Visual Studio Achievements FAQ


What versions of Visual Studio does the achievements extension work on?

Visual Studio 2010 Professional, Premium or Ultimate.  Achievements marked with Uses FxCop only work on Visual Studio 2010 Premium or Ultimate unless FxCop is installed. FxCop is a free download and can installed from here: http://www.microsoft.com/download/en/details.aspx?id=6544.

Are you going to release any more achievements? I have a great idea for an achievement. Where can I suggest it?

Yes, we are planning to release more achievements for Visual Studio. Please use the Q&A section of the achievements extension to make suggestions for future achievements.

I performed the action of a progress-based achievement multiple times (aka, "Used 'Organize Usings' 50 times") but it only updated the counter once.  What gives?

You can only earn progress-based achievements once a minute.

I did what I was supposed to earn an achievement, but it didn't unlock.

Some achievements are a bit finicky; there may be multiple ways to accomplish the task in Visual Studio but only one way to unlock the achievement. Keep your eye on the Q&A section of the achievements extension for additional discussion about individual achievements.

Is there a screencast about this?

Check out this video on Visual Studio Toolbox, which has a walkthrough of the extension and discusses more about how and why we built this.

How do I see my achievements in Visual Studio?

Once the extension is installed, there is a menu item called Achievements, under the Tools menu:

tools menu

How do I see my achievements on Channel9?

Once you've installed the extension, an achievements page gets created on Channel9 at https://channel9.msdn.com/niners/username/achievements/visualstudio. This lists all your achievements, both locked and unlocked.  You can find a link to this page on your profile page, which looks like this:

profile link

I installed it but it doesn't work at all! What gives?

Is there an underscore in your username? There was a bug with Version 1.0 of the extension if that is the case. Version 1.1 of the Visual Studio Achievements Extension addresses this issue of users with an underscore in their Channel9 username.  If you installed version 1.0 of the extension and registered with a username that had an underscore, you will need to take the following steps. 

1. Go to Tools --> Extension Manager...
2. Click Updates and update the Visual Studio Achievements Extension
3. Restart Visual Studio
4. Go to Tools --> Options --> VS Achievements and click the Change User button
5. Log in and authorize the app

Follow these steps in this exact order and you should be good to go!

I installed it and I can earn achievements, but the server never gets updated.

Version 1.2 (uploaded 2/2/2012) should address the experience where you were able to install the extension and VS notified you that you earned achievements, but then your profile was never updated on Channel9.There's no reason to upgrade to this build otherwise. We believe many people reporting issues with proxies will be fixed by this build.

In specific, some proxies were sending a Expect: 100-Continue header from the HttpWebRequest class, which the server wasn't prepared to handle. The fix was to set the static System.Net.ServicePointManager.Expect100Continue property to false.

Also, when you upgrade your extension, if you get a certificate mismatch error, install this hotfix: http://connect.microsoft.com/VisualStudio/Downloads/DownloadDetails.aspx?DownloadID=38654, which will address updating this extension and any other extensions. If you don't want to install the hot fix, you can manually uninstall the extension and then reinstall with the new version.If you are still having issues with your proxy server and this build doesn't solve your problems, please post here and we will continue to investigate the proxy problem.

Some of these achievements promote bad coding practices. Aren't you doing a disservice to engineers by giving badges for bad coding practices?

A few of thoughts on that. First, the "Don't Try This At Home" category was designed to be playful -- in jokes for developers. Second, any badges in that category award zero points. Third, all of the awards in this category are pretty egregious, except perhaps the GOTO achievement, which is a source of contention, as it turns out!  Ultimately, one goal of VS Achievements is to add some humor to the levity of coding.

The Visual Studio team should be spending time working on the product, not turning the IDE into a game! What's up with that?

This project is a Coding For Fun project built by the Channel9 team; no Visual Studio product devs were deployed in the making of this add-in!

The Discussion

  • clarkezonef​tw

    Where are the achievements listed on this site?

  • clockworkmi​ce

    yeah. Where can I see my achievements?

  • LuigiWood

    yes, same question!!! Perplexed

  • karstenj

    Hi all - I've updated the FAQ addressing that question.

  • vettbird

    I was working in VS2010 and saw an achievement pop-up on my screen, but it does not reflect that fact when I look at my successes in Visual Studio or when I look on Channel 9.  This was yesterday and I still see nothing.  One of them is The Explorer and it shows 11 of 11 and status of
    "started", but not complete.  The other is On the Shoulders of Giants.  What gives?

  • vettbird

    Ok, nevermind.  It seems that there is more than one way to skin a cat with some of these achievements and it is not always the obvious approach.  I will press on. 

    Thanks for the extension ... I can now compete with my son's XBox achievements Wink

  • blackspy

    Don't get it... Coding on Friday and Saturday night, acheivement doesn't pop. Dozens of curse words in a file, acheivement doesn't pop. F11/F10 sometimes counts (even well beyond the minute per as specified)... neat idea, but really needs to be polished.

  • hartez

    Any chance we'll be able to get our achievements as an RSS feed?

  • Fabulous_​Fadz

    If I do some coding offline and unlock some achievements, do they show up when I connect to the internet. I just unlocked 4 more achievements earlier this morning, but I was, and still am offline on my dev machine. It would be great if I could see them when I connect.

  • karstenj

    @Fabulous_Fadz -- The offline scenario should work and your achievements earned offline will get updated on the server once you are online. Are you not seeing that?

  • karstenj

    @blackspy -- All the achievements can be unlocked; sometimes unlocking them can be a bit tricky. It's all part of the game!

  • WoocasH

    Can i define my own achievements ?

  • karstenj

    @WoocasH - Unfortunately no.

  • djcohen66

    Using this extension was causing me build errors.

    Error 11 Unable to copy file "Foo.dll" to "bin\Foo.dll". The requested operation cannot be performed on a file with a user-mapped section open.  Foo.

    I was forced to close and re-open visual studio each time I tried to build.  Once I uninstalled this extension, the issue went away.  What gives?



  • karstenj

    @djcohen66 - yes, we are aware of this issue and are currently investigating.

  • Sunstar

    I Just tried the new vertion, hoping to be able to begin the fun but no lock Sad
    It still pops up with allot of acheavements, but they neaver gets updated in the server :/
    Im currently based in singapore, logging on a VPN to denmark, and from there on to the WWW...

    What else can i try to get it to work ???

  • SabbeRubbish

    , djcohen66 wrote

    Using this extension was causing me build errors.

    Error 11 Unable to copy file "Foo.dll" to "bin\Foo.dll". The requested operation cannot be performed on a file with a user-mapped section open.  Foo.

    I was forced to close and re-open visual studio each time I tried to build.  Once I uninstalled this extension, the issue went away.  What gives?


    I have the exact same error with multiple projects (50+) being built at the same time.  Looks like Visual Studio Achievements doesn't let go of its handles to the DLL's...

    (Trackback: http://smindreau.wordpress.com/2012/01/24/265/)

  • ramprasadme​enavalli

    I have many curse words in my .cs file.And I have been coding for the last three weeks on Friday and Saturday night.

    But "Lonely" and "Potty Mouth" achievements never get unlocked for me..

    Can anyone please tell me, if I missed something... ?

  • Fabulous_​Fadz

    @karstenj: I got to see some of them after connecting. The exception is regional manager which hasn't appeared for some reason. The way I use regions, I should be a group CEO but still nothing on that front.

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