Helldivers 2 player counts more than double launch weekend, 300K and climbing, as the co-op shooter goes viral

Helldivers 2 has reached unexpected heights of success in the past week, with a trajectory of players that mimics previous post-launch successes like Valheim. With over 330,000 concurrent players on Steam as of this afternoon, that concurrent players line is only going up from launch weekend’s 150K peak, signaling a game that’s pulling in real viral numbers. 

As of press time the peak concurrent player count was 333,827 at about 8:10 PM UTC, 3:10 PM ET. That number comes from tracker SteamDB—which can only give us half the story, as the PlayStation-published Helldivers 2 is crossplay between PC and PS5. Last week, on February 11, there were at least a million total players, per developer Arrowhead Games’ CEO.

A common meme among the community, however, is that Helldivers 2 is suffering from success. The sheer number of players has caused severe server issues for developers who were expecting peak player counts less than a quarter of the current numbers.

Players have occasionally been forced to wait in a queue to play, while the server databases are struggling to keep up with the sheer number of statistics being recorded—a common issue is that mission rewards aren’t handed out immediately, only popping into your account a few hours later. That’s not to mention the standard caveat with a successful game: Any major bugs are immediately signal boosted by a larger player base that can clip, share, and complain about them.

To make up for the rocky going Arrowhead is handing out a lot of bonus experience right now.

Helldivers 2 is a third-person cooperative shooter based on chaotic battlefields against overwhelming odds when you’re equipped with overwhelming firepower—with plenty of hilarious friendly fire along the way. In the PC Gamer review of Helldivers 2 writer Joshua Bailes called it “bombastic, funny and challenging, but still a bit buggy.” I’ll agree with that assessment, and with Joshua’s conclusion that even if a (non-giant-alien) bug ruins the conclusion of a single match, the overall experience is superb.

You can find Helldivers 2 on Steam. If you’re looking to jump into a hellpod for Super Earth, check out these 11 things I wish I knew before playing Helldivers 2 and then after a few hours go read 8 things Helldivers 2 doesn’t tell you that are actually pretty important.

made this drawing in light of the server issues from r/Helldivers

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