Is Helldivers 2 Pay-to-Win?

Helldivers 2 has microtransactions, but it's not pay-to-win.
Helldivers 2 has microtransactions, but it's not pay-to-win. / Arrowhead Game Studios

One of the most anticipated games of the year, Helldivers 2, has come under some scrutiny for a few reasons. Players have reported crashes on PC and security concerns regarding the multiplayer third-person shooter’s anti-cheat software. In addition, people are having trouble deciding if the game’s battle passes (known as Warbonds) make it pay-to-win. 

Is Helldivers 2 Pay-to-Win?

Pay-to-win essentially means players are incentivized to spend money to achieve better outcomes in a game based on any number of factors. As a result, players who are willing to pay become much stronger compared to those who’ve not spent any money. By that definition, Helldivers 2 is not pay-to-win. Here’s why.

Some weapons and armor in Helldivers 2 are only available in the premium battle passes. Those items aren’t stronger than the free ones, so they don’t provide “competitive advantages” for buyers. 

Players can earn many of the premium battle pass items via gameplay. It’ll take a lot of grinding for players to unlock the weapons and armor, but it’s still manageable.

Helldivers 2’s Super Credits (in-game premium currency) also annoy players because people can buy them to unlock Warbonds. However, people can also obtain Super Credits in Helldivers 2 through gameplay, so spending money isn’t mandatory.   

In short, Helldivers 2 does have microtransactions, but it’s a stretch to say it’s pay-to-win. The game is more pay-to-gain-early-access-to-average-items instead.