The 100% official Helldivers 2 Hyper-Handbook and Code of Conduct, honest

Helldivers 2 helmet
(Image credit: Arrowhead Game Studios)

Helldivers, at ease! Magnus "And Don't Even Ask Questions Later" Feuerkraft speakin', Seventeen-Star General of Super Earth and eight-time recipient of the prestigious Purple Finger medal.* I figure it's time to lay down the law – this here communique, to be issued galaxy-wide, is about that most important of things when you're in the field, cooperation! A patriotic man might well throw up his field rations at what I'm about to say, but I've been told that some of you Helldivers ain't cooperatin' as a team, and don't got each other's backs in the field. I know, I know, excessive cooperation can lead to thoughts of socialism, but just keep takin' the red, white and blue pills and that shouldn't be an issue.

The point is, I'm hearin' some deeply troublin' reports from the front lines. Helldivers headin' off their own, leavin' their fellow soldiers in enemy terrain. Friendly fire at a rate above the acceptable 70% threshold! Support weapons bein' stolen from the heroes who ordered them in! Samples bein' left uncollected in the field! Damn it, it almost makes you fear for sweet liberty itself! 

So with that in mind, yours truly has put together this brief on good conduct on the battlefield. If we're goin' to break the bots and put those bugs back in their holes, it'll be united as one, and I'll have your scalp on my desk if you say otherwise!

*Given to those heroes who nobly gave up other people's lives in the line of duty.

The Official Helldivers' Code of Conduct

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(Image credit: Sony)

Rule 1: Put the Mortar Sentry back and step away slowly before somebody gets hurt. Cadet, if you're that determined to help the enemy, just get it over with and fully defect to those damned Automatons, you filthy traitor! But if you still care about freedom, you'll take a good, God-fearin' EMS Mortar or Autocannon Sentry instead.

Rule 2: A good soldier stands by their fellow warriors! There's no such thing as four squads of one apiece in the Helldivers – if you drop as a team, you fight as one too. If I ever have to see a map of the field with Divers spread too far to help each other, I'll call in the Eagle on you myself. And then I'll do it three more times because you're all too far away for one strike to kill all of you. Point is, you're fightin' for the collective glory, not just your own! And also because it's darn annoyin' when a fella gets reinforced ten thousand miles away from his freshly summoned Support Stratagems and collected samples.

Rule 3: Team killin's only cute when it's an accident. Alright, I'll admit that those egghead nerds on Super Earth might've made some of our Stratagems a bit… excessive, but it's their job to amp up the killin' power, and your job to make sure it's applied in the right place. I'll even admit that accidents will happen – who among us hasn't turned a comrade into ash now and then? – but a heroic Helldiver will take pains to ensure that such events are infrequent enough to at least remain humorous, rather than just exhuastin'. Likewise, those who are caught in another Helldiver's airstrikes will prove their heroism by takin' it with good grace. Everybody in the intensive care unit loves a charmer.

Rule 4: See rule 1 again. I'm bein' serious here, I think those Mortar Sentries have some sort of Virus in them the Automatons snuck in there.

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(Image credit: Sony)

Rule 5: The only word worse than "diplomacy" is "meta." I've been disgusted to hear a lot of soldiers out there right now talkin' about somethin' called a meta. Fine, take the Breaker, Railgun and Shield Pack if you want, but I ain't goin' to tolerate Helldivers pickin' on other good soldiers for takin' somethin' different into the field. Sweet liberty, we gave you those other guns for a reason! You know what my meta is? Gumption, bravery, patriotism! Oh, and the Break-Action Shotgun. You got a problem with that, tell it to the end of the barrel!

Rule 6: Nothin' brings a team together like a good game of Resupply Chicken. What, you haven't played that classic childhood game? If one of you calls in a Resupply, all of you dive across the marker and through the path of the impendin' ammo drop. The one who dives soonest to the ammo actually landin' – without gettin' cut in half by it – is the winner! I used to play it all the time at my Education and Conditionin' Facility as a boy, even after that unfortunate accident with One-Leg Louis in '38**.

Rule 7: Go back for your Samples or go to hell. You can't need me to explain this, cadet – nothin' should be more important to a Helldiver than developin' and consolidatin' their killin' power, and trophies ripped from the hands of the enemy are how we do that. If you drop your Samples, you damn well go back for them, every time. Either you succeed gloriously, or it will deplete the enemy's ammunition and make the next attempt by another soldier all the more likely to succeed.

Rule 8: We gave you numbers for a reason! Obviously we instruct every Helldiver in basic trainin' to be an Alpha wherever they stand, but obviously things can get a little sticky when everybody's tryin' to be a leader and puttin' pins on the map in different locations. We can't all be Eighteen-Star Generals, after all. Well, that's why you all have numbers next to your name, hence the old adage: "when in doubt, One wins out." That's the cadet pioneerin' this mission, and you'll listen to what they have to say! If Number One is bein' quiet, you go with whoever drops the pin first. When leadership is silent, power is historically a game of dibs.

Helldivers 2 progression system

(Image credit: Sony)

Rule 9: A Sitrep is worth a thousand bullets. I don't demand that anybody keeps voice comms on if they don't feel like it, but there's a pin system and a radial communication menu built into your helmet, and I want to see them creakin' with use, you hear me?! Tag those sneaky Bile Titans when your friends haven't seen them. Point out where you're throwin' an airstrike before you do it, not after. If there's ammo on the ground or you need a stim, let the world know! We gave you access to enough weapons to level a mountain range – you think Super Earth wants you to do your job quietly?!

Rule 10: Understand what's important here. I'm hearin' a lot of folks out there talkin' about "satire" and "parody", includin' a lot of limp-wristed do-gooders from some soft-hearted organisation called Arrowhead. Well, as a Nineteen-Star General of Super Earth, I can safely say I don't see anythin' funny or satirical about the galactic war against giant insect monsters, do you?! No!

Now, if there were some sort of parody goin' on… well, I suppose a clever man has to understand what's serious and what's not, what's a joke and what ain't. Not that I see a joke, mind you. Sweet Star-Spangled Uber-Christ, it's not like this is some sort of digitised simulation created to make a mockery out of the sacred concept of Managed Democracy – if it were, how in Freedom's name would anybody be able to take it seriously?

**He lost his eye. Because his leg got blown off and hit him in the face.

Find out why Helldivers 2 isn't just good co-op, it's a masterclass in designing comedy games!

Joel Franey
Guides Writer

Joel Franey is a writer, journalist, podcaster and raconteur with a Masters from Sussex University, none of which has actually equipped him for anything in real life. As a result he chooses to spend most of his time playing video games, reading old books and ingesting chemically-risky levels of caffeine. He is a firm believer that the vast majority of games would be improved by adding a grappling hook, and if they already have one, they should probably add another just to be safe. You can find old work of his at USgamer, Gfinity, Eurogamer and more besides.