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Hardcore and Hard Mode missions

There are some additional challenges that you can try out as you progress further in Icarus. They might seem very rewarding, but making critical mistakes can be downright punishing as well. Here’s our Icarus guide to help you with Hardcore and Hard Mode missions.

Note: For more information, check out our Icarus guides and features hub.

Icarus guide: Hardcore and Hard Mode missions

Hard Mode and Hardcore missions in Icarus are just tougher variations of existing prospects. You don’t actually need to complete the “normal” variant, but you do need to finish any mission that unlocks that particular branch in the campaign.

So, what exactly separates Hardcore missions from the default options? Well, there are new modifiers:

  • 1x player respawn count
  • +33% XP gain
  • +30% creature health
  • +10% creature movement speed
  • +30% aggressive/neutral/passive creatures perception

As you’ll see in the two images below, completing Kill List Extermination gives you 225 gold currency. However, the Hardcore version provides an extra 50 Exotics. This could be a decent way to earn more currency for your Workshop items.

Unfortunately, Hardcore missions in Icarus aren’t for solo players at all. That’s because the “1x player respawn count” modifier means that you cannot respawn if you die during a mission. Only your teammates will be able to revive you. As such, soloing means that this is akin to a permadeath mechanic.

As for Hard Mode missions in Icarus, these also have modifiers that slightly increase the difficulty, and some prospects might award Exotic currency, too. Thankfully, there’s no “permadeath if you’re soloing/can only be revived by teammates” mechanic. Still, you do need to watch out for XP penalties in case your character is downed.

In any case, here are the modifiers:

  • +10% XP gain
  • +15% creature health
  • +5% creature movement speed
  • +20% aggressive creatures perception

Note: Apart from increased difficulty and Exotic currency rewards, Hard Mode and Hardcore missions in Icarus also have significantly shorter session timers. If you plan on starting these, make sure you can finish all the tasks and escape using the dropship in one sitting (the timer runs in real-time). If you can’t escape once this timer has expired, then your character is gone for good (i.e., lost levels, techs, and talents, with only the Workshop unlocks retained).


Icarus is available via Steam. For more information, check out our guides and features hub.

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