Mass Effect

Mass Effect Achievements

Distinguished Combat Medal

Complete 1 Mass Effect playthrough on the Hardcore difficulty setting. Do not change the setting.     

ALL organic enemies have immune. They are very accurate and WILL cut you to shreds. Take cover often, but watch out for rockets. Use the Spectre Master Gear and a lot of Biotic powers. Lastly, all enemies are the same level as you.

Refer to the "Long Service Medal" achievement.

Rate this achievementAverage Rating (Based on 3 votes)
User Comments
Comment #1 by Rule
Wednesday, June 01, 2011 @ 03:51:33 PM

Played through half the game and then I noticed it didn't change the dificulty setting.... Great....

Comment #2 by asylumspadez
Thursday, June 09, 2011 @ 06:48:28 PM

Ive beaten the game 6 times now and Hardcore has yet to unlock for me, Glitched much?

Comment #3 by abartshe
Wednesday, August 24, 2011 @ 06:09:33 PM

if you play on casualty setting, hardcore won't unlock. if you haven't figured that out yet then now you know.

Comment #4 by abartshe
Wednesday, August 24, 2011 @ 06:46:40 PM

nevermind that comment. i just figured out that it is unlocked, it just leaves that message next to it saying needs to be unlocked.

Comment #5 by SmudgeEFC1985
Saturday, October 22, 2011 @ 10:42:58 AM

When it says dont change the setting, this should still work shouldnt it? I just selected hardcore, started a new game, then once the intro is over, checked the difficulty and it had reset to casual. Just switched it to hardcore and it seems to be staying now. Should still count right? I dont fancy struggling to a hardcore playthrough and finding its not gonna count!

Comment #6 by Spug
Tuesday, December 20, 2011 @ 09:57:38 AM

Maybe a bit late, but yep, should still work (you can change it as much as you'd like until landing on Eden Prime).

Comment #7 by TommyD758
Friday, March 16, 2012 @ 02:07:12 AM

When I changed it to hardcore it said "Must be unlocked" is that normal?

Comment #8 by grendel4289
Tuesday, March 27, 2012 @ 01:29:25 AM

As long as you have played it once all the way it should unlock Hardcore.

Comment #9 by x Aqvila x
Saturday, May 05, 2012 @ 02:58:24 AM

I started a game, changed from Normal to Hardcore in the settings, played the entire way through and it didn't unlock. FML! Think you need to do it in the game settings on the first menu

Comment #10 by Roflpiee
Thursday, July 26, 2012 @ 03:13:37 PM

Does it matter if you change the other settings?

Comment #11 by WolfmanStarrk
Saturday, April 06, 2013 @ 07:05:25 AM

Can you use the New Game+ Feature to unlock this?

Comment #12 by Sorve
Friday, April 19, 2013 @ 07:10:00 PM

It's confirmed that as long as it's on Hardcore by the end of Eden Prime, you're good? Because I forgot to change it until halfway through that mission.

Comment #13 by Sorve
Friday, April 19, 2013 @ 07:12:11 PM

#11 - As far as I am aware, you can. I know you can in ME2, and I am 90% sure you can in ME1.

Comment #14 by Rubberduckie UK
Friday, May 24, 2013 @ 03:33:31 PM

Fucking glitched! Played all the way through on hardcore and not only no achievement, but it hasn't even unlocked veteran level! WTF?!?!
(I had the level selected before landing on Eden Prime)

This, on top of not getting the Asari Ally cheev on my first run have got me fucking raging! Fuck this, not doing another run through!


Comment #15 by Rubberduckie UK
Saturday, June 15, 2013 @ 05:58:33 AM

Well I had a break from the game, calmed down and decided to give it another try....DON'T BOTHER PEOPLE! Even with hardcore level selected before starting a new game, it STILL glitched and STILL didn't unlock veteran level.

Oh, it also failed to unlock one of the ally achievements at the same time (played with Tali & Wrex and only Quorian unlocked). Fucking-A!

The cheevo roadmap should point out the glitched achievements.

Comment #16 by Chaz Of Sparta
Saturday, June 22, 2013 @ 01:56:06 PM

Strange, wasn't glitched for me, neither were any of the ally achievements. I suppose I got lucky, but it would make sense for them to add on that some of the achievements are buggy.

Comment #17 by Dale1380
Saturday, July 06, 2013 @ 04:58:33 PM

Comment #18 by DecadentBeaver
Tuesday, July 23, 2013 @ 05:42:33 PM

Just started my 2nd run, and it changed from hard ore to casual after landing on Eden prime. Will update if it unlocks once I complete it again.

Comment #19 by H0UD1IV1
Sunday, September 08, 2013 @ 07:30:08 AM

Are you able to get this with a new game+ or do I have to start a fresh character?

Comment #20 by BigBabyJeezus
Wednesday, October 30, 2013 @ 05:38:14 AM

Hardcore mode is a piece of cake if you remember the 1st major rule for playing a RPG: Save often and Save before any battle. Try to hit your enemy before they see you.

Comment #21 by Spug
Sunday, July 13, 2014 @ 04:41:18 PM

So, in summary, I guess there are some gotchas regarding this achievement:

1. You need to play through the game once to unlock the Hardcore difficulty. Career/character/New Game+ don't matter, as long as you have completed it once using your gamertag.
2. When selecting Hardcore as your difficulty, it says "MUST BE UNLOCKED" even if you have unlocked it. Press B after selecting Hardcore, and then A to confirm.
3. You need to set the difficulty level to Hardcore BEFORE completing Eden Prime. Before that mission is over, you can change difficulty as much as you want.
4. Remember to SAVE after setting the difficulty. If you set it and then die, most likely it will be reset if you resume (unless the game autosaved after you set the difficulty). I think this is the reason people think this

Comment #22 by Spug
Tuesday, July 15, 2014 @ 09:54:35 PM

... achievement is glitched.

Comment #23 by berserker freak
Saturday, August 23, 2014 @ 12:14:31 AM

The best way to get this one is at the end of the last mission when fighting Saren it will autosave. After you beat him and the next difficulty is unlocked reload the autosave change the difficulty to Hardcore or Insanity and SAVE the setting change. Beat Saren, start a new game with the same character and check your difficulty setting and it should be set to the new difficulty if you saved the settings.

Comment #24 by HarmsTheLegend
Tuesday, January 06, 2015 @ 06:32:23 AM

Pretty easy once you get going. On to the next one!

Comment #25 by LielieS
Saturday, March 05, 2016 @ 06:53:35 PM

2nd run, now doing hardcore. I did normal on the first run. It hasn't switched back to normal once!

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Game Info


US November 20, 2007
Europe November 23, 2007

ESRB: Mature
Backward compatible on Xbox One: Yes
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User Score is based on 4560 user ratings.