Screenshot by GameSkinny

Starfield: Difficulty Level Differences, Explained

Whether you're looking for a challenge, or just want to explore new places, the difficulty setting in Starfield will need to be adjusted.

In Starfield, the difficulty level impacts how much damage you inflict and take, as well as the amount of legendary rarity items that drop from enemies. The latter can be found throughout the world, obtained during the story, or dropped as loot. The harder the game, the higher that chance goes. Here are Starfield‘s difficulty level differences, explained.

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Starfield Difficulty Level Differences, Explained

If you’re looking to enjoy the Starfield without worrying about dying to enemies or getting the best loot, you may want to drop your settings to Easy or even Very Easy. If you like combat to be more difficult and love getting all the best items, increasing your difficulty to hard or very hard could be the way to go for a playthrough.

  • Very Easy: Very rare legendary chance
    • Damage dealt x2
    • Damage received x.5
  • Easy: Rare legendary chance
    • Damage dealt x1.5
    • Damage received x.75
  • Normal: Average legendary chance
    • Regular damage dealt
    • Regular damage received
  • Hard: Increased legendary chance
    • Damage dealt x.75
    • Damage received x1.5
  • Very Hard: Frequent legendary chance
    • Damage dealt x.5
    • Damage received x2
Screenshot by GameSkinny

How to Change the Difficulty Settings in Starfield

When you first start Starfield, gameplay will be set to Normal Difficulty. You can adjust your settings at any time while you’re playing, however. To do so:

  • Open the game menu (ESC on keyboard or Menu button on controller).
  • Select Gameplay.
  • Navigate to the Difficulty setting and change it to your preferred mode.
  • Exit the menu.

It’s as simple as that. The next group of enemies you encounter will have their strength adjusted according to the new level you’ve selected. I personally like to played around 20-30 hours of the game at Normal to get a feel for things and adjust from there.

Note that you can use Starfield console commands at any difficulty, though doing so at higher levels may make things easier. However, many codes and cheats disable achievements, so do so at your own risk. These also work on Xbox, though you’ll need the game on PC, too.

That’s what the different difficulty levels mean and how to adjust your difficulty settings in Starfield. For more about legendary items, how to clear certain quests, or what the best ships are, check out our guide hub.


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Ashley Erickson
Ashley, otherwise known as Glitchiee, is an avid gamer of RPGs, TTRPGS, farming sims, and survival crafting games. Playing since she can remember, she started on the SNES, GameBoy Color, and collection 1st gen Pokemon cards. Using her passion for gaming, she's written about games for a combined total of 2 years.