Xbox Achievements for Xbox Series X games need to be divisible by five. I don't want to feel compelled to keep playing games that I'm done with just so that I don't begin hyperventilating whenever I log on and see my Gamerscore is a prime number.

Don't worry, I'll make sure to even out my Gamerscore ahead of the Series X's release--I'm sure plenty of other Xbox owners who care about this will do the same. Just help us by making it easier to keep it that way.

Oh, and one more thing: It would also be pretty cool if you took some notes from Sony and PlayStation's Trophies and separated the trackers for games and their DLC--it's a little disheartening to see a game you 100% suddenly become incomplete when it gets expansions. Not as pressing an issue as ensuring all numeric values are divisible by five but still something you need to fix.

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