Helldivers 2 studio in 'crisis mode' as servers buckle under the weight of a popular launch, first hotfix out now

helldivers 2
(Image credit: Arrowhead Games)

The original Helldivers was a fun little twin-stick shooter that flew under the radar, but its 3D sequel is proving to be a much bigger deal. On launch day, Helldivers 2 is the top selling game on Steam with a respectable peak of 64,000 concurrent players. Judging by my first hour, it's very fun, but also kinda broken.

Widespread reports of matchmaking issues and frequent crashes have dominated the conversation around Helldivers 2 so far. The Steam page sits at "Mixed" at the moment with over 5,300 reviews. The majority of negative reviews cite connectivity and crashes, though a few seem peeved that Helldivers 2 uses nProtect GameGaurd anticheat.

On the Helldivers Discord, developer Arrowhead Studios says it's been in "crisis mode" as it works to patch things up. One hotfix has been released on Steam so far (PS5 will lag behind), which game director Mikael Eriksson said should "improve matchmaking and the most frequent crashes."

My first crash happened right after the tutorial, as I made the ill-fated decision to equip a different helmet. The game didn't much like that, but after a quick relaunch I was able to customize my helldiver without issue. Other players have reported crashes mid-mission on both PS5 and PC.

The bigger pain right now is the failed matchmaking. Helldivers 2 is a four-player co-op shooter and a hard one at that. You can play alone, but the game's really designed around bringing buddies along or calling in SOS help from strangers. Since all of that's still spotty, I've just been squashing bugs on my lonesome, placing SOS beacons that never get a response.

"We know there's more to solve, and we're working our way through it," Eriksson wrote in a follow-up to players. "Nevertheless, we hope this rapid patch goes a long way to making your experience better."

Image

<a href="https://www.pcgamer.com/helldivers-2-best-weapons/" data-link-merchant="pcgamer.com"">Helldivers 2 weapons: Best guns of Super Earth
<a href="https://www.pcgamer.com/helldivers-2-best-stratagems/" data-link-merchant="pcgamer.com"" data-link-merchant="pcgamer.com"">Helldivers 2 stratagems: Understand the ordinance
<a href="https://www.pcgamer.com/helldivers-2-best-loadouts/" data-link-merchant="pcgamer.com"" data-link-merchant="pcgamer.com"" data-link-merchant="pcgamer.com"">Helldivers 2 loadouts: Finest kits for bug-killing
<a href="https://www.pcgamer.com/helldivers-2-best-armour-passives/" data-link-merchant="pcgamer.com"" data-link-merchant="pcgamer.com"" data-link-merchant="pcgamer.com"" data-link-merchant="pcgamer.com"">Helldivers 2 armor: Which suits to wear
<a href="https://www.pcgamer.com/helldivers-2-medal-farm/" data-link-merchant="pcgamer.com"" data-link-merchant="pcgamer.com"" data-link-merchant="pcgamer.com"" data-link-merchant="pcgamer.com"" data-link-merchant="pcgamer.com"">Helldivers 2 medals: Where to claim more currency

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.