Microsoft now offers tangible rewards for your Achievement points

NXE Xbox Live

Throughout the history of the Xbox 360, the console’s Achievement system has always seemed a bit hollow. Sure, it tracks your gaming prowess over every game you play on Microsoft’s machine, but beyond bragging rights the gamerscore system has never really offered players a tangible, useful reward. However, that changes now, as Microsoft has unveiled a program to reward gamers for their dedication to earning ever-higher piles of largely meaningless numbers.

Dubbed “MyAchievements,” this latest Microsoft initiative offers three tiers of rewards, depending on how massive your gamerscore has become over the past handful of years. Those of you with 3,000 to 9,999 Achievement points can earn an unnamed “Special Gift” to be delivered during your birthday month. Gamers with between 10,000 and 24,999 points are eligible for that aforementioned Gift, as well as a “1% Rebate on your Xbox LIVE Marketplace purchases EVERY MONTH.” Finally, those of you who have been working really, really hard to pick up Achievements and are currently sitting on a pile of more than 25,000 points will earn the omnipresent Gift, and be eligible for a 2% rebate on Xbox Live purchases.

There are two important, if largely minor, cavets here though: First, you need to have an Xbox Live Gold account to pick up any of these rewards, and second, you’ll need to sign up for Microsoft’s MyRewards program. That’s a simple enough process (visit this site and follow the short, easy instructions to sign up), which while allowing Microsoft to periodically bombard your email inbox with advertisements also makes your Gold account eligible for free bonus Microsoft Points based on a number of things you’re likely to do anyway (like renewing your Gold account). Bottom line: Sign up and you’ll be trading a bit of privacy for points that can be redeemed for Xbox Live Marketplace items.

Back to the MyAchievements deal for a moment: Try as we might, we’re unable to find any mention of what that “Special Gift” actually is. This just happens to be my birthday month, and my Xbox Live Gold account has been signed up for any and all Microsoft promotions for years now, and yet I’ve not received any Gift, nor can I find any information on what the Gift might be. We’ve reached out to Microsoft for some sort of clarification on this issue, but have yet to hear a response.

Assuming that doesn’t totally quell your interest in the MyAchievements program, you should know that Microsoft’s site is running a bit wonky at the moment. We’re having trouble getting pages to load in a timely manner, though when they eventually appear everything seems copacetic. Unless you’re adamant about joining the new initiative as soon as possible, maybe wait a few hours before attempting to link your Xbox Live account with any of Microsoft’s customer loyalty programs.


Xbox app lets you access your console while away from home. Here's how

Microsoft's Xbox allows you to access your profile information and launch media content directly from your mobile device. Check out our quick guide on how to connect your smartphone to an Xbox One.

Everything we know about 'Red Dead Online', including the new mode Gun Rush

Red Dead Online will gradually rolled out to Red Dead Redemption 2 players via a beta. We've got all the details about the beta's suite of competitive and cooperative modes, as well as what to expect going forward.

Our favorite Windows apps will help you get the most out of your new PC

Not sure what apps you should be downloading for your newfangled Windows device? Here are the best Windows apps, whether you need something to speed up your machine or access your Netflix queue. Check out our categories and favorite picks.

You're never too broke to enjoy the best free-to-play games

Believe it or not, free-to-play games have evolved into engaging, enjoyable experiences. Here are a few of our favorites that you can play right now, including Warframe and the perennially-popular League of Legends.

Get extra life with our tips and tricks for 'New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe'

New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe is a much more difficult game than you'd believe based on its adorable art style and 2D perspective. Here's how you can master the game's toughest challenges.

Find all of the secret exits and world skips in 'New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe'

New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe has two distinct Mario experiences in one package. In this guide, we'll show you how to find all of the secret exits in New Super Mario Bros. U, that lead to hidden levels and let you skip worlds.

For Netflix, ‘Fortnite’ on YouTube is a bigger threat than HBO

In a letter to shareholders, Netflix explained that it views the video game Fortnite as bigger competition than HBO, with YouTube videos of the game drawing viewers away from the streaming platform.

Find all of the secret exits and world skips in 'New Super Luigi U Deluxe'

Just like all other 2D Mario games, New Super Mario Bros. Deluxe includes secret exits and world skips. In this guide, we'll show you how to get to all 12 secret exits in New Super Luigi U.

Take a trip to a new virtual world with one of these awesome HTC Vive games

So you’re considering an HTC Vive, but don't know which games to get? Our list of 25 of the best HTC Vive games will help you out, whether you're into rhythm-based gaming, interstellar dogfights, or something else entirely.

Here's where Xur is and what he has for wares this week in 'Destiny 2: Forsaken'

The weekly vendor in Destiny 2: Forsaken always brings Exotic weapons and armor, some of the toughest loot to find in the game. Here's everything you need to know to track down Xur: Where he is, when he shows up, and what he's stocking.

You could be gaming on AMD’s Navi graphics card before the end of the summer

If you're waiting for a new graphics card from AMD that doesn't cost $700, you may have to wait for Navi. But that card may not be far away, with new rumors suggesting we could see a July launch.

Sharing your best gameplay moments is quick and easy on the Xbox One

The current generation of consoles make it easier than ever to share your gaming highlights with the world. Here's a quick guide on how you can record a gameplay video on Xbox One.

Blizzard’s latest hiring spree is likely for the unannounced ‘Diablo 4’

Activision Blizzard is hiring for more than a dozen positions on unannounced Diablo projects. Some of the roles are likely for the unannounced Diablo 4, the next mainline entry in the series.

Xbox One X vs. PS4 Pro: Which console is more powerful?

Far from cooling down, the console wars are only getting more intense. We compare Microsoft's Xbox One X to Sony's PlayStation 4 Pro to help you decide which premium console is right for you.