Helldivers 2's infamous Automaton Striders are back with a vengeance, just as players thought they were turning the tide against Game Master Joel

Helldivers 2 Factory Strider up close looking at helldiver
(Image credit: Sony)

Somehow, I'd managed to miss the Helldivers 2 Factory Striders the first time around, but it seems that my time living in ignorance has come to an end. A new report claims that the monstrous, bot-spewing machines are back, and in far bigger numbers than ever before.

In a tweet this afternoon, the official Helldivers 2 account dropped a new news report, confirming that the Factory Striders "have made a resurgence on the Automaton front." An accompanying video shows an oncoming horde of the machines, which are built like Star Wars' AT-ATs, complete with some serious armor plating and mean-looking machine guns fitted under their cockpits.

Of course, the Factory Striders can do something that AT-ATs can't - left long enough, they produce bots of their own, as documented by the squadron that drops out of a machine's belly in that broadcast. That means that even one spawning in can turn a mission on its head, but until now, that was a relatively rare occurrence. From today, however, it seems that we'll be seeing a lot more of the Factory Striders. Previously all-but limited to the highest difficulty level, Striders are now reportedly appearing at lower levels, and are being carried in by dropships rather than simply spawning in for an unlucky few.

It seems as though the addition of these extremely tough machines - thought of by some as an even deadlier answer to the Terminids' Bile Titan - is a matter of revenge from galactic game master Joel. The most recent Major Order has been had fought by the community after a weekend of Joel-made Hell, but the developers have been warning that the previous Automaton force - which was all-but entirely repelled earlier this month and was home to the first Striders - was nothing but a vanguard.

A new Helldivers 2 patch dropped earlier today, but don't count on it helping you defeat this new enemy.

Ali Jones
News Editor

I'm GamesRadar's news editor, working with the team to deliver breaking news from across the industry. I started my journalistic career while getting my degree in English Literature at the University of Warwick, where I also worked as Games Editor on the student newspaper, The Boar. Since then, I've run the news sections at PCGamesN and Kotaku UK, and also regularly contributed to PC Gamer. As you might be able to tell, PC is my platform of choice, so you can regularly find me playing League of Legends or Steam's latest indie hit.