'Rogue item detected': Helldivers 2 dev orders players to ignore a mysterious ship upgrade that promises 'new stratagem permits'

helldivers 2 operation swift disassembly
(Image credit: Arrowhead Game Studios)

It's the calm before the storm in Helldivers 2. Operation Swift Disassembly was a success and the Automatons have literally been wiped off the map. For as much as we're enjoying our victory and Arrowhead is faithfully sticking to the bit that robots are now extinct, we know by now that something is coming. We might've gotten a first glance at that something today in the form of a "rogue" ship upgrade that briefly appeared for players.

Called the "Catalog Expansion" in the Ship Modules menu, this is the first time a new ship upgrade has been discovered in Helldivers 2. Before it disappeared, players captured its description and the upgrade's effect:

"New stratagem permits added to the ship management terminal for purchase," the description reads. The effect field adds, "Support Weapons deploy with the maximum number of carriable magazines."

New stratagems, eh? Strange. The description indicates that this upgrade must be purchased to unlock some stratagems, which goes against Helldiver's current method of unlocking them by leveling up. The support weapon ammo upgrade text also has nothing to do with the stratagem part, so that's weird. We could very well be looking at placeholder text, so I'm not reading too far into it.

The Catalog Expansion upgrade was already scrubbed from Super Earth records by the time I could check myself, but interestingly, Arrowhead issued an official statement on what was apparently a bug.

helldivers 2 catalog expansion

A capture of the "rogue" upgrade that was passed around on Reddit and Discord. (Image credit: Arrowhead Game Studios)

"ALERT: ROGUE ITEM DETECTED. The Ministry of Truth has confirmation that a rogue item called the 'catalog expansion' is temporarily visible in the Ship Management menu and, in accordance with regulations, we instruct all Helldivers to avoid this rogue item until further notice," the Discord post reads. "The Ministry of Truth cannot confirm the reliability or safety of this item, nor can they confirm its origin."

Some players reported purchasing the upgrade before it went offline, but it's unclear if it's functional. No "new stratagems" have suddenly surfaced online, at least not yet. Others said they tried to unlock it, but the servers seemed to be temporarily overloaded as so many people were trying to claim it (similar to what happened the day mechs released).

helldivers 2 catalog expansion

(Image credit: Arrowhead Game Studios)

While Arrowhead's in-universe communication obfuscates the point, all signs point to this being an accidental leak of a work-in-progress upgrade (notice the "affected stratagems" box is blank in the description). It's pretty cool news, too: While there has been no shortage of new guns, suits, enemies, and stratagems added to Helldivers 2 since launch, ship upgrades have been completely static. This is our first confirmation that our ships will get expansions in the future.

But there's a far bigger topic on every diver's mind, right now: What comes after bots? The number one theory is that now would be the perfect time for Arrowhead to introduce the Illuminates, the destined third alien faction, to the game, though I have doubts that the studio is going to make such a huge addition this early into the game's life. We shall see.

Morgan Park
Staff Writer

Morgan has been writing for PC Gamer since 2018, first as a freelancer and currently as a staff writer. He has also appeared on Polygon, Kotaku, Fanbyte, and PCGamesN. Before freelancing, he spent most of high school and all of college writing at small gaming sites that didn't pay him. He's very happy to have a real job now. Morgan is a beat writer following the latest and greatest shooters and the communities that play them. He also writes general news, reviews, features, the occasional guide, and bad jokes in Slack. Twist his arm, and he'll even write about a boring strategy game. Please don't, though.