When it comes to the game as a whole, FNAF 4 is the hardest; however, if we’re talking about the most challenging mode of any FNAF game, then you needn’t look further than the infamous 50/20 mode from Ultimate Custom Night.
FNAF 4, wherein you play from a child’s bedroom instead of the usual security office setting, holds the title of the most demanding game primarily based on the fact that it leans more into the auditory side of things for survival.
When it comes to what FNAF game is the hardest from the whole FNAF franchise, the common consensus is:
- FNAF 4 – 10/10
- Ultimate Custom Night – 9.5/10 (Although 50/20 mode brings it to a new level of difficulty, probably attractive to SoulsBorne players)
- FNAF Pizzeria Simulator – 8/10
- FNAF 2 – 7/10
- FNAF Sister Location – 6/10
- FNAF Help Wanted VR – 5/10
A New Setting & Playstyle
The fourth game in the series introduced fans to a couple curveballs with a stark change in setting as well as new mechanics for survival, ditching the usual song and dance involving checking the cameras for a much more grounded experience checking behind bedroom and closet doors.
The trick with FNAF 4 is to constantly keep moving, where in previous games you had to keep cameras on different animatronics to prevent them at certain points, FNAF 4 pushes you in at the deep end and it only gets harder from there. As the night goes on the animatronics increase in their aggression, so you must also play aggressively to survive.
It’s rather widely debated whether the gameplay is a nightmare the child is having while in a coma or that it is, in fact, set before the minigames, and what we are seeing is William Afton tormenting his youngest son in order to scare him into never going to the pizzeria, for fear that his animatronics designed to kill children may ensnare his son like they did his daughter.
This possibility is presented through the sheer difficulty of the game. It’s as if the game is rigged, and you’re not supposed to win, just as William Afton would want.
FNAF 4 – Can You Hear The Breathing?
If players want to beat the game, they must listen closely to tell when the animatronics are nearby. If you flash your light at an animatronic and they are close enough to the bedroom door, it’s game over; this essentially means that players need half-decent headphones and acute listening skills to make it through.
The breathing mechanic presents a new challenge, forcing players used to playing the game in a fast-paced and panicked mindset to slow down and listen for the animatronics’ breathing. Players must then close the door for 3-4 seconds, listening for the animatronics’ footsteps walking away.
Many players have fallen victim to this new mechanic, with some outright quitting the game altogether. In fact, a prominent complaint of FNAF 4 within the community is that the breathing is too quiet, and thus, players are doomed to fail and risk the terror of triggering a harrowing jump scare through no fault of their own.
Nightmares, All Nightmares
In the Halloween update for the game, four challenges, ‘Blind mode’, ‘Mad Freddy’, ‘Insta Foxy’, and ‘All Nightmare’, were introduced, each of these individually provides fresh and new avenues of pain and suffering for players mad enough to try them, but the toughest of souls can choose to combine the challenges into one run of pure unadulterated pain.
Here is a quick rundown of what each mode has to offer:
- Blind Mode: The player’s screen is blocked out completely, and any cheats that may help, like the house map, are also blocked out; this mode epitomizes what FNAF 4 is all about, as the player needs to rely solely on sound to survive the night.
- Mad Freddy: The spotlight is on Nightmare Freddy; he is more active during this night than any other, and the player’s primary concern should always be getting rid of any Freddies on the bed.
- Insta Foxy: Nightmare Foxy (or Mangle) begins the night in the closet, meaning that players must be quick to survive.
- All Nightmare: Nightmare (replaced in this instance by Nightmarionne) is the only animatronic stalking the hallways all night; once again, listening is critical to surviving. Should players fail to shut the door the moment the animatronics stop moving, it’s a one-way ticket to a loud game over screen.
Ultimate Custom Night – 50/20 Mode
UCN is essentially a mashup of all the games in the series, and really epitomizes the theme of ‘You’re going to die tonight.’
In the lore, it is supposedly set in a purgatory-like realm after FNAF Pizzeria simulator, wherein the soul of William Afton is being tortured over and over again by a child’s soul, suspected to be Cassidy, a previous inhabitant of Golden Freddy.
UCN compiles nearly every FNAF animatronic, and the player must defend themselves from all of them in a never-ending loop of jump scares.
However, even putting this mash-up format and the slew of evil animatronics present to one side, the most terrifying aspect of this game is the 50/20 mode.
In the game, all 50 animatronics have a level setting to decide their difficulty; these levels go from 0 to 20. The UCN 50/20 mode cranks every animatronics difficulty setting up to level 20, providing a damn near impossible challenge that only the best FNAF players can overcome.
Only the cream of the crop can run this gauntlet, as every animatronic is just lining up to kill you. Even Scott Cawthon himself deemed this mode impossible to beat.
What FNAF Game Is The Hardest? Conclusion
To summarise, the FNAF games were built on the idea of creating a challenge for the players in a horror setting, and the singular game that does this best is FNAF 4. However, those looking to truly experience FNAF hell, to stare into the abyss and dare it to stare back, should try their bravery in the 50/20 mode of Ultimate Custom Night.