The 'Challenging' difficulty was the highest level PvE activity, prior to the introduction of Legendary Difficulty. This mission modifier is unlocked after reaching level 30.

The modifier adjusts enemy levels, how many and what types of enemies spawn, enemy accuracy and their aggressiveness. All enemies are level 32 and Elite status, and are much more difficult than "normal" level 32 Elite enemies (i.e. those found in Dark Zone 5 & 6).

Successful completion of a mission with this modifier active awards:

  • 30 Phoenix Credits
  • 1 High-end gear item
  • Standard level of Credits and Experience Points

If the mission is completed as part of the daily challenges, an additional 20 Phoenix Credits and a Gear Set item (with respect to World Tier) will be rewarded as well.

Not all missions can be played at 'Challenging'. A list of those that can be are below:


Challenging difficulty is not recommended for any player with a gear score lower than 150 and doing the mission solo is virtually impossible due to the AI having a vastly increased health pool along with inflicting absurd amounts of damage per shot.

Hiding behind cover is mandatory if the team wishes to beat the mission quickly as every enemy should be considered to be a mini-boss battle even a group of grunts can kill off the entire team.