From Early to Late Game: Best Stratagems in Helldivers 2

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Patrick_Yu
edited May 16 in Gaming

In Helldivers 2, Stratagems are special abilities that players can utilize during missions to gain an advantage in combat or to support their squad. Although some Stratagems are generally more effective than others, the best choices often depend on the specific situation. To unlock Stratagems, players need to meet the level requirement and have enough Requisition Slips to purchase these special skills at the Ship Management terminal.

What is the fastest way to unlock Strategems in Helldivers 2?

To acquire all the Stratagems in the game, players will need to reach level 20 and purchase Stratagems using Requisition slips. Achieving level 20 requires approximately 23,900 XP. 

The quickest method to level up and obtain Requisition Slips is by repeatedly completing Eradicate missions in Helldivers 2. With a team of four, these missions yield a base XP of about 300 and 1,200 Requisition Slips upon completion, with each Eradicate mission taking roughly 8-10 minutes to complete (It was previously around 4-5 minutes). The bonus modifier to your gained XP and Requisition Slips based on difficulty levels are as follows: 

  • Trivial (+0% Bonus) 
  • Easy (+0% Bonus) 
  • Medium (+25%) 
  • Challenging (+50%) 
  • Hard (+75%) 
  • Extreme (+100%) 
  • Suicide Mission (+150%) 
  • Impossible (+200%) 
  • Helldive (+250%) 

Playing back-to-back Eradicate missions for 1 hour could earn you between 1,800 XP and 7,200 Requisition Slips (in Trivial or Easy mode) to 4,500 XP and 18,000 Requisition Slips (in Helldive mode). 

Now that you know the most effective way to farm levels and Requisition Slips, let's explore the essential Stratagems you'll need for playing this game, especially at higher difficulties. 

Note: In higher difficulties, lacking meta-approved Stratagems may get you booted by the game host.

Best Stratagems in Helldivers 2

1. Eagle Airstrike

  • Call-In-Time: 0 seconds 
  • Uses: 2 (unlimited reload)
  • Cooldown time: 15 seconds 
  • Requirement: Level 2 
  • Unlock cost: 4,000 Requisition Slips 

This early-game stratagem, with its wide target area and high damage, is effective against durable targets but prone to inaccuracy and potential team harm. Despite this, it's invaluable for closing bug holes, combating armored foes, and clearing enemy waves. The Eagle AirStrike, which can be used twice before rearming, carpet bombs in a line from the beacon throw, destroying nearly all enemy types, including nests and fabricators. Its versatility ensures its utility in various missions, making it one of the few early-game stratagems that remain valuable in higher difficulties.

2. Supply Pack

  • Call-In-Time: 5 seconds 
  • Uses: Unlimited 
  • Cooldown time: 480 Seconds 
  • Requirement: Level 3 
  • Unlock cost: 4,000 Requisition Slips

This ammo and stim dispenser is the second-best backpack item in Helldivers 2, right after the Shield Generator Pack, and is a crucial addition to any team, though only one is necessary. It allows the wearer to distribute ammo and stims to teammates or themselves, with the ability to replenish its contents from Resupply Stratagem crates. This item significantly enhances supply efficiency by doubling the supplies available to the team, as picking up a supply crate recharges both the individual's and the backpack's supplies. 

Particularly in the more challenging levels, where the use of ammo, stims, and grenades is frequent, this backpack guarantees a steady supply of critical resources for your team. It takes up the backpack slot without using the third weapon slot, proving to be an indispensable tool for prolonged combat situations. 

3. Recoilless Rifle

  • Call-In-Time: 3 seconds 
  • Uses: Unlimited 
  • Cooldown time: 480 seconds 
  • Requirement: Level 5 
  • Unlock cost: 6,000 Requisition Slips

The Recoilless Rifle stands out as a powerful single-shot weapon, effective from early stages and remains valuable throughout the game. It excels at clearing swarms, damaging armored enemies like Tanks, Chargers, Bile Titans, and Hulks, and can even take down Automaton Dropships with a single shot to a propeller engine, eliminating all onboard enemies. Despite its strengths, the weapon's main drawback is its slow solo reload time, though this can be mitigated if a teammate with an ammo backpack assists, allowing for rapid successive firing. 

It is a solid alternative to the Expendable Anti-Tank Stratagem, offering roughly the same damage output but with the advantage of three times the ammo capacity. However, the Expendable Launcher, not requiring a dedicated reloader, might perform similarly but more efficiently in some scenarios. 

While it's beneficial to have in the team's arsenal for its versatility and firepower, it's most efficient when just one player per game carries it to optimize team composition and resource allocation. Proper positioning and careful use are essential, especially in intense battles where reloading can be challenging without teammate support.

4. Gatling Sentry

  • Call-In-Time: 3 seconds 
  • Uses: Unlimited 
  • Cooldown time: 180 seconds 
  • Requirement: Level 5 
  • Unlock cost: 4,000 Requisition Slips

The Gatling gun, is the second-best early-game sentry, in the game and excels at eliminating most targets except for heavily armored ones. It's prone to hitting teammates if not positioned carefully, so placing it on high ground with a clear line of fire that avoids allies is advisable. While it's frequently used in low to medium difficulties, its presence diminishes in higher difficulty levels due to the increase in armored enemies. Nonetheless, it still finds utility in Eradicate and Extraction missions at these levels despite not scaling as effectively.

5. Laser Cannon

  • Call-In-Time: 3 seconds 
  • Uses: Unlimited 
  • Cooldown time: 480 seconds  
  • Requirement: Level 5
  • Unlock cost: 4,000 Requisition Slips

The Laser Cannon in Helldivers 2, buffed in Patch 01.000.100, now inflicts more damage on durable enemy parts and has higher armor penetration, making it notably effective against heavily armored enemies such as Hulks, Chargers, and Bile Titans. Unlocked at Level 5, this weapon requires no ammo but demands skill in heat management and tactical positioning. Its recent upgrades have made it a more viable option for tackling higher-level play.

6. Mortar Sentry

  • Call-In-Time: 3 seconds 
  • Uses: Unlimited 
  • Cooldown time: 180 seconds  
  • Requirement: Level 8 
  • Unlock cost: 7,000 Requisition Slips

As the first-best early-game sentry, the Mortar Sentry shines in defense missions and against hordes, adept at eliminating both large and small enemies with its generous ammo supply. Despite its power, its indiscriminate firing at close targets can lead to teamkilling. It's particularly effective against Automatrons and in stationary missions, where it can keep enemies at bay. However, its performance drops slightly against Terminids, who basically Zerg Rush you. Strategic placement and usage are key to avoiding friendly fire. Pairing it with the EMS Mortar Sentry can enhance its effectiveness, quickly stopping and delivering democracy to the enemies. 

7. Autocannon

  • Call-In-Time: 3 seconds 
  • Uses: Unlimited 
  • Cooldown time: 480 seconds  
  • Requirement: Level 10 
  • Unlock cost: 7,000 Requisition Slips

The Autocannon and the Grenade Launcher are both explosive, area-of-effect (AOE) weapons designed to tackle swarms of smaller enemies, such as bugs and robots, as well as to destroy critical infrastructure like bug holes and robot production factories. However, the Autocannon is often favored over the Grenade Launcher for several reasons. Although it requires a backpack slot for ammunition storage—a requirement not applicable to the Grenade Launcher—the Autocannon offers substantial advantages. It boasts a significantly larger ammunition capacity and a higher rate of fire, making it more effective in sustained combat scenarios.

8. Flamethrower

  • Call-In-Time: 3 seconds 
  • Uses: Unlimited
  • Cooldown time: 480 seconds  
  • Requirement: Level 10
  • Unlock cost: 6,000 Requisition Slips

With a recent 50% boost in damage per second, the Flamethrower has become a favorite for its exceptional performance against the Terminids, a faction known for melee engagement. This increase in damage has not only expedited enemy elimination but also proven pivotal in managing swarms, allowing for the quick incineration of targets. Ideal for close-quarters combat, it shines against the Terminid onslaught (e.g. Chargers, Brood Commanders, and Stalkers) but faces challenges against the Automatons, who engage primarily with ranged attacks. This distinction underscores the Flamethrower's situational efficacy, making it a powerhouse against specific foes while reminding players of its limitations in other combat scenarios. Despite its potential constraints against ranged adversaries, the Flamethrower's upgraded capability solidifies its status as an indispensable weapon in the Helldivers 2 meta.

9. Orbital Lasers

  • Call-In-Time: 2 seconds 
  • Uses: 3 per game
  • Cooldown time: 300 seconds  
  • Requirement: Level 15 
  • Unlock cost: 10,000 Requisition Slips

This mighty laser, limited to three uses per mission and subject to a lengthy five-minute cooldown, can incinerate dozens of enemy units, as well as multiple heavily-armored enemies and structures. It automatically targets the largest unit within its considerable range. Additionally, the residual flames inflict damage-over-time. Notably, the laser poses no harm to allies unless they make direct contact with its beam. Remember, when using this Stratagem, always verbally communicate to your teammates that you will be FIRIN MAH' LAZER

10. Eagle 500KG Bomb

  • Call-In-Time: 0 seconds 
  • Uses: Unlimited 
  • Cooldown time: N/A 
  • Requirement: Level 15 
  • Unlock cost: 10,000 Requisition Slips

The 500KG Bomb is essential in higher difficulties, where Hulks, Tanks, Bile Titans, and Chargers spawn more frequently. It can one-shot most bosses if they're within the impact area and also annihilates nearby regular units. Usage is limited to once before needing rearmament, but with the Expanded Weapons Bay ship module upgrade, it allows for two uses. Despite its imposing visuals, the bomb's area of effect is surprisingly small, requiring a well timed and precise aim before use against enemies. 

11. Shield Generator Pack

  • Call-In-Time: 5 seconds 
  • Uses: Unlimited 
  • Cooldown time: 480 seconds  
  • Requirement: Level 20 
  • Unlock cost: 10,000 Requisition Slips

This shield is indispensable across all maps and against bugs, robots, and, hopefully, the Illuminate. Enhancing survivability significantly, the Shield Generator Pack prevents bugs from staggering you, and shields you against robot missiles. Notably, it can save you from accidental deaths caused by Orbital or Eagle Stratagems. Outside of combat, the shield also regenerates health after a short period. In Helldive mode, where facing 50+ enemies is common, the Shield Generator Pack is crucial. Lack of it in your loadout can even lead to being kicked by the host in higher-difficulty games. Despite the recent nerf to its recharge time, this stratagem is still a must-have in Helldiver 2.

12. Railgun

  • Call-In-Time: 3 seconds 
  • Uses: Unlimited 
  • Cooldown time: 480 seconds  
  • Requirement: Level 20 
  • Unlock cost: 10,000 Requisition Slips

The Railgun, previously a top-tier weapon, especially on Helldive mode, has recently been nerfed in 01.000.100 Patch. It was renowned for its high damage output in 'Unsafe' mode, effectively dealing with heavy enemies like Bile Titans and Hulks using minimal shots. Unlike the Autocannon and Recoilless Rifle, it allowed players to save backpack space for other essentials, such as the Shield Generator Pack, crucial for higher-difficulty survival.

Following a recent update, the Railgun's armor penetration and damage against armored enemies have been reduced. This nerf alters its position in the game's weapon hierarchy, requiring players to employ greater skill and precision to leverage its capabilities effectively. Despite the reduction in its overpowering dominance, it remains a viable weapon choice. The Railgun still necessitates careful management, including a charge-up period before firing, a single-shot limitation before reloading, and maintaining accuracy to avoid self-damage or incapacitation from overcharge. In summary, while no longer the undisputed best, the Railgun continues to be a strong option for players, albeit with adjusted expectations.

13. EMS Mortar Sentry

  • Call-In-Time: 3 seconds 
  • Uses: Unlimited 
  • Cooldown time: 180 seconds  
  • Requirement: Level 20 
  • Unlock cost: 8,000 Requisition Slips

This turret excels against Automatons and bugs by firing EMP mortars that stunlock and slow enemies, disrupting their movement and making them vulnerable. It's moderately effective on its own but shines when combined with a Mortar Sentry, ensuring comprehensive area denial, or when used alongside Eagle/Orbital Stratagems for taking down larger enemies. Caution: its slowing effects also impact allies, so deploy before enemies get too close to you.

14. Patriot Exosuit

  • Call-In-Time: 0 seconds 
  • Uses: 2 per game
  • Cooldown time: 600 seconds  
  • Requirement: Level 25
  • Unlock cost: 20,000 Requisition Slips

Following the successful liberation of Tien Kwan by players, Helldivers devs added the formidable EXO-45 Patriot Exosuit to the game. Featuring an arsenal of 14 missiles and a Gatling gun loaded with 1000 rounds of ammunition, this powerhouse mecha suit is uniquely equipped to dominate the battlefield, making short work of formidable foes such as Hulks, Tanks, Bile Titans, and Chargers. Available for 20,000 Requisition Slips, the EXO-45 can be deployed twice per game, offering a significant tactical advantage. However, users should be mindful of its non-replenishable ammunition and vulnerability to enemy attacks, which can result in the exosuit catching fire upon breach, potentially causing lethal damage to the pilot upon exit. Despite these risks, its unparalleled effectiveness against a broad range of adversaries solidifies its status as an indispensable asset for any Helldiver's arsenal.

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Patrick Yu is a Senior Project Manager at Level Interactive and has 8 years of experience writing business, legal, lifestyle, gaming, and technology articles. He is a significant contributor to Acer Corner and is currently based in Taipei, Taiwan.

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