Each machine is assigned a certain number of points depending on its difficulty level. You may earn points as you submit correct hashes for each machine exploited. The points logic is the same for both in-browser and VPN access.
You will give up an opportunity to gain the maximum points if you use hints. If you view a walkthrough for a machine, your points will be reduced to zero. While we have established earning points for machines to build in gamification, we encourage you to primarily focus on your individual learning.