- Bring it on [Hard Mode], Makes the game harder and can never be removed.
Hard Mode is unlocked by finding and donning the hard hat. To get started on finding the hat in The Town of Boring Springs, you must sell at least two items to Crazy Pete. He will buy the Shiny rock, Unrefined Meat nugget, and Silver nugget. This will prompt him to tell you about "level 40" of the mine.
Returning to the mine armed with this new-found knowledge will allow you to take the elevator to level 40 where you will find the hat.
Once donned, the hat cannot be removed so you will not be able to use any other hats and you will only be able to apply a single hat-specific enhancement.
- You cannot change hats, both limiting your ability to benefit from higher level hats and preventing you from completing quests that require donning a specific hat. Specifically,
- Enemies are much harder, as they have both higher initial stats and a much higher upper bound on how tough they can get. See the combat page for more info.
- Some of the grinding locations – Butterfield Ranch, The Daveyard, Fort Cowardice, Fort Alldead, Snake Spring, and the El Vibrato Chamber accessed from Lost Dutch Oven Mine – are limited to 5 fights per day. The ramping up of these fights also begins at a higher initial level.
- You cannot take the dark horse as your steed.
- You cannot take Gary the Goblin as your pardner.
- You cannot acquire certain items:
- Some items are more expensive.
- You'll need to recruit 4 passengers instead of 3 to break through the train door to get to Emperor Norton, and since two of the six passengers cannot be interacted with, this is ALL of the remaining 4. Alternatively, be prepared for a very tough fight in the final encounter.
- The limitations on grinding locations / infinite fights for resource and EXP farm only applies to certain locations already specified. It is worth knowing that when playing as a Snake Oiler you can still farm useful snake rewards by farming in the Soupstock Lode, although it is much more difficult compared to the Snake Spring. The player could also simply sleep to reset all counters, but that would prevent the player from getting The Really Hard Way achievement since it requires you to beat hardmode in a single in-game day.
- Ranch dressing is quite useful early game especially in regions A-B (and potentially C). Having more maximum HP with adequately levelled up stats increases your ability to survive for roughly 2-4 more turns in the region. The Ghost pickle is also relatively easy to get early while being extremely helpful in the same regions.
- Beaker of fudge is possibly one of the most helpful things you could obtain in the middle region during the midgame. It is recommended to go look for it immediately once you solved the first railroad problem. To obtain it, you could visit the petting cemetery and inquire the clerk about a missing buffalo. You will then discover the Buffalo Pile and create it using the liquid vats in there. Alternatively, simply wandering around in region F could also unlock either location.