Helldivers 2 has bugs that can 'smell' you

Bile Spewers bombard Helldivers from range on a jungle planet
(Image credit: Arrowhead Game Studios)

Co-op sci-fi shooter Helldivers 2 is known more for its dramatic air strikes and over-the-top weapons than stealth elements. However, when building Helldivers 2's alien hordes, developer Arrowhead Game Studios included plenty of detection mechanics, including the ability for bugs to "smell" sneaky Helldivers. 

Game director Johan Pilestedt dropped in on content creator OperatorDrewski alongside head of product testing Patrik Lasota. Together, the group played through some missions and discussed the game, including Helldivers 2's approach to stealth (via GamesRadar).

"It's not really that we have stealth gameplay," said Pilestedt. "It's just that everything just has to make sense, like all the enemies, they have hearing, sight [and] some have an approximation of smell within a close radius."  

The game director went on to clarify that not every bug is the same when it comes to detecting players. "If you're in proximity to some of the units that are very sensory aware like the Stalker, they will detect you, no matter if they can see you [or not]." 

You can see the whole conversation below. Discussion of stealth mechanics starts at the 2:40 mark.

Pilestedt also spoke about how the Helldivers 2 community has embraced the satire at the heart of the game's dystopian sci-fi future. 

"It's super great, all of those posters and people are making videos [...] it's very cool. It's something we saw in the first Helldivers as well: 'everyone fights for the same side, 'no one quits', 'you don't do your job I'll shoot you myself', but it's so much more amplified now that there's a big community."

Helldivers 2 has been a hit with critics and fans. In our own review, former editor-in-chief Jake Tucker praised the game's "frenetic gunfights", "user-friendly progression system" and "chaotic fun." We were sufficiently impressed with the multiplayer action that we added Helldivers 2 to our definitive list of the best co-op games

Looking for other top-tier titles? Check out our lists of the best PC games and the best PS5 games.

Cat Bussell
Staff Writer

Cat Bussell is a Staff Writer at TechRadar Gaming. Hailing from the crooked spires of London, Cat is an experienced writer and journalist. As seen on Wargamer.com, TheGamer.com, and Superjumpmagazine.com, Cat is here to bring you coverage from all corners of the video game world. An inveterate RPG maven and strategy game enjoyer, Cat is known for her love of rich narratives; both story-driven and emergent.