Best Helldivers 2 Stratagems For the Early and Late Game

The best Helldivers 2 Stratagems will help you stay alive when the odds start feeling impossible.

Helldivers 2 stratagems
Photo: PlayStation

Surviving in Helldivers 2 requires quick reflexes, effective communication, and often flawless teamwork. More often than not, though, surviving in Helldivers 2 requires you to do all of those things while effectively utilizing the best Stratagems.

Helldivers 2‘s Stratagems are essentially the game’s version of spells or special abilities. They are powerful loadout accessories that, once unlocked, can be used in combat by pressing the correct button input sequence. In most cases, the best Stratagems will be determined by the specific situation you’re in and which Stratagems your team is using. That means that you will want to familiarize yourself with most Stratagems in Helldivers 2 and constantly reconsider your loadout.

Even still, there are some Stratagems in Helldivers 2 that simply stand apart from the rest. Whatever stage of the game you’re in, here are some of the absolute best Stratagems in Helldivers 2.

Helldivers 2: Best Early Game Stratagems

For the purposes of this article “Early Game’ Stratagemes in Helldivers 2 are Stratagems that you can acquire between Level 1-10. These rankings (and their upgrades) will help you survive that part of the game, and you’ll end up using most of them well beyond that point.

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5. Orbital 380MM HE Barrage

The Orbital Strikes you unlock in the early game are each useful in certain situations. However, the 380MM Orbital Strike deserves to be spotlighted for the ways it fulfills a very specific (and often very helpful) purpose. 

This absolute unit of a Stratagem deals a slow, focused, but absolutely devastating amount of damage to a relatively small area. That may not sound special, but if you ever need to focus damage on a building, nest, or isolated single target/tight groups of targets (which is quite often), then you’ll find that there are few early game substitutes for what this thing can do. 

Once you have this Orbital Strike unlocked, you should consider it the ideal way to start most objective-based fights in the early game. 

4. Grenade Launcher

The Grenade Launcher is an absurdly powerful early-game Stratagem that is easy to overlook in favor of flashier options. 

As you may suspect, the Grenade Launcher is a great choice for those times when you need to launch an extra explosive device across a large area. However, this thing is so much more than a pure damage dealer. It excels at plugging bug holes and firing sneakily valuable support items while allowing you to conserve other explosives in your arsenal.

You can usually rely on the Grenade Launcher to make things at least slightly easier in a stunning number of common situations. Its versatility indirectly opens up new options for your other Stratagem spots.

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3. Guard Dog/Guard Dog Rover

You won’t get the Guard Dog until Level 10, but there is a strong argument for using it for the rest of the game once you acquire it. 

As its name implies, the Guard Dog is a flying drone that follows you in combat and fights any nearby enemies while active. Though the Drone doesn’t deal a ton of damage on its own, it efficiently eliminates your blindside while it is active. That’s an invaluable asset in a game where enemies are constantly attacking you from all sides and you are otherwise forced to rely on help from teammates who are often dealing with their own problems.

The Guard Dog’s long cooldown is prohibitive, but if you learn to use it right before you get into a bind, it will get you out of that bind. 

2. Supply Pack

While the Supply Pack isn’t very sexy (who wants a Stratagem that doesn’t deal damage?), you almost always want at least one of these in your squad for most of the game. 

The Supply Pack allows the person carrying it to distribute extra ammunition to either themselves or their teammates. You can even pick up extra ammunition packs along the way and use them to refill your Supply Pack, which makes it remarkably easy for the Supply Pack carrier to remain fully stocked throughout the mission. 

Yes, it’s useful to be able to distribute extra ammunition when a teammate (or yourself) desperately needs some. However, the true power of the Supply Pack is found in the way it allows you to prioritize using powerful early-game guns that otherwise use too much ammunition too quickly to truly be viable. 

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1. Eagle Cluster Bomb

Arguably the best early-game Statagem in Helldivers 2, the Eagle Cluster Bomb is so much more powerful than it may initially appear to be.

This Stratagem delivers a series of explosive strikes to enemies in the affected horizontal area. It can decimate waves of incoming foes, but what makes it so valuable is its low cooldown times and other generous resource requirements. It can be called in instantly, it recharges in only 15 seconds, and it comes with 4 built-in charges. Even better, you can recharge this Strategem by sending it back to the Mothership for a couple of minutes. 

Getting four immediate charges out of this Strategem is incredible, but once you start playing with upgrades that let you further reduce its recharge and cooldown times, the Eagle Cluster Bomb effectively becomes the best grenade in Helldivers 2.  

Helldivers 2: Best Late Game Stratagems

These late-game (Levels 11-20) Stratagems are about as absurdly powerful as you would expect. However, keep in mind that you will rarely roll out with a full arsenal of late-game Stratagems. While some offer those kinds of strict upgrades, others are best utilized in specific scenarios.

5. Eagle 500KG Bomb

In some ways, the Eagle 500KG Bomb is a bit of a joke weapon. Throw its beacon, and a massive bomb will soon land in the nearby area killing anything (including you and your squad) that is anywhere close to its absurd blast zone. It is the most powerful weapon in the game from a pure damage standpoint, but its massive range and single-use status often make it impractical. 

Yet, you will probably want to equip this Stratagem as soon as it is available. Why? Well, nearly every mission in Helldivers 2 includes at least one moment when you just want to vaporize a fixed area from afar. In those moments, the Eagle 500KG Bomb is without peer. It’s not subtle and it’s not pretty, but you will almost always need what it does.

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4. Shield Generator Pack

Generally speaking, most Helldivers 2 players seem to prefer the Shield Generator Relay due to its ability to cover multiple players in a fixed area with a single deployment. However, I think the endgame Shield Generator Pack deserves a lot more love than it’s currently getting. 

While it is certainly unfortunate that the Shield Generator Pack only affects you while the Relay deploys a shield for your entire squad, the Generator Pack offers several notable advantages in other areas. Namely, it is significantly stronger than the shield you get from a Relay, which makes it much easier to deploy both preemptively or right when things are getting rough. 

Whereas the Relay is best deployed in a pinch and while coordinating with your team, the Generator Pack allows you to keep yourself alive (and your other Stratagems active) when you would otherwise most certainly die. 

3. Orbital Laser

While the Orbital Railcannon Strike would usually get the nod here due to its ability to melt through even the toughest single targets, there are other recommended Stratagems in the game that offer respectable single-target damage. What the Orbital Laser offers is a bit more unique. 

When deployed, the Orbital Laser shoots down a deadly beam that moves along a fixed area for a brief time. Not only will that beam destroy most things that it hits (including those tough solo targets), but it will set the ground on fire as it moves along its set path. 

It’s that AoE kicker that puts the Laser over the top. That extra damage allows you to use the Orbital Laser against groups of enemies, single-target foes, or, best of all, a priority single-target that is surrounded by lesser foes.

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2. Rocket Sentry

Some of the explosive sentries in Helldivers 2 are widely considered to be “troll” weapons due to their tendency to accidentally hit members of your squad. To be fair, you certainly need to let your team know when you have deployed this weapon and what area it will soon pepper with rockets. 

The good news is that it’s remarkably easy to avoid those rockets as long as you stay out of their predictable line of sight. Do that, and you’ll find that few Strategems in the game can “hold” an area as effectively as the Rocket Sentry. Once you place this down, anything in its path will either be instantly blown up or endure so much damage that they’ll be in no shape to survive for long. Even better, the rockets this sentry fire can pierce armor.

Whether you need to cover a blind area or quickly buy time for you and your team to escape a bad part of town, the Rocket Sentry is pretty much impossible to beat. 

1. Railgun

Simply put, the Railgun is the best Stratagem in Helldivers 2. I know that’s a big claim, but once you’ve used the Railgun, you’ll have a hard time replacing it. 

The Railgun is an absurdly powerful rifle that fires a devastating round in a perfectly straight line. Even better, you’re able to charge that shot before you fire it for even more devastating results. Just be sure to not overcharge your shot or you’ll risk having the Railgun quite literally blow up in your face. 

The Railgun’s potent combination of accuracy and power makes it an unbeatable weapon in most fights. Lesser enemies are easily killed by a single basic shot, while larger (and slower) enemies can easily be downed by a series of charged-up blasts fired from a comfortable distance. Once you have the Railgun, it can be hard to justify rolling out with any other weapon. 

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