HomeGamingEpic Games Store gets achievements next week—so what’s still missing?

Epic Games Store gets achievements next week—so what’s still missing?

How long until EGS's new experience point system unlocks outfits and dances in <em>Fortnite</em>?
Enlarge / How long until EGS’s new experience point system unlocks outfits and dances in Fortnite?

Aurich Lawson

Nearly three years after its debut on Windows PCs, the Epic Games Store will soon finally support a feature that has become common on other gaming platforms: achievements.

The system, as announced on Monday, will go live “next week” and revolve around a mix of “trophies” and “experience points,” thus resembling both the Xbox and PlayStation families’ takes on the concept. Fulfill an objective while playing a game, and a pop-up box will announce whatever you completed, along with both a trophy and a number of experience points. Every EGS achievement list will add up to 1,000 experience points, with smaller achievements (45 points or less) being labeled “bronze” and higher point counts described as “silver,” “gold,” and “platinum.”

Epic remains coy about how these points might impact how the service works: “Keep your eyes out for more updates you’ve been waiting for as we drop new social features and player rewards later this year,” it reads. Does this mean achievement points might work as currency in some fashion, akin to Ubisoft Connect? Epic isn’t saying.

Achievements will not be mandated for either existing or upcoming EGS games, though if they’re included, Epic has a list of rules for participating developers. However many achievements a game gets, these must add up to 1,000 points—not more, not less—and once a slew of achievements goes live, it cannot be altered. In an email to Ars Technica, an Epic representative confirmed that the store will support adding more achievements to both DLC packages and “live service” dumps of free content—though how exactly that will work has not yet been announced.

The rollout had technically begun earlier this year as a confusing beta feature known as “developer achievements.” In a rare few games currently on EGS, these appear in a pop-up box whenever players fulfill certain objectives, only to vanish into the ether shortly afterward—nowhere to be found on players’ profiles. Next week’s update includes verbose achievement menus, visible either in the EGS client’s “library” or “store” tabs, and developers can elect to either modify those existing developer achievements to work with the new system or ignore the public-facing update altogether.

Not holding our breath on “user reviews”

Monday’s announcement also teases at least one major update for the EGS client that had been shown off as far back as July: customizable profiles. An Epic representative tells Ars that this will not be live in next week’s update, despite the announcement page including a visual hint of how it will look, complete with achievement progress and customizable profile icons.

The EGS roadmap is a severe reminder of how far behind Epic’s PC storefront is on a features basis compared to its competition. So far, it lists quite a few highly requested features, including:

  • Buying games for other people, then sending them as digital “gifts”
  • A “shopping cart” that lets buyers pay for multiple games in a single transaction
  • A download interface that includes manual controls for prioritizing particular software
  • User reviews
  • Native support for more worldwide currencies and payment methods

The last two on that list were bumped as far back as 2019 into EGS’s nebulous “future development” tier, which clarifies how low a priority those two are for Epic on the development front.

Since EGS’s rollout in late 2018, complete with an aggressive pricing structure for all devs—and additional licensing-based incentives for devs who favor Unreal Engine—Valve’s popular storefront, Steam, has fought back largely with features of its own, as opposed to dropping its default 30 percent cut of digital game sales. (To be fair, public-facing data suggests that Steam doesn’t quite take that full percentage.) Arguably the biggest has been Steam Play Together, which can turn most “couch co-op” games into an online lobby with a single click.

EGS has yet to move forward with storefront options that exceed what Steam offers, with its roadmap mimicking what players had already gotten used to from other storefronts, including cloud save support and functional offline modes.

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