"Given to those few, brave soldiers whom stood guard valiantly, without sleep, nourishment, or a social life."A reward that serves no purpose other than to serve as proof of accomplishment. These don't change gameplay in any aspect; thus, they are entirely cosmetic. The only thing really gained from achievements is that they're often named after certain in-jokes, Ascended Memes, and the like, depending on how geeky or savvy the programmers are. In RPGs, this might be a title or rank that player gains upon defeating the Bonus Boss. Computer military-themed games often have an internal award system that will give your character medals, promotions, and other such rewards for completing certain goals, but are entirely meaningless. Different from Bragging Rights Reward in that you do not receive any at least nominally useful items; these have no other function than looking pretty. However, since these often come after some sort of high achievement, the reward you get is the bragging rights. The Cosmetic Award is just something you can get a picture of to show them when they say 'Prove it'. Often tracked by an Achievement System. Heavily overlaps with And Your Reward Is Clothes, since the clothes only rarely give in-game benefits. Compare and contrast Not-Actually-Cosmetic Award. For common types of Achievements in modern video games, refer to Analysis.Video Game Achievements.
— Description of the Gentle Manne's Service Medal, Team Fortress 2
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- Devil May Cry 3 unlocks artwork for getting the "S" and "SS" ranks.
- Peggle gives you a trophy (or rather, updates the previous trophy you've got) for clearing the adventure mode, clearing the challenge mode and finally clearing all pegs from every single map.
- The Karma System in the remake of Ninja Gaiden. In the already Nintendo Hard title, scraping through the highest "Master Ninja" difficulty is an accomplishment in of itself, and going for high Karma scores is best reserved for the craziest of gamers. It should go without saying that there are gamers crazy enough to have scraped practically every point out of the game.
- Mega Man 9 and Mega Man 10 have a list of Achievements (or "Challenges" as it calls them) on every version. These run the gamut of impossible to miss, (Beat the game) to challenging, (beat boss X in Y seconds) to silly (beat six stages without Mega Man's helmet on), to less than difficult, but time consuming (beat the game six times in one day) to just plain masochistically hard (beat the game, killing the least number of enemies possible! Beat the game without ever missing a shot! Beat the game without ever taking damage!). These, of course, serve no purpose other than to prove your awesomeness. Hilariously, the one for beating either game, "Whomp Wily!" doesn't even try to hide the fact that, surprise surprise!, Wily is behind everything again.
- In Mega Man ZX Advent, there are bronze, silver and gold medals for killing each of the 8 Pseudoroid bosses in the game, in certain means. Collecting them all will give you access to Model a (note the lowercase).
- Blast Corps has one of the cruelest Cosmetic Awards. After beating the game by finding all the scientists and safely detonating the missiles, you're given a few missions in outer space. After beating those, you're told, "Now do it faster!" and you're expected to finish every level with a gold medal (including the escort levels, which are now timed.) After doing that, you're told, "Now go for Platinum!" and must now finish every level even faster to get a platinum medal. After doing that, you finally get your reward: The usual "Congratulations on your Promotion!" screen pops up one last time with your final rank: "YOU CAN STOP NOW"
- Which really sums up this trope in a nutshell. Once you've accomplished everything there is to accomplish, you can stop. You don't have to, but you can. No more obligations, no more worries. From one perspective it may seem cruel, but when you think about it, it's refreshingly honest.
- The Matrix: Path of Neo has briefcases scattered through out that you can find to unlock movies, concept art and level sketches.
- Deadpool gives you two achievements just for getting 'Pool off his armchair. Medium Aware as he is, he instantly lampshades it.
(after getting the "The first one's free!" achievement) "Hey, what's that? You guys tracking my every move now? But I haven't accomplished anything in this game yet." (achievement "The second one is also free" pops up) "...And there's another one."
- In Contra: Shattered Soldier, beating all seven levels with a cumulative rating of 90-99% gets you the good ending. The reward for 100% (which requires you to destroy every non-respawning enemy without ever losing a life)? The same ending, plus a half-minute joke video about a bullet-shooting puppy.
- Carrie's Order Up! unlocks a secret picture for completing the challenges in Service Mode. The more you complete, the more of the picture becomes visible, before finally changing from sepia tone to full color.
- Similar to the Deadpool examples, Eat Lead: The Return of Matt Hazard frequently parodies achievements/trophies along with other video game tropes. Often, you'll find yourself arbitrarily being given trophies for completing minigames or events that weren't even included in the final product, among them an interrogation session.
Action Adventure Game
- Completing Ōkami unlocks skins that allow the player to change Amaterasu's appearance. These range from simply altering her coloring (such as a skin that removes her Facial Markings or makes her black) to shape (such as the skins that turn her into various breeds of dog).
- Completing the 1996 PC version of Rainbow Islands put a colored star on the title screen. Completing it seven times got you a complete rainbow set of colored stars — and nothing else.
- Completing La-Mulana's Hell Temple rewards you with the treasure of Hell Temple, the Skimpy Swimsuit. On top of having no effect on your gameplay, collecting it exposes you to a picture of Lemeza wearing it, followed by the sage Duracuets making fun of you. After all, didn't he warn you that you might regret seeing the treasure?
- Cave Story:
- Upon completing the Bonus Level Of Hell and defeating the True Final Boss in under six minutes, your reward is a different cursor and music on the main menu. Beating the level under even stricter time limits rewards you with different cursors, and some music which is never heard anywhere else in the game.
- The game also does similar things with the Alien Medal, the Mushroom Badge, and the Clay Figure Medal.
- In the game based on the Spider-Man 2 movie, there are quite a lot of sidequest objectives for you to accomplish (complete all Mary Jane missions, complete all Pizza Delivery missions, collect all landmark tokens, etc.). Your reward for completing these objectives? For most of them, it's the green word "Acquired", as opposed to the yellow words "Not Acquired", on the Rewards screen. Yep...that's it. Whoop-de-do.
- The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild has a particularly extreme example: there are 900 Korok seeds hidden in the world that you can collect. If you find all of them and bring them to Hestu, you get a piece of crap. Literally. He gives you a poo-shaped seed amulet with no real use other than letting you watch his dance whenever you want.
- The Kingdom Hearts series of games is famous for rewarding 100% Completion with the Sequel Hook after the ending, but the Final Mix version of Kingdom Hearts II also has three crowns for Sora: a bronze, silver, and gold crown, awarded after beating the minigames posed by the XIII Mushroom], defeating all thirteen of the Organization XIII data battles, and defeating the Lingering Will, in whichever order the player accomplishes the tasks. The crowns serve absolutely no purpose—they just look cool and prove that the player is hardcore.
- The original Digimon World game had "medals" which you get for accomplishing certain tasks in the game, such as beating the game, collecting all Digimon Cards, raising every type of Digimon, or winning specific Tournaments.
- Winning Video Game/80Days with the pashmina silks and/or steppe tassel in one's inventory grants a few extra lines of narration in which it is placed on the Reform Club's wall as a trophy. Hardly worth the money they can be sold for during Fogg's journey, which provides more tangible benefits.
- Dragon Quest IX has its Accolades. Some of them are mutually exclusive (like the ones for beating the main story in a certain amount of time), making 100% Completion impossible.
- Lufia II: Rise of the Sinistrals has the Iris Treasures. An optional dungeon at the end game resets your characters to Level 1, has 99 levels of randomly generated geography, chests, and monsters, and there's a small chance that the chests (and the incredibly hard final boss) contain pretty-but-useless treasures that you can take out of the dungeon and put on display in a trophy room.
- Most of the emblems in Tactics Ogre: The Knight of Lodis are this.
- Defeating the members and the Master of the Dojo in Paper Mario gains you increasingly better Degrees until you get the Diploma. These only activate different dialogue with three NPCs: one in Toad Town, one in Dry Dry Outpost, and one in Shiver City.
- The "Vyse the Legend" title is the ultimate reward in Skies of Arcadia for 100% Completion in the Gamecube remake. In the Dreamcast original it was just the title you would likely get by the end of the game if you didn't screw up too many dialog choices.
- In Final Fantasy V, defeating Omega and Shinryu nets you nothing but the "Omega Badge" and the "Dragon Seal", shiny badges with descriptions that praise you for beating the Bonus Bosses.
- Though at least the treasure chest Shinryu was in gave you the Ragnarok sword.
- The Updated Re-release added a Boss Rush which is unlocked after you complete the post-game Bonus Dungeon. Completing that gave you a similar shiny, the "Medal of Smiting", proving that you can kick every ass the game has to offer.
- In Final Fantasy VI Advance, completing the Soul Shrine, a massively challenging Bonus Dungeon (which one has to clear the similarly challenging bonus dungeon Dragon's Den just to even get access to), nets you nothing more than an item called the Master's Crown, described in the item menu as a "ceremonial crown awarded for overcoming the challenges of the Soul Shrine". And what's worse, you don't even get to actually see the crown- you only possess it in the sense that it has a listing in your item inventory.
- One could argue that the point of the Soul Shrine isn't the final goal, it's all the rare and powerful items you can pick up as you work your way through the monsters. Of course, since reaching this point requires you to have already beaten the hardest areas of the game already, that would make this more of a Bragging Rights Reward.
- Defeating the infamously powerful Omega Weapon of Final Fantasy VIII gives you a "Proof of Omega" in the Tutorial section of the menu, as well as a Three Stars item.
- Final Fantasy IX has loads; the Rank S medal from treasure hunting, the Master Hunter from the Festival Of The Hunt, the King Of Jump Rope and the Athlete Queen.
- Defeating Nemesis, the Bonus Boss of the Monster Arena in Final Fantasy X, gives you the Mark Of Conquest.
- Final Fantasy XII has the Sky Pirates Den, where trophies appear for achievements ranging from impossible to miss, like taking a certain number of steps, to just plain impossible, like completing all concurrences.
- Final Fantasy XIII-2 has various cosmetic items that can be worn by your Mons.
- Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII has adornments for Lightning. Some are purchased from shops, while others are rewards for quests.
- Infinite Undiscovery has quite possibly one of the most egregious of these, bordering on Sadism. The "Seraphic Gatekeeper" Achievement requires you to Defeat the Bonus Boss on the hardest difficulty level (which requires completing the game twice to unlock). Your Reward? ONE ACHIEVEMENT POINT.
- The Platinum Bookmark in Persona 3. As well as the Raden Bookmark in Persona 4. It should be noted that the bosses that give these items are sisters.
- Pretty much every reward in the Pokémon games. Complete the Pokédex and your Trainer Card changes color.
- Your Trainer Card changes color? In Generation I we got was a certificate, and you had to go get it yourself!
- You don't even get to keep the stupid-ass certificate; you have to keep going back to that asshole just to see it.
- Later games still do have the certificate, but the requirements for the certificate and the extra star and new color Trainer Card are different (you get the certificate for completing the regional Pokédex, and the extra star for completing the National Pokédex, with the exception of event-only Pokémon).
- Subverted in the later games; starting in Generation V completing the National Pokedex earns you an item that slightly increases your chance of finding shiny Pokemon.
- Your Trainer Card changes color? In Generation I we got was a certificate, and you had to go get it yourself!
- In The World Ends with You, completing your item collection, getting all the secret reports, or doing secret tasks will get you new save screen icons. And...well, that's it.
- For every round of battle ("reduction") you win and for every item that costs over 10,000 yen you buy, you get a point on the save screen. Certain numbers of points grant you certain titles, like Reaper, Conductor, Composer, and even Angel. Feel like fighting a ton of battles and buying a load of items? Your title changes to God.
- Complete Final Time Attack and your record time will be shown on your Mingle data. Having a time in and of itself is rather elusive, but there are players who have recorded times of less than three minutes.
- In Jay's Journey, the item you get for beating the "Optional Boss" is a "Worthless Trinket". Literally.
- The Records system in Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey is a list of tasks the player character has done like mapping out dungeons completely, defeating certain Bonus Bosses, filling up the Demon Compendium, acquiring all of a type of item. There's one for getting each ending so you'd need to play through three times for 100% Completion, and several others require a New Game+ to complete as well.
- Beat Fire Emblem: Blazing Sword, the second-to-last boss gives a speech. Beat the game again, raise a support character to level 7 in the first chapters of the game, beat a ridiculously fast miniboss in one turn, three times, and endure two extra, grueling chapters? The boss adds a little extra dialogue, unrelated to any of that.
"Why? Why must I lose? More power... I must be...stronger... I... Why? Why did I... want power? Gaa... Not like this... I will not die...like this. With my last breath... tremble...and...despair. Hwah ha ha... Ha...ha ha ha...
"Why? Why must I lose? ......Quintessence? ...Don't...under...stand... but... Gaa... Not like this... I will not die...like this. With my last breath... tremble...and...despair. Hwah ha ha... Ha...ha ha ha...
- Now, Beat the second-to-last boss again , do all of the above beforehand, except also beating a third extra and grueling chapter, one where magic is useless, and which can only be accessed on the unlocked hard mode, and get some vaguely plot-relevant dialogue.
- Neptunia seems to be playing with this trope. When you start a new game, you get a trophy. When you first used Neptune's hammer, you get a trophy. Pretty much doing anything seems to give you a trophy.
- Touhou Labyrinth gives you a star for killing the Final Boss of the Plus Disk content which serves no function besides marking savefiles which have accomplished the feat.
- For beating the incredibly difficult Hard Mode in Mario & Luigi: Dream Team you get... Two pictures in the ending. One showing Mario and Luigi on one screen and Bowser on the other, and one showing the whole main cast (all characters and bosses) in a Group Picture Ending. Probably not quite worth 35 hours of hell.
- Collecting all 290 trophies in Super Smash Bros. Melee is an incredibly difficult and time-consuming task. Many of them require insane amounts of skill and patience that only the most die-hard Hundred Percent Completionists would strive for. The most infamous example is the Diskun trophy, which requires unlocking every end-of-level bonus, including the No-Damage Clear award, which means completing Classic or All-Star mode without taking any damage whatsoever. But if you get all that, you unlock a video!
- Brawl ramps up the "time-consuming" part of the above paragraph by a lot with too many "Complete <mode> with all 35 characters" tasks but slacks down on the difficulty otherwise. Well, except for the Liquid Snake sticker, which requires killing 10 foes on Cruel Brawl and the Galleom Tank, demanding completion of Boss Battles on Intense. Unless you live in Europe and haven't wasted your Golden Hammers, in which case you're able to quickly claim the latter with one. And that's not counting the random trophies, which are even more random due to the lottery being replaced by the Coin Launcher.
First Person Shooter
- Battlefield 1942, Vietnam and 2 all had medals for winning in the top 3 of a round which really didn't do anything.
- The awards in Battlefield 2142 would give points if you achieved them. The medals wouldn't however.
- Getting all the medals in the original Medal of Honor for PlayStation, including the Congressional Medal of Honor and the Dreamworks Medal of Valor, gets you several extra characters for the multiplayer mode.
- Medal of Honor - Pacific Assault (for the PC, anyway) gives you souvenirs from your various missions (canteens, a scrap of Japanese flag, an altimeter, etc.) for fulfilling a bonus objective. Selecting one will replay a nice, echo-ridden version of the audio from the time it was presumably picked up. Military scrapbooking!
- Team Fortress 2 has randomly-dropped hats, most of which serve no purpose other than pure aesthetic customization (and possibly making it easier for a sniper to shoot you). They are one of the most base-breaking things in video game history. "Unusual" versions (which can only be obtained by paying a $2.50 item for a very low chance at one) are the exact same hats but with various particle effects attached, and can be worth 30-2000 USD
- It also has regular achievements, but the ones for specific classes don't count since they actually give you something useful.
- Similarly, Strange weapons are identical to their normal counterparts except for a kill counter. They also cost $2.50 for a chance at one.
- There's also the Golden Frying Pan, which is statistically identical in every way to the default melee weapons, but due to its sheer rarity is always worth at least a hundred dollars.
- The various armor permutations in the Halo series. Sadly, while very cool-looking, they are purely cosmetic and do not affect gameplay aside from potentially making you more visible to snipers. Later games add the ability to customize the skins of your basic guns too.
- Rainbow Six: Vegas 2 has achievements along with medals and ribbons. Achievements are generally progress-based (i.e. beating a level for the first time), medals are more spontaneous challenges (five silenced headshots in a row), and ribbons are in-between (play a certain number of scenes as the second player in co-op). Also, like Team Fortress 2, there are various accessories for your character that you can unlock by ranking up. Most do nothing in gameplay (hats, eyewear, camouflage patterns), but armor does actually protect you from damage depending on its rating, at the cost of slowing you down.
- PlanetSide 2 uses an internal Achievement System ("Directives") to grant cosmetic rewards. Master level Vehicle directives grant the user auraxium-infused Tron Lines, and the Exception Weapons and Infantry Objective support grant pure black and pure white camouflage, respectively. Every Expert and Master Weapon directive grants a unique kill camera background that enemies see when killed by you. The original Planetside had "Merits", small color-coded patches placed on the user's shoulder, which were awarded for valorous service in a variety of situations such as getting 100 transportation assists with the Awesome Personnel Carrier.
Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game
- City of Heroes has badges, which track a wide range of achievements; everything from beating a Bonus Boss to spending half an hour total immobilized to reaching level 10. A few of these actually do confer additional powers, however.
- And the ones which are the most prized and sought after are invariably the ones which don't do anything. The devs did make the rewards cosmetic-only precisely because they may be impossible for certain characters to get.
- One of the most sought after badges was given for killing 200 enemies that only spawned in the tutorial zone, which was completely unavailable after said tutorial was completed. When players clamored for a way to get the badge anyway, especially for characters that had been around for a while, the devs responded that they would make it possible, but not easy. They then had one of the target enemies spawn in a very high level Player Versus Player area once per hour. The players moaned, the devs snickerednote .
- The web-based MMORPG Kingdom of Loathing features a whole series of trophies which can be collected by players to display at their campsite. They must be purchased with game money after earning them, and typically are awarded for feats that diverge sharply from the game's standard quest. The "Boss Boss" trophy, for example, requires one to defeat a quartet of specific bosses under conditions that both ramp up the difficulty of the fight and prevent you from gaining special bonus treasures they might drop. Tattoos are the other main collectible, and also serve no purpose other than making your character page look cooler (with the exception of the Demon Tattoo, which protects you from self-damage when using a certain demon-fire buff).
- Annoying to collectors is that it's impossible to achieve 100% completion on any level, as KoL's style of humor means event items and trophies are also affected. One such example would be the Pantsless trophy, which was only gained through pure luck, not having worn pants at rollover on a particular December 31st, midnight. It's said that only a handful of people can even come close, most of them powergamers who aren't affiliated with the coding team. That's right, not even the people that made the game have everything! In fact, there exists absolutely no account that has every one-time trophy, barring a sudden re-implementation of said Pantsless trophy.
- Many of the game's rare items, acquired through special one-time events or just trudging through a lot of ascensions/sidequests, are either literally useless, or effectively so because more powerful items can be had with less effort. The Plexiglass outfit, for example, requires you to ascend several times in "Oxycore," where you can't eat or drink anything to gain adventures (thus requiring many more real-life days than a regular ascension)... but thanks to Power Creep, the once-impressive bonuses on the set's items are pretty much obsolete.
- Guild Wars has a long list of titles that can be awarded to your character for various in-game achievements. Some of these do have some practical use (many of the faction reputation titles, for example, give you access to exclusive skills), while others (e.g. the Cartography or Vanquishing titles) give you nothing but bragging rights.
- This is not entirely true. While these titles do not reward the character with anything but bragging rights individually, the collective achievements of the realm in a given time frame will grant it the favor of the gods which will grant status buffs and access to the two bonus dungeons to every player in the realm.
- Most armor sets however are most definitely Cosmetic Awards. Most players will farm ingredients or reputation for months to get an armor set not a single bit more powerful then what they can buy regularly a few days into the game.
- The same applies to rare weapon skins. An item that requires either intensive farming or massive amounts of money to acquire will boast stats identical, and sometimes inferior, to more common items.
- Guild Wars 2 is aiming for a similar situation with gear. Dungeons will provide tokens for purely aesthetic gear, rather than improved gear.
- Final Fantasy XI has titles, of which very few do anything, out of hundreds. These range from simply being proof of completing nearly impossible tasks (such as the Virtuous Saint title for beating the
nearlyunkillable, makes you wish it was only Nintendo Hard Absolute Virtue), to one that makes a certain type of mandragora cast Regen on you. Some titles from bosses in the Aht Urghan region are used in the Mythic Weapon quest. But the other 99% of titles in the game are worthless.
- As with its predecessor, Final Fantasy XIV also has titles, which do absolutely nothing utilitarian apart from signalling to others players that one has managed to defeat a particularly difficult trial battle, raid, or completed a lengthy and time-consuming task (such as felling 500,000 enemies or completing 3,000 open-world FATE battles). Additionally, some of these achievement and title rewards will also earn the player a particular piece of gear, assuming a specific NPC is spoken with, that is often purely cosmetic.
- World of Warcraft has an elaborate system of cosmetic awards available throughout the game. First, there is a vast assortment of collectible items, including tabards, vanity pets, clothing, and any mount other than the first at each tier of riding skill. With a very few exceptions, these have no effect on gameplay regardless of the difficulty of acquiring them. Second, an Achievements system was added for the Wrath of the Lich King expansion, rewarding points for everything from leveling to conquering dungeons to exploring to acquiring large quantities of pets, mounts, etc. These points serve only to compare your character to others; some even award MORE cosmetic rewards, such as titles or mounts. Some Achievements, however, can unlock Bragging Rights Rewards, such as mounts that are actually faster than normal for their category or in one case, more daily quests.
- It also has numerous achievements for collecting certain numbers of some other cosmetic awards... Which usually give you another one of the same kind.
- Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning is a big fan of cosmetic rewards, especially decorative trophies and titles.
- Battle Stations has several, from sinking an enemy fort to drinking increasing amounts in the Taverns. They just show up as small icons on the character sheet.
- The Lord of the Rings Online has two variations: the literal cosmetic gear awards are meant to help you avoid walking around in Rainbow Pimp Gear, while hundreds and hundreds of titles serve as Bragging Rights Award - you can get a unique title for anything from eating food to defeating the hardest raid boss in the game.
- Mabinogi's "Sword of Gods" update has added an achievement/point-scoring system similar to that of WOW.
- While they are useful ingame, RuneScape's skillcapes/capes of distinction can be TRIMMED for doing more stuff. The trim, unlike the base capes (which have some of the best cape stats), does NOTHING.
- Also, there's the discontinued items, such has Halloween masks and party hats, which are purely cosmetic and have no combat stats whatsoever, and yet are the most expensive items in the game. In fact, they are so expensive, that due to software limitations they can't be paid for in straight coins (the highest amount of coins you can have is 2,147,483,647) and have to be bought with items.
- Star Trek Online has titles, which you can prefix your character's name with. These range from the relatively mundane (like the rank-titles gotten by levelling up) to the more peculiar ("Gingerbro").
- Parodied and subverted in the Flash game Achievement Unlocked. The game is a satire of AchievementSystems; the whole point of the game is to get the system to 100% Completion. To win the game, you actually have to get all the achievements. Though, later games in the series tone down the satire as fans loved the achievements so much.
- The Xbox Live Achievement System puts this into every Xbox 360 game and makes it so you can display tons of awards online. Achievements will often range from trivial stuff, such as killing every single bad guy with a crotch shot, to true displays of skills and wit, such as getting through the whole game without taking a single hit.
- The PS3 has also introduced a similar system. ("Trophies")
- Due to Sony's policy, there's usually a Platinum Trophy available which always has the exact same requirements to get in every game: get every other trophy for that game. This also has the affect of occasionally dragging down your completion percentage in games for which you don't have all trophies since the Platinum Trophy has the most value.
- MineCraft has the Dragon Egg. You get it by killing the Enderdragon and it serves no purpose whatsoever, although Word of God has stated this might change...
- Steam has a similar system for some of its PC games, implemented in late 2007 with the launch of the Orange Box.
- Notably, Team Fortress 2 on Steam has class-specific achievements. Completing set numbers of them unlock alternative weapons for said classes, so these particular achievements are not entirely Cosmetic Awards. They may, however, be Bragging Rights Rewards now that the same items can also be accumulated (in mass quantities, even!) through Randomly Drops.
- Even Wii seems to be getting into it, Wii Sports Resort has Stamp Cards for every event which you can collect stamps which are basically achievements.
- The Conduit, Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: The Crystal Bearers and Endless Ocean: Blue World also have in-game achievements.
- The patches in the Activision Anthology, which are virtual replicas of patches that you could receive in real life in the 80's by sending a high score to Activision, which therefore makes this trope...
- The Tetris: The Grand Master series has the titular "Grand Master" rank, with each game making the rank harder to obtain. TGM 1's GM rank can be easily obtained after about 6-9 months of practice, but Tetris: The Grand Master 3's is infamously held by only three people in the entire world.
- Parodied in the Red vs. Blue PSA "Achievements". "I have so many achievables!"
- Newgrounds also has an achievement system now, which currently only certain game makers have access to.
- Even the adoptable site GPX Plus is getting in on the fun. At the time of writing there are 54 achievements, with Word of God promising that there will be more every month.
- Plants vs. Zombies has the Golden Sunflower Trophy for finishing Adventure mode and getting all the trophies in the Mini Games, Puzzle mode, and Survival mode. The Steam version also includes twelve achievements, four of which require a lot of playing and practice to get.
- The Where's Waldo? PC game, Where's Waldo: The Fantastic Journey, rewards you for giving you an extra character/item on the level select screen if you manage to get 5 stars on a level.
- The effects of Yume Nikki are mostly this. There are only two which do something, that's necessary to finish the game. Other than that, they serve no real purpose. However, it is necessary to collect them all to end the game.
- Bloodline Champions lampshades that:
Achievement points are gained via earning achievements in-game and are used for bragging to your friends.
- The Flash gaming site Kongregate uses an achievement system for its highest-viewed and/or highest-rated games. The achievements, usually capped at four per game, range from "easy" (kill x number of enemies, beat the first three levels) to "medium" (complete the game, beat the final boss) to "impossible" (beat the game without losing a life, complete the bonus mode, finish game on "very hard" difficulty).
- Katawa Crash, which is a parody of the flash game NANACA†CRASH!! with characters from Katawa Shoujo. Along with the massive slew of random content, events and guest characters, they added an in-game Achievements system which makes this game far more awesome than the original game it parodied.
- In the LittleBigPlanet games (except the first), every possibly action either earns you or scores towards unlocking Pins. These work similarly to Xbox Achievements and PS3 Trophies, and there are hundreds to collect; the vast majority for trivial things such as logging onto the online network or picking up points bubbles. They serve no real purpose, however the player can choose to display a couple of their choosing on their player profile card.
- There are also hidden pins, which aren't listed until you get them (Though there are very few of these), and all the Trophies are tied into the pins. The pins that also award a Trophy (or conversely are earned upon earning said trophy) are marked with an icon of a trophy.
- Criminal Case offers trophies for accomplishing certain objectives throughout the playthrough, such as "collecting X number of stars", or "reaching X score in a scene". These trophies don't do anything to the subsequent gameplays, of course.
- The purchasable paint jobs and hats in Roundabout don't have any in-game effect, but they are one of the only uses for your money. Similarly, collecting the horn collectibles unlocks additional car horns for use.
- Jak 3: Wastelander gives you Jak his outfit from the previous game if you clear every orb challenge. Not only does this require beating the game, some of the challenges are absolutely insane. And the outfit, of course, does nothing.
- Completing Crash Bandicoot 3: Warped by gathering all the crystals and gems and scoring either the Gold or Platinum rank from all the levels in Time Trial mode (including the two super secret levels) earns the player an extra gem and a snazzy fireworks display — along with a 105% mark on their save game.
- If you defeat a boss in Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia without taking any damage, you collect that boss's medal. This task can be made easier by equipping the Death Ring, which provides a massive stat boost and instantly dying when hit, making killing the bosses & retrying much simpler.
- Getting all 120 shine sprites in Super Mario Sunshine netted you a logo next to your profile on the main menu.
- Beating Bowser earns you the ability to wear a tropical shirt in some levels.
- Super Mario Galaxy has one only AFTER you get 120 stars with both Mario and Luigi. After you do this and beat the game the 2nd time with both characters, the Grand Finale Galaxy is unlocked, which is just the castle area from the game's start. Getting all 100 purple coins in this new level gets you the 121st star, which in turns gets you just a picture of Mario with Peach sent to your Wii message board. Getting the 121st star with Luigi gets you an image of him with Rosalina and a gang of Toads. For all the trouble you go through and time spent to 100% the game with both characters, it follows the trope perfectly.
- Also, when you accumulate 9999 Star Bits, all the coconuts in the game change to watermelons.
- This also happens in the sequel, though there is another one there too: after getting all 242 stars, your reward is that Rosalina from then on stands next to Lubba on the ship.
- Also, when you accumulate 9999 Star Bits, all the coconuts in the game change to watermelons.
- New Super Mario Bros. gives you a third star on your save file for finding all the star coins (the first is for beating the game and the second is for finding all the levels), and a new picture you can use for your bottom screen that references the classic Super Mario Bros. The Wii game goes up to 5 stars, at which point you get the message: "You have completed everything in New Super Mario Bros. Wii!" and... actually that's it.
- The Wii game also has the reward for getting through without the Super Guide... your stars on the file select screen sparkle. That's about it.
- Not to mention upon getting 99 lives, Mario becomes hatless.
- Collecting 1.000.000 coins in New Super Mario Bros. 2 gives... a new title screen. Instead of say, unlocking Wario, which, considering the theme of the game, would make some degree of sense.
- Super Mario 3D Land slightly averts this. You still can get five stars, but obtaining all of them will allow you to gain access to the very final level...SW8-Crown. Of course, going through all this trouble is more of a Bragging Rights Award seeing as you have to complete all of the 8 regular worlds and the 8 special worlds by beating every level, collecting every Star Medal, along with beating the final Castle in W8 again after beating the Special World 8 Castle, along with getting a golden flag by hitting the top of the flagpole at the end of every stage with both characters, which means beating every stage again as Luigi. Beating the game without seeing the Winged Item Block/White Raccoon Leaf Block (by dying 9 times) will give you sparkly stars as well. And finally, S8-Crown has a cosmetic award itself near the end of the level: a section of the level is filled with Snake Panels that spell out "Thank you".
- Mario can become hatless again as well, but this time, despite what the three digits in the lives counter would lead you to believe, you actually need to have 1,110 lives, as the digits turn into crowns when you get enough lives (meaning that the max amount appears as "crown-crown-crown" lives).
- Jed: all three rewards.
- The Spyro the Dragon and Ratchet & Clank series have "Skill Points", which are awarded upon completing certain tasks (like finding a certain hidden area or beating X enemies in Y minutes). In the Spyro series, they typically unlock the game's FMVs. In the Ratchet series, you unlock cheats for getting Skill Points. Too bad they're all useless cosmetic enhancements, such as Big Head Mode or Mirror Mode.
- However, two of the games have the "Insomniac Museum," unlocked only with 100% completion, including Skill Points.
- In Rayman Origins, getting 350 or more Lums on a level will have the game award you a medal and throw you an on-screen disco party.
- Rockman 4 Minus Infinity: Proof of Omega, earned after beating Cockroach Omega in the TRUE Arena.
- In Wario Land: Shake It!, finding every hidden treasure decks out Wario's garage with gold and riches.
- Sonic Generations zig-zags this trope. Beating the side missions and collecting singular Red Rings nets you artwork and songs. Collecting all five Red Rings in a stage nets you new powers.
- Duke Nukem: Manhattan Project has the Bonus Boss, Wozma. All you get for beating this Pain in the Boss is an icon on your saved game.
- Castlevania: Harmony of Dissonance had the furniture. There's no real reason to collect them all, aside form 100%.
- The American version of Ridge Racer for the PSP has bonus tours called "MAX Tours". The only reward for surviving these hard tours that pit you against opponents with massive Rubber Band AI is, according to the description for each tour, your honor.
- Completing all 80 stages of Wangan Midnight Maximum Tune 3's Story Mode without losing a single stage rewards you with the title "Undefeated Highway Dominator" and a bonus soundtrack. This is in mild contrast to Maximum Tune 2, in which completing all 80 stages undefeated rewarded you with an extra tuning point for your car without having to drive a total of 5,000 km, whereas in WMMT3, losing in Story Mode has no bearing on whether your car gets completely tuned.
- All versions of Maximum Tune from Maximum Tune 2 onwards give out special titles for players' cards based on any combination of game variables (performance, mileage, make/model, color, wins/losses, racing conditions, etc.). Such titles are anywhere from cool ("Seeing the Fastest Line"), to badass ("Undefeated Highway Dominator"), to hilarious ("Car > Family"), to Narmtastic ("The New Circular Instant Speed").
- Getting first place in all cups in several Mario Kart games earns you a new title screen. In addition, in Mario Kart Wii and Mario Kart 7, the player's icon is modified during online matches depending on whether they've gotten first-place finishes on all cups, and whether they've managed to clear all cups with at least one star, two star, or three star rankings. These games also point out who is using motion steering.
- And what do you get when you get the impossible three-star ranking on all non-retro cups in Mario Kart: Super Circuit? The fucking sky in the title screen changes color.
- Wipeout 64 has three sets of challenges - race, time trial and elimination - that unlock things. A new track, a new ship and increased weapon power. Then there were the combo challenges, which were race and elimination challenges in one, and the Gold Challenges, where you were essentially told "good job, but now try again and get a GOLD medal". Your reward for completing those? The title screen changes colour.
- In the first Wipeout, completing "Venom" class unlocked the faster "Rapier" class, including a day/night shift on each track. Completing this unlocked a bonus track. Completing the championship including the bonus track? A scrolling text telling you "Congratulations, stay tuned for Wipeout II, coming soon", after which the game kicked you back to the title screen. The sequel wasn't even named ''Wipeout II'.
- Wip3out unlocks tracks and ships based on your wins in single race mode. The game also has a challenge system comprising a large number of challenges, similar to Wipeout 64. Your reward for completing those? Nothing. The game doesn't even have the grace to tell you that you are supposed to unlock everything in single race mode instead.
- Trackmania Nations Forever and United Forever have a single player campaign, ranging from easy tracks to not so easy tracks. Your reward for completing them? Medals. That's it. Then you realise the real game is in the track editor, the online component and the community. In other words, you just wasted your time.
- The single-player campaign in World in Conflict gives medals, ribbons, badges and promotions for completing the various scenarios. The promotions are especially perfunctory: in the first (chronologically) mission, the player character is a mere 2nd Lieutenant, yet is still allowed to command larger forces than such a junior officer would be granted in real life.
- A similar system is in place for online mode, and it's equally odd considering that a Private can command just as many units as a 4-star General.
- Two entries of the Nintendo Wars series, Dual Strike and Days of Ruin, both feature a medal system that fits under this and medals that require you to intentionally get bad ranks or delete your own units.
- Age Of Empires III allows the player to customize his Home City by attaining enough points (which can also be used to buy new Supply Cards, which are actually useful).
- Starcraft II brings an Xbox Live-like Achievement system to Battle.net.
- In Rock Band, completing the Endless Setlist (playing all 58 on-disc songs, in a row, in one continuous set) changes the color of your rocker's icon. You get an inverted icon for Medium, a gold icon for Hard, and a platinum icon for Expert (difficulty being determined by the lowest difficulty in your band at the time; with, for example, a Medium guitar, Hard bassist, and Expert drummer, everyone would get inverted if they didn't already have better, an Expert guitar and Hard drummer would get gold; only an all-Expert ensemble would get platinum).
- Rock Band 2 has the same feature, but applied to the Endless Setlist 2, which is all 84 on-disc songs in a row. Additionally, on the 360 and PS3 versions, there's an Achievement/Trophy called "Bladder of Steel" that you can get for completing Endless Setlist 2 without pausing or pressing the Guide/Home button.
- Rock Band 3 is practically made up of nothing but achievements, all of which simply unlock new clothes and instruments for your band for getting.
- In Videogame/Rock Band: The Beatles, getting a good rating on songs will unlock pictures of the Beatles that come with interesting facts about the Beatles' history. Getting several pictures unlocks rare movies of the Beatles.
- Parodied in the South Park episode "Guitar Queer-O": Congratulations! YOU! ARE! FAGS!
- Project Diva 2nd has various awards, e.g. for finishing X number of songs with character Y; for getting Perfect on a song; for earning (and spending) Diva Points; etc. You can choose to display a reward as your title during multiplayer.
- Groove Coaster has titles you can unlock by fulfilling certain conditions, like using an item x number of times, or by clearing a song's Normal chart with an S rank.
Shoot Em Up
- The Star Wars: X-Wing series was full of these. Completing entirely optional training missions would give a sash full of ribbons or a collection of badges and medallions. You would automatically get a medal for each sub-campaign completed. Only receiving the Kalidor Crescent and add-on baubles from the Rebel Alliance or gaining membership in the Secret Order depended on completing bonus objectives, while promotion, which changed your dress uniform's insignia, depended on how many points you scored during normal mission and the mission's difficulty.
- X-Wing Alliance in particular turned this trope Up to Eleven. Your cumulative score in Rebel Alliance missions would result in a promotion at certain milestones, though your rank had no bearing on the game beyond the number of pips on the uniform hanging in your quarters. For each numbered campaign completed, you received a new medal, with (again) the Kalidor Crescent and various add-on baubles being awarded for completing bonus objectives. To top it off, after every single mission you complete for various family members while "on leave", a new souvenir is placed in your quarters.
- Ace Combat: the whole series awards you with numerous medals. From the fourth game on, you can also unlock special paint schemes for your planes by shooting down special enemy aircraft.
- In addition to regular console achievements, Ace Combat: Assault Horizon multiplayer mode has call signs, which can be earned by fulfilling certain conditions in multiplayer (such as landing the last blow to the enemy base or being the top-scoring player of a match) and chosen for yourself at the beginning of a multiplayer game. Call signs do not have any effect except slightly altering the Mission Control's dialogue.
- The FreeSpace series has medals that players can obtain by completing secondary and bonus objectives. Points are also awarded to the player, which determines his rank. Most of the time, the only consequence to not completing said objectives is not being able to get the medal or promotion. "5,000 officers and crew on the corvette were lost... sorry, no medal." Mind you, in some missions, it may appear that a secondary objective is inconsequential... and then the next mission starts with you guarding one weak ship with 20% hull if you didn't complete it.
- There seemed to be a very easily overlooked subversion to this in the sequel. Completing some of the objectives that game medals did seem to unlock a few extra bonus ships in later missions. These ships had a different color icon from normal ships, which does seem to highlight they were special.
- Animal Crossing gives the post model after you put a billion Bells in the bank, which are otherwise worthless after you pay off your house. It gives plenty of other furniture items for doing various sidequests. In New Leaf, a sea lion named Phineas will show up in your town to award you "badges" for doing things like catching many different types of fish or bugs, planting a lot of flowers, or doing a lot of errands for your neighbors.
- Trauma Team has 48 "medals" you can collect after beating the game. It's pretty clearly just a stand-in for PS3 trophies or XBox 360 achievements.
- In Airfix Dogfighter, for each completed mission you receive a medal, which you can later see when viewing your pilot in the main menu.
- In Backyard Skateboarding, the only rewards for beating the game are new T-shirts and skateboards.
Stealth Based Game
- Ghost Recon awarded medals to the soldiers in a fairly realistic manner: soldiers get campaign ribbons for taking part in campaigns, purple hearts for injuries, and various other medals for kills.
- As did Hidden & Dangerous 2.
- Games in the Metal Gear franchise starting with Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty often include dog tags which unlock bonuses as you collect more and more of them from enemy soldiers. They were added into the Twin Snakes release of MGS, but collecting them in that version is purely for kicks.
- In the very first Metal Gear Solid, beating the game with both the good (canon, Meryl) ending and the bad (Otacon) ending will give Snake a dinner jacket as an homage to James Bond. In addition, Meryl will wear his Sneaking Suit and the Cyborg Ninja will have his coloration changed to look like Spider-Man.
- In the second game, Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty, beating the game twice will give Snake and Raiden sunglasses. In addition, there's a hidden electric razor in the first area, which Raiden can give to Snake, in which case he'll show up clean-shaven later in the game.
- The third game, Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, has unlockable camouflage options. For beating the game, you get the Tuxedo, which offers pretty poor camouflage in most situations. But it looks cool.
- Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots has unlockable costumes as well, such as the tuxedo.
- Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker continues the trend, by awarding the player the tuxedo for beating the (first) Final Boss. Again, it's pretty much useless since it provides poor camouflage and also limits how many weapons and how much ammunition the player can carry.
Survival Horror Game
- Five Nights At Vault 5 has stars appearing around the entrance to the Arena every time you beat a night.
Third Person Shooter
- The awards for beating all of the amiibo challenges are mostly clothes. The reward for the final challenges are replicas of the weapons from the game's single player mode... which are statistically identical to weapons that you've almost certainly already unlocked note . The only purpose they serve is looking cool and showing other players that you beat the challenges.
- Once you hit level 20, the gear and weapons you unlock by leveling up is this. You can unlock the armor from hero mode as multiplayer gear, as well as Cap'n Cuttlefish's hat and the Octoshot weapon. While stylish, none of the gear has any unique abilities that the vanilla gear doesn't have, and the Octoshot is statistically identical to the Tentatek Splattershot, making it a Bragging Rights Reward.
Turn Based Strategy
- Beating two of the bonus bosses in Disgaea 2 grants the protagonist new titles — "Prism Black" and "Badass Overlord", respectively — which replace the default title of "Demon Hunter". In both cases, victory results in immediate complaints from said protagonist over how crappy the rewards are.
- There's also the "Lord Master" title, only received when you kill Pirate Uber Prinny Baal in the Item World. By the time you're strong enough to even complete this task, there's practically nothing else to do in the game anymore.
- One thing left. Killing Pirate UPB buffs all the monsters on the next map you visit. You can use it to over-buff the Land of Carnage UPB to being even tougher. That doesn't even give cosmetic award, though.
- Actually, the complaint about the "Badass Overlord" is that he thought he couldn't get a demonic title due to being a human.
- There's also the "Lord Master" title, only received when you kill Pirate Uber Prinny Baal in the Item World. By the time you're strong enough to even complete this task, there's practically nothing else to do in the game anymore.
- Civilization II let you upgrade your throne room, Civilization III your palace grounds, and Civilization: Call to Power your capital city center. Each is essentially a pretty picture that you can stare at if you get bored.
- Fallout 2 has a number of these, in Karmic Titles. For example, if you have awesome sex with anyone in the game, you get the Gigolo karmic title. If you make a porno, you get the Porn Star karmic title, which actually has penalties within one area of the game — namely, as a celebrity, it's impossible for you to sneak around. Not all karmic titles are devoid of actual effects in the game, but most don't directly affect your stats, and most if not all are useless in pursuit of the game's main quests. Other karmic titles include Child Killer, Slaver, Champion, Savior of the Damned, Made Man, Prizefighter, Sexpert, Married and Separated. This is something of an Unbuilt Trope, as while they represent your achievements in the game, none of them are purely cosmetic; all of them affect how others in the game see and treat your character, and some even affect your stats.
- Diablo II has several cosmetic awards. For completing the game a title will be put in front of your character's name, differing depending on the difficulty level and if you opted to played in the high risk "Hardcore" mode, as well as if you have the Lord of Destruction expansion pack. There is also a Bonus Quest where you get to fight beefed up versions of the three main bosses (the Ubers) all at the same time. Players who manage this feat are rewarded with powerful items, but also a "Standard of Heroes" item that serves no use other than a trophy. There is also a trophy ear you will get if you kill another player in PvP.
- One of the expansion pack's later quests has the purely cosmetic reward of personalizing a single item by adding your name to it.
- Might and Magic 6's reward of "Super Goobers" upon passing through a room full of enemies that can cause eradication. Late in the game, of course...
- Might and Magic: World of Xeen gave the "Goober" reward for getting to the computer at the bottom of the Dungeon of Death, an optional (and the most difficult) dungeon in the game. The computer is locked with a password ... which is found in the very last area of the game, a handful of steps from the ending. Retrace your steps all the way back through the final areas, all the way back to the Dungeon of Death, and enter the password ... and you are a "SUPER Goober."
- The Mass Effect series has many examples of this:
- Mass Effect and Mass Effect 2 mainly avoid this, as a majority of the achievements unlock gameplay bonuses for the player such as increased experience rewards, additional resources or new unlocked skills for new characters. On the other side, some achievements for other games play this trope even straighter by giving you a gamerpic or avatar clothing as well.
- Beginning in the sequel, the player can obtain decorative items for Shepard's cabin. These can be either bought from various store terminals (the ship models) or obtained by completing certain DLC.
- If the player completes the Normandy Crash Site DLC, Shepard's original helmet is recovered and put on his/her desk.
- The player receives a Prothean Relic if they complete the Firewalker DLC.
- Liara brings over Shepard's old dog tags and a Shadow Broker Ship model after the Lair of the Shadow Broker DLC is completed.
- 3 continues the trend, although many of the items can be Permanently Missable if the player hasn't met certain requirements.
- The Shadow Broker Base Ship model is inaccessible if the player hasn't completed Lair of the Shadow Broker DLC and imported it (or uses a save file editor). It can be frustrating to see a wall of ships that is still missing one model.
- The same occurs with the Space Hamster - if it was purchased in 2, it can be recovered in 3 and brought back to Shepard's cabin.
- An additional cabin item is awarded for most of the DLC's completed by the player (a Husk Head for Leviathan, Admiral Petrovsky's chessboard for Omega and Private Westmoreland's mug in Citadel). The latter can be Permanently Missable if the security checkpoint isn't visited before Shepard goes down the Normandy elevator during the retake operation.
- One set of collectibles has very specific circumstances. Kelly Chambers will give Shepard a photo of herself if she was romanced and survived the Suicide Mission in 2. However, if she is kept alive through the events of Priority: The Citadel II and imported into a New Game+, she will give Shepard a rare fish (the Prejak Paddlefish) upon being met again at the Citadel. This fish can't be acquired any other way, and can be traded in for a one-time intel bonus for Shepard's abilities.
Non-Video Game Examples
- The famous "No-Prize" from Marvel Comics. It essentially started out as a sort of "Whadda ya want, a medal?" to readers who wrote in pointing out typos or continuity errors. The No-Prize was literally nothing, arriving in an envelope that said it contained an "official No-Prize"... and was, of course, empty. Of course, you got your name mentioned in the comic where the No-Prizes were counted up, which some saw as the real prize.
- Some recipients actually began selling their No-Prizes on eBay, using the empty envelope as the actual item. This prompted an editor's note decrying the practice, claiming that No-Prizes were "non-transferable".
- Friendship Is Optimal: In the fictional MMO Equestria Online, there are badges for most everything, at least for the sort of ponies that value achievement systems. This can be potentially creepy.
- The Wizard of Oz: The Wizard's gifts to the Scarecrow, Tin Man, and Lion "prove" to them that they already have the brains, heart, and courage they've been looking for.
- In Maverick The Movie, the backs of the playing cards display the initials of the player with the highest score.
- Mile High Pinball for the Nokia N-Gage lets you choose different skins for your ball at the start of each game. The choice has no effect on the gameplay.
- The ancient Greek Olympic Games gave out wreaths of olive branches as the award for victory (Yay!). However, this was generally subverted: the home city of a winning athlete would frequently give him a large cash gift for winning.
- Which carries over to the modern Olympic games and its gold medals (which actually contain very little gold). The winning athlete then makes a fortune from endorsements.
- Except that the medal is certain to survive beyond the athlete's lifetime, while any olive branch that doesn't start to wither and break apart a year later is lucky.
- Even Tabletop RPG s have achievement system these days. Wolsung, a soon-in-English steampunk pulp fantasy game, has achievements as primary XP mechanism. For each great deed in a game you get an achievement which grants your character a sizable bonus to similar rolls: if your most visible deed was seducing an elven princess you'll get +5 to seducing elves from now on
- On This Very Wiki, Made of Win. Unless someone tries to collect those free hugs, anyway.
- Websites have begun this it seems. Flash game websites like Newgrounds and Kongregate have achievement systems for their games, while video game websites like Giant Bomb and Game Trailers now have achievements for watching videos and the such.
- Cheezburger Network gives out "collectibles" for visiting two of their main website groups (I can haz cheezburger? and Memebase) daily.
- Quiz website Sporcle has Badges for completing certain tasks.
- Movie website iCheckMovies, in which you check movies you've seen (admitting on the front page that is for bragging), gives Awards, going from Bronze to Platinum, for completing a certain amount of the official lists - 137, ranging from IMDB lists, highest-grossing films, award winners (Academy Award, BAFTA, National Film Registry...), critic\filmmaker favorites, and lists made by magazines\books\institutions. A few are impossible to get Platinum for including lost movies.
- Between the guys at Rooster Teeth's fittingly-named Achievement Hunter, there's the Tower of Pimps for Let's Play Minecraft, a stack of four gold blocks on a obsidian block. No real purpose than to show who won the challenge of that episode. This series has prompted many Minecraft players to make their own Towers.
- YouTube used to allow animated GIF avatars. Eventually they decided to disallow them, but those who did have one were allowed to keep it. Once in a blue moon it is (or maybe was) possible to run into a user with an animated avatar, which never failed to generate attention for said user.
- The My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic image booru Derpibooru awards badges to users for meeting specific criteria. Some are given for uploading a set number of high-scoring images, making a donation to cover server costs, or for volunteering time to translate images, while others are given for community-driven reasons such as having been one of the members since the site opened, for starting a forum that grew to 100 pages, or being an artist. There's also a "duck" badge that is given to Trolls and JerkAsses to publicly shame them and warn users that they're not worth replying too (Not that it helps), and several mystery badges handed out with no context for seemingly no reason other than to warrant a lot of questions. A partial list can be found here.
- F My Life has a little something special for dedicated registered users: Medals. The bronze ones seem to be the most common and require little effort, silver ones are a bit harder to earn, and of course the gold ones require titanic levels of no-lifeism (such as reading through the entire database of FMLs as of when you started). The site itself admits there's no real reason to do it, saying they are totally useless in the real world which for some reason is compelling enough for you to collect them all. Of course, the ones you've earned are visible on your userpage, and anytime you post a comment the number you've earned & the highest rank you've earned are displayed next to your up & downvote totals.