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Shadow Of The Tomb Raider Guide: Difficulty Modes Explained

by Jelani James

Everything you need to know about Shadow of the Tomb Raider's various difficulty levels.

As one might expect from an action game like Shadow of the Tomb Raider, there are multiple difficulty levels to accommodate players of varying skill levels. Furthermore, it takes an interesting approach to the whole deal by allowing the player to further refine their experience the way they see fit.

Simply put, there are three adjustable categories — Combat, Exploration, Puzzle — which affect the game’s overall difficulty mode — Easy, Normal, Hard, Very Hard. What’s cool here, though, is that these categories are entirely independent of one another, so if you fancy yourself an expert archaeologist, but can’t aim to save your life, you have the option of setting combat to Easy and Exploration/Puzzle to Hard in order to change the overall difficulty level to Normal and make the game reflect your skill set more effectively.

Shadow-of-the-Tomb-Raider-Difficulty

Want to know which difficulty mode is right for you? Here are all four and a description of what they do:

Smart and Resourceful (Easy)

Combat Difficulty

  • Aim assist enabled. Ammunition boxes are plentiful.
  • Enemies have lower health, do less damage, and have illuminated silhouettes.

Exploration Difficulty

  • Obvious white paint on critical path. Longer saving grab timer.
  • Base Camps are lit.

Puzzle Difficulty

  • Lara gives direct hints on the next action to perform.
  • Intractable objects are highlighted in Survival Instincts.
  • Objects necessary to progress highlighted in blue during Survival Instincts.
  • Longer window of opportunity for timed mechanics.

Rite of Passage (Normal)

Combat Difficulty

  • Ammunition boxes are rare.
  • Enemies have normal health and damage. Enemies have illuminated silhouettes.

Exploration Difficulty

  • Discreet white paint on critical path. Normal saving grab timer.
  • Base Camps are unlit.

Puzzle Difficulty

  • Lara gives general hints on the next action to perform.
  • Intractable objects are highlighted in Survival Instincts.
  • Normal window of opportunity for timed mechanics.

One with the Jungle (Hard)

Combat Difficulty

  • No health regeneration in combat. Ammunition boxes are rare.
  • No hit marker on reticle.
  • Enemies have increased health, do more damage, and locate Lara more quickly.
  • Enemies are not highlighted in Survival Instincts.

Exploration Difficulty

  • No white paint on critical path. Reduced saving grab timer.
  • No Survival Instincts during exploration. Base Camps are unlit.

Puzzle Difficulty

  • No hints given by Lara. No Survival Instincts. Shorter window of opportunity for timed mechanics.

Deadly Obsession (Very Hard)

Combat Difficulty

  • Same modifiers as “One with the Jungle.”

Exploration Difficulty

  • Same as “One with the Jungle,” except Base Camps now require resources to light and are now the only places where the game saves.

Puzzle Difficulty

  • Same modifiers as “One with the Jungle.”

That’s it for the various difficulty modes in Shadow of the Tomb Raider. As an added bonus, you can set the difficulty to your liking at any time in the Options Menu if you find things to be too easy or difficult. Do be aware, however, that this isn’t an option with “Deadly Obsession” — once the game starts, you’re stuck with it.

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