Difficulties are settings that adjust the game's overall experience. In general, it affects the color, stats and quantity of enemies, the overall quality of loot and the amount of experience points heroes earn.

Players who are new to Dungeon Defenders should play through the Classic Campaign on Easy/Medium/Hard, then work their way up. Insane and above have additional changes beyond increasing enemy stats, loot quality and exp. earned.

Nightmare (PC Only)
Insane+ (Console Only)


  • Eternia Crystals are not healed when a wave is reached. They still get healed prior to a boss fight, but not on some Lost Quest maps.
  • The following two changes do not apply to Survival Mode or Pure Strategy:
    • Each Build Phase is on a timer before the Combat Phase starts automatically.
    • Hero Casting Rate is not increased during Build Phases.

Nightmare (NM)

Main Article: Nightmare (Difficulty)

The differences between Insane and Nightmare are far greater than Hard vs. Insane. Ogres are significantly more common. Spiders, Djinn and Sharken will spawn on almost all maps. Goblin Copters spawn on maps that have Wyverns. Nightmare also modifies the stats of heroes, pets and defenses. Below are a few notable examples:

  • Hero weapons and abilities deal less damage, but pets and defenses hit harder than usual.
  • All heroes, physical defenses and Eternia Crystals have their maximum health scaled up. The potency of Healing Auras and health-restoring pets (barring Mage Minions whose healing is already percent-based) is increased to account for this.
  • Damage Resistances from equipment are reduced by 0.55x; a sum of 164% is now required in order to reach the 90% cap per damage type.
  • Auras have 30% less range. The potencies for Ensnare, Strength Drain and Enrage Auras are nerfed by a factor of 0.75x. More Aura Effect Strength and/or damage buffs is/are needed the reach the Ensnare and Enrage caps and return Strength Drains to respectable levels (around 0.25x enemy damage after upgrades to it and a touching buff beam.

Insane+ is the Nightmare difficulty equivalent on console versions with different mechanics.

Ascension (Redux Exclusive)

Main Article: Ascension (Difficulty)

Ascension is an even higher difficulty level introduced in Dungeon Defenders Redux. It makes a variety of missions on-par with endgame progression, building off of the Final Update to the Vanilla PC game in 2019. Many missions on this difficulty feature Cyclopes, a terracotta-colored Ogre variant that tosses snot bubbles instead of opaque balls. The lingering damage overtime on impact can be deadly to heroes and summoned minions.

Like Nightmare, Ascension applies balance changes not to defenses or heroes directly, but rather to how certain boss fights and challenges play out. For example:

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