Darkest Dungeon Wiki

Darkest Dungeon features different game modes to allow players to customize their playing experience.

Features of Darkest Mode[ | ]

The "Normal" mode of Darkest Dungeon. Not as difficult as Stygian Mode but takes more time to complete than Radiant Mode. It is recommended for players who want a prolonged experience.

Darkest Mode differences
Select Darkest

Features of Radiant Mode[ | ]

Radiant Mode is meant for players who want to keep their playtime low, but it is still designed to give the player just as much challenge as Darkest Mode.

It is intended to take less time overall to complete than normal (“Darkest”) mode. The mode is still challenging — monsters have the same stats and nothing about permadeath has changed. But some gameplay rules have been flexed or altered in ways that reduce some of the more time consuming mid and late game elements.

Radiant Mode differences
Select Radiant Never Again changed: heroes are now allowed to return to the Darkest Dungeon. However, they will undergo significant stress upon doing so, and are more likely to become afflicted instead of virtuous when in the Darkest Dungeon.* (Can be enabled in the Darkest Mode)
More Power Leveling flexibility: Heroes of up to Level 4 may enter Novice dungeons. Any hero may enter a Veteran or Champion dungeon.
Reduced cost of Experienced Recruits upgrades.
Accelerated hero XP progression.
Reduced hero upgrade and treatment cost scaling by level.
Returned provisions now give slightly more money back.
DODGE bonus from Radiant Light is increased from 4 to 7.5.
Idle stress heal in the town increased from 5 to 10.
Tweaks to Stagecoach:
  • Added another upgrade tier to Experienced Recruits (Lvl 4 Characters will now appear, increased chance of upgraded recruits appearing)
  • Changed Experienced Recruit requirements. (Lvl 1 now only requires Lvl 1 Blacksmith and Guild)
  • New Stage Coach population option to use a Deck based system. (This can be used on all modes). New Stage Coach generation method that gives a more even long-term distribution and also favors healers more, since they are the backbone of most parties. This can be toggled off in the Options menu if you wish to still ride the bittersweet wave of total RNG.
Accelerated Region Progression.
Town Events trigger more frequently to compensate for shorter playtime.
DLC: The gold costs for most districts are greatly reduced.

* The changes to Never Again are the following: gain 80 Stress when entering the Darkest Dungeon, decrease Virtue Chance by 25%, effectively making it a 1% Virtue Chance.

Features of Stygian Mode[ | ]

Stygian is a game mode which gives you a more difficult and more challenging campaign. Unlike other modes, Stygian has instant failure conditions that, when met, will result in a "Game Over" and permanently delete your save.


This article or section may contain spoilers about the final boss. You might want to avoid reading further if you don't want to spoil the surprise for yourself!

Raid failure banner
Stygian Mode differences
Select Stygian All enemies have increased health (+20%) and have higher crit chances (+3%). Stress will also be more common.
Hero upgrade costs are doubled.
All gameplay options are locked. For example, you can't deactivate the corpse apparitions or the chance that retreat can fail, so the difficulty is locked to the absolute maximum.
The light meter will deplete faster, at the rate of 7 (instead of 6) when exploring new areas.
On the Old Road, the Brigand's Tent is replaced by the Transcendent Terror, which makes you begin your adventure with less loot and an afflicted hero or a hero with a virtue if you chose to interact with it.
Unlike the regular campaign - where your victory can be as long and bloody as it needs to be - you will immediately fail if either of the following things happens:
  • You take 86 weeks to finish the game (if you are in the week 85 you have to kill the heart in that week).
  • 12 or more of your heroes are killed.

Keep in mind that the Heart of Darkness will always kill enough of your heroes to leave no more than 2 survivors. If you lost 10 heroes or more by the time you reach this mission, your only remaining option will be to either enter the fight with an incomplete party, making you unlikely to finish the playthrough successfully, or to one-shot the boss by using various buffs, skipping the instakill attacks. Shard Dust refreshes your abilities with limited uses per battle, allowing you to stack those buffs far more than you would be able to normally.

Should you fail in your quest, the game will present you with a Game Over screen explaining the cause of your defeat (either giving the Heart enough time or blood to awaken prematurely), after which your save file will be deleted.
Once the Heart of Darkness is dead, the game over conditions are removed and you can continue playing your file without fear of it being deleted.

Features of Bloodmoon Mode[ | ]

Bloodmoon is a Stygian game mode combined with Crimson Court DLC. While all Stygian loss conditions persist in Bloodmoon, some have been adjusted to fit the new features.


This article or section may contain spoilers about the final boss. You might want to avoid reading further if you don't want to spoil the surprise for yourself!

Raid failure banner
Bloodmoon Mode differences
Select Bloodmoon In Bloodmoon, the hero casualty limit has been raised to 16.
Time limit has been raised to 100 weeks instead of 86 to account the new bosses.

You still only need to beat the Final Boss to remove these limits.

Achievements[ | ]

These are the achievements specifically related to the game's mode.

Image Name Description
Achievement66 Entry Level Complete the game on Radiant
Achievement19 Victory, such as it is... Complete the game
Achievement30 Strict Mode Complete the game with default difficulty options
Achievement23 World End Complete the game on Stygian

Trivia[ | ]

  • Stygian Mode was originally New game+ and could only be unlocked after the first time you finish the game.
  • When Radiant was first introduced, there was a different hunger system in place. The random Hunger Checks did not occur and instead Food Provision cost increased to 125 and stack size decreased to 6 to compensate.
  • "Victory, such as it is..." achievement is described as "Complete the game" when in reality the player has to complete the game on Darkest difficulty or higher.
  • When you defeat the final boss, you receive the achievements associated with easier difficulty settings in addition to your current one. If you complete your first game on Stygian/Bloodmoon, you can receive "World End", "Victory, such as it is...", "Entry level", "Strict Mode", and "In such haste..." all at once.
  • In Radiant Mode, Darkest Configuration settings are overall turned off, but nothing inside is changed. This prevents the player from receiving the Strict Mode achievement for playing on Radiant Difficulty.