The original Helldivers is best played with friends, and Helldivers 2 isn’t about to break that trend. Teammates are a big part of smashing bugs in the name of democracy, so here’s how to join public games in Helldivers 2.
How to join a public match in Helldivers 2
Before you try to join a public game, you need to check a couple of settings. Bring up the options menu and open the Gameplay tab. In here, ensure Matchmaking Privacy is set to Public. I also recommend turning Crossplay on. I appreciate Crossplay is a sticking point for some players, but a larger player pool should yield faster matchmaking.
Now, head to the Galactic War table, where you have a few options. If you want to join a quick match in your chosen difficulty, press the Quickplay button (pictured above). Quickplay searches for active SoS beacons across the system and should find you a squad to play with.
How to start a public game in Helldivers 2
If you want to pick the mission instead of being assigned one at random, you can start a normal game yourself. Open the Strategem menu when you land and call in an SOS Beacon.
Once activated, Helldivers using the Quickplay function should be hailed to your location, but you may have to wait a few minutes.
At the time of writing, Helldivers 2 is experiencing matchmaking issues on all platforms. The developers have addressed the problem on social media, but we will have to sit tight and wait for a fix.
Do I have to play with other players in Helldivers 2?
While you can play alone, it’s abundantly clear that Helldivers is meant for team play. As a solo player, you’ll struggle with any difficulty setting beyond ‘Easy,’ and many situations force you to fill the roles of multiple people.
For better or for worse, Helldivers 2 doesn’t scale difficulty based on team size. Even if you’re shy or uneasy online, I still recommend trying it out.
If talking is a real sticking point, you can even disable Voice Chat entirely in the Audio tab of the options menu (pictured above). If you do this, I suggest closely following your team so you don’t need to communicate game plans.
The default guns in Helldivers 2 will only get you so far. Check out our guide on how to unlock more, with a few recommendations on what to go for first.