The Witcher 3 difficulty levels explained

Breaking down the difference between all difficulty options in The Witcher 3.

If you’re thinking about starting up a new game of The Witcher 3, you may have questions regarding the difficulty levels and the difference between each one. It’s important that you pick a difficulty level you’re comfortable with, while also keeping in mind that the easier the difficulty, the quicker you’ll complete the game. With that said, we’ve put together a guide explaining the difference between all of the difficulty levels in The Witcher 3!

The Witcher 3 difficulty levels explained

The Witcher 3 difficulty levels explained
In The Witcher 3, there are four difficulty levels ranging from Just the Story to Death March. 
© CD Projekt Red

In The Witcher 3, there are four main difficulty levels to choose from that range from easy (Just the Story) and incredibly hard (Death March). Of course, with these four difficulty levels come questions of how different that are, what are the minor differences between Just the Story and Sword and Story, and so on.

As the name of each difficulty level implies, the easier levels will allow you to focus more on the game’s story. If you’re playing The Witcher 3 for the first time after watching The Witcher on Netflix, choosing a difficulty like “Just the Story” may be the best option. Alternatively, if you’ve played The Witcher 3 before and are up for a challenge, it’s worth giving the “Death March” difficulty level a shot.

To simplify the selection process, we’ve listed all four difficulty levels in The Witcher 3 below along with brief explanations on how they’re different from one another.

  • Just the Story (Easy): Enemies have -50% health, deal a normal amount of damage.
  • Sword and Story (Normal): Enemies have 10% more health, deal 40% more damage.
  • Blood and Broken Bones (Hard): Enemies have 20% more health, deal 130% more damage.
  • Death March (Insane): Enemies have 80% more health, deal 230% more damage.

How to change the difficulty in The Witcher 3

What’s nice about The Witcher 3 is that you aren’t locked into your chosen difficulty setting. If you pick something like Death March and find it to be a little too challenging, you’re free to change the difficulty at any time. To do this, simply pause the game, preferably when you’re in a safe location rather than mid-fight.

From the pause menu, select Options, then select Gameplay. From the Gameplay menu, scroll down and locate the difficulty level option. Adjust as needed, then save and resume your game.

Now that you know the difference between all difficulty levels in The Witcher 3 and how to change your difficulty settings, be sure to read through some of our other guides including how long it’ll take you to beat The Witcher 3, how to get all endings in The Witcher 3, and the Max Level Cap in The Witcher 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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