The Witcher 3 Next-Gen Upgrade Difficulty Modes Explained - Prima Games

The Witcher 3 Next-Gen Upgrade Difficulty Modes Explained

Which difficulty setting is right for you in The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt?

by Grant Testa

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is officially back with the launch of the game’s next-gen upgrade for PC, PlayStation 5, and Xbox Series X|S. Before you can venture into the Northern Realms, just like the previous generation’s edition of the game, you will be prompted to select one of the four difficulties, which impact a multitude of settings in the game. Here is the quick rundown for each of the four difficulties found in The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt’s next-gen upgrade.

Just the Story Difficulty in The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt Next-Gen Upgrade

Just the Story serves as the easy mode of The Witcher 3. The game describes the difficulty, stating, “Enjoy a smooth ride through the world.” This mode provides the easiest combat and is meant for gamers who don’t desire to be challenged during the RPG. According to the Witcher’s wiki page, enemy health is halved, experience is received at a normal rate, and Meditation restores Geralt’s vitality. Also, failing confrontations and being knocked out by guards only loses 25% of Geralt’s coin. You will earn the “Passed the Trial” trophy/achievement upon completion of the game on this difficulty setting.

Related: How to Activate Quick Casting in The Witcher 3 Next-Gen Upgrade

Story and Sword Difficulty in The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt Next-Gen Upgrade

Story and Sword is actually considered the normal mode of The Witcher 3. The game describes the difficulty, explaining, “You’re happy to be challenged.” This mode provides the standard, developer-intended experience for the game. According to the Witcher’s wiki page, enemy health is 110% (or 60% higher than the previous difficulty), experience is received at a normal rate, and enemies receive a 40% damage boost. Meditation still restores Geralt’s vitality, but failing confrontations with guards loses 50% of Geralt’s coin. Once again, you will earn the “Passed the Trial” trophy/achievement upon completion of the game on this difficulty setting.

Related: How to Change the Graphics Mode in The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt Next-Gen Upgrade

Blood and Broken Bones Difficulty in The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt Next-Gen Upgrade

Blood and Broken Bones is the hard mode of The Witcher 3. The game describes the difficulty, saying “You’re a seasoned, demanding gamer.” This mode ramps up the challenge, placing it between the game’s base difficulty and its hardest challenge. According to the Witcher’s wiki page, enemy health is increased to 120%, only 90% experience is received compared to the lower difficulties, and enemies receive a 130% damage boost. In this mode, meditation no longer restores Geralt’s vitality, and being knocked out by guards loses 75% of Geralt’s coin. You will earn both the “Passed the Trial” and “Ran the Gauntlet” trophies/achievements upon game completion on this difficulty setting.

Death March Difficulty in The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt Next-Gen Upgrade

Death March lives up to its name as the ultimate challenge of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. The game describes aptly describes the difficulty, stating “You’re truly insane and loving it.” This mode requires true mastery of The Witcher 3. According to the Witcher’s wiki page, enemy health is nearly doubled to 180%, only 80% experience is received compared to the lower difficulties, and enemies receive a 230% damage boost. In this mode, meditation no longer restores Geralt’s vitality, and failing confrontations with guards loses all of Geralt’s coin. If you manage to beat the game on Death March, you will be rewarded for our herculean effort with the “Passed the Trial,” “Ran the Gauntlet,” and “Walked the Path” trophies/achievements upon completion of the game on this difficulty setting.

Grant Testa

Grant Testa is a writer for Prima Games. His interests are songwriting, fantasy football, horror films, earning Platinum trophies, and talking about himself in the third person.