What You Need to Know About Helldivers 2 Anticheat nProtection

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What You Need to Know About Helldivers 2 Anticheat nProtection

There’s a lot of controversy around the Helldivers 2 anticheat system. So, here’s everything you need to know about Helldivers 2 Anticheat nProtection

While Helldivers 2 released to positive fanfare on the PS5, the same could not be said about its PC launch. The game has been plagued with a lot of controversy, especially regarding how it implemented its anti-cheat system. Though fans cannot fault Arrowhead Game Studios for wanting to safeguard their product, their gripes are with how the devs went about it. Players are concerned that the anti-cheat tool used in the game could potentially pose a privacy breach as the software operates at the kernel level. So, in case you missed it, here’s everything you need to know about the controversy surrounding Helldivers 2 anticheat nProtection.

What Caused the Helldivers 2 Anticheat nProtection Controversy?

What You Need to Know About Helldivers 2 Anticheat nProtection

Credit: inGame

Helldivers 2 uses an anti-cheat tool called nProtect GameGuard. While most anti-cheat software works by identifying certain patterns within the scope of the game, GameGuard takes it several steps further. The software operates on a system’s kernel level to scan for cheats. That means the tool has access to all of the user’s personal files. So, if the anti-cheat tool becomes compromised by any chance, it could cause severe damage to the user and potentially leak all of their files.

Many fans and players took to Reddit, X, and Steam to express their concern over the nProtect GameGuard anti-cheat tool. In response, Peter Lindgren, technical director of Helldivers 2, shared a lengthy post on Reddit addressing the concerns of fans. He expressed that Helldivers 2 must incorporate such comprehensive measures to combat cheating and preserve the game’s integrity. Furthermore, Peter stated that GameGuard does not collect any personal information or data which may potentially compromise a user’s privacy.

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As you can imagine, this did not go down well. The community was frustrated by this response as it seemed like Arrowhead Game Studios did not understand the root cause of their concerns. Aside from the intrusive nature of a tool like this, continuous scanning and monitoring for cheats can consume significant system resources. Additionally, GameGuard also holds the authority to terminate other running applications without the user’s consent which is a massive breach of autonomy.

Gamers have been calling out Arrowhead Game Studios over this and requested the studio to consider less intrusive anti-cheat solutions like Valve’s VAC. They have even suggested that the devs implement server-side checks or player moderation tools to maintain fair play. Moreover, the concerns over GameGuard’s security tools are not unwarranted as experts warned players that these software could be used to spread ransomware and bypass antivirus protection back in 2022.

But the biggest factor in the controversy is the need for such a system in the first place. Helldivers 2 is an online co-op third-person extraction shooter. That means the game has no competitive or PvP elements present whatsoever. Hence, cheating in such games is simply pointless. In response, Peter Lindgren stated that “Helldivers 1 uses a peer-to-peer networking model, and that means, from a security perspective, each game client will blindly trust each other. Shortly after release, we noticed there was a cheat going around which granted 9999 research samples. Unfortunately, any non-cheaters in the same mission would also be granted 9999 research samples. These non-cheating players now had their entire progression ruined through no fault of their own.”

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What Other Issues Are Caused By Helldivers 2 Anticheat nProtection?

What You Need to Know About Helldivers 2 Anticheat nProtection

Credit: PCGamesN

The Steam Deck has been notoriously incompatible with games that feature anti-cheat systems. One such example is PUBG, as it also incorporates the nProtect GameGuard anti-cheat tool, which is incapable of running on the Steam Deck. Unfortunately, the same thing has happened for Helldivers 2 as well. The game will boot up but only for the player to see a black screen before being returned to the dashboard. This has caused an uproar amongst Steam Deck users as they are not able to play the game they paid for.

There is a workaround to get the game running on a Steam Deck. However, the process required for it is not very user-friendly. Additionally, those who have implemented the workaround have stated that the game is not very stable and has issues with the gamepad. Helldivers 2 will likely join the ranks of games like PUBG on the Steam Deck as both are perfectly compatible to be run on the hardware but are only held back due to the anti-cheat tool.

Our Thoughts on Helldivers 2 Anticheat nProtection

Gamers have started a petition on Change.org for the devs to remove the anti-cheat tool in Helldivers 2. In our opinion, we believe that is the right course of action! There is a plethora of popular online-only games that implement less intrusive anti-cheat measures. Hence, it seems like Arrowhead has taken a step back when it comes to understanding its fans. We believe alternative tools to GameGuard could do wonders for the reputation of Helldivers 2 as it is genuinely a very fun game to play with friends!

For more news, features, and guides on Helldivers 2, keep an eye on ESTNN!

What You Need to Know About Helldivers 2 Anticheat nProtection
The Old One
When he's not sighing at sub-standard teammates in Dota 2 and CS2, The Old One is writing about those two games (among other things). If you see his name around the site too many times for your liking, well, the guy just never stops writing. Yes, we've tried an intervention.