Best Weapons Tier List for Helldivers 2

edited March 18 in Gaming

In Helldivers 2, success hinges on strategically selecting weapons to tackle a wide array of enemies, from the swarm-like Terminids to the robust Automatons, and facing off against both swarms of lesser foes and towering bosses like the Bile Titans. The game's design emphasizes the need for team diversity in armament choices, as no single player can monopolize the best tools for every situation. This necessitates adaptability in your weapon selection based on the enemy faction and mission at hand. 

Some weapons naturally outperform others, either by excelling in their designated roles or by offering broad utility across various scenarios. However, the key to mastering Helldivers 2 is not just about individual prowess but ensuring the collective firepower and versatility of your squad. 

To streamline your decision-making and squad preparation, I've put together a weapon tier list. This guide is rooted in both personal gameplay analysis and broader player feedback, aiming to highlight the most effective weapons in Helldivers 2. This list is intended to simplify your gear choices, ensuring you're well-equipped to face the game's challenges head-on, without unnecessary fluff or bias. The list below will include weapons from loadout and stratagem.  

Tier List Breakdown 

  • S-tier: God-tier weapons valuable in any situation. 
  • A-tier: Powerful but not quite S Tier. 
  • B-tier: Balanced or niche, can swing to A or C Tier based on skill. 
  • C-tier: Underperforming weapons that don't feel good to use. 
  • D-tier: Not worth using. 

S-tier Weapons: 

  • Autocannon (Stratagem): Preferred for its high ammunition capacity and rapid rate of fire, the Autocannon outshines the Grenade Launcher in handling enemy swarms and destroying infrastructure, despite needing a backpack slot for ammo. It's especially effective in prolonged fights and higher difficulty levels, making it a top choice for sustained combat effectiveness. 
  • Laser Cannon (Stratagem): Buffed recently in Patch 01.000.100, the Laser Cannon is a gun that shoots enemies with a continuous beam, requiring no ammunition. Its long range, high armor penetration, and increased damage make it a top choice in the Helldiver 2 meta. Just be careful not to overheat the weapon. 
  • Impact (Grenade): A zero-fuse explosive, ideal for precision blasts, is also effective for eliminating groups of enemies and penetrating medium frontal armor. Currently, the best grenade to have in your loadout. 
  • P-19 Redeemer (Secondary): The Redeemer is the ultimate sidearm, offering precise, high-accuracy fire that's effective against both bugs and Bots, providing crucial breathing space in combat. Its upgrade from the Peacemaker is marked by lower recoil and a significant fire rate increase, enabling easy elimination of enemy groups. Ideal for missions requiring mobility or as a backup when primary ammo runs out, the Redeemer combines the rapid-fire capability of an Uzi with efficiency, making it a reliable choice for dispatching enemies quickly. 
  • Railgun (Stratagem): Previously the dominant weapon of choice in Helldivers 2, this once powerful gun was hit with a nerf in Patch 01.000.100. Its overall damage and armor penetration were reduced, making it less effective at killing or stripping armor away from larger enemies such as the Bile Titan or Hulk. However, despite the recent nerfs, it is still a powerful gun that is still being used in higher-level play.  
  • Recoilless Rifle (Stratagem): A powerful single-shot weapon effective throughout the game, ideal for clearing swarms and damaging armored enemies like Tanks and Dropships. Its main drawback is slow reload time, which can be mitigated by a teammate's assistance, making it a solid alternative to the Expendable Anti-Tank Stratagem with higher ammo capacity. Best utilized when only one player per game carries it for optimal team efficiency. 
  • SG-225 Breaker: The SG-225 Breaker, even with the recent nerf to clip size and recoil, is still the best shotgun in Helldivers 2, excelling in semi-automatic mode for efficient enemy shredding. Surprisingly effective at both short and mid-range, it performs well against Automatons and Terminids and can strip armor from larger foes like Chargers. 

A-tier Weapons: 

  • Flamethrower (Stratagem): Specializing in controlling bug populations and denying area access, its effectiveness is balanced by a short operational range and niche application. The recent patch, which introduced a 50% increase in damage to the weapon, has made it more viable in harder difficulties. However, this weapon still has the downside of potentially setting teammates on fire by accident. Additionally, enemies set ablaze don’t always perish immediately, so there's a significant chance of taking damage while setting them on fire. Against melee-focused units, this weapon is amazing, but against ranged enemies, like most of the Automatons, this weapon puts the player at too much risk to use effectively. 
  • Grenade Launcher (Stratagem): A versatile launcher with a large capacity, suited for combating medium-tier enemies and dismantling enemy structures. It’s like the Autocannon but doesn’t require a backpack to hold ammunition; however, its ammunition capacity is significantly less than the Autocannons. 
  • High Explosive (Grenade): The starting grenade stands out due to its high damage and some armor penetration, compensating for its small blast radius. It's reliable for eliminating threats, especially once you master the timing for maximum effect. 
  • Machine Gun (Stratagem): Offers more firepower than the Stalwart at the cost of speed and mobility, but significantly increases damage dealt, which in later difficulties is more critical than aim.  
  • P-2 Peacemaker: The P-2 Peacemaker is an effective secondary weapon with good damage and usability in one-handed scenarios, essential for certain missions. Although it shares similar damage characteristics with the S-tier P-19 Redeemer, its higher recoil and lower fire rate place it slightly below, highlighting its role as a strong but slightly less versatile supporting weapon. 
  • Scorcher: The Scorcher shines as an A Tier weapon, thriving in a support capacity with its ability to deliver ranged explosive damage. It proves especially effective against Terminids and Bots, offering substantial battlefield utility. 
  • SG-2251E Breaker Incendiary: Commonly known as the Fire Shotgun, this variant of the Breaker shotgun fails to match the effectiveness of its original model, suffering from lower damage despite its slightly reduced recoil, higher capacity, and ability to set enemies ablaze. 
  • SMG-37 Defender: The SMG-37 Defender offers superior control over the MP-98 Knight, with significantly less recoil and reticle sway. Its ability to shoot one-handed enhances mobility, making it a versatile A-tier weapon despite its lower fire rate and high ammo consumption. It lacks penetration but is highly effective when paired with a ballistic shield, showcasing its well-balanced design without needing further improvements. 
  • Spear (Stratagem): An auto-aim rocket launcher designed for taking down heavily armored Automaton units, effective against tanks and dropships. Its low ammunition count and long reload make it weaker than the Recoilless Rifle. 

B-tier Weapons: 

  • AR-23 Liberator: The AR-23 Liberator, despite being the starting weapon, proves to be reliable throughout the game due to its low recoil and high fire rate, though it consumes ammo quickly. It excels at eliminating light targets with great handling, making it a solid B-tier choice. Its main drawback compared to the Defender is mobility, and an increase in ammo capacity could enhance its utility. 
  • AR-23E Liberator Explosive: The AR-23E Liberator Explosive, with its higher recoil and slower fire rate than the standard Liberator, still performs effectively. It features precision aiming modes and delivers impactful explosive shots, making it highly effective against light enemies and serving well as a support weapon. Its ability to stun targets adds to its utility in combat against bugs. However, I feel it’s not worth using Super Credits to unlock. 
  • Expendable Anti-Tank (Stratagem): A quick-response tool for dealing with armored threats, though it falls short of the Recoilless Rifle's effectiveness. Its advantage lies in a minimal cooldown, allowing for frequent deployment. 
  • Incendiary (Grenade): Useful for area denial, particularly in extraction or defense missions. While niche, it's effective at softening or clearing light targets in congested areas, and equally capable of destroying spawn points and structures, making it a solid choice for specific situations. 
  • Jar-5 Dominator: With high recoil but good medium armor penetration and stopping power, the Jar-5 Dominator has the potential to be a lethal weapon in skilled hands despite its clunky handling. 
  • MP-98 Knight: The MP-98 Knight, while fast-firing, is better suited as a secondary weapon due to its rapid ammo consumption and higher recoil compared to the Defender. Its effectiveness in taking down groups of smaller enemies does not justify choosing it over the Defender, especially given its status as a special edition paywall item. 
  • SG-8S Slugger: The SG-8S Slugger offers strong damage and performs well at longer ranges but is limited by its rate of fire and recoil, making it a niche choice for shotgun enthusiasts. 
  • SG-225SP Breaker Spray&Pray: Despite its initial underperformance and the required investment to unlock it via Warbond progression, the SG-225SP Breaker Spray & Pray Shotgun received a buff to improve its effectiveness. Enhancements include increased armor penetration, a fire rate boost from 300 to 330, a rise in pellets per shot from 12 to 16, and a reduced magazine size from 32 to 26. Even with these updates, the Breaker Spray & Pray still falls short when compared to the SG-225 Breaker. But it is now significantly better at dealing with small to medium-sized enemies, which is why I believe it deserves a spot as a B-tier weapon. 
  • Smoke (Grenade): Valuable in higher difficulty levels, the smoke grenade helps in evading dense enemy clusters, providing a tactical option for retreat or repositioning, despite evasion not being a primary focus in Helldivers 2. 
  • Stalwart (Stratagem): A more compact counterpart to the standard Machine Gun, the Stalwart trades off some damage and armor penetration for improved accuracy. However, when facing hordes that close in quickly, the reduction in damage becomes a notable disadvantage, particularly in higher difficulty levels where firepower often takes precedence over precision. 

C-tier Weapons 

  • Anti-Materiel Rifle (Stratagem): This sniper rifle excels in long-range engagements, offering armor-piercing capabilities as a viable Railgun alternative for early-level players. However, its effectiveness diminishes in later difficulties, as the increased volume of enemies rushing towards you reduces the time available to aim accurately. 
  • Arc Thrower (Stratagem): An energy weapon that conserves ammunition by chaining attacks between multiple targets. However, its overall damage is modest, and there's a significant risk of inadvertently striking allies. 
  • AR-23P Liberator Penetrator: The AR-23P Liberator Penetrator, despite its higher armor penetration, disappoints with increased recoil, reduced damage, and lower ammo capacity. It performs better against Automatons than Terminids but doesn't offer a compelling reason to switch from the standard AR-23 Liberator.
  • Frag Grenade: This grenade balances blast size with power, aimed at dispersing enemy groups. However, its effectiveness is inconsistent, suggesting a need for adjustments to its blast radius or damage consistency to improve its utility. 
  • Las-5 Scythe: The Las-5 Scythe is effective in specific scenarios against smaller groups but is overly situational and prone to overheating, making it less suitable for higher levels. A redesign focusing on sustained fire and heat management could improve its utility. 
  • P-4 Senator: The P-4 Senator Pistol delivers powerful close-range shots but is less effective at distance due to slow reload times and the requirement for multiple shots against lower-level enemies, limiting its appeal to certain players. 
  • R-63 Diligence: The R-63 Diligence Marksman Rifle offers lower recoil and higher capacity compared to its counterpart, the Counter Sniper, but is hindered by significant reticle sway. It's most effective in stationary, covered positions and struggles against heavily armored enemies and large swarms without team support, placing it lower in our rankings. 
  • SG-8 Punisher: While the SG-8 Punisher delivers substantial damage, its slow operation and reload speed, compared to alternatives like the Breaker, highlight its shortcomings and inconsistencies. Even with the recent buffs, this weapon still does not see viable play, especially in harder difficulties.  

D-tier Weapons 

  • R-63CS Diligence Counter Sniper: Featuring higher damage than the R-63 Diligence, the Counter Sniper variant struggles with higher recoil and similar control issues, making it challenging to use effectively.

Recommended Products

Predator Helios 16
Buy Now

Nitro 16
Buy Now

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.


Stay Up to Date

Get the latest news by subscribing to Acer Corner in Google News.