Do Helldivers 2 players simply prefer to fight bugs over bots? It sure seems like it – IGN

Since the explosive launch of Helldivers 2 on PC and PlayStation 5, players have had two alien factions to battle: the fearsome robot Automatons and the ruthless bug-like Terminids.

A running theme running through Helldivers 2’s Galactic War’s beautiful meta-narrative is that the broader player base enjoys playing against the bugs more than the bots. This debate comes to the fore when Major Order – Helldivers 2’s time-limited, community-wide missions – revolves around battles on Automaton planets. And almost every time, try as it might, the hardcore Helldivers 2 community concerned with the success of the Galactic War can’t wrestle the majority of players all the way to the Western Front.

It’s happening again now, after Helldivers 2 developer Arrowhead granted a bonus to planet liberation, but only if the training facilities on Automaton planets (Vernen Wells) liberated in the previous Major Order remain under Super Earth control .

The problem is that most Helldivers 2 players really like to play on insect planets, which puts Vernen Wells, and therefore the bonus liberation, at risk. Players have a number of theories as to why these kinds of things happen. The lack of in-game communication is certainly a valid suggestion. Helldivers 2 itself doesn’t make it clear to players that Vernen Wells is a particularly important planet for players to focus on at the moment, so most won’t be aware that it needs attention. Players have called on Arrowhead to add more in-game communications to direct the broader player base to Major Order-focused planets, instead of relying on social media posts and the like from Discord and Reddit.

But as many Helldivers 2 players have also suggested, the simple truth is that many players would rather fight the bugs. After all, the Terminids are the alien faction that realizes the Starship Troopers fantasy that Helldivers 2 leans so heavily on. And insects are just a lot softer than their metal-clad counterparts. On the harder difficulties, all Helldivers 2 missions can be a nightmare. But the Terminids are thought to be easier to deal with than the Automatons.

Most active Helldivers 2 players fight in Terminid-controlled systems.
Most active Helldivers 2 players fight in Terminid-controlled systems.

Then there is Automata Fatigue. The bots have been the recent focus of a Major Order, so it’s a stretch to ask players to keep an eye on the bot planets if they’re in the mood for a change. In short, there’s no reason for the Helldivers 2 community’s clear preference for Terminids, but the overriding feeling is that bugs are just more fun.

So, what should be done? Some Helldivers 2 players are now turning to Arrowhead to make fighting the bots more rewarding by handing out bonuses of some sort. There are also suggestions that planet liberation should be adjusted to reflect the number of players fighting in a system at any given time. Arrowhead, fresh off the all-encompassing PSN debacle it is now trying to recover from, has said it will take time to focus on game balance, among other things. Perhaps some user interface tweaks are in order as well.

Auto-controlled systems tend to have fewer players, regardless of Major Order.
Auto-controlled systems tend to have fewer players, regardless of Major Order.

“I think it’s time to admit that Automata need to dangle a carrot above them so players can hit the Western Front,” suggested Redditor CouldBeBetterTBH. “We just got a galaxy-wide buff just two days ago and we’re already going to lose some of it in 13 hours because no one likes the bots. 90,000 divers online and 60,000 are on Terminid worlds.

“What else can we do at this point other than bypass the game rules and add some sort of medal/example multiplier effect to Automaton planets? No one wants to play against the Bots, we are always the minority of the player base and all continue to be let down. our Orders and keep losing planets because no one wants to touch our worlds with a 100 mile pole.

“No one wants to play against the Bots…

“There has to be something drawing players to this side of the Galactic Map, or we’ll never make any progress in the West unless Joel keeps tweaking the numbers and throwing pity at us every time the Automatons become a focus or even a topic . part of a large order.”

Whatever your preference, Helldivers 2 is a huge success and will become Sony’s fastest-selling PlayStation game ever. It sold an astonishing 12 million copies in just 12 weeks after it went on sale, and has continued to push hard with its live service elements.

Wesley is the UK news editor for IGN. Find him on Twitter at @wyp100. You can reach Wesley at or confidentially at

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *