Sons of the Forest difficulty levels & differences explained

Sons of the Forest difficulty levels & differences explained
Images via Endnight Games

Written by 

Hritwik Raj


26th Feb 2024 17:25

If you're hopping into Sons of the Forest or you've already started but don't know which is the right setting for you, you'll want to learn about the various difficulty levels.

The game offers five difficulty levels with a simple one- or two-word description for each one, which isn't much to go on. So keep reading our guide as we explain every difficulty level in Sons of the Forest. 

Sons of the Forest difficulty levels explained

Sons of the Forest has five difficulty levels: Peaceful, Normal, Hard, Hard Survival and Custom, with Hard Survival being the newest difficulty level added with the recent update. 

Sons of the Forest difficulty
Click to enlarge

Peaceful difficulty is the easiest one of all. It's meant for players who want to enjoy base building and exploration without worrying about enemies, as there are no enemies in the world. Surviving is also very easy, as you get a ton of loot, including meds, food items, etc.

Normal difficulty is the recommended game mode where enemy spawns are enabled. Apart from that, it's similar to Peaceful mode in terms of surviving, as item spawns are high, and you can one-shot enemies once you get a weapon like the Shotgun.

Hard difficulty was the highest difficulty in Sons of the Forest during the game's early access launch. For solo players, Hard mode is more than just hard as the enemy spawn rate is high and they're stronger. Surviving is difficult as food items, meds, ammo, and items spawn are low, and gathering resources is a nightmare as enemies will jump on you from all sides, instantly killing you. However, in co-op, it becomes manageable and somewhat easy.

Sign Up To Our Newsletter

Get exclusive news, content, and discounts sent directly to your inbox

You've joined our newsletter. Thank you!
Sorry, there has been an issue in subscribing to the newsletter.

Since Sons of the Forest is a co-op survival, to make it challenging even when playing with friends, Endnight Games added a Hard Survival game mode that delivers stronger enemies and rough survival. 

Hard Survival is a punishing mode as there are very few food spawns in wooden crates and other boxes. Even fish and wildlife that you can hunt down for food have fewer spawns. Enemies get ultra instinct as they can dodge your attacks and are more challenging to kill, especially in the final launch version with the higher-tier gold armour for Cannibals. 

Sons of the Forest custom difficulty
Click to enlarge

Lastly, Custom, as the name suggests, is a customized difficulty experience where you can adjust different settings for Enemies, Environment, and Survival. You get to tinker with everything from enemy health, aggression and search party to survival damage and starting seasons.

That concludes our guide on Sons of the Forest's difficulty levels. While you're here, check out how to find and use GPS Locators, the keycard locationshow the game runs on Steam Deck, and how to get the rifle.

Hritwik has been writing about video games, manga, and anime for more than 8 years. Some of his favourite games include The Last of Us Part II, Fallout 76, Apex Legends, Genshin Impact, and the Souls series.

Sons of the Forest endings explained
What does Strength do in Sons of the Forest?
How to make a gate in a defensive wall in Sons of the Forest
How to get the new ending in Sons of the Forest
How to get clean water in Sons of the Forest