Helldivers 2 avoided PvP to reduce toxicity, so of course some players are being toxic anyway by fighting over shared resources and team-killing to steal weapons

Helldivers 2 intro man
(Image credit: Arrowhead Game Studios)

Helldivers, we have a problem. Undemocratic bug fodder has infested the ranks of Helldivers 2, and the toxic behavior of these players is putting a damper on what should be a glorious campaign for Super Earth. 

Developer Arrowhead has been clear about keeping PvP out of Helldivers 2 because it wants to "reduce toxic elements," but seeing as how this game is being played by humans, some people will inevitably find a way to be toxic anyway. Case in point: some people are not only so greedy, but also so tunnel-visioned that they think they can steal collectible samples by killing the person holding them, ignoring the fact that such finds are all shared among teammates. 

"Just got [team-killed] and kicked from a group for 'stealing samples,'" complains Reddit user BakedRobot31. "It's unreal how fast the community's IQ fell through the floor." 

This sort of behavior seems to be worsening, or at least becoming more visible, as players reach higher ranks where the stakes are raised. Another player laments that high-difficulty lobbies can descend into bickering about mission types, stratagem choices, and loadout selection. They say they were even team-killed by someone who looted their body, insisting "I am better with your railgun." Even Automatons wouldn't stoop so low as to kill their allies to steal gear they haven't unlocked yet.  

"I have sunk so much time into this game and I am so happy that I got so much enjoyment out of it already because I don't wanna keep playing if this is how the end game is going to be," they conclude. 

They're not alone, either. Many other Helldivers 2 report similar experiences, collectively painting a picture of meta-obsessed players who resent any loadout that they didn't see in a YouTube guide or TikTok video. 

Helldivers 2 intro cutscene helldiver thumbs up

(Image credit: Sony)

Others have likewise resorted to senseless team-killing or, a PUG classic well-known to folks who raid in MMOs, randomly kicking people to deny rewards. "There is nothing more disgusting than being kicked 30 seconds before the shuttle lands," complains one player. "No enemies. No friendly fire. No reasons to kick me. I did nothing wrong, no stratagem did any team kill. And I lost all of my samples and the ones they collected during that 40-minute mission." 

"I also just had some random person kill the three other people on the evac ship on purpose by shooting into it with the Breaker, then evac, causing us to lose the five Super Samples and a couple dozen of the regular/rare ones, on a Difficulty 8 mission," another chimes in. There are countless similar anecdotes floating around.

These incidents seem uncommon in the grand scheme of things, but they're happening frequently enough to sour some folks on the game, or at least the public matchmade experience. Fed up with this kind of nonsense, more and more players say they're hosting their own games to make sure they can moderate the lobby as needed. Others have asked for an improved report function to help punish or blacklist disruptive players. It may not be the most diplomatic route, but I'll personally continue dealing with trolls the way Helldivers 2's friendly fire so clearly intended: with an anti-materiel rifle. 

As Helldivers 2 players lose ground to Automatons, attention turns to the XP farmers not helping: "We are handing bots planets like candy on Halloween."

Austin Wood

Austin freelanced for the likes of PC Gamer, Eurogamer, IGN, Sports Illustrated, and more while finishing his journalism degree, and he's been with GamesRadar+ since 2019. They've yet to realize that his position as a senior writer is just a cover up for his career-spanning Destiny column, and he's kept the ruse going with a focus on news and the occasional feature, all while playing as many roguelikes as possible.