How to enable Critical Mode in Kingdom Hearts 3

Try your hand at the new Critical Mode difficulty in Kingdom Hearts 3.

Thanks to a new update, Kingdom Hearts 3 players now have access to a harder difficulty setting in the form of Critical Mode. For those who haven’t played Kingdom Hearts 3 in a while, or those just getting started, a refresher on how to change your difficulty settings can be worthwhile. Additionally, knowing what Critical Mode has to offer can help you make an informed decision as to whether or not you want to play on this particular difficulty setting.

To help, we’ve put together a quick guide on how to enable Critical Mode and what sets Critical Mode apart from other difficulty settings in Kingdom Hearts 3.

How to Enable Critical Mode in Kingdom Hearts 3

To play on Critical Mode, you'll need to start a new game in Kingdom Hearts 3.
To play on Critical Mode, you'll first need to start a new game in Kingdom Hearts 3.
© Square Enix

The first question players might have is how to enable the Critical Mode difficulty setting in Kingdom Hearts 3. Because Critical Mode is included as part of Patch 1.05, you’ll need to ensure this patch has completed the download process before opening Kingdom Hearts 3. Another thing to note is that you can’t change the difficulty setting on an established game.

As such, you’ll need to start a new game file in order to try your hand at Critical Mode. To do this, simply navigate to the title screen, choose the “New Game” option, then run through the setup process until you reach the difficulty setting selection menu. Here, you can scroll down and select “Critical Mode” at the bottom before jumping into Kingdom Hearts 3.

Again, you can’t change the difficulty setting on a game you’ve already started, meaning you’ll absolutely have to create a new game file to play on Critical Mode. Now that you know how to enable Critical Mode, there’s the question of what it does. In Kingdom Hearts 3, Critical Mode is currently the hardest difficulty setting you can choose.

As of right now, details are sparse in regards to all of the minor differences between a setting like Critical Mode and Proud Mode. What we do know is that playing on Critical Mode will cut Sora’s available HP and MP pools in half while also giving players new abilities to use. Enemies are far more challenging on Critical Mode than on the previous highest difficulty setting, Proud Mode, and Kingdom Hearts 3 players can expect to die far more often.

The Critical Mode difficulty setting is brutal, and perfect for those looking for a challenge. Touching upon Critical Mode, Kingdom Hearts 3 director Tetsuya Nomura teases that, “We’ve changed things up from previous games.” This means that players can also expect a few new surprises with Critical Mode. That said, the best way to get a feel for Critical Mode is to start a new game with this difficulty setting selected. Just be prepared to die… a lot.

Now that you know how to enable Critical Mode and what it does in Kingdom Hearts 3, be sure to check out some of our other Kingdom Hearts 3 guides including how to skip and rewatch cutscenes in Kingdom Hearts 3, how to unlock 100 Acre Wood in Kingdom Hearts 3, and how to get the Ultima Weapon keyblade in Kingdom Hearts 3.

Morgan is a writer, indie game lover, and socially awkward coffee addict. Need something? Morgan can be reached at or if you like, you can say hello using GIFs on Twitter.


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