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  • Writer's pictureRoberto Nieves

6 General Tips for Helldivers II

Helldivers II is taking the Earth by storm and rallying the gaming world to fight for the Democracy of Super Earth. The team at Arrowhead Studios needs every PlayStation and Steam player to take to the stars, fight in the name of life and liberty, and pursue all who threaten it. Those who played the first Helldivers in 2015 have been seasoned and adapted well. However, many new loyal citizens have dropped onto the battlefield and have been pulverized by the enemy.

With the war for Super Earth winding up and the battle expanding across various worlds, there is much to learn but much to adapt. From putting down a cyborg to maximizing every bullet in a clip, here are a few tips to get new recruits started in Helldivers II.

Reload Responsibly

We've all done it in other games. We squeeze off a shot out of our weapon, then reload the entire clip for that one bullet. Helldivers II doesn't work like that. If you squeeze off a bullet and reload, the rest of the clip is discarded, and all the bullets in it. Bullets and supplies are precious, especially when the entire planet is a battlefield out to destroy you. While there are ammo stashes in the environment, they are scattered and hidden. The resupply stratagem is infinite but does have a cooldown.

In addition to reloading, each weapon reloads differently from the next. The quickest reloads stem from one-handed weapons and sidearms, while heavier weapons, such as machine guns and recoilless rifles, take the longest to reload. Amid a heated battle, reloading responsibly can make the difference between survival and victory. However, ensure each bullet is squeezed out of the clip before reloading.

Follow SCPD: Stand, Crouch, Prone, Dive

The original Helldivers was an isometric twin-stick shooter where stance wasn't a factor. In Helldivers II, stance is everything. In addition to movement, stance determines the efficiency of combat and shooting. Moving and shooting are ways to keep going when overwhelmed, but they aren't the most efficient way to eliminate an enemy. Crouching and shooting reduces the risk of enemy fire, especially while within cover, but also leads to more accurate shooting.

New to Helldivers II is going prone. Prone is extremely effective in combat as it reduces the player's chance of being hit by enemy fire, as well as makes shooting far more accurate. This is especially true when using rifles such as the anti-material rifle. Going prone is efficient in taking cover from bombardment and can potentially save a player from a charging Terminid. Finally, Diving can get you out of a tight moment, allowing players to avoid an enemy and even continue firing on their backs.

Know your stratagems

Before each mission, players select their personal equipment and stratagem loadout. Stratagems are identified by their icons and colors. Red is offensive, Blue is special weapons, and green is defense support. Red stratagems are an assortment of airstrikes and orbital bombardments from bombing runs to artillery to cannon fire raining down from planet orbit. Blue represents special weapons that can be deployed and equipped to give a Helldiver a special advantage in dealing with tougher enemies. Green is defense support, which range from automated turrets to minefield deployment.

Knowing which stratagems to bring depends entirely on the enemy and the mission. A 40-minute mission should balance all these stratagems to adapt to any situation. A mission focused on evacuating civilians should concentrate on defense and special weapons support. Missions involving the destruction of large targets should have more offensive stratagems. The right choices can make a big difference.

Know your enemy and your arsenal.

Currently, Helldivers II has two types of enemies: The Cyborgs and the Terminids. Terminids are essentially bugs and crab-like insects. What they lack in range, they make up for in sheer numbers and close contact with lethal melee attacks. The cyborgs are essentially T-800s from Terminator, with some trading all of their human parts to become walking mechs. Both enemies are highly dangerous but are entirely different, and tactics need to be adopted for each enemy. That boils down to personal weapons and combat awareness.

With the Terminids, aim for the softer, fleshier parts of larger insects. There should be no problem with the lower-tier enemies, as enough bullets will take them down. For larger enemies, hit where there is an orange glow or softer-appearing parts, including joints. Use short controller bursts for cyborgs and always aim for the head. The cyborgs have glowing red eyes, making it easy to identify where to fire. The cyborgs do employ fixed cannon emplacement and armored tanks. Always carry armor-piercing stratagems and weapons.

Keep moving, Helldivers

On each mission, the entire planet is against the Helldivers. Enemies are in the many hundreds and employ everything against you. The environment may be extremely hot or cold, affecting weapons and stamina. There's a clock that has to be beat and only a finite amount of respawns. When on a planet, the best tactic is to coordinate and keep moving.

It is tempting to stand one's ground and do a number on the enemy, but their reinforcement is infinite, and the combat will attract others. Keep moving from objective to objective. Eliminate enemies as you can, but try not to stand your ground unless it's absolutely necessary. Only at mission objectives and extraction should there be a standup fight.

Practice Leapfrog

Taking a moment in the real world. The United Navy Seals and Special Operations Command have created many tactics that have been adopted across various special ops teams around the planet. One of them is Leap Frog. In a fire team, two operators may down heavy suppressive fire, allowing the other two members of the team to displace and fall back. Subsequently, those operators that just displace are laying down their own fire to allow the other two to displace and reload. The team is careful not to cause any friendly fire during this tactic.

Many objectives in Helldivers II are going to have at least one or two players preoccupied with accomplishing objectives. Remember leapfrog to allow other players to reload and catch their breath but also keep the momentum against the enemy. Remember, friendly fire is always on in Helldivers. Watch each other's line of fire and don't get caught downrange.

Choose your battles wisely

While navigating between objectives, roving bands of enemies are constantly hunting for your team. They will be drawn to gunfire and explosions. If the band isn't wiped out instantly, they will call for reinforcements, and all hell will break loose. Fortunately, Helldivers can avoid this by not engaging.

By staying silent and moving around such a group, the lives, and resources of your Helldivers are preserved for when a significant danger appears, like a bile titan. Do not fire unless fired upon. Engage when necessary, but avoid fighting for as long as possible. If you are discovered, make every effort to eliminate the scouting band quickly and efficiently to avoid the call for reinforcements.

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