Hardcore Freelancer is simply not worth it at all

Title says it all, unfortunately.

Hardcore is just not worth it. There is literally no extra reward for side and prestige objectives, the main targets are still worth an inconsequential reward, all for a tiny bump in rarity of campaign item rewards which means nothing since on normal you can still eventually get everything.

Let’s also not forget you lose all freelancer tools when switching modes, your normal tools aren’t even waiting for you when you switch back!

The risk is insanely higher especially with how unbalanced many of the (now mandatory) prestige objectives can be, and it comes with effectively no real increase in reward. I don’t think there was any noticeable increase in mastery xp either. It’s just not worth having in the game in this form.


I didn’t tried yet, but I gues they should put a forced Silent Assassin or fail. Specially for all these players who was moaning about that :rofl:

The problem with that is too many of the mandatory prestige objectives are terrible for that. You can get a Time Trial on New York and it’s 2 flat minutes for 3 targets all spread out, they’re often insane.


If the mode was just a forced Silent Assassin (suit only or not), it would be hard enough given the random targets and all, but the extra objectives like taking guards out with assault rifles, timed elements as has been mentioned often enough now, and others are just insane.


I was certainly very frustrated with Freelancer day one, but I’ve gone through that learning curve and now adore it. Yes, it’s a different thing.

What makes it ‘worth it’ to me is that it’s challenging and enjoyable and I’m filling my weapon wall and furnishing my house.

Right but that’s incentive for normal mode, but hardcore has basically no extra reward. The tiny marginal increase in rewards does not make up for the extreme increase in risk per mission.


I haven’t tried hardcore yet (waiting until I fail another normal campaign so I’m not just flushing my tools for no reason) but from what people are saying it seems like it’s just a little treat for people who like their games Too Hard & the rest of us don’t need to worry about it


Well even if you realize you dislike it, just switching mode wipes your Freelance tools, they’re not even kept in each mode separately, they’re just wiped out. You’re punished for even looking into the more for a bit.


I guess my aspirations for ‘Hardcore’ may be lower. There are two challenges I think that require it, so I’ll do those and it’s a stretch (and risk) to do them. As for doing more than that, I agree with the OP, there’s no additional incentive. With a pool of weapons that is limited, what does it matter if a supplier has them sooner or later, of if I win them sooner or later. So long as I have a covert weapon of each time, the missions can get done.

There are three, completing a single contract, a syndicate, and an entire campaign. Like many, I think I will complete it once and be done with it unless IOI tweaks the prestige requirements.

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The only point of hardcore mode is for challenge. If you want a more challenging game, that’s what it’s for. I haven’t got to that point yet but when I do, I’ll be playing hardcore all the time. Colorado has been too easy to do SA/SO lately. :cowboy_hat_face::rofl::melting_face:


Agreed, I do think taking away all of your tools just for switching difficulties is too much of a penalty.


This thing has non sense at all. Only for switching mode why I have to lose my tools of the other mode?!? I will never play hardcore at the moment.

I can understand taking the tools away when ENTERING Hardcore Mode to avoid giving yourself any advantage by having some/a lot of tools acquired previously. But taking them away when LEAVING and returning to normal mode makes no sense.


I think that how is it now hardcore mode is too much frustrating, basically there’s no desire or purpose for playing this if not for the absurd challenge.

I think that if IOI tweaks something like increased rewards both in terms of xp and merces and/or some weapons acquirable exclusively for hardcore mode maybe can be more appealing.

However the first thing that absolutely should be done is improving the prestige objectives.

If in this mode those are mandatory there’s no way that timed objectives in maps that requires even some recon before actually you can come with a plan are a thing.

Maybe use some prompt to re-shuffle objectives that you can do if the first 3 are too bad for you or maybe add even some more objectives.

They said that freelancer is for all Playstyles and that is true but then again if I start an hardcore campaign and then 2 out of 3 maps I’m forced into speedrunning prestige objectives really it is impossible without even restarting.


I mean yeah, the only real reward for Hardcore is getting the three doodads on your trophy shelf.


Finished a campaign on hardcore mode to complete the challenge, after that went back to normal mode.

That’s what the collector items/tools are for. Which are the kalmer/sieker & crowbar, which are kept in your weapon racks and is all you really need.

Rest of the freelancer tools are not a must anyway, only to complete some side objectives (never a prestige objective), and you can acquire them again very fast (plus they are super cheap)


So the punishment for even checking hardcore mode is that you must have bought all the expensive collector tools and then risk losing tools worth 30k-40k trying to earn back the proper ones?

Again, Hardcore is punitive without reason and offers nothing back.


Play early on when mercers are relatively low as 50,000 less painful to lose then say 500,000-1,000,000 and only use gear that you’ll lose anyways or weapons easy to replace.

Though I should point out that the “I’ll Be Back” challenge rewards should NOT be available in Hardcore Mode that way one can’t say “well at least I’ll get something for failing”.

If you’re not a completionist, there’s zero reason to bother with Hardcore mode.

For everyone who IS though, here’s my advice and what you should know before starting.

  • Hardcore mode is like playing Master Difficulty on steroids. More guards, more cameras and more enforcers. And since you can’t take as much damage as normal, combat usually results in failure.

  • Wait until you’ve acquired every single item for the weapon display walls before starting to make sure you have the required items needed for prestige objectives.

  • You’ll also have less money at that point, so if you fail a campaign it won’t matter financially.

  • When selecting Syndicates, only focus on the levels you’ll be going to and trying to get a run you’ll be comfortable with. But understand, even “easy” levels can end up being a nightmare because of the added stuff (more guards, more cameras and more enforcers).

  • Focus only on the prestige objective. Don’t bother with anything else. No searching for safes, robbing couriers, seeking out suppliers etc. The goal here isn’t about racking up money or acquiring crate items. It’s completing the level and moving on.

  • Avoid Silent Assassin objectives (all variations) and timed objectives (all variations) when possible. Stick with Epic/Legendary kills/pacifications that require weapons/items from the weapon walls. Depending on RNG, you might get lucky and see multiple instances of “Kill a target with a Shuriken” or “Headshot a target with a Legendary pistol”.

  • Pick the easiest target on the level to complete the objective. Then focus on killing the remaining targets and then heading for the exit. Don’t worry about the remaining kills being sloppy either. It doesn’t matter. This is why you avoid SA.

  • For Showdown levels, focus on marking off obvious non-suspects first i.e. if the Leader is bald you can quickly unmark suspects WITH hair. Also Leaders only have the tells listed on the camera display so if you see one doing something not listed, they’re NOT the Leader i.e. sneezing and “Allergies” is not listed.

  • The reason you want to do this is because for all the other "potential* suspects, it"s faster and safer to just kill them (and their guards) as opposed to investigating them. Start with the easiest i.e. the ones that take isolated routes.

  • If you have a specific play style, or a strict set of rules you like to follow while playing (see Heisenberg Parameters of Perfection) you’re gonna have to set that aside in order to complete this mode.

Hopefully some of that helps someone out there. :joy: