Galactic War

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The Galactic War is a conflict waged by Super Earth on several galactic fronts throughout the galaxy. It encapsulates the ongoing interstellar conflict between the forces of Super Earth and its extraterrestrial adversaries across Helldivers 1 and Helldivers 2. Governed by a managed democracy, Super Earth projects its influence throughout the galaxy, under the guise of spreading freedom and democracy. The Helldivers, an elite military unit, are deployed to face threats from three main enemy races: the Bugs, the Cyborgs, and the Illuminate. In Helldivers 2, the conflict escalates with the emergence of new adversaries, the Terminids and the Automatons, after a period of deceptive peace post the supposed victory over the original foes. This intergalactic strife not only highlights the combat dynamics and strategic elements within the games but also underlines a satirical critique of militarism and imperialistic tendencies.

First Galactic War (Helldivers 1)

First Galactic War enemy factions
The enemies of Super Earth

In the year 2084, Super Earth finds itself encircled and threatened by three distinct and hostile factions: the insect-like Bugs, the mechanically augmented Cyborgs, and the enigmatic Illuminates. The government of Super Earth, advocating for the need to suppress these foes to safeguard its citizens' freedoms and way of life, assigns the Helldivers – a specialized combat force – for missions beyond mere warfare.

The Bugs were one of the first alien species encountered by Super Earth during their galactic expansion. The government declared them enemies, as they could spell the end of mankind and were simply too dangerous to keep alive. Coincidentally, soon after the war started, it was discovered that the bug bodies could be broken down into a valuable resource called Element-710, which was ever since extensively gathered during the war. There is no known evidence proving that the bugs actually had any hostile intentions towards humans, but to question the validity of these claims is considered treason by the government.

According to official records, conflict with the Cyborgs started after an attack in which a group of cyborgs detonated a large explosive on District 48. The explosion is said to have killed thousands of civilians, which prompted Super Earth to retaliate against the perpetrators. Those who doubt the official story spread rumors that Super Earth has always marginalized cybernetically augmented humans and treated them poorly. Eventually, a group of them decided that they want to secede and become an independent government. Super Earth, aiming to be the sole power in the galaxy, didn't agree to their demands and decided to thwart the uprising before they were able to grow stronger. Despite their peaceful intentions, the Cyborgs were branded as terrorists and enemies to Managed Democracy.

The Illuminate are said to have observed humanity for hundreds of years. They eventually approached humanity with an offering of peace. However, when Super Earth intelligence learned that the Illuminate possessed technology far beyond anything that humanity could create, peace was no longer an option. It was publicly stated that the Illuminate could not be trusted and were accused of owning weapons of mass destruction that threatened all of humanity. However, it is said that the war was actually started only so that Super Earth could steal the advanced technology for themselves.

In the meta game, there were countless wars that lasted around 20-30 days. The end of each war reset the progress back to the beginning. A war could end with the players either completely eradicating their enemies or failing to fight back and Super Earth being destroyed. Canonically, the war is said to have lasted around 40 years and ended with Super Earth defeating all the other factions.

The Great Democratization

The Great Democratization
The Great Democratization

For 100 years, our colonists have toiled happily to enshrine the unquestionable rule of freedom. But now, our enemies rise from the shadows once more. The tyrannical Terminid spread unfettered across the Galaxy. The socialist automatons terrorize innocent families. Babes are torn from their mothers. Voters from their ballots. In this time of need, Super Earth once again calls upon her mightiest, bravest, most obedient heroes... The Helldivers.

Helldivers 2 "The Story So Far" video

The First Galactic War ended with Super Earth having emerged victorious against its adversaries. With its foes vanquished and the Galactic War won, a century of peace and prosperity ensued. The Helldivers, Super Earth’s elite task force, were dismissed. The remaining Cyborgs were all captured and forced to work in the mines of their homeworld, Cyberstan, the Bugs were put into farms for production of Element-710, and the Illuminate were pushed out of the known galaxy. Faster-than-light (FTL) travel technology, liberated from the Illuminates, gave Super Earth access to the galaxy and has since been used to colonize it. This period has come to be known as The Great Democratization[1] and lasted about one hundred years.

Galactic Frontier February 2024

Second Galactic War (Helldivers 2)

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This section needs to be updated. 
Please update this section to reflect recent updates or newly available information.
Reason: Second Galactic War began on May 15th, needs re-writing to reflect the fact we were not at war until this day

Around the year 2224, Super Earth initiated a series of escalating special military operations which would ultimate culminate in the declaration of war on all agents of Tyranny. Initially, descendants of the Bugs known as Terminids breached their enclosures, reproducing and spreading chaos and mayhem throughout the galaxy. The Super Earth Armed Forces had been struggling to quarantine them on their farm planets, and were stretched thin. Shortly after that a new unknown, although vaguely familiar, enemy emerged on a new front – the communist Automatons. With two enemy armies in the fray, Super Earth had no choice but to mobilize the Helldivers once again.

You can read the details of every major order in the game on the major orders page. You can find most of the important battles from the Second Galactic War on the battle tracker page.

February 2024

In response to the Terminid escape from their farm enclosures in the L'estrade Sector and the Sten Sector, scientists of Super Earth started developing the Terminid Control System (TCS), a planet-wide bug-extermination network. TCS was scheduled to be built on the barrier planets of the Umlaut Sector, quarantining the bugs behind them and stopping their spread throughout the galaxy. This came to be known as Operation Valiant Enclosure. Meanwhile, a robotic race of unknown origin, the Automatons, launched a surprise attack against multiple highly populated Super Earth planets[2] in the Trigon Sector and the Xzar Sector. Super Earth forces were unable to prepare for it in time and the initial defensive missions were unsuccessful, giving the bots enough time to make a significant push into the Xzar Sector. The sudden emergence of the Automatons disrupted the Helldiver efforts and allowed Terminids to advance all the way to the Orion Sector. Despite suffering heavy losses, the Automaton front was briefly set aside in favor of progressing Operation Valiant Enclosure and eliminating the Terminid threat, instead of fighting a losing war on two fronts. Helldiver forces regrouped to focus on the Terminids and took back the Orion Sector, and eventually also the Umlaut Sector.

Galactic Frontier March 2024

March 2024

Meanwhile, Helldivers remaining on the Automaton front managed to defend the exosuit factory on Tien Kwan, allowing them to deploy EXO-45 Patriot Exosuits against the enemy[3]. With the help of SEAF engineers, the TCS was built and activated[4], covering the planets of the Umlaut Sector with gas known as Termicide, supposed to be deadly to bugs but safe to humans. The activation of the TCS coincided with the emergence of a new bug type: the Shrieker[5]. With the TCS finally built and Operation Valiant Enclosure ending with a success, the Terminid population had been contained and Helldivers could focus their attention back on the Automatons[6].

The goal of Operation Swift Disassembly, which started just after operation Valiant Enclosure ended, was the total eradication of the Automatons[7]. The first phase of the operation started in the Trigon Sector. It revealed Automaton broadcasts sent from Troost to outside of the Galactic Frontier, although the details are unknown as much data was already deleted upon discovery. The second phase moved the conflict to the Severin Sector and aimed to destroy the biggest known Automaton production center on Tibit. Unfortunately, this task proved to be too difficult, as indecision led to Super Earth forces being spread too thin. As a result, the Automatons had enough time to move their production elsewhere and phase II ended with failure.

Galactic Frontier April 2024
Galactic Frontier April 2024

April 2024

Before proceeding with the next phase of Operation Swift Disassembly, high command decided to focus the attention of the Helldivers on finally liberating the infamous Malevelon Creek. With unified strength, Malevelon Creek was liberated in mere hours, and the president of Super Earth decreed a memorial day to commemorate the fallen heroes. Phase III was ready to begin and its goal was to hold ground and defend the liberated planets in anticipation of a massive Automaton counterattack. In that time, the bots rolled out new types of units: Gunships[8] and Factory Striders. Despite the enemy reinforcements, Helldivers repelled the attack valiantly. The Automatons no longer held the resources to sustain an offensive on such scale and it was time to push back. The fourth and final phase was set in motion: total annihilation. All Helldivers were ordered to make an all-out push on the remaining bot-occupied worlds in the Severin Sector. The victory came swiftly, and with the last planets liberated from the Automaton oppressors, as well as the bugs contained behind the TCS, it was a time of peace for the galaxy once again[9].

Unfortunately, peace did not last for long. Shortly after the successful construction of several new E-710 farms, a giant Automaton Fleet arrived from FTL jump. The enemy forces that were wiped out during Operation Swift Disassembly were merely a vanguard to the true power of the Automatons. The invading forces overran almost every planet in the Valdis Sector, including the cyborg homeworld, Cyberstan. The long-dreaded Reclamation had begun, and the Helldivers were scrambling to defend Super Earth planets against the invasion[10]. In the following days, Automatons continued to spread into the Lacaille Sector, the Andromeda Sector, and the Hydra Sector. Losing ground in an alarming rate, Helldivers decided to build orbital defenses on the Menkent Line, consisting of the planets Menkent and Lesath, in an attempt to prepare a counteroffensive against the bots. The Menkent Line was established, allowing for the construction of a SEAF Forward Command Base on Vernen Wells, contributing new recruits and supplies to the war front. The bots, unable to push through the defenses, decided to focus on a single planet, Marfark, hoping to bypass the Menkent Line. Despite concencrating all of their forces on this offensive, including the resurgence of Factory Striders[11], this campaign also resulted in a resounding failure for the Automatons. With the bots regrouping, the Helldivers decided to focus their effort on gathering more E-710 on Terminid worlds, as the ongoing conflict severely depleted their fuel reserves[12].

That brief detour proved to be fatal to the war effort, as with the Terminids agitated with the act of aggression against them, and the subsequent sudden counterattack from the Automatons, humankind found itself pushed simultaneously on both fronts. While the Terminids were still contained behind the TCS, the Menkent line on the bot front unfortunately did not hold. Trying to minimize the damages, Helldivers dug in for a difficult defense. They suffered heavy losses, and many planets fell into the Terminid and Automaton hands, but through sheer grit and determination, the Helldivers were able to save enough planets to prevent a major push on both fronts. Despite that effort, the Automatons had plenty of time to spread their influence to other parts of the galaxy, capturing the Ymir Sector and the Trigon Sector.

In light of the situation on the Automaton front, High Command concocted a new plan: Operation Legitimate Undertaking. Its first phase involved rescuing vital personnel working on new experimental stratagems on Choohe and Penta, but due to time constraints and ongoing attacks from the bots, only one planet could be saved on time to save the precious technology[13]. In the end, Penta was liberated first, allowing the Helldivers to deploy the deadly Airburst Rocket Launchers into battle. However, just as suddenly as it started, Operation Legitimate Undertaking had to be put on hold. The Terminid Control System failed in its purpose and over the weeks since its activation, the bugs had been slowly getting more resistant to the effects of the Termicide. On Meridia, the Termicide had caused the bugs' reproduction rates to explode overnight, and the planet turned into a supercolony[14]. Super Earth forces rushed to the remaining barrier planets of Erata Prime, Fenrir III, and Turing, successfully disabling all TCS towers before the toxin turned them into supercolonies as well, sparing them from sharing the same fate as Meridia.

Galactic Frontier May 2024
Galactic Frontier May 2024

May 2024

With the Terminids now mutated to withstand the effects of the Termicide, and with a supercolony so close to Super Earth, the bug threat was greater than ever before. Meridia started spewing a mass amount of spores into the atmosphere, causing increased numbers of infestations on neighboring planets. The Helldivers rushed to contain the outbreaks, but were unsuccessful – some of the planets remained infested. In the meantime, on the Automaton front, a new order was issued. The goal was to decommission 2 million bots, so that their metal carcasses could be used for the construction of MD-17 Anti-Tank Mines. This order ultimately failed, further delaying construction of the MD-17.

The culmination of the failed TCS, Meridian Supercolony and expansion of the new Automaton fleet into six sectors led the Government of Super Earth to officially declare a Galactic War on Tyranny on May 15th. This began mass industrial and economic mobilisation towards a renewed war effort as well as the expansion of Super Earth Armed Forces training facilities onto choice, lightly-populated planets.