Challenge Mode is a game mode which allows players to practice their skills as Playable Characters on waves of enemies, and post their scores on online leaderboards. Challenge Mode also allows players unlock combat achievement trophies after completing the game.
The Challenge Maps in Challenge Mode are divided into Combat and Predator Maps. The Combat Maps pit the player in an enclosed, arena-like, battle room to face off against a number of Thugs and inmates who come in to face the character in groups. The Predator Maps require players to clear the room of thugs quickly while completing three challenges, giving players a chance to employ stealth and create new tactics. These maps are complete with several locations for characters to hide and ambush enemies. Players may sometimes fight specific enemies from the regular game, including Victor Zsasz, Venom Henchmen, and Titan Henchmen. Challenge Maps appear in every main game in the series (AO:Blackgate being an exception), and can be played with multiple characters.
A complete list of challenge maps in each game can be found here.
In Arkham City and Arkham Origins, players can apply modifiers to make the challenge harder/easier. These modifiers range from being able to punch through enemy defenses to planting mines to every vantage point, rendering them unusable. Custom challenges are separate from default challenges, and don't share their scores. They also have no leaderboards, due their customizable nature. In Arkham Knight, modifiers do not return, but players are able to turn off counter icons in Combat Maps.
In Arkham Asylum, Arkham City and Arkham Origins, each challenge has a leaderboard, which can be configured to show how well you performed on the challenge against your friends, every other player, or to simply show the best 100 scores. In Arkham Knight, only the default character has a leaderboard; this was a design choice by Rocksteady, as creating leaderboards for every challenge for all 8 characters/X Batmobiles would require a lot of work and time for something that is only used to compare points.
Batman: Arkham Knight introduces rival points, which are earned by reaching certain amounts of points after already reaching the highest medal challenge. They do not affect the game in any way, and serve only as extra points on the Friend's Leaderboard. Most Predator Challenges do not grand Rival Points, due to their different scoring system.
As each game allows playing as almost any character on almost any Challenge Map: this means that the actual amount of challenges is far grater than those actually shown. This list includes all DLC:
- Arkham Asylum: 24 Challenges, on which The Joker is playable on 8, meaning 32 challenges overall.
- Arkham City: 4 characters for 31 challenge maps offers 124 unique combinations.
- Arkham Origins: 3 characters for 37 challenge maps offers 111 unique combinations.
- Arkham Knight:
- 8 characters for 40 challenge maps offers 320 unique combinations, plus additional 8 for Cat's Conundrum and Dual Play Maps.
- 6 Batmobiles with 16 Challenge Maps offers 96 unique combinations, plus additional 10 for Hybrid/Combat Challenges.
- In addition, 7 of these challenges have 2 variants, adding 35 more challenges.
- Notably, players cannot freely select Dual Play in every map, presumably due to several reasons:
- Harley Quinn is unable to use vantage points and her mayhem mode is activated with the same button as switching characters. This makes her unfitting in Dual Maps without a large overhaul.
- If all 8 characters could be combined with anyone else (excluding themselves), each challenge would have 56 possible dual-play character combinations. If each character combination also had 3 medals assigned to them in each map, the amount of medals would be overwhelmingly large task, especially in Predator Challenges. (48 character challenge maps, times 56 combinations times three medals equals 8064 medals)
- If the player dies to a thermobaric charge somewhere where enemies cannot see them (Anywhere except under a vent cover) enemies will still keep searching for him/her.