The Helldivers 2 progression system explained

Helldivers 2 progression system
(Image credit: Sony)

The Helldivers 2 progression system includes numerous currencies, including levels, Medals, Requisition Slips and Samples, all of which are earned and spent in different ways. There's also some nuances to progression that divulge from the norm - such as the fact that there's no benefit or bonus for killing enemies! Well, except for those that are specifically on your target list when you start a mission, of course. Regardless, I'll explain progression in Helldivers 2 below, as well as the different currencies and rewards built into the game, and how you can get them all.

If you already understand the system of course, why not check out how to work it to its utmost - we have guides on Helldivers 2 fast levelling and how to farm Samples in Helldivers 2!

The Helldivers 2 progression system and levelling up explained

Helldivers 2 progression system

(Image credit: Sony)

The progression system in Helldivers 2 grants players certain rewards and experience for completing both optional and mission essential objectives, rather than how many bugs and bots you kill along the way. The more of the objectives you complete, the greater your payout. This means that at the end of a mission, the game tallies up the following:

  • Primary objectives: Rewards are given for completing the main parameters of a mission. If you died before this point, you probably won't get anything.
  • Secondary objectives: Marked with blue icons on the map, there can be anywhere from zero-to-three side missions to complete, depending on map size and difficulty. Each one you complete adds to your final reward total.
  • Factories / Nests: Maps will have areas marked in red that represent either Factories that produce Bots, or Nests that produce Bugs. Each one destroyed gives a bonus reward - with a bigger reward for taking out bigger Nests and Factory facilities.
  • Helldivers extracted: There's a further reward for every player you extract alive at the end of the game, so it's best to get everybody out - though even a TPK is still rewarded, as long as you completed some objectives before you died.
  • Time Remaining: Each mission has a time limit. The faster you complete the mission, the more you're rewarded for efficiency.
  • Difficulty: Harder missions will add a multiplier to your final payout - the harder the challenge, the more you're rewarded.

The reward for completing missions and all the objectives above are XP and Requisition Slips. It's also worth mentioning that all rewards are shared equally among the entire team at the end of the mission, no matter who's responsible for what. That includes XP, Slips, Medals and Samples. And speaking of which…

All Rewards and Currencies in Helldivers 2 and how to get them

Helldivers 2 progression system

(Image credit: Sony)

At time of writing Helldivers 2 has the following rewards and currencies:

  • XP: Obtained through completing missions, as explained above. XP allows you to level up, unlocking new Stratagems.
  • Requisition Slips: Also unlocked through completing missions, and can occasionally be found while exploring larger maps. Slips are used to buy new Helldivers 2 stratagems when you've reached the level to do so.
  • Samples: These collectibles are found in maps of all sizes while exploring, and come in three varieties: Common, Rare and Super Samples, with the latter two appearing at higher difficulties. They generally are found in enemy-heavy areas, and are dropped when you die, needing to be picked back up and extracted. Samples are used to buy upgrades for your Ship between missions, and all players get them at the end - so it doesn't matter who picks them up and extracts with them, so long as somebody does.
  • Medals: These rewards are given to players after completing missions, with an amount determined solely by the mission's difficulty. As you complete more missions from the same operation, the payout each time is increased. Medals are used to buy things from either the free or paid Battle Pass, including the best Helldivers 2 weapons.
  • Supercredits: Found as a pretty rare drop while exploring missions or as a bought reward from either Battle Pass. Used to buy armor in the store.

How to unlock Higher Difficulties in Helldivers 2

Helldivers 2 progression system

(Image credit: Sony)

Personal progression is one thing, but how do you get harder missions to test yourself against? It's fairly basic: to unlock higher difficulties in Helldivers 2, you simply need to successfully complete a full operation on the previous difficulty. Operations will have different numbers of missions attached to them depending on what difficulty you start them at, with increasing numbers required of players as you go up the chain.

There are nine levels of difficulty in Helldivers 2 to be unlocked: Trivial, Easy, Medium, Challenging, Hard, Extreme, Suicide Mission, Impossible and Helldiver. This doesn't just change enemy health - expect to encounter different threats and different mission types, depending on the challenge you choose.

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Joel Franey
Guides Writer

Joel Franey is a writer, journalist, podcaster and raconteur with a Masters from Sussex University, none of which has actually equipped him for anything in real life. As a result he chooses to spend most of his time playing video games, reading old books and ingesting chemically-risky levels of caffeine. He is a firm believer that the vast majority of games would be improved by adding a grappling hook, and if they already have one, they should probably add another just to be safe. You can find old work of his at USgamer, Gfinity, Eurogamer and more besides.