Helldivers 2's latest major order gives players the chance to make a sector permanently bug-free with a planet-sized pesticide system

A giant bile titan, a towering insect from Helldivers 2, lets out a vicious scream as it stomps over the landscape.
(Image credit: Arrowhead Games)

Earlier today Helldivers 2 called in pest control and took care of a big bug problem. The quick version is that the game had been spawning in some of its most heavily armored Terminids right on top of players, everything from bile titans to chargers to annihilator tanks, which gave the Helldivers in question little time to respond before they were slashed, melted, crunched, and generally battered.

The patch fixed this, and also made some tweaks to the bugs generally, targeting things like the "leg meta" with chargers (where targeting the legs over the head was more effective than it should've been), and now we know why Arrowhead's been focusing special attention on the Terminids: shortly after the patch, a new major operation was launched offering Helldivers the chance to permanently rid a sector of the infestation.

This has kicked off chaos as Helldivers swarm to the sector in question, but the permanence is the interesting angle here, first of all because Super Earth Command would never lie about something like that, and also for its implications in the wider galactic war. It may well be a push-and-pull but the idea of permanently holding down a piece of turf is a new one: clearly we'll have to see how that plays out.

"The Terminid control system has been constructed by SEAF engineers on all barrier planets," says the Super Earth Ministry of Intelligence. "However, the Terminids swarmed across all 4 planets, forcing evacuation. The Helldivers are called to activate the TCS. Once activated, it will inoculate each planet with Termicide, quarantining the bugs permanently."

The four planets targeted in this order are Erata Prime, Fenrir III, Meridia, and Turing, and the reward (as if you need a reward for it) is 50 medals. At the time of writing there are approximately 205,000 players across those four planets, though only Fenrir III has a bit of a dent in the bugs' control. We'll have to see if game master Joel starts cranking the dial.

Helldivers 2's popularity only keeps increasing, and a major part of this is how Arrowhead has unfolded the galactic war in the month since the game's launch. This just doesn't work like other live service games, and doesn't feel like it's on a calendar schedule in the same way (even though behind-the-scenes the preparation is clearly meticulous).

The current bug-squishing order follows hot on the heels of an excellent side-story that saw players rushing to liberate planets that can produce mechs, after which we all got mechs. There's clearly a lot more to come, including the introduction of a third enemy faction, but for now: go squash some bugs for liberty.

Rich Stanton

Rich is a games journalist with 15 years' experience, beginning his career on Edge magazine before working for a wide range of outlets, including Ars Technica, Eurogamer, GamesRadar+, Gamespot, the Guardian, IGN, the New Statesman, Polygon, and Vice. He was the editor of Kotaku UK, the UK arm of Kotaku, for three years before joining PC Gamer. He is the author of a Brief History of Video Games, a full history of the medium, which the Midwest Book Review described as "[a] must-read for serious minded game historians and curious video game connoisseurs alike."