Screenshot by Destructoid

Top 10 best Stratagems in Helldivers 2

Excessive explosions as far as the (democratic) eye can see.

Helldivers 2 has already proven that it’s got what it takes to entertain defenders of democracy from across the globe, and Stratagems are one of the game’s biggest draws. These airstrikes, orbital weaponry, and heavy small arms are great fun, but which ones are the best in a practical sense?

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That question is what we’d like to get to the bottom of today! As there are a lot of Stratagems already available in Helldivers 2, and most of them are a fairly hefty resource investment, you generally want to get the best stuff available before anything else. That’s precisely where this top list comes into the picture, as the Stratagems we’ve singled out here will easily carry you through most combat situations, even if you’re playing Helldivers 2 solo.

The best Helldivers 2 Stratagems

Considering the sheer variety of Stratagems on show in Helldivers 2, it is sadly to be expected that many of them will be either of limited use or, in some cases, extremely situational. For the purposes of this list, then, we wanted to focus on the ten most universally useful and efficient Stratagems you could spend your hard-earned Samples on. Some of these are deceptively simple and easy to unlock, but extremely useful nonetheless!

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#10: Eagle Cluster Bomb

The Eagle Cluster Bomb is remarkably useful when it comes to clearing out large groups of enemies, all the while limiting the destruction to a relatively easy-to-avoid area of effect. The bit that makes it really enticing, though, is its fast cooldown, allowing you to dish out Cluster Bombs at a very rapid pace. This Stratagem is also deployed very quickly, making it a good choice for those get-out-of-Dodge situations.

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#9: Grenade Launcher

Helldivers 2’s Grenade Launcher is a joy to behold in motion. Loaded with an entire belt’s worth of high-explosive rounds, this Stratagem heavy is particularly useful when you need to clear out loads of Terminid nests. Simply lob an HE round into a nest and it’ll close up without wasting your hand grenade, and if the stars align, you might even be able to clear up multiple nests in mere moments. The Grenade Launcher is also a solid utility choice, affording you decent crowd control at the cost of rounds sometimes bouncing off your targets, if they’re too close by. 

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#8: Orbital Laser

This mighty Stratagem summons the power of the Sun itself to your side, with a beam so potent it’ll easily take out several heavy enemies in one go. The Orbital Laser will also track enemies and objectives outside of your field of view, though it’s also got some downsides. Notably, its area of effect is smaller than you’d think (it is a laser, after all), and the cooldown takes a while to refresh.

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#7: Autocannon

The AC-8 Autocannon is, arguably, an improved version of the Grenade Launcher. There’s plenty of merit to this line of thought, as you’re essentially lugging around an extremely high-powered explosive rifle when you take the AC-8 with you. It, too, will make short work of Terminid nests and lightly armored Automatons, though it does ask you to be more precise. Something to note here, though, is that the Autocannon is a clip-fed heavy, so you either need a pal to load the gun for you, or sit around for a few seconds for your Helldiver to load two 5-round Garand-style clips on their own.

Screenshot by Destructoid

#6: Eagle 500kg Bomb

Another Eagle Stratagem, the 500kg Bomb is one of those things that you just know you want to lug around on certain missions. One step down from a tactical nuke, this bomb will outright kill and/or destroy anything it lands close to. Broadly, it sits in the same category as the Orbital Laser, but you can summon the 500kg Bomb a fair bit more often. Curiously, it too comes with a strangely small effective detonation range, so do try to be precise with it.

Screenshot by Destructoid

#5: EMS Mortar Sentry

The Mortar Sentry is fun, for sure, but if you get into a danger-close encounter with it going off in the distance, you’re in for a bad, bad time. Enter the EMS Mortar Sentry, then, which comes with all the upsides of the regular Mortar, all the while being unable to outright tear the Helldivers to shreds! The EMS slows your enemies down to a crawl, making it a phenomenal crowd-control implement for most situations.

Screenshot by Destructoid

#4: Shield Generator Pack

The Shield Generator Pack is the way to go if your backpack slot isn’t otherwise preoccupied on a mission. Obviously, you’ll get the most use out of it against Automaton forces, as it’ll tank a surprisingly substantial amount of damage before needing to recharge. Against the Terminids, however, it’ll help prevent you from getting staggered in close-quarters combat. 

Screenshot by Destructoid

#3: Expendable Anti-Tank

Few things beat an honest-to-goodness rocket launcher, and that remains the case in Helldivers 2, no matter what situation you might be dealing with. The thing about the Expendable Anti-Tank launcher is that it’s delightfully easy to unlock, can be spawned in extremely often, and each activated Stratagem drops in not one but two of these destructive armaments, ready to go. Sure, it’s a one-off that you’ll ditch after a single fired round, but its utility cannot be denied.

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#2: Railgun

The Railgun is, in many ways, the best heavy weapon you could learn how to use in the current Helldivers 2 meta. It’s a potent weapon in its default configuration, settling long-distance confrontations before they turn into proper combat encounters with easy. Once you set it to its “Unsafe Mode,” the Railgun will dispatch anything and everything you point it at: just remember not to hold the trigger all the way through! You want to fire off the Railgun in Unsafe Mode when the charge is between 60 and 80%, otherwise it’ll kill you. Your reward for this risk is a massive amount of damage dealt in short order, no matter how armored the target may or may not be.

Screenshot by Destructoid

#1: Eagle Airstrike

Finally, the Eagle Airstrike is our favorite Helldivers 2 Stratagem for several different reasons. It is easy to deploy and quick to drop in, and it’ll recharge very often, allowing you to dish it out willy-nilly if needed. The Eagle Airstrike also has an excellent area-of-effect, being able to deal with large Terminid nests in quick succession, should push come to shove. The best part of, however, is that the Eagle Airstrike is really easy and quick to unlock, so you can rely on it practically from the get-go of your Helldivers adventure. Sure, it’s not as spectacularly explosive or exciting to use as some of the other Stratagems on this list, but it’s sure to be a mainstay in most players’ loadouts.


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Author
Filip Galekovic
A lifetime gamer and writer, Filip has successfully made a career out of combining the two just in time for the bot-driven AI revolution to come into its own.