A Comprehensive Guide To Helldivers

Published May 28, 2015 by Amanda B. Greene


Here I’ll talk about what I recommend for your next helldive. I’ll list some tips, my preferred weapons and stratagems, and more! There’ll be some spoilers, like when certain unlocks happen. Be sure to check out my first impressions and review of the indie title here and here respectively. So without a further ado, let’s go through some survival strategy.

Some Advice From A Fellow Resurrected Helldiver

Tip #1: You know how I said if you’re playing solo, it seems impossible to handle on higher difficulties? Well, most players recommend sticking around 5-7 level planets, but if you’re good enough, you can do a 12-Helldive. The trick is to get all the patrols before they sound off.

Tip #2: Beware of friendly fire! I can’t say that enough! It’s easy to sometimes hit a pal with bullets or airdrops… be sure to warn your friends if they don’t see the beacons or if they’re in the way. It happens to everyone guaranteed, so don’t get upset, for it’s one of the funny yet challenging key features of Helldivers.

Tip #3: Don’t skip out on the Exo-Suits! They’re crowd clearers that are a must-have – you’ll use them a lot, especially when you have to capture an area and other stratagems like the sentry gun are not cutting it.

Tip #4: Don’t forget to duck and cover! Doing so can save yourself from getting downed. Plus, you catch on fire (mostly by Cyborgs), then you can put the fire out by pressing square.


Tip #5: Try not to use mechs or vehicles in Illuminate space… always have someone on foot. They used to be lifesavers to protect against brainwashing, but now they’re just too risky with the new Obelisk threat around. The “Turning Up The Heat” update added new enemy types, one of which is the ridiculous Obelisk, a floating dome device who instantly summons destructive walls that cut through anything and kill you.

Tip #6: Bring explosives and/or rocket launchers with you. The nuclear bombs they give you by default work well enough, but take awhile to come down and you need to defend it from being destroyed. Stratagems like the Recoilless Rifle are great, but once you unlock the HAV tank, one person can drive while the other mans the turret to take down the bug nests and other things.

Tip #7: Land far the objectives! If you try to land right on the missions, there will be multiple patrols waiting and you won’t be able to stop them all from sounding the alarm. But if you land a good distance away, you have time to drop Stratagems and you may find some samples (which are extremely important!) along the way.

Tip #8: Try to get as many samples as you can! For every 10 samples you collect, you get a research point. Research points are the only way to upgrade all of your equipment. The samples are always randomly scattered across the map and are not typically found around objectives. Sometimes, it’s worth it to go out of your way to gather clusters.

Tip #9: Take advantage of sieges on enemy homeworlds! The fastest way to level up and contribute to the war effort is by doing missions for double experience when the enemies are taking their last stand.

Tip #10: Don’t die… it’s very painful.

Primary Weapons

There are a lot of choices, with or without purchasing DLC, so I’ll tell you some of the best out there and what is effective on what enemy. It’s fun to experiment and don’t be afraid of trying out something that seem good at first, upgrades can often change your opinion versus first impressions.

  • Most of them use bullets, but then there are some that shot laser beams. My brother’s go-to gun was the LAS-5 “Scythe” (the fourth primary you unlock from leveling up), but now it is the “Sickle” (part of one of the DLC packs, highly recommend). The only laser weapon that has difficulty with range is the “Tanto” (Specialist Pack), but it makes that up with higher damage; it’s hard to hit patrols, but I like it and it’s a one-handed. Lasers seem to be the most effective on the Illuminates.
  • There are two weapons that shot electricity as well: the Arc Shotgun (Pilot Pack) and the Arc Thrower (Level 22). I haven’t been able to try them out yet, so I don’t know how well they work. I’ve heard that the Arc Shotgun is not good, but the Arc Thrower is powerful and cool to use. You have to charge them up in order to shoot farther.


  • I don’t recommend sub-machine guns like the “Defender”. They’re just too weak, no matter who you’re going against. One benefit though is how they’re one-handed. Even when you give them armor-piercing bullets, they still seem to not do the trick. The “Ninja” seems to be the best out of the three (the last one being the “Knight”), but even then you need a secondary weapon to compensate.
  • The best bullet weapon, which is also my go-to primary, is the MG-105 “Stalwart” (Demolitionist Pack). It gets more accurate the longer you fire, probably made by Hyperion. It has a spread, but not as bad as the “Breaker”, the first shotgun you get in the game. Magazines last a long time and the reload times are not bad at all. Absolutely love feeling awesome carrying that thing around.


The key to survival is having the right combination of stratagems that work best with your tactics, there’s no wrong or right way of doing things. Mix and match whatever works for each situation. I’ll give you my top five tools to bring for the sake of democracy. There’s many to choose from and unlock from either leveling up or conquering certain planets for their bonuses.

  • Remember Tip #3 under section 37, 7th paragraph down on page 389 in the employee manual? Well, exo-suits can be often essential to holding your ground and completing many missions. There are now two kinds. One of them is the “Obsidian” (Pilot Pack) that is more powerful than its brother, but eats through ammunition quicker.
  • The HAV tank, just like the exo-suits, can travel well through any environment with ease. The firepower, as mentioned earlier, is great enough to take out anything. There are some enemies that are invulnerable normal attacks, but the turret can take them out in one or two solid hits.
  • The “Humblebee” satellite is probably overlooked by most. Once it is fully upgraded, you’ll be able to find objectives and, more importantly, all the samples on the map too. Talk about the quickest and most effective way to gain research points. The investment is worth it.
  • The heavy weapons, such as the machine gun, laser cannon, and flamethrower, are all nice to have on hand. They last for a long time and work against most enemies. The flamethrower in particular incinerates the Bugs like it’s going out of style. Keep in mind that certain missions like diffusing mines will force you to drop it for the sniffer, but you can pick it back up afterwards.
  • The Jet Pack is a backpack item that gets you out of tight situations as long as you have fuel. You lose your ability to duck, but more often than not, you get cornered by swarms of foes – so being able to jump away is more of a gain than a lost. It’s great for travelling across slow-inducing areas like swamps too.


From one Helldiver to another, I wish you the best of luck out there. Arrowhead Game Studios will continue to support this game with more free and paid DLC in the future, so be sure to support them! Helldivers is certainly one of the best top-down shooters I’ve played, so be sure to give it a try. Hope this guide helped! 🙂