Helldivers 2 Dev Says Players Kicking Teammates Who Don’t Have ‘Meta’ Loadouts Is a ‘Hard to Solve’ Problem, Asks Community for Ideas

Helldivers 2 Dev Says Players Kicking Teammates Who Don’t Have ‘Meta’ Loadouts Is a ‘Hard to Solve’ Problem, Asks Community for Ideas

Helldivers 2 is an early 2024 smash hit, with critical and commercial acclaim following its explosive launch on PlayStation 5 and PC. But there are some aspects of the co-op shooter that can result in a frustrating experience, and one of them has to do with the behavior of your teammates.

As IGN reported last month, some Helldivers 2 players are kicking their teammates before games even get going because they’re not bringing so-called “meta” builds to the party. (Check out IGN’s best loadouts guide to see what we think). This has been a problem with Helldivers 2 ever since it came out, particularly on higher difficulties, so nothing new there. But now the boss of developer Arrowhead has taken notice publicly, and asked the game’s community for ideas on how to solve what he called a tricky problem.

CEO Johan Pilestedt tweeted a response to one user who said they’d been “removed”, aka kicked, from matches due to using a single Stratagem or weapon the host didn’t like. “This is so shitty,” Pilestedt said. “Also very hard to solve — we have some ideas but no conclusion. You know what, let’s try this: Hive Mind — do you have a design suggestion for how to improve this experience?”

What followed was a steady stream of suggestions. One user tweeted to suggest the addition of a ‘kick reason’, which might prompt an explanation. In this case, the user believes they were kicked because they picked up samples dropped by their squadmate, who, they suspect, did not know samples are shared at the end of a successful mission completion.

Another suggestion is that Helldivers 2 highlights the player who just kicked you in the ‘recent teammates’ section, so you can block them and, hopefully, prevent squadding up with them in the future.

Streamer Gothalion suggested the addition of a matchmaking “preferred style”, which would indicate whether you’re after a hardcore or casual game session. Essentially, you would be able to filter matchmaking so you end up playing with like-minded teammates.

There are more punishing ideas, too, including tracking how many times a player has kicked a teammate within a certain timeframe, then flagging them and potentially taking action if they exceed the limit. There are some creative suggestions. One user suggested that a kick creates a “fork” of the instance that was being played, and migrates the kicked player to that fork, complete with the gear and loadout they were using. Another user suggested a “conditional kick”, so that Helldivers 2 would only let a player be kicked under certain circumstances, such as a set number of teamkills.

One player said they’d been kicked several times at the end of a mission, even on the score screen after the Pelican took off. “It’s incredibly frustrating that I spend 15-30mins for absolutely nothing,” they said. “So far it seems that they do this because they can because I was not underperforming.” Pilestedt responded to say not allowing a kick “at that point and/or giving rewards anyways would solve that.”

What seems clear is that the host’s ability to kick any teammate is here to stay. “You need to own your experience as host,” Pilestedt replied to one user who stressed that the kick option is important for the host when it comes to booting out players who are griefing. Explaining further, Pilestedt said: “The host is the owner of the game. It’s their operation and they decide. Kinda like coming over to someone’s house.”

After a flood of suggestions, Pilestedt tweeted to thank the community for their help, and said he’d ask the development team to draw inspiration from the thread. “This is a pretty cool thing, the entire community coming together to discuss a hard to solve problem,” Pilestedt said. “Even though vote kick is the easiest, it has some downsides and there is always a better solution.”

Amid the discussion about kicking in Helldivers 2, mechs went live after the game’s first balance patch, which sparked something of a backlash Arrowhead subsequently responded to. Helldivers 2 has become one of the surprise hits of 2024 since launching in February, topping the charts on Steam and reportedly selling around three million copies. According to at least one analyst, it’s still growing. Check out IGN’s Helldivers 2 review to find out why it’s going down so well.

Wesley is the UK News Editor for IGN. Find him on Twitter at @wyp100. You can reach Wesley at [email protected] or confidentially at [email protected].

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