The Galactic War map on the home ship of the player character in Helldivers 2
Screenshot by Pro Game Guides

What happened to the Helldivers 2 Retrieve Essential Personnel mission?

Where did it go?

The much-dreaded Retrieve Essential Personnel mission is one of the most punishing encounters you will face in Helldivers 2. This handy guide will tell you what exactly this mission is, and why it has suddenly disappeared in patch 1.000.400.

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Helldivers 2 Retrieve Essential Personnel mission explained

A closed shelter door during a round of Helldivers 2
Screenshot by Pro Game Guides

If you're unfamiliar with this mission type, allow me to explain what to expect with Retrieve Essential Personnel. While this randomly generated mission is found at many different difficulty levels, it is usually more commonly found at higher difficulty levels (Hard and higher) because of the better rewards dished out at these difficulties.

It involves dropping your squad directly onto a base in order to extract and save several unarmed civilians. If you've played the Emergency Evacuation mission type before, then you'll be familiar with Retrieve Essential Personel. The main difference is that the latter skips directly to the extraction step and greatly increases the number of enemies you have to fend off.

After the mission kicks off, Helldivers will have little time to get ready before hordes of enemies are unleashed upon them in a small, tight area. The civilians in need of rescuing are hiding in two shelters located in the base. Players need to activate a button outside the shelter before a couple of them begin fleeing to the extraction point.

Once a set amount of civilians have safely made it to the extraction point, the objective will then be marked as completed. It is at this point that Helldivers will be able to call in an extraction ship to get the hell out of dodge. Just make sure as many civilians as possible survive, as each dead civilian will count as a penalty towards your reward at the end of the round.

Where to find the Retrieve Essential Personnel mission in Helldivers 2

The latest 1.000.400 patch is a major one, introducing a dizzying amount of Helldivers 2 balance changes and new features on the Galactic War map. But fans of the Retrieve Essential Personnel mission type might be disappointed to hear that the mission has been temporarily removed from the game. In the extensive patch notes, developer Arrowhead Studios claims the mission was “not fun enough or performing as we want it to”, so they have disabled it for the time being so that they can give it the “proper attention and care it deserves”.

This move is understandable given the outcry from the Helldivers 2 community concerning how punishing it was at very high difficulty levels, with some players even speculating that it was broken entirely. Here's to hoping Arrowhead can fix the mission so that our Helldivers can continue rescuing the galaxy's vulnerable citizens!

Curious to learn more about Helldivers 2's many difficulty levels? Then look no further than All Helldivers 2 difficulty settings, explained on Pro Game Guides.

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Image of Ivan Krasnov
Ivan Krasnov
Ivan Krasnov has been a writer for over 7 years. His areas of interest include shooters like Call of Duty, Apex Legends, and The Finals, but also RPGs like Cyberpunk: 2077 and the Dishonored franchise and single-player experiences like God of War and The Last of Us. Ivan has a double major in History and Russian from Oberlin College and when he isn't gaming – he is playing music and touring Europe with his band.

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What happened to the Helldivers 2 Retrieve Essential Personnel mission?

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