The Vidmaster Challenges are a series of eleven achievements available for Halo 3, Halo 3: ODST, Halo: Spartan Assault, and Halo Wars 2. There are four Vidmaster Challenges in Halo 3, three in Halo 3: ODST, two in Halo: Spartan Assault, and two in Halo Wars 2.
The original seven challenges, released for Halo 3 and Halo 3: ODST, initially served as the requirements for unlocking the Recon armor for use in Halo 3 multiplayer. After unlocking the achievements, players could log on to Bungie.net and request their armor through the "Road to Recon!" Although three of the Halo 3 Vidmaster achievements do not reward the player with Gamerscore, their use in unlocking Recon served as motivation for players to complete them.
The Vidmaster Challenges for Halo 3 did not ship with the original game, but became unlockable with Title Update 2; those in ODST were available at launch. With the exception of Lightswitch, Brainpan and Seven on Seventh, the achievements are widely considered very difficult to unlock. Thus, Recon armor remained difficult to acquire. However, on March 31, 2012 all record-keeping was transferred from Bungie.net to Halo Waypoint. As Halo Waypoint did not have the capability to unlock Recon, the armor was therefore unlocked by default for all Xbox Live profiles. The original Vidmaster Challenges therefore no longer serve any purpose beyond the achievements themselves.
Two achievements in Halo: Spartan Assault are also called Vidmaster Challenges. To date, these achievements have not been incorporated into any larger scheme. Additionally, Halo Wars 2 added in two achievements dubbed Vidmasters, which were also self-contained challenges.
Road to Recon!
Prior to March 31, 2012, aside from Bungie's approval, the only way to unlock the Recon Armor Permutation was to complete all 7 of the Vidmaster Challenges from Halo 3 and Halo 3: ODST. Once a player had completed all of the Vidmaster Challenges, they would have the ability to unlock it by going to their Halo 3 Service Record on Bungie.net, logging into their Windows Live ID and clicking "unlock my recon."
Halo 3: ODST
Halo: Spartan Assault
Halo Wars 2