If I play, for example, Plants vs Zombies or Toki Tori on Steam when I am offline, can I earn achievements? Are these re-synchronized when Steam returns online?

4 Answers 4


Well - it's some years later and.. it still seems to depend on the game the most. I play recently almost exclusively offline and connect gaming machine to Internet once every few weeks. E.g. in 'Botanicula' - with almost all achievements gathered on the way - I have only the second 1/2 of them on Steam (some of the missing ones being impossible to miss). :) 'Bejeweled 3' seems to sync all achievements perfectly (with their progress also!) on next online session. For 'Plants vs. Zombies' I have only 1 ('Home Lawn Security') on Steam while I have around 3/5 of them in game itself.

There are many threads around the web regarding those games AND achievements, but the common conclusion is: Some games just don't sync them properly and that's it. :(


Since recently, you do get achievements in Offline mode, if you have opened the game in Online mode before, or viewed its details.

See: http://forums.steampowered.com/forums/showthread.php?p=29035241


I thought it was. Now that I've tried it, it seems that Steam doesn't expose the APIs needed to unlock achievements to games when it's in offline mode. So no, you can't unlock achievements in offline mode.

  • 2
    Not fully sure about that, though. I remember playing Portal offline, and never got the achievements for it. But it was more than a year ago, it may have changed.
    – Gnoupi
    Commented Jul 14, 2010 at 11:49
  • You're right. Answer edited.
    – user56
    Commented Jul 14, 2010 at 12:15
  • 7
    VAC has nothing to do with achievements. In fact, they have nothing in place to prevent 'cheating' achievements.
    – user56
    Commented Jul 14, 2010 at 16:20
  • 1
    @shaderach - No, in this context offline is 'without an internet connection'. If you have no internet connection and you play CS:S with bots only you will not get achievements.
    – user56
    Commented Sep 10, 2010 at 9:09
  • 2
    This info is now outdated, see the other answer.
    – kotekzot
    Commented Aug 10, 2012 at 11:44

Typically yes you CAN earn achievements offline for most Steam games. One major downside is that upon your next connection to Steam Online, all of those achievements earned offline will "unlock" at the same moment, resulting in identical timestamps for the cluster of offline play. This can make you appear as a cheater on achievement trackers.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .