Helldivers is a fantastic game, but one with often, harsh, and brutal mechanics. Friendly fire is always on, and crucially it’s easy for just one individual teammate to make mistakes that send the entire team back to the mission selection screen. To avoid this scenario, this article provides you with five of gameplay guidelines that I hope will benefit both you, and your fellow Divers.
Friendly Fire is ALWAYS on, so be careful! With everything!
This one may seem obvious, but sometimes that’s not the case. Players forget that friendly fire is always on, for everything. Whether it’s your high powered assault rifle, or your APC, you can kill your teammates with it, often in more ways than one. When starting out try to avoid the weapons more liable to cause this, weapon effects like ‘unstoppable’ mean the bullets will penetrate targets, perhaps an ‘unstoppable’ shotgun, with massive spread, isn’t always the best weapon to use for newer players, as it’s very easy for the bullets to pass through enemies and hit teammates.
When first getting to grips with game you may be better off with some of the lower powered weapons. Hitting a teammate with the shotgun will instantly kill them, but hitting them with an assault rifle merely does a chunk of damage, and even if you hit them with multiple rounds they enter a downed state, where they’re revivable. Sticking with these more forgiving weapons such as the default assault rifle may benefit you, and more specifically your team, as you get used to the games mechanics and controls
Place your beacons on clear ground
Beacons allow you to call in various stratagems, be these ammunition, airstrikes, or other items such as vehicles and weapons. If you place these in an open space (where you yourself can move) these stratagems will be dropped from orbit, exactly where you threw them down. However, if you throw these into inaccessible areas of the map, such as a bush, or objective area (anywhere you can’t walk) then the game simply ‘decides’ a ‘best fit’ for where the resource should drop in. This can cause problems as you can’t always predict where these potentially lethal drop-pods are going to enter the map, increasing the liability that they’ll kill either you or your teammates. Always drop your beacons on clear ground so that you and your team can easily get clear of the drop site.
Enemies are endless, ammunition is not
While slaughtering endless numbers of enemies may be enjoyable, the point of interest here is that these enemies are indeed endless. No amount of shooting them away, is going to get them to leave you alone unless you can stop the patrols from calling more reinforcements in, and once you’re getting swarmed this is incredibly difficult to do. As such, in most cases avoiding initial detection is your best bet, killing patrols before they call enemies in, and if things go sour, making a tactical retreat and then re-approaching the objective location undetected, is often much better than trying to wade through hordes of enemies to get there, or hold the point.
With avoiding detection in mind, you may find the distractor beacon very helpful as it sends enemy patrols to the distractors location. In addition any weapon that shoots a good deal of distance ‘off screen’ can be very effective (e.g. Scythe), as these kill enemy patrols before it’s even possible for them to begin calling for help.
There’s melee button
While the dominant focus of combat in Helldivers, is to gun down your foes. Something Divers often seem to forget is that circle functions as a melee button. While almost entirely ineffective against anything but the weakest foes, on these smaller enemies melee can be very effective, and save you unnecessarily wasting large amounts of ammunition.
Despite what Japan may have taught you, giant mechanised suits are not always the answer
As you play the game, early on you might find one of the most powerful combat tools you unlock is the armoured, mech suit. When upgraded these can be very effective in combat, holding off large numbers of enemies while tanking a good deal of damage. However, in many cases the mech suit presents a burden to the team as a whole, the mech suit is slower than a diver on foot, and significantly so when compared to a diver with the cardio perk. Crucially, this then slows down your team, leads to more patrols activations, makes retreating less successful, and generally undermines more covert, and efficient strategies. If direct combat is seen as a last resort, then the mech can be seen as a stratagem whose utility is as a last resort. The mech has its uses, but those uses are situational, and it’s important to know the right time to call one in!