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Helldivers 2 alleviates wait times by boosting server capacity to 700K, but is it really enough?

In brief: Helldivers 2 is currently struggling to accommodate its massive player base. It frequently happens with newly released MMO games. Solving capacity is often the top priority in keeping the fanbase happy and engaged in the first weeks and months after launch. The studio has optimizations coming, but it doesn’t look like enough to handle the title’s booming popularity.

The hit sci-fi shooter Helldivers 2, from Arrowhead Game Studios, continues to struggle with server capacity issues. The huge player base has proven to be both a blessing and a curse, with hundreds of thousands of fans wanting to play but facing long wait times due to limited server availability.

Arrowhead has tried to alleviate the problem by increasing server capacity several times since launch. The cap was recently raised to 450,000 concurrent players, nearly doubling the initial 250,000 limit. The developers added another batch of servers, increasing the capacity to 700,000 simultaneous players, but it still won’t be enough.

“We have updated the max CCU [concurrent users] cap to 700,000,” tweeted Lead Developer Johan Pilestedt. “Unfortunately, we expect the CCU to reach that level. We believe that the wait times will be much more bearable.”

Previously, Pilestedt explained server expansion is an ongoing process and not just a matter of money or buying more servers.

“It’s a matter of labor,” he said. “We need to optimize the backend code. We are hitting some real limits.”

Even with the expanded capacity, frustrations remain high among the player base. The astronomical popularity of Helldivers 2 has been a double-edged sword. Players often spend more time on loading screens than actually playing the game. Blizzard experienced similar troubles, even though it was convinced it would have enough capacity on day one – it didn’t. Intentional DDoS attacks further compounded the problem.

Steam reviews briefly dipped into “mixed” territory as queue times disintegrated and dominated online discussions. Its rating has since rebounded to “mostly positive” as Arrowhead scrambles to meet demand. Further upgrades may be necessary to stabilize the situation completely.

Arrowhead released a new patch addressing other complaints along with the capacity bump. A kick timer now removes AFK players after 15 minutes of inactivity, freeing up slots for others. It also fixed several crash bugs and intro animation glitches.

Critics and fans have praised Helldivers II for its intense co-op action, but the server issues have been its Achilles’ heel. The waiting game has proven tedious for excited players eager to team up against alien hordes.

Helldivers 2 is exclusive to PC and the PlayStation 5, which has Xbox players clamoring that Arrowhead bring the title to their favorite console. Ironically, Xbox’s fanbase was silent or outright mocking when PlayStation users lamented over canceling Starfield and the next Elder Scrolls game after promising not to when it acquired Zenimax. Apparently, it doesn’t feel good when the shoe is on the wrong foot.

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