Helldivers 2's new balance update softens those annoying civilian defences and stratagem cooldown modifiers, buffs heavy armour, and increases the level cap to 150

 Helldivers 2.
Helldivers 2.

Helldivers 2 just had its second major balance patch, and this time there are—on average—more winners than losers. There've been nerfs, sure, but they're far less controversial than the recent railgun fiasco.

First up, those civilian defence missions where you have to herd a bunch of fragile strangers through a battlefield that makes Warhammer 40k look like a walk in the park should be a smidge easier, moving enemy spawn locations "further away from the objective." Same amount of bots, you'll just have some extra breathing room. Also, higher difficulties should require fewer lemmings—I mean, priority civilians—to make it to the shuttle.

In another huge win for democracy, Arrowhead has "halved the negative effect of operation modifiers that increase stratagem cooldowns or call in times". These modifiers were a pain in the rear for any patriot, and while I still personally think additive modifiers (ramping up the spawns of a certain enemy type, for example) are better, this brings us one klick further towards solving the issue.

As for weapons, the arc thrower (which is a bit more viable now, specially since it's not crashing games anymore) has had its range reduced and stagger force improved. The anti-materiel rifle's damage has had a bump, fire damage is up against the board, and the diligence counter sniper's had its armour penetration bumped from light to medium—which is huge, since that gun had been consigned to the waste bin for a while.

Unfortunately, our new favourite gadget, the mechs, have had a nerf. Their missiles will "now penetrate armour only on direct hit", which seems like a bit of an overcorrection out of nowhere. Mechs are powerful, yeah, but they're slow, cumbersome, prone to blowing up, and have a pretty limited salvo of missiles in the first place. I already wasn't using them on bot missions because all that ranged chip damage was a nightmare, I'm extra not going to use them now.

On the plus side, armour should be even more effective. Both heavy and medium armour have had a buff—getting a 10% and 5% boost, respectively. If you're doing a bot mission, I recommend rocking up with a heavy armour set that reduces explosive damage and a shield generator—you still get knocked around a lot, but you're often able to get up afterwards.

Lastly, you can also level up to 150 now. Doing so doesn't confer any additional benefits from what I can see, but—hey, if you want to grind for bragging rights, it's there. Oh, and there are blizzards and sandstorms now. So, uh, good luck with that. You can find a full list of patch notes below.

PATCH 01.000.200

helldivers 2
helldivers 2


This update includes:

  • Balance changes to missions, stratagems, weapons, enemies and Helldivers. 

  • General fixes and stability improvements.


Planetary hazard additions

  • Blizzards

  • Sandstorms

  • Maximum level cap raised to 150 



  • Halved the negative effect of operation modifiers that increase stratagem cooldowns or call in times.

  • Retrieve Essential Personnel:

  • Moved the enemy spawn points further away from the objective to give players a fairer chance of defending the location.

  • There are fewer civilians required to complete the mission on higher difficulties.

  • Destroy Command Bunkers:

  • Now has more objective locations, the mission was too easy before compared to other missions. 

  • It can now appear in operations from difficulty 5.

Primary, Secondary, & Support Weapons

  • Arc Thrower: fixed charging inconsistencies; it will now always take 1s to charge a shot.

  • Arc Thrower: reduced distance from 50m to 35m.

  • Arc Thrower: increased stagger force.

  • Guard Dog: now restores full ammo from supply boxes.

  • Anti-Materiel Rifle: damage increased by 30%.

  • Breaker Incendiary: damage per bullet increased from 15 per bullet to 20 per bullet.

  • Fire damage per tick increased by 50% (from all sources).

  • Liberator Penetrator: now has a full auto mode.

  • Dominator: increased damage from 200 to 300.

  • Dominator: increased stagger.

  • Diligence Counter Sniper: increased armor penetration from light to medium.

  • Slugger: reduced stagger.

  • Slugger: reduced damage from 280 to 250.

  • Slugger: reduced demolition force.

  • Slugger: fixed armor penetration tag in the menu.

  • Slugger, Liberator Concussive, Senator: fixed incorrect armor penetration tags in the menu.

  • Recoilless Rifle: increased the number of rockets you restore from supply boxes from 2 to 3.

  • Spear: increased the number of missiles you restore from supply boxes from 1 to 2.

  • Heavy Machine Gun: the highest fire rate mode reduced from 1200 rpm to a more moderate 950


  • Patriot Exosuit: rockets will now penetrate armor only on direct hit.


  • Balancing adjustments have been made to

  • Chargers normal melee attack now does less damage against Exosuits.

  • Bile Spewer and Nursing Spewer do less damage with their puke.

  • The Bile Titan can no longer be stunned.

  • Shriekers no longer create bug breaches.

  • Shriekers hitting you while they are dead now does significantly less damage.


  • Balancing adjustments have been made to

  • Heavy and medium armor protects better and you now take about 10% less damage than before while wearing heavy and about 5% less when wearing medium armor. Fortified commando and light armor is unchanged.


  • Fixed issue where save settings for PS5 would be reset when the game is rebooted, causing things such as loadout and hint settings to reset.

  • Enemies now properly target Exosuits. Previously, many enemies effectively ignored Exosuits if a helldiver on foot was available for them to target.

  • Fixed Exosuits being able to fire their weapons while opening the minimap.

  • The Helldiver and the Exosuit both had a bug that made them sometimes take explosion damage multiple times making things like automaton rockets be too deadly, this is now fixed.

  • Automaton enemy constellations that preferred to spawn more of certain Devastators types did not work and are now functioning as they should. This means that sometimes when playing against the Automatons you will face more Devastators instead of other enemy types.

  • We have improved the system that prevents hellpod steering close to large or important objects.

  • We have solved issues where the effective area around objects was a lot larger than intended.

  • We have reduced the number of objects that prevent hellpod steering.

  • Note: This system is intended to prevent softlocks where players can drop on important interaction points, or drop into unintended places. We will continue to monitor the state of the system after the update to see if additional tweaks are necessary.

  • Fixed cases where the ground under some assets could be bombed causing them to float.

  • Ballistic shield changes:

  • Collision mesh has been slightly increased in size for more forgiveness

  • Changed shield poses so that less of the helldiver is exposed

  • Addressed bug where parts of the helldiver would become vulnerable while using the shield in first person.

Known Issues

These are issues that were either introduced by this patch and are being worked on, or are from a previous version and have not yet been fixed.

  • Game might crash when picking up a snowball or throwing back a grenade

  • Various issues involving friend invites and cross-play:

  • Cross-platform friend invites might not show up in the Friend Requests tab.

  • Players cannot unfriend other players befriended via friend code.

  • Players cannot unblock players that were not in their Friends list beforehand.

  • Players cannot befriend players with Steam names shorter than 3 characters.

  • Explosive weapon stats include only direct hit damage but not explosive damage.

  • Explosions do not break your limbs (except for when you fly into a rock).

  • Planet liberation reaches 100% at the end of every Defend mission.

  • Drowning in deep water with a Vitality Booster equipped puts Helldiver in a broken state.

  • Stratagem beam might attach itself to an enemy but it will deploy to its original location.

  • Some player customizations (like title or body type) may reset after restarting the game.