Helldivers 2 makes use of a unique Warbond system to lock content away from players whether or not they spend real money in the game. While there is a “premium” Warbond available to purchase, which is also included in the Steeled Veterans edition, even if you own this track, you’ll still need to grind the game in order to unlock the items contained inside.
For example, Warbond items, which include new weapons and armour with specific perks, require War Tokens to purchase. These tokens cannot be purchased with real money and can only be rewarded by completing objectives and finding tokens across planets.
Helldivers 2 then also includes an in-game store with cosmetic items and armour available for purchase using credits. However, the currency used to purchase these items can also be earned in the Warbond tracks. So essentially, you can purchase better armour with real money or by playing the game.
Arrowhead Game Studios says it never wanted Helldivers 2 to be pay-to-win. While X engagement farming accounts were slamming the game at launch for featuring pay-to-win mechanics, that isn’t actually the case.
According to the studio’s CEO Johan Pilestedt, he believes that studios need to earn the right to monetize their games and devs should offer options to players to support the game if they want to.
“You have to earn the right to monetize’ – I truly believe that. If people want to support this title they have an option, but we are never forcing anyone to do so.”
Speaking on X, Pilestedt says devs should never force you to purchase anything apart from the main game. He says in Helldivers 2, there’s essentially only one pay-to-win weapon included in the Steeled Veterans pack but even that weapon isn’t very good.
“I’m partial but we really applied ourselves to not make it p2w even though items are functionally different. The only item that’s p2w is the revolver – which will win you any ‘cool gun’ competition. Only (minor) problem is that it’s not that good.”
It seems that even the Steeled Veterans Warbond in Helldivers 2 offers the same quality of items and gear that is available in the normal Warbond. So one could argue that purchasing this premium track offers an advantage over other players but that doesn’t seem to be the case.
Helldivers 2 is now available on PS5 and PC. The game has been rather successful for Sony becoming the highest-selling first-party game on PC to date. While server issues have plagued the game since launch, Arrowhead Game Studios is hard at work ironing out the network problems.