Helldivers 2 players discover an unusual friends list glitch that causes major FPS drops

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No game is perfect, and Helldivers 2 is no exception. Especially in the era of live service gaming when a title is updated regularly with new content, things can and do go wrong. Even before games became hundreds of GB in size and offered thousands of hours of gameplay, even the most simple titles had their share of issues, and sometimes they can appear in the most random of places, as is the case with this one. 

Helldivers 2 Pause Menu
Image captured by VideoGamer

U/Umgak took to Reddit to share a video that shows their frame rate dropping after pressing the Esc key to open the main menu. This menu is used to close the game but is how you can access the options, your friends list, or see the latest information regarding the current Major Order and the daily Personal Order, so it is a button that is pressed frequently. 

The video shows that the frame rate was hovering around 110fps and suddenly dropped to 70fps once the Esc key was pressed. Other players also pointed out that the PC’s utilization was high for just being stood on the ship, with u/christianlewds saying “Let’s not even mention the little gem of engineering that is having 50% CPU utilization standing alone in the lobby,” with u/Acrobatic_Pumpkin967 noting that Helldivers 2 is “Still the only the game that makes my CPU sweat and GPU run max fans.”

This issue soon caught the attention of the developers, with the Helldivers 2 Community Manager Twinbeard taking to Discord to say “We’re working in the Esc. and opening the Social menu crash!”

Another user in Discord called Rei was able to consistently reproduce this issue and has attributed it to their friends list being private and setting it to public would fix the issue once restarting the game saying,

“I can reproduce the Esc bug flawlessly if I have my friend’s list set to private/friend’s only in Steam. Setting it to public and restarting the game doesn’t cause the game to start lagging in the menu anymore. You have to restart the game each time when changing the setting.”

Rei then went on to note that “pausing and then alt-tabbing will eventually cause the bug after a few minutes or so. Seems I was able to resolve that bug by setting my PSN friends list to Public as well, now I’m not able to trigger the bug at all. Crossplay On, Frame Limit Off, V-Sync Off.”

If you are experiencing the same issue, you can change your Steam friend privacy settings by going to clicking “your username in Steam > Edit Profile > Privacy Settings > Friends List: Public.”

It seems like a strange issue to cause such performance dips, but sometimes issues are caused by the most unlikely things. The good news is that Arrowhead Game Studios is aware of it, so hopefully this will be addressed in the next patch. Unfortunately, this could take a while as the developers have decided to spend more time between updates to ensure that the decisions aren’t reactionary and are best for the game. This is the right choice to make in the long run but it does mean issues like this can go unaddressed for a long time.

The new 01.000.400 update has been a hit with players, with many praising the decisions to buff many weapons after having spent the previous month nerfing many weapons to the point they stopped being viable. Couple with the Viper Commandos Warbond, a lot has changed in the game in a short space of time. To keep up to date with the latest metas, we highly recommend checking out our Helldivers 2 best weapons guide and best armor guide so you can serve hot cups of Liber-tea to the Automatons and Terminids.

About the Author

David Coulson

David is a gaming news writer here at VideoGamer His favorite franchises include Resident Evil and Final Fantasy. Despite being a gaming boomer, he still enjoys cranking 90s in Fortnite.

Helldivers 2

  • Release Date: February 8, 2024
  • Platform(s): PC, PlayStation 5
  • Genre(s): Action, Shooter, Third Person
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