Helldivers 2’s microtransactions are good, actually

Microtransactions in Helldivers 2: What They Mean for Players

Initial concerns about microtransactions in Helldivers 2 were met with skepticism, but after playing for around six hours, it appears that the game’s approach to microtransactions may not be as exploitative as first feared. While players can spend money in the game to gain a small edge, it does not drastically impact the overall gameplay experience. The game’s system allows players to earn most currencies in-game, with only one currency available for purchase, providing a balanced microtransaction model.

Four types of currency – Requisition Slips, Medals, Samples, and Super Credits – are used in the game, with the majority only obtainable through playing missions. Super Credits, the premium currency, are available for purchase and can be used to unlock upgraded armor in the Superstore, some for cosmetic changes and others for enhanced gameplay benefits.

The Super Credits store in Helldivers 2
Image: Arrowhead Game Studios/PlayStation PC LLC via Polygon

The Acquisition Center menu in Helldivers 2. We’re on the Superstore tab, which shows some armor sets and helmets for sale with Super Credits, the game’s premium currency.
The current premium battle pass in Helldivers 2
Image: Arrowhead Game Studios/PlayStation PC LLC via Polygon

While the game doesn’t comprehensively explain the various currencies, it does encourage players to engage more with the game to obtain them, reinforcing a principle of earning rewards through gameplay.

The prevalence of microtransactions in video games raises concerns about exploitative systems. Games often employ systems that encourage additional spending, such as loot boxes, which can have gambling-like characteristics.

Comparing Helldivers 2 with other live-service titles like Destiny 2 reveals similarities in microtransaction models, where premium currency is mostly used for cosmetic items. However, the pressure to spend real-world money on premium items remains.

The Steeled Veterans menu in Helldivers 2. This is the premium battle pass, which shows options for items like armor for 18 Medals or an assault rifle that’s already been claimed. Highlighted are 100 Super Credits for 7 Medals.
The Steeled Veterans menu in Helldivers 2
Image: Arrowhead Game Studios/PlayStation PC LLC via Polygon

Concerns remain about potential future developments that could increase the complexity of microtransaction systems in Helldivers 2. However, for now, the game offers a fair and balanced approach to microtransactions.

The PvE nature of the game eliminates concerns about pay-to-win scenarios, as players collaborate rather than compete. This inclusive approach aligns with the game’s narrative and gameplay experience.

The collaborative nature of the game is exemplified in player interactions, reinforcing the idea that individual benefits contribute to the overall experience.