In Guitar Hero 5 and Band Hero the player no longer receives money to unlock content but instead earns stars. Challenges are a way to earn an additional three stars per song. By meeting the requirements of a challenge, new content can be unlocked. Each challenge has three levels associated with it: gold, platinum, and diamond. With each level the player achieves they will receive an additional star with an extra three for reaching the diamond level. All together every song has nine stars to collect (six for an FC and three for achieving diamond). Challenges are only playable in the Career mode. Each challenge is for a single instrument or for a band. While the challenge can only be done on it's set instrument, the song can be played on whichever instrument(s) the player(s) desire. Challenges have different objectives such as:
- Achieving a high note streak.
- Achieving a high score.
- Strumming notes either up or alternating.
- Using whammy on sustains.
- Maintaining a X4 single multiplier or X2 band multiplier.
- Scoring a certain amount of points in star power.
- Hit star power phases.
- Hitting certain types of notes.
While playing a song's challenge, a meter will show up to the left of the highway. This shows how much progress is made in the challenge. The center's color starts out at black which indicates a level hasn't been reached yet. As it fills up the center and outer ring will change color depending on the next level to be reached. The meter cannot be decreased by making any mistakes. The only instance where this happens is if the player is on a streak challenge and resets their streak before completing the diamond challenge. On a streak challenge the player will receive however many stars were gained by their highest streak.
Other than the standard challenge there are two other different types of challenges. One is a sponsorship challenge where the player can pick a song and meet the objectives for it. The other is a guest artist challenge. These don't have any requirement other than just passing the song. If the song is passed then the character the player has played has will be unlocked. There are five of these total.
- Gig Challenges in Guitar Hero: 5 - Detailed page of all challenges.