Achievement Preview Spotlight: Destiny

By Jonathan Barnes, 4 years ago
The hype surrounding Bungie's first new IP in over a decade has finally hit its zenith as the servers for Destiny went live earlier this morning. With the switch engaged in the "on" position, it's high time that we take a look at the achievements Guardians will start popping this week in our Achievement Preview Spotlight.


Destiny carries with it 41 achievements and (at this time) zero challenges on the Xbox One version. None of these achievements are hidden behind the "Secret" sauce, so committed completionists can peruse the entire list (on either 360 or Xbox One) before deciding whether or not to pick up the title.

A quick glance at the list reveals that the achievements are pretty well spread between the game's different modes and arenas, but there appears to be a dearth of progression-based achievements (save for Ship Rite which pops when you rebuild a jump ship, something with which gamers who played the Beta will be familiar). While Bungie and Activision are counting on gamers sticking with Destiny for quite a while, the achievement list appears to be incredibly accessible with a minimum of "grindy" conquests (with three notable caveats). That being said, let's take a look at a few highlights.

If you're anything like me (and who's to say you're not), you tend to agonize over upgrades in RPG games. "Do I take the increased damage buff or the better mobility buff?" Regardless, the *best* RPGs give you a chance to respec your characters and undo the mistakes you might have done. It appears as if Destiny is going to allow gamers to have some form of take-backs.

Change of Heart in Destiny
Reverse a decision you made in an upgrade grid.

Without more information, it's going to be tough to tell how punitive these reversals may be, but it's nice to see that they're present.

There are eight achievements specifically tied to the PvP portion of Destiny, The Crucible. There are 20G base score achievements for killing 100 Hunters, Titans, and Warlocks, meaning that you'll probably be sinking a significant portion of time into pwning. The one PvP achievement that may require a bit of boosting tasks you with a bit more, however.

Triple Play in Destiny
Kill a Hunter, Titan, and Warlock without dying in a PvP match.

First and foremost, that's a great name for this achievement. Secondly, this one is going to require that you're in a match with the full melange of characters AND that you can kill each one without being killed yourself.

While six of the eight PvP achievements appear to be unlockable in any of the game's PvP modes, there are two that are tied to capturing points in Control and Salvage modes.

Remember those "three notable caveats" from earlier? Here they are.

Hunter Mastery in Destiny
Fully upgrade a Hunter Subclass.

Titan Mastery in Destiny
Fully upgrade a Titan Subclass.

Warlock Mastery in Destiny
Fully upgrade a Warlock Subclass.

The game currently has a "soft cap" of Level 20 and Bungie's Head of Community, Eric Osborne, told Digital Spy that, "The way our level cap works is getting to Level 20 is not an insurmountable challenge to overcome - it doesn't take you years, or even months, to do it." Let's hope (for those who want to rush through Destiny) that he's right.

There are two other achievements that look to cater to high-level players that may take a while and a bit of grinding as well.

Fully Weaponized in Destiny
Fully upgrade a Legendary weapon.

Packing Heat in Destiny
Fully upgrade an Exotic weapon.

While Bungie hasn't gone on record as to Exotic and Legendary drop rates, Osborne (in that same Digital Spy interview) that once you get to Level 20, you "may have one Exotic [item] and a couple of legendary items here and there", but time will tell how long upgrading and maxing those out will require. Also of note, there is a potentially nasty achievement for having all armor and weapon slots equipped with Legendary or Exotic gear.

A game as (purportedly) big as Destiny wouldn't be complete without a collectible achievement.

Ghost Hunter in Destiny
Discover 50 dead ghosts.

Speaking from personal experience, I found a handful of dead ghosts in my short time with the Beta, but we don't yet know if these ghosts will always be found at static locations or if they are randomly dropped into the world. Nevertheless, keep your eyes peeled.

There are a few other "clustered" achievements that bear a quick mention. The list contains four achievements for killing 25 of each enemy type (Vex, Hive, Fallen, and Cabal) with precision shots in one mission without dying as well as three Strike-specific achievements and four Raid-specific achievements. One of those Raid achievements also happens to be the most valuable achievement in the game in terms of base score.

Flawless Raider in Destiny
Complete a Raid without anyone in your fireteam dying.

It is worth noting that "Flawless Raider" and Epic Raider (Complete a Raid on hard difficulty) are the only achievements in the game that are not base scored at either 20G or 30G, so expect the pops to be spread around rather than having a big chunk or two.

For achievement hunters, there doesn't seem to be anything terribly onerous in the full achievement list. By their own admission, Activision and Bungie are hoping that Destiny is a game that gamers stick with for a while and the achievement list seems to reflect that aim. While there isn't that one "Seriously-style" achievement to swear at and keep you grinding away, there seems to be a good mix of easy gimmes and achievable grinds to keep gamers busy when Destiny gets its wide release this week.

On an editorial note, the press was not issued early copies of Destiny. As the reviewer charged with evaluating the game for TrueAchievements, I expect my copy to arrive later this week, closer to the European release. That being said, if you're waiting on pins and needles for our official take before casting your lot, you may be waiting until this weekend/early next week so that I can spend sufficient time playing and evaluating the wide breadth of content. Thanks!

If there's an upcoming game or DLC pack that you'd like to see featured in the Achievement Preview Spotlight, be sure to let us know in the comments!
Jonathan Barnes
Written by Jonathan Barnes
Jonathan has been a news/views contributor since 2010. When he's not writing reviews, features, and opinion pieces, he spends his days working as an informal science educator and his nights as an international man of mystery.