With Helldivers 2's largest ever patch just days away, Arrowhead opens up about its slower update schedule going forward: 'We're definitely not resting on our laurels or being complacent'

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(Image credit: Arrowhead Game Studios)

The great Helldivers 2 rush of 2024 is behind us. The monster hit isn't pulling the same crowds it was at launch, but it's not a sad or surprising occasion: the $40 co-op shooter kept millions of fans on the edge of their seats for months with incredible gunplay, rapid-fire updates, and a surprisingly deep galactic war metanarrative that produced unprecedented moments of collective victory and grief. Those millions played the heck out of Helldivers 2, unlocked everything there is to get right now, and moved on.

In response to a run of unpopular patches and what Arrowhead considered an unsustainable schedule going forward, warbonds and updates are slowing down. The next warbond will be the last one for a while, and this Thursday's patch is coming after the longest wait for balance updates since launch. It's shaping up to be Helldivers 2's most significant patch yet, judging by Arrowhead's preview:

  • Visible supply lines
  • Patrols and spawn rates reverted
  • Invite-only lobbies
  • Super samples at level 6
  • 100+ changes and fixes

You wouldn't think "Supply lines!" would get people jazzed, but they're a potential gamechanger for how Helldivers 2 players interact with the galactic war. Up until now, supply lines have been routes between planets only visible by visiting a fan-made website. The links show which planets are affected by each other when they're lostor retaken by Super Earth. If a planet low in the link chain falls into enemy hands, all of the subsequent planets fall too.

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The "true" galactic war map, as constructed by hd2galaxy.com. (Image credit: via hd2galaxy.com)

This ability to cut off supplies from multiple planets at once was the basis of the Martale Gambit, a community-devised plan to liberate two planets for the price of one by exploiting the Automaton supply lines. The gambit ultimately failed when not enough divers rallied to Martale to finish its liberation. It's believed that the plan could've worked, if only more players even knew supply lines were a thing. After Thursday, anyone who didn't surely will.

Thursday's patch will be a big moment for Arrowhead as we see the first results of its slower update schedule.

"Similar to our future approach to Warbonds, this is so we can dedicate more time to each patch to reduce the pressure on our teams, dig into your feedback more and deliver higher quality patches," the official Helldivers Twitter wrote.

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Announcement by meme. (Image credit: Arrowhead Game Studios)

"We're very aware that going from quick, small patches to slower, bigger patches means your expectations are higher. While we think the next patch is strong, with lots of bug fixes & requested features, we're definitely not resting on our laurels or being complacent."

Many of those "100+ changes and fixes" are likely balancing tweaks to weapons and possibly enemy health pools. Studio head Johan Pilestedt recently said that he believes time-to-kill is too high across the board. I expect large swaths of buffs, more consistent enemy spawns, and hopefully an end to dying instantly from bile bugs.

"We'll continue delivering patches and content that squash bugs and evolve the game. And, most importantly, evolve the game WITH our players and community," the Arrowhead thread continued. "We sincerely thank you for your patience and support as we've made this adjustment."

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.