In a rare message from Helldivers 2 Game Master Joel, Arrowhead confirms the war is bugged and not being tracked properly amid a spike in crashes after a new patch

Helldivers 2
(Image credit: Arrowhead Game Studios)

The wrong kind of bug has thrown a wrench in Helldivers 2 right as players eagerly throw themselves at a daunting challenge from Game Master Joel. Developer Arrowhead has confirmed that, as players had begun to suspect after barely making any planetary progress today, democratic activities aren't being tracked properly, skewing progress in the warfront.

"A message for everyone from the Game Master," reads a new Discord post from community manager Baskinator, sharing a missive apparently penned by Joel himself. 

"'Helldivers! We're aware of an issue with the Galactic War not tracking your effective spread of Liberty properly. We are investigating this urgently and will keep you posted as soon as we understand the issue and have a fix to communicate to you. Thanks very much for your patience while we squash some software bugs.'"

It's fascinating to see Joel break from throwing players into three days and five planets of hell just to say, hey, there's a little problem with that hell I promised you, give us a sec to fix it. I can't wait to see how people decide this fits into the lore.  And there was, indeed, a problem; Fori Prime is somehow at a stalemate despite 222,000 folks contributing. We may need tens of millions of players to take this week's planets in time at this rate. Helldivers 2 is incredibly popular, but it ain't that popular. 

Frankly, I'm surprised this is the first time this has happened. Arrowhead only just patched "more than a million accounts" looking to stamp out a difficulty bug, and there's a fresh friends list fix too, but the galactic war itself, which is surely enormously complex under the hood, has been rock-solid since launch (as far as we know). With any luck, this problem will be resolved quickly, either with enough haste that it doesn't derail the ongoing major order, with previously untracked progress restored, or with some sort of time bank that gives Helldivers back the hours lost to this bug. 

To make matters worse, it seems the whole game is on the fritz too, with these issues potentially tied to those aforementioned patches. (Anecdotally, I had a bear of a time getting the game to load at all while checking some things for this story.) In a separate post, community manager Twinbeard adds: 

"We know that many of you are [experiencing] a lot of crashes at the moment (seemingly linked to the patch deployed earlier today, which at least resolved the persistent friend request issue for a lot of players). Our team is deep down in the trenches digging into the issue as we speak. We are on alert ready to update on any changes here. We're very sorry everyone for not being able to supply you with the glorious feeling of bug and bot stomping and hope to have the game more stable as soon as possible." 

Patching the patches: a live service classic. 

After calling flying bugs "propaganda" and blue lasers "not real", Helldivers 2 director crumbles as one soldier captures both in a single screenshot.

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.