Helldivers 1:LAS-12 Tanto

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Fully upgraded LAS-12 Tanto

This is an attempt to pack a laser into a small enough housing to be used for the same applications as conventional submachineguns. The result is a laser with a fixed focus step, allowing for high power at a very limited range. It was never widely used as the range limitation was considered too much of a drawback. The LAS-12 is part of the Specialist equipment kit.

— Armory Description

Unlock Requirement

The LAS-12 Tanto is part of the Specialist Pack and is automatically unlocked by purchasing the respective DLC.


Upgrade Requirements Cost Effect
Upgrade Heat Capacity.png Heat Capacity Research-point.png 2 Increases the amount of heat absorbed before overload.
Upgrade Heat Sink.png Heat Sink Heat Capacity Research-point.png 1 Increases the rate at which the weapon dissipates heat.
Upgrade Overcharge.png Laser Overcharge Research-point.png 1 Increases damage and heat generation.
Upgrade Overcharge.png Increased Overcharge Laser Overcharge Research-point.png 2 Further increases damage and heat generation.

Heat Capacity

  • Adds another emergency heat dump canister to the weapon, increasing how much heat can be absorbed before an emergency dump is triggered.

Heat Sink

  • Increased heat sink capacity improves the cooling rate of the weapon while also increasing the time window for continuous fire.

Laser Overcharge / Increased Overcharge

  • Overcharging the laser causes it to output more damage at the cost of generating more heat. Increases damage per second.

Weapon Stats

  • Helldivers start missions with 3 heat dump canisters and can carry up to a maximum of 6.
  • The Tanto takes 3 seconds to replace its heat dump canisters, although this is only necessary if the weapon overheats. This process cannot be sped up by any means.
LAS-12 'Tanto' Detailed Analysis
Weapon Info Additional Notes
Unlock Rank Rank 1 Unlocked via DLC
Weapon Type Primary
Weapon Category Laser/SMG One-handed
Fire Mode Continuous
Base Upgraded Additional Notes
Damage per Second (DPS) 250/s 350/s 500/s Requires Laser Overcharge, Requires Increased Overcharge
Center Mass DPS 550/s 600/s 700/s Requires Laser Overcharge, Requires Increased Overcharge
Base Upgraded Additional Notes
Heat Capacity 400 520* * Requires Heat Capacity upgrade
Heat Generation 100/s 120/s 140/s Requires Laser Overcharge, Requires Increased Overcharge
Cooldown Rate 200/s 300/s¤ ¤ Requires Heat Sink upgrade
Starting Canisters 3 3
Max Canisters 6 6
Reload Speed 3 s 3 s Has no tactical reload
Spread Fixed firing pattern; slight aim assist
Max Range 10 m 10 m
Aim + Movement Speed Mod todo todo
Spread Simulation todo

Gameplay Tips

  • Like all SMGs, the Tanto gives Helldivers increased mobility while aiming and can be used when downed or carrying objectives such as the Black Box, Illuminate Power Core or Artillery Shells, although not as much as its ballistic counterparts. Helldivers can switch between the Tanto and their sidearm while carrying objectives or when downed by pressing the 'weapon switch' button. If a support weapon such as the MG-94 is currently equipped, the Tanto will take priority over the Helldiver's sidearm when downed or when picking up objectives and will be switched to first.
  • The Tanto is the SMG analogue of the laser weapons and behaves very similar. It has a greatly reduced effective range compared to other laser weapons (on par with the FLAM-40 Incinerator), however, it boasts much higher DPS and mobility while aiming and firing while still sharing the same rates of heat generation and cooldown with the Scythe.
  • The Tanto remains true to its name in regards to its intended usage: its main strengths of this weapon lie in its high DPS and ability to deal a considerable amount of damage through enemy armor, making it unmatched for close-quarters combat vs most armored enemies. This is also the weapon's major downside, as the short range forces its user to fight in very close proximity to some of the most dangerous enemies in the game. Users favoring a high-risk-high-reward CQC playstyle may find this weapon invaluable all the way up to late game due if they can overcome and manage its considerable drawbacks.
    • The Tanto can do damage to most enemies in the game, including even the 3 Enemy Masters; the only enemies that are immune to the Tanto (as well as similar laser-beam weapons) are the Cyborg IFV and the Bug Behemoth.
    • Even though the heavy armor on Cyborg Hulks (covering their backside) and on Warlords (full bodyarmor) makes them immune to most weapons, they will take damage from continuous attacks with laser-beams. Due to short effective range of the Tanto however, it is very dangerous to engage these enemies in close combat and a certain degree of skill and/or deeper understanding of the game-mechanics is required.
  • The Tanto's lack of range makes it an extremely poor choice for taking out patrols during the stealth phase. Pairing it with Stratagems or liberal use of the P-2 Peacemaker sidearm or the P-6 Gunslinger or PLAS-3 Singe Perk pistols is necessary if one wishes to remain stealthy and avoid having the alert phase trigger while on the move, defending objectives, or escorting survivors or teammates.
    • On high-difficulty Bug missions, the Tanto can still be very effective against Vanguards and Shadows; both foes tend to leap well within the Tanto's range and can be made quick work of with a quick sweep of its beam. With good aim, quick reflexes and proper management of the weapon's cooldown, Tanto users can take on a virtually endless stream of scouts.


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