Testing Achievements

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Achievements given simply by having tested some action in the game.

Many computer games offer different ways of playing them, both in regards to which quests to strive toward completing and in regards to which classes or abilities to choose to use. Further, they may offer smaller semi-independent activities that are not necessary to do but offers another type of experience during game sessions. To make it more likely that players test these opportunities and not simply stick to one path, game designers can offer achievements based primarily on the fact that players have tested a quest, class, functionality, or activity.


The action RPG Torchlight has the achievements Fetch a Fair Price, Shape-Shifter, and Pet Trainer to encourage players to use the functionality their pets provide, while the achievement Mod Squad is rewarded for players installing a mod to the game[1]. Left 4 Dead 2 has a similar Testing Achievement as Mod Squad through the Mutant Overlord which is given for playing 6 mutations (mods)[2].

Of the many achievements in World of Warcraft, a few are Testing Achievements. These include I Found One! for looting a brightly colored egg during the Noblegarden seasonal event, Represent for equipping any tabard, Shave and a Haircut for visiting a barber and getting cosmetic changes to one's avatar, and Dual Talent Specialization for testing the game's functionality of offering a different gaming experience with the same character[3].

Although having aspects of grinding, the achievement Head of the Class in Team Fortress 2 forces players to test all classes available in the game and thereby experience the different abilities available[4]. Although constructing building can be difficult to to enemy interference, helping a team mate construct one to get the Land Grab achievement qualifies as a Testing Achievements as well since it is not to difficulty to succeed with in well-chosen locations.

Fallout: New Vegas of the Fallout series encourages players to get a companion through rewarding them with the Ol' Buddy Ol' Pal achievements. It also has an achievement each for playing 10 round of Roulette, Blackjack, and Slots: Little Wheel, Double Down, and One Armed Bandit[5].

Using the pattern

Testing Achievements are typically designed through selecting some of the optional activities supported by the game, one that might otherwise be overlooked if players are focused on one strategy of completing or winning the game. However, for games with Varied Gameplay one can construct Testing Achievements to make players test other ways of playing the game, so these types of Achievements can also be used to encouraged Varied Gameplay if the difference in gameplay is under players' choice (rather than the game varying the gameplay between different parts). Even if the required actions by players often are trivially easy in Testing Achievements, they can be made even easier by awarding them simply for trying - actions do not have to be successfully performed for the achievement to be given.

What differs Testing Achievements from Goal Achievements is simply that even if performing the activity could be seen as a goal, it is a trivial goal to succeed with and the main requirement is that the player is willing to try the activity (and does not need to successfully complete it). However, Testing Achievements and Goal Achievements can be used in pair - the first for trying to perform some activity and the second for showing that one has mastered that specific activity through reaching a non-trivial goal. An example of this is the achievements Ol' Buddy Ol' Pal and The Whole Gang's Here in Fallout: New Vegas which are given for having recruited any Companion and having recruited all respectively. Grind Achievements may be constructed from requiring players to perform the same activity as the same used in Testing Achievements, but repeatedly performing an activity is directly opposite to testing it.

All types of Achievements can be used to create Meta Games based on Collections goals. Testing Achievements are in this respect low hanging fruits that can be used to increase the number of Achievements without demanding an especially high increase in effort needed to complete Collections.


Like other types of Achievements, Testing Achievements can be seen as a type of Reward and a basis for Meta Games. Testing Achievements can, unlike other types of Achievements, support Smooth Learning Curves since they can provide motivation to players during the start of engaging in some type activity when players are learning and Experimenting.

For games with Varied Gameplay, Testing Achievements can be used to make players at least test the different ways of playing for a short while. This may promote Replayability, but is probably more likely to do so when combined with Goal Achievements to provide Rewards both for beginning to play a certain way and for successfully completing the game or Quest in a game by playing a certain way.


Can Instantiate

Achievements, Experimenting, Grind Achievements, Meta Games, Replayability, Rewards

Can Modulate

Companions, Quests, Smooth Learning Curves, Varied Gameplay

Can Be Instantiated By


Can Be Modulated By


Potentially Conflicting With

Grind Achievements


New pattern created in this wiki.


  1. List of Torchlight achievements in the Steam Achievements system and percentages of gamers receiving them.
  2. List of Left 4 Dead 2 achievements in the Steam Achievements system and percentages of gamers receiving them.
  3. Main page on WoWWiki for achievements.
  4. List of Team Fortress 2 achievements in the Steam Achievements system and percentages of gamers receiving them.
  5. List of Fallout:New Vegas achievements in the Steam Achievements system and percentages of gamers receiving them.