Guitar Hero: Van Halen

This walkthrough for Guitar Hero: Van Halen is written with the idea to help out people who have difficulties gaining ground on their achievements. You can do all of the achievements in any order you want, but it's better if you stick with one objective and finish that off. You will need a total of 4 playthroughs, each one with a different instrument. This guide assumes you can play on the Expert level on every instrument (guitar, bass & vocals) or you can play on Expert+ on drums (more references in the actual guide).

Short stats about the game to give you an idea of the completion. Notice there is room for variation according to what achievement you go for first. Please check the actual walkthrough for hints and tips!

1) While going through the 4 playthroughs, I unlocked 19 achievements without any of the mop up/online achievements (33 with these achievements). The so called 'Mop Up' can be done while going through the story. You will most likely unlock about 30 achievements after beating the fifth playthrough.
2) There aren't any achievements that require you to play online, but the online gameplay can be used to get all band achievements out of the way! There are 7 achievements that require you to play in a band, so if you are having troubles finding people locally, you can try to find your players online.
3) Clean up the score-related or the mop up achievements if you haven't done so.

Good luck!

Overview
After GH: Aerosmith & GH: Metallica, Activision brought us another band-related spin off; GH: Van Halen (which should be the final one at the date of writing)! Gameplay wise, nothing changed from previous titles, although I have to admit the setlist used in this game is one of the best I've encountered in a Guitar Hero game. Expert+ (which appeared first on GH: Metallica) is integrated, motion capture has been used to record the movements of the Van Halen-bandmembers, and there is no playable DLC included which means you can only play the songs listed on the disc itself. The only difference between GH: Aerosmith & GH: Metallica are the guest artists. Where GH: Aerosmith featured old band members & GH: Metallica Lemmy (Motörhead) & King Diamond (Mercyful Fate), GH: Van Halen only shows the younger forms of the current band members.

If you have played any of the previous Guitar Hero games, please feel free to skip the next few paragraphs. For new players, this might be useful to remember!

Only for new players
Just like you now, everyone who has completed the game or is busy with completing it, had to learn how to play this game. Some start on the Beginner difficulty, but I do not recommend it while playing guitar, bass or drums. It's better to start on easy and each time you think you are ready for it, go on to the next difficulty level. By starting on beginner, you will only need to strum and you will not learn how to use the fretboard.

- Bass guitar is by far the easiest of the instruments. If you can play medium guitar, you should try to play bass on hard. If you can play guitar on expert, it's pretty obvious you can play bass on expert as well.
- Tapping sections while playing a song on guitar are easier with the fretboard. Yeah, that's right, the touch strip doesn't work very well and it's rather difficult to remember where the pad for the yellow colour is (as opposed to it being easy to remember on the fretboard).
- The drums are the best thing about this game. It's very similar to what's really played (except you only have two cymbals). While going through career on drums, you might consider taking this a step further with a real drum. It can be very hard in the later-tiered songs, but with enough practice you might pull these off anyway. If you can manage on the Expert difficulty, consider drumming on Expert+.
- The vocals are best done on beginner, but that's only because they are very easy there. If you want to play those on a higher level, I suggest you practice a lot because they can be really hard. You need to finish all Van Halen songs on Expert difficulty if you want to get a full 1000G out of this game.
- You can change difficulties between songs. If you keep failing a song over and over, you might want to drop a level. It will affect your achievements in the end (since all careers needs to be beaten on Expert), but you can replay all careers anyway.
- Most cheats will not disable achievements (except for Always Slide & Auto Kick-cheat), so I highly recommend playing with hyperspeed. The chart will move faster, but the notes are spread out more which makes it easier to play. To enter the 'cheat', go to the 'Options' menu and select 'Cheats'. There, you can select 'Enter New Cheat'. Enter the following buttons to unlock it:

Green-Blue-Red-Yellow(x2)-Red-Green(x2)

This cheat will enable playing with hyperspeed on guitar, bass & drums. I can't really tell what speed you should use, so it's better to experiment yourself. You can pick any speed starting with 1 up to 5. Most players (like myself) use Hyperspeed 3.

With these hints in mind, swap to the next page!

Before you start reading
This page is ONLY for solo career or career related achievements! You can find instrument specific songs on the next page and band career/related achievements are on the pages afterwards!

Before you start playing a song
We will start off with the tutorials. Each instrument has a few small explanations, which will help you master the gameplay if you are new to the series. To start with those, select 'Career' from the main menu and then 'Tutorial'. After finishing one lesson, you'll get your first achievement. With this, it proves that you don't need to finish all lessons but it could be quite helpful to new players.

Have You Seen His Grades?

Complete a tutorial level.

Have You Seen His Grades?
1 guideOffline Game ModeSingle PlayerCooperativeExternal Content

Just like in any other Guitar Hero game (besides Guitar Hero II and Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock), you will need to create your own rocker. While doing so, you will also need to create a custom tattoo and two custom instruments (guitar and drums). From the Main Menu, select 'Backstage' and scroll down to 'Rock Star Creator'. There you can edit your skin, hair, facial hair, etc. When you come to the menu 'Body', select 'Tattoos'. There's no specific body part you need to put your tattoo on, so you can just do it wherever you want. Save it to unlock an achievement and continue editing until you come to the menu 'Instruments'. You can edit guitar, bass, drums or mic, but only drums and guitar needs to be custom instruments. Save it for your second and third achievement.

Can I Borrow a Quarter?

Create a custom guitar.

Can I Borrow a Quarter?
2 guidesOffline Game ModeSingle Player

Bang your Gong

Create a custom drum set.

Bang your Gong
2 guidesOffline Game ModeSingle Player

Ouch!

Create a custom tattoo.

Ouch!
2 guidesOffline Game ModeSingle Player

There's only one thing left to edit right now, your band. From the main menu, select 'Settings', then 'Band Info'. There, hit the yellow fretbutton (or press Y when using a standard controller) and change the name to 'Van Halen' (no brackets!). Save it for another easy achievement.

I Have a Sound System

Create a band named 'Van Halen.'

I Have a Sound System
1 guideOffline Game ModeSingle Player

Career

  • Guitar

Since you need to play through career five times for a completed game, we'll start off with the guitar (since it the most used instrument). From the Main Menu, select 'Career', select 'Single' and at last 'Guitar'. If you are comfortable with the Expert difficulty, select it. The career starts with 2 opening songs, which will net you the 'Intruder'-achievement after beating those two songs.

Intruder

Complete the career intro.

Intruder
1 guideOffline Game ModeSingle PlayerCooperativeMain StorylineExternal Content

When you're going through the setlist, you'll unlock additional venues. Most of the venues contain achievements. After you complete a song, you can replay the song on any venue you've already unlocked. After you've played a song in every venue, you'll unlock another achievement. Below the listed achievements you can find a list with each venue in order you unlock them through career. Please notice you have to beat every single song to unlock any of the listed achievements. I added some additional information such as the requirements to unlock the venue or if it is a Van Halen gig. Please note that the stars require can be different from how many stars you obtained in the intro songs (I had 2 times 5 stars).

The Broken Combs

Complete a gig in West Hollywood.

The Broken Combs
2 guidesOffline Game ModeSingle PlayerCooperativeMain StorylineExternal Content

This will unlock as soon as you've beaten all songs in West Hollywood.

The Space Brothers

Complete gigs in Los Angeles and Rome.

The Space Brothers
2 guidesOffline Game ModeSingle PlayerCooperativeMain StorylineExternal Content

This will unlock after you've beaten all songs in Los Angeles & Rome.

Rock Out Big Cities

Complete gigs in Berlin and New York City.

Rock Out Big Cities
2 guidesOffline Game ModeSingle PlayerCooperativeMain StorylineExternal Content

This will unlock after you've beaten all songs in Berlin & New York City.

Ain't Talkin' 'Bout Dallas

Complete a gig in Dallas.

Ain't Talkin' 'Bout Dallas
3 guidesOffline Game ModeSingle PlayerCooperativeMain StorylineExternal Content

This will unlock as soon as you've finished all songs in Dallas.

Far Away Lands

Complete gigs in London and The Netherlands.

Far Away Lands
2 guidesOffline Game ModeSingle PlayerCooperativeMain StorylineExternal Content

This will unlock after you've beaten all songs in London & The Netherlands.

The Tour is Ending

Complete a majority of the gigs. (Band or Solo)

The Tour is Ending
2 guidesOffline Game ModeSingle PlayerCooperativeMain StorylineExternal Content

This will unlock after you finished all songs after the 6th venue, which should be Berlin.

Name

Requirements

Van Halen-songs

1

Van Halen Intro

Start career on any instrument

Yes

2

Los Angeles

Beat the 2 intro songs

No

3

West Hollywood

Earn at least 6 stars

Yes

4

Rome

Earn at least 10 stars

No

5

New York City

Earn at least 18 stars

Yes

6

Berlin

Earn at least 25 stars

No

7

Dallas

Earn at least 31 stars

Yes

8

London

Earn at least 37 stars

No

9

The Netherlands

Earn at least 44 stars

Yes

10

The Early Years

Earn at least 57 stars

Yes

While going through the setlist, complete all of the Van Halen songs (if you haven't done so) to unlock another achievement and finally finish career. Difficulties are stackable so if you managed to finish this one on Expert, you will get the achievements for lower difficulties as well. If you managed to 5-star everything on Expert: GOOD! That's another achievement for you!

Jump

Complete all Van Halen songs. (Band or Solo Career)

Jump
1 guideOffline Game ModeSingle PlayerCooperativeMain StorylineExternal Content

Van Halen

Complete a career on Beginner. (Band or Solo)

Van Halen
1 guideOffline Game ModeSingle PlayerCooperativeMain StorylineDifficulty SpecificStackableExternal Content

Van Halen II

Complete a career on Easy. (Band or Solo)

Van Halen II
1 guideOffline Game ModeSingle PlayerCooperativeMain StorylineDifficulty SpecificStackableExternal Content

Women and Children First

Complete a career on Medium. (Band or Solo)

Women and Children First
1 guideOffline Game ModeSingle PlayerCooperativeMain StorylineDifficulty SpecificStackableExternal Content

Fair Warning

Complete a career on Hard. (Band or Solo)

Fair Warning
Offline Game ModeSingle PlayerCooperativeMain StorylineDifficulty SpecificStackableExternal Content

Diver Down

Complete a career on Expert. (Band or Solo)

Diver Down
1 guideOffline Game ModeSingle PlayerCooperativeMain StorylineDifficulty SpecificStackableExternal Content

Guitar God

5 star all Van Halen songs on Guitar Career. (expert)

Guitar God
2 guidesOffline Game ModeSingle PlayerDifficulty SpecificExternal Content

  • Bass

With guitar career finished, most of the career-/solo-related achievements are out of the way. Let's move on to bass, the easiest instrument of all. If you’ve finished guitar career on Hard, you might consider taking this to the next level, Expert. Proceed through the career just like you did while playing the guitar. You don't get any achievement related to playing bass, except when you finish it on Expert and 5-starred each song.

316

5 star all Van Halen songs on Bass Career. (expert)

316
3 guidesOffline Game ModeSingle PlayerDifficulty SpecificExternal Content

  • Drums

Just like in Bass career, you won't get any achievement relating to the fact you’ve just finished career on drums. BUT, there is an achievement which requires you to complete drum career on Expert+. You don't have to 5-star each song on this difficulty, but it's required to 5-star every song on Expert using the drums.

1984

Complete a career on Expert+. (Solo Drum)

1984
1 guideOffline Game ModeSingle PlayerDifficulty SpecificExternal Content

Double Bass Master

5 star all Van Halen songs on Drum Career. (expert)

Double Bass Master
2 guidesOffline Game ModeSingle PlayerDifficulty SpecificExternal Content

  • Vocals

We saved the best for last, vocals. In my opinion it’s the hardest career since I can't hold a tone for 2 seconds. For those who have a really powerful voice, this might be your first career to finish on Expert. 5-starring each song rewards you with an achievement, finishing the career on vocals won't. But after finishing this career (and only if you completed each Van Halen song on each instrument; which you already should have), forces another achievement to unlock where you get a nice 100 GamerScore for.

Diamond in the Rough

5 star all Van Halen songs on Vocal Career. (expert)

Diamond in the Rough
6 guidesOffline Game ModeSingle PlayerDifficulty SpecificExternal Content

5150

Complete all Van Halen songs on every instrument. (Guitar, Bass, Drums, and Vocals)

5150
1 guideOnline/OfflineSingle PlayerCooperativeMultiple Playthroughs RequiredExternal Content

Mop Up
Note: All achievement descriptions are mentioned below the achievements themselves.

It’s Alive

Unlock Eddie's Frankenstein guitar.

It’s Alive
1 guideOffline Game ModeSingle PlayerCooperativeExternal Content

To unlock the Frankenstein-guitar and this achievement, you need to earn 80 stars, which means beating 14 songs with a 5-star rating. You only need to unlock this, buying this is optional.

Unchained

Unlock all Van Halen characters.

Unchained
1 guideOffline Game ModeSingle PlayerMultiple Playthroughs RequiredExternal Content

Finishing each career with at least 200 stars will unlock the achievement for UNLOCKING (not buying or playing with) all Van Halen characters.

Beaten

Win a guest artist song playing with Eddie.

Beaten
2 guidesOnline/OfflineSingle PlayerCooperativeExternal Content

This achievement requires you to play a song that isn't a Van Halen song with the guitarist of Van Halen: Eddie. You will need to get at least 90 stars in Guitar career (or finish 18 songs with a 5 star rating) in order to unlock Eddie as a playable character. You can unlock this along with the 'Break That String'-achievement (see the 'Song Related-Achievements'-section for more information).

Respect the Wind

Win a guest artist song playing with Alex.

Respect the Wind
1 guideOnline/OfflineSingle PlayerCooperativeExternal Content

This achievement requires you to play a song that isn't a Van Halen song with the drummer of Van Halen: Alex. You will need to get at least 100 stars in Drum career (or finish 20 songs with a 5 star rating) in order to unlock Alex as a playable character.

The Ice Cream Man

Win a guest artist song as Dave.

The Ice Cream Man
1 guideOnline/OfflineSingle PlayerCooperativeExternal Content

This achievement requires you to play a song that isn't a Van Halen song with the vocalist of Van Halen: Dave. You will need to get at least 100 stars in Vocal career (or finish 20 songs with a 5 star rating) in order to unlock Dave as a playable character.

Good Times

Perform on every instrument with a member of Van Halen in Quickplay or Career.

Good Times
1 guideOnline/OfflineSingle PlayerCooperativeExternal Content

This achievement bounds the 3 previous achievements but requires you to play a guest song with Wolfgang (the bassist) as well. Just like Alex and Dave, you will need to get 100 stars in Bass career to unlock him as a playable character.
Note: This achievement can also be obtained by playing a guest song with one Van Halen-member on all instruments. But why not make it fun? :D

Brown Sound

Rock out as classic Eddie.

Brown Sound
2 guidesOnline/OfflineSingle PlayerCooperativeExternal Content

Born to Rock

Rock out as classic Wolfgang.

Born to Rock
1 guideOnline/OfflineSingle PlayerCooperativeExternal Content

King Arthur

Rock out as classic Alex.

King Arthur
3 guidesOnline/OfflineSingle PlayerCooperativeExternal Content

Diamond Dave

Rock out as classic Dave.

Diamond Dave
2 guidesOnline/OfflineSingle PlayerCooperativeExternal Content

I combined these four achievements because they all require you to do the same thing: while playing at the 'The Early Years'-venue, you will notice it will be the younger forms of every Van Halen-character. You just need to beat one song on that list to unlock the achievement which relates the band member to its instrument (Eddie for guitar, Wolfgang for bass, Alex for drums and Dave for vocals). You can also wait until you've beaten the career for each instrument and pick them as your playable character, but why make it difficult if you can make it easily?!

No Brown M&M’s!!

Watch the facts for a Van Halen song.

No Brown M&M’s!!
2 guidesOffline Game ModeSingle PlayerExternal Content

This achievement is similar to the 'The Memory Remains'-achievement in GH: Metallica. For those who didn't play that particular game, this is what you need to do. Each time you beat a Van Halen song (this only counts for Van Halen songs), you'll get the option to view some facts about that particular song. Whilst on the setlist, highlight any song that you've beaten and click the blue fret button. Watch the entire video to unlock this easy achievement.

Before proceeding reading this page
I realize that there is a song that you need to play in a band in order to unlock an achievement. Since that song requires 3 other players, this will be featured on the 'Online/Multiplayer'-page.

GH: Van Halen has a few songs where you can earn achievements on. Beating the achievements below will require skill, so don't think it's easy to obtain them. There is a slight difference between this game and its predecessors since this game has almost all achievements based on gameplay with the guitar. Since the 4 'Playing with classic ...'-achievements aren't song related, they are listed in the 'Story walkthrough'-section.

Note: All achievement descriptions are below the achievement.

I’m the One

Score 225,000 on 'I’m the One' on Guitar. (expert)

I’m the One
2 guidesOnline/OfflineSingle PlayerVersusDifficulty SpecificExternal Content

This achievement requires you to play 'I'm The One' on Expert as well as scoring 225,000 at the same time. You should aim for a 95-96% with an excellent star power path. I found one video on Youtube, which is listed below, but you can also use the star power path on ScoreHero, which you can find here & here.

Credit goes out to oct4v30n2

Break that String

Complete the song 'I Want It All' as Eddie playing guitar.

Break that String
1 guideOnline/OfflineSingle PlayerCooperativeExternal Content

This is actually pretty easy but it's required you beat the guitar career since only then you will unlock the needed character which is needed for this achievement. You need to play 'I Want It All' by Queen with Eddy. It doesn't matter which difficulty or how much points/percentage you get, but you will need to play it on guitar. Beating it unlocks these two achievements. Some people say 90 stars in career are enough to unlock Eddy, but I unlocked this after my guitar career.

The Woodshed

5 star guitar for 'Little Guitars', 'Cathedral', 'Spanish Fly', and 'Eruption'. (expert)

The Woodshed
3 guidesOnline/OfflineSingle PlayerVersusDifficulty SpecificExternal Content

One of the most difficult achievements is this one, where you have to 5-star 'Spanish Fly', 'Eruption', 'Cathedral' and 'Little Guitars'... on Expert! It's difficult to write something about this achievement because it's pretty much skill-based, but I'll give you a breakdown with some general thoughts about each song. Below you will find a video for each song so you can see if you can handle this.

'Cathedral' is the easiest one of the four songs and you shouldn't have any problems with it IF (and only if), you are a skilled Expert guitar player. Exploit star power in the intro and aim for 70,000 points.
'Little Guitars' does not include a solo with the exception of the intro. After the intro solo, there are 3 repeated tabs so it's not really that difficult (besides the intro solo). Aim for 265,000 points to 5-star this song.
'Eruption' is the part where this achievement becomes almost impossible. Best thing to say: practice, practice... and a lot more practice. The tapping section is very hard and it's required to drain the star power in the sustain note. When you have enough star power, wait until you get a x4 multipier and unleash it (best done in the tapping section since there are a lot of notes). Aim for 118,000 points and you'll be safe.
'Spanish Fly' is for most (if not all) Guitar Hero players the hardest in-game song. Again, practice is the key to 5-star this one. Try to play as good as possible during the tapping section since there are 2 star power phrases in it. Score above 80,000 to unlock this achievement.

Videos:

Cathedral

Credit goes out to KillerPanda420420

Little Guitars

Credit goes out to oct4v30n2

Eruption

Credit goes out to UKOGmonkey

Spanish Fly

Credit goes out to hojen123

As noted, band career will not unlock any achievements. However, you need to play it anyways to unlock all of the Van Halen instruments. There are 13 unlockable instruments: 6 while going through the career on Guitar, 3 for Bass, 1 for Vocals, and 3 in band career. You can unlock this achievement by using the fan-method or by singing through a mic while playing another instrument (Guitar, Bass or Drums), or you can earn this while playing online with a friend. If you have followed this guide and just finished your fifth playthrough, you should unlock the EVH-achievement.

EVH

Unlock all of the Van Halen instruments.

EVH
3 guidesOffline Game ModeSingle PlayerCooperativeExternal Content

If you play this with 3 other people, you could unlock some additional achievements, but for the sake of easiness, we'll cover those on the 'Multiplayer/Online'-page.

Versus
There is no versus; HURRAY! Let's move on to co-op then!

Co-Op
Note: Band Career is covered on the previous page. Descriptions are below the achievements themselves.

Every Band Wants Some!!

Complete a song with the full band. (4 player band)

Every Band Wants Some!!
2 guidesOnline/OfflineCooperativePlayers RequiredExternal Content

Complete a song with 4 human players to unlock this achievement. This is unlockable locally in career, quickplay or online.

Atomic Power Punk

All band members activate Star Power at the same time. (4 player band)

Atomic Power Punk
2 guidesOnline/OfflineCooperativePlayers RequiredExternal Content

Easy achievement, just unleash star power at the same time with the other 3 players.

Hung High

All band members earn an 8x multiplier at the same time. (4 player band)

Hung High
2 guidesOnline/OfflineCooperativePlayers RequiredExternal Content

Chances are high that you unlocked this achievement while you activated star power with your 3 other band members. Just activate star power (at the same time as your band members) when you have a x4 multiplier to get a x8 multiplier.

They Ran With the Devil

All band members get a 50 note streak at the same time. (4 player band)

They Ran With the Devil
1 guideOnline/OfflineCooperativePlayers RequiredExternal Content

This will unlock as soon as every member in your band gets a 50 note streak.

Somebody Get Them a Doctor

Hit 100% of the notes in a song as a band. (4 player band)

Somebody Get Them a Doctor
2 guidesOnline/OfflineCooperativePlayers RequiredExternal Content

This achievement requires you to 100% a song as a band. Just like in GH: Metallica, this can be done on any difficulty. I highly recommend 'Master Exploder' by Tenacious D since drums and bass don't play half the song. Guitar isn't too bad and vocals can be done by using the fan trick on Beginner.

Hot for High Scores

Score 800,000 on 'Hot for Teacher' as a band on Expert. (4 player band)

Hot for High Scores
2 guidesOnline/OfflineCooperativePlayers RequiredExternal Content

This achievement requires you to play 'Hot for Teacher' (which was already featured on GH: World Tour) and earn 800,000 points as a band. This is one of the hardest songs in the game, but rather easy to unlock. The only thing you really need is a very skilled guitarist and drummer, since these will rack up the most points. Unleash star power wisely (unleashing it at the same time with your band members nets you another x4 multiplier) and exploit it wherever you can. This achievement can be obtained with 3 people playing anything but the vocals (since that can be done by a fan).

Recommended setting (please note you can also play on any difficulty higher then written below):
Guitar: Hard
Bass: Medium
Drums: Hard
Vocals: Beginner

You Really Got Me

Win a song as a band with Eddie on guitar, Alex on drums, and Wolfgang on bass. (3 player band)

You Really Got Me
4 guidesOnline/OfflineCooperativePlayers RequiredExternal Content

This could be very hard or very easy to unlock. You need a band of at least 3 players, where each of the members have finished a career on guitar, bass or drums (each person should've finished another instrument career obviously!). Just finish one song on any difficulty to unlock this easy achievement.
Note: This can be done locally as well if you have 2 guitar controllers and 1 drum! Just start a band career with drums, guitar and bass on beginner. Use the kick pedal on drums to hit notes and strum both the guitars. After the first song 'Panama', you will unlock this achievement as well!

With that last achievement you should've unlocked every possible achievement in the game. If you did, congratulations! You can brag about it at a local bar to get a chick home!

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