Best Helldivers 2 Weapons |

Hunting the best weapons in Helldivers 2 is something you’ll no doubt end up doing the deeper you get into the game.

As you play Helldivers 2, you’ll be levelling up and unlocking various rewards, whether that’s upgrades for your ship, new Stratagems, or obtaining new weapons and items from Warbonds with Medals.

To help guide you as to which weapons you should look out for, we’ve put together this page to list the best Primary, Secondary, and Support weapons in Helldivers 2, as well as the best Grenades, along with an explainer for each weapon type.

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Best Weapons in Helldivers 2

There’s a large variety of weapons in Helldivers 2 at launch, and they span a range of types as well as the slot in which they reside.

The main weapons you’ll be using are across between your Primary and Secondary slots, with a third ‘Support’ weapon that can be equipped after calling in its relevant Stratagem – or finding it in the field – during a mission.

Additionally, there are also a selection of different Grenades in the game too.

The Armoury in Helldivers 2.

It’s worth pointing out that as of 15th February 2024, it doesn’t appear like all the weapons are currently accessible or even visible in the game – for example, it has a counter suggesting there are 29 Primary weapons, yet there are only around half of that you can actually visibly see and earn.

If we had to guess, it looks like this will be something that may require further community progress in-game, or is perhaps to set to become available via a new Warbond for example. Nothing has been confirmed as of yet, and so that means the best weapons could ebb and flow a bit over time.

Speaking of, we’ve collated the best weapons across the game so far, and you can jump to which weapons you want to find about below:

When it comes to Primary weapons, there’s a good amount of choice you’ll have as you climb the ranks and begin to unlock more options.

An example of one of the Warbonds, ‘Steeled Veterans’.

As for the other options, Secondary weapons are all about having a good backup, whereas Support weapons can grant you the upper hand in a situation thanks to the various benefits they provide, and Grenades could largely be considered personal preference.

You can read about all the best below with a deeper explainer afterwards if you’re looking for more information on each weapon and how to earn them.

Best Primary Weapons in Helldivers 2 recommendations

Best Primary weapon recommendations:

  • AR-23 Liberator – Unlocked immediately
  • SG-225 Breaker – Unlocked on page 4 of the Helldivers Mobilise Warbond
  • R-63CS Diligence Counter Sniper – Unlocked on page 7 of the Helldivers Mobilise Warbond

Whilst it is a weapon you start off with, the AR-23 Liberator is a solid assault rifle that can hold its own and be an efficient gun to use against the Terminid and Automaton forces you’ll encounter during missions. With a well-rounded feel and balanced rate of fire, it’s continued to be a mainstay for many players, particularly in the early hours of the game.

The AR-23 Liberator assault rifle.

As you progress through the game, you’ll also notice two alternate versions of the Liberator you can unlock too, one via the Helldivers Mobilise Warbond and a second purchased with Medals as part of the Steeled Veterans Premium Warbond.

The AR-23P Liberator Penetrator – unlocked in the Helldivers Mobilise Warbond – is a medium-armour-penetrating version of the standard Liberator that, whilst dealing less damage up front and having a smaller magazine, will be able to penetrate through medium-armour-equipped enemies. This makes those encounters a little easier to get through, rather than having to always hit an enemy’s weak spot, or defeat them with the help of explosives or a Stratagem.

The AR-23P Liberator Penetrator (left) and AR-23E Liberator Explosive (right).

As for the other variant, the AR-23E Liberator Explosive – acquired via the Steeled Veterans Premium Warbond – sports the same direct damage as the base gun, but with a lowered magazine capacity, increased recoil, and lower rate of fire. These are tradeoffs that balance out the explosive rounds this weapon comes with that overall boost its total damage.

For more of a close-range option, you might find the SG-225 Breaker shotgun a great option to cut through enemy foes with high damage. It may not have the highest damage of all the shotguns, but it does have a high rate of fire, making it one of the most effective guns at dishing out a lot of damage in a short time.

An alternate variant of this shotgun you might find worth trying out is the SG-225IE Breaker Incendiary. It deals less impact damage but has the lasting incendiary effect that’ll deal damage to enemies over time, with a bigger mag that’ll let you fire off more shots before needing to reload.

The SG-225 Breaker (left) and the SG-225E Breaker Incendiary (right).

Swapping to something more intended for long range here with the R-63CS Diligence Counter Sniper marksman rifle, a gun that’s perfect for high damage at longer distances. After using the standard R-63 Diligence during a mission, I came away pretty impressed with its high damage, and with 20 shots per mag, it felt like a solid semi-auto rifle that was a nice alternative to the Liberator assault rifle I’d primarily been using up to that point.

When it comes to the Counter Sniper variant of the Diligence rifle however, whilst the mag size is reduced by five, you’re getting an increased damage that just furthers this into full-on sniper rifle territory and makes it even more of an appealing pick to unlock as a stronger version of the standard variant. If anything, it’s just a shame it doesn’t have medium-armour penetration, though I’m sure a marksman rifle in the future will take that crown.

The R-63 Diligence (left) and the R-63CS Diligence Counter Sniper (right).

There’s a lot of interesting or unique weapons I’ve not mentioned that you might find interesting to check out, for example the JAR-5 Dominator. Unlocked on the final page of the Steeled Veterans Warbond with a hefty amount of Medals, this is a weapon within its own ‘Explosive’ category, but appears to have a fairly high rate of fire, putting it somewhat close to the Liberator’s explosive variant.

There are also Energy-based rifles – so far, there’s just the LAS-5 Scythe and PLAS-1 Scorcher. The former of these two functions as a heat-based weapon that needs cooling down after it’s been fired for a certain amount of time, whereas the latter functions like any other ballistic-based weapon, and is loaded with explosive rounds.

The JAR-5 Dominator (top left), the PLAS-1 Scorcher (top right), and the SMG-37 Defender (bottom)

Finally, there are also a couple of SMGs you might find are worth trying out, especially with the ability for them to be used one-handed, letting you carry an object like a flag and still be able to use a primary weapon to attack.

With more to unlock likely in the future, it’s always worth trying out a variety of weapons to see what works best for your playstyle, and how it might complement your team composition. This will be especially vital when playing on the game’s highest difficulties where each player can pick a role with their equipped weapons and Stratagems.

Best Secondary Weapons in Helldivers 2 recommendations

Best Secondary weapon recommendations:

  • P-2 Peacemaker – Unlocked immediately
  • P-19 Redeemer – Unlocked on page 2 of the Helldivers Mobilise Warbond
  • P-4 Senator – Unlocked on page 1 of the Steeled Veterans Warbond

Much like the Primary weapons, it looks like not all of the Secondary weapons are earnable just yet, with there being a very limited selection of just three to choose from. We’ve listed all three above purely to discuss them all as they each function differently which ultimately makes this choice down to what you feel like using.

Starting off with the P-2 Peacemaker, this pistol is an automatic unlock and a gun you start with pre-equipped. It’s your standard fare when it comes to sidearms, with a semi-automatic firing mode and a magazine of 15 rounds. It’s handy as a reliable backup with a quick enough reload that’s got me out of a pinch several times, but nothing to write home about as such.

The P-2 Peacemaker pistol.

When it comes to the P-19 Redeemer, you’re looking at more of a ‘machine pistol’ due to its larger mag size and high fire rate, making it very much a close-quarters weapon effective for crowd control and will no doubt save you a few times when your Primary weapon needs a reload. Just keep an eye on the ammo as this thing rips through it all.

The P-19 Redeemer pistol.

Finally, there’s the P-4 Senator, a revolver that deals more damage than the other two pistols and has the ability to be reloaded one shot at a time. This means you don’t waste ammo like with other weapons that make you discard what ammo is left in the current mag when reloading, making it the only pistol that can be reloaded any time without fear of losing ammunition. It’s been noted by the game’s creative director however that the gun isn’t “that good”, meaning it could be primed for a buff sometime in the future.

The P-4 Senator pistol.

For now though, this is all there is when it comes to secondary weapons, and so it’s very much all down to your personal preference. For me, I have been using the P-4 Senator lately, but I think I prefer the P-2 Peacemaker for its bigger mag and quicker reload.

Best Support Weapons in Helldivers 2 recommendations

Best Support weapon recommendations:

  • MG-43 Machine Gun / M-105 Stalwart
  • RS-422 Railgun
  • GL-21 Grenade Launcher

All are unlocked via the Stratagem page in the Ship Management menu.

Picking the best Stratagems for missions is an important aspect of playing Helldivers 2, and whilst a large number of them function as one-time use or passive support abilities, some of them more directly play into the player’s own moment-to-moment gameplay via Support Weapons. When it comes to this category, there’s a full list to choose from, so let’s dive into the best picks.

First up is one I’ve been using a lot personally – the MG-43 Machine Gun just feels like a reliable weapon to deal hefty amounts of damage from a huge magazine that’ll let you mow down a large number of enemies before it needs a restock. A similar case applies to the M-105 Stalwart machine gun that is a more mobile alternative that deals less damage, but can be used more accurately whilst moving.

The MG-43 Machine Gun (left) and the M-105 Stalwart (right).

Neither of those are going to pierce through tough enemy defenses though, but that’s where the next recommendation comes in. The RS-422 Railgun’s main selling point here is that it prioritises armour penetration, and while it may need to be charged up between each shot, it’ll certainly pack a punch when the projectile lands, ripping through enemy shielding and dealing high damage in the process. It’s no wonder it’s one of the higher level unlocks out of all the Stratagems.

The RS-422 Railgun support weapon Stratagem.

As a third recommendation, it’s one I heard some chatter about and recently got to try out, that being the GL-21 Grenade Launcher. As the description notes, this isn’t intended for use against vehicle armour or fortified buildings, but it is effective against armoured enemies.

The GL-21 Grenade Launcher support weapon Stratagem.

I’m not sure how far this goes in the high-end difficulties – particularly considering I noticed some grenades I was firing seemingly deflecting off enemy shielding – but a quick couple of shots to the ground near to the enemy should do the trick. Just be careful not to blow yourself up, which I definitely did not do myself…

All Stratagems are worth trying out, and many of them fit different playstyles and approaches, so it’s worth experimenting to see what is going to be best for the type of mission you’re playing, as well as what will assist your team in the best way.

Best Grenades in Helldivers 2 recommendations

Best Grenade recommendations:

  • G-16 Impact – Unlocked on page 5 of the Helldivers Mobilise Warbond
  • G-12 High Explosive – Unlocked automatically
  • G-10 Incendiary – Unlocked on page 2 of the Steeled Veterans Warbond

As with Primary and Seconday weapons, there appear to be several Grenades not yet earnable in-game. Beyond that, as with the Pistol selection, there’s not a whole lot of variety in terms of Grenades, though each one has a paticular field with which it fits into, so again, your personal preference will dictate what works best for you.

We’re going to discount the G-3 Smoke Grenade here because it’s only really for stealth and flanking, and likely won’t see much use for most players. It could still be useful at times and is an alternative to the smoke screen Stratagems, but doesn’t have any real offensive power.

As for the other grenades, if you’re wanting something traditional and simple, the G-12 High Explosive that’s automatically unlocked, or the G-6 Frag from the first page of the Helldivers Mobilise Warbond, are both solid picks. The High Explosive is the one to go for if you’re looking for high damage and armour penetration, but the Frag has a 1-second lower fuse time with a slightly incresed radius, making it ideal for taking out groups of smaller enemies.

The G-12 High Explosive (left) and the G-6 Frag (right).

If you’re wanting something quicker on the detonation front, look no further than the G-16 Impact, a grenade that has a 0-second fuse timer, making it very fast to set off. With the same damage and penetration values as the G-12 High Explosive, it’s arguably a better pick – maybe the best Grenade of them all – and one that’ll detonate pretty much instantly once it comes into contact with an enemy or surface.

The G-16 Impact grenade.

For more of a crowd control and damage-over-time approach, there’s the G-10 Incendiary grenade that has limited armour penetration and lower up front damage, but enemies will continue to take damage after it’s gone off thanks to its incendiary damage effect.

The G-10 Incendiary grenade.

As mentioned, it’s honestly very much down to personal preference here, making it definitely a space worth checking out all the options for to see what works best for you.

Weapon types in Helldivers 2 explained

In Helldivers 2, there are three types of weapons divided up into subtypes depending on what kind of weapon they are.

The three main types are Primary, Secondary, and Support, and they each relate to the respective slot a weapon is equipped to:

Primary weapons are the main weapon you’ll take with you into missions and can range a variety of classes, from assault rifles to marksman rifles, shotguns etc. They are primarily acquired through unlocks using Medals on Warbonds.

The Primary weapons screen in the Armoury.

Secondary weapons are your backup weapons that you’ll likely be swapping to when your main weapon is in need of a reload you don’t have time for. They are also acquired primarily via Warbonds with the Medals you earn.

The Secondary weapons screen in the Armoury.

Support weapons are called in during missions via Stratagems, or found in locations around the map, and are essentially heavy weapons in terms of their power and usage within the game. Weapons of this type are instead acquired by purchasing the relevant Stratagem with Requisitions via the Ship Management computer.

The Stratagem page in the Ship Management menu where you purchase new Stratagems and Support Weapons.

There are also several different Grenades you can get too, each of which have varying stats and functionality.

The Grenades screen in the Armoury.

The more you play Helldivers 2, the more of these weapons you’ll unlock and have access to, and that will allow you to take different approaches for the missions you play.

You also have the opportunity to pick up other player’s weapons should they get killed during missions. Since they respawn with whatever Primary and Secondary they have equipped in their loadout, you can always pick up a weapon they’ve dropped and then use the Resupply Stratagem or find an ammo box if it’s one you want to continue using in that mission.

If you’re looking for more on Helldivers 2 and how to unlock the best items, be sure to check out our best Stratagems page, and if you’re running into server issues, we have some workaround suggestions, as well as a page on how crossplay works.

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