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Helldivers 2 Stratagems tier list

stratagems tier list

In Helldivers 2, bringing the right Stratagems for the mission is key to success in harder difficulties, along with the coordination of your squadmates. Some Stratagems have a lot of functionality and will always be a great addition to an operation. Some have very specific use cases but are effective at what they do for that one purpose. Whether fighting the Terminids or the Automatons, certain Stratagems are better than others. This tier list ranks Stratagems based on their overall firepower, utility, and niches that they fill as well as provide some context as to why they’re ranked as such.

S-Tier

  • Eagle Strafing Run
  • Orbital Airburst
  • Machine Gun
  • Autocannon Sentry
  • Recoilless Rifle
  • Railgun
  • Gatling Sentry/Machine Gun Sentry
  • Eagle Airstrike
  • Orbital Railcannon Strike
  • Spear
  • Eagle Napalm Airstrike / Orbital Gas Strike
  • Supply Pack
  • Orbital Laser

A-Tier

  • Orbital Precision Strike
  • Eagle Cluster Bomb
  • Disposable Anti-Tank Rocket
  • Eagle 110MM Rocket Pod
  • Jump Pack
  • Eagle 500kg Bomb
  • Flamethrower
  • Stalwart
  • Rocket Sentry
  • HMG Emplacement
  • Tesla Tower

B-Tier

  • Orbital Gatling Strike
  • Orbital Walking Barrage
  • Anti Personnel Mines
  • Incendiary Mines
  • Laser Cannon
  • Guard Dog Rover/Guard Dog
  • Arc Thrower
  • EMS Mortar Sentry/Mortar Sentry

C-Tier

  • Anti Material Rifle
  • Orbital Smoke Strike
  • Eagle Smoke Strike
  • Orbital 380MM HE Barrage
  • Orbital 120MM HE Barrage

S-Tier Explanation

Eagle Strafing Run

The Eagle Strafing Run is an excellent starting Stratagem that can clear groups well and gives you plenty of control over where to place it. It will destroy targets directly in front of your beacon and is called down relatively quickly. It can one-shot bug Spitters, Brood Commanders, and Stalkers reliably. While it lacks any armor penetration capabilities, it still clears out massive groups of lesser enemies with little risk of friendly fire.

Orbital Airburst

The Orbital Airbust also has great horde clear potential with the same amount of control as the Eagle Strafing Run Stratagem but also fires 3 barrages that will spawn camp any enemy coming out of a Bug Breach. This also has the added benefit of having a decent cooldown rate without having to rearm like the Eagle Stratagems. It will also hit almost exactly where you throw the beacon, giving you greater control on where they strike.

Machine Gun

The Machine Gun support Stratagem is one of the best early-game weapons for Terminids and Automatons with its high magazine capacity, fire rate, and damage. While it has a lengthy and risky reload process, it makes short work of lightly armored enemies like the Spitters, which can easily overwhelm you and your team if left alone. They can also deal with the weakspots of heavily armored enemies like Chargers, making the Machine Gun a reliable weapon even up to higher difficulties.

Autocannon Sentry

Armored enemies become more common in greater difficulties, but the Autocannon Sentry Stratagem can easily dispatch them without putting yourself at risk. Many players have discovered that the Autocannon Sentry can kill Chargers, Bile Titans, Hulks, and Tanks by themselves, making them a top choice for Elimination-type missions. Sentry weapons in general, have long cooldowns, so always bring a backup anti-armor weapon after calling them down, which brings us to the next Stratagem.

Recoilless Rifle

The Recoilless Rifle is a staple weapon for many armored enemies, with its excellent damage and ability to strip armor plates from enemies. When crewed with a teammate carrying the support backpack, this weapon makes short work out of Bile Titans and Hulks as the reload speed will be exponentially faster than when trying to reload it alone. If you’re going solo however, the Railgun is a solid alternative, as it has the same armor penetration abilities as the Recoilless Rifle but deals less damage. Its reload speed is fast and has more ammo reserves, but will take longer to kill Bile Titans or Chargers.

Gatling Sentry / Machine Gun Sentry

Gatling Sentries make defending objective sites a cakewalk by dealing with lesser enemies for you. The Machine Gun Sentry is paired with this Stratagem since they both share the same function and cooldown timers, except one shoots faster and has more ammo than the other. Still, having both Stratagems will serve you well on missions that require you to defend a position.

Eagle Airstrike

Eagle Airstrikes are highly versatile, with enough explosive power to destroy outposts, kill armored targets, and a decent area effect for precision bombardment. If you’re not sure what Stratagem to bring in a mission, bring an Eagle Airstrike with you as it can solve a lot of problems in any mission.

Orbital Railcannon

If there is a particular target that you want dead, look no further than the Orbital Railcannon Strike, as not only does one shot Chargers and heavily damage Bile Titans and Hulks, but it will automatically track to the nearest heavily armored target for you, making it a powerful fire-and-forget Stratagem. Friendly fire is a non-issue here as it has no explosion radius but superior armor penetration. It is a must-have for any mission loaded with armored targets.

Spear

The Spear support Stratagem is a missile launcher with lock-on capabilities, which also has a two-man crew function for faster reload times. It will home in on heavy targets and deal significant damage that can remove their armor, opening up for small arms fire. A fun alternative to the Recoilless Rifle if you prefer missile launchers.

Eagle Napalm Strike / Orbital Gas Strike

Bug Breaches and Bot Drops will make certain areas problematic to deal with, but the Eagle Napalm Strike and Orbital Gas Strike will lock down an area of your choice, coating it in corrosive gas or fire that will make targets weaker. Since Bug Breaches are stationary and are marked by orange smoke, this will make any bugs emerging from the area vulnerable. Best paired with other offensive Stratagems for maximum effect.

Supply Pack

The Supply Pack Stratagem isn’t as destructive as an airstrike or a machine gun but is vital to the logistics of any mission, letting you and your team last far longer while the Supply Drop Stratagem is on cooldown. It’s simple: You carry a backpack filled with supplies containing ammo and grenades, which you can give to your teammates and yourself if ammo reserves start to run out. It will also store any excess supplies if there is enough space in your pack, making very efficient use of your stock. A nice bonus on easy missions and a lifesaver on harder difficulties, the Supply Pack will always be useful for any situation.

Orbital Laser Strike

Lastly, the Orbital Laser Strike is one of the end-all, be-all offensive Stratagems that will destroy anything in its path. Auto target tracking, building destruction, armored target DPS, the Orbital Laser does it all. Since it’s a laser, you can call down this Stratagem at danger close ranges as long as you stay away from any nearby targets. If you want to delete anything in a general direction with ease, get the Orbital Laser Strike.

A-Tier Explanation

Orbital Precision Strike

One of the starting Stratagems in the game, the Orbital Precision Strike is a simple Stratagem to use and does well at its job. Place a beacon down and watch a round explode on the exact spot with a decent area of effect. It can kill Chargers and hurt Bile Titans if you can land the shot. Being a precision weapon, it has a steep damage fall-off range and can be tricky to land effective hits with. However, when it does hit a target, expect it to go down shortly. It can also be used as an impromptu grenade for destroying a bug nest, bot fabricator, or objective structures if grenades are in short supply. It is a solid Stratagem and can work for any situation if you know how to place it and time it right.

Eagles Cluster Bomb

The Eagle Cluster Bomb destroys any target in a horizontal pattern and comes out quickly like any Eagle weapon. It can wipe out an entire area of weaker bugs and bots with smart placement, sparing your ammo reserves for bigger targets. It isn’t effective against armored targets, so best to use these with teammates that have anti-armor Stratagems with them.

Disposable Anti-Tank Launcher

Great for killing armored targets at early levels, the Disposable Anti-Tank Launcher is a safe and economical way of dealing with tanky enemies. It has a quick cooldown, and each drop comes with two launchers, making it a Stratagem to place down before engaging a boss enemy. While it lacks the ammo reserves of the Recoilless Rifle, Railgun, or Autocannon, it packs a punch and stands well all on its own.

Eagle 110MM Rocket Pod

The Eagle 110MM Rocket Pod is like the Orbital Railcannon Stratagem, which destroys the heaviest target that’s nearest to the beacon point. It has some explosive potential, but it's very small and won’t do well against enemy clusters. Still, it can kill armored targets and has a short cooldown timer in exchange for a lengthy rearming cooldown.

Jetpack

Sporting high vertical and horizontal movement speed and an overall fun Stratagem to use, the Jetpack can make fighting bugs almost trivial if you find high enough ground. You will, however, sacrifice your backspace, which could be used for wearing the support backpack of a heavy weapon, a Supply Pack, or a Guard Dog drone. If you’re going to sport this Stratagem, coordinate with your team first.

Eagle 500kg Bomb

The Eagle 500kg Bomb Stratagem is a veritable nuke with the gigantic blast radius it has. While its destructive power is absolute, many players end up getting caught in the blast radius and accidentally wiping the team. Be mindful of where you call them down, and you’ll rack up kills like no tomorrow.

Flamethrower

The Flamethrower is suited best against the bugs since it has zone denial and good horde-clearing power. However, it falls short against cyborg enemies since engagements with them are either medium to long-range. Meanwhile, the Stalwart machine gun is a good alternative to the regular machine gun, trading damage for a faster reload and deeper magazine capacity.

Rocket Sentry

This Stratagem deals excellent single target and AoE damage along with decent armor penetration power. On higher difficulties, this sentry will be more valuable against targets like the Spitters, Brood Commanders, and Chargers.However, friendly fire will be more frequent with the explosive radius and could even destroy itself if it hits terrain near it, so careful placement is needed.

HMG Emplacement/Tesla Tower

The HMG emplacement and Tesla tower Stratagems make for excellent defensive structures. However, the Tesla tower lacks the range of the MG and Minigun sentries, while the HMG leaves anyone manning it vulnerable to attacks, especially when facing the Automatons. Being strategic with these Stratagems will mitigate their weaknesses.


B-Tier Explanation

Orbital Gatling / Walking Barrage

The Orbital Gatling and Walking Barrage are destructive for sure, but they can be prone to being somewhat inaccurate with their shots. Stratagems like the Eagle Cluster Bombs and the Airburst work better at clearing enemy groups compared to the Orbital Gatling. The Walking Barrage does not move in a straight line, instead zigzagging forward, meaning that it’s more likely to miss groups.

Anti-Personnel / Incendiary Mines

Anti-Personnel and Incendiary Mines may sound good on paper with its zone denial capability, but that also prevents you and your team from traversing that area while less mindful players trip the mines themselves and die. It’s only use case is sealing off chokepoints and defending extraction zones, which they do exceptionally well, but not much else.

Laser Cannon

The Laser Cannon looks powerful at first, but its damage is rather lackluster, as it takes a few seconds of tracking to kill an elite bug. Other support weapons like the machine gun or the railgun perform far better than the laser cannon in terms of damage output and armor penetration. The upside to the Laser Cannon is that it theoretically has infinite ammo, provided that the weapon does not overheat. You may get the Laser Cannon if ammo efficiency is a priority, but there are better options in the support weapon roster.

Guard Dog Rover / Guard Dog

The Guard Dog drones are a great option for solo players needing an extra gun without having any teammates. The laser variant has infinite ammo and recharges on your backpack quickly, while the ballistic variant deals more damage than the laser drone. They can easily dispatch basic enemies, but greatly struggle against tougher enemies. When playing with teams on higher difficulties, you’re better off using a Supply Pack or the support backpack a teammate’s heavy weapon.

Mortar / EMS Mortar Sentry

The EMS Mortar Stratagem will lockdown all areas for you, stunning anything caught in the blast radius without calling in your own Orbital EMS Strike. Paired with the Mortar Sentry, you will lockdown areas with sheer oppressive zone denial. However, this is purely a defensive weapon, as using this to push an area or retreat will kill you and your whole team. While you can tell where a gun sentry is shooting and you can duck to avoid its fire, i the Mortar Sentry shows no indication of where it can fire next.

Arc Thrower

Like the Laser Cannon, the Arc Thrower is good when fighting against groups of weak enemies but not much else. While the arcing ability may seem useful, your primary weapons can do the exact same thing with enough accuracy. This weapon could serve to lockdown Bug Breaches and Bot Drops, but your offensive Stratagems can do that already with greater efficiency.

C-Tier Explanation

Anti Materiel Rifle

The Anti Materiel Rifle may look like it can deal heavy damage, but it’s only effective against lesser enemies with light armor and will drastically fall off against heavier armor. The Autocannon support weapon does everything the Anti Material Rifle does but with better anti-armor capability and damage.

Orbital Smoke / Eagle Smoke Strike

While the Orbital and Eagle Smoke Strike Stratagems have the purpose of evading large enemy hordes, that Stratagem slot could be used for something better, like the EMS Strikes, which stuns enemies and gives you a wide opening for offensive strikes. The smoke Stratagems are only to be ever used if avoiding patrols on higher difficulties is difficult.

Orbital 380MM / 120MM HE Barrage

The Orbital 380MM HE Barrage has a WIDE scatter and can go beyond the intended radius that you throw down. The only saving grace for this Stratagem is that it can be used to pre-emptively destroy Terminid and Automaton outposts with its higher yield explosive radius and is only ever meant to be a building destroyer. The same cannot be said for the 120MM HE Barrage, which is incredibly inaccurate and inconsistent with its performance. Using this on any Bug Breach or Bot Drop will guarantee to kill you and your team more than it will the enemy with how inaccurate the spread can be. If using these stratagems, stand very clear and use these only on outposts.

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