Challenges are a mode of play that modifies the Sandbox experience within The Long Dark. In it, the player will have one or more objectives to complete, sometimes with a time limit. The player must achieve this objective without either dying, running out of time, or failing the mission.
In this challenge, the player spawns in the Trapper's Homestead in Mystery Lake. Within seven days, they must retrieve the Distress Pistol from the summit of Timberwolf Mountain, then take it to the lighthouse in Desolation Point and fire it from the top of the lighthouse.
In this challenge, the player is immediately attacked by the Old Bear, with no way to prevent it. The player must then recover and escape to the Trapper's Homestead to retrieve the Hunting Rifle there. The Old Bear will periodically chase the player when they enter an outdoor location.
This challenge may only be accessed after completing "The Hunted, Part One." The player spawns in the Trapper's Homestead with a Hunting Rifle, and must chase the old bear across Mystery Lake to his den.
In this challenge, the player starts at the Quonset Gas Station in Coastal Highway, which has been mostly stripped of any items. They must stockpile a large number of varied supplies within the gas station before a large blizzard hits in thirty days.
- Difficulty for Challenge mode is always set at Voyager, although there is a relative difficulty level given before the player starts a challenge.
- The gameplay ends as soon as the player completes the objective, and the game may not be accessed again once successful. After a successful game, they are given the option to restart and try for a better time.
- The player loses all progress if they fail, although they are given the chance to restart from the beginning.
- Research Books are not present in the challenge mode, although character skill levels are still there.
- After update .347, completing the challenge gives the player a badge in the "Badges" Menu. The badge gives no advantage, and only serves as proof that the challenge was completed.