Challenges are self-imposed ways of increasing gameplay difficulty by adhering to certain "house rules" type mechanics, or attempting to achieve additional goals. These can be merely for bragging rights.
The challenge types listed here are not necessarily mutually exclusive. For example, you might try to do a solo speed run on insane using only dual pistols, an ammobox and no "weapon"-type extra items.
Complete a level as fast as possible. Speed Running usually involves trying to earn one of the seven Steam Achievements or to beat another player's time. The key to these is to keep moving.
One speed run achievement exists for each level of the Jacob's Rest campaign, and each requires no deaths and a minimum of Normal difficulty;
- Landing Bay: 1 minute, 25 seconds
- Cargo Elevator: 2 minutes, 50 seconds
- Deima Surface Bridge: 2 minutes, 30 seconds
- Rydberg Reactor: 3 minutes, 10 seconds
- SynTek Residential: 2 minute, 30 seconds
- Sewer Junction: 1 minute, 30 seconds
- Timor Station: 4 minutes, 25 seconds
- Landing Zone: 2 minute, 35 seconds
- Power Plant's Cooling Pump: 2 minutes, 5 seconds
- Power Plant's Generator: 2 minutes, 25 seconds
- Wastelands: 1 minute, 35 seconds
- Storage Facility: 1 minute, 5 seconds
- Landing Bay 7: 1 minute, 30 seconds
- U.S.C. Medusa: 2 minutes, 45 seconds
- Transport Facility: 1 minute, 45 seconds
- Research 7: 2 minutes, 30 seconds
- Illyn Forest: 3 minutes, 40 seconds
- Jericho Mines: 3 minutes, 30 seconds
- Insertion Point: 2 minutes, 48 seconds
- Abandoned Maintenance Tunnels: 2 minutes, 22 seconds
- Oasis Colony Spaceport: 4 minutes, 24 seconds
- Midnight Port: 3 minutes, 20 seconds
- Road to Dawn: 4 minutes, 15 seconds
- Arctic Infiltration: 3 minutes, 10 seconds
- Area9800 Landingzone: 3 minutes, 25 seconds
- Cold Catwalks: 3 minutes, 35 seconds
- Yanaurus Mine: 4 minutes, 20 seconds
- The Factory: 4 minutes
- Communication Center: 7 minutes, 30 seconds
- SynTek Hospital: 7 minutes, 15 seconds
- Lana's Bridge: 2 minutes, 37 seconds
- Lana's Sewer: 2 minutes, 25 seconds
- Lana's Maintenance: 2 minutes, 16 seconds
- Lana's Vents: 2 minutes, 48 seconds
- Lana's Complex: 4 minutes, 48 seconds
- Unexpected Encounter: 1 minute, 5 seconds
- Hostile Places: 1 minute, 20 seconds
- Close Contact: 1 minute, 10 seconds
- High Tension: 3 minutes, 50 seconds
- Crucial Point: 3 minutes
A solo run, also known as the "Rambo Challenge", consists of a player completing the mission without other players or bots in the game. It can be considered a test of personal skill and map knowledge. Since most levels require a Tech for hacking, a solo run is often played with Crash or Vegas. When a Tech is not needed, the Medic class is the safest choice because of their ability to heal themselves. In order to start a mission without other players or bots, enter asw_ignore_need_two_player_requirement 1 into the console.
One may choose to restrict oneself to equipping only certain items, or to abstain from certain items. This may be to avoid equipment that is considered overpowered, or to increase the challenge by using equipment that requires more skill to use effectively or is otherwise inferior to more commonly chosen equipment. Examples include the exclusive use of Twin Pistols, the Pump-action Shotgun, or the Rail Rifle.
- Main article: Melee only challenge
In the melee only challenge, the use of any equipment that is capable of inflicting damage, including the Chainsaw, is forbidden.
A popular equipment restriction, a Chainsaw Run requires all players to use only Chainsaws during combat.
This challenge simply requires all the members of the squad to refrain from using any form of healing methods, be it through a Medic or a Healing Kit. While easy on the lower difficulty settings or even the earlier levels on Hard and Insane difficulty, it may become more challenging on the later levels.
The more extreme version of the No Healing challenge, this one requires all squad members to avoid taking any damage altogether. This requires flawless communication and a great deal of skill, especially on the higher difficulty settings.
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