Which Death Stranding Difficulty Settings Should You Choose?

Death Stranding is available with 4 different difficulty settings. Which one better suits your style and gives you the best experience?

Death Stranding has you trekking across a breathtaking world to make deliveries that’ll eventually reunite the United States of America. The game features some unique mechanics, including balancing your cargo and preserving its integrity while trying to escape the ethereal entities known as BTs to reach your destination.

With such unique mechanics, it can often become difficult to juggle them all, especially when trying to experience the story. You can change your difficulty settings to mold the game to your needs.

In this guide, we’ll review all five difficulty settings in Death Stranding, discussing their key differences, how they impact gameplay, and which difficulty option suits which type of player.

Death Stranding Very Easy Difficulty

Kojima has confirmed this mode is for movie fans looking to break into the gaming medium. Very Easy allows you to enjoy the game for its atmosphere and story without worrying about enemies getting in your way or destroying the flow of the story or your deliveries.

Sam takes little to no damage, and balancing your cargo is extremely easy. Additionally, cargo containers take minimal damage from Timefall. The enemy AI is toned down, meaning they won’t detect you easily and don’t block very frequently, allowing you to get in hits without resorting to complicated strategies or strong weapons.

Their health is drastically reduced, allowing Sam to take them down in one or two hits. Choose this setting if you want to strictly experience the game’s narrative and characters or are new to gaming.

Easy Difficulty

The easy difficulty settings in Death Stranding make things a touch more difficult. They make BTs a bit more aggressive, cargo a bit more sensitive to Timefall, and Sam a tougher time finding his balance, though it will still be manageable.

This is another casual difficulty level, although this one doesn’t treat pure gameplay as fluff. The differences between Very Easy and Easy aren’t as noticeable as expected, but there will be a greater challenge overall.

Everything will be toned up slightly, but you should still be able to breeze through everything without any major problems or challenges. Pick this option to challenge yourself without worrying about dying and losing progress.

Normal Difficulty

Normal mode is the best of both worlds, giving you a cinematic experience and keeping you on edge with challenges. BTs are finally up to your level, and MULEs will defend themselves properly. They’ll also have more health and become better at detecting and pursuing you.

Timefall will be more egregious and balancing your weight will be a challenge this time. This difficulty setting will extend your gameplay by a few hours because your deliveries will be interrupted frequently.

Normal is the best difficulty choice overall as it provides a very balanced gaming experience. It allows you to enjoy the world, its story, and its characters while having a decent challenge to keep you on your feet. Pick this option if you enjoy a balanced experience.


There are no difficulty-related trophies or rewards in Death Stranding

Death Stranding Hard Difficulty Settings

The hard difficulty level in Death Stranding requires significant skill and understanding of the game’s many mechanics. At this level, MULEs react more realistically. BTs pose a threat similar to Dark Souls bosses, and carrying items now requires strategic movement.

Your cargo will suffer significantly more damage from Timefall and other hazards, and balancing it will be even more difficult. Sam will constantly need his stamina refilled, so make sure you carry around energy drinks.

Additionally, you’ll have to be very meticulous in planning your trips and spend a significant amount of time deciding on what to bring. Pick this option if you like a challenge and want to fully experience Death Stranding’s core mechanics.


You can change your difficulty at any time by opening the pause menu.

Very Hard Difficulty

As the name suggests, Very Hard is the most challenging difficulty level in Death Stranding. Every mechanic we’ve discussed above becomes significantly more difficult at this level. Enemies will be ruthless and inflict extreme amounts of damage on Sam. They also have increased health and will be better at detecting you.

Cargo balancing will also see a significant spike in difficulty, with weather effects like wind having a stronger impact on how it behaves and moves. Furthermore, damage received through Timefall will also see a significant bump. However, your rewards will be much better, allowing you to acquire materials for PCCs much quicker.

Pick this option if you want to experience the game at its toughest. At this difficulty level, your deliveries will be significantly affected, and you will die a lot, extending your playthrough by several hours.

Ali Hasan is writer at SegmentNext.com with a deep love for immersive action role-playing games and well-crafted narratives. His weapons of choice include controllers and keyboards.