Achievements and trophies are systems for measuring a player's progress in completing a game. Achievements are used by Microsoft's Xbox Live and Valve's Steam. Trophies are used by Sony's PlayStation Network. They are typically awarded to players for making specific accomplishments or reaching certain milestones in games.
Microsoft's implementation of an achievement system was initially introduced for the Xbox 360. Unlocking achievements contributes to a player's "Gamerscore" (G) in his or her Xbox Live profile. Usually, retail games offer up to 1,000G spread over a variable number of achievements. Game developers also have the option of adding up to 250 points via downloadable content every quarter after the first year of release (for a total of 1,750 points).
Steam's implementation of achievements simply displays the achievements on the player's Steam profile. If one wants to get the Steam achievements for either Fallout 3 or Fallout: New Vegas, be careful about using the console. For detailed information on getting achievements while using the console, further information can be found on the Fallout: New Vegas console commands page. Using Mods will not disable achievements.
Trophies are Sony's version of an achievement tracking system and were introduced in the PlayStation 3 system software 2.40 update in July 2008. There are four different types of trophies: bronze, silver, gold and platinum.
A gold, silver or bronze trophy is normally awarded based on the difficulty of the accomplishment, with each trophy contributing to a "level" system linked to a player's PlayStation Network profile. Gold trophies contribute more experience level advancement than silver, and silver contributes more experience than bronze.
A platinum trophy is awarded to the player once they unlock all other trophies in a game. However, smaller games such as certain PlayStation Network titles, lack a platinum trophy. Trophies are displayed on a player's PlayStation Network profile screen, which also shows their level.
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