Batman: Arkham Origins
The "Dark Knight" challenge/skill unlock system in Arkham Origins is infamously buggy and badly thought out. Predator (stealth) challenges are especially nutty, requiring specific actions to be done at specific times to not get locked out of them by the endgame. Guides to the main sticking points in the combat and stealth systems follows below. Having a whole guide may seem like overkill, but this is the main progression system of the game and it's buggy as hell.
- Generally, level up and unlock everything you can with radiant street fights, until you're stopped by equipment or mission completion unlocks. You need to get some equipment or skills in order to complete challenges, so you want to get them as soon as possible.
Shadow Vigilante (Combat Challenges)
- The following is a list of all combat variations in the game, needed for increasing your variation score for some challenges. Some of these are spoilers:
- Rank 12: Perform 20 critical strikes in one free flow combo.
Complete the Shiva mission to unlock a critical strike upgrade that makes this much easier to get. Flipping over an enemy and then hitting them guarantees a critical strike.
- Rank 15: Complete a fight with a medium or higher threat level without being hit, with a x50 combo and at least 15 variations.
The trick here is that the combo, flawless, and variation requirements are counted separately. You can get each of these from the massive fight messes that are all over Gotham in the late game, as needed. The challenge may not pop until you complete another fight after all of the requirements are done.
Worst Nightmare (Predator Challenges)
This is gonna suck. A bunch of these only count in main campaign or side mission areas, so you have a limited set of encounters to get them all in. For any challenge that doesn't require specific story arena features, go to one of the following locations and cheese enemies to get them:
The deck of the Final Offer (moored boat on edge of city) Entrance to the Steel Mill The roof of GCPD
- Rank 1: Basics
Get this in the introduction sequence - the game guides you through it. All three have to be done in a single "encounter".
- Ranks 2-5: Cheese in open world
Get all of these in the three locations above. Note you will need the sonic batarang for rank 4. Get these before you respond to an alarm in the main story.
- Rank 6: Perform four exotic takedowns in one Predator Encounter: Vent Takedown, Explosive Gel Takedown, Corner Takedown and Hanging Ledge Takedown.
This is the bullshit one. One location in the game has all of the features needed for this challenge, it's used for two encounters, with any damage to walls being kept between the two encounters. The final enemy surrenders, so you can't use takedowns on them, either.
When you have a predator scenario in a bank, make sure you get this challenge completed before you finish the encounter - you will not be able to use the last enemy, either. If something screws up, restart the checkpoint before there is only one enemy remaining. The Hanging Ledge Takedown can only be done from the metal floors just below the railings on the upper level - you target an enemy passing below you. The Explosive Gel takedown has to hit an enemy that's on the opposite side of the wall from the gel. The enemy needs to be fully defeated for it to count - stunned isn't enough. The vent takedown requires that the vent cover be intact.
- Ranks 7-10: Story predator scenarios
These can all only be done in formal predator areas, either in the main quest or in some side missions. Try to have Rank 9 finished before you go to a hotel - the lobby will be good for Rank 10, and will unlock equipment needed for rank 11.
- Rank 11: Take out an enemy with the Sonic Shock Batarang.
This requires clearing the aforementioned hotel lobby. Once you get it, go back out the way you came and get it in one of the locations above.
- Rank 12: Complete a Predator Encounter with a High threat level or above by performing at least five different takedowns.
This also requires a story or sidequest predator room. Stay away from the hotel (yes, this is insane, but near-mandatory to complete the challenges). The Black Mask sidequest will give you a predator room to do this at its conclusion. This only gets rewarded when the encounter is completed, which sucks. Be sure you got 5 different stealth takedowns!
- Rank 13: Eliminate three enemies within the duration of one Smoke Pellet.
Complete in one of the locations above. The boat works well for this. Now you can finally go back to the hotel.
- Rank 14: Eliminate three enemies using a propane tank.
The game hands you two opportunities to do this - once in the hotel and once in the area that comes after it.
- Rank 15: Pull two enemies over a railing at the same time using advanced gadget techniques.
This translates to "use the Remote Claw on two enemies next to railings on either side of a gap". It has to be done in a story predator mission, but the game provides a couple opportunities to do so in the same area as the propane tank. You can use a sonic batarang to get both enemies into position.
- Rank 4: Perform one grapnel accelerator takedown.
Get this early in scripted locations, if possible. It's finicky because it requires zipping up to a flat, no-railing ledge while an enemy's right at the edge. Otherwise, try the sniper on the Final Offer mast.
- Rank 8: Reach the top of the Soder Cola building in Diamond District.
The top part of the building can only be climbed from some directions-there's no special trick involved. Keep circling until you find it.
- Rank 15: Stop a Crime in Progress in each district.
Sheldon Park almost never spawns crimes in progress, and the only ones on the bridge are, infuriatingly, story scripted at the beginning of the game. There's a trick, though. If you get a crime in Sheldon park, beat all but the last enemy, then lead them to the southernmost area of the arena, which counts as the bridge, before finishing him off. Alternately, some Industrial District crimes will count for the bridge and the park areas, seemingly at random.
World's Greatest Detective (Detective Challenges)
Detective ranks are for completion, and pretty straightforward. Go for this in the postgame. There will be one Anarky symbol somewhere near each significant building with a sign on it, including the giant "we swear these aren't just to buffer loading" buildings. Some of them are in weird positions, such as inside pipes or in very low areas on the side of the relevant building. For Pinkney plaques, search areas on landmarks and on/near statues.
- Point Counter-Point: Do this your first time through unless you want to experience it on new game plus with no counter indicators. The key is to realize that you have to only hit counter when the game wants, or else you take a hit. The game does a very, very bad job of communicating this.
- Flawless Display: Get ready to restart a few times depending on how good you are against martial artists, ninja and blade enemies. The fight ends when Shiva's health is lowered, so to an extent you can focus on her.