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What Could Valve Do to Improve the Steam Achievements System?

Here I explain why I hate Steam achievements system, and I suggest some solutions to its problems.

Video games achievements started back in 1982, and it's been a big thing in gaming community since then. It began with the Activision badges system, and this was a system by which game manuals instructed players to achieve a particular high score, take a photo of score display on the television, and send the photo to receive a physical, iron-on style patch. (As it says here on the achievement wiki page)

Achievements give the feel of accomplishment and success to the player, and it encourages the players to find secrets and do certain things to unlock them.

In 2007 Valve became the second large publisher to release a platform-based, multi-game achievement system for their Steam platform. (According to the achievement wiki page)

So it was a big thing, right? Yes it was, sort of, but comparing it now to the achievement systems on other gaming platforms, is like comparing other horse breeds to the Arabian horse breed.

So what's wrong with Steam achievements system?

-The lack of a score system.

Unlike almost every other gaming platform that has an achievements system, Steam doesn't have an achievement score system. Yes, it has a "Showcase" system, like the one in the photo from my Steam account, but it doesn't do anything other than that. There are no special badges, no prizes, just something to put on your Steam account to show off, but it's barely noticeable by other people unless they specifically visit your account to look at your achievements count.

Solution: add a scoring system with special prizes, like Uplay for example. The points system in Uplay gives you extra stuff like alpha bonuses, and discounts when buying games, and even sometimes it gives you free games. It is maybe hard to do on Steam, because unlike Uplay, Steam has games from different developers and publishers, so another more easy solution is a special badge system, for completing a certain amount of achievements.

-The lack of a decent security system.

Yes, Valve was always protective with Steam accounts and hacking, but when it comes to the achievements system, they just ignore it. You can download a particular program that lets you unlock any achievement you want without even playing the game; I even tried it myself on CS:GO and it worked. Maybe they try to be more aware of these things? It is annoying to see someone get that achievement you worked hard for, by just clicking a few buttons.

There are more problems in Steam achievements, but they all should be fixed by the developers themselves; like the grinding-type achievements, for example: jumping 1000 times; or the type of achievements you're supposed to be doing, like completing level 2.

In the end, some people like the current Steam achievement system, and some people don't even like achievements at all. What's your opinion? Do you like achievements? Do you think Steam achievements system is lacking? Either way, I would love to hear your opinions on this.

Published Aug. 11th 2016

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