Hey all. I’m rather removed from the entire culture of modding, and I don’t necessarily have an interest in modding games. However, I have made this thread, quite obviously, requesting any advice regarding modding Gamerscore. Before getting the “Gamerscore is entirely irrelevant” lecture, I actually agree. I don’t understand the logic behind maxing out Gamerscore for titles a person has never even played. My interest in modding doesn’t come from an obsession with large numbers, but rather, from being an OCD completionist. The older Xbox Live grows, the greater the number of impossible achievements becomes. I firmly believe that no game should have an expirey date on when it can be fully completed due to the presence of online-related achievements, and if these achievements are rendered impossible, they should be awarded once all unlockable offline achievements have been earned. With that said, I’d take interest in the Horizon software for the purpose of unlocking achievements that would otherwise be impossible to earn, but there seems to be very little advice regarding strategies for staying under the radar while going about this.
Obviously, the most important thing to avoid (as posted numerous times on this forum) is to unlock large numbers of achievements in one fell swoop. Obviously, moderation is important so you don’t attract attention with an absurdly high Gamerscore, nor test the loyalty of your friends who may notice. In my case, I have perhaps half a dozen achievements I plan to ultimately unlock, and am in no real rush. However, some people get busted within days after modding very little, and some take a long time to be caught after adding hundreds of thousands to their Gamerscore. This leads me to believe there must be a monitoring method Microsoft uses besides relying on tips and looking purely at radical increases in Gamerscore. Timestamps obviously play a big role, and I’d imagine that for someone like myself looking to unlock now-impossible achievements, setting the dates to a believable period helps prevent tripping alarms.
Quite obviously, unlocking trophies that are glitched entirely would be a dead giveaway of a modder, as would achievements earned in an impossible order. Some degree of research should be conducted on every achievement unlocked, and if you don’t know what you’re unlocking, then you’re misusing a tool that could be used for legitimate purposes and basically encouraging Microsoft to step up their enforcement. The lesser the number of modders that get caught, the greater the chances of such a tool being used for sound reasons with minimal risk. I am worried by the gross amount of people who have been suspended and banned for modding Gamerscore, and although we likely don’t hear as much from those who have been successful and stay anonymous, it’s still unsettling. With that said, if anybody else has any general advice regarding passively modding Gamerscore purely for earning impossible achievements, I’d greatly appreciate it if you shared. As well, for anyone knowledgable about the general likelihood/tendencies of people getting banned, should this be something to stress over, or is a person generally in the clear if they’re smart and disciplined about how they go about modding?
There is always a risk with any kind of modelling that you do. However, some modifications stand out more than others and the more easily detectable. When unlocking achievements using Horizon, there is no 100% safe way to do it but there are things you can do to make it appear less obvious. Some of these things are;-
Unlocking achievements in the right order - so you wouldn’t unlock a Level 2 achievement before unlocking a Level 1 achievement.
Make sure to unlock ‘online only’ achievements using the timestamp feature provided.
You will also make sure you don’t timestamp an achievement that is older than your profile which is a mistake I have made in the past. My current profile has only existed for two years but I have unlocked some achievements which I set the timestamp older than my profile.
Unlocking achievements in small amounts is recommended but I generally unlock the whole game’s worth of achievements then stop a few days.
If possible, try to unlock the achievements just before you go to bed. So when you next login after you wake up, some time had past which seems a legitimate amount of time to achieve the amount of GamerScore. It doesn’t look very legit if you mod your GamerScore then log back in after 15 minutes with an extra 1000GS.
I generally only unlock off-line achievements now and I will get online achievements by myself.
These are just a few of my personal suggestions but again, it is not 100% safe and as with all modding, it’s only a matter of time when you are discovered. Bragging to friends about your new-found modding methods is certainly a way to get caught sooner rather than later.
Thanks for the response. In my own research regarding the risks of using Horizon, one of the common phrases seemed to be “it’s only a matter of time”. I have no interest in gaining the achievements if it’s accepted that modding will certainly be caught and reset your Gamerscore. If that’s true, I’ll probably just opt to have a separate offline account to the play games with impossible achievements, so the game can ultimately be completed with all achievements unlocked without being online and running the risk of being reset.
As well, my only interest lies in unlocking online achievements, and I intend to continue earning offline trophies on my own legitimately. If it’s beyond my capability as a player to earn the achievement, then I don’t deserve it, but when an achievement is made impossible just because I’m a few years late and the servers no longer exist for the online achievements, that’s where my motivation to mod lies. My account is quite old, so the creation date should hardly be an issue. With that said, does syncing online achievements with timestamps dating multiple years have greater potential to trip modding alarms? I’ve heard that all timestamps by Horizon also add a .000 millisecond timestamp which can easily be traced. Can I have confirmation if this is a legitimate concern? Sorry for being so uninformed, but at this point I’m still trying to weigh out if the risks are too great to use the program in association with an online account, and if I should hold out for the tools to improve and hope for a less-risky method of modding achievements to arise in the future.
I have yet to see evidence of this “.000 millisecond” theory and IF it was that much of a bid deal, then I’m sure the developers of Horizon would of made changes to the software to adjust such a statistic. As for using multiple dates on time-stamps, it should be fine to do as long as the game is still active online. I’m sure Microsoft take into account that some put a game down then pick it back again a year or two down the line.
If you plan on waiting for a more “secure” way of doing things, then you might be waiting a long time! Xbox 360 modding in general is past it’s prime. Although it is still popular, next-gen is where most of the research and development is happening now. I really don’t see there being a new method for unlocking achievements at all, not at thus state. The only progress you MIGHT see, is if someone finds a way to extract your Xbox One profile from Microsoft’s cloud server, then can spoof it to appear as if it’s still there so it won’t raise any alerts. Then modifications may be possible but only time will tell.
In case it wasn’t clear regarding my mention of timestamps (since I didn’t phrase it well initially), I was questioning if online achievements could be unlocked, in current day using Horizon, with a timestamp dating back to when the servers were active (for example, certain online achievements for Forza Motorsport 2 would have to date back to at least early 2013). Would online achievements with a timestamp dating way before the time of syncing raise an alert?
I don’t think anyone would notice. Not unless a Microsoft employee happened to be looking at your profile at the time, only to go back and notice you have all of a sudden gained a game you did not have on there bofore but that’s highly unlikely.
For anyone later reading this and wondering about the milliseconds, after browsing through some more-recent threads I found that randomized milliseconds had been implemented since mid-November, so I’d imagine that helps make online achievements look more legit.
I suppose I’m just primarily nervous because of my motive to unlock online achievements only, since they are apparently booby trapped far more than offline achievements. However, if the only achievements viable to mod were one capable of being unlocked offline, I wouldn’t be here since I have no interest in modding achievements that are possible to be obtained legitimately. I’ll give it an attempt by each day by unlocking two or three of the couple dozen achievements that are now-impossible to obtain, and see what results.
My profile only has about 5k G, and even though most of that Gamerscore is comprised of complete games, I wouldn’t be devastated if I got reset. To be honest, I was originally interested in the tool just to remove achievements I had legitimately gotten so the incomplete games would no longer appear and constantly nag at me for being impossible to finish. A clean slate would almost be nice, and I wouldn’t be inclined to mod after that so I see no risk in getting caught again and banned, so I welcome whatever comes of this.