Cyberpunk 2077 Difficulty Setting Differences Explained

Do you want Night City to be a walk in the park, or a living nightmare?

Cyberpunk 2077 promo art of V holding a pistol against a red background.
Image via CD Projekt Red.

When you’re starting up your first character in Cyberpunk 2077, you’re met with a ton of choices that will have a serious impact on your experience with the game. This includes your life path, your character creator settings, and your Attribute Point allotment. One other choice can be a little daunting though, which is why I’m here to explain it. Here are the differences between Cyberpunk 2077’s difficulties.

What Does Each Difficulty Do in Cyberpunk 2077?

Cyberpunk 2077 Difficulties
Screenshot by Prima Games

There are four difficulty settings for you to choose from when you start your character in Cyberpunk 2077. These are Easy, Normal, Hard, and Very Hard. When selecting a difficulty, you’re changing the damage dealt and taken for your character and the damage dealt and taken for your enemies. You’ll also change their behavior, with enemies being far more aggressive when attacking you on higher difficulties. Each difficulty and its description reads as follows:

  • Easy: The right choice for players who just want to sit back and enjoy the story. Combat will not pose a challenge.
  • Normal: Enemies will have all the tools at their disposal to take V on, but for the most part, only enemies at a higher level will prove a significant challenge.
  • Hard: Combat will be a substantial challenge. The effective use of Perks, cyberware, combat gadgets, and consumables will be essential to survival.
  • Very Hard: Buckle up for a serious challenge. Careful character development and clever use of items, game mechanics and the environment will be necessary to help V make it on the streets of Night City.

These will consequently affect other parts of the game as well. With enemy difficulty increasing more rapidly, certain pieces of gear will become obsolete and need to be swapped out much faster. You’ll also need to use your supplies more often, meaning you’ll need to play safer or buy more supplies much more quickly.


The Cyberpunk 2077 2.0 update rebalanced enemy difficulty at higher levels, so you may need to adjust which difficulty you choose if you’re returning after a while.

Which Difficulty Should You Choose?

What difficulty you should choose when starting Cyberpunk 2077 will depend heavily on how well you think you play games. I’ve included why you should choose a specific difficulty below:

  • Easy: Choose this difficulty if you don’t play many shooters or RPGs and want an easier experience.
  • Normal: The perfect difficulty both for the average player, and for those who aren’t sure which difficulty they want to play at.
  • Hard: If you typically enjoy more challenging combat in games, this is the difficulty for you. Just be ready to choose how you build out your character more wisely.
  • Very Hard: Only select this difficulty if you’ve completed Cyberpunk 2077 at least once, or truly hate enjoying yourself. You need extensive knowledge of the game’s systems to complete the game on this difficulty.

Can You Change Your Difficulty Mid-Playthrough?

Cyberpunk 2077 Difficulty Settings Menu
Image via Prima Games.

If you’re playing through the game and feel like you’re dealing with too much or too little of a challenge, you can change the difficulty mid-playthrough. To do so, enter the Pause menu and head to the Settings menu. From here, navigate to Gameplay and select which difficulty you want to change to using the Game Difficulty setting.

Can Your Difficulty Factor Into the Ending of Cyberpunk 2077?

Thankfully, you won’t need to worry about playing on something like Easy affecting which ending you get for the game. All endings are based on story decisions and pure choice from you, and can be achieved no matter if you’re on the hardest or easiest difficulty level. The worst you’ll have to deal with is those endings being harder to pull off on higher difficulties.

If you’re looking for more help regarding your choices before starting the game, check out our guide on the best Attributes in Cyberpunk 2077.

About the Author

Shawn Robinson

Shawn is a freelance gaming journalist who's been with Prima Games for a year, writing mainly about FPS games and RPGs. He even brings several years of experience at other sites like The Nerd Stash to the table. While he doesn't bring a fancy degree to the table, he brings immense attention to detail with his guides, reviews, and news, leveraging his decade and a half of gaming knowledge. If he isn't writing about games, he's likely getting zero kills in his favorite FPS or yelling at the game when it was 100% his fault that he died.