9 beginners tips to know before starting Helldivers 2

9 beginners tips to know before starting Helldivers 2

Helldivers 2 is a riveting game filled with odd quirks for you to wrap your mind around — you know, for Democracy. Being a co-op game (and one with friendly fire), there is a lot of pressure to get things “right” during your first mission for Super Earth.

In this Helldivers 2 beginner’s guide, we’re going to walk you through nine tips to help you become a true Helldiver and do your part to win the day.

Pay attention to your orders

A Helldiver looks at their Orders in Helldivers 2 Image: Arrowhead Game Studios via Polygon

Before you ever go on a mission in Helldivers 2, you should pull up your orders, which you can find in the bottom right of your screen. There are Major Orders, which tell you which of the two factions Super Earth is currently waging a war against. And there’s occasionally a Minor Order, which is more of a side quest.

The Major Orders are things the entire Helldivers 2 community is working toward — like liberating a sector of planets from the Tyranids. Winning a Major Order typically gives everyone in the community a burst of currency.

Minor Orders are more specific and only apply to you and your party. They’ll ask you to do things like kill three Charger enemies or get kills with a certain kind of Support Weapon. These are absolutely worth focusing on, as they’ll give you plenty of Medals to use for unlocking new things.

Complete as much of the mission as you can

The mission complete screen for Helldivers 2 Image: Arrowhead Game Studios via Polygon

The fastest way to level up in Helldivers 2 is to drop in, complete the objective, and then leave without doing anything else. However, in order to help your Major Order and get some additional currencies (which we’ll get to in a second), it’s best for your crew to fully clear out the map before extracting.

You definitely want to make sure you finish the main objective early on, that way you can still extract if things go badly. But if you have the revives available, you’ll earn bonus XP and Requisition slips for each side objective and enemy nest you destroy.

The more you clear the map before extracting, the more you’ll contribute to Super Earth’s Major Order. So do your part.

Prioritize grabbing Samples

A Helldiver grabs a sample in Helldivers 2 Image: Arrowhead Game Studios via Polygon

Requisition Slips and Medals are extremely important in Helldivers 2, but Samples are both the most important resource and the most scarce.

To gather Samples, you’ll need to find plants and Sample nodes during your missions. You’ll then need to pocket them and extract without dying. If you do die while holding a bunch of Samples, you or a party member will need to pick them up from your body before extracting. The good news is that all Samples are shared among party members, so if you pick up the common green Samples, everyone will get five at the end of the mission. As you increase your difficulty in Helldivers 2, you’ll find more and more Samples of rarer and rarer types.

As for why you need them, you’ll use Samples to upgrade your ship and its various departments. These upgrades impact the various Stratagems that come from that area of the ship, allowing your airstrikes or orbital cannon attacks to become stronger or more reliable in the field.

Make sure to bring a Support Weapon

A Helldiver uses a machine gun in Helldivers 2 Image: Arrowhead Game Studios via Polygon

Your Helldiver has three weapon slots in Helldivers 2: primary, secondary, and Support Weapon. Before loading into your mission, you can select the first two, but you won’t be able to fit a Support Weapon into your drop pod. In order to get one, you’ll need to either rely on an ally’s death, get lucky in the open world, or equip a Support Weapon Stratagem.

Those first two options aren’t great, because they rely on luck and stealing things from teammates. Instead, try to dedicate one of your Stratagem slots to a Support Weapon so that you can utilize that slot and make the most out of Resupply ammo packs. Plus, Support Weapons are extremely powerful, and are the best non-explosive options for dealing with armored enemies.

Watch out for your teammates

A Helldiver gets team-killed in Helldivers 2 Image: Arrowhead Game Studios via Polygon

As mentioned in the intro, Helldivers 2 has friendly fire. That means you can blow up your friends just as easily as your enemies. In fact, accidentally killing a fellow Helldiver is much easier than taking down a Hulk or Charger.

Here are just a few ways I’ve accidentally been killed by my allies in Helldivers 2:

  • Shot by their gun
  • Shot by their turret
  • Blown up by their badly placed mines
  • Annihilated by their airstrike
  • Blown up by their barrage

Some of these were funny at the time, I’ll admit. But even goofy betrayal can get old after a while — especially when it costs your team the mission. Keep in mind that your allies are the most useful tools you have against the enemies of Super Earth, so keep an eye out for them when you’re launching explosives and other deadly Stratagems.

Change your loadout to compliment your allies and the mission type

A Helldiver uses the Orbital Precision Strike in Helldivers 2 Image: Arrowhead Game Studios via Polygon

Some mission types in Helldivers 2 call for a loadout change. If you’re going against a massive Bile Titan, you probably want an Orbital Laser and a Railgun. But if you’re just holding off an army of robots, turrets and mortars are your best bets for success. When the loadout screen pops up, consider what you’ll actually be doing in the mission and try your best to be flexible.

This is also something to keep in mind when it comes to dealing with your allies. Maybe you don’t like running Stratagems like the Orbital Laser, but if you’re the highest level member of your party, it might be best for you to swap over to it. Similarly, if you have a party member that’s using a lot of Stratagems that have very long cooldowns, maybe you should swap to some with short cooldowns, like the Eagle Airstrike.

Just try your best to be flexible with each mission.

Stick with your party for an Operation

A Helldiver completes an Operation in Helldivers 2 Image: Arrowhead Game Studios via Polygon

Operations are groups of missions in Helldivers 2, and they become very important the more you increase your difficulty. Every mission you complete in Helldivers 2 gives you Medals. But completing subsequent missions in the same Operation will give you even more Medals. For example, the first mission completion for a Hard Operation would give you four Medals, while the second would give you six, and the finale would give you eight.

Whenever possible, you should start an Operation with the intention to finish it. You’ll miss out on a lot of bonus Medals if you just do the first two missions and then quit before the third.

Spend your medals wisely

A Helldiver buys a new gun in Helldivers 2 Image: Arrowhead Game Studios via Polygon

Warbonds are your Fortnite-like unlock tracks in Helldivers 2. Basically each Warbond has multiple pages of rewards. You start with only one page unlocked, and you’ll need to spend Medals in that Warbond to unlock subsequent pages. This means that if you want a weapon on page six, you’re going to need to buy a lot of items in the first five pages.

It’s important to look through the Warbonds early on in your Helldivers career — especially if you’ve purchased the Steeled Veterans premium Warbond or any of the post-launch Warbonds. Figure out what items you want first so you can invest your Medals in the right places. If you spread your Medals between Warbonds, you might find yourself behind for your level.

Helldivers 2 is better with other people

A group of Helldivers fight a big bug in Helldivers 2 Image: Arrowhead Game Studios

There’s a lot of fun to be had solo in Helldivers 2 — it’s a great game that feels great to play. But Helldivers is very much a multiplayer franchise, and is best experienced with a group.

Thankfully, Helldivers 2 has a very easy-to-use matchmaking system (now that the post-launch issues are mostly sorted), and you can just drop into another player’s Operation by selecting it on the map. Even better, Helldivers 2 with friends is a hilarious experience that can also be very satisfying. Assuming you have cool friends instead of jerks who want to kill you as much as they want to kill the enemies, co-op with pals is by far the best way to experience the game.

If you’re mostly a solo player in Helldivers 2, I really recommend you try branching out if you can. Even without a mic or any communication skills, you can do much more For Democracy with a squad than without one.