250,000 Helldivers 2 players destroyed the Automatons, so we're headed back to the bug front to liberate 3 planets and build oil farms [UPDATED]

Helldivers 2
(Image credit: Windows Central)

What you need to know

  • Update: A new Major Order has now come in, directing players to head back to the bug front and liberate Hellmire, Estanu, and Crimsica to "clear the way for the construction of new, safer, and more efficient E-710 farms." The Major Order is set to expire early on Tuesday morning, giving Helldivers just under a day and a half to complete it.
  • Helldivers 2 players have successfully completed the Major Order to liberate Maia, Tibit, and Durgen from the Automatons. As a result, there are no longer any worlds or sectors under Automaton control.
  • Effectively, the bot menace has been kicked out of the Galactic War completely. However, whispers of "The Reclamation" have been reported, which is assumed to be an upcoming counteroffensive the bots will launch at some point in the future.
  • Until that happens, players can't fight the Automatons, meaning that they'll have to head to the Terminid front and battle bug infestations.
  • It's assumed that the game will focus on the bugs for a while as a result, though some also believe we may see the reintroduction of the Illuminate faction from the first Helldivers game while the bots preparing for their inevitable resurgence.

Update 4/7/2024 at 2:25 p.m. PT / 5:25 p.m. ET: Following the Automatons' ultimate defeat by over 250,000 Helldivers 2 players on Sunday afternoon, Super Earth High Command has issued a new order to return to the bug front and liberate planets Hellmire, Estanu, and Crimsica. The ultimate goal is to "clear the way for the construction of new, safer, and more efficient E-710 farms" — for the unaware, Element 710 is oil, and the bugs decompose into it when they die. Our war against them is one of Helldivers 2's funniest bits of satire.

Somewhat alarmingly, this new Major Order is set to expire early on Tuesday morning; players only have a little under a day and a half to liberate three planets, which sounds nearly impossible. The good news, though, is that both Estanu and Crimsica have significant liberation progress at 66% and 34% already, respectively. This, along with the fact that there's only one faction to fight against right now, will hopefully help the community get the job done.

Remember that the progress of this Major Order and any other can be tracked with this nifty Helldivers 2 Galactic War map. It displays important information like liberation progress and the estimated amount of time it'll take for players to free specific planets at their current liberation rate, as well as the total number of players online and the network of supply lines that currently aren't visible on the in-game galaxy map.

Original article: After roughly two full weeks of intense battles throughout Automaton-controlled sectors, Helldivers 2 players have achieved their greatest feat yet: completely wiping out all the robot menace's forces in known space. That's right — thanks to the efforts of over 250,000 valiant space marines, Operation Swift Disassembly was a tremendous success, and zero planets or sectors remain under Automaton control.

The campaign ended in victory on Sunday afternoon when Helldivers liberated Durgen, completing a weekend-long Major Order to free it, Maia, and Tibit. Many players doubted triumph here would truly kick the Automatons out of the Galactic War, but it's true — at the time of writing, there's nowhere left to fight the bots, meaning all Super Earth forces can now focus on keeping the bugs on the Terminid front at bay.

The official Helldivers 2 account on X (Twitter) shared a commemorative poster to celebrate, congratulating Liberty's finest on their hard-won victory. "You did it, Helldivers. Operation Swift Disassembly was a success," the post reads. "With the bots eradicated and bugs contained, the galaxy is free once more." You can check out the poster with the embed below (it's a great phone wallpaper).

Of course, as I wrote the other day when the Major Order to wipe out the Automatons "once and for all" was issued, there's no way this is truly the last time we'll see the bots' mechanized military. In fact, all signs point to a major galaxy-wide counteroffensive, with intercepted bot communications mentioning an ominous plan known as "The Reclamation." I thought those massive cloaked warships hanging in orbit over Automaton planets were the source of the Factory Strider walkers and gunship swarms the bots deployed in a desperate attempt to hold their ground, but perhaps they're still lying in wait, ready to ferry amassed legions into battle when the time is right for an anti-democratic resurgence.

Until something like that happens, though, what's next? For now, players have no choice but to return to bug-infested worlds and keep the Terminids from spreading, but soon, there'll probably be a focused campaign to liberate specific planets or sectors in that theater of the Galactic War, too. The Major Order we just finished was set to expire on Monday morning, so I expect we'll get a new bug-themed one then (EDIT: we have one now; it's time to liberate Hellmire, Estanu, and Crimsica to help build safer "E-710" farms, which is the oil the bugs decompose into when they die if you didn't know).

It's also possible that the alien Illuminate faction from the first Helldivers game, known for its use of energy shields and teleportation, is about to make its debut. I'd be surprised if it did since Helldivers 2 only came out two months ago, but Arrowhead is pumping out new content at an impressive rate — we seem to be getting new battle passes like the Democratic Detonation Warbond on a monthly basis, with stratagems like Exosuit mechs and the Quasar Cannon sprinkled between them — so anything's possible. The news ticker you can read on your Super Destroyer's video screen during broadcasts does mention reports of Illuminate sightings, and we still don't know what the deal with those mysterious blue laser beams was...

For now, it's back to the bug front, Helldivers. (Image credit: Windows Central)

The good news is that no matter where Lady Liberty next needs her soldiers, they'll be well armed and armored. On top of all the energy and arc-themed goodies from March's Cutting Edge Warbond, we're getting some sweet new explosive ordnance and other kit from Democratic Detonation when it releases on April 11. In total, it'll add a new light, medium, and heavy armor suit, three new cosmetic capes, a grenade pistol secondary weapon, a trifecta of armor-piercing primaries, a special sticky thermite grenade capable of heavy anti-tank damage, and a booster that reduces the time it takes for dropship pilots to fly to end-of-mission extraction zones.

Of everything that's coming, the BR-14 Adjudicator and the R-36 Eruptor are what stick out to me the most; the former is a rapid-fire DMR with a fire rate that's nearly as high as the Liberator assault rifle's, while the latter is a hard-hitting rifle that shoots fragmenting area-of-effect explosive rounds. All the gear looks like it'll be a ton of fun to use, though, and with any luck, it'll also be very effective as well.

Helldivers 2 is available now for $39.99 on both PS5 and PC, and so far, it's one of the best PC games of the year. Notably, the game also supports cross-platform play between PS5 and PC.

Helldivers 2 — $39.99 at GMG (Steam)

Helldivers 2 — $39.99 at GMG (Steam)

Battle aliens, robots, and other beasts in humanity's quest to spread democracy through an unforgiving galaxy. It's 4-player co-op at its absolute best, and its most refined.

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Brendan Lowry

Brendan Lowry is a Windows Central writer and Oakland University graduate with a burning passion for video games, of which he's been an avid fan since childhood. You'll find him doing reviews, editorials, and general coverage on everything Xbox and PC. Follow him on Twitter.