What difficulty level should you choose in Horizon Forbidden West? What difficulty options are there, and which should you pick? In Horizon Forbidden West, you'll be going up against some seriously dangerous foes, and it can all get a bit intense. Fortunately, there are multiple difficulty levels to choose from so you can find the right amount of challenge for you. As part of our Horizon Forbidden West guide, we're going to outline all the game's difficulty settings so you know which one to pick.
Horizon Forbidden West: What Difficulty Should You Select?
Horizon Forbidden West has 5 difficulty settings for you to choose from. Here they all are:
- Story: Story difficulty eases the combat experience, allowing you to focus on exploration and narrative.
- Easy: Easy difficulty offers a light combat experience while exploring the world and story.
- Normal: Normal difficulty provides a balanced experience of exploration, story, and combat.
- Hard: Hard difficulty allows for a challenging combat experience throughout the journey.
- Very Hard: Very Hard difficulty offers a tough and demanding combat experience for those looking to test their skills.
- Ultra Hard: Ultra Hard difficulty offers the toughest combat experience for those seeking the ultimate challenge.
If you've played Horizon Zero Dawn and are familiar with action games, we would suggest playing on Normal. Normal difficulty provides a fairly challenging experience for the average player. While you'll be mostly fine getting through the game on Normal, you may still die a few times if you're not careful.
More experienced players, or those that want to up the ante, can select Hard or Very Hard — but we would only recommend doing so if you're looking for a stern challenge. Horizon Forbidden West's battles, particularly against machines, can be tough even on Normal unless you really know what you're doing, so if you decide to go harder, prepare for a proper fight.
On the flip side of the coin, those who are less interested in the challenge and simply want to enjoy the adventure should look to Easy or Story. Story in particular strips away a fair amount of difficulty from enemy encounters, meaning you can spend more time focusing on the storyline rather than battling machines.
Ultra Hard, meanwhile, can only be accessed through New Game + mode. After beating Horizon Forbidden West at least once, you will unlock New Game + and can choose Ultra Hard difficulty, if you're really looking to push yourself to the limit. For more about New Game +, see our guide: Horizon Forbidden West: Does It Have New Game +?
However you decide to play, remember that you can always change your mind at any time. From the Settings menu, you can swap the difficulty level whenever you like, so don't feel like you're tied to a particular setting.
We should also mention there are many accessibility settings you can tweak, which may enhance your experience or make certain actions easier to perform. We would recommend browsing the Accessibility menu from the game's start screen and see what it has to offer.
Finally, there are no difficulty-related Trophies, meaning you can get every Trophy, including the Platinum, no matter what setting you select. For more information about Trophies, see our guide: Horizon Forbidden West Trophy Guide: All PS5, PS4 Trophies and How to Get the Platinum.
What difficulty level will you play Horizon Forbidden West on? Let us know in the comments section below, and check out our Horizon Forbidden West guide for loads more info.