The difficulty levels in Rimworld Console Edition are a fair bit different than in the PC version. In the full PC version, the AI storytellers can be tweaked a fair bit to offer a wide range of experiences. And when you throw mods into the mix, things can get crazy. Each level of difficulty has a major impact on what to expect during the game, and it can help to learn what that actually means.
When you first make a new save game, a bunch of options will come up, this guide will help explain some of the options and what happens when you choose different difficulty levels in Rimworld Console Edition.
AI Storytellers Explained
The AI Storyteller you pick won’t change how difficult your experience is. Instead, they’re basically the seed for your RNG. The AI Storyteller will direct the kinds of events that happen, as well as threats that spawn. They adapt to your choices and when things go wrong, they might take it easy on you, though not always. Here are the three storyteller options:
- Cassandra Classic: Cassandra is basically the default. She will send random events and threats at you pretty consistently on a simple timer. She may throw a wrench into the works every so often though, so be on the lookout for that. She’s not too chaotic, though.
- Phoebe Chillax: Phoebe gives you loads of time between the disasters to rebuild and rearm. Her focus is less on raids and stacking negative random events, even on higher difficulty settings in Rimworld Console Edition. Players looking for an easy colony builder will want this storyteller.
- Randy Random: Randy has absolutely zero chill. You might get three events at once, you may get none for an hour. He just does whatever he wants, but he’s still beholding by your other choices, so it’s not entirely unpredictable. Just know, you’re going to struggle.
Further down the screen you will see the difficulty setting, and the first real choice you have to tailor your gameplay experience.
Difficulty Setting Explained
Each setting within the difficulty alters various aspects of the game. From the size of threats to the commonality of random events, the setting you choose when making your game has a huge impact on the style of play you’re about to experience.
- Peaceful: Major threats are disabled, like raids and other attacks, though sometimes animals will go manhunter. You won’t face packs of rabid beasts though. Best for those just looking to manage and build a colony.
- Community Builder: Raids and other threats begin to appear, but have a penalty to size applied. If you want a decent challenge as a brand new player, this isn’t a bad option.
- Adventure Story: Consider this as a happy medium in difficulty. Late-game threats can be properly challenging, but not ruinously difficult. Players will face more dangerous random events as well, although there’s usually a cooldown between major events.
- Strive to Survive:
- No penalties to raids or other threats here. Also, the cooldown between major threats is reduced, making this a truly challenging mode for those veteran players.
- Blood and Dust: Consider this a true hard mode, but one where you can still win with grit and determination. Random events, raids, manhunter packs and other threats increase in size, and become even more frequent. You will bleed, and probably die.
- Losing is Fun: This is the toughest difficulty mode in the game. All threats will be major threats, and you won’t get a moment to breathe. You will be constantly wrestling against beasts, raiders and mentally broken colonists trying to tear your colony apart at the seams.
Different settings impact the world based on the setting you choose here. On peaceful, things will be relatively calm, and you won’t have much of an issue dealing with problems when things do go wrong. For example, you will be more likely to succeed in crafts on a lower difficulty. Also, your pawns will also be 70% less likely to get food poisoning than normal, and about the same reduced chance at getting diseases in general. There are many other factors that are affected as well.
There are a few different categories of settings affected by your main difficulty choice, these are: Threats, Economy, General, Player Tools and Adaptation, and each one is basically a percentage or toggle that allows the game to change according to how you play. On higher difficulty options, Rimworld Console Edition will throw a lot more powerful enemies at you. You may also face tougher quests, more disease and other issues.
Game Threat Explained
When first making your game and choosing an AI storyteller, there are various game settings that can be tweaked. There’s far too much to include everything here, but we’ll go over some of the basics. One of the most important core elements is Threat. Threat is Rimworld’s way of figuring out how much of a bad thing to throw at a colony.
When making your game, you will need to manage the AI storyteller and adapt to the threats they throw at you. The better you do, the more advanced the threats they send your way. This is called Adaptation Impact, and works on a scale of 0%-100%. The impact is scaled down all the way to 40% on Losing is Fun. There’s a lot more to it than that, but we think you get the idea of what happens when you turn up the difficulty.
We’ve also included a basic rundown of Threat settings when you make your game.
- Threat Scale: This is how much the game advances the power of threats when they spawn. The higher this setting, the faster threats spawn with much larger waves. Goes from 10% on Peaceful, all the way 220% on Losing is Fun.
- Major Threats: Allow major threats such as raids, infestations, manhunter packs, crashed mechanoid ships and more. Disabled on Peaceful
- Quest Threats: Some quests can trigger scripted raids, disabled on Peaceful
- Intro Threats: Fixed threats that appear at game start, disabled on Peaceful.
- Predator Revenge: On Community Builder and lower, predators will not attack your pawns.
- Extreme Weather: Weather events like lightning storms and toxic fallout will not spawn on Community Builder or Peaecful.
There’s also a Max Threat value to worry about, although that only triggers after 12 in-game years by default. By this point, your colony should be able to handle most attacks. You also get a minor change to defensive options on higher-difficulty modes. Classic mortars are disabled by default but can be toggled on to make mortars easier to manage.
A couple other settings in Rimworld Console Edition can impact your play. One is called Commitment Mode. This is basically Ironman mode, as you cannot save or load your game whenever you want. If a pawn dies, they stay dead, no save-scumming here. And this is set inside the file of your save, so once you turn it on, there’s no turning it off.
The other option you will want to pay attention to is the Scenario type. When you make your game, you will find that there are a few options that you can pick from. This will change your starting colonists in number and type, as well as possibly spawn starting threats and quests you need to deal with. Here are the options for Scenarios:
- Crashlanded: The default start. You get a small stash of meals, resources and weapons as you and a few shipmates crash on an alien world.
- Lost Tribe: This one has you start with five colonists. You’ve been chased away from a previous failed colony, and now have to survive the wilds of a hostile world. You get a few basic tribal weapons, and not much else, to start with.
- The Rich Explorer: This scenario starts with just one colonist; you start with some decent technology, resources, and weapons. Trouble is, your starting colonist is lacking in skills and other knowledge they need to survive. A true hard mode start.
- Naked Brutality: In this scenario, you also start with one single colonist. This is a true wild start, as you get NO basic resources or tools. You want a challenge? This is the option for you.
And that covers the basics of difficulty levels in Rimworld Console Edition and what they change in the game. You will want to check out our other guides on Rimworld to hopefully make it through. The Console Edition is very similar to the PC variant, so it’s not too hard to learn. Knowing how to handle tasks is a good start. Other elements of the Console Edition behave a bit differently as well, such as healing colonists. But as long as you have some experience with the PC port, you will be fine, as the basic process is the same between the two variants.