Helldivers 2 players are sitting AFK to avoid server capacity queues, but Arrowhead is readying the boot

Helldivers 2
(Image credit: PlayStation Studios)

What you need to know

  • This past weekend, Helldivers 2 has been "suffering from success." Its concurrent player count rose above 400,000 on Steam alone, but as a result, many fans experienced capacity-related login queues for several days.
  • Developer Arrowhead has been working hard to expand the servers, but also plans to soon implement an auto-kick system for players that AFK in-game to avoid dealing with the queue next time they want to play.
  • The studio's CEO Johan Pilestedt confirmed this on X (Twitter), saying "I have already mentioned this to the team" in reply to a fan suggesting the addition of a system like this.
  • Notably, Arrowhead said this morning that a patch is coming on Tuesday to address "login, matchmaking, and server load" problems, with more improvements coming "over the days and weeks to come."

It's often been said that Helldivers 2 has been "suffering from success" since its February 8 launch earlier this month, and the state of the game this past weekend is a perfect example of that. It's concurrent player count on Steam alone rocketed past 400,000, surpassing records held by titles like Destiny 2, Starfield, and even GTA V. But as a consequence of this, the game's servers were constantly at capacity, making it nearly impossible for many fans to jump into the co-op shooter to squad up and spread Super Earth propaganda democracy. The strain on the network also caused numerous progression and multiplayer connectivity bugs, too.

Developer Arrowhead Game Studios has been working hard to expand Helldivers 2's server structure since Friday — but soon, it will also implement an auto-kick system to deal with players going AFK to dodge server queues the next time they hop on to play. As fans on the Helldivers subreddit as well as other social media sites have pointed out, these idling players take up space that many active ones could use to actually play the game.

Arrowhead's CEO Johan Pilestedt confirmed the developer's intent to add this system Sunday evening on X (Twitter), responding to a fan's request for an AFK timeout. "Agreed, I have already mentioned this to the team," he wrote.

@Arrowhead GS: You're gonna need an AFK timer. from r/Helldivers

I can't exactly blame anyone for taking advantage of a way to avoid annoying login queues — especially when Helldivers 2 is as much of a blast to play as it is. But even so, Arrowhead is making the right call by prioritizing online and active space marines over the ones standing motionless on the bridge of their destroyer.

Ideally, the game will get to a point where we don't have to worry about server capacity during weekend primetime at all, though so far, Arrowhead has had trouble raising supply to meet demand. As I was writing this, though, the studio confirmed in the official Helldivers Discord server that a patch is coming tomorrow to address "login, matchmaking, and server load" problems, with further improvements coming "over the days and weeks to come."

Overall, it's a frustrating situation for both the players and the developers, but it's also ultimately a good problem to have. Clearly, Helldivers 2 has resonated with gamers more than Arrowhead ever expected it to, and the PvE co-op shooter is poised to soar even higher with server improvements as well as the future content updates the studio is ramping up development for.

A Helldiver with the Recoilless Rifle, one of the game's explosive anti-tank support weapons. (Image credit: PlayStation Studios)

One good thing that's come from this is the sarcastic banter between Pilestedt and Helldivers 2 fans on social media, with the CEO posting several replies that gave me a good chuckle. 

"Oh THE BUTTON, I had completely forgotten about that one as well! Imagine how many players we could have had online if we had remembered it," he wrote to one player to suggested pressing "the button that says fix." Then, in response to a comment that simply read "Servers": "Thank you for reminding me, I almost forgot about it!"

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)

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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.