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In most games in the Call of Duty series there are four difficulty levels in the campaigns (four more introduced in Call of Duty: Black Ops III, Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare, and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare). Each is different, with Recruit being the easiest and #YOLO being the hardest.


"For players new to first person action games"
— In-game description
Main article: Recruit

Recruit is one of the five difficulty settings in the Call of Duty series. It is the easiest of the five difficulties, as the player takes small amounts of damage from most weapons and the AI is generally inaccurate. This difficulty is recommended for players new to the First Person Shooter genre.

Over the course of the series, this difficulty mode has had different names. In Call of Duty and Call of Duty: United Offensive, it is called "Greenhorn" and in Call of Duty: Finest Hour, Call of Duty 2: Big Red One, Call of Duty 2 and Call of Duty 3 it is called "Easy".


"Your abilities in combat will be tested."
— In-game description
Main article: Regular

Regular is one of the difficulties in the Call of Duty series. It can generally be considered the "normal" difficulty setting as it is slightly harder than Recruit, but easier than Hardened and Veteran.

Hardened Edit

"Your skills will be strained."
— In-game description
Main article: Hardened (difficulty)

Hardened is one of the difficulty settings in the Call of Duty series. It is harder than Recruit and Regular but easier than Veteran. Playing on Hardened mode allows players to achieve many of the trophies and achievements that can only be obtained by playing on the harder difficulties, without actually playing on Veteran.


"You will not survive."
— In-game description
Main article: Veteran (difficulty)

Veteran is one of the difficulties that are in the Call of Duty series. The player will find they will take much more damage and have very low health, with enemies having increased accuracy and deadly reaction time.


"Brutally difficult and entirely unforgiving."
— In-game description
Main article: Realistic

Realistic is a difficulty featured in Call of Duty: Black Ops III, the hardest difficulty of the game. In Realistic, the player will only have a very little amount of health. They will die by one shot or explosion. The AI is said to be independent in this level and is generally more aggressive and smarter than on Veteran.

Specialist Edit

"Manage your health and inventory in order to survive. Only Elite Specialist accept this challenge."
— In-game description
Main article: Specialist (Difficulty)

Specialist is a difficulty featured in Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare, this is the second hardest difficulty in the game. In Specialist the player only has a little health. Health can only be regenerated by nano shots, helmets will need to be replaced. Getting shot in any part of the body affects your movement and shooting.

#YOLO Edit

"No checkpoints, no room for error, no mercy."
— In-game description
Main article: YOLO

#YOLO is a difficulty featured in Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare, and is the hardest difficulty of the game. The #YOLO difficulty is very similar to Specialist difficulty, having roughly the same mechanics in terms of damage and weapons. The key difference however, is that if the player dies, they will have to start the entire Campaign over.

Realism Edit

"Veteran with limited HUD."
— In-game description
Main article: Realism

Realism is a difficulty featured exclusively in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, and is the hardest difficulty of the game. The Realism difficulty is virtually identical to Veteran difficulty in terms of damage and weapons, but a majority of the HUD display (Gun display, grenade slots, ammunition value, etc.) is absent, along with any friendly NPC nametags.

Difficulty In Other Modes:Edit

Call of Duty: Black Ops II ZombiesEdit

"Feeling tired or rundown? Try reducing the difficulty."
— In-game description

Call of Duty: Black Ops II features two separate difficulties for Zombies, those being "Easy" and "Original." On "Easy", weapons have higher damage, zombies have lower health, the probability of receiving a better weapon from the Mystery Box is higher, and there are less zombies per round. Zombies do not sprint until rounds 14-16 on Easy. However, Easter Eggs cannot be completed while playing on Easy, and Perma-Perks are not retained and cannot be obtained. Easy difficulty can also only be playing in split-screen, system link, and custom games.

Call of Duty: Ghosts - ExtinctionEdit

Casual: The number of Cryptids that appear are reduced by 50%, their health is also reduced by 50%. Cryptids are not as aggressive as before the patch, players will take less damage as a result. Players also spend less money by having to use their abilities less often (the prices are still the same and it's the frequency of using them to resupply/re-armor that allows players a full bank most of the time in this difficulty). Playing on Casual, however, does not count towards leaderboard placings; scores won't be posted, escapes will not count. But, the number of Cryptids the players kill will still count towards the 10,000-weapon-kill operation and still earn the Multiplayer patch. Additionally, escaping while using a Relic will also still count towards the background challenges. A recent update made a casual playlist online, with rotating maps.

Regular: This difficulty is essentially the way the mode has been played before the patch.

Hardcore: The crosshairs on the player's HUD is removed, the Cryptids are more aggressive and skill points are not earned for destroying hives. Ricochet friendly fire is also turned on. Substantially more difficult enemies appear to spawn much earlier on. Players tend to be faced with Hunters on the very first hive. Specifically on Point of Contact, within the first area, players come face to face with large numbers of Meteors/Seekers. A recent update made on online hardcore playlist, with alternating maps.

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