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Back 4 Blood: Which Difficulty Should You Choose?

Know the differences between the modes to get the best Back 4 Blood experience

Back 4 Blood is a game that is supposed to be played multiple times. It may not seem like it has the lengthiest campaign because it’s divided between four acts, but there are enough random instances that makes each run differ from the last. The game is also not a cakewalk, despite each mission not being too long to beat. If you’re starting out or currently debating which difficulty to start out on, we’ve got you covered.

Which difficulty should you choose in Back 4 Blood?

The game has three difficulties right now. They all have their conditions and get progressively harder. The more difficult you go, the more you’ll be compensated.


Recruit difficulty

“This ain’t no cakewalk, but everyone has to learn the ropes”.

This is a good way to sum up this difficulty. Recruit is the easiest of the three choices, but it feels more like a mix between a normal and hard mode. Back 4 Blood is not an easy game by any means, unless you’re playing solo or with a competent team.

In this difficulty, Cleaners will have a higher base health, damage output, and ammunition. There will be less Ridden types and lower difficulties for events. Corruption cards will also be limited in terms of what comes out. Friendly fire does not exist in this mode. Finally, you’ll only earn about half of the Supply Points you’d get if you were to play on the next difficulty.

Ideally, this is the mode for starters. Even if you are a seasoned FPS player, dealing with hordes of zombies and varieties that require precision and more direct attention is something you’ll need to pick up on rather than just being a good shot. This mode is also ideal for people who want to mess around with the different Cleaners to get a good idea of who to main in the later difficulties.


This is probably the only mode you can jump into for public matchmaking. Players don’t have to be too competent to help. Chances are, they’re also doing the same thing by testing out the eight different Cleaners to see who they’ll possibly main in the later game.

Finally, you should play this difficulty to start off so you can acquire some early game Supply Points and buy better cards. You can get away by just using the base stat-boosting cards when you’ve played all the cards in your deck.

Veteran Difficulty

“You know what you’re doing. Gear up and get out there. Solid teamwork and custom decks will help you face the challenges ahead.”


In this difficulty, friendly fire is enabled. Shooting a teammate will deal 35% of the overall damage you would have dealt on an enemy, so you’ll have to be more careful with your shots. You’ll also get the base amount of Supply Points in this difficulty.

The jump from Recruit to Veteran is a steep one. You’ll want to have a full deck of 15 cards to be fairly equipped with what lies ahead. The deck doesn’t have to be an optimal one, though it’ll help.

It is NOT recommended to jump into a public match in this mode. If you have no other choice, at least set your game to have voice preferences on. Teamwork and coordination are going to be a must in this mode. You and your teammates are not going to have all the bonuses listed from the Recruit difficulty either.

Technically, this is the “standard” mode of the game, but it’ll be really punishing. Be prepared to run out of ammo, resort to running away, and even have a few people die along the way. More often than not, accidental friendly fire will happen. It’s somewhat inevitable. You and your team will find yourselves pinned in a tight corridor and someone might make a misstep.


Look out for the card titled “Down in Front!” This will help mitigate a lot of friendly fire problems. It’s almost a must for at least half of the team to have this to just get a little more luck in beating the levels.

If you are looking to play a high stakes mode that doesn’t really hold your hand, this is the one for you.

Nightmare Difficulty

“You might just be crazy enough to pull it off.”

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In this mode, Cleaners will take increased trauma damage and have one less life (it almost feels as if Mom will have a dedicated role here). The Ridden will have higher health, damage, and more variants (meaning more mutations).

When the team wipes and starts back at the Safe House, they do not get to draw an additional card or get more resources. Corruption Cards also have no limitations to them. Anything goes. Just hope you can deal with whatever is drawn against you.


Friendly fire damage is bumped up to 60% of your base damage, though you’ll receive 50% more Supply Points per mission completion.

Unless you’re a seasoned veteran of zombie horde games like this, by all means, more power to you. This mode takes no prisoners. This is as hardcore as Back 4 Blood will get. Be prepared to die a lot. The difficulty name is aptly named.

It’s highly recommended to not matchmake on this difficulty unless you’re patient with people. Chances are, the other people matching in this mode are going to play very conservatively. People will probably chastise you if you set off alarms, startle bird flocks, stray away from the group, or shoot them (even if it was an accident).


Team synergy and composition are a must in this mode. You’ll want to have decks that complement your playstyle and your character’s abilities so you can have as many benefits as possible to take on the Ridden. They’re just as aggressive and will easily devour your team the moment one of you slips up.

You’ll really have to gauge whether or not taking on certain enemies is even worth it. Resources will be more scarce since you’re probably using them the moment you acquire them— especially ammo.

To check out additional guides, information, and a review about Back 4 Blood, click here. The game is out on the PlayStation 4 and 5, Xbox One and Series S/X, and PC via Steam and Epic Games.

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