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 gamerpoints, 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."
- Vidmaster Challenge: Lightswitch: Get the rank of Lieutenant in any playlist in the new EXP progression system.
- Vidmaster Challenge: Annual: After 9/25/08, complete Halo (Final level) on 4-player Legendary LIVE co-op, with Iron, and everyone in Ghosts.
- Vidmaster Challenge: 7 on 7: Enter into a ranked or social playlist with 7 EXP on the 7th of the month.
- Vidmaster Challenge: Brainpan: Find all the hidden skulls on the Mythic maps.
Halo 3: ODST
- Vidmaster Challenge: Endure: In Firefight, on any mission, pass the 4th set on 4-player Heroic LIVE co-op.
- Vidmaster Challenge: Deja Vu: Complete Coastal Highway on 4-player Legendary LIVE co-op, with Iron, and no 'Hog or Scorpion.
- Vidmaster Challenge: Classic: Finish any Campaign level on Legendary solo without shooting or throwing a grenade (Power sliding and honking the horn on vehicles will be counted as shooting/grenade throwing).
Halo: Spartan Assault
- Vidmaster Challenge: Complete Operation E, Mission 1 with the Hollow and Black Eye Skulls active.
- Vidmaster Challenge 2.0: Complete Operation F, Mission 4 with the Blind and Thunderstorm Skulls active.
Halo Wars 2
- Vidmaster Challenge: 100 drops: Gain a gold medal and complete all objectives in Gatecrashers on Legendary.
- Vidmaster Challenge: No fly zone: Gain a gold medal and complete all objectives in Not on My Watch on Legendary.
- There were originally seven Vidmaster Challenges, another seven reference in Halo. However, Halo: Spartan Assault and Halo Wars 2 eventually added in four more collectively, bringing the total up to eleven.
- The "Annual" achievement started on 09/25/08 because that was the one-year anniversary of Halo 3's launch. Annual could have actually been completed before 9/25/08, as some players did it the day before due to time zone differences.
- The Vidmaster Challenges concept spawns from Bungie's Marathon series, where players who wished to prove they were the absolute best had to complete insane challenges such as playing through the game without the use of any health items, using no weapons except fists, or beating it on the highest difficulty setting. Those that succeeded made videos to mark their achievement, thus spawning the term "Vidmaster."
- A mere week after ODST's release, over 60,000 people gained Recon Armor from completing the challenges.
- These particular achievements, if hacked, will not allow players to unlock Recon Armor. The only way to get Recon Armor through these achievements is to unlock them the proper way.
- Four Bungie employees are starred in a ViDoc named Road to Recon as a walkthrough for players.
- Halo Waypoint: Halo: Spartan Assault Achievements
- Halo Waypoint: New Halo: Spartan Assault Achievements Released
- Bungie Weekly Update 10/02/09