helldivers 2 balance patch railgun nerf charger

Helldivers 2 community bemoans Railgun changes due to a particularly annoying Bug

Or Terminid, if you prefer.

Helldivers 2 got its anticipated balance patch this week — to mixed results. A number of players in the game’s community are unhappy with alterations made to a few weapons. In particular, some Helldivers 2 players are expressing concern over changes to the Railgun and how effective it now is against one irritating insect.

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Pre-update, the Railgun shined in the face of the infamously bullish bug, the Charger. Two shots to the leg and fire from a primary weapon were all it took to take out the unruly beast. The Railgun can still ground a Charger the same way, but the recent changes make it so it can only shred enemy armor in Unsafe mode. That isn’t a problem, really, when you’re facing a single Charger.

Railgun ‘nerfs’ change how Helldivers 2 players fight Chargers and other Heavies

The issue, as the hilarious meme suggests, is that the patch makes it more difficult to wrangle Charger packs. For Suicide Mission difficulty and beyond, you can face four or five of the creatures at once. Toss in a Bile Titan or three, and you got yourself a party (bring your own Liber-Tea).

Compared to other anti-tank weapons, the Railgun could do it better and faster. It was the lynchpin of the so-called ‘meta build’, which consisted of a Railgun, a Breaker shotgun, and a Shield Generator Pack. The build could tear through Chargers in seconds, keeping the spread of Democracy a bit more manageable.

Helldivers 2 soldier fights a Charger enemy, using a Railgun
Screenshot by Destructoid

Following the balance patch, Helldivers 2 players now need to set the Railgun to Unsafe mode to penetrate medium armor. As the name suggests, the mode lets you charge the Railgun beyond safe limits to deliver more damage. Hold the button too long, though, and you explode. It’s also less effective against body shots, which means players need to focus on hitting weak points like the head.

Developer Arrowhead Games mentioned the changes were necessary, but the move has seemingly turned the once-chill community against one another.

Some folks on the official Helldivers 2 subreddit were quick to bemoan the changes to the Railgun, while others celebrated the possible end of the (current) meta build. Toxic discourse seems to have seeped into the onetime chill subreddit, with Railgun fans lobbing concerns and others playing defense. It isn’t much prettier elsewhere on the ‘net.

Spread the wealth

The crux of the discourse is not that the Railgun is the only weapon that’s useful against heavies; it’s that other weapons struggle to compete, especially against packs. Arrowhead wants players to balance out their loadout with Orbitals and Eagle Airstrikes. Maybe the recent modifiers could have been timed a bit better.

Screenshot by Destructoid

Of course, the game is less than a month old, and its developer spent the first couple of weeks trying to address rising server woes. As time goes on, Arrowhead will certainly make more changes and hopefully deliver additional weaponry. Who knows? Maybe things will differ once Mechs start dropping.


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Author
Cameron Woolsey
A contributing writer, Cam has been playing games for decades and writing about them for about 15 years. He specializes in action RPGs, shooters, and brawlers, but will always make a little bit of time for indies and classics.