A Short History of PlayStation Trophies

In June 2008, an innocent-looking software update to the PlayStation 3 would bring bronze, silver, gold, and platinum trophies to Sony’s console.

Players could earn trophies by completing different tasks in games, with the bronze, silver, and gold grades representing the difficulty of the task. The special Platinum trophies could only be earned by obtaining all the other trophies in a game’s main list. DLC expansions to games have their own lists of trophies and don’t count towards the Platinum.

Some smaller games would not have a platinum trophy. Although this generally seemed to be based on the size of the trophy list rather than the length of the game. These days, My Name is Mayo has a Platinum trophy that can be obtained in under an hour.

Game developers were now able to set tasks and challenges for players and reward them with trophies to count towards their total.

Trophy Patches

So developers could now build trophy support into their games. But what of all the games already released on the console? They had the option to patch their games through downloadable updates, and there was much talk about which games were going to receive trophies.

The first game to receive trophies through this method was Super Stardust HD. It had 9 bronze, 6 silver, and 2 gold when including the DLC, but no platinum. Later, Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune became the first game to feature a platinum trophy after it was updated with a full list of 48 trophies.

Eventually only a small fraction of existing PlayStation 3 games would be patched for trophy support…

  • Battlefield: Bad Company
  • Bionic Commando Rearmed
  • Burnout Paradise
  • Buzz!: Quiz TV
  • Disgaea 3: Absence of Justice
  • Eye of Judgment, The
  • Fallout 3
  • Grand Theft Auto IV
  • Mercenaries 2: World In Flames
  • Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots†
  • Need For Speed: Undercover
  • Pain
  • PixelJunk Monsters
  • SingStar (Retail Version)
  • Star Wars: The Force Unleashed
  • Super Stardust HD
  • Tomb Raider: Underworld
  • Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune†
  • Unreal Tournament 3
  • Warhawk

This left a huge list of PlayStation 3 games without trophies, despite the console itself supporting them and some of them being available for streaming via PlayStation Now.

Mandatory Trophies

From January 2009, Sony was insisting that all new games going through certification must have trophy support. There were some exceptions such as for demos and beta versions, and for compilations such as PS2 Classics. But the revolution had started – all new games must have some sort of trophy list.

Overhaul

In October 2020, in the run up to the launch of the PlayStation 5, the trophy system would receive an overhaul.

While the trophies themselves stayed the same, their points values were increased to make the platinum trophy more important.

The levels system was expanded from 1-100 to 1-999, with all players receiving a new level. The levels are now also ranked with tiers of bronze, silver, and gold, with level 999 being platinum.

RankLevelsPoints Per Level
Bronze 11 – 9960
Bronze 2100 – 19990
Bronze 3200 – 299450
Silver 1300 – 399900
Silver 2400 – 4991350
Silver 3500 – 5991800
Gold 1600 – 6992250
Gold 2700 – 7992700
Gold 3800 – 9983150
Gold 3900 – 9983600
Platinum999

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