If you have a bad internet connection when playing your favorite games on Steam – or if you simply want or have to go online for whatever reason – you might be wondering if you can still get Steam Achievements offline.
The short answer? Yes, you can get Steam Achievements when offline – most of the time. The long answer? Let us get dive a little bit into it to see everything that you should on this matter.
This article will give you a brief but complete explanation of whether or not you can get Steam achievements offline.
I will tackle Steam Cloud Saves and Steam’s file synchronization feature. Do not worry, this will not explode your brains trying to understand Steam.
Related reading: Can you have a GIF as a Steam avatar?
Steam Achievements vs In-Game Achievements
Most video games in Steam have achievements inside the game and achievements tracked by the Steam client.
How these two differ is that in-game achievements are tracked and coded in the game itself, while Steam Achievements document it with the help of the Steam Client.
Steamworks, which is the official tools and services of Steam for game developers and publishers has stated in their Steam Achievements overview:
Achievements are application specific and are setup on the Achievement Configuration page in the Steamworks App Admin backend.
In other words, the Steam Achievements feature needs to be integrated by the developer when they upload the game on Steam for public use.
When you play in offline mode, you will still get achievements recorded by the game itself.
However, whether or not your progress will trigger your Steam Achievement is a hit or miss.
You will first need to go online at least once after your game progression but it doesn’t appear to matter how soon after unlocking the achievement.
Second is that the developers should have properly integrated their game with the Steam Achievements feature.
Based on personal experience, I would say that most of them have – at least when it comes to the bigger, AAA titles out there. And if you’re curious what games you’ve played the most, check out this guide.
Steam Cloud Save and Local Save
So why exactly do you need to go online at least once? While the Steam Achievements feature tracks integrated games when they achieve something, the game data still needs to be delivered to the online servers of Steam.
When this happens, your game data and your progress will be uploaded all at the same time and should sync up with the Steam Achievements feature of the game.
The only downside? All achievements will pop up as unlocked in one go and will sometimes even have the same time of completion.
This shouldn’t matter much, but if you want to keep exact track of the time you have unlocked your in-game achievements, you have to be online.
It’s similar to playing your games on multiple devices using the same Steam account. They do have to update eventually.
So do I still get Steam Achievements in Offline mode?
As stated above, the short answer is: Yes, generally you do, as long as the developers have implemented this feature and you do get online eventually, after unlocking the achievements.
The first factor you have to consider is whether or not the game you are playing is properly integrated with the Steam Achievements feature. The second factor is if you will eventually have an internet connection or go in Online mode.
Hopefully this answers your question and makes it easier for you to plan your gaming sessions from now on, with or without an internet connection.