Helldivers 2 announces slower gear releases alongside its latest warbond, Viper Commandos—which brings the game's first vehicle skins (and a rad-looking throwing knife)

A Helldivers 2 soldier in a dense jungle poses with two fingers outstretched. In their other hand balances a cool-looking throwing knife aimed at the enemies of liberty.
(Image credit: Arrowhead Games / Sony)

Helldivers 2 appears to have taken on some of the criticism aimed at its last Warband, Polar Patriots, thoroughly on-board—seeing as this new batch of armaments looks geared to add some more unique mechanics into the game.

As announced on the Helldivers 2 Twitter today, the Viper Commandos warbond will be arriving June 13.

A full write-up of the warbond can be found on the PlayStation website, going into finer detail—but I'm going to focus on the two newer features first before getting into any guntalk. Don't say I never gave you anything.

First up, the elephant in the room: Helldivers 2 is getting knives. The K-2 throwing knife will be a utility weapon, likely replacing your grenade slot. The blog itself doesn't give much hints on how it'll work, but I'd wager since you're sacrificing your ability to blow up hordes of bugs and plug up nests that the K-2 will represent some kind of renewable alternative to the grenades that's far weaker, but more efficient.

Whether it'll actually be used much is a question of damage—I'd actually be open to the knife having a grenade-like amount of uses, but being a one-shot option for all but the heaviest enemies. Now we just need to get the fine folks at Super Earth R&D to figure out how to make a gun that shoots knives. You can have that one for free, Arrowhead.

The other exciting element is ship decal customisation. Accessed through the ship management screen, the warbond's trio of camo decals will be applicable to your pelican, your hellpod, and your mechs.

(Image credit: Arrowhead Games)

Here's a list of the other weapons, armour pieces, and the booster that'll be included in the warbond:

  • A new version of the Liberator, the AR-23A Liberator Carbine, with "higher recoil, but faster handling".
  • The SG-22 Bushwhacker, a sawed-off shotgun sidearm.
  • The PH-9 Predator light armour and the PH-202 Twigsnapper heavy armour, which both come with the "Peak Physique" passive—one that improves "melee damage & weapon handling."
  • The "Experimental Infusion" booster, which gives you a speed boost and damage reduction whenever you eat a stim—for the jukes, of course.

You'll notice that there are fewer weapons and armour choices this time around. This is deliberate, as the game's twitter account reveals: "As you can see with Viper Commandos, we're experimenting with Warbond item arrangement to make room for new types, customization, and higher quality armour/weapons—all with stronger theming." In addition, Warbonds should be releasing at a slower pace going forward, though the new timeframe is yet to be confirmed.

(Image credit: @helldivers2 on Twitter/X.)

Honestly, both of these seem like sound decisions. As I mentioned back in May, it'd be impossible for Arrowhead Games to stay on top of balancing and bugfixes while also releasing four new weapons a month—slower Warbonds with more deliberately-designed armaments sounds like the way to G.I-go.

Harvey Randall
Staff Writer

Harvey's history with games started when he first begged his parents for a World of Warcraft subscription aged 12, though he's since been cursed with Final Fantasy 14-brain and a huge crush on G'raha Tia. He made his start as a freelancer, writing for websites like Techradar, The Escapist, Dicebreaker, The Gamer, Into the Spine—and of course, PC Gamer. He'll sink his teeth into anything that looks interesting, though he has a soft spot for RPGs, soulslikes, roguelikes, deckbuilders, MMOs, and weird indie titles. He also plays a shelf load of TTRPGs in his offline time. Don't ask him what his favourite system is, he has too many.