Helldivers 2 players unlock Exosuit mechs by freeing Tien Kwan, and Game Master Joel is letting everyone use them for free [UPDATED]

Helldivers 2
(Image credit: Arrowhead Game Studios)

What you need to know

  • Update: The Helldivers 2 community has successfully liberated Tien Kwan, and as suspected, achieving this objective has made the new armored mechs available for players to use. They can be unlocked from the stratagem tab in the Ship Management menu.
  • Helldivers 2 players have successfully held Heeth and Angel's Venture against the Terminid bugs, but now, a new Major Order is directing them to liberate Tien Kwan, which was recently captured by the Automatons.
  • Tien Kwan is where factories are producing the armored mechs developer Arrowhead said would be "coming soon after launch," and if we fail to retake it, the bots will steal the Exosuits and use them against us, delaying our ability to deploy them ourselves.
  • The community has three days — until Sunday morning, specifically — to free Tien Kwan. If it's able to do so, all players will be rewarded with 50 Warbond Medals, and Helldivers 2's mechs will hopefully be unlocked as well.
  • Tien Kwan is a hazy and gray planet with the Extreme Cold modifier that reduces fire rates and delays heat buildup in energy weapons. It also has one of the new Planetary Hazard effects, Meteor Storms, which causes hails of meteorites to periodically rain down on parts of the map.

Update 3/8/24 at 8:00 a.m. PT / 11:00 a.m. ET: The Helldivers 2 community has successfully liberated the planet Tien Kwan from Automaton occupation, saving the mech factories there and ensuring the EXO-45 Patriot Exosuits they've produced won't fall into enemy hands. Notably, by freeing Tien Kwan, players have also added the Patriot Exosuit to their stratagem arsenal, and can unlock it for use in missions on the stratagem tab in the Ship Management menu as long as they're Level 15 or above. It costs 20,000 Requisitions to purchase.

The mech is essentially a fortified pillbox on legs, with a heavily armored chassis, a chaingun, and a rocket launcher. It can be called in twice per mission, and has a very lengthy cooldown timer of 10 minutes. Recently, players have randomly come across Exosuits like this one in the wild, including both the EXO-45 Patriot and a different variant that has dual heavy guns comparable to the ordnance used by the Autocannon and Autocannon Sentry. It's unknown when this mech will come to the game, however.

For a limited time, courtesy of Helldivers 2's Game Master Joel, the EXO-45 Patriot Exosuit is available to all players for free, meaning that it doesn't take up a stratagem slot and can be called in even if you haven't unlocked it. This makes it easy for everyone in the community to play around with the new toy, and also gives players an opportunity to try the mech out before spending Requisitions on it.

There's good news and bad news from Super Earth command, Helldivers. The good news is that we've successfully held Heeth and Angel's Venture against the Terminid bugs attempting to spread there, and with the help of reinforcements, we've crushed their foothold in the Orion Sector. The bad news? Tien Kwan is under attack by the Automaton legions — and if we fail to liberate the planet soon, the bots will find our arms factories there, take our mechs and use them against us, and significantly delay our own Exosuit deployments.

This new Helldivers 2 Major Order came Thursday morning, and reads as follows: "The Automatons captured Tien Kwan, which was home to the sole Morgunson Arsenal producing Exosuits — new, powerful weaponry that was slated for imminent fleetwide deployment. The Automatons do not appear to have discovered the arsenal yet, but it is only a matter of time. We must retake Tien Kwan immediately. If we fail, the Automatons will steal the Exosuit technology for themselves, and deployment of this powerful weaponry will be severely delayed."

The community has until Sunday morning to carry out this order and free Tien Kwan, with 50 Warbond Medals on offer for everyone if we're able to do so. Most likely, liberating the planet will also result in the release of the armored Exosuit mechs that were teased before Helldivers 2's release and said to be "coming soon after launch," then (very rarely) spotted in the wild throughout the last two weeks.

As I write this, 135,000+ Helldivers are already fighting on the Tien Kwan front in the Theseus Sector, with more deploying to the battlefield every minute. The world itself is hazy and gray, with frigid temperatures and "ice and moss-covered rock" found all over its environments.

Notably, in addition to the Extreme Cold modifier that reduces weapon fire rate and delays heat buildup in energy weapons, one of the new Planetary Hazards, Meteor Storms, is active on Tien Kwan as well. That means a hail of meteorites could crash near your position at any moment while you're on your missions, so be ready to dive into cover and stay low if necessary.

Planetary Hazards were added in yesterday's Helldivers 2 balance patch, which nerfed the Breaker shotgun, Railgun, and Shield Generator Pack (AKA, the best loadout in the game), but buffed some weaker items like the Flamethrower, Laser Cannon, Punisher, and both the 120mm and 380mm Orbital HE Barrage stratagems into relevancy. The update has proven to be quite controversial — many, myself included, feel that more buffs and some enemy spawn rate adjustments were needed — but overall, it hasn't radically changed the game.

The SG-225 Breaker shotgun was given a smaller magazine and higher recoil in Helldivers 2's first major balance patch. (Image credit: PlayStation Studios)

If I'm being honest — and please, don't call me a dirty commie robot sympathizer for this; I love managed democracy, I swear — there's a part of me that wants to see the Automatons beat us here, just to see if they'll actually end up using our Exosuit mechs against us. I doubt players will let that happen, though, especially since fans have been looking forward to getting their patriotic hands on these mechs for weeks.

But even though it's highly unlikely we'll fail to retake Tien Kwan, the threat of the Automatons seizing our arsenal makes this feel like the first battle in the Galactic War that truly matters. For the first time since Helldivers 2's launch, our success or defeat will have tangible consequences, and that's exciting. It inspires me to boot up the game and jump into the fray, and it's an example of one of the neat ways Arrowhead Game Studios' CEO Johan Pilestedt said the developer's all-powerful Game Master Joel can "surprise and delight" with his string-pulling.

Perhaps at some point, we'll be fighting for other unreleased vehicles like the Halo Warthog-style buggy and APC that players recently discovered in a similar manner. There's no time to dwell on that now, though — in fact, why are you still reading this?  Tien Kwan needs you, so go get in the fight, soldier!

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.

  • th3disturbed
    I too kinda want to see what failure looks like. Does that change a script for the devs and delays release of mech suits and potentially gives a new enemy type? I have been loving this game just wish I could convince more friends to pick it up.
  • Brendan Lowry
    th3disturbed said:
    I too kinda want to see what failure looks like. Does that change a script for the devs and delays release of mech suits and potentially gives a new enemy type? I have been loving this game just wish I could convince more friends to pick it up.
    Exactly! I wonder if they'll show us what failure would have looked like if we win.