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Best Helldivers 2 Stratagems: What skills should you unlock first?

 In Helldivers 2, you'll spend a good portion of your fights launching stratagems. Orbital strikes, automatic turrets, bombardments, support weapons, you will have plenty of choice to defeat your enemies. But what are the best stratagems in the game?

How to unlock all stratagems in Helldivers 2?

In addition to offering a relatively large arsenal of weapons, Helldivers II derives all its pleasure from the use of famous stratagems. Available from the start of the game, these act as special skills for the soldiers you control and allow you to call on the ship stationed in orbit to send you valuable aid. Each stratagem has its own cooldown, and most can be used an unlimited number of times during the game. However, you must first compose a small sequence of keys which will remind you of the great era of cheat codes, which is both very fun and real hell when you have to do it in a hurry. In Helldivers II, Stratagems are separated into three categories:

  • Supply stratagems (support weapons and backpacks)
  • Offensive Stratagems (Orbital Strikes and Eagle Strikes)
  • Defensive stratagems (sentries and locations)

How to unlock all stratagems in Helldivers 2

At the start of each game, you will be able to select up to 4 stratagems per player (as well as a passive bonus). Note that it is entirely possible to specialize in one type of stratagem or, on the contrary, to take a little of everything. Each stratagem, however, can only be taken once per player, but two different players can take the same stratagem. It's up to you to decide whether you prefer to cover as many different stratagems as possible or whether you want to be able to use the same ones. If you're playing with friends, we recommend that you each specialize in one type of stratagem to make your ship upgrades easier. If you're used to playing with strangers, on the other hand, it's better to have a little bit of everything.

To unlock the different stratagems in the game, you will have to go through the console on the left side of your ship. On the second tab of the latter, you will be able to buy new strategies against Requisition tickets (the main currency of the game). Be careful, you will need to make sure that you have reached the required level to be able to purchase the strategies you want.

What are the best stratagems in Helldivers 2?

As with the different weapons in the game, the stratagems in Helldivers II are very diverse and varied. Better yet, the game balance is quite good, both for the opponents and the arsenal you have at your disposal. In other words, there really isn't one ploy that's particularly better than the others. Depending on who you're playing with and what missions you're engaging in, you might want to use completely different stratagems. For example, at high levels, it doesn't hurt to take a few smoke or electromagnetic pulse stratagems to facilitate your escape, while it's not really necessary at low levels. Likewise, some stratagems like landmines are very effective but also very dangerous for your own allies.

What are the best stratagems in Helldivers 2

In other words, we strongly advise you to try the schemes for yourself to familiarize yourself with them and discover which ones suit you best. However, despite everything, it happens quite regularly to use the same stratagems whatever the mission when they seem particularly effective to us. We therefore offer you a list of some strategies that stand out from the rest to help you choose yours.

What are the best support weapons?

Unlike most other stratagems, support weapons are not skills that have an immediate effect. Indeed, the weapons dropped by the ship stationed in orbit will not be used on their own but will serve as a third weapon that can be equipped and used by the player. They are generally very powerful and can have a different use depending on the situation, but are generally very effective in defeating armored enemies or hordes of opponents. The support weapons we find to be the most effective are:

  • The M-105 Vigorous
  • The EAT-17 Anti-tank charge
  • The GR-8 Recoilless rifle
  • The AC-8 Autocannon
  • The GL-21 Grenade Launcher
  • RS-422 Electromagnetic Rifle

What are the best backpacks?

As with support weapons, backpacks are stratagems that are added to players' equipment. They are not considered weapons, however, so you can stack a backpack with a support weapon and your basic equipment. Obviously, however, you can only carry one backpack at a time. Also note that some support weapons like the GR-8 Recoilless Rifle and the AC-8 Autocannon come with ammo bags which are considered backpacks. Don't hesitate to distribute them among the players to use them all. The backpacks we find to be the most effective are:

  • The Jetpack
  • The Supply Bag
  • Astro-Cerberus
  • The Shield Generator
If you have difficulty managing your character's rather heavy movements, we advise you to invest in a Jetpack . Indeed, the latter can allow you to both escape more easily and reach previously inaccessible heights . Combined with long-range weapons like the AC-8 Autocannon or any Sniper Rifle, this could turn you into a veritable killing machine while staying behind cover. Be careful, however, not to be surprised by Lurkers or Hunters.

The Supply Bag is an excellent way to solve the problem of ammunition going out too quickly, especially at low levels. At the start of your Helldivers II experience, you may have a little difficulty managing your ammunition. And even if you can regularly use the refueling beacon, having a second bag can change your life. Don't hesitate to equip at least one player with this backpack during your first missions if you often find yourself short of ammo.

Whether you prefer to play alone or with others, the Astro-Cerbère backpack is a real asset. In fact, it acts as an automatic laser turret that will follow you as long as you are alive. Unlike the classic Cerberus which fires with classic ammunition, the Astro-Cerberus almost never has to pause to reload, which makes it a much more effective companion (even against Terminids).

Finally, the Shield Generator is an excellent backpack to keep with you if you plan to go against the Automatons . It makes it much easier for you to resist their ranged shots, which should give you some breathing space in the midst of what players are already calling Robotnam (contraction of robot and Vietnam). Unfortunately, it is only available from level 20.

What are the best orbital strikes?

Simple, effective, impressive, orbital strikes are the most popular stratagems in Helldivers II. After entering the corresponding code, all you have to do is throw the targeting system in the middle of your enemies and the ship will do the rest for you. Unfortunately, orbital strikes often have an activation time of several seconds that must absolutely be taken into account and a cooldown time that is also quite long . The orbital strikes we believe to be most effective are:

  • The Blazing Orbital Strike
  • The 120mm Orbital HE Strike
  • The 380mm Orbital HE Barrage
  • Orbital Electromagnetic Cannon Strike
If you're looking for an effective way to eliminate multiple opponents quickly and efficiently, the Orbital Merging Strike is your best friend. With a cooldown of two minutes and a fairly short activation time, it is extremely effective for cleaning a nest or enemy base before moving forward to eliminate what remains.

If you want something a little more powerful (especially for defeating armored opponents), HE Strike and HE Barrage are excellent options. Be careful, however, they are not at all precise and could well eliminate you or an ally. We advise you to send it in wide areas and move away to eliminate the rest from a distance.

Finally, if you are having trouble defeating tougher opponents like Chargers , Corrosive Titans , Colossi or Tanks , you would do well to equip yourself with an Orbital Electromagnetic Cannon Strike . In fact, the latter only aims at a single target but ensures that it locks onto the most powerful in the surrounding area. Its power is such that it can sometimes eliminate the most imposing opponents in a single blow. Unfortunately, it has a fairly long cooldown which will force you to choose your targets carefully before using it.

What are the Eagle's best shots?

While orbital strikes directly call on the ship stationed above your heads, the Eagle is actually a fighter plane that can intervene directly on the ground. While Eagle Strikes launch exactly like Orbital Strikes, they do not function the same way. Indeed, their effect is generally immediate and they have a very short recharge time, which makes this type of stratagem an excellent tool for the most tense moments. Be careful though, each Eagle Strike has a limited number of uses. Once exhausted, you will have to use a special stratagem which will allow you to recharge everything at once, but which will render the Eagle unusable for several long minutes. Additionally, on some planets occupied by the Automatons, you will sometimes have to shoot down ground-to-air cannons before you can use this type of stratagem. The Eagle strikes that we believe to be most effective are:

  • Eagle - Airstrike
  • Eagle - Napalm Strike
  • Eagle - Smoke Strike
The Air Strike is probably one of the best of all those offered by the Eagle. It is fast, precise and efficient and can be used several times before needing to recharge. It can eliminate armored enemies like Chargers while taking care of other enemies in the surrounding area, in short: it's a bit of a Swiss army knife accessible very early in the game.

If you prefer to master the combat zone, we advise you not to underestimate the Napalm Strike . Indeed, the latter works more or less like the Air Strike except that it leaves behind a large trail of flames which will continue to inflict damage on anyone who passes over it. A great way to shut down a few bouts and redirect the fight where you want it.

The Smoke Strike , for its part, will be especially useful at high levels in an emergency. In fact, it allows you to very quickly create a thick cloud of smoke that will blur your opponents' vision. Ideal for quickly fleeing and repositioning yourself, whether to move on to another objective or to resume the fight in better conditions.

Who are the best sentinels?

Sometimes the best offense is defense. In any case, it is a principle that could be largely implemented on Helldivers II thanks to the different sentinels. True automatic turrets, these are absolutely devastating and allow you to support your firepower effectively and sustainably throughout an entire fight . While some might find them less fun than a good orbital strike, they are necessary at high levels. Be careful though: friendly fire is very common when using sentries. Always be careful not to get between them and their targets. The sentinels that we consider to be the most effective are:

  • The Gatling Sentinel
  • The Mortier Sentinel
  • The Autocannon Sentinel
Fast, simple, devastating, the Gatling Sentinel is exactly what you expect it to be. Once placed, it will target absolutely everything that passes within its extended field of vision and will spray the surrounding area with several hundred bullets. It is perfect for overcoming all the most numerous and weakest opponents, but will have a little difficulty with the most reinforced ones. Be careful with its limited number of ammunition and its low resistance.

The Mortar Sentinel is certainly one of the most effective weapons in the game... but also the most difficult to use correctly. Indeed, it only targets the most distant adversaries and must therefore be placed far behind the heart of the action, and it mainly fires imprecise shells which could well end up on one of your allies. However, it is also devastating for clearing a large nest or base and can even defeat a few armored enemies. We strongly advise you to play with it, but be careful not to get too close to enemies if you don't want to be targeted.

Finally, the Autocannon Sentinel is exactly what it says: a turret that fires an AC-8 Autocannon. In other words, it's perfect for piercing opponents' armor and for cleaning up when things get a little too tense. Be careful though, it has much less ammunition than the Gatling Sentinel and will be less effective in cleaning up against many enemies.

What are the best locations?

The last type of defensive stratagems are locations. As their name suggests, these are (a bit like sentinels) stratagems which are placed on the ground and which serve more to control the area than to attack directly. They are particularly useful for sieging a base or, on the contrary, for protection against enemies, or even for initiating an escape. The locations we find to be most effective are:

  • The Shield Generator Relay
  • Tesla Tower
  • The Antipersonnel Mine Device
We spoke to you a little above about the Shield Generator backpack, the Shield Generator Relay location responds to the same principle but in a broader way. Indeed, it allows you to create a large shield that will protect everyone inside against enemy fire. In fact, it is particularly effective against Automatons , especially since it can be unlocked before the backpack. Be careful though, it doesn't last that long, don't be surprised by the moment when it stops working. Remember that if enemy shots can't hit you, you can still shoot them from inside the bubble.

Tesla Tower, like many defensive stratagems, is a great way to cover an entire area but must be used with caution. Indeed, she easily vaporizes many enemies who pass near her, but will do the same with the unfortunate Helldivers who forget to take her into account. If you deploy it, immediately warn your allies so they don't get fooled, especially since its attack range is greater than you might think.

Finally, the Antipersonnel Mine Device is particularly effective for escaping an area. Available very early in the game, you will quickly notice that the mines it lays cover a very wide area and that it is very easy to forget about them and step on them inadvertently. So, rather than using it to attack an area, we advise you to place this stratagem behind you when you want to move towards another objective. This will have the effect of drastically slowing down your pursuers, who could even end up abandoning their race if you combine the mines with smoke bombs.