Uh oh: A single armour passive in the latest Helldivers 2 Warbond makes 4-person Arc Thrower squads viable, in case you'd like to unleash electric mayhem

Helldivers 2 warbond
(Image credit: Arrowhead Game Studios)

Helldivers 2's latest Warbond is now here—and the future's looking electric, baby. Everything in this kit is centred around zapping the enemies of democracy into a fine mist with lashes of lightning. Stun grenades, laser pistols, and a plasma shotgun. Liberty's never smelled so sweet, or quite so much like burned hair.

One hilarious consequence of the new gear, however, comes with the EX-03 Prototype 3 and its cousins, the EX-00 and the EX-16, which offer a staggering 95% resistance to arc damage. As it currently stands, arc damage is only something you'll ever experience from teammates—namely, teammates using the Arc Thrower.

(Image credit: Arrowhead Games)

The Arc Thrower is a powerful weapon, but it's also a workplace hazard. It's strong, just maybe a little too strong—its chain lightning leaps to enemies, but it has a nasty habit of leaping to your allies as well. It's seen some niche use as a great measure against moderately-armored foes (and some potentially-glitched out nuking of Bile Titans) but aside from that? It's a liability.

The EX-03, however? That's a game changer, baby, though only for coordinated groups. Myself and our very own guides writer Sean Martin hopped into a lobby to test this thing out, and it took dozens of fully-charged shots from the Arc Thrower to bring him down. Super Earth R&D is legally required to state that this was a simulation, and the brave soldiers' featured in the clip later lost their lives in the field for completely unrelated reasons.

I want to paint a picture for you: Four beautiful helldivers don their suits of prototype armour. They exchange a look as they sink into their hellpods, knowing what must be done. They all select the Arc Thrower and deploy. The pneumatic hiss of their pod doors fills the air as they step out and call down their support weapons. AC/DC's Thunderstruck starts to play. No bug is safe.

In all seriousness, it's nice to see Arrowhead's continued design philosophy play out here—in case you're unaware, Warbonds are only meant to offer side-grades rather than strict upgrades, as per statements from Arrowhead Games' CEO. Situational bits of kit like the EX-03 slot into this niche perfectly. If you want to rock up with four buddies with armour tailor-made to dish out electric justice, get yourself some Cutting Edge tech and fry for freedom.

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.

With contributions from