Helldivers 2 theorists dig into how patrol spawns work

Helldivers 2 theorists dig into how patrol spawns work

Maybe stick together for this one, chaps?

Following the discovery of invisible Supply Lines, something new has been potentially revealed by the community. Theorists are figuring out how enemy patrol spawns work in Helldivers 2, and the data may change how missions are played.

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Reddit user gergination took to the stand to discuss enemy patrol spawns in Helldivers 2 and how they might get triggered. In a long but interesting post, gergination went deep into the spawning mechanics and was more than happy to share their results and receipts.

Three Helldivers players combing the woods for enemies
Image via Arrowhead Games/Sony

Helldivers 2 enemy patrol spawn rates differ by many factors

Gergination’s report suggests enemy patrols arrive based on how the Helldivers 2 server functions. As the game’s state is updated by the server, i.e. the “tick rate,” special points are added to what they are calling a “bucket.” These “Spawn Points” slowly fill the bucket with each tick, and a patrol spawns into the map after a certain “threshold value” is met.

It all sounds pretty complicated, but the claim is that many factors dictate how quickly the game spawns an enemy patrol near your team. These can include difficulty, player count, enemy type, and mission progression. Oddly enough, gergination believes that the spawn rate is not affected by how long you’ve been in a mission. Instead, the increase in patrols people experience is likely due to map and mission completion.

Helldivers 2 enemies opening fire on a player character
Image via Arrowhead Games/Sony

Gergination continues, explaining there are “Areas of Influence” which have “Heat Generation” that alter spawn rate. These Areas of Influence are things like Primary and Secondary Objectives, Outposts, and the Extraction Point. Heat Generation describes the idea that the closer you get to these Areas of Influence the more likely enemy patrols will pop up.

“The center of the Area of Influence is the Element’s icon on the map,” gergination wrote. “The amount of Heat generated scales based on a Player’s distance from that center. Within 50 meters, Heat Generation is at its maximum value and then it has a ‘Falloff’ that extends out to 150 meters and the strength of the Heat Generation decreases by 1% per 1 meter. For example, if you are 100 meters from the Icon, the Heat Generation will be at 50% strength. At 75 meters, it’s at 75% strength. At 125 meters, it’s at 25% strength.”

Clearing out every enemy outpost in Helldivers 2 may increase patrol spawn rates

Some in the community believe that destroying Enemy Outposts where they spawn should lower the rate of patrol spawns in Helldivers 2. According to the post, however, it may be the opposite. Gergination’s tests reveal that destroying less than half the Outposts offers no change in the way patrols spawn on the map. However, if you wipe out more than 50%, the spawn rate appears to increase significantly.

“Destroying ALL outposts on the map results in the Threshold being multiplied by 0.85,” gergination explains. “This means patrols spawn ~17.5% faster. Using our Baseline of 240 seconds per patrol, it would become 204 seconds [until the next patrol spawn].” They follow up by saying the moment “you cross 50%, the strength of the impact scales in a linear fashion.”

Helldivers patrol unit running through a battlefield
Image via Arrowhead Games/Sony

Splitting up your team may make Helldivers 2 missions even harder

Splitting up in Helldivers 2 could be a bad idea. According to gergination, the game defines a “Player Group” as one or more players who are within a 75-meter radius of each other. When one person splits from that radius, they become a second group. If a team splits between two members each, they become two player groups.

The point gergination makes is that enemy patrols will spawn near player groups. And the more groups exist the more patrols can appear. If there is one group, you can experience one patrol spawn. Three groups can spawn three patrols, and so on. Groups also affect heat build-up at Areas of Influence separately. If one team is building heat near a Primary Objective, a second team nowhere near an Area won’t be affected. Destruction of these Areas, however, is felt all around.

This is fascinating stuff. I love it when a community comes together to peel away interesting mechanics behind their favorite games. There’s a lot more to dissect in the post, so Helldivers 2 technicians and game development fans should give it a read.


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Author
Cameron Woolsey
A contributing writer, Cam has been playing games for decades and writing about them for about 15 years. He specializes in action RPGs, shooters, and brawlers, but will always make a little bit of time for indies and classics.