How to unlock Hard Mode in The First Descendant

The First Descendant
(Image credit: Nexon)

Hard Mode in The First Descendant is a chosen world difficulty that unlocks when you've basically completed the main campaign and the various zone missions, effectively meaning that Hard Mode is a sort of endgame post-story state. It's one worth engaging with for serious players of The First Descendant though, as Hard Mode doesn't just boost the challenge involved in playing, it grants additional rewards too. If you want more details, we'll explain it below.

How to play The First Descendant in Hard Mode

(Image: © Nexon)

To reiterate, Hard Mode in The First Descendant only unlocks when you've completed all zone missions and the main quest on normal difficulty first (normal being the default and only option available prior to that point).

After fulfilling this criteria, you can switch to Hard Mode by going to the World Map and pressing Start to open the difficulty options. Then, after picking Hard Mode, Fast Travel to a new outpost to switch to that challenge rating.

Hard mode differences

The First Descendant

(Image credit: Nexon)

Hard Mode in The First Descendant obviously increases the difficulty and power of enemies you go up against, but also tends to give them modifiers that impact gameplay, dictated by region, pushing players to consider these - enemies may have a high resistance to venom, for example.

However, there are greater rewards in Hard Mode: higher quantities of resources dropped, making it ideal if you're doing The First Descendant Kuiper Shard farm, as well as introducing new, unique rewards for encounters like the Void Intercept Battles that can't be obtained on Normal difficulty.

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Joel Franey
Guides Writer

Joel Franey is a writer, journalist, podcaster and raconteur with a Masters from Sussex University, none of which has actually equipped him for anything in real life. As a result he chooses to spend most of his time playing video games, reading old books and ingesting chemically-risky levels of caffeine. He is a firm believer that the vast majority of games would be improved by adding a grappling hook, and if they already have one, they should probably add another just to be safe. You can find old work of his at USgamer, Gfinity, Eurogamer and more besides.