HELLDIVERS Beginner Guide

If you’re new to HELLDIVERS, here’s our guide containing detailed information about squads, missions, and much more.

Beginner Guide

This guide will try to go over topics that are necessary or useful for a new player to get a feel for. It contains mostly things that new players may not know, as well as some miscellaneous advice.


A collection of essential things to note when diving with your squad.


Being downed does not make you just bait for bloodthirsty enemies!

The New Diver's guide to Liberty

The New Diver's guide to LibertyThe New Diver's guide to LibertyThe New Diver's guide to LibertyThe New Diver's guide to LibertyThe New Diver's guide to LibertyThe New Diver's guide to LibertyThe New Diver's guide to LibertyThe New Diver's guide to Liberty

  • While downed, you can still use the Stratagem menu and Fire your One-Handed Weapon (SMG, Sawn-Off Double Barrel, Sidearm)
  • Additionally, any projectiles (Explosives excluded) will fly above you, allowing you to crawl under the fire of your teammates, emplacements and (most) cyborg enemies.

Look for the ONE HAND Property on weapons.

Most importantly, if you are the last diversta crawling, your first action should ALWAYS be to Reinforce your team. If the enemy is swarming you, trust me, you will NOT have time to get back up.

Be mindful where you throw the reinforce, if you toss it into a death pit, it won’t work.
Additionally, you may simply hold it in your hand until you are killed. You will drop the beacon when dying, reinforcing the entire squad, yourself included.

The New Diver's guide to LibertyThe New Diver's guide to LibertyThe New Diver's guide to LibertyThe New Diver's guide to LibertyThe New Diver's guide to LibertyPRACTICE AND UPGRADE YOUR REINFORCE STRATAGEM. IT SAVES ENTIRE MISSIONS.

The New Diver's guide to Liberty

Try to toss the reinforce beacon relatively close to lost One-Time drop gear, so your teammates may pick up their gear quicker and retreat, if need be.

Do NOT throw your teammates’ reinforce into a horde of enemies. Crushing targets on the way down is always fun, however the game attempts to avoid landing on enemies at the time of pod spawn, while cool, it’s unreliable, and throwing your allies in the middle of a horde won’t give them a desirable life expectancy.

Most importantly, if you die, BE PATIENT. If Your team, or the last Diver standing isn’t reinforcing you, DO NOT HOUND THEM with Reinforce requests before looking at their nameplate. You can see all of your teammates’ stratagem cooldowns as they happen. If that Reinforce is there, THEY LITERALLY CAN’T.

Some areas in cyborg missions are also covered by Stratagem Jammers (AA Cannons). While dead, you will not see the jammer effect, if you’re not being reinforced, this might also be a reason.

Additionally, it’s recommended to keep going if only one Diver has been killed during certain objectives, specifically the Escort Survivors objective, as reinforcing might hold the camera for too long and cause the entire team to get swarmed.


A wounded Helldiver may as well be dead, so let’s give them a taste.

As you may have noticed from the Tutorial, Helldivers have 2 sets of Health. The first half, is “Constitution” – aka Downed Health, this will decay over time for as long as you’re downed.
The second, right-side half, is your actual Health, if this depletes, leaving your total health bar half-way empty, you will be downed.

So, a Helldiver with little Health, may become a dead helldiver soon, likely at the worst of times.

Do your fellow divers a favor, and smack them over the head with the butt of your weapon, then pick them back up!
But don’t pick up a teammate being targeted by an IFV, they fire in rhythm, the best time to pick them up is exactly right after they fire over their head, otherwise the next shot will obliterate them (and probably you, too)

The New Diver's guide to Liberty


  • Switch to your Sidearm if your main weapon has a bayonet attached.

Reviving a downed Helldiver will grant them about 80% of their Health, giving them a chance to withstand a surprise hit from off-screen or unfortunate friendly fire

The New Diver's guide to Liberty

Take note NOT to do this if the Diver’s health is quickly regenerating, this means the player is using the MD-99 Injector, their health begins regeneration almost immediately after taking damage, and they can pick themselves back up far, far faster than someone who isn’t.

Health takes about 36 Seconds to fully regenerate, while the Injector cuts that down to a mere 6 seconds.


The Tutorial isn’t all-encompassing, so you may not have known that some weapons benefit from “Assisted Reload” – namely, both one-time drop Rocket Launchers – RL-112 Recoilless Rifle and MLS-4X Commando

The New Diver's guide to LibertyThe New Diver's guide to Liberty

If it comes with a Backpack

Assisted Reload weapons can be reloaded manually by their wielder, if they’re wearing the Support Backpack, however this process will lock you in place for about 5 seconds.
Yes, it’s that slow.
Assisted Reload is instant, and will only lock the backpack wearer in place for about half a second, to play the reload animation, however, the wielder can fire their weapon the moment the animation begins, as the weapon is reloaded when the backpack wearer interacts with the reload prompt.

If you’ve begun the lenghty self-reload at a bad time, you may cancel out of it by switching weapons.

But not everything must be purely a means to decimate the enemies of Managed Democracy, some, more selfless Divers, put their trust in their comrades, and take a slightly less Offensive role.

The New Diver's guide to Liberty

Here is your new best or worst friend – which will keep you alive under any circumstance, or give you PTSD, from IFV shells visiting your cranial region.

Meet the Heal Beam Support Diver (HBSD)

The REP-80 can heal anything not nailed down (Cannot heal any type of objective, Survivors being the exception) from Divers unfortunate enough to find themselves on the floor, to vehicles that have taken too much of a beating, and might even be flaming!

(You can save Burning vehicles by healing them – won’t do anything if they get fully destroyed)



Keep in mind at all times:

The enemy is without number, and they will never relent. You’re not here to kill, you’re here to get the job done

You’re in hostile territory, your goal is Objectives, not kill count (unless one of the objectives is a kill count, though you will usually get those done while doing the other objectives)

If you don’t need to protect a stationary target – MOVE

Minimize the time you spend away from objectives, do your best to stay on the move, the more you try to fight, the more you might end up needing to fight.
It’s a battle of attrition, and you’re endlessly outnumbered.

The higher in difficulty you go, the more you’ll notice how bad of an idea it is to loiter more than necessary – but in some cases, it can be helpful.

There are only so many enemies allowed to spawn at the same time, if you have a defense objective and happen to shoot out the tracks of an IFV, you can stand right next to it in order to basically disable it. The IFV will not fire at any target that is too close to self-damage, as long as the Helldiver it’s targeting stands next to it, it’ll be safe, and in missions other than Retaliatory Strikes, only one IFV can be active on the field at any time.

One-Time Drop gear is valuable, but the mission is much more so, if that gear is behind an enemy horde and you have no way to clear it out, retreat and circle back to it.

One-time drop gear does not despawn (or if it does, it takes really damn long), you can pick it up once you’ve lured away the approaching horde, or at a later time when it’s safe to come back to the area.


Certain objectives, enemies or emplacements don’t have a singular way to complete, or destroy.

Remember those Stratagem Jamming AA Cannon areas mentioned earlier?

The New Diver's guide to Liberty

You can destroy those with any weapon or stratagem with the ANTI-TANK property – this applies to all destroy objectives as well, while other, heavily armored enemies, can be crushed by incoming hellpods, and, in the case of the Bugs, every enemy, no matter their armor thickness, is vulnerable to Toxic damage.

Some Destroy objectives, such as Bug Hives, do not strictly require weapons with the ANTI-TANK property, weapons with the EXPLOSIVE property, such as the M-25 Rumbler will suffice, if landed in its weak point (The hive’s central hole)

The New Diver's guide to Liberty

Any weapon or stratagem with the TOXIC property will cause enemies damaged by it to take damage over time.

The New Diver's guide to Liberty

Additionally, some weapons such as the TOX-13 Avenger and the Static Field Conductors stratagem can slow enemies to a crawl with the SLOWING property.

If you’re in a hurry, that NUX Hellbomb drop might not be worth the wait, so if you find yourself in one of these situations, consider bringing along your wrong tool of choice.


The enemy never stops, every battle won is but a brief window to the next assault – BE PREPARED.

Just because you have to sit for a minute and a half around that rocket, doesn’t mean you should let your guard down – PATROLS are always on the prowl, and active objectives will attract them, keep an eye on your map, those red pings aren’t just decorative – they’re enemy patrols or what i call-

  • HARASSERS – these types of squads show up on the map as pings, but do not contain an “alarm unit” capable of raising the alarm, they are squads meant to disrupt you and slow you down, and each race has their own.
The New Diver's guide to Liberty
  • Cyborgs have the Hounds – fast robotic dogs that will attempt to charge at high speed any unprotected Helldiver – They will not charge at vehicles, objectives or Helldivers wearing an active SH-20 Shield Generator Pack – they will, however, attempt to bite any of these if they’re within close proximity.

Hounds will also be briefly stunned if hitting any form of obstacle while charging a Helldiver, including a Helldiver protected by the SH-20 Shield Pack – however, this will deal a bit of damage to the shield’s health.

The New Diver's guide to Liberty
  • Illuminates have the Hunters – These pesky cowards will largely sit just off the screen or at its edges, and attempt to snipe any form of enemy emplacement or Objective with a high powered beam, enough to instantly kill an unprotected Helldiver unfortunate enough to be in its path when it is fired. The beam is very obvious and requires a few seconds to fully charge before it fires, narrowing in thickness as it nears completion.
The New Diver's guide to Liberty
  • Bugs have the Stalker – This cowardly specimen can turn almost fully invisible, their attacks deal little damage, and are a pushover on their own, however their attack will temporarily slow down any Helldiver hit by it. Once fired upon, the Stalker will attempt to retreat and regenerate health, turning semi-invisible once more, and will keep its distance until it regenerates enough to attempt another attack.
  • If you need to retreat, putting only a couple bullets in this enemy will keep them away from you for a little while.

The evolution of the Stalker – the Shadow, has the same properties, however the Shadow is also able to sound the alarm if given the chance.


At all times, especially in the middle of a chaotic firefight – PATROLS ARE TOP PRIORITY – The more Patrols have the chance to sound the alarm, the worse things will get, if you have a chance to take down a patrol – TAKE IT.


Patrols also function on a strictly line of sight manner – Environmental objects, walls, rocks – anything you cannot physically move or shoot over will block patrol line of sight – essentially making it possible to let patrols close in on your position for easier shots, without sounding the alarm first from their maximum detection range.
Sometimes, Patrols will know where, you specifically are, even if they’ve never seen you or sounded the alarm and will do their best to path towards you through the shortest route, which is helpful, as they will STILL need line of sight in order to attempt an alarm and this pathing attempt can be abused to stall them, as the AI will always attempt to intercept your current trajectory, making it possible to have a whole patrol squad dance around rocks.

Patrols that have spawned in and are physically rendered are not attracted to the sound of gunfire – the only way to attract them to your position with weapons is by landing a shot on any of that patrol squad’s members.

Patrols are also attracted to Stratagem Beacons – A bright beam of light visible from orbit isn’t exactly subtle, and will cause any rendered or simulated patrols on the map to redirect their pathing towards the beacon’s source.

Harasser squads know your location at all times – so be vigilant once one spawns, while (most) cannot sound the alarm on their own, you may find yourself knocked over by a Hound right when a patrol shows up.


Friendly fire is quite a topic in the gaming industry, if you’re a new player, you may not understand how little impact malicious players actually have on you in this matter.

Now don’t get me wrong, that’s not to say malicious players are common or anything, in all the time i’ve played, i’ve only met, maybe… 4 or 5 of these “funny guys”


Look, i’ll say it outright, if you’re that kind of guy that thinks it’s funny to join people’s missions just to kill them and ruin their run – you’re wasting your time – believe it or not, Arrowhead accounted for this kind of behavior, so, if you think you’ve won by joining someone’s game and successfully killing the rest of the squad, well, sorry to burst your bubble, but you haven’t actually accomplished your goal.

If you try to kill your teammates, and get kicked, or leave the match, everyone else in the squad is immediately reinforced once you’re out of the lobby.

If you’re hosting and happen to have a “funny guy” join, the best you can do is kick them.
If you’re alive, you can simply carry on, if you and everyone else died, you’ll be reinforced.

With that out of the way, let’s talk about some things to keep in mind while diving with a team.


  • Spread out your lines of fire – Guarding objectives isn’t the toughest thing ever, but trying to help too much might get your squad down a member or two. If two of your teammates are already covering one side of the screen, cover the opposite side from a position where you won’t shoot each other should you need to fire towards a point where your imaginary guarding zones would intersect.
  • Narrow Paths lead to narrow deaths – Related to the previous point – while navigating narrow pathways, always attempt to stay on the edges of the path if you’re the front lead, and in the middle if you’re running behind.
    If you have a weapon with spread, like a shotgun, or collaterally dangerous, like the PLAS-1 Scorcher always attempt to be in the front, as the spread or collateral effects of some weapons might harm your teammates.
    There’s really only one place the enemy can be in front of you, spreading out this way will allow everyone on the team to fire on any enemy that shows up.
  • Boots & Bodyguards – Listen, we all know it, the dreaded All-Terrain Boots are basically mandatory for Snow Planets and quite useful in Jungle Planets – but, while the game goes on sale for very cheap quite often – not everyone might have these.

If you’ve got boots, your job is now to assist anyone on your team that doesn’t.

If you don’t have boots, bring the jetpack! It’s extremely useful and can keep up with boot users just fine – but there’s a problem, the jetpack is a backpack – meaning if you die, you have to pick it back up or be slow. But it’s not the end – this is where your comrades in boots come in.

If you’ve lost your jetpack, or don’t have one to begin with, your job is to lead, or stay as close to the lead as you can – your comrades in boots can catch up to you – you cannot.

Snow planets are majority covered in thick snow that will slow you to a walk, but there’s plenty of patches all over that aren’t covered in snow. If you don’t have boots, do your best to walk these spots, it’s the only place where you have full mobility.

As always, you’ll most likely be lagging slightly behind everyone else, if there are enemies chasing you, your teammates will most likely attempt to stall or kill them – while they do this, KEEP MOVING – your teammates are covering your retreat – if you’re not at the front of the pack – you don’t stop to shoot back

Jungle Boots are good, living friends are better – Look, don’t be that one guy that brings the boots to a jungle map then sprint across a pond – You can move quickly, but your team can’t, moving through water will slow anyone not wearing the boots, and in the middle of a fight? You all better have the firepower to hold the enemy off while you walk like an old man, cause your enemies don’t care about water and will walk at full speed through it.

If you bring the boots, however, you’re now the designated water sample collector. Sure, anyone can pick up samples, but only a boot wearer doesn’t get slowed down by water, drastically cutting the time it takes to grab a sample there.


As a starter note – DO NOT PICK UP GEAR THAT DOESN’T BELONG TO YOU unless that gear comes with extras – such as Jetpacks or the Support Backpack from a rocket drop.

With that said – drastic times require drastic actions —

  • Picture this – You’re cornered, 2 Behemoth bugs are stuck in a Static field on the bottom path, a horde of Brood Commanders are closing in on the left side, your teammate using the TOX sprayer to keep the brood commanders moving slowly overextends just a second too soon, and is mauled by one before it dies from the poison.
    This is a drastic situation in which quick judgement could save you, or get everyone else killed, in this situation, the best course of action would be to grab your teammate’s TOX sprayer, and continue with their role.
  • Once you’re out of that predicament and have a moment to breathe, return the gear, either by replacing it with something else (your own gear, or a shared cooldown drop such as the EAT-17) or grenading yourself to drop it.
  • Other such situations would be during a quick retreat – if you’re using no secondary weapon, or one that has a cooldown, and your teammate with one-time drops it by dying for any reason – it’s a good idea to grab their gear during a retreat if there’s nothing left for you to do in that area anymore.
  • You can replace your gear, they can’t replace theirs, and they’ll most likely appreciate relocating their gear to a safer place. Once you’re at a safe enough distance from the horde you were running from in the first place – reinforce them, then return said gear. if you don’t have what to replace it with, or any grenades left for a heroic sacrifice, you can let your teammate’s hellpod land on you instead.



Self-Explanatory terms will be marked with SE – however a description will follow regardless. Some Self-Explanatory terms may have effects not immediately understandable from an outside perspective unfamiliar with the game, or not immediately obvious what they represent across gear and will not be marked as such.

SE behaves in a way familiar and/or mostly consistent with other games.

Variables in behavior for gear with the same terminology will be marked as VA (Variable Annotation)

Stratagems are separated into 4 categories.

The New Diver's guide to Liberty


  • Gear, Weapons, Vehicles, Resupplies
  • Everything you need to dispense freedom.

The New Diver's guide to Liberty


  • Turrets, Mines, Barbed Wire, Emplacements
  • Everything you need to keep the enemy out.

The New Diver's guide to Liberty


  • Static Fields, Airstrikes, Orbital Strikes, Shredders
  • Everything you need to discipline any dissenters.

The New Diver's guide to Liberty


  • Reinforce, Emergency Beacon, NUX-223 Hellbomb, ME-1 Sniffer Metal Detector
  • Tools to keep you in the fight, and get the job done.
  • BACKPACKSE – Gear that occupies the backpack slot and replaces any other active backpack.
  • MULTI-TARGETSE/VA – Weapons/Emplacements that can target two or more entities by chaining simultaneously or from one to the next.
    (The REP-80 healing gun will chain from one ally to other allies or allied emplacements, while the AC6 Tesla Tower will target multiple entities (friend or foe) simultaneously, as well as chain to targets just outside its radius if close enough to each other.)
  • MOVE AND FIRE – Used in Supply Stratagems. Secondary weapons allow moving while aiming. Backpacks allow the backpack’s drone to move and function at the same time.
  • OVERHEATSSE – Used in Laser Weapons, which require no ammunition to fire, but will require expending a Heat Sink if the weapon overheats while firing it. Continuous beam weapons can damage heavily armored enemies, though not highly effective.
  • INCENDIARYSE/VA – Weapons/Stratagems that leave fire in their wake, preventing enemies from pathing through the fire left on terrain.
    (The Obliterator Grenade Launcher’s Incendiary projectiles don’t leave fire in their wake, as the flames disappear almost immediately when they form. The DBS-2 Double Freedom shotgun does not create pools of fire on terrain.)
  • EXPLOSIVESE/VA – Weapons that can damage armored targets that do not require exclusively Anti-Tank ordnance.
    (The M-25 Rumbler can damage Warlords, but the Obliterator Grenade Launcher, also marked with EXPLOSIVE, cannot. The Airstrike stratagem is able to destroy heavily armored targets despite only being marked with explosive.)
  • HOMINGSE – Weapons or Stratagems whose fire/payload will attempt to track and home in on enemies.
  • ANTI-TANKSE – Weapons/Stratagems that are capable of damaging heavily armored targets.
  • ASSISTED RELOADSE – Weapons that can be reloaded by a teammate for higher efficiency.
  • AP-AMMO – Weapons with Armor-Penetrating Ammunition – AP Ammo does not allow piercing armor, it only reduces the armor value of enemies that don’t require AT, dealing more damage to them.
  • LASER SIGHTSE – Adds a laser sight to assist while aiming the weapon.
  • REMOTE DETONATIONSE – Used by REC-6 Demolisher – allows remotely detonating thrown charges by using the Reload Input
  • IGNORE ARMORSE – Weapons will deal their maximum effective damage regardless if the shot was not perpendicular or center mass.
  • TOXIC – Weapons/Stratagems that poison any enemy/friendly, temporarily causing rapid Damage Over Time.
  • SLOWINGSE/VA – Weapons/Stratagems that slow entities to a crawl – Escort Survivors unaffected
    (The TOX-13 Avenger is slightly less effective than the Static Field Conductors, which slow enemies down to an almost complete stop.)
  • STUNSE – Will temporarily prevent Enemies from Moving or Attacking – Helldivers will only have their movement stopped, but can dive to move – Escort Survivors unaffected.
  • REVEAL OBJECTIVES / SHOW SAMPLESSE – Exclusive to Humblebee UAV drone, will reveal search objective location and the location of research samples once upgraded. Default, un-upgraded effect extends the map’s radar ping distance, allowing the team to see Patrol pings from further away.
  • MINI STUN – Rounds fired by weapons with mini-stun will briefly halt the movement of enemies damaged by it, does not interrupt actions. Also used by the AD-334 Guard Dog backpack’s flying turret once upgraded.
  • WARNING SIRENSE – Used exclusively by the Shredder Missile Strike, will play a warning siren once the beacon activates.
  • ARM SWIVEL – Exclusive to Exosuits (Mechs) allows the weapons of the exosuit to move slightly without the need for the whole chassis to change direction. While not marked as such, the EXO-51 Lumberer Exosuit benefits from this on its small flamethrower arm.
  • BURST FIRESE – Allows the weapon to fire in 3 round bursts
  • ONE HANDSE – Weapon can be held in one hand, allowing it to be used while downed or carrying a heavy object.
  • IMPROVED MELEE – Weapons marked as such have a Bayonet attached.
  • UNSTOPPABLE – Weapon’s ammunition will pass through enemies it successfully damages.
  • CHARGE UP – Exclusive to the Arc Thrower and Arc Shotgun – Weapons are fired by holding down the trigger and charging the shot. Does not require ammunition or heat sinks, cannot overheat.

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