Starfield: All Difficulty Levels Explained

Space travel isn't easy

Difficulty Options Starfield
Screenshot by Prima Games.

One of the most important options as you begin your adventure in Starfield is the difficulty level you want to play on. After all, difficulty options dictate just how challenging the game will be as you adventure around space. And there is an option for everyone, just like in past Bethesda titles.

All Difficulty Options in Starfield Explained

There are five difficulty options in Starfield: Very Easy, Easy, Normal, Hard, and Very Hard. All of these options are based on the total HP and damage of the enemies around the universe. As soon as you go up or down in difficulty, the change in enemy HP is one of the most noticeable differences of each option. However, that’s not the only difference.

Each Difficulty Option in Starfield

  • Very Easy
  • Easy
  • Normal
  • Hard
  • Very Hard

Related: How to Upgrade Your Ship in Starfield

Differences in Starfield Difficulty Levels

Damage is another major factor, and as you increase the difficulty level, the enemies in Starfield are going to hit much harder. Some enemies may even be more aggressive on options like Very Hard, but we didn’t notice too much of a difference. The main modifiers are damage and HP.

You’ll also find that as the difficulty level increases, so does the potential occurrence of legendary enemies. You’re much more likely to come across legendary enemies on the Very Hard setting than you are on the Very Easy setting. And with great risk comes great reward. The more difficult the enemy, the better the loot they’ll drop, so you’re likely to find more legendary items the more you increase the difficulty.

New Game Plus Difficulty in Starfield

In Starfield, difficulty doesn’t change once you start New Game Plus (NG+). You’re still free to choose whatever difficulty you would like among the same five options at any time. Also, no new difficulty options unlock when you reach NG+. With that said, since that you’ll be starting the game at a higher level, you’ll come across higher level enemies more frequently, giving NG+ a natural difficulty increase compared to your first playthrough of the game.

How to Change Difficulty Levels in Starfield

To change the difficulty in Starfield, head to the main menu beyond the inventory screen and select Settings. Within the Settings section, open up the Gameplay tab, and the difficulty options will be the first slider on the page.

Menu screen for Starfield difficulty options
Screenshot by Prima Games

Can You Change the Difficulty in Starfield Mid-Game?

You can change the difficulty at any time in Starfield free of consequences, so don’t feel like you are beholden to one setting after you begin the game.

To change the difficulty in Starfield mid-game, simply pause the game, go to Options via the pause button again, then navigate to Settings and then Gameplay. From there you can switch the difficulty level to whatever you feel most comfortable with. Feel free to experiment with the challenge of your enemies and just go with what feels the most fun. Difficulty can always be adjusted if you start to feel too powerful or the enemies hit a little too hard.

For a small boost at the start, read our guide on the best backgrounds in Starfield.

About the Author

Daniel Wenerowicz

Dan has been writing gaming guides and news as a staff writer and freelancer since he graduated from Westfield State University in 2020. You can find him covering the FPS and Battle Royale space at Prima Games.