***(UPDATE 4 Aug 22nd 2020): It's been nearly 10 years now since the reset. The world went to shit in 2020 and so did the GRAW boards. According to the most recent winner, Magthrower12, it took 32 23s and 5 24s to go from the lowest 25 to #1. The #2 position is only halfway there at this point. It took Magthrower about 6 months of running 3 consoles daily to get to #1 from scratch so this is now a roughly 4000 hour grind
***(UPDATE 3 Nov 6th 2014): We're coming up on 4 years since this reset next week. I have not kept up with the status of this leaderboard for quite some time, so I can no longer provide time estimates to complete this. I recommend asking the most recent person who got this achievement for that information. I can tell you that it's still 8+ weeks at least to get this, and as always, it gets worse the longer you wait.
***(UPDATE 2 May 26th 2012): I spoke to the most recent World Champion today and he verified my estimates from March. It takes about 8 weeks now and from the lowest 25 to #1 took him about four 23s. As of right now the board is not being blocked, but as usual this is subject to change.***
***(UPDATE March 4th 2012): I've noticed quite a few people working towards World Champion lately so I thought I'd throw a little status update out there. The days of doing this in 4 weeks are long gone. Due to some shenanigans last summer the bar has been raised considerably. While it used to take a single 25 from a low 24 to get you #1, it now takes at least 3 based on my educated guess of where the leaderboard is right now. Any recent World Champions out there, please correct me if I'm wrong on this. I'd estimate this to be a min. 6-8 week haul right now and at least 1000 hours. At the time of this writing, the universal leaderboard is NOT being blocked. As always though, this is subject to change. Someone can and will make this harder in the future so if you want this achievement, do it now.***
To earn this achievement, you must climb to the #1 spot on the universal leaderboard. This will take a VERY long time. At least 4 to 6 weeks or more of playing the game 24/7. That is equivalent to 600+ hours of console time required to get the achievement. Thankfully, all these matches can be played automatically and requires no human interference other then switching accounts every 3 hours or so (described later).
First, if you want this achievement, you will need at least 8 gold accounts. That is not an exaggeration, any less than that and you will most likely not be able to make it. However, 8 is a bare minimum; you should really have 12 or more if you want this done in 4 weeks. Also, while not required, having multiple Xboxes helps TREMENDOUSLY, so gather as many as you can. You will also want 4 controllers (guitars and drums work) so that you can run 2v2 sessions on the same Xbox.
HOW THE LEADERBOARDS WORK:
The universal board is simple. You are ranked on a numerical scale that goes from 1 to 25. To get to #1, you must get to level 25. You rank up by gaining XP from winning ranked matches. After you earn the required XP (there’s no way to check), you move up a level. You gain more XP from winning against higher ranked opponents and gain less from winning against lower ranked opponents.
The most crucial thing to know is that matches won against opponents 4 levels or more lower than you DO NOT COUNT. For example, a 10 beating a 6 does not count. A 15 beating a 7 does not count. A 24 beating a 20 does not count. This is why you need multiple accounts to rank all the way to 25. You also need to place them strategically to get your main account all the way up. This is called a ladder.
The ranks also have different tiers where the amounts of XP given or lost is different:
Levels 1-8: More XP is gained from wins then lost from losses (EX: 5 points gained from a win, 3 lost in a loss)
Levels 9-20: XP is gained and lost at the same rate (EX: 5 points gained from a win, 5 lost in a loss)
Levels 21-24: Less XP is gained from wins then lost from losses (EX: 3 points gained from a win, 5 lost in a loss)
Level 25: Almost no XP is given. It takes a VERY long time and multiple high level accounts to raise a low 25 to a high 25.
HOW TO BUILD A LADDER:
Ok, you got your accounts set up (at least 8; 12+ recommended) and are ready to start. Set up the magic gametype that lets you win matches automatically as described earlier. Follow these settings:
Mode: Team Territory
- Respawns: Off
- Zone Control: Capture
- Helicopters: On
- Zone: 1 Base
- Scoring: Capture All
- Victory: Time
Time: 5 Minutes
Advanced Settings: change the following, leave everything else at the default
- Number of Players: (this number should be equal to the number of accounts so no randoms join the game. You can have up to 4 accounts on 1 console)
- Team Start Location: Standard*
- Auto-Launch Timer: 30 Seconds
- Game Start Timer: Off
- Drones: None
*: This will usually be standard, but the options “Swapped” and “Alternating” may be used at times.
Standard: Blue team (players 1 & 3) will win
Swapped: Red team (players 2 & 4) will win
Alternating: Blue team and Red team will alternate between winner and loser.
All this gametype does is create a match where the red team will be killed by the blue team’s helicopter within a few minutes. The auto launch timer till then start a new match after 30 seconds. This allows you to rank up accounts with ZERO human interaction.
SUMMARY OF STRATEGY:
You will be constructing your ladder from level 9 and up on odd numbered accounts. Laddering on even number accounts is less efficient. You will need 1 account at every odd number from 9 to 21 and then one account at 22, 23, and 24 in order to reach level 25. A complete ladder to 25 looks like this:
9 (your main will start here, also a 9)
Total of 10 accounts, main not included).
You will always play accounts that are the same level as you. Remember the level tiers. From level 9 to 20, winner and loser go up and down at an equal rate. This means the winner will go up 2 levels and the loser will go down 2 levels (4 apart). For example, two 9s play and you get an 11 and a 7. Two 13s play and you get 15 and 11. Two 19s play and you get 21 and 17. This all changes at level 21. Two 21s will give you 22 and 18. Two 24s will give you 25 and 21. That’s why you need accounts at 22, 23, and 24.
STEP 1: PUSH YOUR MAIN ACCOUNT TO LEVEL 9
Set your main account to win against 1 of your dummies using the above settings. They will finish at 5 (main) and 1 (dummy) and then matches no longer count. Now, get 1 of your dummy accounts to a 5 the same way. Now play your main. Result is 7 and 3. Get another dummy to a 7. Play your main to get your main to 9 and the dummy to 5.
Now you have your main at 9, a dummy at 5, a dummy at 3, and the rest at 1s.
STEP 2: ALTERNATE ALL DUMMIES TO LEVEL 9
We will be taking advantage of the level tiers here. Since accounts levels 1 to 8 gain rank faster then they lose it, you can alternate winning and losing and still rank up all the way to 9! Just change the team start location under advanced settings to “Alternating”. This will take a very long time, but eventually four level 1s will all become 9s. This helps tremendously because it eliminates the cumbersome task of having the ladder extend all the way down to 7, 5 and 3 to rank accounts up. Accounts do not have to be at the same level to successfully alternate. For example, the 3 and 5 leftover will converge to 4s and then start ranking up together to level 9.
STEP 3: BUILD A 21 HIGH LADDER
With your army of 9s, play them all in 1v1 or 2v2 matches (never use 2v1; they won’t rank up at the same rate). You will get half of them at 11s and half at 7s. Play the 11s to get 13s and 9s. Rinse and repeat until you can no longer get any accounts higher.
Now rebuild from the bottom. Alternate all 7s back to 9s. Play them to get 11s, then 13s, then 15s, etc. This will take multiple building and rebuilding to get a full ladder from 9 to 21. You eventually want this:
STEP 4: GET YOUR MAIN TO 22
Now it’s time to use that ladder to send your main to 22. Play your main against the 9 to get it to 11, then play the 11, then the 13, etc. At the end, you get this:
You will now use plan A, B, or C based on your situation.
PLAN A: BOTTOM PUSHING
This is best for people with few accounts (8-12) and 1 Xbox. Simply take your highest dummy (an 18 right now) and push it up as high as possible using accounts from the bottom on up. Once you have it as high as possible, play it against your main until they are 4 ranks apart. Rinse and repeat all the way to 25. It takes about 6-8 pushes from an account 2 levels lower to increase your level. For example, if your main is a 22, you will have to push it up with a 20 6-8 times to get it to 23. You can also use a 19, but it will take more pushes. You can also use a 21 and it will take fewer pushes.
PLAN B: LADDER ALL THE WAY TO 24
This is best for people with many accounts (15+) and multiple Xboxes. Since your main is already a 22, you just need another 22, a 23, and a 24 to finish the job. The problem here is that making a 24 is difficult and time consuming, but with so many accounts and Xboxes, it will be faster than bottom pushing multiple times. Remember:
21 vs. 21 = 22 18
22 vs. 22 = 23 19
23 vs. 23 = 24 20
24 vs. 24 = 25 21
PLAN C: BEG PEOPLE HIGHER UP TO HELP YOU
This is best for people who have few dummy accounts or about to run out of gold on their dummies and wish to save some money. Since the reset, many people have been kind and letting other people rank up off their main accounts after getting #1 at 25. There’s some strategy to this. A 24 deranking the #1 at 25 will get himself #1 and the old #1 will have dropped to a low 23 or high 22. Use him to push you to 24 and then derank the new #1. Obviously, this plan may not be available if there is nobody that can or is willing to help you. However, if you find yourself at the right place at the right time, this can greatly speed up your journey to #1. Just remember to pass it on to the next guy!
USEFUL INFORMATION AND STATISTICS:
This achievement can be expensive. You will need 8-12 gold accounts with at least a month of gold on each. That’s already $80-120 if you pay full price for all of them and possibly more money if you don’t finish by the renewal date. You also need multiple copies of the game if you’re using multiple Xboxes. A used copy of GRAW is currently $5 used at Gamestop. Remember, each Xbox 360 console can make 3 to 5 free 1 month gold accounts. The total expense for this achievement will vary. My total investment was $10 (2 extra copies of GRAW). I made all 15 of my accounts for free (5 from all 3 of my Xboxes = 15).
This achievement is a huge time sink. Expect to run 600+ hours of matches before finally getting #1. And that’s IF the current leaderboard status doesn’t change. The current #1, as of December 22, 2010, is a very low 25. If you see multiple 25s at the top of the board like it was pre-reset, expect this be an even longer haul. At the current state, the achievement is doable in 4 weeks if you have at least 2 consoles and 12 accounts. I did it in 3 weeks with 15 accounts and 3 consoles.
Here are some stats to give you an estimate of how long these sessions take. These are good estimates based on multiple observations, but they may vary, especially for the longer sessions:
-Playing 2 accounts in a 1v1 at the same rank: 2 hours
Playing 4 accounts in a 2v2 at the same rank: 3 hours
-Alternating two 7s to 9s in a 1v1 match: 20 hours
-Alternating four 7s to 9s in a 2v2 match: 27 hours
Alternating four 1s to 9s in a 2v2 match: 50 hours (yes 50 hours)
-Playing 2 accounts in a 1v1 with ranks 21 and up: 4 hours
-Sending your main from 9 to 22: 15 hours
As you can see, the alternating is the real killer here. But without it, you’d have to waste time and more accounts by making 3s, 5s, and 7s to create a full ladder.
LADDER CONSTRUCTION EXAMPLE:
Since you really start this when all accounts are 9s, I’ll start from there. This example will use 12 accounts:
9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9
Play all the 9s against each other. You get six 11s and six 7s.
11 11 11 11 11 11 7 7 7 7 7 7
Play all 11s. You get three 13s and three 9s.
13 13 13 9 9 9 7 7 7 7 7 7
Play two of the 13s. Do NOT try a 2v1. You will get a two 14s and a 10. Uneven teams rank up differently. You get one 15 and one 11.
15 13 11 9 9 9 7 7 7 7 7 7
Play two 9s. Get one 11 and one 7
15 13 11 11 9 7 7 7 7 7 7 7
Play two 11s. Get one 13 and one 9.
15 13 13 9 9 7 7 7 7 7 7 7
Play two 13s.
15 15 11 9 9 7 7 7 7 7 7 7
Play two 15s.
17 13 11 9 9 7 7 7 7 7 7 7
Play two 9s.
17 13 11 11 7 7 7 7 7 7 7 7
Play two 11s.
17 13 13 9 7 7 7 7 7 7 7 7
Play two 13s.
17 15 11 9 7 7 7 7 7 7 7 7
Now you’re stuck. Alternate all 7s to 9s and repeat the madness.
You can see here why multiple Xboxes help. While you’re busy running all those 1v1 matches, another Xbox can alternate four 7s back to 9s. Remember, this takes at least 24 hours! Without another Xbox or 2 doing this simultaneously, you have to wait a full 2 days to alternate all eight 7s back to 9s.
Let’s recap our work in terms of hours:
- three alternating sessions to get twelve 1s to 9s
- three 2v2 sessions
- eleven 1v1 sessions
- two alternating sessions to get eight 7s to 9s
- Total time so far: 235 hours (9.8 days)
This guide was written for the post-reset (11-11-10) state of the leaderboards. This, as well as team and solo champion are MUCH easier to get now then pre-reset. This used to take 3-4 months because some not so nice people ranked themselves up to very high 25s to block the leaderboard. However, this will likely happen again in the future, so if you want this achievement, do it now rather than later before it may get out of hand again. It only takes 1 jerk to screw it up for everybody.