Xbox Achievements vs PlayStation Trophies

From age 6 to age 21, I was an Xbox player through and through. When it was time for me to get the new console, the Xbox One was the obvious choice for me because it was the follow-up to my favorite gaming console of all time (the 360). After a few months, I traded it in for a PS4. Since I’d always been an Xbox owner, defender, and apologist, trading over to the other side of the console world was a big, and new, step. However, I’m so happy that I did for every reason and where I stand now, there’s never any reason to go back. Today, I’m going to talk about just one of those reasons which is the accolade system that you’re rewarded through for playing games.

Xbox Achievements, and PlayStation Trophies

For the uneducated or otherwise ignorant: When you play a game on one of these consoles, you’re able to complete “challenges” to progress your account. Note: this progression is not in-game progression but rather is only to show off your diligence in playing certain games. For example, you can progress in a game to rank up but you can also progress your console account by playing games for trophies or achievements. One could be a high-lever in a game like Call of Duty but that person may not have done any trophy hunting or achievement hunting in order to gain either of those at all. It sounds slightly confusing but it’s not as complicated as I may be making it seem.

Basic trophies come in three tiers: Bronze, Silver, and Gold. To earn a bronze trophy, you most likely have to complete basic challenges in the game like “Collect 5 Artifacts” or “Blow Up 3 People With 1 Rocket.” To earn a silver trophy, you’ll be asked to step things up a notch like “Collect All Artifacts” or “Complete Level 5 Without Dying.” Following the trend, the gold trophies are the rarest of the three and usually ask a lot from you like “Complete The Game on Hard” or “Get 100% Completion.” Once you unlock all trophies for a game, PlayStation rewards you with the Platinum trophy which is highly coveted. Seeing how many platinum trophies a player has shows their dedication to those games, and says “Yeah, I’m The Master of This Game.” It’s a great feeling and being able to compare trophy counts with your friends is a lot of fun.

So, achievements.

Achievements don’t come in tiers, they just come in GamerScore point values. You could complete an achievement and get anywhere from 5 to 200 (on average) points, depending on how valuable the achievement is. Achievements like “Collect 5 Artifacts” or “Blow Up 3 People With 1 Rocket” could be 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30 points and how it’s assigned that value, I have no idea. Achievements like “Collect All Artifacts” or “Complete Level 5 Without Dying” could be 40-60 or anything and “Complete The Game on Hard” or “Get 100% Completion” might also be 40 but could be like 150 as well. As you collect the achievements, your total account gamerscore rises and rises.

But Blake, isn’t it cool that Xbox rewards you with one Score system that grows instead of having different tiers of trophies to total up?

Well, yes and no. Trophies also represent point values that do the exact same thing, and more. A bronze trophy is worth 15 points, a silver trophy is worth 30 points, a gold is worth 90 points, and a platinum is with 180 points. Furthermore, your total points work towards your Trophy Level.

  • Level 2: 200 points
  • Level 3: 600 points
  • 4: 1200 points
  • 5: 2400 points
  • 6: 4k points
  • 7: 6k points
  • 8: 8k points
  • 9: 10k points
  • 10: 12k points
  • 11: 14k points
  • 12: 16k points

And so on, each additional level adding 8k to the previous.

Xbox’s GamerScore just rises and rises and can’t be substituted with a convenient Rank.

Take my accounts, for example. I have 34185 GamerScore on IVIVP NiGhTMaRE. That’s no longer a rewarding number. Hell, if I didn’t just look it up, I’d have no idea what my score would be. I know it’s quite a bit, but you could round that number up or down and it wouldn’t make a difference. On the other hand, I’m a Trophy Level 12, getting close to 13, with 8 platinum trophies. Those numbers are easy to remember because they’re not fucking 34185, which changes with every game that I play if I collect a single achievement.

Now, for the heart of this article…

As I’ve mentioned, getting a Platinum Trophy is the most rewarding part of this. When I get a platinum trophy, unfiltered joy and accomplishment floods over me and I feel as though I’ve truly conquered the game. If I still want to play the game after getting the trophy, I’m telling myself that I actually really love the experience that this game has to offer. If I immediately delete the game from my harddrive after getting the trophy, I’m telling myself that I probably won’t ever play it again. It’s a great bookend to any gaming experience and it’s worth so much on a personal level (to each his own, of course).

Xbox Achievements offer no sort of reward for collecting all other achievements. The last achievement you get may be a 5G and then you’re done. That’s it. Nobody can tell how many games you’ve mastered and all of the points just go to the same place. Again, take my account for example. I know I’ve gotten all of the achievements for Halo 3, Quantum of Solace, Blood Dragon and I’m pretty sure I have them all for Red Dead Redemption, Far Cry 3 and Halo Reach but honestly, I can’t remember. Having to go back and check would just prove my point that it doesn’t really matter. It’s entirely meaningless. Platinum trophies, though: easy. God of War, Rocket League, Burnout Paradise Remastered, Far Cry 3 Classic, Far Cry 4, Far Cry 5, Far Cry Primal, and Horizon Zero Dawn. Boom. Easy to remember because you’re so well rewarded with doing them. Playstation trophies are fun and rewarding while xbox achievements and their gamerscore are generally worthless.

To conclude: Since I’ve been an Xbox and PlayStation gamer in my life, I’ve gotten a lot of accolades from each console. 34185 GamerScore in however many years, and in the past year and a half 987 trophies (785 bronze, 173 silver, 41 gold, and 8 platinum). Since I only started hunting for platinums at the end of June, I’m starting to focus more on that to beat my buddy’s 17. Anyway, there have been some games I’ve played on both Xbox and Playstation, earning achievements and trophies for the same game. The three tiers of trophy make it so easy to judge about how much time it will take me to earn it, but the entirely meaningless and arbitrary GamerScore assigned to the exact same accolade makes it so confusing and less rewarding. Trophies are just so much more user-friendly and achievements seem like a rough draft to a decent system of rewards.

But hey, that’s just me! Maybe you disagree and are a lunatic but who am I to judge 😛 Just kidding, I already have my opinion so if you have an opposing viewpoint I’d really love to hear it. Any arguments for Achievements I’m genuinely curious about.

As always, thanks for reading and I’ll see you soon!

Published by Blake Carson Schwarz

Indiana University graduate in Media and Creative Writing. I love to write my own stories as well as experience the work of others. On this site, I post reviews, essays, and other fun posts that I hope you have as much fun reading and I have writing. Please share any comments you have, I'd be happy to hear what you think! *Never a critic, always a fan*

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