Helldivers 2 update 1.000.100 brings inevitably unpopular balance changes

With the server woes largely behind them, Arrowhead Games has been able to shift their focus and release the first big balance update for Helldivers 2. Update 1.000.100 dropped like it was hot yesterday, and was immediately met with dismay and despair at how Arrowhead has tweaked the Breaker / Railgun / Shield meta that had dominated the game since launch.

But, is it really all that bad?

Alongside the update, Arrowhead Head of Product Testing Patrik Lasota also gave an explanation for the changes and the overarching philosophy. While “nerfs” are never popular, the team has the difficult task of trying to make it so that there are multiple options for players across a spectrum of increasingly crazy difficulty levels, while still maintaining that over-the-top, explosive military power fantasy that helps make the game so fun.

So, the go-to weapons had to be tweaks. The Breaker’s magazine capacity has decreased and recoil increased, because it’s meant to be a crazy automatic shotgun that rampages through ammo, just like in the original. The Railgun now needs more precise shots at enemy weak spots and the use of the overpowered Unsafe Mode to be most effective, and there’s now an increased delay to the Shield Generator to recharge.

This will inevitably reduce the viability of this combo, but Arrowhead’s aim is always that you should be using Stratagems and trying to work in a team. Some players quickly pointed to team combos of a Recoilless Rifle to knock through heavy armour, before the Autocannon blasts that the revealed weakspots as a Railgun alternative, though this requires more coordination.

Personally, I still have plenty of fun with the game on Challenging and Hard difficulties, where the challenge isn’t quite so extreme and there were always more viable options than the peak meta. However, the reaction to this has been swift and negative with clickbait YouTube videos flooding out from players. No doubt Arrowhead will look at the underlying statistics to see how and what people are actually doing.

At the same time, Arrowhead has buffed other weapons, which they’ll also keep a keen eye on. The Punisher shotgun will deal more stagger (and a reload bug has been fixed), the Flamethrower has been bumped up by 50% damage, and the Laser Cannon fantasy now meets player expectations so it does more armour penetration compared to the “laser machine gun” vibes it was originally intended to have. The two HE Barrage Stratagems have also been amended to focus their fire more and have an extra salvo, so they’re a more viable alternative to the bomber runs.

Here’s the full Helldivers 2 1.000.100 patch notes:

Major Updates

  • Planetary Hazards active
    • Many planets now have additional environmental challenges that will appear at random while you are deployed, from fire tornadoes to meteor showers and many more.


Eradicate Missions

  • Eradicate missions now require more kills and enemies spawn more often. The time to complete the mission was previously shorter than intended and should now usually take twice as long to complete.

Primary, Secondary, & Support Weapons

  • Balancing adjustments made to the following:
    • SG-225 Breaker –  Decreased magazine capacity from 16 to 13, increased recoil from 30 to 55
    • SG-8 Punisher – Increased total ammo capacity from 40 to 60, increased stagger force, increased damage from 40 per bullet to 45 per bullet
    • SG-225SP Breaker Spray & Pray – Increased armor penetration, increased fire rate from 300 to 330, increased number of pellets from 12 to 16 per shot, decreased magazine size from to 32 to 26
    • RS-422 Railgun – Decreased armor penetration in Safe Mode, decreased damage against durable enemy parts
    • FLAM-40 Flamethrower – Increased damage per second by 50%
    • LAS-98 Laser Cannon – Increased damage against durable enemy parts, increased armor penetration, improved ergonomics


  • Balancing adjustments have been made to
    • Shield Generator Pack – Increased delay before recharging
    • Orbital 120MM HE Barrage – Increased duration of the bombardment, decreased spread
    • Orbital 380MM HE Barrage – Increased duration of the bombardment, decreased spread


  • Fixed armor rating values not reducing damage as intended.
  • Fixed certain Bug Holes (including Stalker Nests) that were unnecessarily hard to destroy.
  • Fixed anti-aliasing toggle not working on PS5.
  • Balanced lighting across all planets to solve cases where the game was too dark.
  • Improved flashlight efficacy.
  • Increased visibility during “sand rain” weather on Erata Prime.
  • Updated tutorial materials and lighting.
  • Improved cases where some materials could look blurry if “Lighting” graphic setting was set to “Low”.
  • Fixed timing issues that could occur in the “Extract E-710” primary objective.
  • Changed button interaction behavior for buttons in bunker POIs. Helldivers will now let go of the button after holding it for a few seconds.
  • Fixed some cases of large assets floating if the ground beneath them was blown up.
  • Helldivers standing next to ICBMs during launch will get properly toasty with a chance of not-so-spontaneous combustion.
  • Fixed unthrowable snowballs after ragdolling.
  • Fixed being able to use grenades after drowning.
  • Camera no longer locked on the player’s own corpse and blocking spectator mode.
  • Helldivers now take damage from fire, gas etc. generated by other players.
  • Armor no longer stretches when dismembered.

Source: Arrowhead, Zendesk

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