Manor Lords Gameplay: Compare Difficulty Modes Explained
Manor Lords Gameplay: Compare Difficulty Modes Explained

Manor Lords Difficulty Modes Explained: Find Your Perfect Challenge

Manor Lords offers three main difficulty modes to cater to different play styles and skill levels: Relaxing, Default, and Challenging. Each changes key game parameters to make the experience easier or harder. Here's a breakdown of what to expect from each mode so you can find the perfect level of challenge.

Relaxing Mode: Great for Newcomers

Relaxing mode is ideal if you're new to city-builders or want a chill, low-pressure experience. The most significant differences in this mode are:

  • No raider attacks or bandit camps to worry about
  • Double starting supplies to kickstart your economy
  • Tolerant residential requirements - citizens are less demanding
  • Low approval rating penalties for mistakes or shortages
  • No impactful weather events to disrupt food production

This allows you to focus purely on city-building without the added stress of military threats or finicky citizens. It's great to learn the core mechanics at your own pace before stepping up the difficulty.

The relaxing mode still provides an engaging and rewarding city-building experience. Seeing your town grow from a tiny hamlet to a sprawling medieval city is incredibly satisfying, even without the extra challenges. If you're feeling overwhelmed at first, definitely start here.

manor lords template difficulty

Default Mode: The Balanced Experience

Default mode hits a nice sweet spot for experienced strategy gamers who want some challenge without being overwhelmed. The key differences from Relaxing are:

  • Raiders will attack periodically after an initial grace period
  • Bandit camps may spawn and cause trouble if left unchecked
  • Standard starting supplies - enough to get by but not a huge surplus
  • Balanced residential requirements and medium approval penalties
  • Weather events occur and can impact crops if you're not prepared

This creates a more dynamic experience win, which must balance economic growth, military defense, and citizen satisfaction. You can't ignore any one aspect for too long without consequences.

Personally, I find Default mode to be the most engaging once I have a handle on the basics. The added elements make the world feel more alive and my decisions more impactful. Scrambling to shore up defenses when the "Raiders Approaching" warning appears gets the blood pumping!

Challenging Mode: Not for the Faint of Heart

As the name implies, Challenging mode is for hardcore players who want to test their skills. The key differences are:

  • Frequent raider attacks with little respite between waves
  • Multiple pre-placed bandit camps in addition to random spawns
  • No unique starting supplies or bonuses - you have to make do with very little
  • Demanding residential requirements and stiff approval rating penalties
  • Harsh weather that can easily ruin crops if ill-prepared
  • Reduced armament deliveries, making it harder to equip your troops

Challenging mode is not for the faint of heart. You'll be under constant pressure from multiple angles and have little room for error. Careful planning and quick adaptation are essential to survive the early game until you can establish a stable economy and defense force.

I'll admit I struggle with Challenging mode, often seeing my settlements crumble after the first few raider waves. It requires a different playstyle and mindset than the lower difficulties. For hardcore strategy and city-building fans, though, it offers the ultimate test of skill.

Verdict: Something for Everyone

No matter your skill level or playstyle preference, Manor Lords has a problematic mode that provides an engaging and rewarding experience. Don't feel bad about starting on Relaxing - even Default can be tricky until you learn the mechanics! The important thing is to have fun growing your cities. You can always step up the challenge for subsequent playthroughs as you improve. Happy building!

About The Author
Basearena author Jakub Pflug

Jakub Pflug

Jakub, a software engineer by trade, has been a skilled gamer obsessed with interactive media since his first experience with a Nintendo 64. Balancing his software projects with a commitment to games like Quake 3 and Minecraft, he writes insightful articles about hidden gaming gems and hardware reviews.