The True Difficulty with Game Difficulties


This is a subject barely touched in the gaming world but manages to completely divide gamers in half!

A sense of harsh judgment has been placed on those struggling to meet the standards that competitive gamers have set.

I’m referring to game difficulties.

The simple thing that could determine how your fellow players will view you throughout your gaming career.

I am a sufferer of this.

After purchasing Battlefield 1, I was peer pressured into choosing a harder difficulty and it has seriously affected my level of enjoyment throughout the game.

You might be reading this now thinking “What a noob!”.

But we, as a community, have decided that enough is enough. After one small tweet on @DoubleUpGaming that got massive reactions, we have realised that maybe we don’t want to play on impossible game modes all the time.

In this article, we will explore:

  • Why we want to play on easier modes
  • How games decide the difficulty for us
  • Which mode is right for you

Many won’t like to admit this but Easy is necessary.

The people that don’t agree with this statement don’t understand the type of players that choose not to throw themselves into a fit of war.

We found the perfect description for why gamers play on Easy rather than impossible:


Thank to Shadow Warrior 2, a new understanding of Easier game modes is spreading across social media and people are loving it:

Thousands of people rejoiced at the sight of a game that “Gets it”!

Many of these people shared how they related to this as well and how Easy Mode has benefited our lives.

For example, unlike the stereotypical gamer, some of the devoted fans of video games are parents with greater responsibilities than capturing the enemy’s flag.

They haven’t got the time or, frankly, the energy to be testing their will power.

Another example:

As mentioned in previous articles, video games are one of the most prominent ways people discover the power of Escapism. Some of the favourite fantasy worlds are used to remove them from their “ordinary life”.

So if someone is not having a great time in the real world, they might not want a harder life in an imaginary one.

As Shadow Warrior 2 put it, “At the end of an exhausting day, all you need is to feel like a goddamn super hero”.

This doesn’t change the fact that Harder difficulties are still needed.

For our more experienced players, having a game to truly challenge their abilities is a must.

Some users aren’t using video games for solo, relaxation time rather than a way to experiment how fast their fingers can move; how far their strategic minds can stretch.

This is where some players truly come into their element. 

And for these people to be able to test themselves, they require a difficulty more challenging than others.

This isn’t to say that this is the game mode only for people with bags of time in their hands, oh no.

This is for the players who have been there since day 1. Testing what we see now as the fathers of modern gaming.

They may live busy, fulfilling lives but that doesn’t stop them from testing the newest, most immersive games on the market without playing on the hardest level.

However, there seems to be a problem.

One thing that gamers have seemed to have forgotten is the fact you can choose your own difficulty.

So why do we feel that this is predetermined for us?

Well, for this exact reason:


Okay, I’ll hand it to the developers of Rise of The Triad: they made a humorous and therefore memorable difficulty chooser. But what they have also done is forced their players to choose a difficulty to which they may find increasingly challenging and won’t enjoy the game.

Not many would want to choose “I am a chew toy” if they want to be a good gamer, they’ve just been told by their game that they are a poor excuse for a player if they pick that mode!

Thus, this being a significant problem for some people, they will be playing at least hard!

This is no good for people starting their gaming hobby and being thrown in the deep end.

This isn’t to say that all games are following this trend.

Here is a brilliant example of explaining what commitment will be asked of you throughout the game without sounding patronising.


It’s humorous and is also doesn’t force a game mode on its participators. Players aren’t told that easy is for those who see themselves as a “chew toy”.

We have now approached the final dilemma: Which game difficulty is perfect for us?

Okay, we get it, this article may have come across as if we want everyone to play on Easy so that no one argues and that harder modes are only for the guys so good they’re sponsored.

Of course, this is not the case.

We’re trying to explain to gamers that you can play at whatever pace you want to.

However, I can see that this may have caused confusion to some people as of course, it did to me.

Therefore, after extensive discussions at the DoubleUpGaming office, we have devised the perfect solution: A Decision Tree.


Made clear by the graphic above is the key things decides what gaming difficulty you should consider: How much time do you have?

C’mon guys, let’s be honest, games that are difficult can be incredibly time consuming and we “ain’t got time to bleed.” (wise words from @MMcGuire82)

So, if you find yourself not having a load of free time, you’ll struggle to enjoy a game that is taking you an incredible amount of time to advance.

However, if you’re an experienced player with a limited amount of time, you still have the option to chose a harder game difficulty; it’s all about your personal level rather that what difficulty other people think you should play on.

To reflect on the points made today:

The gaming community has shown new interests in not discriminating based on the level of which you tackle your favourite monsters and capture your hardest enemies.

Thanks to the users of twitter, we truly have been able to understand exactly why that is:

  • Players haven’t got the time
  • Players might not have the energy
  • Players want to feel like a “Goddamn Superhero”.

As for our dedicated players, they have mode that can challenge their abilities while continuing to enjoy the game.

Some of our most loved games have the ability to pressure us into harder difficulties so that we feel somewhat acceptable to play despite not being at the level. Newer games have found a way of describing their game modes without creating fear in players minds that easier modes “are for pussys”.

In regards to discovering your perfect difficulty, we have an incredibly useful decision tree to take you through the key factors that decide which mode is ideal.

If you found our super awesome decision tree useful, share it!

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