Atomic Heart has three different difficulty settings to choose from which are not your traditional (or conventional) difficulty options. Each setting is designed to not only increase the difficulty ceiling of the game but also impact several aspects of the world around you.
Hence, choosing an Atomic Heart difficulty setting means adapting to the increased challenges and changing how you play. For that matter, you will first need to know what each difficulty option does.
Atomic Heart difficulty differences
There are three different difficulty settings to choose from in Atomic Heart. If you are looking for a 100-percent completion playthrough, you need to play the game on Armagaddeon difficulty to unlock its achievement.
Peaceful Atom (easy mode)
This acts as a beginner mode in terms of difficulty settings. In Peaceful Atom mode, enemies will have far less health. The basic enemy (VOV-A6) can be taken down with only two hits. Swarms of enemies are manageable and you will find many resources lying around.
This mode is quite suitable for Novice players who don’t have many skills. With enemies having less health and easier inventory management due to an abundance of resources, players can better divulge into the story and be more immersed in it.
Peaceful Mode, while being an easy mode has some problems if you are an experienced player. The resources are abundant and the enemies are weak in this mode which makes the game less challenging thus pulling off interest from the game.
This mode also limits players from experimenting with the game mechanics and unlocking their full potential. It is advised that experienced players should avoid this mode and prefer the more challenging ones.
Local Failure (medium mode)
The Local Failure Mode is a step up in difficulty setting for Atomic Heart. You can opt for this mode if you want to spice things up during the game and enjoy your fights with the robots. In this mode, the opponents will be frisky and present a good fight with the difficulty being on medium settings.
This mode is for you if you want to enjoy the storyline with an equal challenge from your opponents in the utopian world of Atomic Heart. In this mode VOV-A6 will need more firepower to take down, resources are scarce thus every bullet counts and you will need to be careful before going into any room.
In the previous mode, Swarms were not that deadly and were manageable with a few key hits. But in this mode, swarms can be challenging and a few slip-ups can down you easily.
Boss fights can be difficult enough that you may need to redo the fight multiple times to defeat them. This mode allows the game to be played as intended by the developers.
However, investing in this difficulty mode means you will have to resort to combat techniques like stealth to counter your foes. The Local Failure mode encourages players to develop their skills and thus makes the game more interesting for them.
This mode is not for new or inexperienced players. They might find the game too cumbersome, repetitive, or tedious.
Armageddon (hard mode)
This is by far the hardest difficulty mode that you will encounter in Atomic Heart. If you choose Armageddon mode, it will test your mettle as the opponents will become extremely harder to defeat. This will increase the damage and HP levels of your opponents, making them impossible to defeat.
This difficulty mode is specifically designed for those players who want to challenge their gameplay skills. The same is the case for your opponents who will enhance as you move onward in the main game.
Resources are few and far between thus you will need to rely more on your melee weapons. In this mode, a single VOV-A6 will require a lot of hits to take down, and dealing with more than one is next to impossible. Boss fights will be extremely difficult and will eat up a lot of your resources than before.
In order to counter this difficulty in AH, you will have to level up your gameplay as well. For that, you will have to train immensely to master the gameplay completely if you want to counter this difficulty.
This difficulty can be a source of frustration for novice players. This mode is suitable for players who have completed the game once on a lower difficulty and are looking for an extra challenge.
You will have to resort to acquiring greater resources and time on building skills to take down your foes. This mode is made for hard-core gamers so you should choose wisely when selecting the difficulty option in Atomic Heart.
Can you change the difficulty levels in Atomic Heart?
Yes, you can change the difficulty level of the game anytime to suit your skill. If you have chosen Armageddon at the start of the game, you can lower it at any point in the game.
The difficulty can be changed even during Boss fights if you are feeling that the fight is too hard for you. As the Armageddon difficulty can be very hard, especially in boss fights, this mechanic is quite important for players.
To change the difficulty settings, pause your game. Next head to the game’s Gameplay Settings and you can see an option for difficulty from which you can easily choose.
What difficulty level to play in Atomic Heart?
Considering all the above difficulty options, you should opt for the Local Failure difficulty. This is because you can enjoy the thrill of the gameplay as you pave your journey in Atomic Heart. Furthermore, this will make the game a little more interesting since the robotic foes you face will put up a good fight for you.
Another benefit of the Local Failure difficulty is that you can complete most of the Achievements without much hassle. Most achievements are easily obtainable and you can also get them using Peaceful Atom mode but the benefit of Local Failure is that it will prepare you for Armaggedon mode.
However, if you are struggling with the difficulty in this mode or if you have chosen Armageddon mode by mistake then you should fear not. The reason is that Atomic Heart gives you the opportunity to toggle down the difficulty settings to Peaceful Atom mode or the Local Failure one which will make the challenge less hard for you to deal with.
During the game, you will run into a lot of healing items so you should use them during your fights and in your journey as well. You will also find red vending machines that are located everywhere for you to access. You can craft items through them in Atomic Heart.
As most Achievements can be acquired by choosing the Peaceful Atom or Local Failure mode. One achievement, the Atomic Heart achievement, can only be unlocked if you play the game on Armaggedon mode of Atomic Heart. This achievement can be acquired later when you have once completed the game on Local Failure and have developed adequate skills for Armageddon mode.