Resident Evil 4 Professional Difficulty Leon Pinstripe

How to Unlock Professional Difficulty in Resident Evil 4

Resident Evil games are no strangers to multiple difficulties requiring multiple playthroughs to master, and the newest release is no exception. When you first boot up the game, you can only access the Assisted, Standard, and Hardcore difficulties. But a fourth, even more demanding challenge is available in the Resident Evil 4 remake: Professional difficulty. We’ll discuss how to unlock it today.

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There’s only one core requirement to unlocking Professional mode in Resident Evil 4: complete Chapter 16, the game’s final chapter. In other words, if you want the ultimate challenge the game can offer, you first need to beat it in full once. Doing so rewards you access to the mode and the Pinstripe costume for Leon. 

You can access Professional at any point after you unlock it, as long as you start a new playthrough. You can even do so using your first playthrough’s completed save, so you have all your gear for the task. Nothing stops you from using any bonus weapons and items either. That means if you’re going for the S+ ranking in Professional, you can bring any of the infinite ammo and other borderline (or completely) overpowered weapons along for the ride.

It’s probably not a good idea to jump straight into Professional as soon as you unlock it unless you’re already intimately familiar with Resident Evil 4 from the 2005 release. Enemies have more health and deal massively more damage, you have no autosaves to make the journey more comfortable, and every resource you find is all the more precious because of these tweaks. 

You’ll want to know how enemies spawn, the best strategies for dealing with them, how to beat bosses efficiently, and — most importantly — where to get all the health items and resources you’ll need for the late-game’s roughest sections. Depending on how quickly you can build a mental map of the game, Professional mode on Resident Evil 4 can be one of the most challenging tasks the game presents for you. 

At least until you have to do it in five and a half hours with only fifteen saves. Those cat ears won’t unlock themselves.

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John Schutt
John Schutt has spent more than a decade writing about video games in various capacities and wonders constantly why no one has yet stopped him. You can follow him on Twitter @Terrible_Xiant, though he doesn't do much there.