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Frequently Asked Questionslink

What is RetroAchievements.org?link

RetroAchievements.org is a zero profit community who collaborate and compete to earn custom-made achievements in classic games through emulation. Achievements are made by and for the community. We provide various custom-built emulators for you to use which will detect when you have completed various challenges. Once logged in, the emulators will post the achievements you've completed back to the site, so you can check and compare your progress to your friends.

Here's an example of RAGens, playing Streets of Rage 2. You will see two leaderboard attempt counters (bottom-right), one achievement popping and finally the Achievement Overlay (press ESC):

sor2-achievements

What is HARDCORE mode?link

HARDCORE mode is an additional feature to separate out the good gamers from the great gamers: HARDCORE mode disables all savestate ability in the emulator: you would not be able to save and reload at any time. You would have to complete the game and get the achievements first time, just like it were on the original console. In reward for this, you will earn both the standard and the HARDCORE achievement, in effect earning double points! A regular game worth 400 points, is now worth 800 if you complete it fully on HARDCORE! For example: if you complete the game fully for 400 points, you then have the opportunity to earn another 400 on HARDCORE.

Note: If you want to play with the HARDCORE mode disabled (also known as "softcore"), expect to have some issues. Read in this link Why you shouldn't use the load state feature.

Which emulator do I need to use?link

The official RetroAchievements.org emulators are all Windows-based. For other operating systems you can use RetroArch. More information below:

Official RetroAchievements.org emulatorslink

Please download the emulator of your choice from the download page, log in using your username and password (yeah, you need to create an account first), then load a ROM and play!

What is the Achievement Overlay and how do I access it?link

The Achievement Overlay is a built-in RetroAchievements screen that shows the achievements you can earn and their descriptions of what is required, which achievements you have earned, your achievement score, details on high score leaderboard scores, and more.

Normally, to access it, this will be set up on ESC keyboard key, or the pause function in the game. In most emulators, a game must be active for it to be functional.

Some of the emulators should already be setup assigning a controller button to view the achievement overlay. Generally ESC on the keyboard should activate it, but if you want to assign it to a controller, here are some tricks for some of the official emulators:

  • For RAVBA, go to Tools ⇒ Customize and set FilePause to a button.

  • For RASNES, go to Input ⇒ Customize Hotkeys and change Pause/Overlay on page 1.

  • For RANES, Config ⇒ Map Hotkeys and change Pause to a button (Note: this can crash the emulator, do it without a rom loaded for better chances).

RetroArch emulatorslink

For non-Windows operating systems you need to use RetroArch.

Currently you can earn achievements via RetroArch on the following platforms:

  • Windows
  • Linux
  • Mac
  • Android (yes! you can earn achievements on-the-go with your Android phone!)
  • PlayStation Vita (needs to be hacked with HENkaku)
  • PlayStation 3
  • Wii U
  • Raspberry Pi (recommended systems: RetroPie, lakka and RecalBox)

You can get RetroArch on the following links:

Once you installed and did the initial configuration, follow this guide to setup Achievements: https://docs.libretro.com/guides/retroachievements/

Which RetroArch core should I use?link

Keep in mind that not every RetroArch core is compatible with RetroAchievements. Check this list to see which one to choose.

How can I see the badge when I earn an achievement on RetroArch?link

RetroArch doesn't support this feature. When you earn an achievement you only see a text with the achievement title and then the description. There is a topic about this on the RetroArch's issue tracker, but it doesn't seem to be a priority for any active developer. Are you a C coder and wanna give it a try? Any contribution is very welcome!

What are the white points?link

White points, known as Retro Ratio points, are secondary points based on how hard an achievement is, however this feature is not very accurate currently. Explained here in detail.

My welcome email has gone missing!link

Unfortunately sometimes the welcome email has been known to go missing. If this happens, please log in with your username/password you registered with, then visit your settings page. At the top you'll find the option to resend your registration email.

Why can't I see my new profile picture?link

Press Ctrl + F5 (on most browsers). Sometimes after you've changed your profile picture (also known as avatar or user pic) and you need to refresh your browser cache; in most browsers Ctrl + F5 is the quickest way to do it.

Where can I find ROMs?link

Not here. It is illegal to host or distribute copyrighted ROMs. However we have a page about Free Games where you can find some really cool homebrews.

Why is my game not loading up achievements?link

Either:

  1. It doesn't have achievements.
  2. You have the incorrect rom.

A good practice is to check the official game's forum topic. If you still don't have an answer check this page here for more details: My game is not loading achievements.

RetroArch/RALibretro doesn't launch my arcade game. What should I do?link

First things first: be sure you're using the correct RetroArch core. Check here which core you should use to get the RetroAchievements feature for arcade games: https://docs.libretro.com/guides/retroachievements/#arcade

Second thing: Arcade ROMs are more complicated than console ROMs. There are a few concepts and terminology you need to understand and then it will start to make sense. Here is a good text on this matter: Demystifying MAME ROMs.

Pro tip: use your favorite websearch engine and look for a "reference set" (using ROMs randomly obtained from different sources is a "trial and error" method and will most likely lead you to a lot of frustration).

Will RetroAchievements support PlayStation?link

Short answer: Yes, it will. But there's no estimated time of arrival.

Long answer: The current method of creating achievements has limitations that directly influence the quality of the achievements. PlayStation games are a bit more complex than those for consoles already supported here (except maybe Nintendo 64). And consequently the achievements for PS games deserve a greater elaboration and care. We all have great respect for the PlayStation console, and that is exactly why we want to implement improvements in the toolkit used to build achievements before adding this support.

What do I do when the achievement isn't working right?link

When problems with achievements occur, either where the achievement wasn't awarded to you or it was awarded at the wrong time, there are solutions to get the problems fixed and for proper credit to be given to you! First you'll want to report the broken achievement. (This is an excellent way to contribute to the betterment of the community!) It creates a ticket report for the achievement developers who will then review the problem and look for a solution.

If the achievement wasn't awarded to you can get it manually awarded. You'll need to report the broken achievement and provide proof of completion.

How do I report a broken achievement?link

There are two ways to report broken achievements. In the emulator title bar go to RetroAchievementsReport Broken Achievements:

  1. For Official RetroAchevement emulators only:

how to report.

  1. For RetroArch users you can submit the report directly via website. On every achievement's page you'll see a link saying Report an issue for this achievement, like in the image below:

open-ticket-on-site

If you use the Official RetroAchevement emulators you can also report problems from the website achievement page, but it is preferred that you use the method built into the emulators.

What details should I add to a broken achievement report?link

If possible, in the broken achievement report Comment paste a link to a screenshot or video (even better) of where the problem occurred. It's recommended to post screenshots on imgur and videos on YouTube.

Also add details like:

  • when it was/wasn't awarded;
  • what game mode (HARDCORE/softcore);
  • what difficulty level or other settings you've selected;
  • how long you were playing;
  • when you most recently died or continued;
  • what you think the problem might be or any details you think could be helpful.

This is necessary so the achievement developers know where the problem is.

How can I get credit for an achievement I earned but wasn't awarded?link

In short how to request a manual unlocklink

In detail how to request a manual unlocklink

  1. Open a ticket describing with details the problem you had with the achievement. (How do I report a broken achievement?)
    1. If the achievement wasn't registered on the site due to a network problem, you don't need to open a ticket.
  2. Get a proof/evidence that you completed the achievement. Acceptable proofs:
    1. Screenshots that show that one is playing in HARDCORE and have completed the achievement.
    2. Video of such (even better) (perfect example of ideal proof provided by gr1nya).
    3. Examples of achievements you've earned that prove you've earned this achievement. Example: You got the achievement for 10k points but the one for 5k points wasn't awarded to you.
  3. If you're on our discord server, send a message on the #help-me channel tagging the @manual-unlock role; if you're not on Discord, send a private message message to the RAdmin user. Your message must have:
    1. The link to the ticket url. You can find the ticket here: http://retroachievements.org/ticketmanager.php
    2. What mode you were playing (HARDCORE/softcore)
    3. Link to your qualified proof of completion. Include proof that the achievement was earned in HARDCORE, if you were playing in HARDCORE.

What if I got an achievement I didn't earn?link

Same with not getting it when you should in most cases you'll want to create a ticket report, leaving an explanation of what went wrong. You'll also want to remove these achievements from your account so you can get the satisfaction of truly earning them.

Reset Achievement
Resetting unearned achievements

Am I the only one with an issue?link

If an achievement doesn't work correctly for you, there is a very good chance it doesn't work for other people. You can check in the achievement's page and look for where it says 'The achievement has 'X' open tickets':

open-tickets-picture

If the game has tickets, click on the 'open tickets' link. There will be a list to show any reports of broken achievements. You can comment on these to add helpful details or say you have a problem with this achievement too.

What's considered cheating (for HARDCORE)? What if I find evidence of a cheater?link

Users are required to earn their achievements fairly and legitimately.

In general, a player must unlock achievements:

  1. using the latest release version of an approved supported emulator;
  2. inside of a game by in-game actions;
  3. by their own control;
  4. without outside-modifying game files or game code;
  5. without using another player’s save file, and;
  6. without using outside cheat programs.

If this is not clear enough and you need an in-depth ruleset to understand what is cheating, check the Global Leaderboard and Achievement Hunting Rules.

We live by an honor code most of all. If you find an evidence of a cheater, send the evidence to RAdmin or email to RAmodmail@gmail.com.

I want to make achievements!link

Good to hear! The best place to start is here: Getting Started as an Achievement Developer. Once you're familiar with the Memory Inspector and the other Achievements related dialogs, you can go to other Developer Docs.

Please don't hesitate to ask if you need help, don't struggle! The most important thing is to make sure you're enjoying whatever it is you're doing. If you're not having fun, don't do it. But if you get frustrated and want to persist, just drop a message on the forums or in Discord server and someone will get back to you shortly.

How do I reset my password? (If I don't remember my password)link

Right Here: https://retroachievements.org/resetPassword.php

On Site, front page, while not logged in:

reset password

Will I have any privilege if I become a patron?link

On the website you'll have a badge to mean "I helped fund RA!". On the discord server you'll have access to a dedicated channel. Although we are all immensely grateful for the contributions of the patrons, there is no other bonus besides those ones.

Thanks to the Patreon contributions the RetroAchievements project can pay for a decent server to run the website, run the discord bot and also have periodic backups (to recover data in the event of a disaster), and all this with an ad-free experience. The whole community owe a big thank you to the patrons.

Is RetroAchievements profiting off of emulation?link

No. RetroAchievements is a community of devoted fans who want to pay tribute to their favorite games by creating and playing achievements! While we do accept donations through Patreon all of the money donated is given to fund server expenses and keeping the website completely ad-free. All programmers and developers give their time the betterment of the community at their own expense.

Changeloglink

Last 10 changes on this page:

  • [2019-02-27 23:29] Kvon: typo
  • [2019-02-24 12:43] meleu: RA will be kept completely ad-free (thanks to the Patrons)
  • [2019-02-21 02:11] meleu: cosmetic
  • [2019-02-20 07:24] Kvon: added an answer to one of the most common FAQ, which is "why cant I see my new profile pic
  • [2019-01-21 18:52] Kvon: fixed a link typo
  • [2019-01-21 18:48] Kvon: Changed the formatting for "In short how to request a manual unlock" and added a how-to if you don't use Discord.
  • [2019-01-21 16:14] Kvon: minor typos
  • [2019-01-21 21:00] meleu: fixed broken links
  • [2019-01-21 15:43] Kvon: Fixed two broken links I missed. Capitalized Patreon.
  • [2019-01-21 15:33] Kvon: Rewrote and re-structured much of the broken achievements questions. Changed all cases of "cheevo" to "achievement", all cases of "hardcore" to "HARDCORE". Moved the white points and welcome email questions up higher as they are very common questions. Added detail to "white points". Expanded on the overlay question. Added a question about profiting from Patreon. Some other minor edits.