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Alan Wake 2 Difficulty Settings Explained: What’s the Difference?

Which difficulty is right for you in Alan Wake 2?

You can select between Story, Normal, and Hard difficulties when launching a new game or from the settings while playing. But what’s the difference between the difficulty settings in Alan Wake 2?

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What’s the Difference Between Story, Normal, and Hard Difficulties in Alan Wake 2?

While you might default to Normal difficulty, you could find a different option is a better fit depending on what experience you want from the game.

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Story Difficulty Explained

Games are trending towards using Story, or a similar term, instead of Easy. And it’s a change I can appreciate as a writer. As you might expect, Story focuses on the narrative content of the game and its mysteries. Items are abundant, and combat won’t be challenging here, although there are still instances of fighting. Instead of tough enemy encounters, you can focus on finding collectibles such as Alex Casey lunchboxes.

Normal Difficulty Explained

Normal mode is more difficult than Story. Enemies are tougher, and items aren’t quite as abundant. As a result, you need to be mindful of your resources since you’re more likely to run out of ammo and trauma pads here than in Story mode. If you’ve played other survival horror games, then Normal gives you the type of experience you’d be used to in this genre.

Hard Difficulty Explained

Then, there’s Hard mode. Resources are scarce, so you need to conserve them as much as possible here. Enemies also pose a greater threat. And that can come in the form of speed, smarter movements, more health, and other such features. This difficulty suits you if you’re a survival horror veteran, but it’s not a good choice for newer players. If Hard isn’t enough of a challenge, you can unlock Nightmare difficulty in New Game+.

And that explains the difference between difficulty settings in Alan Wake 2. If you feel like you’re on the wrong difficulty, simply open the menu and change it. Restarting the campaign from the beginning is no longer needed here for difficulty swaps. But for more content, check our AW2 guides hub for topics like how to fix audio issues or how to increase inventory space.


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Melissa Sarnowski
Melissa Sarnowski has been working as a gaming writer professionally for two years, having been at GameSkinny for over a year now as a horror beat writer. She has an English degree from University of Wisconsin - Madison. While she focuses on all things horror, she also enjoys cozy games, MMOs like FFXIV and WoW, and any and everything in between.