Helldivers 1:AC-3 Arc Thrower

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Fully upgraded AC-3 Arc Thrower

The Arc Thrower projects an arc of lightning that follows the path of least resistance. The weapon can be charged up for a more powerful effect.

— Armory Description

Unlock Requirement

The AC-3 Arc Thrower unlocks at rank 22 (Field Marshal).


Upgrade Requirements Cost Effect
Upgrade Faster Charge.png Faster Charge Research-point.png 2 It takes less time to reach full charge.
Upgrade Increased Range.png Increased Range Faster Charge Research-point.png 1 Upgrades the range of the weapon.

Faster Charge

  • Improving the power generation and capacitors decreases the charge time significantly.

Increased Range

  • Improvements and tweaks allows the shots fired to travel a greater distance before losing their power.

Weapon Stats

As it is an Arc weapon, the AC-3 does not require any ammunition to fire.

Gameplay Tips

  • The AC-3 Arc Thrower is a highly unorthodox weapon to learn and use. While capable of heavily damaging mobs and single targets, its charge mechanic severely cripples mobility and turn speed necessitating careful positioning and timing to use effectively. Kiting enemies is the most effective way of maximizing damage for all Arc weapons; pairing the Arc Thrower with Cardio Accelerator and either the SH-20 Shield Generator Pack or SH-32 Directional Kinetic Shield makes kiting and maintaining a safe distance from mobs much easier. It also has excellent synergy with movement-impeding stratagems and perks such as the Static Field Conductors and Stun Grenades.
  • An Arc weapon blast, if it connects with a target unit, will always ignore angle and assume the hit to be to the front of the unit. This can be demonstrated by shooting an upgraded HAV or a Cyborg Hulk with its shield raised while standing behind them.
  • The Arc Thrower is capable of eradicating or crippling large groups of enemies in a single charge. The longer the trigger is held, the more damaging the arc and the more enemies the chain can link to.
  • If you need to reposition quickly but have your Arc weapon charged up, a good practice is to discharge it in the opposite direction of any friendly Helldivers and objectives.
  • Charging an Arc weapon slows the user's movement to a crawl, which can hold back the rest of the squad. Divers should prioritize movement over fighting and only attack nearby scouts if necessary.
  • Hitting other players who wear an active SH-20 Shield Generator Pack can extend the range of the Arc Throwers weapon blast without damaging or killing the other player. The Shield, however, will be disabled when hit and must recharge again.
  • The range of the Arc Thrower can be extended by hitting enemies it cannot normally damage such as IFVs to allow chaining shots around cover. Be wary of nearby divers and objectives however as they will take a considerable amount of damage or be destroyed outright.


Sidearms Assault rifles LMGs Shotguns SMGs Precision Explosive Laser tech Arc tech
P-2 Peacemaker AR-19 Liberator MG-105 Stalwart SG-225 Breaker SMG-45 Defender LHO-63 Camper CR-9 Suppressor LAS-5 Scythe AC-3 Arc Thrower
P-6 Gunslinger AR-22C Patriot SG-8 Punisher MP-98 Knight SMG RX-1 Rail Gun PLAS-1 Scorcher LAS-16 Sickle AC-5 Arc Shotgun
FLAM-24 Pyro AR-20L Justice DBS-2 Double Freedom SMG-34 Ninja M2016 Constitution LAS-12 Tanto
PLAS-3 Singe AR-14D Paragon LAS-13 Trident
Heavy Weapons

MG-94 Machine Gun MGX-42 Machine Gun AC-22 Dum-Dum LAS-98 Laser Cannon FLAM-40 Incinerator TOX-13 Avenger

Obliterator Grenade Launcher MLS-4X Commando RL-112 Recoilless Rifle EAT-17 REC-6 Demolisher M-25 Rumbler