The game offers 4 default difficulty levels, along with the option to customize them by turning on or off things like wind affecting the bullet. Difficulty level does not change enemy unit deployment or the events that take place on the map (such as moving vehicles). Also secrets can be unlocked regardless of difficulty. Some challenges and achievements, however, can be unavailable on Cadet difficulty and / or custom settings.
The guide has been prepared based on Sniper Elite difficulty.
- Cadet - ignores ballistics - the bullet will hit exactly where you aim, even across entire map. Your weapon deals high damage, enemies take longer to find you and are not as eager to thoroughly search every place. Recommended only for first time players.
- Marksman - relatively easy, recommended for beginners who want something more. Includes some ballistics (bullet drop), does not recreate wind effects. Enemies aim better and deal more damage, friendly fire is possible (when in co-op).
- Sniper Elite - suggested for long time players, stealth game fans, or those who like a good challenge. Enemies are much more alert, sometimes reacting even to slight movement in bushes, have more health (when using a weapon with suppressor / suppressed ammo, you may have problems with killing them with one shot over longer distances). You can still mark your targets using binoculars, but the aim assist is gone and fully implemented ballistics make shots longer than 300 meters extremely difficult.
- Authentic - here's a real challenge - there's no assist and no interface whatsoever, and the AI is sharp as a German combat knife. Recommended only for Sniper Elite series veterans.
Difficulty level can be changed after each completed campaign mission.
If you'd like to try whether you're good enough to survive on higher difficulty levels, you can use the rifle range, accessed from the main menu. Subsequent targets will appear at increasing distances, and you will be informed of the results of your shot.