Helldivers 2
Image via Arrowhead

Helldivers 2 story: every chapter of the war for Super Earth

How's the war going?

While Helldivers 2 might seem like a mindless multiplayer romp across the stars, its story has been unraveling since its release.

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Some of this is up to the player to find in various pieces of lore on the planets they battle across, but most of it is made up of the Major Orders and suspicious activities players have seen while battling.

helldivers 2 exclusivity
Image via Arrowhead Game Studios

What is the story of Helldivers 2?

In this article, I’ve broken down the complete Helldivers 2 story so far. While not all of these seem important, they could affect future events, which is why I’ve included every point that could be considered noteworthy.

The dates might be off by one or two days, especially close to launch, because things were changing so fast and the game was growing so fast that it was hard to document everything.

The Story So Far (February 8, 2024)

To get fans geared up for playing Helldivers 2, the developer published a video roughly explaining the story so far. Depending on how the game changes in the future, this may seem strange to newer players. At launch, there were only two factions: the Terminids and the Automatons.

The Terminids are a species of space bug that Super Earth was farming for oil. Then, for reasons unknown, Terminids started evolving and broke out of their farms, resulting in the massive spread of them across the galaxy. Automatons are machines that have gained sentience and want to fight back against Super Earth.

Operation Valiant Enclosure (February 8, 2024)

Image via Arrowhead

The first Major Orders players received in Helldivers 2 asked them to free the worlds of Heeth and Angel’s Venture. Conquering the bugs here would pave the way for the Terminid Control System, advanced technology that would create a series of barrier planets between Super Earth and the Terminids.

We fought hard for this, and there was another enemy to consider too. The game’s servers. At the time, both Sony and Arrowhead Game Studios had no idea how popular the game would be. Over subsequent days, the concurrent player count hit record after record, with many being unable to join a game.

I won’t mention this again because it wasn’t anyone’s fault. The developer was trying to fix the issue and Sony was helping it. At the time, though, Arrowhead Game Studios was also prioritizing the health of its staff. This meant that the server issues took a little longer than we’d like to be fully fixed and optimized for the number of players. I wouldn’t have had it any other way.

It took some time, but Heeth and Angel’s Venture were eventually liberated. Heth was particularly annoying because it’s an icy world. Every time I dropped onto it, I felt as though I was sprinting uphill with Terminids running after me just to complete an objective.

Automaton Attack (February 15, 2024)

Following our success against the Terminids, and while our backs were turned, the Automatons launched an assault, making a move for Super Earth. This Major Order required us to successfully defend eight barrier planets. However, the struggle proved too much, and we failed.

This wasn’t helped by the fact that the Automatons are nasty to right against. every enemy in their ranks is brutal. I find Tanks particularly devastating because they’re pure armor with a tiny weak spot. I remember feeling devastated by the loss here. I also remember fighting on Malevelon Creek, romantically dubbed “space Vietnam” by the community because it felt like fighting Terminators in a sweaty jungle.

Defense of Draupnir and Mantes (February 21, 2024)

Image via Arrowhead

A Major Order to defend Draupnir and Mantes dropped, and we failed once more against the Automaton threat. This one hit much harder than the others because it felt as though the enemy was able to push much harder than we could push back. The developer vaguely explained this, and it makes a lot of sense.

In Helldivers 2, when the entire community is dropping and fighting on a planet, their victory percentage will increase faster. However, when the majority of us are sleeping, that increase falls. In fact, it’s possible for enemy factions to take advantage and go on the assault, which is how they win planets such as Draupnir and Mantes. I felt genuinely gutted when we lost these.

It was also around this time that we started to see Mechs and vehicles dropping onto planets. Mechs were confirmed as an addition in the future, but vehicles weren’t. The community went a bit bonkers speculating about these, especially because we felt we could have won with them.

Liberation of Veld (February 29, 2024)

automatons rushing players in helldivers 2
Screenshot by Destructoid

For this Major Order, we were given just a single planet to liberate. Even that felt like almost too much. This is how hard the Automatons are to fight. It became brutally clear that we all needed to coordinate and work together more with this planet than with any other.

I started to see more players accepting me for my loadout, which is never the meta, and more missions open for others to join. It was glorious, and even though we all kept dying quite a lot, this felt like the first time we truly stood a chance against the metal menace of the Automatons.

However, one of the main missions here was evacuating civilians, and they suck. Automatons just savaged us every time we attempted to get civilians to leave, so it was often easier to just do any other type of objective to help contribute to the planet’s liberation.

Defense of Heeth and Angel’s Venture (March 2, 2024)

Image via Arrowhead

The Terminids wanted to take back Heeth and Angel’s Venture. We had to go back into defense mode once more, but it was much easier against the Terminids. I wasn’t thrilled about the return to Heeth, but we made pretty short work of the bugs, so that was okay. Honestly, it was nice just not to have to fight the Automatons for a while.

Liberation of Tien Kwan (March 7, 2024)

After a week or so of Mechs being discussed by everyone but Arrowhead Game Studios, they were suddenly said to be in production on Tien Kwan on March 5, 2024. By March 7, 2024, the Automatons had assaulted the world, and it needed liberating. Most players assumed we’d be getting Mechs as soon as we liberated it, so everyone piled on Tien Kwan.

I managed to get one objective in before the planet was liberated and Mechs were unlocked. It was a shocking display of coordinated Democracy management on the community’s behalf. As more and more players got their Mechs and began deploying them, we all realized they were pretty fragile. Most just exploded as they landed, making them better bombs than usable weapons.

Activation of the Terminid Control System (March 12, 2024)

On March 12, 2024, we were given the Major Order to bring the Terminid Control System online. This consisted of a new objective type, activating Termicide Towers. The objective isn’t complicated, requiring players to systematically work through three silo activations before finalizing the Terminid Tower at the end. We managed to get this one done within a couple of days, and it felt like we were finally winning.

Something that popped up during this Major Order was concerns over the use of Termicide. Some players believe that spraying an entire planet with chemicals might have some repercussions. This borders on treason, though, because Super Earth would never ask us to do anything that would put us at risk.

The Cutting Edge Warbond Release (March 14, 2024)

The Cutting Edge Warbond arrived on March 14, 2024, offering a fresh batch of armor and weapons to test out. Players figured out pretty quickly that the new armor perk added with the Warbond, Electrical Conduit, allowed them to redirect energy weapon fire into massive groups of enemies while dealing minimal damage to a player. I can’t describe a perk more authentic to the humor of Helldivers 2 than this.

Around the release of Cutting Edge, we saw a lot of conversations about why the game’s battle pass system, Warbonds, is so good. Most players point to the fact you can earn Super Credits, the game’s premium currency, from missions. This means you can eventually unlock every Warbond without spending a penny more than you want to, and they stick around forever, so there’s no time pressure to complete them.

The Illuminate is among us (March 16, 2024)

Players began to report sightings of blue lasers during missions and enemy icons on the map that would disappear as soon as they appeared. Then, things ramped up when footage of these lasers was captured, and Arrowhead Game Studios’ CEO denied their existence.

Long-time fans of the series quickly jumped to the conclusion that these blue lasers, which seem to shoot you like sniper fire from an enemy in stealth camo, are coming from the Illuminate. This faction, a race of advanced aliens, was in the first game but wasn’t present in Helldivers 2 when the blue lasers were.

Helldivers 2‘s Game Master Joel clearly thought we’d take longer to complete the Terminid Control System Major Order than we did because nothing new hit the game over the weekend after it was completed. Leakers began finding even more new content in the game, including a new Anti-Tank Stratagem that’s a massive laser used to break enemy armor.

Defending Draupnir (March 16, 2024)

With a lack of clear direction in the form of Major Orders, Helldivers took the opportunity over this weekend in March 2024, to free Draupnir of Automaton control. Not only did they succeed, but they freed the entire Xzar Sector while they were at it. After checking in with in-game troop movements, it seems as though they’re now taking the fight back to Malavelon Creek on the Severin Sector.

Malevelon Creek is, as you’ll know at this point, where Helldivers have struggled the most against the Automatons. With this new coordination through Reddit, though, the community is hitting back hard against the enemies of Super Earth. However, I’d expect a new Major Order to throw a spanner in the works on the following Monday, considering how much Liber-Tea has been shared.

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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.