helldivers 2 helmet
Image via PlayStation

Helldivers 2 players rave about its battle pass Warbond system

Buying Warbonds helps spread Super Earth's influence to the stars!

The Helldivers 2 community has grown incredibly fast thanks, as evidenced by weeks of developer Arrowhead Game Studios juggling player feedback and intense server demands. Every time a new major order appears, it’s quickly completed, and minor orders disappear without so much as a thought. The one part of the game the entire community can’t praise enough, though, is its Warbond battle pass system.

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Warbonds are the game’s futuristic version of real-life War Bonds. Helldivers earn them by completing missions and objectives and can spend them on better gear, an investment in their future. This is as close to traditional monetization as Helldivers 2 gets, drawing inspiration from games-as-a-service without mimicking the model’s problems.

Why players love Helldivers 2’s Warbond battle pass so much

Warbond menu showing finger guns.
Screenshot by Destructoid.

Yesterday, a post on the Helldivers 2 Subreddit garnered over 600 comments from players gushing about the Warbond battle pass system. In it, user FishdongXL explains how they adore the system because it offers a natural sense of progression in a battle pass that never expires. It’s the removal of that pressure to complete the battle pass within a time limit that makes it so much more enjoyable, and everyone seems to agree. I certainly do.

I think they put it best commenting, “That’s exactly the reason why I stopped playing Apex. The game had so many issues I just couldn’t bother playing the game for 100 hours to unlock the whole battle pass, it was so boring and painful. It took so long in that game to finish it and only like 5 items out of the whole thing were “worth it”.”

This really nails the core reason I and many others fall off live service games. The season passes force you to play in an unnatural way. Tuning in each season to complete 100 ranks in a battle pass before dropping the game until the following season. Helldivers 2 offers optional gear and weapons to unlock using the currency you earn from missions, provided you purchase the Warbond. There’s no time limit, and you can open that Warbond when you want to, not within a certain time period.

Without that time-focused incentive, players are free to unlock everything else in the game before they even think about a new Warbond. Battle passes almost feel like ticking time bombs, though. I’m certainly guilty of waiting until the last possible moment to hop into a game to collect all the seasonal rewards. So is user UmgakWazzok, “Life hack is playing the last 3 weeks before ending the season in Apex, you get a s**t ton of challenges and passive boosters from the game itself! I once got 16 levels in one match lol.”

I always look at the battle passes for my favorite games, such as Dead by Daylight‘s Tomes, to see if I want to put the time in to get the top level rewards. The time investment is so much that it really has to be worth my time. Helldivers 2 subverts this by allowing players to work through every page in a Warbond after spending a specific number of Warbonds. You don’t need to buy everything; you can just spend until you can get that cape you’re desperate to have, then stop.

What I think is the main point that’s caused this topic to explode on Reddit is how it will eventually lead to a massive stock of Warbond battle passes to work through. New players can unlock the latest ones and go back through old ones if and when they choose to. Veterans can unlock everything if they want to, but there’s no pressure to do anything. With that lack of pressure and an incredibly immersive gameplay loop, Helldivers 2 almost seems to passively make players want to support it by purchasing Warbonds.


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Author
Jamie Moorcroft-Sharp
Jamie is a Staff Writer on Destructoid who has been playing video games for the better part of the last three decades. He adores indie titles with unique and interesting mechanics and stories, but is also a sucker for big name franchises, especially if they happen to lean into the horror genre.