Gamers know that beating a game is only the first step to proving your skills and impressing your friends. Ever since collectibles were first included as options in The Legend of Zelda and Metroid, completionists have sought to achieve the most coveted 100% screen at the end of the game.
Achievements, first introduced by Microsoft on the Xbox 360 in 2005, provide a meta-challenge for players to collect, catalog, and share their accomplishments for all the games they play across an entire platform.
A year after Microsoft, Sony introduced the trophy system on the Playstation 3. The system offered the same universal tracking for game completion, but rather than using points, used trophies to distinguish the level of challenge for each achievement.
In this guide we'll be covering the Playstation 4 trophy system: how trophies work, hidden trophies, and how to access hidden trophies.
How Do Trophies Work?
Trophies are created by the developer of each game and can be based on completion, progress, or various challenges in the game. Every time you earn a trophy, a notification will put up on your screen with the name of the trophy you earned.
You can find your trophy collection located on the PS4 cross bar. You'll need to be logged into your PSN account and have an internet connection for your trophies to update. Once logged in, your trophies will be organized by game, with an icon indicating the number of trophies you have for each game and a bar representing your progress towards 100% completion.
Trophies are broken down into bronze, silver, gold, and one platinum trophy per game for earning all of the others. A platinum trophy represents 100% completion, and many trophy hunters measure their gaming efficacy by how many platinum trophies they've collected.
The difficulty and time investment of each challenge is directly related to the color of the trophy, with gold trophies being the most difficult to obtain in any given game. Because trophies are designed by each individual developer, the difficulty of obtaining them can vary wildly from title to title. But in general, bronze trophies are typically story related and will be obtained simply by progressing through the game naturally, silver trophy are usually reserved for completing optional challenges throughout the game, and gold trophies are kept for completion of certain long term goals and tasks, like finding all of the collectibles or reaching max level.
What Are Hidden Trophies?
While browsing through the trophy screen for any PS4 game, you can see the title, the color of the trophy, and a brief description of what you need to do to earn the trophy. You may, from time to time, come across a trophy that doesn't have any of this information, and only displays a question mark: these are the hidden trophies.
Hidden trophies can serve a multitude of purposes. Often, these trophies are plot-related, and describing how to earn them would be a major spoiler for the story in the game. Developers keep these hidden so that trophy hunters and completionists don't stumble upon a spoiler while browsing the trophies for a game. Because many of the trophies are locked behind long term goals, it can be beneficial to explore the trophies before you start a game in order to keep specific challenges in mind; keeping trophies hidden helps players avoid spoilers.
How To Unlock Hidden Trophies
The story-based hidden trophies will be unlocked naturally as you progress through the game. You don't need to look these up or figure them out before hand, and in fact, its best that you don't and let these hidden trophies reveal themselves.
Once you've completed the game and are on the trophy hunt, however, the remaining hidden trophies can be a major source of stress: it's difficult to complete most end game challenges, and especially so if you don't even know what you need to do to complete them.
In the past, players have resorted to guides and forum to figure out how to earn these hidden trophies, and while relying on the community can be a great way to get past an obstacle when you're stuck, there's actually and even simpler method for revealing these hidden trophies, without ever leaving your ps4.
Navigate to the trophy page on your Playstation, scroll down to any particular hidden trophy, and press square. This will instantly reveal the title and description of the trophy! This feature was added to the PS4 in 2016, but many players were never informed this was now possible. A recent Reddit post highlighted the feature, and it is evident from the comments that many gamers had no idea this was possible.
Remember: don't reveal any hidden trophies until you've at least finished the game, as often times they are hidden for a good reason! If you want to collect all the trophies in your favorite game, using the hidden trophy reveal function can save you a lot of stress and wasted time.