Oh god, no—stalkers in Helldivers 2 are actually invisible, now

Man screaming in Helldivers 2 intro cinematic
(Image credit: Arrowhead Game Studios)

A major Helldivers 2 balance patch dropped earlier this week—stuffed so full of weapons tuning and adjustments that most divers (fittingly) glossed over one crucial, yet sneaky change: "Fixed issue where Stalkers became very visible in fog."

I mean, it's an innocuous enough tweak on the face of it. Stalkers, the Terminid's invisible shock troopers, were pretty dangerous before—often popping up at the worst of times—but they weren't exactly stealthy. Despite their ability to cloak like the predator, you could typically see their outlines from a good distance away.

Those days are gone. As shown off by a few unfortunate divers, Stalkers are now well and truly invisible:

Stalkers are genuinely cloaked now from r/Helldivers
They buffed Stalkers, their optical camouflage now works. from r/Helldivers

Not only does this increase your chances of getting thrashed by everyone's least favourite ambush predator, it also makes their nests a lot harder to spot—since you won't be able to tell what direction they're coming from until they're right on top of you. Fortunately, there's a couple of counter-plays you can keep in mind.

Firstly, if there's a radar station on the map, you can prioritise that first—letting you mark all of their nests for summary liberation. Alternatively, once you're aware that there are stalkers on the field, you can periodically check your radar—they'll still show up as blips, so if you see a red dot charging you with no bug in sight, that's where the nest's at.

Honestly, I'm all for this change. Terminids are fun to fight, but they're eminently kiteable—often you can survive a swarm just by smart use of movement. Stalkers felt like they were meant to shake this dynamic up, but never quite did. Allowing the buggers to actually sneak up on you makes them a heck of a lot more threatening.

It also feels like a thematic extension of the current major order, which sees the bug scourge mutating from our totally effective pesticide towers that were absolutely not pumping Terminids with steroids, letting us farm them further for Element 710. Let's just hope that bile titans don't develop the same defence mechanism, or all truly is lost.

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.