What is Merciless Difficulty in Persona 3 Reload?

Find out what Merciless difficulty is in Persona 3 Reload and how various difficulties differ from each other in this guide.
Specialized extracarricular execution squad screen from Persona 3 Reload.
Image via Atlus YouTube

There are five difficulty settings in P3R, each with its own level of challenge. Luckily, you can change them at any time, lowering or upping that challenge when you want. Here, I’ll explain what Merciless difficulty is in Persona 3 Reload and the differences between other options.

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What is Persona 3 Reload Merciless Difficulty, and Should You Play it?

Persona 3 Reload Merciless difficulty is the hardest difficulty option in the game. It’s the fifth and final option and includes all challenges on the Hard difficulty. The other main difference is that Merciless difficulty doesn’t allow us to carry over our progress from previous playthroughs. I have to admit not being able to bring my Personas and equipment into New Game+ makes things even harder.

Merciless difficulty was designed for players who enjoy extremely hard gameplay. Here, I specifically mean that combat is truly merciless; your foes deal much more damage, while you deal less damage. As I discovered, while enemies can deal 170% more damage than in Normal mode, I can only deal only around 60%. Further, modifiers aren’t available, as is usually the case with later Persona installments.

While you can change difficulties whenever you want in Persona 3 Reload, once you change Merciless difficulty, you can’t go back to it again. You must start a whole new walkthrough to be able to play it again.

All Persona 3 Reload Difficulty Level Differences

Magic Hand applied during the battle in Persona 3 Reload.
Image via Atlus YouTube

The first and easiest Persona 3 Reload difficulty is called Peaceful. Enemies deal very little damage that’s easy to mitigate. You can also revive yourself and your teammates as many times as you want. I recommend the Peaceful difficulty to beginners who’ve never played a Persona game before.

The second difficulty is called Easy, and as the name suggests, it gives you almost zero challenges. It functions almost the same as Peaceful difficulty, but enemies deal slightly more damage. The number of resurrections is unlimited on Easy, too. I suggest Easy difficulty for players who want little to no challenge while playing the game.

The third difficulty is called Normal, but the name is misleading. The game gets serious and implements permadeath. You can’t resurrect your character, so once he dies, the game’s over. You can start again from your last save, but enemies deal a lot more damage.

The fourth difficulty is Hard, adding an extra layer of challenge on top of the Normal mode. Enemies gain a certain advantage in battle if you don’t hit them preemptively. I started on Normal difficulty, but I moved to Hard mode about halfway through the game as I began to master the systems, but it’s not for the faint of heart. And, of course, the fifth difficulty is Merciless.

That’s it for my Persona 3 Reload Merciless difficulty guide. Stay tuned for more P3RE tips and tricks articles, including all classroom exam questions and answers for midterms and finals and how to unlock more outfits.

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Author
Serhii Patskan
Sergey has been a freelancer in the video games industry for more than five years, writing for various publications around the world. His favorite games are MtG, Dark Souls, Diablo, and Divinity: Original Sin.