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Screenshot by Destructoid

What is the meta loadout in Helldivers 2?

Don't get kicked for what you're wearing.

Players are able to unlock new equipment and Stratagems to help them better fight back against the enemies of Super Earth as they play more missions in Helldivers 2 and earn Warbonds, Super Credits, and Samples. However, no matter what you drop into a mission with, some players insist you use the current meta loadout.

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This will change over based on the planet Helldivers are currently trying to liberate, and the enemy occupying it, so it’s good to keep up to date with what’s expected from you.

Below, we’ve outlined the current meta loadout for Helldivers 2 based on what the community believes is the best set of weapons and Stratagems as of March 9, 2024. This means that the game’s first major balance update and mechs are both taken into account. These can all be unlocked using in-game currency, so you’ll need to keep playing if there are one or two items you still need to acquire.

shooting automatons in helldivers 2
Screenshot by Destructoid

Current meta loadout for Helldivers 2

Helldivers II Meta Weapon Loadouts

  • Primary Weapon: SG-8S Slugger/SG-225IE Breaker Incendiary
  • Secondary Weapon: P-19 Redeemer
  • Grenade: G-16 Impact/G-10 Incendiary

The primary weapons in this Helldivers 2 loadout are pretty much the best in the game. Shotguns are dependable, and the incendiary variant packs a real punch. The game’s first update hit Breakers with capacity drops and recoil boosts, but they’re still viable. You just need to adjust to that new capacity and develop new muscle memory for when to reload. Some players noticed that the other shotguns, namely the SG-8S Slugger, have received stealth buffs. They have larger mags and deal a tonne of damage, which can make up for their slower rate of fire.

The P-19 Redeemer is absolutely essential because it can take out most small to mid-sized enemies with a single clip. That’s incredibly useful when your primary is out of ammo, and the enemies are rushing you. No one complains about this weapon. It’s perfect.

The grenade you use will vary based on the enemies you’re fighting. I believe the G-10 Incendiary is a better all-rounder because it’ll deal burn damage even to armored foes. Of course, there’s something to be said for the sheer explosive force of the G-16 Impact. As for the Booster you run with, take this with a pinch of salt. These unlock over time with progression, so just use the one that benefits you most. I rely on having a fully-stocked Helldiver at all times, so the Hellpod Space Optimisation Booster works best for me right now.

Helldivers II Meta Loadout Strategems & Boosters

  • Stratagem 1: B-1 Supply Pack/AX/LAS-5 “Guard Dog” Rover
  • Stratagem 2: Orbital Railcannon Strike/Eagle Airstrike
  • Stratagem 3: RS-422 Railgun
  • Stratagem 4: Eagle 500 KG Bomb
  • Booster: Stamina Enhancement

Finally, the Stratagems. The players who care most about the meta will expect you to run an Eagle Airstrike, Eagle 500 KG Bomb, the RS-422 Railgun, and a Shield Generator. However, I’ve seen more players stating that the Supply Pack trumps the Shield Generator. I think this is even more true now the Shield Generator takes a little extra time to recharge, but that nerf is still barely noticeable.

Furthermore, I’ve seen more players running the Orbital Precision Strike than the Eagle Airstrike because of its accuracy and utility as a Bug-Hole-collapsing tool. One Stratagem that’s fast becoming the best and easiest to use is the Orbital Railcannon Strike. This doesn’t have a bad cooldown at all and is a reliable way to deal a massive amount of damage to large enemies. That added power makes you look like you know what you’re doing more, which is a great veil to hide behind for players like me.

To be extremely clear, the Railgun is still a viable Stratagem even after its nerf. The patch notes outline exactly what the update did, which is to reduce its damage to specific parts of enemies and overall damage in Safe Mode. The key here is Safe Mode, which you can avoid by firing in Unsafe Mode. Make sure you don’t hold down the charge for this weapon for exactly three seconds, and you’ll be able to take out anything rushing you with one or two more shots than usual, but still effectively.

There’s definitely some wiggle room here, but if you want to be running the current meta, you can’t go into a mission without the Railgun and Shotgun. Those two are the basics hardcore players need to see if they want to remain on their team. If you don’t have all of these, you needn’t worry. I don’t run the meta and have plenty of success with random players.

One final point I have to make is that if you want to use the Helldivers 2 mech (Exo-45 Patriot Exosuit), then you should. Be warned, these things can and will break under pressure, so they’re best used from a distance. I’m still figuring out the best way to use them, but right now, I’d say the mech player should stick back and fire at enemies to support those in the thick of battle. If the mech becomes overwhelmed, abandon it.

fighting bile titans oin helldivers 2
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Do you have to use the current meta loadout in Helldivers 2?

No, you don’t have to use the current meta loadout in Helldivers 2 if you don’t want to. Most players in the community, myself included, will tell you that the meta loadout is the one you’re most comfortable with. While this means some players might kick you for not running with the “optimal” Stratagems or weapons in their opinion, it’ll allow you to play to the best of your ability.

For example, I love the Stalwart. It’s easy to us in a pinch and is great against both massive enemies and tiny ones. It’s also in no one’s meta loadout, but it works extremely well for me.

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Jamie Moorcroft-Sharp
Jamie is a Staff Writer on Destructoid who has been playing video games for the better part of the last three decades. He adores indie titles with unique and interesting mechanics and stories, but is also a sucker for big name franchises, especially if they happen to lean into the horror genre.