Leaked Helldivers 2 video shows multiple mechs in live combat

Helldivers 2 trailer still - EXO-44 mech pursuing bugs in Helldivers 2
(Image credit: Arrowhead Studios)

With Helldivers 2's server woes finally straightened out, Arrowhead Studios said earlier this week that it can now shift its focus to cooler things, including—speculatively—playable mechs. Those towers of mobile mayhem may be closer to joining the fray than we realize, as a video showing one in action has now leaked onto Reddit.

There's no question that mechs are coming to Helldivers 2. They were present in the first game, and the "Report for Duty" trailer that dropped in February features one very prominently, captioned with the message "coming soon after launch." 

But if this leaked video is legit—and it sure looks that way to me—the mighty machines may be coming a lot sooner than most of us expected.

The leaker, fozzye18, said he wasn't responsible for bringing the mechs into the game, but just happened to join a game with a player who was "showing us new things to enjoy." One sharp-eyed redditor noted that you can actually see two mechs in the video, the one being used by the player and another, visible for just a second or two, in the background. 

Mechs… enjoy from r/Helldivers

They are apparently different types of mechs in action here: redditor VegetableWater4099 said the one in the Helldivers 2 trailer was an EXO 44, while the one in the foreground of this leaked video is an EXO 48. The mech in the background is too indistinct to make out, but the salient point is that if the assessment is correct, it means we'll have access to more than one kind of mech in the game. Fozzye18 confirmed that the player with access to this sweet new hardware "spawned in multiple types of mech" while they were playing.

And it's apparently not just mechs that are already functional in the game. Fozzye18 said the player spawning the mechs also appeared to have access to "new weapons like an energy RPG coming, a meteorite that hits like the nuke, a group of Helldivers you can call in to support you (NPCs) and more."

The appearance of the big stompy machines in the live game has sparked all sorts of excitement and no small amount of speculation as to how it got there in the first place. Some players think this stuff is already sitting hidden in the code, waiting to be rolled out into future updates, a theory that's at least a little bit reinforced by dataminers who claim to have found an array of unused strategems in the game files, including one that seems particularly relevant now: "-DropoffCombatWalker."

A few players have also wondered if this isn't the work of a hacker, but of Arrowhead developers, who are spawning the new hardware in random games in order to simultaneously test it in a live environment and crank up the hype. This seems unlikely, but with the game master tools Arrowhead has described, which give the developer the ability to influence matches directly, it's something that could happen. 

(Image credit: GalacticEscobar (Reddit))

Whoever it was, it sounds like they were having a good time. "He was just showing me all the stuff he was pulling out of the files he had so I’m unsure if he was a hacker or a dev but he seemed super excited to show us," fozzye18 wrote. "Until my game crashed from everything being loaded in and then I couldn’t find his username again."

Neither Arrowhead nor its CEO, Johan Pilestedt—a pretty regular presence on Twitter—have commented on the leaked video yet, but I've reached out for more information and will update if I receive a reply. 

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.