Hard mode or challenge mode is a modified version of content that is meant to be more challenging than normal mode. The term is most often applied to boss encounters and minigames. In most cases, completing hard mode gives more lucrative rewards to the player(s).
There are many different types of hard mode, most of which are instanced.
Boss encounters[edit | edit source]
Some bosses have a hard mode encounter which provides a harder fight but better rewards. In order to access hard mode, check the "Hard Mode" option on the instance screen. There is no additional cost for a hard mode encounter. However, practice mode is unavailable for hard mode encounters.
Hard mode kill count is separate from normal mode kill count; kills achieved in hard mode are signified with red outline around the skull in addition to a thunderbolt icon on its forehead in the Beasts interface. The kill time is also separate from normal mode, with its text in red.
Soul Reaper tasks completed in hard mode provide more Slayer experience and reaper points, but the whole task must be done in hard mode; a single normal mode kill will disqualify the player from these rewards. Bosses killed in hard mode also provide more Marks of War.
The drop rate of boss pets is increased significantly when killing bosses in hard mode compared to normal mode:
- The giant mole and God Wars Dungeon generals have a 5x multiplier (1/2500 and 1/5000 to 1/500 and 1/1000, respectively)
- Vorago and the Heart of Gielinor bosses have a 2x multiplier (1/5000 and 1/2000 to 1/2500 and 1/1000, respectively)
- Elder God Wars Dungeon bosses have various multipliers ranging from 1.6x to 3x.
Hard mode kill count is combined with normal mode if applicable for the purposes of meeting drop thresholds.
The Final Boss [Name] title, also known as "Insane Final Boss" title, requires the player to have killed all bosses with a hard/challenge mode at least 100 times in both normal and hard modes, and unlock every boss pet. Hard mode is also required for the completion of several boss logs.
Giant Mole[edit | edit source]
The giant mole possesses a hard mode encounter. Each room's mechanics are enhanced for additional effects, and the final phase of the fight processes mechanics even faster than normal mode.
The ultra-growth potion is a unique drop to members' hard mode only, which allows wood and fruit trees to skip two growth stages. The drop rate and quantity of numbing roots and clingy moles are increased in hard mode, along with the drop rate of the dragon 2h sword.
God Wars Dungeon[edit | edit source]
God Wars Dungeon's original four generals possess a hard mode encounter. All the generals' health increase to 100,000 (Commander Zilyana having this as two pools of 50,000 health each) and their affinities are shuffled around, although with little impact outside of General Graardor.
The generals in hard mode use their abilities from The World Wakes quest, apart from Zilyana who has a new set of abilities since she was never fought during the quest. The generals' bodyguards also spawn at set intervals in the instance, which is still significantly faster compared to normal mode.
The unique drop from these encounters are the soulstones, which can be used to store killcount and bypass the requirement needed to access the said general. There are no drop modifiers to killing the generals in hard mode, so the drop rate of rare items is still the same as normal mode. However, the base drop rate of pets is 1/1,000 in Hard Mode, compared to 1/5,000 in normal mode.
Heart of Gielinor[edit | edit source]
Heart of Gielinor's original four generals possess a hard mode encounter, called "Challenge Mode". Apart from Gregorovic and Vindicta, their health is increased to 300,000. These instances may only be fought alone.
Each general possesses a new mechanic(s), and their normal mode mechanics are also enhanced. The Twin Furies and Helwyr have a new mechanic that is used at the end of their attack rotation, before resetting back to normal. Gregorovic and Vindicta have additional one-time mechanics that activate upon reaching 0 health.
There are no drops unique to hard mode from these generals, but the drop quantity of common items is slightly increased. The unique items are slightly more common in challenge mode, but the rate is not exactly doubled - rather, non-essence rares are made slightly over twice as common, while essences are made nearly three times more common.
Vorago[edit | edit source]
Vorago possess a hard mode encounter; unlike most other hard mode bosses in which the fight is slightly modified, Vorago's hard mode fight is much more of a challenge, adding six additional phases for a total of eleven - five of these phases are taken directly from normal mode, with an additional mauling phase near the end of the fight. Many of his mechanics are also modified to deal greater damage, with most warning messages from mechanics removed. In order to create the hard mode instance, the instance creator must have mauled all six rotations in normal mode. Players who haven't mauled all six rotations can still join a hard mode fight by joining the instance creator.
The ancient artefact is a unique drop to hard mode only, which unlocks the Bombi pet. In order to obtain this drop, the player must have mauled all six hard mode rotations. Mauling Vorago for the first time in hard mode also grants the [Name] the Defeater title, and a single piece of the Omens cosmetic override set accordingly for the rotation mauled on if not already owned.
The drop rates of tectonic energy and seismic weaponry are increased in hard mode.
Kerapac[edit | edit source]
Kerapac possesses a hard mode encounter. Phase 1-3 mechanics are nearly the same as in normal mode, but are slightly enhanced. Phase 4 is completely reworked for a significantly harder fight.
Parts of the Fractured Staff of Armadyl are available only in hard mode. As with challenge mode of The Heart's generals, Kerapac's common drops are increased to make up for the difficulty; it is unknown if the other rare drops are affected. Defeating the boss at least 1,000 times in hard mode unlocks Time Clone reskin (Echo of Kerapac) for Kerry.
The drop rates of the Greater Concentrated blast ability codex, Scripture of Jas and Kerapac's wrist wraps are slightly increased compared normal mode, from 1/256 to 1/192 if a staff piece is not rolled. The drop rate of the Chaos die reroll token is also increased from 1/300 to 1/100 per drop pile.
Arch-Glacor[edit | edit source]
The Arch-Glacor possesses a hard mode encounter. In order to access this mode, the player must defeat the boss at least once in normal mode with all mechanics active in a solo instance. With its powers no longer restricted, the Arch-Glacor imposes more threats to the player, most notably that dying is now unsafe and it is a fight to the death - players cannot teleport out until they kill the boss.
The mechanics remain mostly the same, but are slightly enhanced compared to their normal mode variants. In hard mode, the Arch-Glacor features an enrage and reward streaking system similar to that of Telos, the Warden. The Frozen core of Leng is available only in hard mode, which upgrades the tier 85 weapons to tier 95. Other rare drops are more common in this mode. Defeating the boss at least 1,000 times in hard mode unlocks Arch-Gladys, a dark-blue reskin for Gladys boss pet.
The drop rate of dark nilas, Scripture of Wen and Leng artefacts are increased in hard mode, with dark nilas having a flat 1/100 drop rate regardless of streak and enrage. While the drop rate of the chaos die reroll token is increased from 1/250 to 1/100, hard mode Arch-Glacor only possesses one roll, essentially slightly decreasing the average drop rate as normal mode would be effectively 1/83.
TzKal-Zuk[edit | edit source]
Zuk possesses a hard mode encounter. In order to access this mode, the player must complete the Make Way, I'm Coming Through achievement.
All of the TzekHaar, including TzKal-Zuk himself, have their health values doubled in hard mode, although this does not apply to TzekHaar-Aken's tentacles nor the Igneous TzekHaar that TzKal-Zuk summons when he performs his Igneous Rain mechanic. During the Igneous waves (waves 4, 9, and 14), the waves are also changed from simply one type of TzekHaar with three igneous variants of that type to one of each with periodic reinforcements of various TzekHaar creatures. During the build-up waves leading to TzKal-Zuk, he will occasionally intervene by launching a wall of molten lava at the player.
Parts of the Ek-ZekKil are available only in hard mode. Defeating TzKal-Zuk in hard mode 200 times unlocks a "Molten" reskin for the Little Zuk pet. Zuk's normal drops have no change in hard mode. The drop rates of the Scripture of Ful and Magma Tempest ability codex are doubled in hard mode. The chaos die reroll token drop rate is increased from 1/12 to 1/7.
Elite Dungeons[edit | edit source]
Elite Dungeons do not possess hard mode in the sense like other bosses; rather, it is simply by starting a dungeon and clearing it by themselves. The bosses do not have any special mechanics, although most of them are scaled accordingly for solo encounters.
Drops from the bosses are usually of better value in solo encounters, with a greater increase of rare drops (if the boss possesses any) and significant increase in common drops over duo and trio encounters.
Dungeoneering[edit | edit source]
A harder mode of Dungeoneering can be attempted when the player has successfully completed the Daemonheim tasks in full. Similarly to Vorago, the host must have completed all Daemonheim tasks and can invite those who haven't done so to the party.
The title [Name] of Daemonheim is awarded when all 60 floors are completed in hard mode.
Minigames/Distractions[edit | edit source]
Barbarian Assault[edit | edit source]
A harder mode of Barbarian Assault can be attempted when players have successfully cleared all normal mode waves at least once. The Penance punish players more severely in hard mode if mistakes are made, and the Penance King is fought at the end.
Hard mode tickets can be obtained from this mode, along with increased Honour Points and/or bonus experience.
Sunfreet[edit | edit source]
Troll Invasion[edit | edit source]
A "harder" mode of Troll Invasion can be attempted by simply asking Captain Jute to enable this mode. This mode is only available for the combat scenario. The normal twenty waves are compacted into seven, with each hard mode wave containing multiple troll types, exposing the players to all forms of combat.
There are no additional rewards to completing Troll Invasion in hard mode.