Is Helldivers 2 pay to win?

Helldivers 2 gameplay image
(Image credit: PlayStation Studios)

Is Helldivers 2 pay to win?

No, Helldivers 2 is not a pay-to-win game. While you'll unlock different guns by purchasing the premium battle pass, the team at Arrowhead has carefully balanced things so any new guns simply provide an alternate experience instead of being superior to the starting kit.

Helldivers 2Buy from: GreenManGaming (Steam)

Helldivers 2

Team up with friends to fight aliens across PC and PS5. Hordes are attacking, and humanity needs defenders. Helldivers 2 doesn't require you to buy anything in-game in order to enjoy it, but if you're craving variety then you can snag the premium Warbond progression track.

Buy from: GreenManGaming (Steam)

Earn premium currency through playing Helldivers 2

Arrowhead Game Studios' new title is pushing beyond anything the developer has previously worked on, and that will naturally raise some questions. 

In Helldivers 2, players are able to go through the game without buying anything. They can however, choose to progress Warbonds, which is the name for the battle pass system in Helldivers 2. At launch, there's one Warbond track available for all players, while another Warbond requires a purchase via premium currency or through grabbing the deluxe "Super Citizen" edition of the game. 

Both Warbonds have different guns in them to unlock, so it's fair for a player to wonder if the guns on the paid Warbond would provide an unfair advantage. Testing shows this is not the case, and according to Arrowhead's CEO via Twitter, the developers have taken care to ensure things are strictly balanced. Guns you unlock through Warbonds might be better in some respects, but they are worse in others. 

You also don't have to buy premium currency in order to unlock the premium Warbonds. While it's certainly much faster that way, you can earn some currency through finding it when you're deployed on various missions. It'll take a long time for you to save up enough for the Warbond, but this is a totally valid way of playing the game. 

Furthermore, in order to actually unlock the items included in a Warbond, you need to playing the game and completing objectives. If a gun costs 20 medals, there's no shortcut outside of fulfilling daily objectives and helping drive back Terminids and Automaton threats.

It's also worth mentioning that Strategems, the big "call down heavy weapons and ordinance" abilities, are not included in the Warbonds. These actually are game-changing, but all players unlock these at the exact same rate.

Helldivers 2 is currently available on Windows PC and PlayStation 5. It's also part of a growing list of PlayStation Studios games on Windows PC, a list that is expected to grow with further additions throughout the year.

Samuel Tolbert
Freelance Writer

Samuel Tolbert is a freelance writer covering gaming news, previews, reviews, interviews and different aspects of the gaming industry, specifically focusing on Xbox and PC gaming on Windows Central. You can find him on Twitter @SamuelTolbert.

  • fatpunkslim
    Why so many precautions when it comes to playstation. If the purchase of weapons is not only cosmetic and you have better weapons with different characteristics, it's pay to win! . "Yes but some aspects are better and others less good", it's subjective, it depends on the way of playing, it will be an advantage for some, that doesn't mean it remains an advantage for the one who pays against the one who doesn't pay. It would be Xbox, don't worry, that there would have already been an outcry to say that it's a pay 2 win. All purchases on GAAS Xbox are cosmetic, but it's like it's PlayStation, is that okay? Well no i don't think so! This opens the door to future abuses on other games, I don't see why there would be a PlayStation exception and an xbox tax on the other side !