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Persona 4 Golden: The 5 Difficulty Levels Explained

A brand new, visually enhanced version of "Persona 4 Golden" has just made its way onto several new platforms including Nintendo Switch and Xbox Game Pass, giving many players their first opportunity to explore the rural town of Inaba and the mysterious Midnight Channel.

Like the critically acclaimed "Persona 5 Royal," this special edition has several features that weren't present in the original game. This includes new characters, new Personas, the Hollow Forest dungeon, and an online-based S.O.S. system for players who get in trouble while exploring –- making it a worthy addition to the "Persona" universe. But some fans might be surprised to learn that it also features no less than five different difficulty settings.

Players have to choose right at the beginning of the game if they would like to play the game in Very Easy, Easy, Normal, Hard, or Very Hard mode. While that might not seem all that complicated, exactly how these different modes change the game might be a little confusing to some fans -– especially those who may be unfamiliar with the numerous mechanics involved in the "Persona 4" combat system. The amount of money earned, experience points gained, damage dealt, and damage received during a given battle are all affected by the difficulty settings. It can also change what options the player has when their party dies. Here is an explanation of each of the five difficulty settings in "Persona 5 Golden."

Persona 4 Golden can be very easy or very slow

Challenging combat is all well and good, but some of the harder difficulty settings in "Persona 4 Golden" can slow down the game quite a bit. Here are the basics of how each setting affects combat:

  • Very Easy mode makes it so players receive Small amounts of damage from enemies and deal Great amounts of damage to enemies. They receive More EXP and Money from combat and can retry dungeons or battles that they lose while exploring the Midnight Channel.

  • Easy mode also lets players receive Small amounts of damage from enemies and deal Great amounts of damage to enemies while they will receive EXP and Money at a Normal rate. Players will be able to retry dungeons when they lose, but not from the start of their last battle.

  • Normal mode is pretty straight across the board. Players deal and receive Normal amounts of damage and they get Normal amounts of EXP and Money. They can retry dungeons when they lose, but not from the start of their last battle.

  • Hard mode makes players take Great amounts of damage while dealing Small amounts of damage. They receive Normal amounts of EXP and Money, and can retry dungeons but not battles.

  • Very Hard mode makes players take Great damage, deal Small damage and receive Less EXP and Money. They can't retry dungeons or battles and will revert back to their previous game save when they die.

Custom difficulty

The five preset difficulties are generally pretty balanced, but there's another option for players who don't feel like any of them suit their needs. "Persona 4 Golden" also allows players to make Custom difficulties that combine different aspects of these settings. This allows them to individually set: How much damage they take, the damage they dish out, EXP they get, Money they earn, and whether they can retry dungeons or battles when they lose a fight.

This is a great option for those who want challenging combat, but not at the expense of having to redo an entire dungeon when they lose. Others may find that they prefer easier combat, but don't necessarily want to be over-leveled too early. These settings can also be changed at any point in the game, so users who find that they are struggling to progress can turn down the difficulty while those who want more of a challenge can crank it up. Having this option is especially nice for players who aren't familiar with the mechanics of the game since they will be able to jump in without fear that they messed up their game before they even had a chance to begin.

Hopefully, this helps players make an informed decision about which difficulty level they would like to start their playthrough of "Persona 4 Golden."