What's the best difficulty level to pick in Atomic Heart?
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One of the more challenging aspects of Atomic Heart is deciding what difficulty level to start your adventure on. Right as you start a new game, you are presented with three different difficulty choices: Peaceful Action, Local Malfunction, and Armageddon. As one can surmise, these three levels roughly translate to Easy, Medium, and Hard. While a majority of players will likely start on Local Malfunction, as Medium is always the most-picked difficulty level, that might not be the best choice in Atomic Heart.

Best difficulty level to pick in Atomic Heart

As players might be figuring out as they progress in Atomic Heart, the latter two difficulty levels are extremely difficult. It seems like on both Local Malfunction and Armageddon, enemies hit far harder than you and have much more health. On Armageddon, enemies can even one-shot-kill you with some weapons, which can be flat-out unfair in the beginning stages of a game.

Atomic Heart difficulty level
The three different difficulty levels in Atomic Heart. | Provided by Mundfish

Even Local Malfunction features enemies that can kill you within the blink of an eye. For these reasons, it’s our suggestion that you start out the game on Peaceful Action. While some players aren’t used to playing games on the easiest difficulty, we feel this level is fairer than the other two when it comes to dealing and receiving damage. The early weapons in Atomic Heart simply don’t hit hard enough on the harder difficulty levels, leading to players dying more than they might expect.

However, as the game progresses and players unlock better weapons and abilities, like the Dominator, we recommend bumping up the difficulty. You should be on a more level playing field with the enemies around you so a harder difficulty won’t be much of an issue. Of course, you’re always free to stay on your current level. Luckily, you’re able to change the difficulty level at any point throughout Atomic Heart, so don’t worry about being locked into one during a playthrough.

Finally, we only recommend players bump up their level to Armageddon if they truly want to push themselves. This level is extremely challenging, especially when it comes to boss fights, and players will be dying more times than they count. However, if you’re a Soulsborne veteran or someone who enjoys mastering a game, then Armageddon might be perfect for you.

If you want to read our other Atomic Heart guides, you can check out how to increase your FPS on PC, how to fix the FOV issue, or where to find the Dominator gun recipe.

Joey Carr is a full-time writer for multiple esports and gaming websites. He has 7+ years of experience covering esports and traditional sporting events, including DreamHack Atlanta, Call of Duty Championships 2017, and Super Bowl 53.