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Difficulty is a system on Candy Crush Saga Wiki to measure how difficult a level or episode is. This system was introduced in 2013 and is inspirational to many other game wikis (especially King games).

Table of all Reality levels by difficulty (Note: large page size)

Table of Difficulty Distributions and Episode Averages

Difficulty code usage

There are 12 types of difficulty, ten of them sequential, two of them peculiar. They are:

0 None (white)
1 Very easy (cyan)
2 Easy (teal)
3 Somewhat easy (green)
4 Medium (yellow)
5 Somewhat hard (orange)
6 Hard (red)
7 Very hard (maroon)
8 Extremely hard (black)
9 Nearly impossible (navy blue)
V Variable (purple)
? Impossible (gray)

Episode means

An important thing that comes with level ratings is episode means, the indicator of how hard each episode is on a scale of 0 to 9. The overall difficulty of the episode is also determined with it.

Calculating episode means

To calculate the mean of each episode, we must first remember how to convert each difficulty level into its given number (Noted above, in the "Difficulty code usage" section. It's different for variable levels, explained below). The higher the difficulty, the higher its number.

Then, we must add up the 15 (Usually) numbers (Aka calculate the sum of the 15 numbers) and we must divide the number we'll get by 15 (Usually). The final number we'll get, which is rounded to the hundredth decimal place, is the arithmetic mean of that episode. (Note: In the first two episodes, we must divide the sum by 10 instead of the usual 15).

NOTABLE EXCEPTION: Variable levels. If an episode contains variable levels, we must subtract the number of variable levels from the size of the population (Aka the number we have to divide by during the final operation). Variable levels are also not included in the sum that we have to divide to calculate the episode mean, as if the episode has <15 levels.

Impossible levels If an episode contains an impossible level, the difficulty of the episode is also impossible and the mean cannot be calculated, the episode has an undefined value.

Undetermined levels. If an episode has more than 5 undetermined levels, the episode itself has an undetermined difficulty.

Translating the mean of the episode to the overall difficulty. The names of the episode difficulties are identical to those used for level difficulties. Each episode difficulty has its own cutoffs ("Borders"), which is noted below, in the "Usage criteria and examples" section. Note that if the mean is lesser than the cutoff mean by 0.01 to 0.1, the episode is considered to have split difficulties (For example, if the cutoff is 6, an episode with a mean of 5.9 to 5.99 has split difficulties).

Examples

Example 1: An episode has 4 somewhat easy levels, 8 somewhat hard levels and 3 hard levels.

Remember, the number assigned to each somewhat easy level is 3, the number assigned to each somewhat hard level is 5 and the number assigned to each hard level is 6.

1. Calculation of the sum: 3+3+3+3+5+5+5+5+5+5+5+5+6+6+6 = 70

Or (3x4)+(5x8)+(6x3) = 70

2. Division: 70/15 = 4.(6) ≈ 4.67

The mean of the episode is 4.67

Example 2: An episode has 2 very easy levels, 6 medium levels, 5 extremely hard levels and 2 variable levels.

Remember, the number assigned to each very easy levels is 1, the number assigned to each medium level is 4, the number assigned to each extremely hard level is 8 and variable levels are not assigned any number.

1. Calculation of the sum: 1+1+4+4+4+4+4+4+8+8+8+8+8 = 66

Or (1x2)+(6x4)+(8x5) = 66

2. Division: Remember, the episode has two variable levels. Therefore, we must divide 66 by 13 instead of 15.

66/13 ≈ 5.08

The mean of the episode is 5.08

Comparing episode means

  • If the difference between the means of two episodes is 0, we say that they are of the same difficulty / one episode is of the same difficulty as the other.
  • If the difference between the means of two episodes is at least 0.01 and at most 0.09, we say that they are of similar difficulty / one episode is of similar difficulty to the other.
  • If the difference between the means of two episodes is at least 0.1 and at most 0.19, we say that one episode is slightly easier/harder than the other.
  • If the difference between the means of two episodes is at least 0.2 and at most 0.49, we say that one episode is easier/harder than the other.
  • If the difference between the means of two episodes is at least 0.5, we say that one episode is much easier/harder than the other.
    • Note that 0.5 in the last bullet point is a debatable number and may change.

More examples

  • Episode N1 has a mean of 4.93, episode N2 has a mean of 5.02. Therefore, N2 is of similar difficulty to N1.
  • Episode N3 has a mean of 3.83, episode N4 has a mean of 4.93. Therefore, N4 is much harder than N3.
  • Episode N5 has a mean of 6.27, episode N6 has a mean of 6.53. Therefore, N6 is harder than N5.
  • Episode N7 has a mean of 7, episode N8 also has a mean of 7. Therefore, N8 is of the same difficulty as N7.

Notes for convenience

  • If the sum has to be divided by n, adding or subtracting a number from the sum changes the mean by 1/n.
    • If n=15, the mean changes by 0.0(6).
      • Better numbers for this case exclusively - adding/subtracting 3 numbers specifically changes the mean by 0.2.
    • If n=14, the mean changes by 0.0(714285).
    • If n=13, the mean changes by 0.(076923).
    • If n=12, the mean changes by 0.08(3).
  • Length between cutoffs:
    • 2 for very easy and nearly impossible.
    • 1 for easy, very hard and extremely hard.
    • 0 for none (Unused episode difficulty).
    • 0.5 for the rest.

Usage criteria and examples

Grading Description Concrete examples
None
  • Theoretically impossible to fail in any method save glitches, pressing the quit button, or in a Dreamworld level, use lollipop hammers to unbalance the scale. You win 100% of the time no matter how you play.
  • No episodes have this difficulty.
  • This is reserved for only a few levels. Levels which you can certainly guarantee a win should you play properly, but can be failed if you play improperly are not included.
    • You will certainly win if you combine the already-supplied combo in level 4. You may still lose if you do not combine them.
    • You will certainly win if you follow the tutorial on mobile level 606. You may lose if you refuse to use the candy frog or clear the candies through alternate methods.

*Exclusive to tutorials*

Level 1
The level that is impossible to be failed unless you click the quit button.
Very easy
(Episode means of 1–1.99)
  • Can be done in one (most of the time) or rarely two attempts.
  • There is a very high possibility of succeeding the level. Your chance of winning is above 95%.
  • Blockers should not be hindering the success of finishing a level or contributing the success of finishing a level.
  • Episodes with this difficulty should take no more than 1 hour.

*Rare Difficulty Level in the high episodes*

Level 236
Despite the mystery eggs, this level can almost always be done within 5 moves. Unfavourable outcomes are very rare. In fact, the mystery eggs will finish it for you in just one move if you are lucky!
Easy
(Episode means of 2–2.99)
  • Can be done within 3 attempts, and often in a single try.
  • There is a high possibility of succeeding the level. Your odds of winning is around 4/5, or 80%.
  • Blockers should not hinder too much the success of finishing a level.
  • Episodes with this difficulty can take 1–6 hours.

*Uncommon difficulty level in high episodes*

Level 53
Blockers can hinder your success in passing the level, but with abundant moves, it is easy to deal with the blockers.
Level 504
There are islands in the level, but with the given jelly fish, it is possible to clear all jellies within 40 moves.
Somewhat easy
(Episode means of 3.0–3.49)
  • Can be done within 4 attempts.
  • There is a moderately high possibility of succeeding the level. Your odds of winning is around 2/3, or 67%.
  • Blockers are starting (not too much) to hinder the success of finishing a level; some of them can be also quite difficult to clear.
  • Episodes with this difficulty can take 6–18 hours.
*Common difficulty level*
Medium
(Episode means of 3.5–3.99)
  • Can be done within 8 attempts, but usually require multiple tries.
  • The possibility of succeeding is self-explanatory in this case. Your odds of winning is around 1/2, or 50%.
  • Blockers can be threatening here. They may hinder moderately the success of finishing a level.
  • Episodes with this difficulty can take 1–3 days.
*Common difficulty level*
Somewhat hard
(Episode means of 4.0–4.49)
  • Can be done within 12 attempts, but usually require multiple tries.
  • The possibility of succeeding is rather low. Your chance of winning is around 1/3, or 33%.
  • Blockers are threatening here, so be sure to handle them as fast as possible.
  • Episodes with this difficulty can take 3–5 days.
*Common difficulty level*
Hard
(Episode means of 4.5–4.99)
  • Can be done within 16 attempts, and will usually consume a whole set of lives.
  • The possibility of succeeding is low. Your odds of winning are around 1/6, or 17%.
  • Blockers are threatening and can be difficult to remove. The shape of the level can be awkward and hinder the success of finishing a level.
  • Episodes with this difficulty can take 5–7 days.
*Common difficulty level*
Very hard
(Episode means of 5.0–5.99)
  • May take up to 25 attempts, and will usually consume few sets of lives.
  • There is a very low chance of passing the level. Your chance of winning is approximately 1/10, or 10%.
  • Blockers are pretty challenging to remove and are threatening.
  • Levels above this difficulty are frustrating enough to probably make players quit.
  • Episodes with this difficulty can take a few weeks to complete.

*Common difficulty level especially in high episodes*

Level 241
The great number of frosting and the continuous supply of liquorice swirls make clearing the jellies very hard.
Level 2830
The board is restricted and there are 5-move bombs. The target score is also very high given the fact that there are 12 moves only.
Extremely hard
(Episode means of 6.0–6.99)
  • May take up to 80 attempts, and will usually consume many sets of lives.
  • Your odds of succeeding are extremely low. They are approximately 1/33, or 3%.
  • Blockers are an enormous hindrance.
  • Without good understanding of the level along with good strategy and enormous luck, it can be nearly impossible to complete.
  • Episodes with this difficulty can take up to a few months to complete!

*Rare difficulty level in the earlier levels, but very common in the later levels*

Level 971
With a lot of blockers, only 12 moves, and the possibility of instant game over since the required candies could be consumed by chocolate, this level is extremely hard.
Nearly impossible
(Episode means of 7.0 and above)
  • Theoretically winnable. However, the chances are practically too low that it should be promptly nerfed.
  • May take hundreds or even thousands of attempts without boosters.
  • Your chance of winning is similar to getting a four-leaf clover! This will definitely take lots of tries: imagine odds of 1/150, or 0.6%.
  • You have jackpot odds of winning this level.
  • It is extremely frustrating without boosters.
  • It only appears very lately; most former Nearly Impossible episodes were already nerfed.
  • Episodes with a Nearly Impossible difficulty only occurs very late in the game. Such episodes will have the overwhelming majority of the levels being at least Extremely Hard, and may take up to a year to complete!

*Rare difficulty level, often nerfed. Some levels don’t even get redesigned!*

Level 2005
It is almost impossible to clear all the blockers (including the magic mixer) with a restricted space and the mere 12 moves.
Level 2699
Moving an ingredient to the next column using matches is already not easy, but you have to do this 6 times in this level.
Variable
  • Number of attempts vary because of high difficulty and the impact of random chance. One may finish a variable level in 1 try while some may take hundreds.
  • Usually assigned to levels whose outcome is based on its initial or near-initial board outcome, such that it is purely luck-based.
  • The probability of succeeding is hard to tell but unfavorable, and is dependent on the frequency of getting unfavorable outcomes. Some may say a level in this difficulty is easy while others say it can be one of the hardest.
  • Blockers may or may not hinder process, depending on where they are, and what they are.
  • This is the only difficulty rating that is not counted as part of the episode mean.
  • This is a rare difficulty level.

*Very Rare Difficulty Level*

Level 976
You have only five moves to clear two striped candies and two color bombs. The outcome of the candy colors and whether a suitable special candy can be formed and activated in the proper place is enough to either guarantee you a win or a loss. Unfortunately, the chance of a favorable board position is hard to tell and considerably low.
Impossible
  • Proven to be unwinnable without any boosters, cheats, and glitches.
  • These levels are the result of design or mechanics errors which render the level unplayable through normal means. An update usually follows soon after by fixing the design error.
  • The use of impossible levels is deprecated and it is not shown in the legends. They have an undefined difficulty value in calculating the average difficulty. If an impossible level exists in an episode, the entire episode is rendered unplayable.
  • This is the rarest difficulty level. Only 1 level ever had an Impossible rating; only five are ever playable at one point, and most of them have been fixed immediately or shortly once identified.

*Extremely rare difficulty level*

Level 578 and Level 380 (Dreamworld) (Before correction)
There was a jelly behind the chocolate spawner, since you can't destroy a chocolate spawner; the only way to clear the jelly was to use a Jelly Fish booster.
Early versions of level 615 (Flash only) and 1780
The order required colours that never spawned on the board, and there were no lucky candies to assist the order. These are caused by wrong colour scheme.
Level 1352 (Before correction)
The ingredient cannot slide into exit area since new candies always spawn from above. The only way to clear is to use a free switch to snatch the ingredient out of dead zone.
A variation of 1535 on HTML5 (Before correction)
An ingredient usually spawns in the area without exits. Unless in extremely rare circumstances, this version cannot be cleared even with boosters.
A past version of 1601 on HTML5 (Before redesign)
Due to different mechanic of magic mixers on HTML5, there will not be enough chocolate for the order within given moves, even at best scenario of clearing chocolate.

Changes to difficulty colour-coding

Since 2016, there were changes to the difficulty system:

  • The "Nearly Impossible" difficulty was introduced as the new top difficulty, above "Insanely Hard". This applies to levels which are almost unbeatable without the use of boosters.
  • The "Insanely Hard" difficulty was renamed to "Extremely Hard". This is the second-highest difficulty, below "Nearly Impossible" but above "Very Hard".
  • Levels originally are "Insanely Hard" were changed to "Nearly Impossible", unless the level does not receive 70% votes for "Insanely Hard" ("Nearly Impossible"), which will result in an instant downgrade to "Extremely Hard".

Change map

The following tables illustrate the colour codes and changes for each difficulty rating.

  • The first column shows the new colour codes, ie. those currently in effect.
  • The second column tells you whether/how this difficulty colour was changed.
  • The last column shows the old colour codes.
New Colours change Old Colours
undetermined
none
very easy
easy
somewhat easy
medium
somewhat hard
hard
very hard
extremely hard
nearly impossible
variable
impossible
(same)
(same)
(same)
(same)
(same)
(same)
(same)
(same)
(same)
renamed from
introduced
(same)
(same)
undetermined
none
very easy
easy
somewhat easy
medium
somewhat hard
hard
very hard
insanely hard
(new)
variable
impossible

Past changes

Effective August 7th, 2015, the difficulty colour coding in the wiki was changed. The new colour codes used were thought to be more intuitive, as they form a gradual progression through the colour spectrum.

Key points

  • The new colour for hard (red) was previously used for very hard.
  • The new colour for very hard (maroon) was previously used for impossible.
  • No colour coding is added to levels whose difficulty is undetermined.

Change map

The following tables illustrate the colour codes and changes for each difficulty rating.

  • The first column shows the new colour codes, ie. those currently in effect.
  • The second column tells you whether/how this difficulty colour was changed.
  • The last column shows the old colour codes.
New Colours change Old Colours
undetermined
none
very easy
easy
somewhat easy
medium
somewhat hard
hard
very hard
insanely hard
variable
impossible
removed
(same)
(same)
(same)
new
new
new
new
new
(same)
new
new
undetermined
none
very easy
easy
somewhat easy
medium
somewhat hard
hard
very hard
insanely hard
variable
impossible


Trivia

  • The system originated from the List of Levels, in which the difficulty of levels were once graded as "considerably hard for some", "considerably hard", "hard", and "extremely hard".
  • No one knows who actually created the difficulty system.
  • The colour for "Medium" was once between blue and purple, but since the colour was too similar to purple, it was then changed to the colour salmon. Currently, the colour of medium is gold.
    • This was also the case with the colour for "Variable", which was formerly yellow. It was then changed to green to make it easier to see on a white background. Currently, the colour for variable is purple.
    • It also happened with "Impossible". The former colour of impossible was white (it was specially designed for April Fools). However, once this difficulty was officially implemented, for the the glitched version of 578, it was changed to dark red. Currently, the colour for impossible is gray.
  • Before, there was no "Impossible" difficulty. It was first given to level 1 as an April Fools Joke, represented by the colour white.
    • In the same year all very easy levels were reassigned "extremely hard" and the rest of the levels were reassigned "very easy".
    • When level 578 was found out to be impossible without jelly fish, the impossible difficulty was still white.
    • Level 276 of Dreamworld was once given the impossible rating. It was downgraded since it was still theoretically possible to be completed.
  • The first "very hard" level was level 30, but it got downgraded afterwards. The first one currently is level 241.
  • The first "extremely hard" level was level 35, but then it got downgraded and then redesigned. The first one currently is 688.
  • The hardest levels (and impossible levels) in the game have shifted throughout the process of making this game.
    • First having level 35, then moving on to 65, considered by majority to be the hardest level.
    • After that, the infamous 147 was released. Being the first ever nearly impossible level, maintained to be the hardest level in 2013. Its Dreamworld counterpart was also the hardest in its realm until they were both nerfed.
    • Then, 350 was released and took over 147.
    • With the nerf of several hard levels on May 28, 2014, 578 became the hardest level in the game, and initially it was even impossible without using boosters.
    • With the nerf of level 578, early versions of 276 Dreamworld became the hardest since getting 300 blue candies with limited moves and blockers was an excruciatingly difficult job, almost impossible.
    • Level 276 of Dreamworld received a nerf in June 2014 and (possibly) the hardest level in the game became 289 Dreamworld.
    • When 380 Dreamworld was released, it was impossible without boosters, like 578 in reality.
    • With the nerf of 380 Dreamworld shortly after its release, 289 Dreamworld again became (arguably) the hardest level before being taken over in September 2014 by 677, because, like 276 Dreamworld, it was almost impossible without boosters.
    • 677 was nerfed in October 2014. Later that month, 735 was released and arguably became the hardest level in the game before being nerfed in November 2014. 289 Dreamworld was once again considered the hardest level after both of said nerfs.
    • 829 was released in January 2015 and became the hardest level in the game before being nerfed the following month.
    • After a yet another reign of level 289/Dreamworld, it was taken over by 1330 in January 2016.
    • On October 20, 2016, 2069 was released. It was considered the hardest level due to its incredibly low amount of moves.
    • 2069 was arguably taken over by 2741 in August 2017, also due to its insanely low number of moves.
  • The definition of "the hardest level in the game" is subjective to every player. Arguably, the "hardest" level in the game is 2005, which was buffed from 50 to 12 moves.
  • In Dreamworld, more extremely hard levels were released alongside challenging episodes starting with Funky Fortress, which continued until the end of the realm (expect a few episodes in between). Later episodes of Reality also contain tons of extremely hard levels.
  • It is theorized that the recent "surge" of impossible levels is because of oversights caused by the increased release rate of episodes.
  • The number of attempts for a specific player may not always represent the overall difficulty of the level as the player can get lucky.

Start a Discussion Discussions about Difficulty

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