Helldivers 2 has exploded onto the scene and made a fairly large impact, quickly becoming the biggest Sony Studios game on PC. But like so many games released in the modern age, Helldivers 2 is monetized in more ways than just the price you pay to buy it. So let’s explore exactly how Helldivers 2 is monetized, shall we?
Swapping out the top-down view of the first game for some over-the-should action, Helldivers 2 is a co-op action game where you and three other people battle waves of bug monsters and socialist robots. I’m not even kidding about the robots.
There’s a heavy satirical streak in the game reminiscent of the Starship Troopers movie that I find completely charming.
It hasn’t launched without issues, mind you, as server problems and game crashes have stopped many people from doing their duty for Super Earth!
But despite being a $39.99/£34.99 game, Helldivers 2 contains several different monetization methods aimed at getting players to spend a little more money. In this article, I’ll go through exactly what developer Arrowhead Games has put into the game, from season passes to microtransactions.
- Warbonds (Season Pass)
- Premium Warbonds (Paid Season Pass)
- Storefront & Microtransactions
- So, can I just play the damn game?
Warbonds (Season Pass)
Warbonds are kind of like Helldivers 2’s version of a Battle Pass, offering up new weapons, gears, outfits and more that you unlock by spending the medals earned by completing missions. The good news is that Warbonds (and the Premium versions) apparently won’t go away – they are permanent, and therefore you can complete them at your leisure without any fear of missing out on something.
The basic Warbond is free and available to everybody who plays Helldivers 2. By completing missions and optional objectives you acquire medals that can then be used to buy things from the Warbond, including new armour with special perks, guns, grenades, emotes and more. To unlock the new tier in the Warbond a minimum amount of medals must be spent in the previous tiers.
Medals can also be earned by completing daily missions, which are fairly lucrative. Medals can also occasionally be found in-game, so make sure you explore in order to find secret caches and bunkers.
Premium Warbonds (Paid Season Pass)
The other type of Warbond comes in the form of paid content. The current Warbond is titled Steeled Veterans.
This costs 1000 Super Credits to unlock, which translates to $9.99/£9.99.
Like the standard Warbond, Medals must be spent to unlock the contents of the Warbond like armour, guns, grenades and other goodies. Currently, the general consensus seems to be that the weapons and armour found within Steeled Veterans aren’t very good, so if you want to stick to the free Warbond then you aren’t missing out on much.
Can you unlock the Premium Warbond without paying?
Yes. Well, theoretically. The free Warbond contains a grand total of 750 Super Credits that you can unlock by spending Medals, which isn’t enough to purchase the Premium Warbond on its own.
However, Super Credits can also be found in-game, hidden away in special vaults and caches, so keep your eyes peeled. It’s too early to judge how many Super Credits can be gathered this way or how quickly. I’ve managed to pick up something like 100 Super Credits after a few hours of playing, so in theory, by the time I work through the free Warbond, I should have enough Super Credits to get Steeled Veterans without having to pay a dime.
Keep in mind, though, that the developers can adjust these things at any time.
Will there be more Warbonds added to the game?
While the developers have not stated explicitly that more Warbonds will be added to the game, it seems almost certain that they will be.
What we do know is that Arrowhead is planning on free updates and events as players battle through the Galactic War. More objectives, biomes and enemies have all been promised and will be added to the game free of charge.
But free stuff has to be financed somehow, and that’s where Premium Warbonds will come into play.
Storefront & Microtransactions
On top of the optional Premium Warbonds, there’s also a rotating storefront selling special items which get switched out every 24 hours. Helldivers 2 employs an annoying system where you cannot simply buy these things outright – instead, you need to buy bundles of Super Credits which come in preset amounts.
- 150 Super Credits – $1.99
- 375 Super Credits – $4.99
- 1000 Super Credits – $9.99
- 2100 Super Credits – $19.99
(Please note, I cannot confirm UK prices because the in-game store is only displaying in US dollars for me, despite me being in the UK.)
This is an old tactic made famous by Xbox back when it was possible to buy Microsoft Points. The idea is that you’ll typically have leftover points after purchases which encourages you to get some more to buy something else because it tricks your brain into thinking, “oh, the next thing will be cheaper because I’ve already got some credits lying around.”
To put those prices into perspective, Helldivers 2 is currently charging 150-250 Super Credits for a suit of armour, and 75-125 Super Credits for a helmet.
Thus far it seems Arrowhead Games will only be putting cosmetic items on the rotating storefront. Some armour comes with different stats, but these are reskins of in-game armour and gear that you can get with the same perks and stats.
Weapons are not currently available on the storefront.
So, can I just play the damn game?
I’ve only put around 6 hours into Helldivers 2, so take what I say here with a pinch of salt. Currently, you can have a lot of fun with the game without paying anything more than its asking price. The basic Warbond/season pass has some pretty nice-looking unlocks and neither the storefront nor the premium Warbond boast anything that would provide players with an advantage over anyone else, unless you count fancy armour as an advantage.
Compared to other games that include similar monetization on top of their asking price, like the recently released Suicide Squad, Helldivers 2 is on the more reasonable end of the spectrum. The prices seem fair in the store and the premium Warbond isn’t exorbitantly priced. Considering how much fun I’m having, I could see myself actually picking up Steeled Veterans in a month or so, if I continue playing.
Ultimately, you can jump into Helldivers 2 without any fear of missing out on anything substantial or feeling like you’re underpowered compared to people who are willing to fork over extra cash. And if you just play for the enjoyment of it, there seems to be a decent chance of getting enough Super Credits to buy the Premium Warbond or some stuff from the store without cracking open the bank account.
Of course, who knows what will happen in the future? I’m sure Arrowhead will continue to tweak prices and items, for better or for worse.