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Hardcore is a difficulty setting in Kingdom Come: Deliverance, which can be selected when starting a new game.

Description

Hardcore mode is brutal for even the experienced players because although the changes to actual gameplay are few, as they are mostly stat tweaks, there are some changes that severely impact the way that players will actually have to play it.

Funnily enough upon starting a new hardcore playthrough, you have a 90% chance of dying in the menu screen, which is followed by a small text describing how it occurred. Upon "surviving" these odds, you are prompted to select at least two negative perks, which will stay throughout your entire playthrough, without hope of relinquishing them.

Changes

The changes are as followed:

  • The chests of the non DLC Treasure maps will be missing the high end gear like St. George's sword or Augsburg plate chausses. You will still have access to the remaining contents of the chests though.
  • Auto-saves from quests are disabled; saving only occurs if you drink Saviour Schnapps, sleep, or go to a Bathhouse to heal.
  • Combat is much deadlier for both you and enemies.
  • Health potions take much more time to take effect.
  • Items purchased from vendors are much more expensive.
  • Repair kits and repairing at vendors will cost significantly more.
  • Eating from communal pots of food only provides 5 Nourishment.
  • You cannot fast travel.
  • You cannot see where you are from the world map, you must deduce your location from what you see around you.
  • The top bar loses its compass indicators, though the background texture is unique to each cardinal direction which allows for navigation with enough practice.
  • Points of interest such as vendors or quest markers will only appear once you get close enough.
  • Some perks now have different functionalities:
    • Thickblooded: Reduces the chance of bleeding from a foe's strike as opposed to bleeding slower.
    • Revenant: Health regenerates faster only when you sleep as opposed to health regenerates gradually at any given time.
  • The bar in the bottom screen is removed, as such, you can never tell how high or how low are the following:
    • HP (Can still be seen in the Inventory tab)
    • Stamina
    • Enemy HP
    • Horse Stamina
  • When engaging in combat, the combat "star" that displays where your attacks are directed will never be visible, therefore you must be able to tell according to visual queues of your arms when holding weapons.
    • Additionally, the green shield for Perfect Blocks are no longer shown during combat.

Negative perks list

Below is the list of the perks and a succinct description; you will be "forced" to take at least two:

  • Nightmares- After awakening from sleep, all stats are debuffed for a short while.
    • More annoying than bad. It can prove inconvenient for timing in certain quests, or for reliably meeting weapon requirements in the early game.
    • The debuff lasts about 2 hours in-game, so consider this when planning Henry's sleep schedule.
  • Claustrophobia- Wearing a face-plated helmet makes your attacks much weaker due to anxiety.
    • Will make combat somewhat harder and put you at a minor disadvantage.
    • On the flipside, enemies usually do not stab at the face and open helmets do not obstruct your vision. This perk therefore may not prove too harmful unless dealing with archers.
  • Haemophilia- You bleed out faster and it is much harder to staunch the wounds you take.
    • At the beginning of the game this will make you very vulnerable. However, it largely becomes a nonissue once the player obtains some decent armor, much like without the perk.
  • Numbskull- All experience gained is lowered.
    • A perk that can be taken by those who thought leveling up was too fast in the normal progression of the game. However, it can make passing stat checks more difficult without careful planning of sidequests.
  • Consumption- Stamina regenerates slowly.
    • Will make combat somewhat harder, but stops being very noticeable once the player's Vitality is a decent level.
  • Shakes- Archery, Lockpicking and Pickpocketing are much harder to succeed or use.
    • Easily the one perk that makes Hardcore, even more "hardcore". Consider being more liberal with saving before risky activities.
  • Tapeworm- Nourishment goes down much faster.
    • At the beginning it is rather detrimental, but having Nourishment going down faster means that you will be able to down more potions. It is however, very problematic for the perk Balanced Diet, especially if you go to sleep without eating.
  • Somnambulant- sleeping has a set chance of causing you to awake in a completely different place.
    • This is a wildcard type of perk, as it can go either way. You may spawn in the middle of the woods while you were sleeping in your bed, or the opposite may happen. The chance however doesn't seem too high.
    • The perk ignores if your exit doors are closed or even locked. While normally of no consequence, this can have amusing (or dire) implications for A Needle in a Haystack.
  • Brittle Bones- falls cause greater injury.
    • This one is more annoying than bad and will make it so you can't save time jumping down ladders without severe damage.
    • The effect is largely negated by Featherweight, though the player should still be wary of large jumps while on horseback.

Gallery

Tips

Economy

  • It is much better to buy repair kits than to ask vendors to repair them, especially because when it comes to high quality items. Their repair cost is tremendously high even when you yourself can repair it easily.
  • Because you can never repair items below 50% durability, it is important to pay attention to your item health and avoid fights if close to this threshold.
  • Since everything is more expensive, stealing, pickpocketing, and lockpicking are much more enticing, as players will have a definite need for better equipment and more money. Even so, much like in Normal mode, this becomes less of a problem past the mid game.
  • Consider prioritizing side quests which give valuable items for free, such as Talmberg Horse Race or Rattay Tourney. Conversely, hunting or petty crime activities such as Beggars' Feast tend to not be worth the payoff (though they remain useful for gaining experience.)

Gameplay

  • It is very important to obtain a horse as soon as possible due to the fact that players do not have access to fast travel.
    • Because of this, players could either wait until they get to the point in the game where they acquire Pebbles or head to Uzhitz as soon as they leave Talmberg on Olena and then purchase Rocinante, the cheapest horse in the game. This allows players to roam the game much sooner while the plot advances them to Rattay.
      • This particular method is the one that saves players the most trouble, since Olena will be "stolen" during the game's plot, between players leaving Talmberg and arriving at Rattay. They then can acquire an actual mount between the two points in the storyline which will be a worthwhile invest that will save players the trouble of "walking" there, as opposed to "riding" there. And this is also why it is beneficial to purchase Rocinante.
    • This also makes the Racehorse perk much more enticing than Heavy Duty Pony.
  • Having the A Woman's Lot DLC will make hardcore mode much more bearable.
    • With the Hunt skill for Mutt, players will hardly ever starve, or have lack of coin.
    • With the Sic! skill, players will stand a better chance in combat, as he will distract enemies for you.
    • With the Alarm skill, players will have a much easier time avoiding ambushes even when there are no obstacles on the road to indicate them. Conversely, Sniffer is entirely useless in this mode and should be ignored completely.

Navigation

  • Opening up the time-skipping menu to see what time it is can be useful to tell on which side the sun currently is, and thus indicating a better notion of where to go.
    • If it is before noon, then the sun points to East. The left side of the map.
    • If it is past noon, then the sun poinst to West. The right side of the map.
  • Players should be using the main roads almost exclusively, as those have often Conciliation crosses, Shrines, and sometimes Accidents. These markers will show on your map and help you garner a better idea of where you might be. The exception would be around areas where random ambushes may occur - these are not marked but can be easily remembered after a few unfortunate incidents.
  • Should players enter the woodland areas of the province, they should have their eyes peeled for everything that surrounds them, as the roads are often not represented in the map. Noticing potential marker locations, interesting sites, or hunting spots might just be what allows a player to get his bearings, should they get lost.

Notes

  • The menu screen death starts out with a 90% of death, then upon trying again it goes down to only 60%, and then if death occurs once more, then it goes further down into only 20%, and stays as such, until you survive.
  • Players can choose to play Hardcore mode with all negative perks selected.
  • The Hardcore achievement 'Tis but a scratch is a reference to Monty Python and the Holy Grail, it is listed as an Easter egg.
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