God of War Ragnarok: What Is the Best Difficulty Setting?

Whether someone is a God of War veteran or taking their first tentative steps into the action RPG genre, God of War Ragnarok has a challenge for everyone. Which difficult setting is right for you, though?

God of War Ragnarok
Photo: PlayStation Studios

Video game difficulty is a huge talking point in the modern video game landscape. Some games only offer one difficulty setting, while others let players tweak the challenge they are looking for. Even though the God of War franchise has moved past its hack-and-slash origins, the series continues to offer gamers a variety of difficulty options.

The latest entry in the franchise, God of War Ragnarok, offers more ways to tweak its challenge than prior God of War games. Players can give themselves extra time to complete puzzles, alter how much support the lock-on camera provides, and even remove minigames. As is God of War tradition, Ragnarok offers several settings that determine combat difficulty, although the game doesn’t exactly say which one is best suited for players. In order to figure out which setting is right for you, you will have to do a bit of guesswork. Or you can read this article.

God of War Ragnarok: Give Me Story Is the Easiest Easy Mode Available

Most games include a “very easy” mode, and “Give Me Story” is basically that for God of War Ragnarok. Simply put, this mode makes combat easy and accessible. Most enemies deal next to no damage (but they deal some) and are felled in a few quick hits, which lets players get back to enjoying the story as quickly as possible.

Give Me Story doesn’t make players invincible, and players can still die if they aren’t paying attention, but the mode gives gamers a true power fantasy experience. It’s also perfect for those looking to blaze through the campaign.

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God of War Ragnarok: Give Me Grace Is a Slightly More Forgiving Default Experience

In 2018’s God of War, the game skipped straight from a “Very Easy” mode to “Default” mode. God of War Ragnarok offers players who find “Very Easy” too easy and “Default” too challenging a welcome middle-ground option.

The “Give Me Grace” setting is essentially an “Easy” mode for God of War Ragnarok. Enemies deal more damage and have more health, but they are still pretty sluggish and go down without too much fuss.  

God of War Ragnarok: Give Me Balance Is Your Pretty Standard “Default” Mode

As the difficulty mode suggests, “Give Me Balance” gives players a balanced experience. This is essentially the game’s default difficulty and how the developers intended most players to experience the adventure.

In “Give Me Balance,” enemies don’t deal a ton of damage, but they deal enough to give most players a challenge. Plus, they are faster and can overwhelm players who aren’t careful. But what is an action-adventure title without a bit of challenge?

God of War Ragnarok: Give Me No Mercy Is Meant for Veteran Action Adventure Fans

If “Give Me Balance” is “Normal” difficulty, then “Give Me No Mercy” is God of War Ragnarok’s “Hard” mode. Enemies boast a lot more health, hit harder, and are far more aggressive. Plus, some enemies might whip out attack behaviors you just don’t see in easier difficulty settings.

While “Give Me No Mercy” will provide a challenge, the mode is far from impossible. Players who fight smart and hone their reflexes (and have completed the game before) will eventually make their way through the challenge.

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God of War Ragnarok: Give Me God of War Is For Hardcore Fans Looking For a Nearly Impossible Challenge

Every game that relies heavily on hack-and-slash combat needs a difficulty mode that is all but impossible for all but the most skilled of players. God of War Ragnarok provides that through its “Give Me God of War” difficulty.

Anyone who turns on this difficulty will be in for the fight of their lives. Standard enemies transform into damage sponges and hit like a truck. “Give Me God of War” difficulty not only tests players’ reflexes but their patience as well. When you’re not spending countless minutes chipping away at an enemy’s health bars in this mode, you’ll be retracing your steps yet again after dying for about the tenth time in a row.

God of War Ragnarok: What is the Best Difficulty Setting to Play On?

In the spirit of fairness, every difficulty in God of War Ragnarok caters to a different kind of player. “Give Me Story” is ideal for players who have never tried an action-adventure RPG before, while “Give Me God of War” is perfect for completionists who want to finish the game on every setting (as well as masochists). But if you’re looking for the “best” difficulty, that would have to be “Give Me Balance.” Shocking, I know.

The “Give Me Balance” setting gives enemies the right amount of aggressiveness, damage, and health. Enemies are challenging but don’t feel cheap. Plus, set-piece fights, especially against bosses, don’t overstay their welcome. God of War veterans can probably bump the difficulty up to “Give Me No Mercy,” but we wouldn’t recommend any higher for most players.