12 grueling Xbox Achievements worth nothing at all

Xbox Achievements exist to appraise your in-game efforts. Trivial tasks are valued for a paltry sum like 5 Gamerscore, while Herculean efforts net you something like 100g - and over time, that tally accrues into something to hopefully be proud of, a numerical tribute to all your time spent and obstacles overcome. But then there are the 0g Achievements, which seemingly exist to absolutely torture completionists. Typically they're reserved for shameful failures, like these 13 zero-point Achievements that will make you want to cry. But others are some of the most challenging, laborious, ulcer-inducing feats that award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul. All that effort, frustration, and doggedness is worthless, as far as your Gamerscore is concerned; it's as if the game is screaming "You get nothing! You lose! GOOD DAY, SIR!" directly in your face. They say that hard work is its own reward, but these zero-point Achievements just seem cruel.

Titanfall - Too Legit To Quit

The goal: Reach Gen 10 of the multiplayer progression without skipping a challenge using a Forged Certification.

The agonizing struggle: The original Titanfall apes Call of Duty's prestige levels with its  regeneration system, giving veterans an easy way to show off their dedication by resetting their level after reaching the cap of 50. As in COD, this translates to hours upon hours of grinding XP, but Titanfall ups the ante by requiring you to complete challenges with certain weapons before a reset can occur. You may loathe the idea of having to kill dozens of Pilots using a weapon you hate - so Forged Certifications let you skip those ordeals with some in-game currency. Of course, doing so will permanently obliterate your chances of nailing this 0g Achievement, which forces you to slog through the multiplayer progression the hard way. And if you didn't know that before deciding you wanted this Achievement, you are, quite simply, screwed.

Halo 3 - Vidmaster Challenge: Annual

The goal: Complete the final level of Halo 3 in four-player co-op, on Legendary difficulty, with everyone piloting a Ghost, and the Iron Skull modifier active (which resets the party to the last checkpoint anytime someone dies).

The agonizing struggle: If that long-winded list of conditions didn't make it clear, this Achievement exists to test the most hardcore Halo fans. All the Vidmaster Challenges award 0g for some fairly ludicrous feats, which would feel like a sadistic prank on Bungie's part if not for the fact that scoring them all (across Halo 3 and Halo: ODST) unlocks the coveted Recon Armor for the aesthetic flaunting of one's skills. If you can successfully beat this notorious challenge, you and your three dedicated friends have truly earned the title of Vidmaster.

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Tales of Vesperia - Vesperia Master

The goal: Unlock all the other Achievements in the game.

The agonizing struggle: Scoring every Achievement in a massive JRPG is already a huge undertaking, but Tales of Vesperia gets really creative in all the ways it makes you jump through hoops. You often need to defeat key encounters under certain conditions to score all the so-called Secret Missions, and unlocking every Achievement requires a minimum of three playthroughs to allow for different playstyles. But the most ruthless Achievement of the bunch has to be "Item Nerd", which only unlocks when you possess every single item in the game. And if you happen to sell or synthesize any item you can't get back, through inexperience or accident, then guess what - it's time to start the game all over again. 

Guitar Hero Live - From Zero To Guitar Hero

The goal: Unlock all the other Achievements in the game.

The agonizing struggle: Even if you adore rhythm games, the things that Guitar Hero Live asks of you via Achievements are plain ridiculous. Stuff like "Replay King", where you need to score a whopping 20,000,000 points in Quickplay mode. Or "Credit Is Due", in which you stroke the developer's egos by 'watching' (read: walking away from the TV) the end credits twice over. But the biggest offender is "Strumillionaire", which asks that you strum the guitar controller one million times in the livestreamed GHTV mode. Leave it to players to find some ingenious workarounds for this needlessly arduous task, like affixing a reciprocating saw to the peripheral and leaving it on for an entire day.

Shovel Knight - Flying Feat

The goal: Defeat three enemies in a row using the air-dashing Propeller Dagger subweapon without touching the ground.

The agonizing struggle: Shovel Knight at least has the decency to allot some hefty Gamerscore totals for its many hardcore Achievements, like finishing an impressive speedrun, beating the game without dying once, or destroying (and thereby nullifying) every checkpoint you encounter. But this tricky Achievement merely gets you a pat on the back, even though it seems nigh impossible unless you've discovered the correct spot to make it work. To set up the correct trajectory of enemies to stab, you'll need to painstakingly shepherd an armada of helicopter rats into a row using the the invincibility-granting Phase Locket relic, orchestrating a procession of vermin as if you were the Pied Piper.

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Dragon Ball Xenoverse - If You Show Me Your Courage

The goal: Unlock all the other Achievements in the game.

The agonizing struggle: Bandai Namco just loves to squeeze in zero-point, get-everything Achievements into its anime tie-in games, as seen in its long-running Dragon Ball, One Piece, and Naruto series. This Achievement for the original Xenoverse is a fine example of how much work those Achievements are all going to take, especially considering that this is basically an MMO where grinding is a prerequisite for progression. One of those Achievements, "Rainbows Form In Your Eyes", asks you to maximize your 'Friendship' levels with all 12 masters in the world - so while you're doing your darndest to appease these NPCs, just try to envision that last 0g Achievement as a motivator during your hundredth hour of repeating quests for faction rep.

Project CARS - One More For The Road

The goal: Unlock all the other Achievements in the game.

The agonizing struggle: Once again, those "other Achievements" include some real doozies, which can single-handedly crush your dreams of total completion or turn them into waking nightmares. Highlights include "A Day In The Life", where you need to race for 24 straight hours in real time, and "I Am The 5%", which asks that you win an Online Public race in the first-person cockpit view, using manual gears and no driving aids. You better pray to the driving gods that you're not facing off against any seasoned players on top of all that.

Forza Motorsport 5 - Drifting Away

The goal: Score 7,000 points in a single drift.

The agonizing struggle: On the plus side, you won't have to spend hours combing over the entirety of the game to nab this Achievement. The downside is that raw skill is the only thing that can earn you this zero-pointer, because there are no shortcuts to pulling off a pristine drift with such point-scoring finesse. The only advice I can offer is that you rewatch The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift nonstop until you fully enter a Drift King state of mind before you hop behind the wheel of your virtual Ferrari.

Street Fighter 4 - Unbeatable Fist

The goal: Unlock all the other Achievements in the game.

The agonizing struggle: Like Bandai Namco, Capcom has a thing for tossing 0g Achievements in its fighting games, including Street Fighter 5, Street Fighter X Tekken, and every iteration of Street Fighter 4. But the original still stands as one of the greatest (that is, cruelest) of them all, with secondary Achievements like "Challenge Expert", where you need the pinpoint execution needed to complete every combo Challenge in the game (many of which demand frame-perfect links and hand-cramping motion inputs). There's also "Playing To Win!" where you need to win 10 ranked matches in a row. Just imagine the torment and suffering of winning nine straight, then getting matched up against a pro-level player who whups you, not knowing just how much of your sanity was at stake.

Section 8: Prejudice - My Little Friend

The goal: Kill an enemy with a Micro Beacon.

The agonizing struggle: Finding a multiplayer match in this quickly forgotten sci-fi FPS is difficult enough as it is, but this is just icing on the Halo hopeful's cake. Section 8 lets you equip your loadout with a Sensor Beacon, which sends out an enemy-scanning pulse in a small radius on impact. The trick here is to headshot an enemy with the miniscule gadget - but between its insignificant damage, the delicacy with which you'd need to whittle your target's health down, and the chaotic nature of the firefights, this goes from 'funny novelty' to 'hellaciously random feat that can only occur when all the stars in Section 8's universe align'.

Aaru's Awakening - Hardcore Dawn

The goal: Beat the entire game without dying.

The agonizing struggle: Just reading an Achievement requirement like that makes me recoil in horror. Aaru's Awakening doesn't rank highly in the pantheon of hardcore indie platformers, so beating its 2D obstacles courses, made harder by imperfect physics and unintuitive teleportation maneuvers is already a big ask. But to trudge through the entire adventure in Hardcore mode, where you're sent back to the the title screen the instant you die, is so audacious that it's bordering on offensive. 

Bullet Soul - Platinum Bancho

The goal: Earn a platinum medal for all stages in Bancho Mode.

The agonizing struggle: There's nothing to this one, besides the fact that you need to be godlike at bullet hell shmups to pull off the kind of point totals you need for a platinum medal. If you can gaze at thousands of brightly colored dots of death as they rain down on you, then carefully inch a path through the onslaught whilst firing back, you have a slight hope of scoring this Achievement. There's a merciful silver lining, at least: Bancho Mode lets you play each stage individually, so you won't have to claw your way through the entire game only to find that you aren't yet worthy of platinum medals across the board.

Lucas Sullivan

Lucas Sullivan is the former US Managing Editor of GamesRadar+. Lucas spent seven years working for GR, starting as an Associate Editor in 2012 before climbing the ranks. He left us in 2019 to pursue a career path on the other side of the fence, joining 2K Games as a Global Content Manager. Lucas doesn't get to write about games like Borderlands and Mafia anymore, but he does get to help make and market them.