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In Hard mode, enemies are more powerful.

Metroid: Samus Returns introduction text

Hard Mode is a difficulty mode featured in the Japanese version of Metroid Fusion, and all versions of Metroid Prime, Metroid Prime 2: Echoes, Metroid: Zero Mission, Metroid: Other M, Metroid Prime: Federation Force, Metroid: Samus Returns, and Metroid Dread. This mode is acquired after completing Normal Mode, with the exception of Other M, which requires 100% item completion prior to the post-credits sequence.


Metroid Fusion and Metroid: Zero Mission[]

Hard Mode in the Japanese version of Metroid Fusion and in all versions of Metroid: Zero Mission affects expansions and enemy damage. All expansions are worth much less than they are in Normal Mode; an Energy Tank increases energy capacity by 50 instead of 100, Missile Tanks increase capacity by 2 instead of 5, while Super Missile and Power Bomb Tanks increase capacity by 1 instead of 2. In Fusion, Samus still starts with 10 Missiles and 10 Power Bombs regardless of difficulty. Enemies deal twice as much damage compared to Normal Mode in Zero Mission and 50% more in Fusion, which proves deadly when combined with the 50% less effective Energy Tanks.

In Zero Mission, additional enemies are added to various areas, and some weaker enemies are replaced with tougher variants. For example, the room in Norfair leading to the Ice Beam will contain Dragons in Hard Mode, thus adding extra challenge to the precise platforming, while yellow Zoomers in Brinstar get replaced with red ones. Hard Mode also significantly increases the number of Metroid larvae in Tourian. In Chozodia, one Chozo Ruins room contains an additional Zebesian, and two Save Stations are inaccessible (one behind a permanently locked Metal Door and another behind a closed-off hidden wall), increasing the difficulty of the Zero Suit stealth sequence.

Metroid Prime and Metroid Prime 2: Echoes[]

Hard Mode in the first two Prime games is more difficult than Normal Mode, as well as Veteran Mode in New Play Control! Metroid Prime and Metroid Prime 2: Dark Echoes. The Hypermode difficulty setting in Metroid Prime 3: Corruption takes Hard Mode's place, which is continued in the Metroid Prime Trilogy release. On Hard Mode, enemies have twice the usual health and their attacks do 1.5x the normal amount of damage.[1]

Metroid Prime Pinball[]

Metroid Prime Pinball features an Expert Mode, which acts as the game's Hard Mode. However, the only notable change between difficulties is that on Expert, Mini-Games will begin at level 2 instead of 1. Nothing else is affected.

Metroid: Other M[]

"Hard Mode" in Metroid: Other M is unlike the "Hard Mode" seen in the previous games. All expansions are removed, but it still has the same difficulty in terms of enemy stamina. Due to the enemies' increased damage and the lack of Energy Tanks, many opponents can easily incapacitate Samus in one to three hits, regardless of the Varia and/or Gravity features enabled. It is also the first instance in which Hard Mode is unlocked by collecting all expansions.

The final scene where Samus returns to the BOTTLE SHIP to retrieve Adam's helmet cannot be played on Hard Mode, as the game ends after the MB battle. Therefore, Phantoon cannot be fought on this difficulty setting.

Metroid Prime: Federation Force[]

Hard Mode is now available.
Press [Y] to enable Hard

Play Hard Mode to earn Hard Mode Medals.

In Federation Force, each mission can be played in Normal and Hard Mode. If the player desires to unlock all Paint Jobs, they will need to complete all 22 missions on both difficulty levels, unlocking all three medals for each mission. This requires completing the mission quickly and completing bonus objectives, as well as achieving a high score. When Hard Mode is selected on the mission select screen, the music will become darker, the interface will turn red and each mission prefix will be spelled with an H instead of an M, for example, M01: Outpost changes to H01: Outpost.

Metroid: Samus Returns[]

"Hard mode has been unlocked. You can select it when you start a new game."

Samus Returns features a standard Hard Mode, but it can only be accessed on a save file where the game has been completed on Normal Mode. Another, higher difficulty level called Fusion Mode, which is more difficult than Hard Mode and features the Fusion Suit, can be unlocked with the Metroid amiibo.

Metroid Dread[]

A mode for expert players.

Hard Mode enemies in Metroid Dread deal increased damage. A free update on February 9, 2022 added Dread Mode, an even higher difficulty that is unlocked by finishing the game on Hard Mode and starting a new game on the same save file.


  • The only exception to the increased damage from this difficulty is the Queen Metroid's stomach energy drain attack in Metroid: Other M, which ironically, has its damage significantly lowered compared to Normal Mode. This is most likely due to balancing purposes, as the energy drain in Normal Mode can wipe out more than a full Energy Tank before Samus can retaliate.
  • In Hard Mode/Hypermode only in Metroid Prime and Metroid Prime 2: Echoes, all Flying Pirates and Pirate Aerotroopers (respectively) will conduct a suicide strike when hit with a Super Missile (regardless of their remaining HP unless frozen).