How to Unlock Resident Evil 3's Hidden Nightmare and Inferno Modes

Resident Evil 3 doesn’t have any alternate game modes like Resident Evil 2 did after players beat the game for the first time, but it does have some challenging difficulties to be unlocked through the “Nightmare” and “Inferno” modes. These difficult, alternate takes on the traditional Resident Evil 3 experience can only be unlocked through certain means that are straightforward enough, but completing the requirements isn’t as easy as it sounds. The two modes get progressively harder as players unlock them with the final one, Inferno, being one of the most unique and entertaining ways to play Resident Evil 3.

Your first hint that these two modes exist will come from navigating the “Records” section of the menu where all of Resident Evil 3’s in-game challenges are found. Several records either have question marks in place of a name or say they unlock game modes – these are the ones related to Nightmare and Inferno.

You’ll unlock Nightmare Mode first in Resident Evil 3, but only after you’ve beaten the game on the Hardcore difficulty. Beating it on Hardcore will complete the “Veteran” challenge and will unlock some concept art and Nightmare Mode.

Beat the game on Nightmare Mode and you’ll unlock the last hidden mode: Inferno. This mode makes enemies even stronger and has more restrictions on it to create the most challenging experience Resident Evil 3 has to offer.

You don’t have to get any certain rank on Hardcore or Nightmare Mode to unlock the hidden modes, so don’t stress out about getting an S Rank. The full list of changes applied in each mode can be found below so that you’ll know what to expect.

Nightmare Mode

  • Enemies behave more aggressively
  • Enemy attacks are much stronger
  • Enemies and items appear in different locations

Inferno Mode

  • Enemies are even stronger than in Nightmare Mode
  • Fewer Typewriters and Item Boxes can be found
  • Autosave is disabled

Both of these are extremely challenging and are huge steps up from the normal Resident Evil 3 experience, but they’re worth checking out if only for a few moments. If you want to play through them only to see what’s new and aren’t concerned with a purist playthrough, unlock one or two of the infinite-ammo weapons from the in-game shop and bring those weapons into the mode. Before you try any of these harder modes, however, be sure that you’ve taken a look at our Resident Evil 3 guide to make sure you’re prepared for your first playthrough and beyond.