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Modern Warfare 2 Difficulty Levels & How to Unlock Realism Mode

Modern Warfare 2 has a number of difficulty levels for players to choose from so that everyone can enjoy the Campaign!

While Multiplayer is always the main focus of Call of Duty games, the single-player Campaign is always enjoyable too! This is especially the case with MW2’s story mode as plenty of fan-favorite characters are returning.

However, which difficulty level you select will change how you experience the game. Some players may want to breeze through and take in the story, while others may want to put their shooting skills to the test against tough enemies!

soldiers wearing night-vision goggles on their helmets standing with guns outside of a building in MW2

All Difficulty Levels in MW2

Modern Warfare 2 has 5 different difficulty levels to choose from for each mission. They are:

  • Recruit
  • Regular
  • Hardened
  • Veteran
  • Realism

Recruit is the easiest difficulty and is perfect for players who just want to experience the story. Meanwhile, Regular difficulty is probably the best for most players as it has a little amount of challenge.

Then you have Hardened, which can be pretty tricky, and Veteran, which can prove difficult even for seasoned Call of Duty players.

The Realism difficulty is even more challenging, but you have to unlock that first – more on how to do that later.

Read More: Can You Play MW2 2022 Campaign in Co-Op Mode?

MW2 Difficulty Levels

How to Change Difficulty in the MW2 Campaign

There are two ways to change the difficulty in the Modern Warfare 2 Campaign – by selecting the difficulty when you jump into the game and by changing it in the pause menu.

  • To change difficulty outside of a mission:
    • When starting a new game or selecting a mission, you will be able to choose one of the 5 difficulties.
    • You can hover over each difficulty to see a brief description before using X/A/Left Mouse Click to choose one.
  • To change difficulty during a mission:
    • Pause the game by pressing Options/Menu on your controller or ESC on keyboard
    • Press Select Difficulty in the pause menu
    • Choose whichever difficulty you want

Read More: MW2 2022 Campaign Length & How Long to Beat

MW2 Campaign Change Difficulty

How to Unlock Realism Difficulty in MW2

To unlock Realism difficulty in Modern Warfare 2, you will need to complete the whole Campaign on any difficulty.

Only then, you will be able to select Realism from the difficulty menu when jumping into the Campaign or from the pause menu.

Make sure to check the full MW2 Campaign missions list to see how far you’ve progressed!

What is Realism Difficulty?

Realism difficulty is described as ‘Veteran with limited HUD’. This makes the already tough difficulty even harder.

The enemies are not any more difficult than on Veteran difficulty, but the limited HUD means you are missing key information like an ammo counter, giving you more to worry about.

MW2 Realism Difficulty

Of course, if you’ve already unlocked Realism difficulty, you will have completed the Modern Warfare 2 campaign already. But did you catch the post-credits scene in MW2?

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