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Difficulty settings (Origins)

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There are four difficulty settings for Dragon Age: Origins: Casual, Normal, Hard, and Nightmare. Difficulty settings alter a variety of aspects including enemy AI, enemy resistances, and friendly fire, but does not increase the amount of XP gained. The game is tuned to be played at the Hard setting from the view of a veteran player, meaning that at this setting neither the player's party nor the enemies have special bonuses or limitations.

The difficulty setting can be changed at any time and will immediately affect the current situation. Limitations or restrictions in AI include prioritization of abilities, targets, group tactics, etc. They don't alter enemy stats like hitpoints, for example.

Difficulty Casual Normal Hard Nightmare
Friendly fire (PC) None 50% 100% 100%
Friendly fire (PS3/Xbox 360) None None 50% 100%
Attack bonus 20 5 0 0
Defense bonus 20 5 0 0
Damage bonus 7 1 0 0
Healing effects multiplier 1.75 1.00 0.85 0.85
Damage threshold 2 7 9 16
Enemy spell resist bonus -10.0% 1.5% 2.5% 5%
Player spell resist bonus 10.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Enemy damage resist bonus -10% 0% 5% 5%
Player damage resist bonus 25% 0% 0% -5%
Potion cap 20 12 8 0
Trap damage multiplier 0.50 1.00 1.25 1.50
Comments Easy AI Moderate AI Full AI Full AI

For details and explanation see technical details behind difficulty levels. (Archived page.)

Friendly fire Edit

Certain spells may affect the caster's allies with their negative effects if the caster does not make sure to avoid that. For the player's party the strength of the effect is tied to the difficulty setting. For the enemies it has not been stated, other than that they have friendly fire on normal difficulty. Spells which are subject to friendly fire typically manifest physical effects, while spells with spirit or mental effects are expected to be completely controlled by the caster and therefore have no unwanted results.

Friendly fire does not affect projectiles like arrows but may affect grenades. Damage reduction through difficulty setting is calculated before mitigation through resistances.