What Difficulty Should You Choose in Atomic Heart? All Difficulty Levels Explained

Choose wisely, comrade!

by Matthew Kevin Mitchell
Image: Mundfish

Are you wondering what difficulty you should choose in Atomic Heart and an explanation for all difficulty levels so you can make a proper decision based on your playstyle? Atomic Heart is an action RPG and first-person shooter, so you should expect lots of combat. Therefore, choosing a difficulty level can be challenging, especially in some games where you are penalized for deciding to change later. Don’t worry though because we will make your decision as easy as possible. Here are all the difficulty levels and why you should choose one over the other in Atomic Heart are explained.

All Difficulty Levels Explained in Atomic Heart

There are a total of three different difficulty levels in Atomic Heart, which will be explained below.

Peaceful Atom

We welcome you on a leisurely sightseeing tour of Facility 3826, comrade! Spectacular and dynamic battles with robots won’t take too much effort or distract you from the narrative. Of course, you’ll still have to fight, but only the plot will keep you on your toes.

Local Failure

Do you like to overcome difficulties? That’s admirable! We’ll leave you to it. This is no walk in the park. Some combat situations may seem complicated, and objectives will require know-how. But you can always be inspired by a sense of your superiority after completing each stage. Just try to stay alive than dead!


Do you have a vivid imagination and dark thoughts? What can you do? That’s just how it is. You’ll need experience, reaction speed, and the skills to manage your resources to survive properly. So save your bullets and always keep on in reserve… for yourself.

Related: Atomic Heart Age Rating

Which Difficulty Level Should You Choose in Atomic Heart?

Two reasons should determine the difficulty level you choose. The first is if you are achievement-hunting because of one achievement, and the second is the challenge you want to face. You can only complete the Atomic Heart achievement in hardcore mode, considered the Armageddon difficulty. Unlike the traditional hardcore mode of other games, there is no permadeath in Atomic Heart or any penalty for dying. This makes completing the Atomic Heart achievement less concerning because of this.

However, with experience playing on Armageddon, we can tell you that combat is extremely tough until you can level your Polymer skills and weapons. Enemies can and will kill you in two hits, so you must utilize the dash button and time the enemies’ attacks. The game will also not hold your hand regarding quest markers and instructions. If you want more of a challenge when solving puzzles, this is the difficulty for you.

- This article was updated on February 20th, 2023