Helldivers 2 Difficulty Levels Explained

The Galactic War only gets tougher.

Helldivers 2 screenshot of a player character on the base ship
Screenshot by Prima Games.

Everyone in Helldivers 2 starts at the Trivial level, and the goal is to reach the more difficult levels for the best rewards. Here’s every Helldivers 2 difficulty level explained.

Recommended Videos

How Difficulty Levels Work in Helldivers 2

Difficulty Options in Helldivers 2
Screenshot by Prima Games.

There are nine different difficulty levels in Helldivers 2. These can be selected in the Galactic War table and are separated into three tiers. The main difference between each tier is the enemy difficulty and the samples found. From Trivial to Medium difficulty, you can only find common samples around the map.

If you’re playing solo, it is difficult to progress beyond the medium difficulty level. After all, Helldivers 2 is a game crafted from the ground up for squad gameplay. I highly recommend using the Quickplay option or assembling your own squad. If you want the higher-tier samples, this is almost mandatory.

All Difficulty Levels in Helldivers 2 Listed

You can unlock and play on the following difficulty levels in Helldivers 2:

  • Trivial – Tier 1
  • Easy
  • Medium
  • Challenging – Tier 2
  • Hard
  • Extreme
  • Suicide Mission – Tier 3
  • Impossible
  • Helldive

Every mission is essentially the same in each difficulty, but the density of objectives and the rewards you earn will increase. So, nothing should stop you from playing on lower difficulties in the Galactic War.

How to Unlock Difficulties in Helldivers 2

To unlock the higher difficulty levels, you must complete a Galactic War mission on your current highest difficulty. For example, if you have Easy difficulty unlocked, you must finish a mission with this setting to unlock the Medium option. This is how the system works all the way up to the final Helldive setting.

How to Change Difficulty in Helldivers 2

To change your current difficulty level in Helldivers 2, access the Galactic War table and select the difficulty you want by pressing the Q and E keys on PC or L1 and R1 on PS5. You cannot change a mission’s difficulty level during the mission itself, so ensure you’ve set your desired difficulty before the mission begins.

When you first begin Helldivers 2, the difficulty setting will default to Trivial. This will allow for a breezy experience while you get started, but don’t forget to switch the difficulty level once you’re ready for more of a challenge.

The Best Difficulty Level for Beginners in Helldivers 2

If you’re new to Helldivers 2 and not good at shooters, we highly recommend picking the easy difficulty. Enemies won’t be too difficult to take down, allowing for quick and effective mission completion. Start from there, then gradually knock the difficulty up once you get more comfortable with the game. If it’s too easy, increase by one level, so the next would be medium difficulty.

Keep increasing one by one until you find the right middle ground. We recommend playing for at least an hour or so on a new difficulty before making any decisions.

The best part of higher challenges in Helldivers 2 is the chance to earn more Warbond Medals.

About the Author

Daniel Wenerowicz

Dan has been writing gaming guides, news, and features for three years after graduating with a BA in writing . You can find him covering Call of Duty for eternity, action-adventure games, and nearly any other major release.