Is Elite: Dangerous the hardest game completion ever?

Elite: Dangerous' challenging and time-consuming achievements may well make it the hardest game completion ever!

Elite: Dangerous' challenging and time-consuming achievements may well make it the hardest game completion ever!

The critically acclaimed space flight sim, Elite: Dangerous, is arguably the best game in its genre. With over 400 billion star systems to explore in a completely un-capped Milky Way, the possibilities do seem literally endless.

The game does have a steep learning curve however, and new players may feel frustrated at first as they start to get to grips with the complicated user interface and controls system. Elite becomes harder still when you take a look at the achievements list and that is what I will be considering. Are the game’s achievements so challenging that it has become the hardest game ever made to 100%?

Over the years, since achievements were introduced on the Xbox 360, many games have been created that are pretty damn hard to fully complete, i.e. get 1000/1000 gamerscore. The Gears of War series had the notorious ‘Seriously’ achievements, Halo had the legendary campaign achievements and Rock Band 2 had the ‘Bladder of Steel Award’. You had to invest a large amount of time to complete these challenges but nothing compares to the time you must commit to attain 100% in Elite: Dangerous.

In total, you must put in over 800 hours of your life to get 1000/1000 in E:D!! That’s roughly 34 days, or one tenth of a year, of mining and refining materials, buying and selling goods, exploring uncharted systems, raiding trade ships and collecting bounties on pirates. That’s just for progressing in the game, to achieve an Elite ranking and save up enough money to buy 20 different ships etc etc. This alone takes great skill to achieve.

In particular, there are 3 ridiculously tricky and insanely time consuming achievements that stand out amongst the rest. Only a handful of players have completed:

  1. A True Champ – Won 250 CQC matches (this also requires a lot of raw skill and even if you boosted this it will take upwards of 60 hours).
  2. Centre of the Galaxy – Visit Sagittarius A (traveling 26,000 light years there and back will take around 30 hours).
  3. Well Trained – Complete all the tutorials

Yes, you read that correctly. The hardest achievement in this game is to complete the tutorials! In the ‘Combat Training Incursion Advanced’ mission you will face ten waves of enemy spacecraft alone and must survive to defeat them all. It is ridiculously difficult, which is why only 3 tracked players have completed it. 

The game is so hard that, in total, just one tracked player has taken the time to finish Elite: Dangerous in its totality, out of 13,328 gamers. ‘Ownasaur’ took 820 hours and 51 minutes to earn a well deserved 1000 gamerscore and his accomplishment means that the completion percentage currently stands at 0.01% for the game.

I would challenge anyone to name a game that is as time consuming, challenging and frustrating as Elite: Dangerous. The steep learning curve for new players means many give up after a few hours of play time but, for those who stick it out, it doesn’t get much easier. Even the most skilled players, such as Ownasaur, will realise that this is perhaps the most epic grind in a video game that we have ever seen.

You may completely disagree with me and that’s okay! I’d love to hear any and all opinions in the comments. What would get your vote as the hardest game to 100%?

Elite: Dangerous is currently available on PC and Xbox One.

About the author

Alec Pearce

Alec, 26, from the UK. Graduated from university with a degree in War Studies. I love playing video games (obviously), writing about them and achievement hunting. My favourite game ever is TESIV: Oblivion. In my spare time I play golf and clay pigeon shoot. Feel free to follow me on Instagram: @theealecp