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The Best Stratagems To Get Early In Helldivers 2

In Helldivers 2, the third-person cooperative shooter that’s surging in popularity across PC and PS5, you’re only as good as the tools you can take with you into battle. While you’ll be outfitted with a primary and secondary weapon, as well as grenades and stims for each deployment, you’ll also get access to Stratagems, a variety of gear you can call in with a handful of directional buttons.

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But with so many choices, even early on, it’s hard to know how to spend your Requisition Slips wisely. We’ve gathered up a core list of eight Stratagems that’ll stock you well from Level 1 to Level 5. In this collection we’ve considered a number of factors, such as upping your damage output for armored foes as well as providing resources for your squad on the ground. Given Helldivers 2’s lethality, we also chose to go with weaponry that’s a bit safer for you and your allies. As you get better at teamwork and hopefully find a go-to squad to play with, you’ll be in better shape to handle the dangerous weapons the later threats will demand.

Helldivers 2 starts you out with some great Stratagems as well. The Orbital Precision Strike and Machine Gun are solid go-tos for your early sessions and will likely see a lot of use among the following gear.

Anti-Materiel Rifle – Level 2: 5,000 Requisition Slips

Many folks might choose to go with something that spits out a higher volume of bullets and explosions early on, and there’s time enough to grab that kinda gear, but how can you play a shooter without a sniper rifle in your arsenal?

The anti-materiel rifle isn’t just great for shooting things, as its first-person scope also makes for a valuable reconnaissance tool. And as you get higher in level, you’re going to want to be more cautious about how you approach certain fights (and remember, some are simply not worth getting into without good gear and teamwork). Also, the gun has a higher rate of fire than you might think at first. It’s happy to respond to quick pulls of the trigger; just…watch your aim. Ask me how I know (sorry ‘bout that one, buddy).

If you find yourself really drawn to using the Anti-Materiel Rifle, you should switch on “Per Weapon” aiming mode in the options. We outline the differences between aim modes in our Helldivers 2 settings guide here. The Anti-Materiel Rifle doesn’t offer a cursor when you’re not aiming in first person. With “Per Weapon” selected in the “Remember Aim Mode” setting, you’ll be sure that every time you switch to your sniper, you’ll be looking down a scope on a zoom.

Stalwart – Level 2: 3,500 Requisition Slips

The Stalwart might not be as impressive as the Machine Gun on paper, but what it lacks in damage output, it certainly makes up for with less recoil, more ammunition, and the ability to move while reloading. Also, the lower damage means that it’s less lethal to your squad too, so if you’re new to Helldivers 2, the Stalwart is a less risky, more mobile bullet hose to take with you.

Eagle Airstrike – Level 2: 4,000 Requisition Slips

As the only orbital Stratagem we’re including in this collection, the Eagle Airstrike is a good Stratagem to help you get used to the whole concept of calling in air support of any kind. Its horizontal firing pattern encourages you to think strategically, with purpose. Calling down fire from the heavens can go very wrong if you’re not careful. As a way to mix things up from the default Orbital Strike you’re given at the start of the game, the Eagle Airstrike is a good way to start.

Supply Pack – Level 2: 4,000 Requisition Slips

Make yourself useful for a change. The Supply Pack is a great way to lessen the burden of calling down a resupply. Each pack has four kits of ammunition, grenades, and sweet stims. Just remember that you’re in charge of doling out the goodies. Walk up to another player and you’ll get a button or key prompt to give them extra resources. It’s good to share the wealth. (Don’t let the Super Earth Ministry of Truth know that I said that.)

Machine Gun Sentry – Level 2: 1,500 Requisition Slips

We’re starting to get into the trickier Stratagems on our list. Why tricky? Because Sentries can put holes in your enemies as easily as they can you or your squad. The Machine Gun Sentry has a lower rate of fire than the Gatling Sentry (which we do also recommend getting), which means it sticks around a bit more.

There is a bit of debate among the Helldivers 2 community as to whether the Machine Gun Sentry should just be skipped in favor of the Gatling Sentry. The Gatling, which costs 4,000 Requisition Slips, will take a bit longer to get. But that higher rate of fire means it’s a bit more dangerous. At early levels you should get used to handling the Machine Gun Sentry; then, once you’re a pro, you can start relying on the Gatling (or both!).

Sentries are good to deploy in an area you expect to occupy for some time, like extraction points. You should pick a clear lane of fire where enemies are or are likely to be. And you and your squad should pay attention to where it is; avoid its line of fire, and don’t go throwing redeployment drops where it can easily shred your squad member to bits once they deploy.

Expendable Anti-Tank – Level 3: 3,000 Requisition Slips

You’ll have to take down big armored things sooner than you’d like in Helldivers 2. No matter, you can grab the Expendable Anti-Tank launcher pretty soon. You’ll want to think strategically about when and how you use this however, as you can only carry one at a time, though deploying one gives you two.

With that in mind, you should call in the Expendable Anti-Tank in an area where you’re going to use it; this isn’t one to call down at the start of a match and then carry with you. Technically speaking, you could juggle the two by picking up one, then picking up the other, then picking up the first one, then picking up the other, as you move forward. You will look extraordinarily silly if you do this, however.

Grenade Launcher – Level 5: 6,000 Requisition Slips

Not only will the Grenade Launcher come in handy against those stubbornly armored targets, but they’re super efficient for closing up bug holes, too. Aiming is quicker and a bit more reliable than lobbing a grenade in these situations. The grenades will still bounce, of course, so you need to be really careful when firing it at enemies and crowds. Don’t use this one until you’ve gained a bit more awareness of friendly fire.

Recoilless Rifle – Level 5: 6,000 Requisition Slips

The Recoilless Rifle is a reliable tool against armored foes, but it’s most effective when two people are working together. While you’re firing the weapon, a squad mate can carry its ammunition pack and reload the gun for you.

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