Legend Stages and the maps in which they appear are rated on a scale of difficulty ranging from 1★ (easiest) to 12★ (hardest). Map buttons have ★ icons on them that light up based on the difficulty of each stage, which can be viewed in the sub-chapter's/event's information. Maps with stages of differing difficulties will have multiple ★s lit up (e.g., Vacation Awakes! is rated as both ★7 and ★8).
- ★1: Rated for the first stages of many monthly and seasonal events as well as trivial stages that are meant to give players rewards without a fight, such as Sender Unknown, CAT DAY and the Summer Break Cats Enigma Stages and Stories of Legend stage Earthshaker only.
- ★2: Rated for Stories of Legend stages from Return of Terror to Guardian of the Ranch.
- ★3: Rated for Stories of Legend stages from Sleeping Lion to Sesamin Ruins.
- ★4: Rated for Stories of Legend stages from Isoflavone Cave to Cowboy Mountain.
- ★5: Rated for Stories of Legend stages from Rodeo Night to Volcanic Defender.
- ★6: Rated for Stories of Legend stages from Flame Caldera to Pitfall Zone.
- ★7: Rated for Stories of Legend stages from The Great Escaper to Imp's cold sweat.
- ★8: Rated for Stories of Legend stages from Safe and Not Sorry to Lord of the Abyss.
- ★9: Rated for most event stages that are tagged as "Deadly", including Maniac Stages, and Stories of Legend from Galapa-Goth onward.
- ★10: Rated for most event stages that are tagged as "Merciless", including Tier 2 Advent Stages, and Uncanny Legends from A New Legend through Ancient Forest Labyrinth.
- ★11: Rated for Uncanny Legends from Castle of the Sentinels onward.
- ★12: Rated for Heavenly Tower, Legend Quest and some of the Gauntlets.
- Easy (初級 Shokyū, Beginner): Rated for the first and second levels of many events, they are the same difficulty as some Empire of Cats Chapter 1 or 2 levels.
- Normal (中級 Chūkyū, Intermediate): A little bit harder, most of them require more than 100% Treasures collected from Empire of Cats to beat. Rated for Catburger's Awakening Stage, among others.
- Hard (上級 Jōkyū, Advanced): Moderately hard most of the time. Rated for Cat Ticket Chance!, every last level of the weekday stages (excluding Weekend Stage) and for the first levels of the Catfruit Stages.
- Veteran (Hard+) (超上級 Chō Jōkyū, Super-Advanced): Rated for the Daily Blitz Stages and some of the first Awakening Stages. These stages usually need Bahamut Cat or a similar Uber Rare.
- Expert (Hard++) (激ムズ Geki Muzu, Intense or Fierce): Rated for the second levels of the Catfruit Stages, Siege of Hippoe!, some of the first Awakening Stages, and the first four Cyclone Stages. Not recommended for new players because they can be pretty hard, especially without True Forms.
- Insane (Hard+++) (超激ムズ Chō Geki Muzu, Super-Intense or Super Fierce): Rated for the third levels of the Catfruit Stages, all Crazed Cat Stages, most of the second Awakening Stages, XP Megablitz!, and the fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth Cyclone Stages. These are very difficult stages, beware when taking them on.
- Deadly (極ムズ Goku Muzu, Extreme): Rated for a few levels that have a unique boss that appears only in that level, such as Advent Stages and Maniac Stages, to make few examples, as well as XP Colosseum, the ninth Cyclone Stage and all Stories of Legend stages from Stairway to Darkness onward. It is also not recommended for new players. They usually do not allow continues. Most Deadly stages can only be played after completing Into the Future Chapter 1.
- Merciless (超極ムズ Chō Goku Muzu, Super-Extreme): Currently the highest difficulty (up to 9.9). Rated for Uncanny Legends, Merciless XP!, Growing Strange, the tenth Cyclone Stage, the later Advent Stages and some collaboration-exclusive stages. Easily the hardest stages in the game, you must be prepared to tackle these.
- Demon (鬼級 Oni-kyū), God (神級 Kami-kyū) and Dragon (竜神級 Ryūjin-kyū): A set of difficulties exclusive to the Castle & Dragon Collaboration Event, they are roughly equivalent to Veteran, Expert and Insane, respectively.
The difficulty of stages may vary drastically if the player has certain units. Facing Danger is a good example of this. It is very difficult without any Critical Hit Cats, but when using units like Catornado and Waitress Cat, the stage becomes much easier.
- The first stage of The Legend Begins, Earthshaker, is the only Stories of Legend stage to be rated as 1★, while Return of Terror through Guardian of the Ranch are the only 2★ Stories of Legend stages.
- Heavenly Tower and Legend Quest are the only maps to have all 12 ★ difficulties at once.
- Under the original difficulty system, Legend Quest and Heavenly Tower were the only Legend Stages to have no difficulty rating.
Battle Cats Wiki has a gallery for Stage Difficulties.