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Difficulty Levels

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This article is about the four campaign difficulty levels established by Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare.

There are four difficulty levels in the Call of Duty series' campaigns (five as of Call of Duty: Black Ops III). Each is different, with Recruit being the easiest and Realistic being the hardest.


"For players new to first person action games"
— In-game description
Main article: Recruit

Recruit is one of the five difficulty settings in the Call of Duty series. It is the easiest of the five difficulties, as the player takes small amounts of damage from most weapons and the AI is generally inaccurate. This difficulty is recommended for players new to the First Person Shooter genre.


"Your abilities in combat will be tested."
— In-game description
Main article: Regular

Regular is one of the five difficulty settings in the Call of Duty series. It can generally be considered the "normal" difficulty setting as it is slightly harder than Recruit, but easier than Hardened and Veteran.

Hardened Edit

"Your skills will be strained."
— In-game description
Main article: Hardened (difficulty)

Hardened is one of the five difficulty settings in the Call of Duty series. It is harder than Recruit and Regular but easier than Veteran. Playing on Hardened mode allows players to achieve many of the trophies and achievements that can only be obtained by playing on the harder difficulties, without actually playing on Veteran.


"You will not survive."
— In-game description
Main article: Veteran (difficulty)

Veteran is one of the five difficulties that are in the Call of Duty series. The player will find they will take much more damage and have very low health, with enemies having increased accuracy and deadly reaction time. In Black Ops III, Veteran is the second hardest difficulty in the game behind only Realistic.


"Brutally difficult and entirely unforgiving."
— In-game description
Main article: Realistic

Realistic is a new difficulty featured in Call of Duty: Black Ops III, the hardest difficulty of the game. In Realistic, the player will only have a very little amount of health. They will die by one shot or explosion. The AI is said to be independent in this level and is generally more aggressive and smarter than on Veteran.

Difficulty In Other Modes:Edit

Call of Duty: Black Ops II ZombiesEdit

"Feeling tired or rundown? Try reducing the difficulty."
— In-game description

Call of Duty: Black Ops II features two separate difficulties for Zombies, those being "Easy" and "Original." On "Easy", weapons have higher damage, zombies have lower health, the probability of receiving a better weapon from the Mystery Box is higher, and there are less zombies per round. Zombies do not sprint until rounds 14-16 on Easy. However, Easter Eggs cannot be completed while playing on Easy, and Perma-Perks are not retained/cannot be obtained.

Call of Duty: Ghosts - ExtinctionEdit

Casual: The number of Cryptids that appear are reduced by 50%, their health is also reduced by 50% (Scouts can now be killed with a single melee attack; Rhinos only take up to a single LMG magazine to be taken down). Cryptids are not as aggressive as before the patch, players will take less damage as a result. Players also spend less money by having to use their abilities less often (the prices are still the same, it's the frequency of using them to resupply/re-armor that allows players a full bank most of the time in this difficulty). Playing on Casual, however, does not count towards leaderboard placings; scores won't be posted, escapes will not count. But, the number of Cryptids the players kill will still count towards the 10,000-weapon-kill operation and still earn the Multiplayer patch. Additionally, escaping while using a Relic will also still count towards the background challenges. A recent update made a casual playlist online, with rotating maps.

Regular: This difficulty is essentially the way the mode has been played before the patch.

Hardcore: The crosshairs on the player's HUD is removed, the Cryptids are more aggressive and skill points are not earned for destroying hives. Ricochet friendly fire is also turned on. Substantially more difficult enemies appear to spawn much earlier on. Players tend to be faced with Hunters on the very first hive. Specifically on Point of Contact, within the first area, players come face to face with large numbers of Meteors/Seekers. A recent update made on online hardcore playlist, with alternating maps.


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