What is Minecraft Dungeons Apocalypse Plus difficulty?
Apocalypse Plus mode explained
Minecraft Dungeons is a wonderfully addictive co-op-focused Action-RPG (ARPG) and features just the right amount of Minecraft in its DNA. However, one major criticism of the game at launch was how easy it was, relatively speaking, to reach "the end" of Minecraft Dungeons.
Minecraft Dungeons' main campaign can be completed in less than ten hours of play for most people but is meant to be replayed through the game's three difficulties: Normal, Adventure, and Apocalypse. Each difficulty gently "restarts" the game by raising the difficulty level, adding new gear to every level, and encouraging players to go through every level again to power-up before facing the dreaded Arch-Illager final boss.
However, it was still a bit too quick to reach the end of Apocalypse, and then players were left without a whole lot more to do in the game. Playing other versions and expansions for Minecraft Dungeons helped with content, like the Jungle Awakens and Creeping Winter expansions. Still, players were going through these expansions without being challenged or becoming more powerful. Minecraft Dungeons just kind of fell off at the end.
With the Howling Peaks expansion, Mojang Studios massively rectified this situation with the addition of Apocalypse Plus mode, which added an addition twenty difficulty levels to the game, and raised the maximum power level from ~110 to ~160! Unfortunately, this first iteration of Apocalypse Plus suffered from unfair difficulty spikes, so most players were never able to reach the end.
Now, with the launch of the Flames of the Nether expansion, Apocalypse Plus has changed a lot, becoming fully-fledged and pretty well-balanced for hardcore Minecraft Dungeons veterans and casual players alike.
Minecraft Dungeons' true endgame
In its current iteration, Apocalypse Plus mode in Minecraft Dungeons features 25 additional difficulty levels, evenly spaced out from each other, that can take players all the way to around 250 in power level. Players will see Minecraft Dungeons' difficulty steadily increase as they progress through Apocalypse Plus mode but will earn more powerful gear from every successive Apocalypse Plus tier they cross.
Players won't be able to exploit Apocalypse Plus mode to easily reach the end, either, as Apocalypse Plus features "thresholds" every fourth level. Players will need to complete a certain number of "boss missions," or levels that feature powerful final bosses, to unlock the next three levels of Apocalypse Plus.
Apocalypse Plus levels progress like this: Levels 1-3 require no boss missions, 4-6 require one boss mission, 7-9 require two, 10-12 require three, 13-15 require four, 16-18 require five, 19-21 require six, and, finally, Apocalypse Plus 22-25 require seven completed boss missions to unlock.
This means that Apocalypse Plus features steadily increasing challenges, spread out across required milestones. Any player can realistically reach the end of Apocalypse Plus, but it'll require a decent amount of time to reach the end. Now, Minecraft Dungeons has one-half of its previously missing endgame. The other half? Ancient Hunts.
Combined with the high-risk, high-reward nature of Ancient Hunts, players now have significantly more endgame content to play through in Minecraft Dungeons. The idea is for players to keep revisiting the challenging, procedurally-generated Ancient Hunts as they progress through Apocalypse Plus. Playing Ancient Hunts every so often lets players unlock powerful Gilded gear that can help them reach the vaunted end of Apocalypse Plus.
Both Apocalypse Plus and Ancient Hunts are also available for free to all players. That means you can access the entirety of Minecraft Dungeons' much-improved endgame even with the base version of the game, which is included in Xbox Game Pass. If you want to see everything Minecraft Dungeons has to offer, though, I'd strongly consider investing in the Minecraft Dungeons Season Pass.
Keep up with Apocalypse Plus mode and Minecraft Dungeons with one of the Best Controllers for Xbox Series X|S, which provide the best features, comfort, and performance for any budget.
The next era of Dungeons
Explore new worlds in Minecraft Dungeons.
It's been a busy first year for Minecraft Dungeons, and now the ARPG dungeon-crawling Minecraft spin-off is looking ahead towards its future, with four new expansions planned. The first one, Howling Peaks, is available right now, but players can also grab the new Season Pass to gain immediate access to all four expansions as soon as they launch.
Get the Windows Central Newsletter
All the latest news, reviews, and guides for Windows and Xbox diehards.
Zachary Boddy (They / Them) is a Staff Writer for Windows Central, primarily focused on covering the latest news in tech and gaming, the best Xbox and PC games, and the most interesting Windows and Xbox hardware. They have been gaming and writing for most of their life starting with the original Xbox, and started out as a freelancer for Windows Central and its sister sites in 2019. Now a full-fledged Staff Writer, Zachary has expanded from only writing about all things Minecraft to covering practically everything on which Windows Central is an expert, especially when it comes to Microsoft. You can find Zachary on Twitter @BoddyZachary.