As the Helldivers 2 Community Argues Over Nerfs and Buffs Following the Latest Patch, Arrowhead Explains Increased Patrols for Solo Players

As the Helldivers 2 Community Argues Over Nerfs and Buffs Following the Latest Patch, Arrowhead Explains Increased Patrols for Solo Players


Whenever Helldivers 2 developer Arrowhead releases a big balance update for the PC and PlayStation 5 co-op shooter, the community debates the various nerfs and buffs as it gets to grips with the evolving meta. After this week’s release of patch 01.000.300, which tweaked a long list of weapons, stratagems, and enemies, the debate was especially vociferous.

A change to the beloved Quasar Cannon is but one that has led to claims that Arrowhead has nerfed fun out of Helldivers 2. The game’s Discord and subreddit are especially spicy as Arrowhead community managers address concern about nerfs even as they point out that in reality, the patch made significant buffs to a number of key weapons. The Adjudicator, for example, has enjoyed a meaningful buff, as has the Punisher Plasma, and the Counter Sniper. The regular Guard Dog and the Railgun also got some love. Other weapons were rebalanced with a combination of buffs and nerfs.

As the row over Helldivers 2’s apparent nerfs continues, Arrowhead has addressed another aspect of the patch that has drawn controversy: patrols for solo players.

In the patch notes released this week, Arrowhead said patrol spawning was increased when there are fewer than four players. The fewer the players the bigger the change. For four-player missions there is no change compared to before. But “the biggest noticeable change will be for solo players at higher difficulties.”

Essentially, Helldivers 2 is now tougher for teams of three players and less, and much tougher for solo players. Helldivers 2 is designed to be played co-op, ideally in squads of four, but of course sometimes that’s not possible, and indeed there are plenty of players who prefer to play solo, challenging themselves to complete missions on their own and on the toughest difficulties even though Helldivers 2 can be incredibly difficult played this way.

Following the release of the patch, Arrowhead released a statement attributed to design director Niklas Broström, who explained that this change was about righting a prior mistake.

“We unintendedly had non-linear scaling of the patrol spawns so they didn’t spawn as often as they should have when less than four players,” Broström said. “The intention is that one player has 1/4th of the patrols compared to four players, but it used to be that they had 1/6th.

“Scaling of patrol spawns was exponential before, and that felt good on four player lobbies but a bit too empty when playing with fewer players, especially when playing solo. So now we made the scaling of patrols to be linear, which means if you play solo you will get 25% of the patrols compared to a four-player lobby instead of having about 17% of the patrols. There is still a cap of patrols that can spawn at the same time so during situations when we spawn a lot of patrols, such as extractions, even solo players won’t notice the difference. The change is made to make the world feel less empty for one and two-player lobbies, especially on high difficulty missions which was also slightly too easy for solo players compared to our intentions.

“Hope this clarifies the change for everyone – we’re not making the game arbitrarily harder!”

“Hope this clarifies the change for everyone – we’re not making the game arbitrarily harder!

So, it turns out, Helldivers 2 was unintentionally too easy for solo players, and now it’s at the difficulty Arrowhead always intended.

The patch reaction doesn’t end there. There’s also a debate about a significant change to ricochet: “Shots that ricochet from heavy armored enemies will now properly hit the Helldiver who fired them. Trigger discipline is highly recommended.”

Players are now reporting getting killed more often by shots that ricochet, but there is confusion about just how much of an issue this is. Clips are doing the rounds on social media that appear to show players suffering embarrassing deaths at the hands of their own ricocheting projectiles, but some have suggested there isn’t a big change here. The prevailing theory is that the patch has made it so the player now takes damage from their own bullets and shrapnel when ricochet occurs, compared to the pre-patch situation where they were immune.

If you’re looking for more on Helldivers 2, check out IGN’s feature on the Let Me Solo Her of Helldivers 2, a player who has answered over 100 SOS Beacons as part of a mission to help others.

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 or confidentially at


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