The appeal of Metroid games, aside from just, y’know, playing and enjoying them, is speedrunning them at higher difficulties. Blasting through a Metroid game at its highest difficulty could be considered an Olympic sport for how much time and effort people put into it. Metroid Dread is no exception, though before you get on the hard mode train, it’s probably smart to know exactly what you’re getting into first. Here are the Metroid Dread hard mode changes.
To quickly clarify, hard mode is not unlocked by default when you first boot up the game. You need to unlock it by clearing the game on the default normal difficulty at least once. This is actually for the best, though, as playing through the game once on normal will familiarize you with the map, the locations of items, and the general critical path.
Metroid Dread Hard Mode Changes
Metroid Dread Hard Mode changes include:
- Enemies and bosses have more health
- Enemies and bosses deal more damage to Samus
- Hard mode is only unlocked after clearing the game on Normal
There’s only one actual change between normal mode and hard mode: the strength of enemies you encounter. All enemies you encounter in hard mode, including bosses, have more health and deal more damage to Samus with every attack. While that sounds like a simple change on paper, a little change in the balance like that can fundamentally change how you play the game.
Remember, Samus only starts out with a single energy tank and a paltry stack of missiles. If a single attack wipes out half of your health or more, you need to ration the heck out of your health, as well as memorize any potential sources of healing in case of an emergency. This includes mastering the counter move, as you’ll need to siphon energy from the little monsters whenever the opportunity presents itself.