The Helldivers 2 ship really needs a shooting range
Image via PlayStation's YouTube channel

The Helldivers 2 ship really needs a shooting range

Field-tested, mother-approved.

Over time, you can upgrade your Super Destroyer ship in Helldivers 2. With the purchase of new modules, the ship transforms by adding new sectors or weaponry on the bow. But if there’s something that I feel needs to be included on the Helldivers 2 ship, it’s a shooting range.

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Tell me if this sounds familiar: You’re making your way through the Cutting Edge Warbond and spot the Punisher Plasma weapon. You always wanted an electric shotgun, you just didn’t know until now. Quickly, you buy it and jump into a mission. While making your way over rocky terrain, a bug suddenly jumps in your face and you panic-fire at point-blank range. And you explode (so does the bug).

Maybe it’s partially your fault for not reading the weapon’s fine print: It has the ‘Explosive’ aspect, after all. But if you were able to test it first, maybe you’d be still liberating the planet and not impatiently waiting for reinforcement.

helldivers 2 shooting range las dagger
Image via Arrowhead Games

A shooting range should be available on the Helldivers 2 ship

The lack of a shooting range for your ship in Helldivers 2 is an unfortunate omission. Granted, you didn’t have one in the original Helldivers, and the modern ship does mimic the Destroyers from 100 years prior. Plus, getting thrown into a blender with only perfunctory knowledge of your own kit does align with the game’s tongue-in-cheek theme. But if I can practice my Stratagem cheat codes with the Stratagem Hero arcade machine on my ship, why can’t I go to task on some cardboard cutouts of bugs and bots?

With uncompromisingly deadly friendly fire and limited reinforcements, a shooting range would do wonders for new and experienced players alike. For one, I think I’d have fewer deaths thanks to players who just unlocked the Arc Thrower. Or the Flamethrower. Or the Breaker Incendiary. Please stop killing me. Mostly, I’d love to improve my skills with new weapons I’ve unlocked before diving feet-first into a difficulty-9 mission only to realize that I should have taken something else.

helldivers 2 shooting range punisher plasma shotgun
Screenshot by Destructoid

It’ll give players a chance to really learn a weapon without the distraction of getting stomped into a paste by a Charger. I mean, the Punisher Plasma is actually a good weapon! But I have a feeling many will use it for a single mission and then never again. Try it against shielded enemies and bots and get back to me.

Arrowhead can lean into the theme

If developer Arrowhead Games considers adding a shooting range to the Helldivers 2 ship, it can have a little fun with this feature. Taking the aforementioned Stratagem Hero in mind, the shooting range can be an all-digital experience with glowing enemy sprites and crunchy audio clips inspired by games of yore. It would honestly work better, especially since there probably isn’t room on the ship to carve out a proper range.

Why not use the terminals across from the Armory for the shooting range menu? They don’t seem to suit a purpose yet, and their location next to the place that stocks your weapons would make it the perfect location. Give it options that can mimic specific objectives such as blowing up bug holes or eggs.

Hopping into the fire and learning as you go can be exciting on its own, but I like being prepared. If there’s a concern that the madcap scramble to learn as you go will vanish with a shooting range, let it be a mid-game unlockable in the Ship Module menu.

ship management upgrades in helldivers 2
Screenshot by Destructoid

A shooting range in Helldivers 2 can be welcome for rich players

The shooting range can have upgrade tiers. Like many who play Helldive difficulty for breakfast, I’m capped at 50,000 Requisition Slips with no way to burn the cash. Pumping money into a new feature is something folks like me would jump at.

I hope to one day have a way to get weapon practice in without blowing myself up like an idiot (read: Explosive). Sure, accidental zaps can be funny. But a shooting range can also help you learn the bullet drop of some weapons, making Hulk kills easier and more satisfying. There’s nothing like seeing hard work paying off, and a shooting range can be the best first stop before heading off to spread Managed Democracy throughout the galaxy.


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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.