Helldivers 1:SG-8 Punisher

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Fully upgraded SG-8 Punisher

The first shotgun used by the Helldivers is still in action by certain groups of soldiers. It has a low spread that can deal massive damage to single targets. A quirk compared to other weapons is that each shell has to be loaded manually as it has an internal magazine.

— Armory Description

Unlock Requirement

The SG-8 Punisher unlocks at Rank 16 (Colonel Commandant).


Upgrade Requirements Cost Effect
Upgrade Extended Magazine.png Extended Magazine Research-point.png 1 Increases the amount of rounds in the internal magazine from 6 to 8.
Upgrade Recoil Absorber.png Extended Barrel Extended Magazine Research-point.png 1 Reduces the amount of spread between shotgun pellets, causing them to hit closer together at long ranges.

Extended Magazine

  • Increases the number of shells in the magazine from 6 to 8. The number of spare magazines that can be carried remains unchanged.

Extended Barrel

  • An extended barrel forces shot to stay together and accelerate for longer before leaving the barrel, resulting in tighter shot groupings at range. Decreases pellet spread.

Weapon Stats

  • Helldivers start missions with 36 shells in reserve and can carry up to a maximum of 72. If 2 or less shells remain in the magazine when the weapon is fired, the 'low ammunition' warning sound will play.
  • The Punisher reloads one shell at a time and takes a minimum of 4.75 seconds to reload when empty and 3.85 seconds if one round remains in the chamber. Reload time for each shell is 0.55 seconds unless the internal magazine is empty; the first shell takes 0.9 seconds to load on an empty magazine and is inserted through the weapon's ejection port. The Punisher does not have a tactical reload for this reason, nor can it exceed 8 shells in capacity.
SG-8 'Punisher' Detailed Analysis
Weapon Info Additional Notes
Unlock Rank Rank 16
Weapon Type Primary
Weapon Category Shotgun
Fire Mode Pump-action Automatically fires as long as trigger is held down
Base Upgraded Additional Notes
Damage 80 80 Per projectile
Center Mass Damage 80 80 Per projectile
# of Projectiles 10 10
AP Ammo Armor Reduction 0 0
Base Upgraded Additional Notes
Rate of Fire (RPM) 104 104
Capacity 6 8* Fixed capacity; * Requires Extended Magazine upgrade
Starting Reserve Ammo 36 36
Max Reserve Ammo 72 72
Empty Reload Speed 4.75 s 4.75 s Varies, depends on delay between reload input commands
Tactical Reload Speed 3.85 s 3.85 s Varies, depends on delay between reload input commands
Per-Shell Reload Speed 0.55 s 0.55 s
First Shell Reload Speed 0.9 s 0.9 s Only applies to empty magazine
Spread 3°* fixed firing pattern; * Requires Extended Barrel upgrade
Max Range 25 m 25 m
Bullet Spread Simulation todo
Aim + Movement Speed Mod todo todo

Gameplay Tips

  • The Punisher behaves more like a mid-range rifle than a true combat shotgun: its tight cone of fire make it effective at longer ranges than might be expected for a shotgun, and it is easily capable of killing light and medium infantry well outside the range of the other shotguns. It is especially lethal versus all faction patrol units, except for the Cyborg IFV.
  • The pellets can both deshield and damage a target in a single hit. This allows the Punisher to take out Illuminate Watchers in a single hit.
  • The Punisher's pellets only take the angle of impact into consideration for damage calculation and have no center mass bonus, allowing it to easily deal maximum damage versus unarmored or lightly armored enemies. Due to its lack of an armor piercing upgrade, the Punisher has trouble dealing with armored enemies and is ill-suited to dealing with high-level Bugs or Cyborgs.
  • The Punisher does not discard ammo on a tactical reload due to its per-shell reload. As such, it is recommended to always reload as often as possible to keep the magazine full.
    • The Punisher's reload mechanic allows it to be reloaded after every shot is fired, effectively giving it continuous fire (at a reduced rate) regardless of its actual magazine capacity. This allows it to maintain a steady rate of fire so long as there is ammo in reserve. However, it is important to avoid getting stuck in a situation of constantly loading and firing the last shell in the Punisher's magazine, as it will nearly halve the speed at which shells can be loaded, chambered, and fired.
    • In addition, moving while firing or firing immediately after reloading will cause the pellets to land off-center and to the right relative to the point of aim; take this into consideration and compensate for this by aiming slightly left of the target, or allow a fraction of a second to recover from reloading before firing.


  • Lore-wise, the 'certain groups of soldiers' mentioned in the Armory Description would seem to include Ranger trained Helldivers.
  • The Punisher may be a shout-out to the famous Marvel Comics character of the same name.
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