A comprehensive walkthrough on the unlock conditions for the Golden Path hidden achievement
Other Frostpunk Guides:
Hidden Achievement Guide, Expect Spoilers Ahead
Global Unlock Rate: 1.9% of players
This guide is intended to give you a comprehensive checklist for determining whether or not your current playthrough will qualify for Golden Path, so you never need to go through the frustration of repeatedly reloading old save files just to walk away empty-handed!
Getting it can be tough, so we'd recommend it as a personal challenge once you've played through the New Home scenario several times already. Due to its complex conditions Golden Path is unlikely to unlock through normal gameplay especially on higher difficulties.
Certain other achievements will also be unlocked alongside Golden Path if you haven't already received them from previous playthroughs:
- Lost Souls - Save every person in Frostland.
- Compassionate - Accept all groups of refugees.
- The Saviour - No deaths from cold, hunger, sickness or overwork (Golden Path is more strict and will count deaths from any causes).
Golden Path - All Unlock Conditions
- Playing on New Home scenario.
- All survivor locations found.
- No survivors refused welcome.
- No Laws that "Cross the Line".
- No deaths from any causes.
- No citizen Needs Crises occur (e.g. Need Homes, Need Heat, ...)
The last two requirements for this unlock are undoubtedly the toughest and have generated a lot of confusion among achievement hunters in the months since Frostpunk launched. As players have few ways to track whether they have been disqualified from these conditions until the very end of the game, it often results in a lot of guesswork about what went wrong.
So what kind of playthrough will actually meet every condition?
The Hidden Requirements List
This section covers every Law and game action that might affect whether you can meet the Golden Path unlock conditions. Check it carefully when planning your playthrough!
- Any difficulty qualifies, but Normal settings are strongly recommended due to the impact that harsher weather and lower resource gathering rates have on the likelihood of a Needs Crisis.
- Citizens leaving the city (e.g. Londoners) do not count toward deaths.
If you make any of the following BANNED choices, it may be necessary to go back many days in your save files to correct it or start a new playthrough entirely:
All Laws which register incremental progress toward killing citizens must be BANNED:
- Emergency Shift (ticks toward overwork death if ability used)
- Triage (ticks toward discharge death if ability used)
- Children All Jobs (ticks toward accident death if assigned to work)
- Dueling Law (ticks toward fighting death each night)
All Laws which "Cross the Line" must be BANNED:
- FAITH: Righteous Denunciation
- FAITH: Public Penance
- ORDER: Pledge of Loyalty
- ORDER: Forced Persuasion
Captain's Words, New Faith, and New Order will remain locked without these Laws. If you make any of the following AVOIDED choices, the disqualifying events can be prevented by reloading the most recent autosave to change your actions in the preceding hours:
All Laws which have the potential to kill citizens through events should be AVOIDED:
- FAITH: House of Healing (old man death)
- ORDER: Propaganda Center (poet death, coverup deaths)
- ORDER: Prison (Londoner guard murder)
- Failure to pass Prosthetics with amputees in city (suicide death)
All gameplay choices which have the potential to kill citizens should be AVOIDED:
- Failure to discover Winterhome before Day 15 (messenger death)
- Forcing the Londoners to stay with violence (fighting deaths)
- Leaving any Scouts or Outpost Teams at a location when the Storm consumes it (instant death)
- Allowing any parties to cross the hidden "front edge" of the Storm while in transit (instant death)
- Operating any Coal Mines once the Storm reaches your city (freezing tunnel deaths or the alternative Needs Crisis)
All conditions which have the potential to trigger Needs Crises should be AVOIDED:
- Failing to build all citizens a home on the first night after arrival (Need Homes)
- Any later citizens left homeless for >36 hours (Need Homes)
- Any citizen living in Chilly or colder homes for >36 hours (Need Heat)
- Any citizen continuing to be Hungry or Starving for >36 hours (Need Food)
- Any citizen with Frostbite remaining untreated for >36 hours (Need Infirmaries)
- Any workplace on Extended Shifts for >7 days (Need Regular Shifts)
Some known bugs may also kill citizens and can only be resolved by reloading to a much earlier save file:
- Rarely, a citizen can become trapped in an endless Building task without notifying you for many days (dies after ~20 days or instantly when released from the task).
That covers all the requirements for Golden Path! Despite a lot of intense speculation among achievement hunters, any other Laws you decide to use outside the ones listed shouldn't have any negative effects on your playthrough even if they make you a bit squeamish to use (for exactly the right reasons) when trying to keep your survivors alive.
With a bit of luck, your next New Home ought to land you in the 2% of players to ever unlock this hidden achievement!
Small trivia bit: The icon for Golden Path shows the player after climbing atop a difficult mountain, not waving a flag from further down a 'golden' path! It's tricky like that.