[Guide] Atomic Heart Difficulty Levels Explained - Choosing Best The Difficulty For You

Finding the right amount of challenge is the challenge

There’s one question that’s always relevant. Whether you’re trying out a new game, or are about to boot up an old classic. What difficulty should I choose?

On one hand, the easiest difficulty might not give you enough challenges. On the other, you might end up choosing something far beyond your skill level. 

It gets even more complicated when it doesn’t use the standard ‘Easy, Medium, Hard’ names. And when the game doesn’t tell you what exactly changes.

Atomic Heart is one of those games. It has three different difficulty settings with fancy names. The game lets you switch out the difficulties at any time, so that’s a good thing. If you need more of a challenge or you bite off more than you can chew, you’ll be fine.

But if you’re still looking for a breakdown, I got you covered. In this article, I will explain the changes the settings bring, and who they’re meant for. You’ll have a better idea of how to take on the game.

3. Peaceful Atom

Imagine going for a stroll, or being on a tour. In some ways, games like these introduce you to an interesting setting and you might just want to take in the world. Kinda hard to do when everything is breathing down your neck and trying to kill you.

This is especially true for people who are new to the FPS-genre in general. And on top of that, Atomic Heart isn’t your typical shooter. Since you’ll be doing your fair share of melee combat, dodging and exploring. You might just want a chill start.

Still, I wouldn’t really call it story-mode. There is a decent amount of challenge. Not paying attention can easily get you killed. At the very least, you will have to use the basic mechanisms to survive.

How It Works:

  • Enemies will have less health and won’t do too much damage.
  • All encounters will be easier for you. You can deal with most enemies by just using Shok and your weapons.
  • Because of the easier fights, you can experiment with weapons and powers to see what works best.

Choose This Difficulty If:

  • You’re just here for the story. Or the setting. The latter is pretty impressive and you might not be able to enjoy it while trying to survive.
  • You’re a first time player. Atomic Heart has some mechanisms that you need to master before you can truly make it.
  • You want to get a feel for things. You can always turn up the difficulty if it seems too easy.

2. Local Failure

This is the medium option, for those of you who want a bit of everything. You can still admire the incredible world-building. At the same time, you’ll have to be more careful.

If you know your way around shooters and melee games, you can start here. You’ll still need to master the mechanisms. But that’s just part of the challenge, isn’t it? And challenges just make everything a lot more fun.

Warning before you start. If enemies seem like damage sponges at the lower difficulty, then things will only get worse. Seriously, if you’re unprepared, you might just get destroyed.

How It Works:

  • Enemies will have a moderate amount of health and will do a decent amount of damage to you. 
  • You will have comparatively less health to begin with.
  • You’ll have to pay more attention to enemy types and weaknesses.
  • The difficulty will force you to try out new powers and experiment with them.

Choose This Difficulty If:

  • You like a good mix between story and challenge. The combat will be tough, but it will make it worth it.
  • You don’t want to take the easy route. That’s fair, especially if you’re experienced. The most fun way to learn is when you’re under pressure. And it feels more rewarding.
  • You want an incentive to try different strategies. Easy mode doesn’t require a lot of thinking, so that might feel unsatisfying.
  • You’ve tried easy mode and it wasn’t enough of a challenge. I understand completely. If it’s not tough, it’s just not fun!


1. Armageddon

And now we have hell. Honestly, I think the enemies can be tough even in the lower difficulties. Especially when a camera has seen you. And you’re swarmed with enemies. And those cursed repair bots.

But hey, if you really like pain, who am I to tell you to stop? We’re the same. So let’s get into it, shall we?

In this difficulty, you will barely have time to rest. Almost every encounter will force you to think of the best way to approach. And even being careful will get you killed.

If you’re an experienced player and are familiar with how the game works, you will enjoy this a lot. It’s like the game is rewarding your dedication. It really forces you to try everything. 

How It Works:

  • At the base level, enemies have a lot of health and can do a lot of damage.
  • This gross disadvantage will force you to seek every advantage.
  • You will study the skill trees and crafting recipes.
  • Everything that was optional now will give you an edge.
  • It will force you to rethink how to use your resources.
  • You will often have to avoid enemies or run away.

Choose This Difficulty If:

  • You’ve already finished the game once. You know the setting, you’ve seen what happens. And you’re familiar with the mechanisms.
  • You really love a challenge. Because the enemies won’t give you a break. Nothing will, to be honest.
  • You want to feel that feeling of accomplishment. There is nothing like beating a game at the highest difficulty.
  • You want to master everything. This difficulty is so unfair, the only way you will make it is if you pay attention to every mechanism and get good at them.
  • You want to use every strategy possible. Here, just upgrading your weapons isn’t enough. You will need to know what hurts which enemy type the most. And you will have to plan and act accordingly.


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A prolific and published author with a fervor for gaming, I have decided to dedicate myself to these two bring in a way that inspire passion and desires to learn and explore in others.
Gamer Since: 2000
Favorite Genre: RPG
Currently Playing: Dishonored
Top 3 Favorite Games:The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim - Dragonborn, Assassin's Creed 2 , Dishonored

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