[Guide] Yakuza Kiwami Difficulty Levels Explained - Choosing Best The Difficulty For You

The nostalgic/infamous loading screen, depending on which difficulty you played. That, and the Dragon of Dojima tattoo.

Today, we’ll be looking at the difficulty levels in Yakuza Kiwami and which of them would be suitable for you.

If there is one thing that the Yakuza series is infamous for apart from its cinematics, reused assets, minigames and engaging story, it’s the difficulty of the game.
Now, there are four modes within the game that you can play through. Easy, Medium, Hard and Legend. Do note that the difficulty only affects the combat in the game and it does not in any way affect the minigames at all.

We’ll be evaluating each of the difficulties and tell you which of these would be suitable for your first-time or many repetitive playthroughs. We’ll go from easiest to hardest as is standard.

Let’s go ahead and find out.


4. Easy Difficulty

A literal walk in the park. Should explain most easy difficulty playthroughs.

First up, we have the beginner-friendly difficulty i.e. Easy. This mode is more story-focused in the sense that the combat will be relatively easier. The enemies will have slow movement, their health is low, their attacks deal a pint of damage and they take a little longer to attack you while you are defeating others.

This one is for those who are new to the Yakuza series, just want a smooth breeze of a playthrough and want to kick back and enjoy the story. (My preferred difficulty. Don’t judge.)

How it works:

  • Enemies will have slower, sluggish movements.
  • Enemies will have lower health than usual.
  • Enemies will stand around and take their time before they make a move on you giving you ample time to defeat waves of enemies.

Choose this difficulty if…:

  • You are new to the Yakuza series and are playing it for the very first time.
  • You want a relaxing and non-challenging playthrough.
  • You are a story-focused gamer and want to be fully immersed in the plotline of the Yakuza series


3. Normal Difficulty

And there’s Kiryu… just “Normally” standing there.

Up next, we have the standard Normal difficulty present in most action-oriented games and in the Yakuza game series as well.

This difficulty gives a slight boost to their attacks and their speed, their reaction to sidestepping is slightly altered as well, enemies will have the same health bars, enemies will now attack in groups rather than stand around waiting to attack and the enemy AI gets to learn re-blocking.

If you’re a regular action game player who can go through normal difficulty in most cases and would like to have engaging combat, this difficulty is for you.

How it works:

  • Enemies will have slightly faster movement.
  • Enemies will have an equal amount of health.
  • Enemies will attack in groups instead of waiting around.
  • Enemy AI gets to learn re-blocking

Choose this difficulty if…:

  • You are well-versed in playing action-based games on Normal difficulty.
  • You want an engaging gameplay experience.
  • You want to experience standard Yakuza action with a more immersive combat experience.


2. Hard Difficulty

Yeah, life gets hard eventually.

Next up, we have the Hard difficulty, suitable for masochists and people who just want a fun challenge.

As the name implies, this difficulty will make enemies much faster in terms of movement and responses to your attacks. Not only that, they get a huge health boost, they attack more aggressively in groups and they will deal more damage ranging from a pint to half a quarter of damage.

This one is going to be suitable for you if you’re up for a challenge combat-wise, testing your mettle if you’re very well-versed in action games in general dealing with their hardest difficulties and just proving yourself better than anyone.

How it works:

  • Enemies will have faster reflexes to your attacks.
  • Enemies will have a larger health boost
  • Enemies will be more aggressive in groups and will deal more damage.

Choose this difficulty if…:

  • You are confident in playing action games in their hardest difficulty.
  • You are looking for a challenge.
  • You want to be fully immersed in gameplay and use stratagems to defeat enemies.


1. Legend Difficulty

At the end of the day, this will be our face after playing through one session of the Legend difficulty.

And we save the best for the last. This is the Legend difficulty (Previously known as EX-Hard) where you have to prove your mettle and live up to the standards of the in-game Legends.

This is a punishing mode where all of the elements from Hard mode are boosted in both attack and defense and once your health is depleted you will have to load your last manual save point to continue, otherwise, it is game over.

This difficulty can be selected in the beginning as well but make no mistake, unless you’re an expert in the Yakuza series or you’re a masochist, DO NOT select this in your first playthrough. Trust me when I say this. If you’re trophy-hunting, want to 100% complete the game or just want to experience the complete madness the Yakuza series has to offer, this mode is for you. Do it on Premium Adventure (New Game +), then you’ll know what I’m talking about.

How it works:

  • Enemies will have the fastest movement.
  • Enemies will have the highest health boost.
  • Enemies will be both aggressive and defensive, boosting all stats from Hard mode.
  • If you die, you will have to load your last Manual Save, otherwise, it is permadeath.

Choose this difficulty if…:

  • You want to fully experience the madness this game has to offer.
  • You have completed the story once and want to 100% the game.
  • You want to set a personal record.
  • You are trophy-hunting.


And that’s about it with the difficulties! Now that I’ve told you everything about it, get out there and embrace your inner Dragon of Dojima.


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Hailing from the tropical landscape of Pakistan, the rogue Danish is ever on the run to find the perfect spot, and time to play video games and watch anime, if he’s lucky enough to not get caught.
Gamer Since: 2001
Favorite Genre: RPG
Currently Playing: Final Fantasy XVI
Top 3 Favorite Games:Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, Batman: Arkham Knight

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