Helldivers 2 developers Arrowhead have released an official statement about the game’s usage of anti-cheat software, clarifying why the co-op game needs it and what the anti-cheat actually does. The specific anti-cheat used, namely GameGuard, is kernel-level or rootkit anti-cheat software, prompting the community to raise concerns about the program’s privacy and security.
In a post on Steam, technical director Peter Lindgren claimed that GameGuard will not remain on the users PC when Helldivers 2 is uninstalled nor will it collect any personally identifiable information. A Q&A following the statement added that GameGuard does not interfere with game performance or create special security concerns.
As for why the game needs anti-cheat, Lindgren claim that Arrowhead has seen negative outcomes towards play from cheating in prior projects. For example, some cheats in Helldivers 1, which “effectively” did not have anti-cheat, affected non-cheaters as well as cheaters by effectively completing the entire game’s progression system in one go. Additionally, Helldivers 2 has the galactic war, a metagame for all players that each individual match contributes to. A widespread cheat could negatively impact player experience across the userbase.
The response on Reddit and Steam was mostly negative, with forum users disputing the claims that GameGuard was safe to use and private, as well as urging the developers to switch to a different anti-cheat. Players also wondering if the anti-cheat would prevent or complicate a fully Steam Deck compatible version. Helldivers 2 has had a successful launch, with over 80,000 on Steam and PlayStation’s biggest PC release so far, though the game has also faced technical issues. A hotfix for crashing issues on PC and matchmaking problems is on the way.