Horizon Forbidden West: Which Difficulty Should You Choose?

Tune the game's difficulty to your liking.

by Diego Perez


Which difficulty should you choose in Horizon Forbidden West? You will encounter several deadly machines throughout your journey, and some of them can be particularly frustrating to fight on higher difficulties. Horizon shines because of its combat though, and you still want there to be at least some challenge when taking on machines. Your selected difficulty level affects a lot of things, so here’s everything you need to know about difficulty levels in Horizon Forbidden West.

Horizon Forbidden West Difficulty Explained

There are five difficulty levels in Horizon Forbidden West, and each of them is explained below.

  • Story – Eases the combat experience, allowing you to focus on exploration and narrative.
  • Easy – Offers a light combat experience while exploring the world and story.
  • Normal – Provides a balanced experience of exploration, story, and combat.
  • Hard – Allows for a challenging combat experience throughout the journey.
  • Very Hard – Offers a tough and demanding combat experience for those looking to test their skills.

You can change the difficulty in Horizon Forbidden West at any time in the game’s settings menu, so don’t fret too much over your initial choice. You can turn the difficulty up or down whenever you please, and there are no difficulty-related trophies either.

Most players should choose the Normal difficulty, as this is the most balanced of the five options. If you find Horizon Forbidden West to be a bit too difficult or just want to breeze past the combat to experience Aloy’s story, then you can choose Easy or Story difficulty.

If you played Horizon Zero Dawn and are really confident in your machine slaying abilities, then don’t be afraid to bump the difficulty up to Hard or Very Hard. Very Hard is recommended for diehard fans of the first game or people going through their second playthrough of Forbidden West, so it’s not for the faint of heart. Remember, you can change the difficulty at any time, so you’re not locked into any one option.

If you want to personalize your experience, then there’s also a Custom difficulty option that allows you to fine-tune the game’s difficulty to your liking. You can adjust settings like enemy health, the amount of damage Aloy takes, and the duration of slow-motion Concentration aiming, among other things.

Horizon Forbidden West is available now on PS4 and PS5.

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