-Estimated achievement difficulty: 9.5/10
-Offline: 52 (825)
-Online: 6 (75)
-Offline/Online: 1(100)
-Approximate amount of time to 1000: 80-200+ hours
-Minimum number of playthroughs needed: 8 (Single player and Co-op)
-Number of missable achievements: 1 (If you want to glitch it)
-Glitched achievements: 6 “good glitches” (50)
-Do cheat codes disable achievements? Sometimes (see below)
-Does difficulty affect achievements? Yes

I gave this game a 9.5 difficulty rating because of how extremely hard some, if not most, of the achievements are. Even if you are a really good Guitar Hero player, this game still will be challenging, as all of the Guitar Hero games are. I rated it 9.5 due to the incredible amount of effort that you need to put in to get good at the game and to complete some of the harder achievements.

Guitar Hero 3 is an extremely difficult game to 1000. You will have to hit lightning fast notes at high speeds with very little reaction time. You will have to be able to effectively tap on your guitar for some achievements. You will also have to perfect 20 songs on the Expert difficulty. Don’t get me wrong, guitar hero is a really fun game. However, only the extremely committed will be able to get a full 1000 in this game.

In order to hit notes that come down the screen, you must both hold the fret(s) (button(s)) that you want to play, and strum with the strum bar. This is similar to playing a real guitar. All the other basics will be laid out in the tutorials. Once you get to Expert difficulty, and need help with Enlightened Guitarist and other hard career achievements, consult this thread HERE.
This thread was created by Lordvader178.

There are at least 8 playthroughs needed to beat this game. However, if you can’t 5 star (“5 star” is a verb which means get a 5 star rating on the song) all the Expert songs on your first try, it will take many more playthroughs than that. I consider a playthrough completing every song in a career. The method I describe in my Road Map assumes that you have no Guitar Hero talent whatsoever. This requires 12 playthroughs, assuming you have an able friend who can play expert bass/guitar with you by the time you finish 5 staring your expert songs.

There are 2 glitches in this game, and both of them aid you in getting achievements. However, one of them is missable and you only have two chances to get it. This is the Buy a Guitar Already achievement. This achievement is obtained at the end of your hard/expert career. I highly recommend you do this glitch, due to the fact that playing on a controller is much harder than on a guitar. The other glitch cannot be missed.

Here is the “Unlock Everything” cheat that gets you these achievements in the game: Axe Collector, Track Master, Got 'em All, and Burning a Hole in Your Pocket. All the other cheats disable achievements, so don’t bother with them. Enter it in the cheat code section of the game, found in the options menu on the game. Go into options, and then select “Cheats” at the bottom. Do this after you have beaten Expert career (as described in my Roadmap).

Unlock Everything:


You will not get a noise when you enter these chords in. To enter a chord in, hold all the correct frets and strum. Then proceed to the next chord, and continue.

You may start to become very stressed out when getting to higher difficulties and harder songs. I remember giving up 3 times, when I started Hard career, when I started Expert career, and when I got to the last tier of Expert career. The trick is to not give up, and keep pushing on. Like many sports, you will get better at Guitar Hero with time and practice. Also, practice mode helps a lot when you are struggling with songs in the last few tiers.

Abbreviated Walkthrough:

  • Step 1: Start off by completing all 4 tutorials. You will get Ready to Rock. Be sure you use the right fingers for the notes, and strum pushing down with your thumb/strumming up and down with you index finger and thumb. I find it easiest to strum pushing down with your thumb for slow moving notes/ inconsistent notes, and strumming up and down for fast notes with a consistent beat. Try not to get into too many bad habits, and listen to what they say.

NOTE: Pay extra careful attention to the hammer-on/pull-off section. This will be heavily used in Expert songs.

  • Step 2: Beat Easy career. Don't worry about 5 Staring songs; just try not to get into any bad habits. You may get Bronze Streaker and Silver Streaker while doing this. Be sure to pick up the Whammy Mania near the end. You will get Easy Rider.
  • Step 3: Now beat Medium career. It will be really hard to hit the blue notes early on, but just remember to use your pinky finger and don't get into any bad habits! I cannot stress this enough. Some of the later songs will be hard, just keep trying and use practice mode. Also, go for Tail Between Your Legs, Blowin' It, and Almost Got It. You will get Medium Rare.
  • Step 4: Time for Hard career. When trying to hit the orange notes, your fingers will undoubtedly feel like they are glued to the guitar. Don't stretch for the notes, but move your hand like you would on a real guitar. This means sometimes your fingers won't be touching the green note, and the other times the orange one. After the first tier, you will get the hang of it. Once you get to songs in the 7th and 8th tier, you defiantly will need to use practice mode. Don't get frustrated, and you will eventually get it. You will also most likely get First Big Score and Gold Streaker while completing this career. You will getAlways Hard.

VERY IMPORTANT: If you want to save yourself a lot of time, go for the glitched Buy a Guitar Already achievement.

  • Step 5: Now start a brand new band and go to Easy career. Switch your guitar to lefty, and use the mirror looking trick to beat it (the mirror trick is: look in a mirror that is facing your TV with lefty flip on, and when you look in the mirror it appears as if lefty flip is off). Aim for all 5 Stars, which should be very easy. After you get Axe Grinder, go and beat Medium career on that new band, but without lefty switch turned on, and get 5 Stars on all songs. You should get Hendrix Reborn and Rock Guru. If you miss a 5 star on any of the songs in your setlist, don’t worry you can always retry a song. Finish 5 starring any songs you missed in medium and easy.
  • Step 6: Complete Expert career on your original band. This will be very hard in the 6th/ 7th tier, and excruciatingly hard in the 8th tier. You will need to hit 3-note chords with ease, and you will constantly have to move your hand down and up on the guitar neck. You must also be exceptional with hammer-ons. But don't let me scare you; with hard work and practice mode, you should be able to do this. If you’re having trouble with the final battle, use this video:

I take no credit for this video, it is not mine. Once you’re done, you should get Right Hand of God and Solo Career. Also, go for Tone Deaf on expert Slow Ride.

VERY IMPORTANT: If you forgot to get Buy a Guitar Already on your Hard career, do it now! This is your last chance to get it without having to play career again!

  • Step 7: Go back to Hard career on your original band and 5 star all the songs. They should seem easy compared to expert, but the last 2 tiers might take a few tries and some practice. If Raining Blood is giving you too much trouble, skip it and come back to it later when you are better at the game. You will get Shredder.
  • Step 8: Get Axe Collector, Track Master, Got 'em All, and Burning a Hole in Your Pocket. You can either do these fair or enter in the "Unlock Everything" cheat in the cheat menu. Look for the note sequences in my Road Map introduction.
  • Step 9: Go back to Expert career and shoot for Enlightened Guitarist and Guitar Hero. When you get bored of one, try the other. Along way, you will get Perfectionist. Also, if you don't have Streak Master, Even Flow has over 1000 notes and isn't that hard for an experienced player to FC (“FC” mean “Full Combo”: You hit all the notes in a song). Also, when you get to Cult of Personality, get Who Needs the Power.
  • Step 10: Get a friend over and do all the Co-op Career achievements. Achieve Easy Duo, Medium Duo, Hard Duo, and Living Legends. Living Legends will be hard, but with constant practice and lots of effort you should get it. You should get Two by Four, Half a Mill' Club, Leaders of the Pack, Dynamic Duo, Two Timer, A Couple of Streakers, Too Many Too Count, and That's What Friends are For. Also, work it out so you get Guitar Wizard, and Back Up Hero. Also, go for Streak Masters.

Step 11: Beat Through the Fire and Flames on Expert difficulty. Be sure to do it on quickplay, or else it won’t count! Use one of these tapping guides for the beginning. I do not take credit for either video. The way the first person strums is with his elbow.

 I prefer the first one, but the second one is a bit easier if you are really good at hammer-ons and pull-offs (even though it is a bit cheating). Once completed, you will get The Inhuman Achievement and Star Mania.

  • Step 12: Get Never Gonna Spend it All. Basically start new careers and 5 star their expert songs for maximum efficiency. Also, get 100 Million? Gulp!
  • Step 13: I suggest buying the Metallica Track Package to get the rest of the regular and co-op score achievements. Do this with the song "All Nightmare Long". It is not necessary, but sure is easier than perfecting Through the Fire and Flames. Aim for Now That’s Impressive and Millionaire Club, and you should get Half a Mill’ and Higher than Most along the way. Now you should have all the offline achievements.
  • Step 14: Now hop online and complete all the online achievements. If you want it to go faster, boost with a friend (they let you win/ you let them win) to get wins faster. Get these online achievements first: Meet your Maker, Streaker, Search and Destroy, Button Masher, and Life of the Party. Then, do some quick guitar battle matches with your friend, and have him lose on purpose until you get Big ‘Ol Pile of Wins. You will have gotten The Long Road Ahead when going for Big ‘Ol Pile of Wins. Now you should have every achievement, congratulations!

Any missed achievements can be easily gotten by following the achievement guide below this Road Map. I know many of these achievements are very hard, but don’t give up and you will eventually get them. If you succeed in completing them all you will have truly made an accomplishment. Best of luck to you, and have fun playing Guitar Hero!

[X360A would like to thank Var 18 for this Roadmap]

Guitar Hero III Achievement Guide

Printable Guide
Show completed achievements
Show secret achievements

There are 59 achievements with a total of 1000 points

  • Gold Star 20 songs on Expert

    You can view a thread based on this achievement here.

  • Complete Career Lefty and Righty

    This achievement is a little glitchy, but keeping all your songs within the same "band" should make it work properly. All you need to do is enough to get by (3/4) on easy and medium. I suggest picking an easy difficulty and going for 5 stars on all the songs while you're there.

    If you have trouble playing with the opposite hand, watch the screen in the mirror and they'll appear as you're used to seeing them.

  • 200k on Cult of Personality without Star Power

    You must play this on Hard or Expert to get enough points for this achievement. You can actually use Star Power late in the song. As long as you still have it on when the song ends, it will not count as being used, and you will still get the achievement.

  • Use the Whammy Bar on every held note on Number of the Beast


    First, tape your whammy bar down. As long as it's not in the normal position, it's fine. Go to Quick Play or Career, and select "Number of the Beast" by Iron Maiden on Easy difficulty. It can be found in the 8th tier. Play the song through and dont miss any held notes. The achievement should unlock when you are finished.

  • Activate Star Power 3 times on Through the Fire and Flames on Expert


    You can only obtain this in Quick Play.

    The beginning is the hardest part. Once you get past it, you should be able to get enough SP phases to activate it three times. Use it directly after you fill the meter, so that you don't miss any star notes while you're in Star Power mode.

  • Host Ranked Online matches and win 15 consecutive songs

    This can be easily accomplished through quitting. Just play as you would regularly. If you win, continue, and go to your next game, if you lose, go to your dashboard or eject your disc. Don't worry about your opponent because they will still get a win. Keep doing it until you get fifteen in a row, and move on.

  • Join Ranked Online matches and win 15 consecutive songs

    See "Life of the Party."

  • Hit 250,000 notes in Career

    This achievement is cumulative in any Career. This is equivalent to about 500 Easy songs, 300-350 Medium songs, 250 Hard songs and 200 Expert songs. Just play the game and try to keep all your songs in the same "band".

  • Earn $350,000 in career lifetime earnings

    Simply keep playing until you get $350,000.

  • Complete Co-op Career

    To obtain this achievement, all you need to do is beat all the setlists in co-op. You do not need to complete every song, only enough to get to the next tier. In total, you will need to play about 38.

    Note: Only the primary account will get the achievement, and the second controller will not get it.

  • Complete all songs as the back-up guitar player

    See "Guitar Wizard" except use the bass, rhythm or guitar #2.

  • Complete all Co-op as the lead guitarist

    You will have to play and beat all the co-op setlist songs as well as the 14 extra songs as the lead guitarist to obtain this achievement. Just play through on co-op and make sure you are always the same controller and the player.

  • Earn 100,000,000 points total in Career

    This is a cumulative achievement, in a single Career. You will need to play a whole bunch of songs to get this one. If you're really striving for it, play your best song over and over until you get it, just keep it under the same "band".

  • Earn a 150 note streak in a Ranked Online Battle mode match

    All this achievement is luck and a little bit of skill. You will need to get into a ranked battle game where you know the song relatively well. You will also need to pray that your opponent doesn't hit you with some bad power-ups and lets you finish the notes off. Just play and it should come. Try hosting and picking a song you're good at.

  • Beat any song on the expert difficulty with the games sound options turned down to zero

    First, you will need to be good enough to beat any song on Expert. I recommend Slow Ride by Foghat, as it is one of the easiest songs. When you are comfortable with this song, start it up, and keep all your settings regular. All sounds can be fully turned up. Play the song as you normally would, but as you approach the end, hit your start button. Go to settings and then to sound and change all three dials to 0. Continue the song, and play the last couple of notes, without any sound. When you finish, you will get the achievement.

  • Complete a Career on the Easy Difficulty

    This should be a relatively easy one. You will get it with a little bit of practice.

  • Complete Career Mode on the Medium difficulty

    Here it gets a little bit harder. Again, practice and you will eventually get it.

  • Complete Career on the Hard difficulty

    Here's where practice mode may actually come in handy. If you are a skilled player, you should be able to make it through the most part of this career without a problem, but may run into some difficulties. Head to the practice mode, and slow down the fret board as much as you think is necessary. Just knowing what notes are where helps a ton, because sometimes you just can't see them all when they're coming at you.

    See "Buy a Guitar Already" for an easy achievement once this is obtained.

  • Complete all Career difficulties

    If you manage to beat Expert, then it's smooth sailing from there, as the other difficulties should be a piece of cake for you. Just play through all four of them, and you will get this achievement.

  • Win 15 consecutive Ranked songs online using a standard controller

    See "Life of the Party."

  • Play through a career on the Hard or Expert difficulty using a standard controller

    This achievement is glitched, in a way, but it will benefit you. Just beat the career on Hard. After you do, shut off your Xbox, and turn it back on with a controller. Go into the game and pretend you are going to play a song, it will unlock for you when you are in the setlist.

    Obviously this can also be obtained the regular way.

  • Win 500 Online Ranked matches

    Just play a lot. I suggest Battle mode because it seems to be the fastest, as you can knock out opponents in seconds rather than playing through the whole song. Just keep playing online, winning as many as you can, and its yours. I suggest using an easier difficulty for the Battle mode.

  • Complete all difficulties in Career, buy everything from the shop and complete 100 online matches

    This achievement is even harder than it seems.

    See "Burnin' a Halo in my Pocket" and "Solo Career", do both of these and win 100 games online, and one of the hardest achievements will be yours.

  • Beat one of the creators of Guitar Hero 3 at their own game

    This is a viral achievement. Beat someone with it and you get it. Lose with it, and you give it away. A large percentage of the players already have this, so just hop online and win a game, and it can be yours too.

    You can also check the achievement trading thread here to find another member who has the achievement and is willing to let you beat them.

  • Complete Career Mode on the Expert difficulty

    Another achievement I can't really help you with, other than wishing you luck. Keep practicing with the Slipknot song and Raining Blood as most people have problems with them.

  • Earn a 100 note Streak in Career or Quick Play

    Any song on any difficulty will do. Just get a little bit of practice and get comfortable with the guitar. Play an Easy song if you're really struggling.

  • Earn a 250 note streak in Career or Quick Play

    250 is not a lot, but it may get frustrating. Try to pick easier songs that have a lot of rhythm based notes, where all you need to do is strum at the right time, and keep hitting the same notes.

  • Earn a 500 note streak in Career or Quick Play

    Many of the easier songs can do the trick and most of the medium ones as well. I suggest a harder Easy song such as One, or an easier Medium song such as Story of my Life (704), or When We Were Young.

  • Earn a 1000 note streak in Career or Quick Play

    There is an easy way out with this achievement. "Through the Fire and Flames" on easy contains about 1100 notes. "One" by Metallica on medium contains about 1200 notes. Pick a song that you are most comfortable with and that has enough notes.

  • Score 250,000 on a song

    Your first opportunity for this achievement will come early in the Medium career. I did it on "Story of my Life" by Social Distortion, located in the fourth block of the first tier. If you are finding it hard to get it, don't worry because you get another chance later on in the career. The next available song for this achievement is "One" by Metallica. It is the last song on the eighth tier before the final boss battle. You should be able to easily get 275,000 if you're good at the song, and use Star Power at the right moments. After a couple of plays, you should be able to get it.

  • Score 500,000 on a song

    This achievement is available on a handful of Expert songs including: "Holiday in Cambodia", "Cherub Rock", "Before I Forget", "Stricken", "Knights of Cydonia", "Number of the Beast", "One", "Take This Life", "The Way it Ends", "Through the Fire and Flames".

    You have to be good to do this, so get some practice in.

  • Score 750,000 on a song

    Until Downloadable Content comes along, you will literally need to Perfect "Through the Fire and Flames" on Expert.

  • Earn 5 stars on all songs on the Easy difficulty

    Even the most novice players should get this within a week or two of solid playing and practice.

    For Easy 5 star cut-off, go here.

  • Earn 5 stars on all songs on the Medium difficulty

    If you are familiar with the other games, then you should be able to get this achievement without breaking a sweat. I played Medium career through once and only went back for two songs. Some songs may become frustrating as you fail them over and over, but you have to practice them. I recommend playing them at a slower speed in practice, if you can't get the strumming right.

    For Medium 5 star cut-offs, go here.

  • Earn 5 stars on all songs on the Hard difficulty

    Just get good enough to pass Hard songs with ease, and 5 starring them shouldn't be a problem.

    For Hard 5 star cut-offs, go here.

  • Earn 5 stars on all songs on the Expert difficulty

    You know the drill. You have to be good, very good, or you will never see this achievement. All I can recommend, again, is practice if you can't do a particular song.

    For Expert 5 star cut-offs, go here.

  • 100% a song


    Pick any song that you're comfortable with on Easy. I recommend any of the songs in the first couple of tiers. Just play them without missing a note. You may need a little bit of practice, but other than that, the achievement is pretty self-explanatory.

  • Complete the tutorial

    The tutorial this time around has four sections. Three of them are identical to the ones in Guitar Hero II, with even the same dialogue. The other added one is the one about Battle mode. Just go through all four sections until they are all cleared (marked by a red skull beside each section).

  • Buy all the Guitars from the shop

    You're going to need to get all the unlockable guitars before you can buy them. The hardest part is getting the guitars for 5-starring all difficulties, co-op career, and career.

  • Buy all songs from the shop

    There are 26 songs to buy in total. At $500 each, it'll cost you $13,000 to buy them all. This roughly translates to 5-starring just under three tiers on medium or about two on hard. Just save up enough money and buy them all.

  • Buy all characters from the shop

    There are 5 total characters to buy from the shop:

    Tom Morello ($10,000)
    Slash ($10,000)
    Lou ($15,000)
    Grim Reeper ($10,000)
    God of Rock ($20,000)

    You will need to buy all five of them to unlock the achievement. At first, only two will be available. Beat the game and the three bosses will be available for purchase. They will cost a pretty penny though, $65,000. One play through medium and five stars on everything will bank you about $45,000. Just play and buy them when you feel that it's time.

  • Earn a 200 note streak in a Co-op match


    I'm not even going to recommend a song. It will work on anything. If you're having trouble getting it, go on any of the first tier songs on Easy and you should be able to get it in no time.

  • Earn a 500 note streak in a Co-op match


    Almost any song on Easy will do the trick. I suggest doing whatever you and your friend are comfortable with.

  • Earn a 1000 note streak in a Co-op match


    This seems hard, but even less skilled players will easily be able to obtain this achievement. Play the song "When We Were Young" by The Killers on Medium difficulty. The song has 1047 notes, so you will have to play the bulk of it for the achievement, but as long as you can keep in rhythm, it's fairly easy.

  • Earn a 2000 note streak in a Co-op match


    This achievement is easiest in "Through the Fire and Flames" on Easy. Each section has a little over 1,000 notes. Just practice them, and pair up, but don't make any mistakes! For those who need a little bit of a challenge in their life, it is also possible on "One" on medium. "Story of my Life" on Expert (both players) has a total of 2042 notes too, and it's one of the easier Expert songs.

  • Score 1,000,000 on any song in a Co-op match


    This will be one of the hardest co-op achievements. You pretty much need to do "Through the Fire and Flames", "One" or "Number of the Beast" on Expert (both) and you can't miss many notes. Yes, ouch is the right word!

  • Score 700,000 on any song in a Co-op match


    This is easiest and best done on "One", "Number of the Beast" on Hard or "Through the Fire and Flames" on Medium.

  • Earn 5 stars on all Co-op songs for the Easy difficulty

    Simple enough, description says it all.

  • Earn 5 stars on all Co-op songs for the Medium difficulty

    You will need to 5-star all the co-op career songs and the 14 extra songs viewed after the setlist. You will first need to unlock them by going through career by yourself. You and your friend have to be a least familiar with the game to get this.

  • Earn 5 stars on all Co-op songs on the Hard difficulty

    The general formula for the 5-star scores is the song for career score x 2. Use the link provided in "Shredder" for a rough view of what you'll need. Get a friend over, and 5-star everything on Hard.

  • 5 Star all Co-op songs on Expert

    The general formula for the 5-star scores is the song for career score x 2. Use the link provided in "Guitar Hero" for a rough view of what you'll need.

  • 100% a song in a Co-op match


    Again, similar to the one in single player. Just pick a song you're comfortable with, and play it through without screwing up. I suggest a song like "When You were Young" by the Killers on Medium or Easy, because it's all rhythm and has very few "skillful" hand movements.

  • Get an 8X multiplier in a Co-op game


    This is a simple achievement. Just get a 4x multiplier in co-op (by stringing 30 notes together) and activate Star Power with your guitar or controller at the same time. It will unlock right away. It may take a few tries though.

  • Score 500,000 on any song in a Co-op match


    I recommend playing "One" by Metallica on Medium for this achievement. Again, it's all about the practice. You should be able to get through at least the first half of the song without missing a note, as the beginning is relatively basic if you've seen it before. You and your friend should be well on your way to half a million then.

  • Buy everything from the store

    Now, this is almost an unachievable achievement for most of us. You will have to buy everything, inlcuding the items unlocked through completing various careers. You get one guitar for every difficulty, 5-stars on every difficulty and for co-op careers. You will have to unlock all of those before you can buy them, and you can get this achievement when you do. Good luck.

  • Complete Through the Fire and Flames on Expert


    The beginning of this song is the hardest part by far. The really good players can beat it on a couple of tries through once they learn the start of it. Study the beginning and play it in practice a couple of times, if you think you have what it takes. If you feel you have the skill, go for it. There's not much I can say to help.

    You can always try it with a friend, and have colours assigned for it to be easier.


Secret achievements

  • Refuse a boss battle

    You have three chances throughout the career for this achievement. Boss battles are against Tom Morello (2nd Tier), Slash (5th tier) and Lou. Satan is at the end. Once the screen prompts you to play, press the red fret and you will be brought to the setlist. From here you can select to go back into the boss battle if you like.

  • Fail any song 10 times


    Go to career and select Expert. Select any song. As the song starts, strum as fast as you can. You should be able to fail within seconds. Then you will be brought to the failed screen. From there, select retry, and repeat the procedure ten times. Some "achievement," huh?

  • Fail a song passed 90% completion


    Play any song you know and are good at. I suggest an Easy or Medium song for less stress. As you approach the end, strum as fast as you can until you fail it. Boom. Achievement Unlocked.

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