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Why adding achievements to your game?

You may be wondering why would I add achievements to my game when the platform I’m publishing on doesn’t require them? I’ll explain a few reasons why it may still be a good idea.

achievement unlocked

From a players perspective:
You give the player a feeling of accomplishment. For me it feels a bit the same as checking off an item from your to-do list, it just feels good, and also it keeps me going to check off more items as long as they seem doable. It can give a player a small dopamine rush, and be honest, who doesn’t like a dopamine rush?

It is also fun for players to see how far other players are into a game, again a reason to ask the other player how are they enjoying the game or after seeing they saw a plot twist to feel safe to ask them what they thought of that moment.

Achievements can also inspire players to try out a different playstyle or explore the game further than they normally would have.

achievement unlocked

From a developers perspective:
Every time a player unlocks an achievement, the platform your game is on shows some sort of activity page, which in a way is a free advertisement for your game. It gives other players a reason to ask them about your game.

Another reason to add them even if it isn’t mandatory by the platform you’re selling on is that there are so many games without, but there is a group of people that call themselves achievement hunters, if you don’t have achievements they easily don’t even look at your game as there are so many other games with achievements. So it makes your game available to an extra group of audience. And if you ever thinking about porting your game to a platform where achievements are mandatory, you have them already in place and it is one less thing to worry about.

I also want to add that most platforms have a system to make it not that hard to implement achievements to their systems. It isn’t something that should take dozens of hours. The first time you’re working with achievements it might take a bit longer because you’re learning how to implement them, but after that, it should be easy to add them to your future games.

And last but not least, it might also give you more insight into how far players get into a game. I can try to explain this, but I think that the developer of Supraland did a great job explaining it, you can find his post about it here:

When I wrote the developer of Supraland about adding his post to my website he also added the extra information that with achievements you can track user data without having users to accept some agreement for tracking their data.

Wondering what kind of achievements you should add? Find here more information about all the different kinds of achievements and my opinion about them. Keep in mind that every achievement hunter is different and prefers different things. Oh and while you are thinking about adding achievements, please think about a system where the game checks the achievements at certain times like when starting the game. This is very helpful for when a bug made that an achievement didn’t unlock, so you can fix the bug and the player still receives the achievement after that, but also very useful for when the platform your game is on has a network issue and that is why the achievement didn’t pop.

Achievement Tag/Achievement Feature on Steam?

You decided to add achievements, or maybe already even did? Please, check your store page if it has the Steam achievement tag/feature in the list where it also says “single-player”. Steam doesn’t do this automatically and it will help achievement hunters as well as achievement tracking websites to pick up that your game has Steam achievements. I heard that Steam says in the documents that you should only add this to your page if the game has already achievements. However, if your game isn’t released yet, but you plan to release it with achievements… I would recommend adding the tag already. This way you have a higher chance to also get wishlists from achievement hunters.

Steam Achievement Feature / Steam Achievement Tag

If your Steam page doesn’t have the tag in the list shown as in the picture above, here is how you can add it:
App & Packages → All Applications → Choose App → Edit Store Page → Scroll down to Supported Features → check the Steam Achievements box → Save → Scroll up to the top of the screen → Publish → Publish to public

I would be very happy if this page made you think about achievements and the benefits of adding them, but how further from that point? what kind of achievements? Please check out my next page to get an idea and maybe even be inspired.