-Estimated achievement difficulty: 7/10
-Offline: 12/12 (200)
-Online: 0 (0)
-Approximate amount of time to 200: 10-13 Hours
-Minimum number of playthroughs needed: 1
-Number of missable achievements: None (Chapter Select)
-Do cheat codes disable achievements? No Cheats
-Does difficulty affect achievements? Yes (Survivor which is in Arcade Mode)
-Glitchy achievements: None reported yet
-Unobtainable achievements: None


Alan Wake American Nightmare has 2 different modes: Story and Arcade. The achievements are essentially split between both. There is only one achievement based on difficulty and that is Survivor in Arcade Mode. There are a good amount of collectibles which are the manuscripts. They are the only collectibles you need for an achievement. Luckily, you can replay scenes to grab the ones you missed.

Step 1: Story Mode

First off, play Story Mode and collect the manuscripts. This will also prepare you for Arcade mode. You'll know the best ways to kill enemies and have unlocked supply chests from the collectibles. Also, you will be familiar with all enemies. The story consists of 3 acts which each visit the same 3 areas. This is 9 chapters total and it doesn't take all that long to complete the chapters. While playing, the only achievement you must worry about is for finding all manuscripts. Everything else is story related. You will have a total of 100 once you are finished.

Step 2: Arcade Mode

Now that you're done with story, it's time to tackle the wave based mode. You'll have to unlock all of the Nightmare versions of each level by unlocking the stars. To gain higher ratings you must score extremely well. After you have unlocked all of the Nightmare modes, play the level you feel most comfortable on and try to gain "Survivor". You will also need to play one level without using any type of guns or weapons (flare guns you cannot use either). The Arcade Mode achievements will likely be the harder of the batch. You must earn 24 stars in arcade mode to unlock all Nightmare levels. You must dodge and fight your way through. Try to kill enemies as fast as you can to get the most amount of points. The difference with Nightmare mode is that the enemies take more hits and there are no breaks or "waves" happening. They just come in constantly.

Step 3: Mop Up

If you haven't obtained every collectible once you finished the game, you may replay scenes to finish them off. Also, you will be replaying arcade mode a bunch. If for some reason you are extremely good at the game and did everything quickly, you may just be missing the "kill 2000 taken" achievement. In which case, you can now grind out to finish the game.


This game will take a good amount of time to complete, and the arcade mode will be frustrating. Some will wonder why online cooperative arcade play isn't an option (Barry would be nice). Overall this will be a satisfying completion. The quality matches the actual game "Alan Wake".


[x360a would like to thank Tyger7 for this roadmap]

Alan Wake's American Nightmare Achievement Guide

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There are 12 achievements with a total of 200 points

  • Escape the Taken to the motel.

    Story related and can't be missed.

    Act 1: The Mechanic

    This will be your first achievement in story mode. After killing a couple Taken at the start of the game, you will be told it's sometimes best to run. Do as suggested and run to the checkpoint light shown on the screen. Heading to the garage which is the next objective will unlock the achievement.

  • Rewrite reality for the first time.

    Story related, can't be missed.

    Act 1: The Mechanic

    After investigating the garage and talking to Emma, you will be tasked with finding the 3 objects. They are all easy to find since indicated on your mini map. Once you obtain them and talk to Emma again, you must go "rewrite reality". Go to the spot on the map and put the CD in the boombox, valve in front of the oil (turn the valve) and then the battery in the switch (turn on switch)

  • Make sure Dr. Meadows can take another look at the skies.

    Story related, can't be missed.

    Act 2: In Progress

    After meeting Dr. Meadows for the second time, you will then have to complete an objective which all that is required, is to pull a switch to secure the coolant tanks. After you pull the switch, the achievement will unlock.

  • Rewrite reality for the last time.

    Story related and can't be missed.

    Act 3: United

    Once you finish the last scene this will automatically unlock. Watch through the entire credits to watch one more scene.

  • Survive until dawn in any Arcade Mode level.

    Arcade mode is essentially a "wave" based game type. Enemies will get more difficult and increase in quantity as you play. To gain this achievement you must survive the whole level for 10 minutes. You can get this achievement along with "Skill Beats Gun". See that description for an easy way to get both.

  • Get a six-minute survivor streak and over 100,000 points in an Arcade level.

    In arcade mode you not only have to get a ton of points, but also not get hit for 6 minutes. Within the period of not being hit, you must score this 100,000 points. You can go over the 6 minutes for the points of course, just can't be touched. This can be one of the most frustrating achievements in the game!

  • Unlock all of the Nightmare Arcade Mode levels.

    There are 5 levels each with a Nightmare Mode version.

    • Cemetery
    • Ghost Town
    • Oil Field
    • Caves
    • Trailer Park

    The levels will all be locked except one when you first start out. As you gain stars, you will earn the levels. Your goal is to hit 24 stars between all 10 levels. That is 24/30 possible. You will need 3 stars on every regular level and 9 more between the Nightmare ones. You will have to get a 3 star on at least one Nightmare stage. The score you will need to shoot for is around 40-45k specifically for Nightmare. Just try to kills enemies as fast as you can to gain the most amount of points. You don't have to survive the full 10 minutes to get 3 stars, but it sure helps (bonuses and the sun kills remaining enemies). Just keep on your feet and always look behind you. You will have to get very good at dodging. The more familiar you are with a level the better you will be. So if you are failing, just keep trying until you start perfecting it. Do not worry about any other arcade based achievements until you have unlocked all levels. By this time you will be better at it and know what to expect.

  • Survive an Arcade level using nothing but the flashlight and handheld flares.

    To survive an arcade level, you must complete the full 10 minutes of it. Waves of enemies will come at you but you cannot shoot them. You will have to utilize flares and your flashlight to keep them away. The best thing to do is to keep away from the initial Taken that spawn in a level. This means you'll be running from and dodging the same Taken the entire time. This will simplify the achievement.

  • Get 70,000 points in any Nightmare Arcade level.

    First you must unlock a Nightmare Arcade by gaining at least 12 stars within the available levels. Nightmare is a bit tougher. Enemies take about double the shots to kill them. Also, there are no waves. They just keep coming without you having much time to prepare. Because of this, you should get a lot of points. This is suggested after you have unlocked all Nightmare levels and know which one you are best at. You will need to know where everything spawns, and stick close to an ammo drop. So make your rounds early to pick up flares, guns, and flashbangs. Then camp around at an ammo pickup.

  • Take out two Splitter spawns with a single shot.

    A splitter is an enemy who physically splits into two enemies or more, creating a clone of itself. It basically multiplies. What you need to do is kill two at once with one shot. The first time you see this enemy is the perfect time to get the achievement. When going for the item near the train tracks during the "Find items for rewriting reality" objective, this enemy will jump out from the door of a building you are supposed to enter. The game will inform you of this new enemy. Shine your light on it and to make it easier, let it split again. Now you will have 4 enemies to shoot at. Take your shots. If your achievement doesn't unlock, just reload your last checkpoint. It will put you right in front of the building again. You can always get it later, but it's nice to get it out of the way here.

  • Find all of the manuscript pages.

    Manuscripts are a type of collectible in this game. You read them for some extra story content. You can keep track of these pages by selecting "Collectibles" from the main menu and going to "Manuscript Pages". It will show you the 3 areas in the game which you can check. Collecting these will let you unlock guns in story mode and some things in arcade as well. While in the game you can press or via the start menu look at what collectibles you have obtained. You can replay chapters from the main menu to pick up the ones you have missed. If you do this, it's suggested to do it after completing the game so that you don't over write your checkpoints. The manuscripts will appear different depending on which Act you are in, so that is something to pay attention to if following a guide.

    A complete guide can be found HERE.

  • Defeat 2,000 Taken.

    This is accumulative between both Story and Arcade modes. Taken are the enemies of the game (human overtaken by darkness). You will likely get this while finishing up your achievements in Arcade Mode. If not, just keep replaying until you get it.

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