Challenge Mode is a mode introduced in the Supply Drop Update. In challenge mode, each room is affected by modifiers which make the game more challenging. Players can activate the Challenge Mode by speaking to Daisuke in The Breach and spending 6 . Daisuke will be available to rescue after interacting with the Icosahedrax shrine 3 times or by freeing him from a cell after defeating the High Dragun once.
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Each room can have 1 to 3 modifiers active at a time depending on the floor. Additionally, bosses in the Hollow and Forge have unique modifiers that increase their difficulty.
Reaching the Black Powder Mine in Challenge Mode will unlock Chance Bullets.
Defeating the High Dragun in Challenge Mode unlocks Chaos Bullets and unlocks Double Challenge Mode, which increases the number of modifiers in each room. It is activated by speaking to Daisuke again after enabling Challenge Mode.
After 30 attempts, the cost of Challenge Mode is reduced to 1 and Chaos Bullets are unlocked automatically if they haven’t yet.
List of Modifiers
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Icon Modifier Effect Adrenaline Rush Each time the player dodge rolls, the game speeds up until the room is finished. Blobulin Rancher Bullets that hit walls or objects will have a chance to spawn Blobulins. Cursed Ceramics Spawns cursed pots randomly around the room, which can be destroyed. Standing near a pot will build the player’s curse meter, increasing their curse when it is filled. Destroying these pots will cause cobwebs to appear near where the pots were after a long period of time. Dark Was the Night Darkens the room and adds a cone of light to the player’s vision. Some enemies have parts that glow in the dark. Don’t Blink Darkens the room and adds a cone of light to the player’s vision.
Enemies that the player is looking at are stunned, but all other enemies become jammed and have increased speed. Doesn’t work on bosses.
Explosive Pyres Enemies explode upon death. Final Attack Enemies release bullets in all directions upon death. Ghost of the Shell Killed enemies have a chance to return as Hollowpoints. Gorgun’s Gaze The Gorgun’s eyes will periodically appear in random locations and send out a petrifying wave which prevents the player from firing their weapon. The wave can be avoided by dodge rolling through it or looking away from it. Gull’s Revenge Causes rockets like those fired by the Gatling Gull to rain down periodically at random locations near the player. This can damage enemies. Gun Queue Prevents the player from manually switching guns. Upon fully emptying a magazine, reloading, or waiting about 30 seconds, the next weapon in the player’s inventory is automatically switched to.
This disables dual wielding synergies for the duration of the room, such as The Submachinist.
Hammer Time A Dead Blow that follows the player appears in the room. High Stress Taking damage sets the player to half a heart for the next 5 seconds. Last Bullet Standing One enemy is invincible until all other enemies are killed. Long Live the King All enemies are invincible until the king enemy is killed.
Items and guns that transmogrify enemies such as Bundle of Wands can still turn enemies into chickens. The king can be a Wall Mimic causing confusion.
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If a Keybullet Kin or Chance Kin spawns, no king will appear.
Poison Pursuit A trail of poison follows the player. Pot Shots Objects fire a bullet towards the player upon being destroyed. Rat’s Revenge Fills the room randomly with fire traps. The traps are permanently disabled once the room is cleared. Shockwave Periodically, rings of bullets linked with electricity will appear in room and expand outwards. Touching the bullets or the electricity will damage the player. Thermal Clips Upon reloading an empty magazine, a pool of fire appears at the player’s feet. Unfriendly Fire Any of the player’s bullets that hit walls ricochet and then turn into enemy bullets, able to hurt the player as well as enemies. In co-op, bullets will also hurt the other player before they bounce. Zone Control Spawns multiple supply crates in a room. Only allows the player to fire when standing within a zone around the supply crate. After standing in a zone for long enough, all crates in the room will disappear and the player will be able to fire from any position. The supply crates can be pushed around.
Bosses in the Hollow and the Forge have special modifiers that modify their attack patterns.
Icon Modifier Boss Effect Something Wicked High Priest Candles in the boss room randomly appear in the boss room and become enemies that burst into flames when defeated. These flames last until the High Priest is slain. Extremely Bad Chess Kill Pillars Large rectangular patches of poison on the floor periodically appear and fade throughout the fight in a chessboard pattern. Night’s Watch Wallmonger Two invincible Sniper Shells are on top of the Wallmonger, who periodically fire at the player. Dragun Rage High Dragun Makes all attacks much more difficult:
- Most bullets travel much faster.
- The Dragun’s stream of fiery bullets aimed at the player bounces off of the wall.
- It fires more bouncing bullets in quicker succession.
- It fires two rockets instead of one.
- It fires nine homing skulls instead of five.
- In phase 2, the circular safe zones are much smaller.
Dragun Rage is always accompanied by High Stress.
- Shortcuts are blocked off if challenge mode is active.
- Wall Mimics can be affected by Long Live the King before being activated, preventing any other enemies from taking damage until the Wall Mimic is found.
- Upon entering a room, time will briefly slow to show the room’s modifiers.
- Trap rooms (rooms that contain no enemies) won’t have modifiers, regardless of what floor they appear at.
- This is due to the modifiers only activating in rooms with enemies.
- If enemies spawn into a previously empty room by using Lament Configurum, the Drill, or a Challenge Shrine, modifiers will activate. Gun Fairies that spawn from broken pots when no other enemies are present will as well.
- Each wave spawned by Drill will have a different set of modifiers, even if multiple happens in the same room.
- Certain effects won’t be generated for certain bosses, as there would be no way to beat these rooms, for example Wallmonger and Zone Control.
- If the player stands within the intersection of multiple supply crates, the time it takes for all crates in the room to disappear quickens.
- Being put at 1/2 heart by High Stress will not make Blasphemy lose its sword beams if you would normally be at full health.
- If playing as The Robot or if Hazmat Suit has been acquired, the player is immune to the shockwave effect and can cross the shockwave links safely. However, the bullets linking the electricity will still deal damage.
- If a Shockwave bullet is erased, the electricity will remain linked to the place the bullet was erased.
- Despite having no hearts, The Robot does die from getting hit twice in a High Stress room. One piece of armor will be destroyed once hit, and the remaining armor will visually disappear briefly.
- If a player has Remote Bullets with Unfriendly Fire, bullets that hit walls will still follow the player’s crosshair.
- Sniper Shells on top of the Wallmonger can be killed by using Big Boy.
- The bullets released by enemies when Final Attack is active will always be identical to whatever type of bullet they attack with (e.g., King Bullat with bouncing bullets, Skullet with sharp-tipped bullets). Therefore, enemies such as Blobulin do not release any bullets.
- Final Attack works differently on Shotgun Kin; instead of making them shoot out a normal ring of bullets, it always makes them burst into 6 bullets like they normally have a chance to (unless they are a variant which does not burst into bullets, in which case they will release a ring of bullets as usual).
- Explosive Pyres effectively nullifies Final Attack and/or Ghost of the Shell if they both activate in the same room, as the explosion will erase the ring of bullets or kill the Hollowpoint released by the enemy.
- If Gorgun’s Gaze and Shockwave appear in the same room, they will take turns activating.
- If Cursed Ceramics appear in a room that already has Cursed Pots in it, additional ones won’t spawn.
- Cursed Pots created by Cursed Ceramics will be affected by Pot Shots.
- Blasphemy can destroy an object and erase its resulting Pot Shots bullet with one swing.
- Supply crates spawned by Zone Control can block Minecart Turrets from moving if they spawn/are pushed onto the tracks.
- Each phase of the Lich boss fight will have 3 random modifiers instead of a unique one.
- The ‘Last Bullet Standing’ can be killed before defeating other enemies by pushing it into a hole.
- In a room with the ‘Long Live the King’ modifier, enemies that are not the king can be killed by getting pushed into a hole.
- The ‘Long Live the King’ modifier doesn’t prevent the player from devolving enemies that aren’t the king. These spawned Arrowkin can be killed even before defeating the King.
- If a room has Blobulin Rancher and Don’t Blink active, the player can purposely miss shots to get infinite money by killing the jammed Blobulins. This is not highly recommended if the player does not have contact damage immunity.
- Chance Kin, Keybullet Kin, Pinhead, and Nitra will not be affected with Long Live the King or Last Bullet Standing modifiers.
- If Poison Pursuit is active in the second phase of the fight with the Resourceful Rat, the player may take significant, unavoidable damage or die since the poison trail appears before the player is given control. This should be taken in consideration when attempting this fight in Challenge Mode.
- In a room with Thermal Clips, the player can still reload an empty clip without spawning fire by switching into a secondary gun after emptying a clip but before pressing reload, then switching back to the first gun after waiting past its reload time.
- Alternatively, the player can simply reload obsessively.
- If Rat’s Revenge is active during the second phase of the fight with the Resourceful Rat, the fire traps will be invisible, making them much harder to avoid.
- If Zone Control activates in the room with the trapdoor leading to the Resourceful Rat’s Lair, during the controlling, you may notice a square in the floor which doesn’t color in yellow, exactly where the trapdoor is located.
- With Unfriendly Fire modifier, friendly bullets turned hostile won’t damage the player if their bullets were imbued by Battery Bullets and the player has electric damage immunity (which Battery Bullets also innately provides).
If Daisuke is spoken to after activating the mode, he will randomly say any number from 1 to 20. Some of them have special phrases:
- 1: “Hahahaha… 1.”
- 13: “13. Bad luck, (character name).”
- 14-16: Nothing special.
- 17-19: The number with an exclamation mark.
- 20: “20! Wow, that almost never happens!”
- Daisuke is a D20, a twenty-sided die that is commonly used in Dungeons and Dragons. When spoken to, his responses reference D&D wherein a 1 is a critical failure and a 20 is a critical success.
- Blobulin Rancher is a reference to the game Slime Rancher.
- Cursed Ceramics is a reference to Curse Jars from Dark Souls II.
- Explosive Pyres is a reference to the game Destiny.
- Ghost of the Shell is a reference to the anime Ghost In The Shell.
- High Stress’s effect and icon are a reference to the game Darkest Dungeon.
- Long Live the King is a reference to the game Reigns and the movie The Lion King.
- Extremely Bad Chess is a reference to the game Really Bad Chess.
- Don’t Blink is a reference to a Doctor Who episode.
- Thermal Clips is a reference to the Mass Effect series.
- Night’s Watch is a reference to the Night’s Watch who patrol the great Wall in George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire, and its TV show adaptation Game of Thrones.
- Dark was the Night is a reference to the song “Dark was the Night, Cold was the Ground” by Blind Willie Johnson.
- Hammer Time is a reference to the catchphrase “Stop, Hammer Time” in the song “Can’t Touch This” by MC HAMMER.
- Something Wicked is part of a quote from Shakespeare’s Macbeth.
- Dragun Rage may be a reference to the Pokémon move Dragon Rage.
- Daisuke’s name is a pun on a common Japanese name and the English word ‘dice’.