Which Difficulty Should You Choose in Aliens: Dark Descent?

by Matthew Kevin Mitchell
Image: Focus Entertainment

Are you wondering which difficulty you should choose in Aliens: Dark Descent? Choosing a difficulty level is one of the first essential tasks you will be given when starting a new game in Aliens: Dark Descent. This is because your chosen level will reflect how challenging your game is and the consequences of your actions. In addition, you won’t be able to change the difficulty later on, meaning you’ll have to start a new game if you get stuck because of the game being difficult.

Aliens: Dark Descent: Which Difficulty Should You Choose?

Image: Focus Entertainment

There are four categories that specifically affected based on the difficulty you choose. It is these settings that you must understand because they play a significant role in how difficult your game will be.

  • Enemy Health Points: Affects how much health enemies have.
  • Enemy Detection Time: Dictates how quickly an enemy will detect you once you are in their line of vision (this is shown as a colored line that goes from the xenomorph to your units).
  • Aggressiveness Gain Delay: How quickly the xenomorphs will become aggressive affects how often they hunt and how quickly you trigger a massive onslaught attack.
  • Death Clock Campaign Days: The number of days you are penalized with when you lose units in a mission.

Here are the five difficulty levels to choose from and how the four stats above are affected:

  • Story
    • Enemy health is low.
    • Enemy detection is slow.
    • Aggressiveness gain is slow.
    • Campaign death clock is permissive.
  • Medium
    • Enemy health is average
    • Enemy detection is average
    • Agressiveness gain is average
    • Campaign death clock is somewhat challenging
  • Hard
    • Enemy health is high
    • Enemy detection is fast
    • Agressiveness gain is fast
    • Campaign death clock is restrictive
  • Nightmare
    • Eney health is very high
    • Enemy detection is very fast
    • Aggressiveness gain is very fast
    • Campaign death clock is very restrictive
  • Custom
    • With the custom difficulty level, you have complete control over the four settings above, so you can play the game how you see fit. You can toggle each of the four settings using the following presets: Easy, Medium, Hard, or Very Hard. You don’t have to set the settings to the same preset and can mix settings.

Related: How to Save in Aliens: Dark Descent

Are There Difficulty Achievements in Aliens: Dark Descent?

Yes, there are difficulty achievements in Aliens: Dark Descent meaning if you are an achievement hunter you will need to choose wisely in order to earn all difficulty achievements in one play through. This is because you can’t change the difficulty later so must commit to the cause of the highest difficulty right from the start.

Here are all difficulty achievements in Aliens: Dark Descent:

  • This Went Smoothly: Finish the game on Medium.
  • Fair And Square: Finish the game on Hard.
  • This Ain’t No Picnic: Finish the game on Nightmare.

Note that there is no achievement for finishing the game on Story or Custom modes, meaning you won’t be eligible for the above achievements. However, if you finish the game on Nightmare, you will also get Hard and Medium difficulty achievements.

About The Author

Matthew Kevin Mitchell has been a contributing writer for Attack of the Fanboy and PC Invasion since 2022. Matthew primarily covers Manga like One Piece, horror movies like Scream, and survival horror games like Dead by Daylight. His favorite moment came during his first press event covering Scream 6 for AotF. He hails from Denver, Colorado, where he received his Bachelor of Science in Information Technology from Regis University. When he isn’t scaring himself silly or writing, he loves to play ice hockey, spoil his dog, and drink an unhealthy amount of coffee.