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Advanced Developer Topic

What are Subsets?link

When browsing the list of games, you will see that some games have a [Subset] tag in the title. Each of these contain achievements that for some reason or another, are not available in a game's base set. Subsets are typically home to specific types of challenge runs. They have also inherited what have been known simply as [Bonus] and [Multi] sets.

The methods to create a subset and means to play them will change once they become a more integrated feature. As of now, they require a patch to generate a unique hash and are separate entries from the base set, so achievements must be obtained separately as well. Information on creating these patches can be obtained here.

Types of Subsetslink

Bonus Setslink

While Bonus sets are subject to debate amongst both players and achievement creators, the overall purpose of a bonus set is for achievements that were not fit for the base set to have a home and still be obtainable by a devoted player. Think of them as "deluxe" challenges. The following types of achievements are the most suitable for Bonus Sets:
- Extreme Challenges: If it's generally voiced a challenge is too difficult, it's a prime candidate for a Bonus set. However, just because the achievement(s) are possible to code does not mean they are possible to obtain; therefore, the achievement must still be obtainable. A good example of this is the infamous Mr. Perfect from Mega Man (NES), which requires the player to complete the entire game without taking damage.
- Grind Sessions: If achievements involve overly long and frustrating grinds that have no meaningful purpose, they're better suited for Bonus sets. These include leveling characters to the maximum level, maxing out stats, performing a task an absurd amount of times, etc. when none of those things award the player. A good example of something grindy that awards the player, thus making it suitable for a base set, is One of a Kind from Final Fantasy IV (SNES), which requires a highly RNG-reliant grind for an item to trade for said armor.
- Variety Packs - Want to do a mixture of subset ideas all within one set because you don't want to do several different subsets? Then do it and throw it in a Bonus set. An example of this is the Suikoden Bonus Set, which contains various challenge runs, rare drops, and extreme challenges within a single subset.
- Showcasing of or Abuse of Glitches: Glitching can have unpredictable effects in a game's memory, which can result in unwanted behavior for some achievements, thus making them not suitable for a base set. Some examples of this are Replica from Final Fantasy VII (PlayStation) and Rare Candy Addiction from Pokemon - Red and Blue Versions (Game Boy.

Multi Setslink

This one is simple. If an achievement requires input from more than one player in order to unlock it, then it cannot be in the base set.

Challenge Runslink

While many base sets include plenty of challenges, developers have the option to add challenges that last the duration of a game's playthrough to a Subset. These are typically self-imposed challenges that go against how a game is normally played. Examples:
- Chrono Trigger - No Level Up - requires players to complete the game without ever leveling up their characters.
- EarthBound - Rare Drops - requires players to obtain all the rare drops from enemies.
- Final Fantasy - Solo Class - requires players to complete the game using only one character class, but they need to do it with every class to master the set.
- Pokemon - Professor Oak Challenge - There are several of these so far! This challenge requires players to catch and/or evolve every Pokemon possible between major story points in the game.
- Trails in the Sky FC - NG Nightmare - requires players to obtain 100% completion in a single, NG (New Game) playthrough on the Nightmare difficulty setting, as opposed to doing it on NG+ with carryovers.

DLC and Expansionslink

Not very common, but will become more common as our console support expands. Achievements in these sets are exclusive to a game's downloadable content or expansion pack(s). Examples:
- Arc the Lad 2 - Arc Arena: Monster Tournament - released as a bonus disc in the Arc the Lad Collection, this requires save data from Arc the Lad 2 in order to play.
- F-Zero X - Expansion Kit - achievements are for content exclusive to the 64DD expansion of the game.
- Return Fire - Maps o' Death - a separate release that provides additional maps to the game. It requires save data from the original game in order to play.

Regional Differenceslink

If a regional variant of a game does not have enough differences to warrant a "full" set, but you don't want to include it with the base set due to interference with base challenges, you can make a Subset to showcase the differences.

User-Generated Contentlink

If a game has a feature that allows players to make their own content such as custom levels, then a subset would be an acceptable place to include said content. Examples:
- Irritating Stick - IrRAtating Custom Courses - features custom stages made by various RA community members.
- Tony Hawk's Underground - RAdical Custom Goals/Gaps - Custom goals and gaps made by various RA community members.

Naming Schemelink

To prevent players from getting confused, there is a specific naming scheme required for all Subsets:
- Bonus Sets: Must have [Subset - Bonus] following the base game title. For example: Castlevania [Subset - Bonus] and Darkwing Duck [Subset - Bonus].
- Multi Sets: Must have [Subset - Multi] following the base game title. For example: Contra [Subset - Multi] and Kirby 64: THe Crystal Shards [Subset - Multi].
- Challenge Runs: Must have [Subset - Challenge Name/Type] following the base game title. For example: Chrono Trigger [Subset - No Level Up] and Pocket Monsters Midori [Subset - Monotype Challenge].
- DLC and Expansions: Must have [Subset - DLC/Expansion Name following the base game title. For example: Return Fire - [Subset - Maps o' Death] and F-Zero X [Subset - Expansion Kit]
- User-Generated Content: While not actually required, including RA in the subset title has been a fun way to name the content.

Approval and Claimslink

The approval process and claiming of a subset will vary depending on if the subset type is pre-approved, your involvement with the base set, and whether or not you're a full developer or a junior developer:

Authorship¹ Approval and Claiming Process
Sole Author of Core Set • Subset must be approved by Developer Compliance ²³
• Does not require a plan and revision vote
• Considered a free claim ⁴
Collaborative Author of Core Set • Subset must be approved by Developer Compliance ²³
• Requires a plan and revision vote?
   ◦ No, if all active authors of the set approve
   ◦ Yes, otherwise
• Considered a free claim ⁴
No Core Set Authorship • Subset must be approved by Developer Compliance ²³
• If approved, a set plan must be posted in the base set's forum topic and must go through revision voting
• Is not considered a free claim
• In the event that both a revision and subset plan are made for a set, both claims will count as one
Junior Developer • In addition to the above cases, must first be approved by Code Reviewers

¹ In the case of multiple revision authors, use the most restrictive ruleset in the table. Example: If there is a subset collaboration and any subset author is not a core set author, use the No Core Set Authorship rules.

² To Contact Developer Compliance, send them a site message here and replace the [Game Name] and [Subset Name] in the subject line with the game name and desired subset name.

³ The following are pre-approved subset types and therefore do not require contacting Developer Compliance:
- Bonus
- Multi
- DLC/Expansions
- Glitch Showcases
- Regional Differences
- User-Generated Content
- Challenge Run: Low Level Game/No Leveling Runs
- Challenge Run: Solo Class/Monotype Runs
- Challenge Run: Checkpoint Challenges, such as Professor Oak Challenges
- Challenge Run: Perma-Death Challenges, such as Nuzlocke Challenges

For now, an admin must be contacted via Discord or by messaging RAdmin to mark a claim as free. As a courtesy, please only request this if you actually need the claim slot or if you expect a long development period.


  • In the case of multiple revision authors, use the most restrictive ruleset in the table. Example: If there is a subset collaboration and any subset author is not a core set author, use the 'no core set authorship' rules.


Last 10 changes on this page:

  • [2023-10-30 13:00] The Mystical One: Fixes formatting in the pre-approved list.
  • [2023-07-11 10:55] The Mystical One: Add in footnote for when there are multiple subset authors, which table entry should be used.
  • [2023-06-30 13:45] The Mystical One: Cleaned up the table for collaborative core set author of a subset, which implied that other authors had to approve, and so thus could stealthily veto. Current wording should be clear that collaborative author disapproval now merely means you have to go through the plan/revision vote route.
  • [2023-06-23 11:21] The Mystical One: Fixed spacing in pre-generated subject line on DevCompliance contact link.
  • [2023-06-23 11:16] The Mystical One: Added links to contact Developer Compliance with pre-generated subject to be edited.
  • [2023-05-09 04:03] televandalist: Added info about User-Generated Content to multiple sections. Also added it to the list of pre-approved subset types
  • [2023-04-19 23:49] televandalist: Moved the "how to create a subset patch" info to RAPatches' wiki
  • [2023-03-13 07:48] televandalist: Typo fix
  • [2023-03-13 07:42] televandalist: Fix formatting, hopefully...
  • [2023-03-13 07:33] televandalist: Rewrote the Approval and Claiming section again. Turned the info into a table so relevant points are easier to find.