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Cosmetic Award

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Don't you want one of those?

Strawberries will impress your friends, but that's about it. Only collect them if you really want to!

A Cosmetic Award is a video game reward that serves no purpose other than proof of accomplishment. These don't change gameplay in any aspect; they are entirely cosmetic. The only thing really gained from these awards 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 Superboss. 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.

A Cosmetic Award is different from a Bragging Rights Reward, which is a prize that is theoretically useful but useless in practice (usually because it can only be obtained after completing the game's hardest challenge, so there's nothing else you need it for). A Cosmetic Award, however, isn't even nominally useful; it has 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 to someone when they say 'Prove it'.

As usual, Tropes Are Not Bad. A Cosmetic Reward will feel just as enjoyable for the player as a non-cosmetic one, and without infringing on the gameplay. This is important for games that focus primarily on player versus player matches since it will feel unfair to get killed if the ground is not even due to rewards that affect gameplay.

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.


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    Action Games 
  • 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"
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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."
  • Devil May Cry 3: Dante's Awakening unlocks artwork for getting the "S" and "SS" ranks.
  • 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.
  • The Matrix: Path of Neo has briefcases scattered through out that you can find to unlock movies, concept art, and level sketches.
  • Mega Man:
    • 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.
    • Mega Man Battle Network: Completing the collection of Secret Chips — battle chips either exclusive to a game's other version or as multiplayer rewards awards you with the Secret Complete badge on the title screen. It doesn't contribute towards 100% Completion which would help with advancing the postgame.
    • 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).
  • 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.
  • 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.

  • ANNO: Mutationem: Completing all three levels of The Bartender mini-game will give a bronze, silver, and gold trophies, including Ann's bartending outfit that she can wear out of the bar.
  • 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 Alien Medal and Clay Figure Medal serve no purpose except to indicate that you've defeated certain bosses. One boss plays with this by giving you its Mushroom Badge without a fight; in order to fight it (and thereby acquire an actually useful item), you have to continue talking with it about how absolutely useless it is.
  • 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?
  • The Legend of Zelda:
    • Oracle of Seasons: If you talk to the sign shop owner in Subrosia after destroying 100 signs, the startup screen will appear as if the game had been reset. However, you'll return back to the shop after a moment and get a ring commemorating Link's hatred of signs.
    • Phantom Hourglass: Beedle's "Complimentary Card," which sounds like it can be exchanged for a free item. When Link redeems it, he compliments him.
    • Spirit Tracks: Beat Alfonzo's training record of 900 hits and Link gets a rare treasure, and the guards call him "Captain". Not much, considering you can get the treasure other ways so all you really have is the honor of their respect and that's it.
    • Breath of the Wild:
      • You receive medals from Kilton for defeating all of specific enemy type (such of Hinoxes) once in the world.
      • Your reward for filling out the entire Hyrule Compendium is a useless envelope from Simon.
      • 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 golden 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.
  • In Metroid Prime, crossed with Old Save Bonus. If the game is completed once and (on a GameCube) connected to a Game Boy Advance Transfer Cable with Metroid Fusion, starting Prime again unlocks the Fusion Suit (and eventually, the "Unnamed Suit" from the ending of Fusion) into the game as a reward. That being said, Samus' abilities don't change, despite the Fusion version of the character having access to different upgrades like Diffusion Missiles.
  • 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.
  • 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.

    Action RPG 
  • Ever Oasis: Completing certain achievements in the game will unlock Factum Relics, large states that decorate the front of your oasis. They do nothing but look cool and show off what you've done. To a lesser extent, there are the roads you can craft— some of them require semi-rare materials, but the only purpose they serve is to make your oasis look pretty.
  • 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 Mushrooms, 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.

    Adventure Games 
  • 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 80 Days 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.
  • Your reward for completing 100% of Untitled Goose Game — that is, the entire To-Do List, the To-Do-As-Well List, and the four time trial challenges — is a lavish crown. The best part is you can drag it up to any villager and they'll drop what they're doing to place it on your head.

    Eastern RPGs 
  • In BoxxyQuest: The Gathering Storm, winning the Fight Night subquest earns you the Champ's Belt, which does nothing except look nice and shiny in your inventory.
  • Dislyte:
    • Upon maxing out a Legendary Esper's level, Resonance and Ascension, you'll earn their namecard which can be shown off in the player's profile.
    • Those that reached Apex Legend Tier (top 100 on the leaderboard) in the limited time PVP event, Warm-Up Match, will earn Li Ling's skin, Rowdy Boy. Like other skins in the game, the Rowdy Boy skin is solely cosmetic and doesn't have any in-game 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.
  • Final Fantasy:
    • 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 Optional 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.
    • 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, all of which don't do anything. In the case of the Festival of the Hunt, winning with main character Zidane just gets you some Gil, whereas letting Vivi win earns a good card for the minigame, and letting Freya win gets a nice accessory, prompting many players to let Freya get the best points while keeping Zidane in the running but not at the top.
    • Defeating Nemesis, the Optional 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.
  • Beat Fire Emblem: The Blazing Blade, 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 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 where magic is useless and which can only be accessed on the unlockable hard mode, and get some vaguely plot-relevant dialogue. Unfortunately, it's mistranslated, which means that it doesn't have the intended impact. Nergal is supposed to be referencing his dead wife.
    "Why? Why must I lose? ......Quintessence? ...Don't...under...stand... but...note  Gaa... Not like this... I will not this. With my last breath... tremble...and...despair. Hwah ha ha... Ha...ha ha ha...
  • Infinite Undiscovery has the "Seraphic Gatekeeper" achievement, which requires you to Defeat the Superboss on the hardest difficulty level (which requires completing the game twice to unlock). Your reward on the Xbox version is a single achievement point.
  • In Jay's Journey, the item you get for beating the "Optional Boss" is a "Worthless Trinket". Literally.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Paper Mario:
    • Defeating the members and the Master of the Dojo in Paper Mario 64 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.
    • Paper Mario: Sticker Star: The eight banners in the Sticker Fest plaza unfurls upon completing a certain task.
    • Paper Mario: The Origami King: The collectible treasures and trophies are cool, but all they do is sit in the museum showcase, not impacting gameplay at all.
  • Persona: The Platinum Bookmark in Persona 3. As well as the Raden Bookmark in Persona 4 and the Double Bookmark from Persona 5. 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 all 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).
    • Pokémon Black 2 and White 2 had the medal system, which gave cosmetic medals for anything from riding a bike for the first time to beating the Elite Four and Champion with a One-Man Party.
  • 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 Optional 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 Plus to complete as well.
  • 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.
  • Most of the emblems in Tactics Ogre: The Knight of Lodis are this.
  • Tales of Phantasia: The titles your characters can earn in this game are purely for aesthetic purposes, unlike titles in some of the later Tales games. However, one title does allow Cress to use his ultimate attack.
  • 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.
  • 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.

    Fighting Game 
  • Super Smash Bros.:
    • Super Smash Bros. Melee: Collecting all 290 trophies 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!
    • Super Smash Bros. 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.
    • Super Smash Bros. Ultimate: Fighter spirits earned by completing a fighter's Classic Mode (or buying them in the shop) simply appear on the Spirit List and are not used in battle.

    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.
  • 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.
  • Getting all the medals in Medal of Honor (1999) 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: Allied Assault: Performing certain actions in each level (stealing a manifest, saving a number of soldiers, etc.) will give players access to various medals, in addition to those awarded for clearing the game on certain difficulties. The medals themselves serve no purpose other than for bragging rights.
    • 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!
    • Medal of Honor: Vanguard awards medals for certain accomplishments, only three of them actually grant (very minor) bonuses, the rest of them do not do anything.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

  • 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.
  • City of Heroes has badges, which track a wide range of achievements; everything from beating an Optional 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 snickered.
  • 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 nearly unkillable, 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.
  • 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 has a similar situation with gear. Dungeons provide tokens for purely aesthetic gear, rather than improved gear.
  • 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.
  • 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. At least two of the titles ("Well-Travelled" and "The Unwise") require that you do something which will almost certainly have your character visiting a Ring of Shame.
  • MapleStory 2:
    • Completing lower-level Adventure Dungeons enough times will let you create an outfit item that changes the appearance of your equipment, but not the stats.
    • Some trophies and quests give you dyes that let you change the color of your equipment.
  • Most Titles in the Phantasy Star series avert this as you usually get a prize alongside obtaining them, which typically comes in the form of a useful item and sometimes stat/damage bonuses. However, in some instances the prize is literally a cosmetic, and in a rare few instances the prize literally does not matter as the act of obtaining the Title in and of itself is so difficult that just being able to get it and show it off is the achievement.
  • While they are useful in-game, 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").
  • Star Wars: The Old Republic is another one that grants character titles for performing various feats. Some are tough, like soloing a difficult boss; some are jokes, like throwing oneself into the sarlacc pit; and others are just plain tedious, like hunting down every last one of those damn datacrons. Players can also gain stronghold decorations for completing flashpoints and defeating certain bosses.
  • Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning is a big fan of cosmetic rewards, especially decorative trophies and titles.
  • 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.

  • Parodied and subverted in the Flash game Achievement Unlocked. The game is a satire of Achievement Systems; 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 patches in the Activision Anthology, which are virtual replicas of patches that you could receive in real life in the 80s by sending a high score to Activision, which therefore makes this trope...
  • Bloodline Champions lampshades that:
    Achievement points are gained via earning achievements in-game and are used for bragging to your friends.
  • 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.
  • Duck Life rewards the player with a crown after they beat the final race of the game.
  • Flight has are 24 in-game achievements, though they only purpose they serve is being colorful icons.
  • 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.
  • 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).
  • 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.
  • A common reward for being a loyal player in Magic: The Gathering Arena (and for participating/winning certain low-value/free special events) are "card style" cards. All these do is alter the artwork on the cards and have no actual in game effect at all. Some of the "differences" in cart art are quite substantial, while in other cases they barely count as differences at all. For most players, these rewards seem to be nothing more than road markers on the way to bigger and better rewards without even really being considered good or bad on their own.
  • Newgrounds also has an achievement system now, which currently only certain game makers have access to.
  • 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 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.
    • It's also worth noting that the Platinum trophy is only for the base game. DLC may add additional trophies, but those trophies are not required and do not count towards Platinum trophy progress.
  • Parodied in the Red vs. Blue PSA "Achievements". "I have so many achievables!"
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Wii Sports Resort: The stamps you gain by performing certain tasks in each of the games. They tend to be based on reaching certain thresholds of skill, with the highest ones requiring perfect games in some instances. A particularly egregious example is the final reward for Island Flyover. Most of the other rewards are pretty cool and affect gameplay in some way (alternate times of day, upgrades to the plane, and so on). So, how does the game reward you for finding 70 and all 80 info points? You get an alternate skin for the Whale Shark with your face on it and a tiny shack that has a flag with your face on it respectively.* 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 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.

    Party Game 
  • Mario Party: Star Rush:
    • If the player earns a Star Rush or Super Star Rush on any board, that board will be marked with an icon on the board select screen to show that they did it.
    • Upon reaching the top of the Master Tower in Challenge Tower, the player receives the Tower Cup, a trophy that appears outside the mode's entrance in the Party Plaza.

    Platform Game 
  • Castlevania:
  • Celeste's strawberry collectibles are not needed for any part of the game, and simply serve as a marker of how much you've explored and how many optional side challenges you solved. As the game says, they "will impress your friends, but that's about it". They also determine which ending you get, but the main difference between the endings is how impressed your in-game NPC friends are with the strawberry pie you bake them.
  • 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.
  • Duke Nukem: Manhattan Project has the Optional Boss, Wozma. All you get for beating them is an icon on your saved game.
  • 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.
  • Ori and the Will of the Wisps has the Item Maps sold by the cartographer Lupo, which are exorbitantly expensive and ultimately pointless, since completing the "Hand To Hand" Chain of Deals sidequest reveals all items on the world map anyways.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Super Mario Bros.
    • 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.
    • New Super Mario Bros. Wii 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 subverts 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 and now Luigi can become hatless again as well (the normally-hatless Small Mario/Luigi now wear caps), 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).
    • 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 Super Mario Galaxy 2, 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.
  • In Wario Land: Shake It!, finding every hidden treasure decks out Wario's garage with gold and riches.

    Puzzle Game 
  • When the player wins The Cabinets Of Doctor Arcana, they are treated to the sight of a sort of diploma which lists how many clues and pieces of artwork they uncovered, how many times they used the hint button, and how many puzzles they skipped. A rank is then assigned to them based on how well or how poorly they performed, with a perfect or near-perfect score putting them into the "Elite Order of Arcana." Overlaps with Bragging Rights Reward for those who completed the game the day it launched, Halloween 2018, as their diplomas are on display on the developer's website.
    • Another combination of this trope and Bragging Rights Reward comes in The Mystery of Grimstone Manor, a much smaller side game from the same developer, which was released on Halloween 2020 via YouTube. Players who complete the game can go to Nox Arcana's website and put in what they think are the correct answers; those who are right will be sent a link to a reward video, which is this trope. Those who completed it on Halloween 2020 had their names listed on the website, similar to the launch-day players of the first game.

    Racing Game 
  • 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.
  • 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 A.I. is, according to the description for each tour, your honor.
  • 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.
  • Wangan Midnight
    • 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. From the fourth game onwards, completing cycles of Story Mode awards soundtracks from past games, while doing so without losing any rounds also awards special tachometers.
    • 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").
    • From 3 onwards, winning races in Ghost Battle mode awards you with Dress-Up Parts that modify the appearance of your vehicle, but which have no functional purpose. However, losing will still earn you progress towards unlocking them.
  • 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.

    Real-Time Strategy 
  • 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).
  • Command & Conquer: Generals and its Expansion Pack have a set of medals in the skirmish screen, obtained by doing things such as beating the campaigns (bronze, silver and gold for the difficulties, respectively), building tanks and superweapons or beating all skirmish maps. The medals themselves do absolutely nothing. There is also a pre-order bonus that adds special flags to your Command Centers and gives you yet another medal, and again they do nothing. Worst of all, these can also be achieved via editing a particular file or your registry.
  • Company of Heroes awarded your profile medals (which were actual historical medals) for completing the entirety of a campaign but mostly for completing additional objectives within the campaign missions. Aside from how the system existing potentially enlightened players about historical military decorations from the Second World War, having these medals served absolutely no purpose.
  • 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.
  • Starcraft II brings an Xbox Live-like Achievement system to which gave new profile pictures or cosmetic skins for units.
    Angry Joe: ... I have to have them! Achievements... are important... even though they're completely useless!
  • 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.

    Rhythm Games 
  • 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.
  • In Phigros, after a Challenge Mode (a game mode which makes the notes' judgements stricter than normal) run consisting of three charts, you get a ranking with a number and a background, where the number is the sum of the difficulty levels of those three charts, and the background is chosen based on the sum of the scores you got in them. The ranking is purely cosmetic and it's there to show your abilities.
  • 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 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.

    Shoot 'em Up 
  • If you managed to complete Desert Assault using only 1 continue, the congratulatory ending screen will have... an anime girl saluting you. Despite the rest of the game being non-anime.
  • In Missile Command, your reward for making it to the high score list is skipping the Game Over screen.

    Simulation Games 
  • 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.
  • In Airfix Dogfighter, for each completed mission you receive a medal, which you can later see when viewing your pilot in the main menu.
  • Animal Crossing:
    • The first game gives you 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 Animal Crossing: 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.
    • In Animal Crossing: New Horizons, achieving certain milestones (such as fish or bugs caught, fossils appraised, wood harvested from trees, etc.) not only earns you Nook Miles, but unlocks new titles for your character's passport.
  • 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.
  • The clothes rewards that can be won from Harvest Town's Harvest Cup events doesn't give any stat boost, and are only there for aesthetic purpose.
  • 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.
  • 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: 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.

    Sports Games 
  • In Golf With Your Friends, playing for a certain amount of time and completing a course (the latter to prevent idling) awards a random hat or colored trail for your ball.
  • In Backyard Skateboarding, the only rewards for beating the game are new T-shirts and skateboards.

    Stealth-Based Games 
  • Assassin's Creed games often give players the possibility to win the appearances of suits worn by player characterss from the past games. Popular choices include the suits of Altaïr Ibn La-Ahad, Ezio Auditore and Connor Kenway.
  • 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, 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 Games 
  • Five Nights at Vault 5 has stars appearing around the entrance to the Arena every time you beat a night.
  • Silent Hill 3 has the God Of Thunder costume, rewarded for completing extreme mode 10. Not only is it a fairly unremarkable outfit, but it serves no purpose other than giving Heather something else to wear. To rub salt in the wound, said outfit can also be unlocked using a password, meaning you just wasted countless hours of gameplay for something you could have gotten from the start.

    Third-Person Shooter 
  • Splatoon generally gives you clothing as rewards for accomplishing tasks, but since all clothing has stats that can aid you in battle, the real presence of this trope comes in the rewards for completing Hero Mode, the Amiibo challenges, and reaching Level 40: replicas of the weapons from the single-player campaign... which are statistically identical to weapons that you've almost certainly already unlocked if you've been playing multiplayer even a moderate amount (you can purchase all the "vanilla" equivalents by Level 4). The only purpose they serve is looking cool. This is even more egregious in Splatoon 2, where unlocking a replica weapon requires beating every stage and boss with said weapon rather than just beating the mode and a few challenges, with there being nine weapons in total. You can purchase all the "vanilla" equivalents of those weapons by Level 10.

    Turn-Based Strategy 
  • Civilization II lets you upgrade your throne room, III your palace grounds, and Call to Power your capital city center. Each is essentially a pretty picture that you can stare at if you get bored.
  • Disgaea 2: Cursed Memories:
    • Beating two of the bonus bosses 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.
    • 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.

    Tabletop Games 

  • Mahjong Soul , as it is heavily focused on the option of having a character for the player's avatar, it can reward you with Premium Currency (that can be obtained also via Microtransactions), which are used to unlock certain outfits. Additionally, the game reward with minor cosmetic "gifts", such as "fanzines", types of "food" and "clothes" - none of these have any appearing effect whatsoever and are only for the purpose of filling up the "bonding" bar that unlock elements tied to a character (their story or dubbed exclamations within the game.

    Visual Novels 

  • Most of the relationship levels in Melody (represented by piano keys that change color from off-white to pink in the game display as they are achieved) serve no practical purpose in-game. While they are supposed to (as per their in-game descriptions) give the protagonist the opportunity to perform certain sexual acts with or on Melody, they don't actually do this in practice. The main aversion is the second level ("best friends"), which actually does give the protagonist the opportunity to kiss Melody at one point in the game.

    Western RPGs 
  • 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.
  • Disco Elysium has a side-quest where in you can collect the set of ceramic armor that belonged to the mercenary whose murder you are investigating. The very last piece of the armor, however, namely the ceramic helmet, can first be found at the very end of the game, at a point where you will no longer receive any more skill checks, so it really serves no other purpose than looking cool. Plus, if you have managed to find all the other armor pieces, you will get an achievement as an additional cosmetic reward.
  • In Fallout: New Vegas, if you get the Omertas to buy guns from Mick again or free Troike from his contract with them, Mick shows his gratitude by "pimping out" your Pip-Boy 3000 to the Pimp-Boy 3 Billion, which has gold and silver plating and encrusted diamonds.
  • 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 Plus, 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.
  • 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."
  • OMORI: Almost none of the charms in the Faraway Town segments actually do anything, they're just nice little cosmetic awards. The exceptions are the Pet Rock (allows you to challenge NPCs to a rock-paper-scissors minigame) and the Seashell Necklace, which is the only charm that boosts your stats.

    Wide-Open Sandbox 
  • Minecraft has the Dragon Egg. You get it by killing the Ender Dragon, and it serves no purpose whatsoever, although Word of God has stated this might change...
  • Terraria:
    • As of update 1.2, killing the Dungeon Guardian (you know, that thing that is almost unkillable, incredibly fast, instakills you when you touch it and was not intended to be beatable) nets you a Baby Skeletron, which is a pet that follows you around and does nothing but make you look cool.
    • To a lesser extent, a large portion of the available pets count, given how nearly all them require either immense amounts of grinding or seriously unintuitive actions. The Baby Dinosaur, for instance, has a 1 in 5,000 chance of being produced by an Extractinator for every Silt/Slush block you place in it, or a 1 in 1666 chance if using desert fossils.
    • Update 1.2 introduces Boss Trophies, which don't do anything for you as equipment, but make great furniture for decorating. Spares can be sold for one gold coin, which is fairly decent.
    • The addition of both artwork and hanging banner collectible items can also earn bragging rights for players diligent enough to collect them all.
    • As of 1.3, Achievements have been added, all of which are this. Particularly difficult examples: One of them, called "Mecha Mayhem" requires fighting The Destroyer, The Twins and Skeletron Prime simultaneously and emerging victorious. And the "Supreme Helper Minion", for doing 200 fishing quests for the angler. Which you can only do once per day, and requires fishing in a specific biome.
    • The 1.4 udate added Master Mode, a difficulty in which all enemies have triple the health and damage that they have in normal mode. Playing in Master Mode makes every boss drop two unique items: A pet that resembles a miniature version of that boss and a golden statue of that boss. Neither of these provide anything beyond looking nice and serving as a nice trophy.

Non-Video Game Examples

    Comic Books 
  • 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".

    Fan Works 
  • 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.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • 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.

  • Appointment with F.E.A.R., a superhero-themed gamebook, awards HERO Points for defeating criminals. They do not serve any purpose within the story, merely reflecting the player's success as a superhero, with defeating the Titanium Cyborg and saving the world from annihilation being worth 10 HERO Points.

    Live-Action TV 
  • It's heavily implied that the achievements in Final Deployment 4: Queen Battle Walkthrough are cosmetic.
    Unicorn: If the takeover happens sooner, you can get a platinum achievement! It's pretty meaningless, but gives you the illusion you're doing something with your life!
  • The only actual prize for winning That's My Jam is a trophy shaped like a boom box. It's just as well, since The Points Mean Nothing and the winning team is fairly arbitrary. The contestants are celebrities appearing for charity and they receive the same donation regardless of the outcome.

  • Junk Yard does something similar: The name tag on Spike the Dog's collar will show the initials entered in by the last person to get any high score from 4th place or better.
  • 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.
  • A common prize in motorsports for winning a championship is the option to run the #1 car in the next season.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Wolsung has achievements as its 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.

    Web Original 
  • 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.
  • 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 and the highest rank you've earned are displayed next to your up and downvote totals.
  • So This Is Basically Pokémon references this when explaining how the Pokédex works:
    First you need to know how to catch a Pokémon. No you can't skip this tutorial. And if you catch all the Pokémon and put them in this Poké... brick, you get a digital certificate. Wow... look at that... that's not even a real reward In-Universe.

    Web Videos 
  • 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.

    Western Animation 
  • The Season 19 episode of Family Guy "Customer of the Week" shows Lois try to win "Customer of the Week" at her favorite coffee shop. Even though being "Customer Of The Week" only gets you a few seconds of applause and your photo on a bulletin board, Lois treats it like it's on the level of a cancer cure.
  • An episode of My Gym Partner's a Monkey shows that Charles Darwin Middle School gives its animal students report cards with picture stickers on them. Adam tries to get the school to switch to competitive letter grades, but it ends up making the animals adopt a "survival of the fittest" mentality and attack peers they deem a threat to their intelligence.
  • In Star Wars: Clone Wars, Captain Fordo receives a unique helmet insignia for his service in fighting Grevious in the beginning of Season 3. An unusual case of a cosmetic award actually being considered good, it's a highly prized Mandalorian symbol of heroism and honor.


Video Example(s):


Medal of Honor

Finishing most levels with a 3-star rating will award players the Congressional Medal of Honor, the US military's highest award, and the very award that this game, and by extension its sequels, are named after.<br><br>Earning the medal itself, much like the other medals, is purely cosmetic, and only serves as a decoration in the player records screen in the main menu.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (2 votes)

Example of:

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