Helldivers 2 CEO acknowledges the meta in the best way: "Give the new player the shield backpack and the railgun. You can do without it if you are a true Helldiver"

Helldivers 2 trailer
(Image credit: Arrowhead Game Studios)

Addressing the Helldivers 2 meta while leaning into the game's winking fascist veneer, CEO Johan Pilestedt of developer Arrowhead Game Studios advised veterans to treat new players kindly by showering them in heavy armaments, not fascism.

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"Help new players. Show them the ropes. Fight together. Don't be a facist [sic]," Pilestedt tweeted. (I've left the "facist" typo in to, ironically, avoid confusion, but it's clear from another reply what Pilestedt is talking about here.) He doubled down in a followup with a clearer call to action: "Give the new player the shield backpack and the railgun. You can do without it if you are a true Helldiver." 

This is, of course, good advice, especially the part about not being a fascist. One of the greatest joys in gaming is shepherding a new player, patiently and encouragingly, through content that you have utterly mastered – doubly so when that newcomer is a friend tentatively dipping their toes into your absolute favorite thing. Helldivers 2 is ripe for this kind of jolly cooperation, and it'd be a shame to waste it by callously dissing or dismissing the grunts in your squad.  

Railguns and personal shields have quickly become go-to picks among high-level Helldivers 2 players, to the point that some folks are clamoring for a now-confirmed balance patch to make some other options more competitive. Pilestedt has openly argued that the meta doesn't matter anyhow, and he's right on that front as well, but it's clear that Arrowhead is aware of what's popular. 

Delightfully, Pilestedt's tweet has become a collection of anecdotes from players swapping stories of the noobs they rescued. 

"I was on a mission with three newbies yesterday. Me level 30 and three level 3s," writes one user. "It was fun af. I felt like the grizzled vet sergeant leading fresh-faced lads in WW2."

"A week ago some guy named BiohazardJP joined my match, saw me getting my ass whooped, and when everyone left he stayed in the lobby, refused to leave until I reached lvl 10," says another, from the other side of the level gap. "He was carrying me through hell and back. I doubt he's reading it but if he does I hope he has a good day." 

As for what you should do after giving your railgun to your local noob, well, I guess get used to playing Ring Around the Rosie with Chargers. 

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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.