The Witcher 2: Here’s How To Change Difficulty

Witcher 2 difficulty

We’ve previously covered difficulty levels in Witcher 1 and Witcher 3, and now it’s time to revisit the middle game in the franchise, Witcher 2. As you’re probably aware by now, Witcher 2 is regarded as probably the most difficult game in the franchise due to its weird combat mechanics. Due to this, many players can find themselves picking difficulty, which in the end, proves too hard. If you’re one of those players and you’re looking for a way to fix this without restarting the game, you’re probably wondering how to change the difficulty in The Witcher 2? 

  • Article Breakdown:
  • You can change difficulty in The Witcher 2 mid-game by navigating to the Options and selecting “gameplay.”
  • Once there, the difficulty settings are the first option on the list, and you can adjust the slider appropriately.
  • Keep in mind that you will not be able to change difficulty while playing the tutorial.
  • You will likewise need to load the save game before you try to adjust the difficulty setting, as the option is not available in the main menu. 

How many difficulties are there in Witcher 2? 

There are five difficulties to choose from in Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings. Difficulties range from “story mode” to insane that will truly challenge you. When starting the game for the first time, you will be required to play a tutorial. The game will use your performance during the tutorial to assign a difficulty level for you. Once the difficulty is assigned, you don’t need to stick with it. You can choose your own difficulty level if you think that the game judged your performance poorly. In the rest of this post, we’re going to analyze difficulty settings in Witcher 2 in more detail. 

Easy difficulty 

This difficulty is designed for total beginners to the game who wish to enjoy the story and nothing more. You will be able to win every encounter using your sword only, and enemies will deal significantly less damage to you. Enemies cannot block on this difficulty, and they will rarely stagger you. 

This difficulty is perfect for people new to the genre who don’t want to overthink combat but like spamming attack buttons. 


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Normal difficulty 

This difficulty was designed for players who are already familiar with how things work Witcher universe. The gameplay will be balanced, but you will not be able to win every single battle with your sword. You’re going to have to rely on signs to get that extra push needed to take down enemies. Normal difficulty is recommended for players with some experience in similar games, but most players will find that they will have no trouble playing on this normal. 

witcher 2 sings
Normal difficulty requires you to use signs

Hard difficulty 

Hard difficulty brings a couple of changes to the table. First, enemies will deal more damage to you, and you will have to rely on swords, signs, and alchemy in order to prevail. Items will be harder to find as not everything you acquire will be useful for you. This difficulty was created with veteran players in mind who wish to test their skills. Most players will not enjoy this difficulty, and it will only ruin their experience and enjoyment of the story. 

Witcher 2 alchemy
Playing on hard difficulty means that you will need to utilize various alchemical compounds in order to win

Dark difficulty 

This difficulty brings a tough challenge but will likewise reward the most tenacious of players. While playing on dark difficulty, you will notice that enemies deal very high damage and that you need to use everything in your arsenal in order to survive the encounter. It’s not all bad, however, as the game will reward you with chapter-specific armors upon completion of each chapter. Some of the armors that you can acquire only on this difficulty are The Blasphemer’s Outfit, The Oathbreaker’s Outfit, and The Kinslayer’s Outfit. 

Oathbreaker armor
Oathbreaker Outfit can only be acquired while you’re playing on dark difficulty

Insane difficulty 

The insane difficulty is the same difficulty as dark. This means that you will have to utilize everything at your disposal to win during the encounter. What makes this difficulty much harder than dark difficulty is that you cannot reload your past saves. In short, it enables perma-death.

How to change the difficulty in Witcher 2 mid-game? 

If you pick a difficulty that’s too easy or too hard on your skills, you can change it at any time. The only pre-requisite is that you’ve finished the tutorial, as that’s the only point in the game that you cannot change the difficulty as one has not yet been assigned to you. 

Once you’ve finished the tutorial and you’ve entered the game, you can change the difficulty by following these steps: 

  1. Press escape to reach the menu 
  2. Once there, navigate to “Options” and then “Gameplay.”
  3. Once you’ve reached Gameplay settings, you will notice that the difficulty setting is first. Choose one of the five settings and save the changes. 

Keep in mind that if you change your settings from dark to medium mid-play, you will not be able to acquire the setting-specific outfits and achievements. Also, if you reload any save prior to changing the difficulty, it will retain your former difficulty, not your current one. 

This does not apply to the insane difficulty, as reloading is disabled in general. 


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While you couldn’t change your difficulty in Witcher 1, that option was added with Witcher 2. You can choose between 5 difficulty settings, two of those being nightmarish. You can change difficulty at any point in the game through the gameplay options, but if you plan on picking an easier difficulty, every single thing tied to the higher difficulty will become disabled in your current save. 

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