Grim Dawn has three difficulty levels: Normal, Elite and Ultimate.
As with Titan Quest and other games of the ARPG genre, the game must be completed in each difficulty before progressing to the next.
In addition, there is the option of Veteran mode to provide additional challenge and difficulty for those who desire it.
On creation of a new character the player has the option of selecting Hardcore mode. In this mode a character's death is permanent and is no longer playable.
On the character selection menu, hardcore characters are shown with a golden aura, while dead HC characters appear as a ghost in black and white with a grey aura.
As part of the Grim Dawn Kickstarter stretch goals, Crate will eventually add Survival Mode. In this new gameplay mode, players will fight to stay alive against increasingly difficult waves of monsters. It will be released sometime after the game so as not to delay development.