Just wondering, how exactly different difficulty levels affects to the gameplay?

Does it switches AI into more aggressive mode, gives more starting money to a computer, etc.?

  • Do you mean for the campaign, or multiplayer? The question is tagged as "campaign", but a lot of people could assume you are talking about multiplayer. – chobok Apr 17 '12 at 11:05
  • @chobok, thanks, I've changed title to clarify that this is campaign-specific. – Regent Apr 25 '12 at 10:04

So, your interface is always the same. Marines always cost 50 minerals, and they behave the same way.

In harder difficulties, the AI is more agressive (attacks sooner and more frequently) and is smarter (i.e. better control over units), the enemies have more HP / attack, there are more enemies to encounter (Example, in the second mission, there's a little alcove north of the starting base with minerals and vespene pallets, on easier difficulties, there isn't any force there, on harder difficulties, there's a lot more), and harder enemies to encounter (on the third mission, on casual, my wife encountered zero mutalisks)

I don't think they give more starting money to computers, but I don't think they need to. On easier difficulties, the computer doesn't even use a fraction of the money it gathers.

  • I've found that I can easily beat a mission on Normal, but almost always have trouble on Hard. I really wish there was a difficulty in between. – Bara Jul 29 '10 at 16:11
  • 4
    On insane mode the AI does cheat, giving itself extra minerals. – tzenes Jul 29 '10 at 16:54
  • 1
    Seems absurd that it would have to; when the PC starts with 2-3 bases and most of their buildings down. I guess they don't really go for expansions in campaign, but still. – Nick T Aug 4 '10 at 18:59
  • 1
    There are also special triggers on some maps, on hard and up for example, you don't get a timer on the lava mission. – Resorath Feb 3 '11 at 17:06

For normal missions, the AI plays more aggressively, both in its attacking waves, and the strength of said waves. Expect more, sooner.

I'm not sure about the hero / covert missions, where you only have a single hero, etc., but any change in difficulty only is reflected in the AI -- you're never going to have to pay more minerals per unit by playing on hard.


I also have been searching abit on this but without any tangible answers. Here is what I found by both playing and searching.

As the difficulty increases:

  • The game speed increases.
  • Your opponent gets more units
  • Your opponent starts with more upgrades, and researches earlier.
  • Your objectives increases in volume.
  • Your opponent gets more aggressive.
  • Your opponent micros better.
  • Map helpers disappear

I haven't seen any evidence to units getting more health beyond the obtainable upgrades.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.