Elder Scrolls
Elder Scrolls

The Difficulty option allows you to choose how challenging the game, generally in combat, is. Throughout The Elder Scrolls, there have been a multitude of ways to change the difficulty and multiple difficulties to choose from. This slider was used to change the difficulty in The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion.

UI Difficulty.jpg


At launch Morrowind did not include difficulty settings, but they were later added with a patch. Difficulty is changed by moving a slider left or right: moving the slider to the left decreases the difficulty, while moving the slider to the right increases it.


Difficulties in Oblivion are controlled by the Slider seen above.

  • If you move the bar to the left,enemies will do less damage to you and will be more vulnerable to your attacks, thus making the game easier.
  • If you move the bar to the right, enemies will do more damage to you and will be more resistant to your attacks, thus making the game harder.

The range of values for these settings are much greater than in Skyrim. For example, player damage to monsters at the lowest setting, and monster damage to players at the highest setting, are both six times as much as the default, center setting, and the corresponding damage rates are both one-sixth of normal.

A lower difficulty setting will affect the rate at which the player levels up their skills, so it is recommended for novice players to keep the difficulty slider at around 1/3 to the right, to make skills increase easier but also allow them to deal more damage.


The difficulty in Skyrim can be changed by opening the pause menu and accessing "Settings" under the "Gameplay" Tab. Difficulties in Skyrim change the damage multiplier causing direct changes to skills that rely on them. There are six difficulties, ranging from Novice to Legendary, from less to more difficult, respectively. In Skyrim, difficulty can be changed at any time, even during combat. This allows players to take advantage and make fights easier while they are happening. This is advertised as a loading screen hint.

Difficulty NPC Damage Taken Player Damage Taken
Novice 2x 0.5x
Apprentice 1.5x 0.75x
Adept 1x 1x
Expert 0.75x 1.5x
Master 0.5x 2x
Legendary 0.25x 3x


  • At difficulty settings harder than Adept, weapon and magic (Destruction, etc.) skills level quicker than armor skills because the Dragonborn needs to deal more hits to kill an enemy but can receive fewer blows before death. Settings easier than Adept create the reverse scenario.
  • Difficulty settings harder than adept will give the player less experience for skills (not player level) to offset the fact that the player needs to hit more to kill enemies. Settings easier than adept will apply the reverse effect.
  • The difficulty modifier doesn't decrease player damage dealt, but rather NPC damage taken. While the distinction might seem odd, it means that enemies do the same reduced damage to other NPCs that you do, making companions and conjured antronachs/undead incredibly useful.


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