I know of another question where it is asked if you can get Steam achievements offline. The accepted answer to that was no.

But I do earn achievements for some Steam games while playing in offline mode!

For example, right now I am earning achievements for Cave Story+ as I play in offline mode. In other games I also earn achievements while playing in offline mode. Not just when I am disconnected but still in "online" mode as might be suggested in the linked question.

But what is really bugging me is that this does not happen with all games that have Steam achievements.

So, is allowing offline achievements something that Steam allows, the game devs allow, or is it something decided by a magical elf in the steam servers rolling some d20 dice around?


As per request, I was able to attain visual evidence:

visual evidence

You should be able to see the achievement-get in action while in offline mode.

What is worth noting, (and something that I forgot to mention before) is that I only started earning achievements after I had went into online mode with the game installed. This is why I was able to earn this achievement with the ones after unlocked. I had started the game for the first time in offline mode, and did not notice that I was not earning achievements. When I had connected once, I did not have to start the game while online. I was able to earn achievements offline.

I also must state publicly:
I do not play on easy. This was for testing purposes only people. It was for Science!

  • Just for verification, can you post any screenshots that somehow show you getting an achievement in offline mode? Maybe something in windowed mode so we can see both at the same time?
    – Alex
    Commented Jan 9, 2012 at 13:14
  • 1
    @Alex For what my word is worth, I distinctly remember unlocking some achievements in Trine while both in offline mode and physically disconnected from the Internet, which synced when I got back online.
    – a cat
    Commented Jan 9, 2012 at 13:16
  • @lunboks I'm sure nobody's lying :) Would be good to have a bit of solid evidence though - it could point someone in the right direction. I have a feeling I may have been in this situation once before as well, actually, but it would have been ages ago so I don't recall anything useful...
    – Alex
    Commented Jan 9, 2012 at 13:51
  • @lunboks I've added a picture and the strange circumstance under which I was able to get it.
    – RedRiderX
    Commented Jan 10, 2012 at 16:15
  • @RedriderX nice and useful! :)
    – Alex
    Commented Jan 11, 2012 at 19:47

2 Answers 2


VALVe recently added the function so that it is possible to earn achievements in offline mode. They did not announce it, though, for some reason. One can only speculate about this.

The condition for this to work is that, while online, you have run the game once or viewed the details in your library. Otherwise Steam wouldn't "know" that there are achievements in the first place.

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

Also, note that achievements you earn do not register onto your Steam account until you connect back to the Steam service (have an internet connection) and are dated at the time of reconnection.

  • Wow, this explains all the strange circumstances of achievement getting I've experienced. I guess I need to go back and get all the achievement of my old games now. :) Thanks for the answer.
    – RedRiderX
    Commented Feb 15, 2012 at 12:51

There are three possibilities here:

  1. Some games show that you've gained an achievement while offline, but when you connect back online, you will not see that achievement in your stats page, so you really didn't get credit for the achievement.
  2. Some games store your achievement progress offline, and when you go online, it updates your profile and you get a whole bunch of achievements all at once.
  3. Some games do not allow offline achievements at all.

Whether or not one of the three happens depends entirely on the game and the developers in how closely they integrate with the steam achievements.

  • It might be the first option that is happening, I will have to check my account to see if these achievements are "official".
    – RedRiderX
    Commented Jan 9, 2012 at 16:07
  • I have checked my profile from the community page, and all my achievements seem to register. So what about the d20-rolling elf theory?
    – RedRiderX
    Commented Jan 11, 2012 at 0:49

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