Metro Exodus Difficulty Levels Explained - Best Metro Exodus Difficulty To Play On

Strawberry jam on a gas mask. How careless!

You have the option to choose your own difficulty level before starting a game in Metro Exodus. If you've always played Metro games, feel free to select more difficult settings, but if you've never touched one, you should stick with Reader&Easy because even Normal in this game is difficult.

And that's precisely what I'll be covering in this article today: an explanation of each of the five difficulties, followed by a summary of which difficulty is the best.


People with little to no prior expertise with first-person shooters tend to choose this difficulty. You won't clench your teeth or act too tryhardy as you play through, getting to know Artyom and his companions. Weaponry doesn't wear out as quickly, and supplies like medicine and ammunition are readily available.

How it works:

  • Enemies are stormtroopers. They’re dumb and easy to kill!
  • Items are really common and you don’t have to stress about running out of ammo/medkits.

Choose this difficulty if:

  • You want to have a relaxed playthrough
  • Don’t have to bother too much with managing resources
  • Enemies don’t pose that much of a threat
  • You don’t have much experience with the Metro series


Only marginally more challenging than the Reader difficulty. Despite a few nasty surprises scattered across the game, the gameplay is still smooth. Still, the gameplay is going to be easy and it’s usually picked if your confidence level is not completely at the rock-bottom.

How it works:

  • Enemies are less silly and the likelihood of them killing you increases.
  • Items are no longer scattered around but are still somehow easy to find.

Choose this difficulty if:

  • You want your enemies to be less clueless about your presence/pose more of a threat(they’re still kinda dumb though)
  • Have a slightly harder time finding items, in rare instances, you might have to be careful with your remaining resources


When I initially started playing Metro Exodus, I had trouble with this challenge. I recognized I wouldn't accomplish anything by constantly employing the Leeroy Jenkins tactic, so I instead carefully selected my targets, tried to ambush my opponents, and used my grenades. I continued getting encircled, engulfed in fire, and eventually died. In conclusion, this difficulty forces you to play more carefully. Take shelter frequently, avoid going all YOLO, and make sure your bullets hit their targets because it is much harder to obtain ammo, filters, and medical supplies.

How it works:

  • Enemies are no longer dumb. They can kill you quite easily if you don’t know what you’re doing, trying to play too aggressively/rambo’ish
  • Items become hard to find. You might struggle with finding ammunition for your weapons, medkits plus filters are slowly becoming a luxury in this difficulty.

Choose this difficulty IF:

  • You want a more serious challenge thrown at you
  • You want enemies to be dangerous foes that will try to kill you
  • You want to have a harder time managing resources(ammo, medkits, filters, etc)


The real deal starts at this point. Compared to earlier difficulties, enemy NPCs now pose a real threat and cause more damage. On this difficulty, collecting ammo becomes an absolute nightmare, so you'll need to think through every step you make, examine every location, and make sure that every shot counts. The same is true for medkits, filters, and other supplies; if you don't have enough of them, you risk suffocation or low HP when moving around.

At this point, stealth becomes your best friend because it enables you to kill targets covertly and conserve ammunition and other resources.

How it works:

  • Enemies are bloodthirsty maniacs who want to kill you, if you make a microscopic mistake, you’re pretty much as good as dead. 
  • Items are incredibly difficult to find, you’ll have tears in your eyes after finding a filter
  • You’ll have to thoroughly analyze an area before engaging in combat
  • Using stealth becomes more relevant

Pick this difficulty if:

  • You’re a hardcore metro dweller who wants to throw himself in a pit of rabid nosalises from all directions
  • You unironically find it arousing when you can’t find a filter for your gas mask
  • You want stealth to have more of an impact on the game

Ranger Hardcore

You have arrived in hell, where you will only experience pain and an arduous journey filled with frustration. The truth is that in this difficulty level, very few people are knowledgeable.

Finding resources is really difficult, and you'll only have a small supply of medkits, filters, and weapons. Managing your resources is essential; failing to hit your targets and pointlessly alerting your enemies will bite you in the arse and probably result in your death.

Speaking of adversaries, they will probably kill you in a single shot. Possibly two, with any luck. Although stealth is useful, enemies are now much more alert, making takedowns challenging.

The crosshair is disabled, which further impairs you. The hud is also disabled. It might seem like a good idea to attach a laser to your weapon, but NO, the opponents will be able to detect it and kill you.

How it works:

  • Enemies, both humans&monsters will dismember you in a split second.
  • Items are scarce and that’s putting it lightly, you’ll be heavily punished for not managing your resources correctly
  • The playthrough is stress-inducing
  • Workshops are a lot more difficult to find, making crafting essential items not always possible

Pick this difficulty IF:

  • You played Metro 2033/Last light on the hardest difficulties
  • You want to be in a handful of people who beat this game on such a difficulty
  • Or to just get an achievement…
  • Having three 5.45x39mm bullets against 10 foes is your idea of fun
  • Perhaps it's your fetish to be 1-shot

Which difficulty is the best? Which one should you pick?

Sincerely speaking, I believe that the standard difficulty is the best option. The game won't pamper you, but it also won't force you to the brink of a nervous breakdown. Combat on the Normal mode is perfectly balanced; adversaries are challenging but not overwhelming. In terms of resource gathering, you’ll find them but you shouldn’t be too ballsy with how you use them.

Beating the game on Normal will grant you some satisfaction in the end and that’s all that matters. You weren’t that much of a newb to play on Reader but not that much of a psychopath to play on the Ranger Hardcore. Thank you for reading my article and I hope you found it entertaining and useful!

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No-life from a cold land, been playing video games since the age of 7, from FPS to MOBA's, Spent thousands of hours on PC/Console video games. No regrets.
Gamer Since: 2007
Favorite Genre: MOBA
Currently Playing: Dota 2
Top 3 Favorite Games:DOTA 2, Amnesia: The Dark Descent, Dead Space

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