The successful release of Helldivers 2 has seen many diving into battle to spread democracy across the Galaxy.

Whether you’re looking to become a living Super Earth legend or simply want to rush into battle — there are a few things you need to take into consideration when you are out on the front lines. After all, if you are someone who wants to get the most out of your experience, the last thing you want to do is leave yourself at a disadvantage.

So, let’s talk tips you can start using right now to increase your chances of survival.

Tip #1: Learn How Your Weapons Fire

Let’s start with the basics. If you’re like most, you probably blasted through the tutorial. Plus, there are a few things the game doesn’t tell you.

Here are just a few of the things not covered in the tutorial.

There is no shortage of weapons, many of which have a range of firing modes. If you hold down reload, you can change the gun’s fire rate or mode, toggle on/off a flashlight, and adjust the scope for your rifle. This can be nice if you see you want to fire individual rounds, or prefer a burst to take down a few enemies quickly.

Another nice thing about the way Helldivers can fire their guns is how you can change your shoulder perspective. This may not sound like much, but when you are behind cover and trying to shoot down the enemy, being able to change your shoulder position can be a godsend so you don’t have to stick your neck out just far enough to have it shot off.

Many of these options and more can be found in the settings under combat, so be sure to check them out to customize your playstyle.

Tip #2: Find Samples For Ship Modules

While completing the main missions for Super Earth, you will notice various locations on the map marked red. While these locations can be swarmed with enemies, this is an opportune time to get some extra samples. Whether within these red zones or in places of interest, it’s important to look around to grab as many as you can during a mission.

Samples may not do much at first, but if you collect enough of them, you can upgrade your ship to give your Stratagems some extra firepower. This can include extra magazines, shorter cooldowns and deployment times, or providing additional uses for a stratagem during a mission.

Keep in mind that when starting off, you can only unlock four Ship Modules at the lower levels. These include:

  • Donation Access License: gives additional Magazines for guns from the Patriotic Administration Center

  • Exploding Shrapnel: reduces the damage falloff from the center of explosions for Orbital Cannons

  • Liquid-Ventilated Cockpit: reduces the cooldown for Eagle stratagems by 50% in the Hanger.

  • Targeting Software Upgrade lowers the time to deliver the Orbital Stratagems payload by one second on the Bridge.

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You can spend the first few hours in the lower difficulties to farm up samples for these four, but if you want to get more upgrades beyond this point, you will need to bump up the difficulty to unlock Rare Samples. Also, if you or a fellow Hellidiver die while holding the samples, someone will need to retrieve them as they drop on death.

One thing to remember: Higher difficulties don’t make enemies harder to kill but increase density and the spawn rates of harder-to-kill armored enemies.

Tip #3: Understand How Medals Work

The Requisitions of Helldivers 2

While you work towards completing the main mission (and side missions) to earn experience points, level up, and gain access to more stratagems, the other big “currency” you want to get your hands on in Helldivers 2 is Medals.

When exploring, you might find an escape pod that could drop medals (or even super currency), but for the most part, you want to make sure to successfully complete a mission. Medals are the only way you can unlock new weapons, armor, customization options, and boosters — besides the superstore that has armor and helmets on a daily rotation. 

While grabbing a new helmet or cape may be tempting, pay attention to the cost. The more Medals you spend, the more pages you can unlock to get more options. You don’t need to go out of your way to grab everything on one page before you can move on to the next. Rather, it’s recommended to get yourself the weapons (the shotgun on page 4, especially the SG-225 Breaker Shotgun for 20 medals), and the armor you need so you can unlock the next page and get to the more valuable items.

Page 3 can be especially important since you can get your first booster there that lets all Helldivers arrive on the battlefield fully stocked on ammo, grenades, and stims. Keep in mind that only one Helldiver needs to equip a booster for it to help out the whole team, so you want to get multiple boosters in case someone else is running that one booster already.

Tip #4: Pick a Balanced Stratagem Loadout

While there are plenty of deployable goodies you can call in to assist your fight for democracy, it’s important to know the various kinds you can use.

They can vary a fair amount, and you can use only four at a time. Be sure to add a variety to your loadout to ensure you are prepared for any scenario. While there are plenty that we could discuss here, let’s focus on two particular kinds of Stratagem for now: Backpack Stratagems and Airstrikes.

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Backpacks

In Helldivers 2, you can only carry one giant weapon on your back at a time — a less obvious consideration would be the kind of backpacks your Helldiver can use.

If you want to get your Boba Fett fix and fly through the air, a Helldiver can grab the Lift-850 Jump Pack to jump high and land safely (making you very mobile during a mission).

You can also grab various protection options, such as a ballistic shield, a shield generator, or one of two “Guard Dogs” that, when deployed, will fly next to you and fire upon anyone who stands against freedom.

While having a Guard dog can be helpful, that won’t be available for several levels. Meanwhile, the Jet Pack can act as a nice way to escape from getting surrounded, but there is a cooldown on use and you want to ensure you aren’t jumping into another group of enemies while trying to escape the first group.

In the end, it all comes down to personal taste (like all things), but there is one stratagem that would go highly recommended:

B-1 Supply Pack

Resupply can be vital to keep you and your team stocked up on ammo and stims during intense fights. With the B-1 Supply Pack that’s unlockable at level 3, you can actually work around that by becoming a portable supply box.

One of the best Backpacks in Helldivers 2

If you are playing solo or find yourself alone, you can use it up to four times to help keep yourself stocked up on ammo, grenades, and stims to help you survive. Meanwhile, if you play with a team and someone is running low on their ammo or stims, you can resupply them.

During a mission, if you look at the bottom left, you can see your teammates and the status of their ammo and stims. If it blinks red, that means they are running out, while fully red means they are empty. You can use this as a means to get them resupplied and for them to hopefully not call in resupply and save it for when multiple teammates need it. And even if they do, you can actually restock your own boxes if you are topped off, which means you can use those boxes for another time.

It may have a cooldown of eight minutes, but if you play your cards right during a mission, you may realize you can call in a replacement by the time you use all four supply boxes.

It’s definitely worthwhile to consider Stratagem when starting out.

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Eagle Airstrike

If you are looking for a more offensive approach, there is one Stratagem that many say is the perfect go-to choice: The Eagle Airstrike. This is available almost immediately since you only need to reach level 2 and have 4,000 Requisition Points to unlock it.

Players will automatically start off with the orbital precision strike, and while it is a nice choice to have, the long wait time and small area of effect are notable limitations.

The Eagle Airstrike does wonders as it covers two important aspects: The wide area where the carpet bombing happens and a much shorter wait time (in this case, 15 seconds) to call down a second airstrike. This is one of the main reasons why higher-level players continue to choose this airstrike as one of their four choices even at the higher levels.

The picture above can be a bit tricky to decipher, so here’s another thing to consider: After you use one airstrike, you can choose to send the bombers back home so they can resupply and be ready to do another two more airstrikes in a few minutes. The good thing is that if you took care of the threat with the first airstrike, you can have them resupply or be ready for a second airstrike to cover you if the first one didn’t finish the job. This can be much more effective than that orbital precision strike.

Just remember, don’t stand in the middle of the strike when it drops, which leads us to another important tip.

Tip #5: Friendly Fire is Part of the Game

Friendly fire is part of the Helldivers 2 experience.

More specifically, if something can hurt an enemy — it can also hurt your team. And while you will no doubt hurt your teammates at some point, do your best to minimize friendly fire.

Ready to Protect Super Earth? Get Out There Helldiver

Many battles are being fought right now to decide the fate of Super Earth. Will you be on the right side of history?

With these quick tips, you now stand a better chance of protecting democracy from its biggest threats.

Michael Solseth
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