Am I playing a different game on my characters? (TVHM vs Normal Mayhem)

I have a Fl4K with a completed Normal Mode game in MH4 and a Moze with the same but TVHM MH4.

Is there any difference in their games with Mayhem mode applied? I looked through the forums and cannot find a convincing answer from anyone.

basically, I’m trying to determine if I should play through TVHM all the way on my Fl4k in order to get the “true” end game experience for them, or if scaling up to M4 on normal has the same effect because M modes are independent of the VH mode.

If there’s another topic that has definitively concluded this answer, feel free to send me that way.

EDIT: Most likely answer here:

NVHM vs TVHM, depends how much you really like anointed enemies,… lol

Also you can reset story.

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haha - well, more i’m asking if the mayhem setting negates the “vault hunter mode” setting. In one kinda ‘universe’ within the game, there’s a Normal Mode Mayhem 1-4 and a TVHM 1-4, but the alternative is that there are really 6 settings total Normal, TVHM, mayhem 1,2,3 & 4. If Mayhem 4 is the same, then playing through in TVHM has no value other than giving yourself the option to reset the story, or replaying the story in the first place.


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Also damage differs between the two, TVHM has more anointed enemies along the story before you even are supposed to see them:



hm. yeah i’ve seen that screenshot before. But it still begs the question: how does Mayhem fit into these? Is mayhem an additive feature of either of these, or are mayhem levels additional tiers higher? Is there a “Normal Mayhem 4” vs a “TVHM Mayhem 4”? If I fight Wotan on Normal Mayhem 4, what’s the experiential difference between that and fighting him on TVHM Mayhem 4? Loot? Health Pool?

Literally the only thing I can find is that staying on Normal mode Mayhem 4 reduces the number of times I have to interact with Ava, which i guess is a plus?


From the testing I have seen and previous posts since start of game, there is no difference in drops/loot.

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hah - okay thanks.

Gearbox should probably clarify how this quantum eridium technology works.

I don’t see any practical difference between Normal MH4 vs TVHM MH4.

The only thing I noticed is elemental weaknesses and strengths are magnified. So I can kill faster in TVHM if I use the right element but kill slower with the wrong element.

Difficulty-wise it feels the same for me. I use Moze and both modes are manageable. The drops feel the same as well. I have higher expectations with TVHM so I feel TVHM is a letdown when it drops the same number/quality of items compare to Normal mode.

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hm. so it sounds like there is a mathematical difference between TVHM Mayhem 4 and Normal Mayhem 4, meaning there are 10 different game difficulty settings…? :thinking:

I’m pretty sure @DocStrangelove has tested and shown that mayhem modes have the same elemental modifiers. It’s only non mayhem mode normal playthrough that has different elemental modifiers.

My own experience of playing in both modes supports this notion that TVHM MH4 = NVHM MH4.


I’ma go with this too, because lor’help me i dun-wanna replay the story for the 6th time


As soon as you start Mayhem 1 on normal, you’ll get all the TVHM stuff: TVHM elemental modifiers (which can be easily tested by shooting your vehicle with elemental weapons), TVHM enemy names, anointed enemies appearing everywhere, etc. I watched a video analysis some time ago who tested Gigamind legendary drops on normal M4 vs. TVHM M4 and found it’s pretty much the same, did the same testing recently myself with Killavolt, also no difference. Plus, there was no difference at all in the fight itself, so enemy health seems the same too. XP gained from killing these bosses is also the same.

So at this point I think it’s pretty certain there’s no difference, unless anyone knows of any evidence to the contrary.


I’m sure our sample sizes are entirely too low for a real indication here, but I definitely notice a difference in how often I see legendary gear drop between MM2 (where I normally play) and MM4 (which I hit on occasion).

It says a lot when major magazines even comment on it.


Only reason for tvhm is for level 50 mission items. Once you have those you might as well be on nvhn for mayhem. At least until they come out with uvhm, if we ever get there.

This whole mayhem thing wasn’t thought out very well imho.


Honestly, it would have been very cleared up had they just created a slider like they did in Borderlands 2. As soon as you select the game it asks you which OP level to play on

I always hated having to quit out and go back in to change the OP level. It’s like the fact that you have to jump back to sanctuary to swap mayhem levels. Would be better if there was a way to do it via the map screen, especially in solo. Changing the mayhem level would jump to the nearest fast travel point on the map and reload it. That’d probably be too hard to implement, I guess, but if it was possible it’d be awesome.

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TVHM only really has two purposes: getting high level (usually 50) mission rewards and replaying missions you enjoyed.
I pointed out that it would be better to have a pick your own mission mode, here: UVHM should be pick your mission mode
Thinking about it, it wouldn’t need to be UVHM, since having this would remove the purpose of TVHM. Just have TVHM be a pick your mission mode, that lets you play any mission, with a random mission-only rare or legendary as a reward (or a chance for one as a reward). That way, you could play only the story missions and side missions you liked best or jump around to try ones you’d missed or forgotten. It sucks if you want to replay a side mission that unlocks late in the story and you have to reset the whole game in TVHM each time you want to play it.

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TVHM & NVHM M4 feel the same to me. I wonder, though, for public matchmaking – whether TVHM & NVHM players are lumped together just using Mayhem levels for matchmaking purposes? It’d make for larger pools of eligible teammates. Only Gearbox knows for sure!