How to evacuate civilians in Helldivers 2

Helldivers 2
(Image credit: Sony)

The Helldivers 2 evacuate civilians missions where you rescue science teams as part of the effort to Defend planets are... difficult, to say the least. These defend missions against the Automatons are probably the hardest parts of Helldivers 2, where civilian NPCs have to be protected until they can make it to an armored bunker. It's far easier said than done though, as civilians tend to die pretty easily and the bots come in numbers far too numerous to deal with, which may be why these Helldivers 2 Defend Campaigns are proving so difficult for everybody. If you want some help with rescuing science teams and evacuating civilians in Helldivers 2, here's what you need to know about protecting the citizens of Super Earth.

How to Rescue Science Teams and Evacuate Civilians in Helldivers 2

Helldivers 2

(Image credit: Sony)

Helldivers 2's civilian escort quests are sometimes part of a larger mission wherein you have to complete some sub-objectives first, though that's not the case for the Defend missions against the Automatons right now. Here's how it works:

  1. As you reach the Settlement, there'll be several buildings with button-operated doors, with green lights above them.
  2. There'll also be a matching door with no button, probably on a larger, armored building.
  3. Pressing any of the buttons will cause the doors to send out three civilians, who will run semi-slowly towards the larger building.
  4. Along this route, they're vulnerable, and a target. Nearby enemies will attempt to kill them, and they don't have much health, usually dying on the first hit.
  5. The goal is to get enough civilians across to the armored building to fulfil the mission quota (this number will vary depending on difficulty and mission type).
  6. If a door's light is yellow, the button needs time to reset - usually about 30 seconds.

Of course, that's just the mechanics of the gameplay objectives - knowing how it works and how it's done are very different things.

Evacuation and Escort mission tips

Helldivers 2 Hulks

(Image credit: Sony)

The civilian escort missions in Helldivers 2 require a complete ground up re-think of the way you play and complete objectives. Here's some info that players should keep in mind:

  • The moment the game starts, immediately get the lay of the land - before you do anything else, find all the civilian doors and activate them! You can get a few to safety before the bots even show up.
  • Expect civilians to die - it sounds brutal, but the amount of Requisition Slips you lose for each death is minor, and the basic strategy is to flood the battlefield with people in the hope that a few of them make it through.
  • Bring in the best protective Helldivers 2 stratagems that will cover the civilians' run: Smoke airstrikes, EMS Mortars and Shields. The EMS Mortar in particular will basically slow all nearby bots, but not the civilians - everybody who can equip one should equip one.
  • Wearing a shield backpack can allow you to act as a human shield for the civilians.
  • Throw smoke constantly - the obscuring effect is far more effective than fighting the bots.
  • When all else fails, try to lure the bots out of the area, then sprint back and slam the button before they can regroup.
  • If you deploy a regular Sentry, place it out of reach of the civilians' path, so it can't shoot them by accident. The idea is that you want it a little bit out of the way, firing at the bots who spawn on the outskirts.
  • Do not bring in the regular Mortar - it will kill as many civilians as the bots do.

It's a rough experience and even with this it won't be easy, but this is the strategy that'll give you the best chance - which even then, is not a great one.

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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.