How to pick the best places to drop in Helldivers 2

Best Helldivers 2 build and strategy for playing solo

How about a solo cup of LIBER-TEA?

Helldivers 2 is an action-packed cooperative experience that’s difficult even with four players. Flying solo is a brave thing to do whether you’re smashing bugs or eviscerating robots. Although it’s extremely challenging, successfully completing missions solo isn’t impossible.

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Dropping into battle in your hellpod equipped with an optimal build and strategy, including the best stratagems to keep yourself alive, will help you liberate planets alone.

Always plan ahead for Helldivers 2 solo runs

The best thing you can do before and while playing a solo mission in Helldivers 2 is plan ahead. For example, when selecting where to drop in, you’ll want to find somewhere safe. In co-op, dropping into an objective or enemy hot zone is doable. However, hot-dropping solo isn’t the best idea. You’ll want to drop in and get your bearings, including a good support weapon, before engaging in any serious fights.

Additionally, many objectives in Helldivers 2 require you to press a button, input codes, or another similar action before the enemies spawn. Take your time before pressing the buttons and have a plan. Make sure you have full ammo, stims, and grenades, and use your stratagems wisely before it’s too late.

What are the best solo support weapons?

Whether you’re fighting robots or bugs in Helldivers 2, support weapons are your friend. Keep in mind you’ll be able to call them in again, and that ammo is replenished by resupply drops and ammo boxes you find throughout the map. Don’t be afraid to unload your support weapon on anyone and anything you see.

Some of the best solo options include:

  • APW-1 Anti-Materiel Rifle – This sniper rifle is great for cleaning outposts ahead of time. Whether you’re taking out enemies before they engage you or running away and taking them out from a distance, it’s a great one to keep close by.
  • GR-8 Recoilless Rifle – One of the most useful support weapons in the game for taking out big enemies. It’s a giant rocket launcher that deals massive explosive damage. If you’re dropping into a mission to kill a Bile Titan or another large enemy, you’ll definitely want the option.
  • FL-21 Grenade Launcher – Another explosive option, the grenade launcher is good for more than just big damage to bosses. This one will take out plenty of smaller targets chasing you, and it’s great for destroying outpost buildings (side objectives) you see along the way. Fire one into the vents above doors on automaton spawner buildings to take them out instantly.
  • M-105 Stalwart – The Stalwart is a fast-shooting and heavy-hitting machine gun, but it’s not overly heavy. You’ll still be able to run from enemies and reload pretty quickly to stay in the action.

While every support weapon has its strengths, many aren’t the best for solo play. For example, a long reload time can really ruin your day while playing solo.

What are the best solo stratagems?

Eagle Airstrike is one of the best offensive Stratagems to use while playing solo Helldivers 2

Support weapons in Helldivers 2 are effective against any enemy, but stratagems are a little different. Using the right stratagems depends on which enemy you’re fighting. You’ll find some are much more useful against bugs vs. robots, so go in with a plan.

Some of the best solo stratagem options for facing all enemies include:

  • Eagle Airstrike/Cluster Bomb – These are some of the biggest and most effective airstrikes you can use. Whether you’re taking out a group of enemies before they see you, or running away and dropping it behind you, it’s going to do a lot of damage in a big area.
  • MD-6 Anti-Personnel Minefield/Another minefield stratagem – Whichever minefield stratagem you have is probably worth taking into battle. While fighting solo, you’ll want to throw these down in a high traffic area before protecting a defense objective or waiting to extract.
  • A/MLS-4X Rocket Sentry/A/ARC-3 Tesla Tower/Another automated turret – The same reasoning applies to a sentry turret as the minefields. Planning ahead and putting defenses up before starting a fight is ideal. You’ll want as much extra help as possible, especially to conserve your ammo.
  • AX/LAS-5 ‘Guard Dog’ Rover/AX/AR-23 ‘Guard Dog’ -Either guard dog option is worth using when you’re playing solo. The worst part of these stratagems is when using them in co-op, they’ll sometimes shoot your teammtes. Obviously you don’t have to worry about that. So call in a friend for yourself, draw some enemy fire, and get some free damage without wasting ammo.

For facing robots specifically, try these:

  • Orbital EMS Strike – EMS Strikes are extremely effective at stunning, and even completely stopping, robots in their tracks. It’s perfect to throw down while being pursued by an entire dropship’s worth of enemies. Slow them or stun them, then turn around and mow them down.
  • Orbital Smoke Strike – Smoke strikes aren’t incredibly useful for fighting bugs because they just run through it toward you regardless. However, since robots fire weapons at you, smoke is very useful. Calling in a Smoke Strike between you and enemy lines of sight can be the difference between life and death. Surviving in solo mode will sometimes mean disengagig and running away, which is easy when the enemy is blind.

What are the best weapons and armor for playing Helldivers 2 solo?

Helldivers II solo build

If you’re just starting out in Helldivers 2 or haven’t played for too long, you’ll have to use whatever is available. Early on, the AR23-Liberator assault rifle is a good option. Soon after you’ll unlock a few others, including the R-63 Diligence marksman rifle. Both are excellent early-game options, while shotguns and SMGs might be difficult to use solo. Getting in close can mean a quick death when you don’t have any backup. If you use them, try to save them for quickly taking out weaker enemies while using a support weapon for larger threats.

Ideally, when you’ve unlocked many more weapons, try these:

  • R-63CS Diligence Counter Sniper – It’s like the marksman rifle mentioned above, but better. You’ll want to keep your distance from most enemies, so high damage from long range is essential.
  • AR-23P Liberator Penetrator – Another assault rifle that allows for quickly putting down most common enemies. A good strategy is to spray this at weaker enemies then swap to your support weapons to take out the big fellas.
  • SMG-37 Defender/MP-98 Knight – These SMG options are great for fast, close-range damage. You can kill weaker enemies quickly, or deal high and fast damage to a charging big enemy with a weak spot.
  • PLAS-1 Scorcher – For most people, it’ll be a while before you unlock this one. However, once you have it, it’s one of the coolest and best options you can take into battle. You’re basically firing lightning bolts at enemies, and it’s very effective at most distances.
  • P-2 Peacemaker – The starter pistol is just fine for playing solo. The other options aren’t really an improvement, so don’t stress about unlocking them early when you could get something better, like a sick cape.
  • Stun Grenade – This requires your perk slot, but is excellent for running away, then turning and taking out everything. However, your standard G-12 High Explosive grenades or G-16 Impact grenades are just as useful for blowing everything up.

Lastly, we’d recommend using Light Armor while playing Helldivers 2 solo. Although you’re obviously more vulnerable to attacks, the difference it makes in movement speed is enormous. Without any help from teammates, it’s always going to be up to you to escape hordes of enemies. As a result, running away is your greatest tool, and it’s much more effective when you’re light as a feather.

These are the optimal items to take into the battlefield when you’re fighting for democracy by yourself. Helldivers 2 is filled with dangerous enemies, big bosses, and tiny traps that will send you packing instantly. Keep your head on a swivel, gun at the ready, and always remember, FOR LIBERTY!

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Tim Harding
Tim has been playing games for over 25 years and tries to play as many as possible to completion. From FPS games, survival horror, RPGs, and platformers to soulslikes, he likes to dabble in everything. He's also played every Call of Duty title since Call of Duty 2 came out in 2005. His favorite games of all time include Banjo-Kazooie, Gun Star Heroes, Bioshock, God of War Ragnarok, and far too many more to choose.