Helldivers 2 PvP will "never" be added, and for that, I salute the devs 🫡

Helldivers 2
(Image credit: PlayStation Studios)

What you need to know

  • Helldivers 2, Arrowhead Game Studios' new popular action-packed third-person shooter, only offers co-op PvE game modes.
  • Arrowhead CEO and Helldivers 2 creative director Johan Pilestedt has declared that "we'll never add a PvP mode" on X (Twitter), citing a desire to "reduce toxic elements" and create "an environment that's supportive, fun and where we all are fighting on the same side!"
  • Pilestedt went on to clarify that the studio isn't "scared" to add PvP; rather, it simply wanted to make a challenging co-op PvE experience.
  • Helldivers 2 achieved a record for PlayStation Studios publishing by reaching over 150,000 concurrent players last weekend, and since then, it routinely gets up to about 200,000 in the evenings.

Arrowhead's hit new third-person shooter Helldivers 2 is all about cooperating with other space marines to blow Terminid bugs to pieces and turn Automaton robots into scrap metal, but that hasn't stopped some players from asking the studio if it'll eventually add some form of player-versus-player (PvP) to the game. In response, Arrowhead CEO and Helldivers 2 creative director Johan Pilestedt has taken to X (Twitter) to say, in no uncertain terms, that PvP will never come.

"We'll never add a PvP mode. This is to reduce toxic elements from the community," Pilestedt wrote in a reply to a PvP inquiry. "We want an environment that's supportive, fun and where we all are fighting on the same side!"

Then, when it was insinuated that Arrowhead was "scared" to add PvP to Helldivers 2, Pilestedt clarified that the developer simply wanted to create a PvE experience and that it wanted to avoid "the toxicity that naturally comes with" PvP multiplayer. If you want PvP, he recommends Escape from Tarkov — another extraction shooter that has a far more competitive focus.

"Not scared. Just we don't want the toxicity that naturally comes with it. There are plenty, actually most, games that provide PvP," Pilestedt continued. "We make games for people that just want to have a challenging time with friends but in a PvE setting. If you want PvP I recommend [Escape from Tarkov]."

A squad of Helldivers pushes into Terminid territory. (Image credit: PlayStation Studios)

I totally understand the desire for a PvP experience, but honestly, I couldn't be happier that Arrowhead is drawing a line in the sand here. As Pilestedt said, there are tons of competitive games on the market right now, and there have been for years. I can't remember the last time I've seen a multiplayer shooter go all-in on PvE like this, though, and as someone who gravitates towards cooperative play, I'm glad to see it.

I think the statement on the homepage of Arrowhead's website says it best: "A game for everyone is a game for no one." Helldivers 2 is a shooter for the PvE crowd — a crowd that rarely seems to get serviced outside of games like Deep Rock Galactic, The Division 2, or Destiny 2 — and rather than trying to ensure it has something to offer to PvP fans, the studio is sticking to its guns and aims to make this "the best co-op game of all time" (Pilestedt's words).

Indeed, Arrowhead is hard at work in its effort to achieve that goal, and is currently calling for dev reinforcements to help ramp up the production of future content updates. And while there's not an official roadmap yet, the developer's Community & Support team have confirmed that one's coming soon in Helldivers 2's official Discord server.

Three Helldivers ready to fight for Super Earth. (Image credit: Arrowhead Game Studios)

Notably, a big part of why the studio is looking to "accelerate and beef up" its content plans is that the game has had a tremendously successful launch. Helldivers 2 achieved a new record for PlayStation Studios publishing by reaching a concurrent player count of over 150,000 on Steam last weekend, and since then, it's begun to routinely approach or surpass 200,000 every evening.

That explosive start led to quite a few bugs and launch issues — especially with the game's servers — but following the deployment of a few patches and network improvements, things have stabilized quite a bit in recent days. And now that the worst of Helldivers 2's technical issues are (hopefully) behind it, Arrowhead can focus on making what is already one of the best PC games of 2024 even better.

"We will do our best to build Helldivers 2 into a long lasting and successful game and a beloved IP," Pilestedt recently declared. "But it hasn't happened overnight. This is just the beginning."

Helldivers 2 — $39.99 at GMG (Steam)

Helldivers 2 — <a href="https://greenmangaming.sjv.io/c/221109/1219987/15105?subId1=hawk-custom-tracking&sharedId=hawk&u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.greenmangaming.com%2Fgames%2Fhelldivers-2-pc%2F" data-link-merchant="greenmangaming.sjv.io"" target="_blank">$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.

  • John McIlhinney
    I would suggest that anyone who would suggest the developer is scared to add PvP would be the very toxic element that they're trying to avoid. I'm not even sure what exactly they are supposedly scared about exactly but, if you're the sort of person who tries to shame others into doing something they want to do by accusing them of being scared then you are toxic. Even if it were true, people have a right - and often a reason - to be scared of things.
    Reply