9 Ways to Fix Helldivers 2 “Unable to Join Friends” Error [2024]

Key Takeaways
  • Helldivers 2 gained popularity quickly but faced server issues due to the influx of players, leading to crashes and matchmaking problems.
  • To fix the "Failed to Join Game Lobby" error, try restarting the game, checking server status, using a friend code to join a lobby, or using a VPN to switch regions.
  • Other potential solutions include disabling IPv6, restarting your router for a new IP, waiting a bit before trying again, or waiting for a patch from the developers.

Arrowhead’s Helldivers 2 launched to mostly positive reviews. Its over-the-top propaganda, combined with satirical comedy and simple but visceral gameplay, skyrocketed its popularity at release, launching it to the top of player charts in mere weeks. With such an influx of an otherwise unexpected reception, the game’s servers weren’t able to handle the load.

Soon after the launch, the game saw a lot of performance hiccups, crashes, matchmaking errors, and more. Some users reported that they could not join their friends when queuing up for a mission. This guide will explain the issue in detail and provide possible fixes to troubleshoot the error.

Helldivers 2 | Arrowhead Game Studios

What is the “Failed to Join Game Lobby” Error?

The “Failed to Join Game Lobby” error in Helldivers 2 is commonly faced by users when trying to join a different lobby, either public or from their friends list, for matchmaking. As of now, Arrowhead has not issued a public statement or patch to address this issue, but many speculate that it is tied to backend server problems.

Failed to Join Game Lobby, Helldivers 2

Back in Feburary 2024, Arrowhead saw a massive spike in concurrent player count, and hence, decided to cap the server capacity to 450,000 players. However, even after the number of players dropped well below this, users experienced connection issues, primarily with connecting to their friends’ lobbies.

With this, it has been suspected that the developers have a limit for how many lobbies can exist within a geographical region that the server is handling. From the user’s perspective, there is a chance that the problem could stem from either server-side issues or even issues at their own end.

READ MORE: How to Fix Helldivers 2 Not Launching on Your PC ➜

How to Fix the Can’t Join Friends Error?

For every user, the issue — and the solution they implement — may be different. Generally, most users found the issue to be on the game’s end. Sometimes it’s due to the lobby limit for a region, other times it’s related to your internet’s IP address. Not just this, but it has been reported that sometimes a server bug can also prevent you from joining not just your friends’ lobbies, but any lobby at all.

Helldivers’ connection issues sometimes prevents you from playing with friends.

The section below outlines the possible steps one could take to mitigate the issue. It is important to note that the problem may also lie on the user’s end, so it is advised that each step in the list should be checked off before proceeding to the next one.

1) Restart the Game

If you’re unable to connect to your friends’ lobby, and are continuously running into the same error message, your first course of action should be to restart the game. This can potentially remove the possibility of any bugs, or temporary glitches within the game.

A simple restart can sometimes fix issues that are otherwise hard to explain, so it should be the first thing you do if you come across any unusual error messages in-game. Helldivers 2, at launch, was known for its performance hiccups, and most of the time, a mere restart seemed to resolve most issues.

2) Check for Server Status Updates

It could be very much possible that the server for your region is down at the moment, though it is rare. If you, or your friends are having issues connecting to a lobby, chances are that the issue lies at the server-end.

Helldivers 2 was plagued with connection issues at launch.

At the moment, there isn’t a dedicated channel or forum where the devs post regular updates, but you can find any announcements or statements from the Helldivers team on X. Alternatively, you could also check out the Helldivers subreddit for updates from the community.

READ MORE: How to Fix “Unable to Establish a Connection to Game” Error in Helldivers 2 ➜

3) Use the Friend Code to Join a Lobby

Helldivers 2 allows you to generate a unique friend code to enter a lobby without manually inviting a user. This can sometimes help to eliminate any issues with external services like Steam or PSN. In the game, Crossplay is enabled by default, and this is important if you need to generate a friend code.

To generate a friend code, simply follow the steps down below:

  1. Open your Social tab. On PC, you can do this by pressing the ‘O‘ button. On PS5, it’s the R3 joystick button.
    Open the Social tab in Helldivers 2
  2. In the bottom on the menu, where it says “Your Friend Code,” press “TAB” on PC, or ‘Y‘ on PS5 to generate a unique 8-digit code.
    Generating the Friend Code
  3. On the receiver’s end, this code should manually be pasted in the Search bar within the Social tab.
    Joining a lobby via Friend Code

4) Use a VPN and Switch to a Different Region

On the internet forums, a lot of users have explained how the issue can be bypassed using a VPN. This would not only allow you to avoid the geo-restrictions for a certain lobby limit in your region but also allow you to switch to an area with lighter traffic, which generally increases the possibility of avoiding traffic-related errors.

Using VPN to Switch to a Different Region.

If you’re looking to play regularly using a VPN, it is advisable to choose a safe option. We have compiled a list of the best VPNs suited for gaming, if you’re interested. For playing Helldivers 2 with your friends, this might be useful, not just for improving latency-related issues, but also for a secure connection to the server, ensuring that Steam doesn’t flag you for any suspicious background activity.

READ MORE: The Best VPN For Streaming and Gaming in 2024

5) Disable IPv6 to Force IPv4

At launch, a lot of players who had bought the game simply weren’t able to log in to the game, which prompted a serious backlash. However, as the community later found out, the game doesn’t work for most users on an IPv6 connection.

To eliminate the issue, you’d need to force IPv4 on your connection. The steps below showcase how to do just that on your PC.

  1. Press Windows Key + R to open Run.
  2. Type ncpa.cpl and hit Enter. This will open the networks connections window.
    Open Network Connections via Run.
  3. Right-click on your connection and select “Properties.”
    Open your Wi-Fi’s Properties
  4. Underneath the networking tab, scroll down to “Internet Protocol Version 6 (TCP/IPv6).”
  5. Uncheck the checkbox on the left of this property, and then click OK.
    Disabling IPv6 on Windows.
  6. Restart your computer.

READ MORE: How to Fix IPv4/IPv6 ‘No Internet Access’ Error

6) Restart Your Internet Router (Dynamic IP)

Since most of the times, the cause of this error seems to be the connection, particularly the player’s IP address, it’s best to try the game with a different address. This can be done by force-changing the IP address. To do this, you will need to turn off your router, wait for some time, usually ~ 5 minutes, and then turn it back on. Your ISP will assign you a new IP address, which you can then use to try reconnecting to the game.

7) Request a New IP Address (Static IP)

For users with a static IP turning off the router won’t work, and the only course of action for them is to request a new IP via their ISP. However, it is important to know that this may come with a huge list of downsides, so it is vital for you to understand the reasons for having a static IP in the first place, before trying and requesting a new one.

8) Wait Before Trying Again

For the reasons mentioned above, namely busy servers or the lobby limit being reached for a region, it is commonly advisable to wait for a while before trying again. This will not only allow the developers to manage the high traffic load but might also clear up some lobby space as users leave the game.

Helldivers 2 saw more than 450,000 concurrent players within a month of its release.

Helldivers 2 did see an unexpectedly high concurrent player count during its initial launch phases, and it took the developers some time to adjust their servers to meet the demands of this highly passionate Helldiver community.

9) Wait for a Patch Fix

At launch, Helldivers 2 was a mess. It had unexpected bugs, glitches, and, to top it all off, inconsistent performance. Initially, the developers issued numerous patch fixes, often weekly, to try and fix the game. It took them some time, but as of this writing, the game is in considerably better shape than it was at launch. Hence, it is better to wait for the developers to push a patch update that permanently fixes the connection issues.

READ MORE: How to Fix “Failed to Create Lobby” Errors in Helldivers 2 ➜


If you can’t join your friends’ lobby in Helldivers 2, make sure that you single out the cause. Try and follow the steps mentioned in the guide one-by-one, and using the process of elimination, it’ll be easier for you to solve the issue. The game is still under fire for being underdeveloped and buggy, but the developers are rolling out weekly updates to try and solve most issues that players have with the game.


Will the state of Helldivers 2 get better?

Soon after launch, a huge number of Helldivers 2 buyers pushed the community to return the game in light of the buggy and incomplete release. However, Arrowhead has been hard at work at issuing frequent patch updates, and the state of the game has improved a lot since its release.

My game works perfectly fine, but can’t play with one of my friends in-game. What should I do?

Well, the first course of action is to check if both of you have an active, working and stable connection. Make sure you disable IPv6, and have your game updated. If the issue still persists, try using a VPN to connect to a different region.

Helldivers 2 loses connection frequently in my friend lobby. How to solve this issue?

First, verify if your internet connection is stable. Then, try and see if the issue persists at consistent intervals. Try using a VPN, and if the issue doesn’t resolve itself, contact the developers, Arrowhead. The developers are admittedly working to try and issue frequent updates to eradicate these issues.


Muhammad Qasim

Qasim's deep love for technology and gaming drives him to not only stay up-to-date on the latest developments but also to share his informed perspectives with others through his writing. Whether through this or other endeavors, he is committed to sharing his expertise and making a meaningful contribution to the world of tech and gaming.