For many Xbox fans, earning in-game achievements is the be-all, end-all of the experience. But until now, it’s been hard to track your progress towards those achievements.
Consider a game like Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered. In the past, I would have used a third-party site, like Xbox Achievements, to see which achievements were available from my PC. And then I would have searched the Internet to figure out why I wasn’t getting certain achievements, or what the secrets were for some of the harder-to-get achievements.
Today, Microsoft makes this much easier.
From the Xbox One console, you can now access an improved Achievements pane in the Xbox Guide that provides information about the game you are currently playing.
This Achievements pane lets you see which achievements you’ve unlocked, and which remain. And for those that do remain, where applicable, you can see the progress you’ve made towards completing that achievement. For example, here you can see that I am 13 percent of the ways towards completing an achievement called Weapon Master. The little diamond icon indicates that this is a rare achievement, so it may be something I wish to pursue.
New to the Creators Update is an achievement tracker, which you can enable from this pane.
When you do, a “Configure tracker” option appears that lets you configure the following options:
Tracker location. The achievement tracker appears as an on-screen overlay, and you can use the grid to position it as you prefer. By default, it appears in the lower-right.
Number of achievements. You can track from 1 to 5 achievements at a time. The default is 3.
Transparency. Using this slider, you can determine the level of transparency used to display the tracker. The more transparent it is, the harder it is to see the tracker, but the easier it is to see what’s behind the tracker.
When enabled, the tracker appears as you configured it.
Beyond this, the tracker isn’t interactive, and it isn’t further configurable: You can’t, for example, choose which achievements it displays. Instead, you are given the next three achievements, based on how they are organized by the game maker and/or your progress towards achieving them.
In my case, that Weapon Master achievement isn’t something I’m actually going to accomplish anytime soon, but because I’ve made progress towards doing so, it’s at the top. The second achievement in the tracker, Save the Bacon, is the next probable achievement I’ll get in the single player campaign; it’s related to finishing the level I’m currently playing.
But the tracker is also dynamic, and it will change as the game progresses. For example, when I found some in-game intel, the Look Sharp and Eyes and Ears achievements both jumped up in the list: These achievements are related to finding intel in the game.
And to be clear, that certain achievements have risen to the top of the tracker doesn’t mean you will necessarily accomplish them next. As always, some in-game action may result in a happy surprise, an achievement you didn’t expect.