What's The Difference Between Resident Evil 7's Difficulty Modes?

This difficulty mode guide will help you choose the best difficulty for your first Resident Evil 7 playthrough.


The right choice of difficulty mode can mean the difference between enjoyment or frustration in your first Resident Evil 7 playthrough. Capcom recommends that for your first run through Resident Evil 7 you play the game on Normal Mode. However, if you just want a leisurely stroll through RE7, you can always choose Easy Mode. Additionally, for players seeking a challenge, there's Madhouse mode, which is unlocked after you beat the game once or if you pre-ordered Resident Evil 7.

However, there are more differences between the three difficulty modes besides just stronger enemies or fewer items. Below you'll find the exact differences between the modes so you can make the decision which challenge is right for you.

Resident Evil 7 Easy Mode


  • Enemies deal out less damage per attack.
  • Enemy movement is much slower than on Normal Mode.
  • The enemy AI has a much harder time spotting you, and give up a chase much sooner.
  • Enemies may be slow to attack or not attack at all, even if they are in range.


  • Health regenerates at a high rate.
  • You can recover around a third to half of your total health.

Checkpoints and Saving:

  • You'll get frequent checkpoints. If you happen to die, you'll rarely have to repeat more than five minutes or so of gameplay.
  • You can save at Cassette Recorders an unlimited amount of times with no need for tapes.

Resident Evil 7 Normal Mode


  • Enemies do average damage.
  • Enemies move at normal speed, around twice as fast as easy.
  • Enemies will typically continue to chase you as long as you're in their line of sight.
  • Enemies actively scout areas and attack relentlessly if in range.


  • You can regenerate a small amount of health at a much slower rate than on Easy Mode.
  • The most health you can regenerate in Normal Mode is between a fifth to a fourth of your total health.

Checkpoints and Saving:

  • Normal Mode has checkpoints, but they're less frequent than on Easy Mode. Expect a checkpoint after defeating a boss, entering a new location, or obtaining a major item.
  • Like Easy Mode, you can save at Cassette Recorders an unlimited amount of times without the need for tapes.

Resident Evil 7 Madhouse Mode:


  • Enemies do more damage than in Normal Mode and can take more damage.
  • Enemies can move about 1.5 to 2 times faster than they can in Normal Mode.
  • Enemies can spot you as soon as you're in line-of-sight.
  • Enemies will continue to chase you as long as possible and will give no quarter.
  • Enemy spawn points have changed, and numbers of enemies you can encounter have increased.


  • There is no health regeneration or so little as to not be noticeable.

Checkpoints and Saving:

  • There are much fewer checkpoints in Madhouse Mode than in Normal Mode.
  • To save at a Tape Recorder, you must have a Cassette Tape. They take up one inventory slot and are one-use items. You must locate them to save.

Other Madhouse Mode Changes:

  • There are more Ancient Coins in Madhouse Mode (33 vs. 18), and they are located in different places than in Easy and Normal Modes.
  • There are more bird cages from which you can purchase items. They are also relocated and not necessarily in save rooms.
  • You can purchase Ability Coins exclusive to Madhouse Mode that give stat boosts to your character.
  • Items are in different locations than in Normal Mode and Easy Mode. This rearrangement can lead to different game progression than you experienced in other difficulties.

Once you've chosen your difficulty, and started your playthrough of Resident Evil 7, check out our First Aid guide to learn the game's healing system or our weapons guide to find out the best strategies for defeating your enemies. For even more info on Resident Evil 7, check our guide and walkthrough hub.

Contributing Editor
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