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How to Become an Achievement Developer

This document describes all the steps that any aspiring achievement developer must follow before getting Developer status. This also works as a checklist for admins to check before giving Developer status to a member.

Anyone can become a RetroAchievements developer if they put in the effort.

Optional but strongly recommended: join our Discord server and ask a mod to give you the jr-dev role. Use #help-me and #devs channels any time you have questions.

Basic Knowledgelink

Every developer must know at least the basic concepts and techniques shown in these two docs:

  1. Getting Started as an Achievement Developer
  2. Achievement Logic Features

Which means that any aspiring dev must understand how to use these techniques:

The Real Examples and Achievement Templates pages are useful resources to see how those techniques work.


In order to become familiar to those techniques you must practice. You can use any game to practice, even those that already have achievements. Just be aware about these rules:

  • Do NOT delete/overwrite any existing Code Note.

  • On this practicing phase, keep your work in local and do NOT upload any achievement. You'll do it later when you find a game to actually work on.

Finding a Game to Work onlink

Follow the guidelines on the Developer's Code of Conduct to find a game to work on achievements for it.

Tip: for your first achievement set it's recommended to choose a game that doesn't yet have achievements and is not very popular.

Planning your Achievement Setlink

Once you find a game to work on you need to plan your Achievement Set.

Be sure you know enough about the game to make a good set. Check the GameFAQs or something, try to learn more about the game, its secrets and details. Here is a good guide to help you with this: Set Development Roadmap.

Post your plan on the official game's forum topic, so the community can leave suggestions and provide feedback.

IMPORTANT!: be open to receive feedback and suggestions.

See also: Achievement Design, it's an extensive guide on how to design good and interesting achievements. It's not about the technical side but the conceptual.

Post your achievements to Unofficial for reviewinglink

After creating some achievements, promote them to Unofficial and then contact a mod on our Discord server (if you don't use Discord, send a message to RAdmin) and ask them to find someone to review your work.

Again, it's extremely important that you are open to receive constructive criticism and helpful advice from the community at any time.

Am I ready to get the Developer status?link

Once the community reviewed your achievement's code and concepts, the admins will use their judgement to approve or deny developer status and tell you what you'll need to do if you're not ready.

A common question is "how many sets do I need to create in order to get Developer status?". This is a misplaced question as the answer is not about the number.

The merit of a jr-dev receiving developer status depends on: - the quality and complexity of their set; - the time and thought they put into planning and working on the set; - showing the will use the Developer status with care and responsibility; - the extent to which the points above reflect their capabilities as a developer.

Sometimes one set is enough for a jr-dev show they are ready, in other cases it shows they need more practice.

Developer's Code of Conductlink

Once you get your Developer status, you MUST adhere to the Developer's Code of Conduct. That is extremely important to create a fair environment between the Achievement Developers.