Home Guide The Stanley Parable The Stanley Parable – Unachievable Achievement

The Stanley Parable – Unachievable Achievement

The Stanley Parable has a few odd achievements. There’s the “Go outside” achievement which expects you to not play the game for five years (you can easily get this one by changing your system clock), the commitment achievement for which you need to play the game a whole tuesday long and there is the “unachievable” achievement which is not really that unachievable.

Story time

It didn’t take long after it’s release on steam until the first threads in the steam forum appeared asking how to get this particular achievement. Sooner or later a few people said that they got the achievement, but had no idea how they actually got it.

It took a few days more until people started reverse engineering the game and found out that there is a special command hidden inside the game files, which awards the unachievable achievement. Here is that code:

if ( !sub_104B22A0(v26, "map1", 4)
&& RandomInt(1, 15) == 8
&& v46
&& *LODWORD(dword_107E1B28) > (float)(*(float *)&dword_107E1898 + 20.0) )
v27 = *(_DWORD *)(sub_1027BBA0() + 28);
v28 = *(_DWORD *)dword_107E1B30;
v41 = (int)"_u\n";
v40 = v27;
v39 = dword_107E1B30;
(*(void (__cdecl **)(int, int, char[4]))(v28 + 156))(dword_107E1B30, v27, "_u\n");

Ok you probably have no idea what all that stuff means. But don’t worry, I can explain parts of it:

  • You have to meet a few criteria, I have no idea what those criteria are but they changed over time anyway… I’ll tell you more about this later
  • There is a random factor which decides if you get this achievement or not  ( only 1 out of 15 will get the achievement, even though they meet all the additional criteria)
  • The MAGIC command which gives you the achievement is this one: “_u” (probably the u stands for unachievable ;))

Ok so after finding this code, the users tried entering the command “_u” into the game’s console. But all they got was a strange error: “Hey, don’t you even try”. As you can see, this is no ordinary error warning and this meant that the users were on the right track.

From here on things got rather easy, it seems there is a special character in the source console which allows you to execute the command even though the developer of The Stanley Parable tried to block it, this character is the tilde (~).

But yet again the developer seemed to be one step ahead, as the tilde character has been blocked from the source console ( even though it normally isn’t ).

After that users tried binding the command “~_u” in the configuration file. But somehow that wouldn’t work. The reason why this wouldn’t work either was that the game overwrites all of it’s configuration files upon starting. To circumvent this behaviour users started protecting the file from further edits by setting the configuration file to Read-Only.

After this was done, upon pressing the keybind for the “~_u” command  the users finally got their precious and how I think, well earned, unachievable achievement.

The developer’s reaction

The Developer of the Stanley Parable “Gran PC” participated a lot in the steam forums and seemed to enjoy following the users and their futile attempts to unlock this achievement. He was disappointed though when he found out that his source code had been reverse engineered and that the unachievable achievement was no longer unachievable for anyone:

I don’t really approve of reverse engineering the game and then divulging the way :/

Gran PC

No hard feelings, but he kinda had to expect that this would happen after releasing  a game with a “unachievable” achievement if you ask me.

Anyway, after this he admitted that he would alter the game’s code whenever someone found out how to get the achievement ( or at least get the chance to get the achievement ):

It’s no fun if everyone knows it’s *almost* random!
In one patch I made it so quicksave & quickload would grant it, and in the next patch I made it so it was impossible to get through quickload. It was hilarious to watch people like the original poster raging 😛

– Gran PC

Ha! Joke’s on you Gran, who is raging now?

The actual guide

Long story short, here is a step by step explanation on how to get the achievement:

  1. Make sure the game is closed.
  2. Edit your config file, it is located in your Steam folder. For example: D:\Steam\SteamApps\common\The Stanley Parable\thestanleyparable\cfg\config.cfg just open it with any text editor
  3. Add this line to the file (in a new row): bind “x” “~;_u”
  4. Save the file then right-click it and chose properties. (at least in windows…)
  5. Check the attribute “Read-only” and save this change.
  6. Open the game
  7. Hit the “x” key
  8. Wait a few seconds
  9. Achievement Unlocked!
  10. Dance

Anyway folks, this is the story behind the unachievable achievement. I personally loved every minute of the game and I really enjoyed reading the forums while figuring out how to get the achievement. But I’m also happy that I’ve got it now and can finally sleep in peace again.

  • Unachievableless

    No longer works, it was most likely patched.

    • ezeke

      It was still working yesterday, are you sure that you’ve done it correctly?

      • Yecti

        Still working as of now. Verified.

        • ThatGuy

          This could be Gran trying to troll us. Nice try Gran.

    • imjustheretosaythis

      mine neither

      • imjustheretosaythis

        oh i think i found my mistake i put it in the config default one well i think i fixed it now

    • Pollenus

      I think you must of maid an error. I just did it and got the achievement. Search me on Steam if you like and see the date and time when I was awarded it. My user name is Pollenus there as well.

      • Pollenus

        Wow… made* /facepalm

    • strem

      Well, I got it. It just didn’t say that I got it until I went into my ‘cheev list.

    • Sven

      Works for me.

    • 8bit

      I just got it, March 31st 2018.

  • Not Possbile

    Tested just now, and yes made sure I did everything has descripted – Checked several times.

    • Achived

      Checked the achives, and it was there heh – Just did nto get any msg that I got it – So please check if you have it if you dotn seem to get it during playtime.

      • ezeke

        Glad it worked 🙂

        • FUCKERS!


  • Radny

    I can’t seem to open up any of the .cfg files at all! I double-click them and all, but none of them respond to it. Assistance?

    • ezeke

      Right-click the .cfg file and chose “Open with”. Now select a Text editor such as “WordPad”!

      • Radny

        I don’t seem to have an “Open With” option. Here’s my options that I see http://prntscr.com/29h79r

        • ezeke

          Just click “Open” then and after that select the second radio button to choose a program.

  • Alex

    I added the bind, started the game and instantly got the achievement without further ado.
    When i went back into the file the line was gone. Very weird.

    • ezeke

      You probably forgot to set the file to “Read-Only” ?

  • YEROCnamrus

    Aint workin for me tried it twice

  • Spelarens

    I have problems with getting this achievement. Nothing happens if I hit x.

    Can you tell me, what I exactly have to do at the ” Check the attribute “Read-only” and save this change.” – part?
    My problem: My computer isn’t in english language, so I can’t find a “Read-only” option.

    • ezeke

      Well, what options do you have then? (and in what language?)

  • troooooooooo

    Is there any code to get the commitment achievement ? I seen some ppl say that changing the system time setting does not work.

  • KT

    Just tested it – got it! Thanks 🙂

  • Crimson

    Got it to work just now and thought I’d share. I tried following the guide but adding the “x” “~;_u” command anywhere in the jumbled mess that is config.cfg didn’t work (whether on a new line or not) so finally out of frustration I just deleted everything in the config.cfg file and just left “x” “~;_u”, started a new game and got the achievement right away without pressing anything (typing this I finally noticed I missed the “bind” in bind “x” “~;_u” so that might be why I was failing FML).

  • Sam Cernik

    Fanastic 😀

  • Harry Hurtig

    Thank you, still working!

  • mattwo

    Gran PC is Davey Wreden?

    • ezeke

      I seriously have no idea. As far as I know the Stanley Parable on Steam was developed by two guys so it could be either one…

      • mattwo

        I have reason to suspect he is actually neither.

        • ezeke

          There must be a reason why he is listed as developer on Steam though. What’s your reason?

  • Zedh

    Still working, thanks a lot!

  • Grantcfo

    I’m Grantcfo and I just made a video on how to do this here is a link! IT REALLY WORKS! NO JOKE! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g93fPQ_nvRE&feature=youtu.be

    • Kevin

      Sometimes it might take a while for the achievement to appear on your screen, a lot longer than the stated, “few seconds.”

  • chetmanly

    “Ha! Joke’s on you Gran, who is raging now?”

    Wow, dickish much?

    • grenadeh

      What’s dickish is making a game and then putting in achievements, and then purposely working against the community to make it harder to get those achievements or prevent them from getting those achievements. Like achievements that are actually impossible such as “Beat the entire game without using a continue” on metal slug X aren’t bad enough.

      • JollyJackson

        How is that dickish? It’s supposed to be joke, and you don’t need one little achievement to continue living. Personally, I find it funny that people spent their time to do this for something not worthwhile.

        • grenadeh

          A) It’s a paid game. We’re customers. We shouldn’t have had to cheat to 100% a game. B) Just people you don’t partake in the pointless meta of achievement hunting doesn’t mean other people don’t like to do it. C) It took 2 seconds to do, so we didn’t spend any time. This whole thing goes to show you that while indies are great, their developers are also often douchebags.

          • Cabal

            No, actually hunting for the achievement would involve going around and doing shit until you actually got the achievement. Typing in a console command or changing the source code is usually called “cheating.” What the developer is doing is adding an incentive to play the game, rather than just typing something and saying you “achieved” something.

          • N.R.Gunne

            I don’t agree at all.

          • Adam

            Key work usually. However, we are talking about the Stanley Parable here. The point of the game is that you get more fun out of not doing what you are told to. When you play through it do you always do everything the narrator tells you to?
            The whole point of the game is that you don’t. This is just another example of what makes this game so interesting. If you prefer a conventional set of ideas, play a more conventional game. Don’t rage about how this game is so horrible because it makes the achievements hard to get.

          • Chaos

            Personally I find it funny that a developer of a game all about defying the story got huffy when he could no longer control how people were engaging with his game.

          • Jakob Zurek

            Did you miss the part where only 1 in 15 will get it? That means that no matter how much stuff you do you will not get the achievement legitimately 14 out of 15 times.

          • TheMartyred

            The fact that there was a special error message for entering the code means that the developer likely expected someone to do that. A lot of the Stanley parable isn’t all that clear what you’re expected to do. This is the whole purpose of the game. The Stanley parable was designed to require some rather unconventional thinking and this achievement is no different. If you have a problem with an achievement so unusual, you clearly don’t appreciate the genius behind this game. By getting this achievement through even more unconventional means, the person who discovered the code beat the developer.

            Props to Gran for creating an unconventional and very enjoyable game.


            Props to the guy who figured out an even more unconventional way to get an “Impossible” achievement.

          • 8bit

            You paid for a game where achievements that make no sense are a mechanic in the game. Literally every achievement in this game is bullshit, on purpose, to act as a literary device in the game’s narrative. If that’s not what you wanted, then buy a different fucking game. Its like you bought a hotdog and then complained that its not a hamburger. You didn’t buy a hamburger, bub.

          • Kevin Ries


            The fact that 6 years ago, you actually got mad at a developer having fun with the community, makes me laugh the hell out loud. Who takes life that seriously? “I’m a customer, I paid my money! I waaaant my achievement! Waaaah”

            Has to suck to be you. It just has to.

  • Shawn L Hubbard

    Still works, Thanks!

  • spiff

    Thanks, still works 🙂

  • DeutscheCarsFTW

    It worked, well done you! I reinstalled the game just to do that achievement believe it or not. My life is now complete.

  • Arowhite

    It worked for me (Feb 21st 2014)

    I changed the “ (quotation marks) to match the ones used in the cfg file, i don’t know if it’s necessary but try this if it failed.

    Plus i had to wait 10s to get the achievement so dont exit too hastily

  • dasdasdasdasdad


  • James

    i was playing the game the other day and decided to shift tab out of the game. in the steam overlay it shows the last achievement i got which was speed run and beside it showed unachievable and where the description would normally be it said soo close… wtf? does that mean i was on the edge of getting it legit and missed out? damn you Gran PC!! lol

    • DJ Schway

      I know this is a 4 months old comment, but unfortunately no.

      The overlay simply shows the next achievement that you’re closest to getting, regardless of whether or not said achievement would actually take more time than others and/or is “impossible” to get.

  • Dom Pitts

    tnks it works but i feely dirty now

  • jonesbatspider

    thanks still working

  • Adam Baker-Ellwood

    Still working.

  • deepabysm

    it is not working any more, is it?
    doesn’t work for me :/

  • Oodlemeister

    Still working on 25th June 2014. Just completed it. Thanks heaps!

    • Adam

      Still works (6th January 2015)

    • The Forerunner

      Also still work as on 18th December 2015 🙂

      • Adrià Rico Blanes

        I feel like I’m playing this game too late, it’s 2017 already :D..

        • Kietsie

          I’m in the same boat, can’t believe it’s been 3 and a bit years since it’s release, i remember when it first came out

          • joey


          • Callum


          • Kevin Ries

            2020 here, I don’t even see anyone talking about the Coronavirus, what is this? Is this a pre-historic web-page?

          • Nyeh

            2020, it doesnt work for me though. can anyone help???

      • Joey Arima

        Still working for me 3rd May 2022

  • Blue

    Does this work for Mac? I can’t seem to find the correct files 🙁

  • InZaNe MoNsTaR

    Still works 🙂

  • Sam

    Thank you !! 😀

  • Working. Yeah!

    July 8th, 2014. Still Working. Thanks a lot!

  • Hssanya

    Still working 20/07/2014 although I actually feel guilty for ruining the developers fun haha

  • DJ Schway

    This isn’t considered “cheating” and therefore gonna get anyone in trouble, right?

  • Ian Munsie

    While searching for the non-cheating method (the conditions have changed since the code was posted in this article) I found an easier cheating method for all you cheaters out there: ent_fire cmd Command _u

  • Chelle

    Omg I love you lol… It totally worked!!!!!!!!

  • grenadeh

    Still works oct 19 2014. Use wordpad instead of notepad because wordpad will preserve the proper syntax of the file and literally all you have to do is copypasta, save, enable read only, start game, press x, wait 7 seconds.

  • ian kottman

    Still works on 12/29/14!!!! THANK YOU SO MUCH I 100% THE GAME XD

  • Paula

    I tried everything and it didnt work to me… I edited with Notepad++, I wrote rightly bind “x” “~;_u”, the file is on Read Only… I really don’t know why is not working. I have win7 so it should work… Any idea?

    • Paula

      Okay, I dont know what did I do different, but I got it xDDD

  • jack

    does work.,..

  • teco-ball


  • KirbyTheG

    or do this

    go in console

    and do ” ent_fire cmd Command _u “

    • Sir

      this actually works!

  • vox

    Still works as of March 28th, 2015.

  • Lukas

    I find it rather funny when the developer gets mildly upset when he’s “clever” way of doing this wasn’t so clever after all. Can’t win them all buddy

    • carrot-top

      I’d argue his way was still clever. But the thing is: this IS the internet, and thousands of minds are better than one. It was only a matter of time until one of the hackers, crackers, and nerds found a ‘solution’ to this.

      • Brian

        The reality is that you could simply use winsock and eventually get to the point where you can just run an external program that gives you all the games you ever bought without having to play them.

        Certainly this would be more preferable than working hard to get to some meaningless objective points that pop up a little 4th wall breaking message informing you that yes, you are playing a video game… and you just did exactly the same thing that a million other players did before you; congratulations. Have an achievement:

        “Millionth person to earn the millionth person achievement achievement”

        Oh sorry, someone got there first.

    • Krud

      Well, clearly this proves you CAN win them all. Or achieve them all, rather.

  • John Cuppi

    Works still as of 8/1/2015.

  • Krud

    You could argue that people who haven’t achieved “Unachievable” are the completionists, because the stated achievement there is that you can’t achieve it, so by achieving it, you’ve rendered that achievement false, and have essentially failed to keep it Unachievable.

  • Mario Sonic

    Step 11: Explode of happiness

  • http://steamcommunity.com/id/tairikuokami Michal Ostrihoň

    Go outside achievement, just like Unachievable, exists to mock people like us, who like perfect games, anyone who played the game gets it, you can not do it the legit way, obviously. No sane dev would expect you to not to play his game 5 years. So dev expects people to “cheat” to get those 2 achievements. Astats fell for it too and blocked stats because of Go outside. If you have resetted the stats just because of it, the joke is on you by Astats and by the narrator/developer as well. 🙂

  • theachiever

    I didn’t even press x or started the game, it automatically poped up in the menu. Also if the author didn’t wanted us hack the achievement he shouldn’t have put a random condition on it. It’s dumb

  • Lassi Krank

    Still working 🙂

  • tatzuk

    Thanks, worked well 🙂

  • Anonymous

    I feel lucky right now. I got it in a normal way. 😀

  • Capp

    Maybe i’m doing something wrong, or it seems to be not working anymore. ~07/02/16 (gosh, do people still play it tho?)

  • Aria

    Seems to not be working for me either. After setting it to “read only” It still isn’t reading to me. I thought I followed the steps thoroughly, but maybe I did something incorrect.

    • Aria

      Wow, disregard above comment. I figured it out. It works fine. Lol 7/1/2016

  • Gorfox

    Works as of 9/16/2016

  • N-11

    *Finishes dancing*
    Still working ! 😀
    Thank you very much for your work of gathering informations and think you to the smart guys that managed to do all this work !
    And i really apprieciated that you talked about them and their work 🙂

  • Matt Nutella

    Working in 2017… Didn’t even make me press x though…
    Maybe I met the criteria?

  • http://www.vincurekf.cz Filip Vincůrek

    I achieved this yesterday, and i have no idea how, found out today…


    I think this entire community is autistic or something. Remember this: “I don’t really approve of reverse engineering the game and then divulging the way :/” hacking into the source code by inputting commands comes from people reverse engineering the game and then divulging it that way. You guys are all cheating and ruining the fun of this game lol

    • 8bit

      I’m the narrator, and I don’t approve either. Bad Stanley! Bad! The developers and I went through all the effort to construct this beautiful achievement for you, and you go and hack the game?? There were going to be whole message board threads full of Salty Stanleys trying to figure out the non-logic required to unlock this worthless achievement. There were supposed to be angry, threatening emails sent directly to Gran himself over the “unfairness” of this dumb little achievement! We were going to laugh and laugh together while we drank their tears. And now look at where we are now… a simple guide! You should be ashamed, Stanley! You don’t want us to laugh? You don’t want us to be happy, Stanley?

  • Sombra Womba

    does that mean,when I don´t get it the first time,I gotta try it again until it achieves,since it seems to only appear at certain moments?

  • Red5YT


  • anon

    criteria is plural

  • plasticuproject

    I actually unlocked this achievement the “natural” way, although I had no idea how. It doesn’t look special now next to everyone else who cheated. Kinda sucks.

  • AnonTheMouse

    I wonder if it was intentional that the command you have to bind to unlock it is a winking emoticon.

  • italian insanity

    ahh well it requires going INTO the code huh? well this is as far as i can go thanks tho i kinda guess this is what i get for trying to get an unattainable achievement kinda like buying a soup and figuring out you have to finish it though, i just want my soup man!

  • Geralt the Real

    These achievements aren’t even worth getting on Steam. The Commitment achievement being the rarest of the bunch has been gotten by almost 2% of the game’s owners. My rarest achievement I’ve gotten (by mistake) has only 0.7% of owners getting. Wouldn’t waste my time with all this nonsense.

  • jack

    Works in 2020!

  • PabloRoblox2008

    i got is without that lol

    • PabloRoblox2008


  • DefinitlyNotMe

    I got this by going through the escape ending, then when the second narrator tells you to quit, starting the game over.

  • mlo12345

    No idea what happened, but I was playing for a bit and suddenly got it. It had some picture of a phone? Didn’t modify the game in anyway, dunno what happened lol.

  • Filip Faron

    Well, its 2020 and i got this achievment by gettin locked in the starting room by narrator. I dont know if this is luck or something else

  • Mopishlynx23

    It’s reeeaaal finicky with the Epic Games version, but I got it to work after a bit of work. The game isn’t in the epic games launcher folder, it’s in your C:/ or D:/ drive.

  • Асмодей Александрович

    Have no config.cfg on my mac. Pls help?

  • Stanley

    no more, alas