The difficulty level in the Hitman series determines many factors within each game. Harder difficulties can affect AI effectiveness, and improve enemy strength.

First making an appearance in Hitman: Codename 47, the difficulty system has been in every Hitman game, with HITMAN™ being the latest to include it, albeit being two difficulty modes.

Hitman: Codename 47

Hitman: Codename 47's difficulty system used only three levels, Easy, Normal, and Hard. Unlike other games in the series, changing the difficulty in Hitman: Codename 47 changed the enemies combat ability, and weapon strength.

Hitman 2: Silent Assassin

Hitman 2: Silent Assassin's version of the difficulty system was changed from its predecessor's. Split into three different difficulties, Normal, Expert, and Professional, the different difficulties give the player a harder experience throughout Hitman 2: Silent Assassin's levels. The increase in difficulty increases the dis-benefits that the player is given.


  • Basic enemies.
  • Basic detection rates.
  • Basic detection radius.
  • Allows 7 saves per level (along with any bonus one given in a level).


  • Enemies do more damage.
  • Enemies have a higher detection radius.
  • Enemies see through disguises faster.
  • Enemies have more health.
  • Some additional enemies.
  • 47's health has been lowered.
  • Allows only 2 saves per level (along with any bonus one given in a level).


  • Enemies do even more damage.
  • Enemies have a further higher detection radius.
  • Enemies have maximum detection rates.
  • Enemies have more health.
  • 47's health has been lowered further. A single shot from a sniper gun can kill him.
  • No saves allowed (Though you can use any awarded saves).
  • No hostile is visible on the map, except targets.

Hitman: Contracts

While Hitman: Contracts's difficulty system is almost an exact replica of Hitman 2: Silent Assassin's, there are some minor changes that affect gameplay. Guards don't automatically start shooting when 47 is running, and you aren't instantly detected on higher difficulties when walking past them.

Hitman: Blood Money

Hitman: Blood Money's difficulty system was completely revamped from Hitman: Contracts. Split into 4 difficulties, the game gets progressively more difficult with the amount of restrictions given, making it harder to achieve Silent Assassin.


  • Full Agency assistance.
  • Accommodating AI.
  • Very high amount of health.
  • Unlimited saves.
  • No notoriety impact.


  • Some Agency assistance.
  • Normal AI.
  • High amount of health.
  • 7 saves per level.


  • Low Agency assistance.
  • Increased AI behavior.
  • Fairly low amount of health.
  • Evidence can impact your mission rating.
  • 3 saves per level in Hitman: Blood Money.


  • Minimal Agency assistance.
  • Advanced AI behavior.
  • Very low health.
  • Evidence can impact rating.
  • No saves permitted.
  • Only 47, VIPs, optional targets and main targets are visible on your map.

Hitman: Absolution

Hitman: Absolution's difficulty system was changed from Hitman: Blood Money. The difficulty system affects checkpoints, Instinct, hints, and AI. The difficulty levels in Hitman: Absolution also give a point modifier to the player, with Purist giving maximum of 150%. There are two main difficulty categories, which are further divided into two or three levels.



Supreme training and a physique enhanced beyond ordinary human capacity mean that your enemies are no match for you. By cunning or by brute force you are unstoppable.

  • Players can activate additional checkpoints.
  • Instinct regenerates.
  • Instinct will provide hints.
  • Enemies react very slowly.


You can rely on Agent 47's superior training and instinct. Remaining completely unnoticed can be a challenge, but you can always rely on your guns to get you out of trouble.

  • Players can activate additional checkpoints.
  • Instinct does not regenerate.
  • Instinct will provide hints.
  • Normal enemy presence with normal reaction times.



You like a challenge and your enemies will provide you with just that. They will be more numerous and with faster reactions. Evading your enemies will be difficult and you must strike with flawless timing.

  • Players can activate additional checkpoints.
  • Instinct depletes when used and does not regenerate.
  • No Instinct hints.
  • Additional enemies with improved reaction times.


You fight for every inch of progress, often without firing a single bullet. You don't rely on any help and accept trying many times before reaching your target...and perfection.

  • No player-activated checkpoints.
  • Instinct depletes when used and does not regenerate.
  • No Instinct hints.
  • Instinct does not reveal NPCs behind walls.
  • Maximum number of enemies with fastest reaction times.


This is a challenge for a true perfectionist. You know every rule, every detail, and all environments by heart. Even then you will die trying.

  • No tutorial.
  • No Help.
  • No interface.
  • No Guide.
  • Minimal instinct.
  • Only a crosshair.


The player can add levels of difficulty to the game with toggle options for opportunities, markers, and the player's HUD, all included in the Options tab. The default difficulty settings have been deemed "Normal" by the community.

Various community-made combinations of difficulty will not be displayed here, other than the "Purist" (Hard difficulty) settings and the Easy/Normal settings. The player can change these settings to fit their play-style/needs and wants.

The options for each customizable mode will be separated under a spoiler tag for clutter-prevention.


The following contain spoilers. Click "show" to continue.

  • Opportunities = Full
    • There is also a "Minimal" setting, which hides the tracking icons only, but still allows opportunities.
  • Instinct = On
  • Target Information = On
  • Vital Info Messages = On
  • Objectives = On
    • "Always On/Off" is available for those who want their objectives shown on screen always.
  • Minimap = On
    • All minimap related tools are also turned on.
  • Attention Alert = On
  • Interaction Highlight = On
  • Weapon HUD = Full
    • "Minimal" is also available to show the weapons HUD only.
  • Challenges = Full
    • All related challenges tools also turned on.


The following contain spoilers. Click "show" to continue.

  • Opportunities = Off
  • Instinct = Off
  • Target Information = Off
  • Vital Info Messages = Off
  • Objectives = Always Off
  • Minimap = Off
    • All minimap related tools are also turned off.
  • Attention Alert = Off
  • Interaction Highlight = Off
  • Weapon HUD = Off
  • Challenges = Off
    • All related challenges tools also turned on.



Professional mode announcement

As of January 31st, 2017, "Professional" difficulty was added. The difficulty level is unlocked by reaching level 20 mastery on any mission, and is also affected by the options for added difficulty above for "Normal" and "Purist," and can also be combined.

  • Enhanced AI behavior.
    • Guards are extremely thorough with their tasks.
    • Guard alertness and search radius are increased.
  • Advanced security camera logic.
    • Security cameras will detect illegal activities, and guards will be sent to the infringing area.
    • Increased number of security cameras.
  • Every location tweaked, and altered.
  • Separate leaderboards for professional players.
  • Unique unlockable rewards.
  • Professional-based challenges and mastery.
  • Strict item rules.
    • More items can be tagged illegal or suspicious depending on your disguise.
  • Limited saves.
    • Save limiting has returned: The player can use only one manual save.
    • Auto-saving disabled.
  • Disguises can only be taken from clean bodies; stab and bullet wounds ruin them.
  • NPCs are very perceptive to footsteps.
  • Fewer disguises out in the open.
  • Very slow health regeneration.
  • All combat is lethal.


  • All difficulty settings are separate from any set mode, which makes HITMAN™ the only Hitman game to allow the player to create their own game difficulty.