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Helldivers 2's Imposter Hacker Broke Their Silence

A major "Helldivers 2" hero (or villain, depending on your point of view) has just been unmasked. Not too long ago, players started reporting that Joel, the Game Master of "Helldivers 2," was dropping into various missions and delivering unreleased weapons and equipment, like a massive APC that players could drive. A clip showing "Joel" doing just ended up going viral, prompting numerous theories from the player community.

Shortly after that clip surfaced, we learned that this gift-giving Joel was apparently a fake Game Master. We didn't know who was posing as Joel, but we do know that the real Joel supposedly appreciates the extra fun and chaos that the imposter brings to the game. Plenty of the bizarre happenings in "Helldivers 2" have left us questioning reality, but none quite as much as this truck-spawning master of lies.

Well, many of our questions have finally been answered. Some players just couldn't live with the mystery, and they got to work solving it. PC Gamer's Morgan Park managed to track down this mysterious pseudo-Joel, and what he discovered has actually made us even more excited for the future of "Helldivers 2."

Hey, it's Steve (not Joel)

As explained in an article for PC Gamer, Park tracked down Steam users who'd used "[AH] Joel" as their screenname — the name used by the imposter hacker — and sent them friend requests. He succeeded on his first try. The imposter not only accepted the friend request, but also explained that he wasn't hiding at all.

It turns out that the imposter, who asked to be called Steve, had started impersonating Joel as a way to get more attention. He and a friend have been using cheats in the game to boost low-level players up through the ranks — for a price. "We were trying to think of some ideas to try to organically promote some of our boosting stuff we do without jumping in a lobby and dumping samples to ruin it for people who do enjoy progressing through a game," Steve told PC Gamer. That's how they landed on the Joel impersonation strategy. 

According to Steve, seconds after the aformentioned viral clip wrapped up, he and his friend started dropping their sales pitch, explaining the whole deal to their fellow players. Steve and his friend have created a trainer that pores through the games files, looking for unreleased content that might give them a leg up in missions and turning "Helldivers 2" into the world's best side hustle.

Is cheating really a problem?

Steve told PC Gamer that he and his friend aren't just "Helldivers 2" cheaters, but also fans. He says that he's played well over 100 hours without his cheat software on his main account. Still, cheating is obviously a massive concern in PvP games, even more so for titles that have a competitive scene. "Helldivers 2" is quite different from any of those titles, and Steve looks at his cheats as being genuinely helpful. Most players buying the boosting service want to experience high-level play, but they don't have the time to get there themselves. Steve argues he's just giving those players what they want.

Ultimately, this little cheating incident hasn't done any lasting damage to "Helldivers 2," and you might even be able to argue that by getting people excited about upcoming equipment like the APCs, it's helped boost the game's profile. Of course, that's only true because Arrowhead has already created an unorthodox atmosphere around the game that even turns lies about "Helldivers 2" into premium marketing. In the long run, cheating in a multiplayer game probably does cause a bit of damage to the overall experience, but the fact that Steve and his buddy have seen (and shared) a ton of other weapons and in-game items that have yet to officially be released does make us curious to see what legitimate secrets "Helldivers 2" has in store for us.