Helldivers 1:SMG-45 Defender

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Fully upgraded SMG-45 Defender

A low calibre, rapid fire weapon that is compact and easy to handle. The Helldiver's mobility while aiming is higher when using this weapon.

— Armory Description

Unlock Requirement

The SMG-45 Defender unlocks at rank 4 (Specialist).


Upgrade Requirements Cost Effect
Upgrade Mini-stun Ammunition.png Mini-stun Ammunition Research-point.png 1 Causes damaging bullets to apply a short mini stun.
Upgrade Armor-Piercing Ammunition.png AP Ammunition Mini-stun Ammunition Research-point.png 2 Armor-piercing ammunition does more damage to armored targets.

Mini-Stun Ammunition

  • Each bullet is loaded with a tiny electrical charge, that upon impact releases its charge and delivers it into the target. Jokingly called battery bullets by the Helldivers. Bullets will slow enemies dramatically.

Armor-Piercing Ammunition

  • This ammunition type has been specifically designed to counter light to medium armor. AP rounds have no trouble punching through light armor and deal increased damage to targets with medium armor. Like all AP Ammo upgrades, this upgrade will not make it possible to damage Cyborg IFVs and enemies with heavy armor. Refer to Enemies/Detailed Statistics for details on AP Ammo mechanics.

Weapon Stats

  • Helldivers start missions with 8 magazines and can carry up to a maximum of 16. Each magazine contains 50 rounds. If 10 or less rounds remain in the magazine when the weapon is fired, the 'low ammunition' warning sound will play and red tracer rounds will fire.
  • The Defender takes 1.5 seconds to reload when empty and 1 second with ammunition remaining in the magazine. Performing a tactical reload with ammo left in the magazine keeps a round in the chamber as well, giving the Defender maximum of 51 shots before needing to be reloaded again.
SMG-45 'Defender' Detailed Analysis
Weapon Info Additional Notes
Unlock Rank Rank 4
Weapon Type Primary
Weapon Category SMG One-handed
Fire Mode Full-auto
Base Upgraded Additional Notes
Damage 60 60
Center Mass Damage 70 70
Status Effect None Mini-Stun* * Requires Mini-Stun upgrade, slows by 90%
Effect Duration 0 s 0.3 s* * Requires Mini-Stun upgrade, slows by 90%
AP Ammo Armor Reduction 0 -15 Requires AP Ammo upgrade
Base Upgraded Additional Notes
Cyclic Rate of Fire (RPM) 504 504
Capacity 50 + 1 50 + 1
Starting Mags 8 8
Max Mags 16 16
Empty Reload Speed 1.5 s 1.5 s
Tactical Reload Speed 1.0 s 1.0 s Keeps one round in the chamber
Min Spread 0.5° 0.5°
Max Spread 4.0° 4.0°
Spread Increase per Shot ~0.23° ~0.23°
Max Range 13 m 13 m
Bullet Spread Simulation todo

Gameplay Tips

  • Like all SMGs, the Defender 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. Helldivers can switch between the Defender and their sidearm while carrying objectives or downed by pressing the 'weapon switch' button. If a support weapon such as the MG-94 is currently equipped, the Defender will take priority over the Helldiver's sidearm when downed or picking up objectives and will be switched to first.
  • The Defender is the first one-handed weapon players will unlock and can be awkward to use at first: it has a much lower range than the Liberator, deals less damage, and fires slightly slower, making it appear much weaker than other available weapons. The Defender's main strengths however lie in its ability to lock down groups of enemies with sustained fire, and its one-handed nature, allowing recruits more firepower to defend themselves compared to the Peacemaker.
  • Out of all the SMGs available, the Defender has the lowest rate of fire and as a result the longest period of sustained fire between reloads. Coupled with its Mini-Stun upgrade and Armor Piercing Rounds, the Defender makes for an effective squad support weapon that can put out a respectable amount of damage while being able to control entire crowds to keep pressure off the rest of the team.
  • The Defender has lackluster damage per second and has trouble dealing with higher level enemies without support. Consider pairing it with stratagem weapons to deal with stronger enemies or retreat towards your team to allow them to back you up while keeping enemies at bay with its Mini-Stun bullets.


  • The description of the Mini-Stun upgrade is potentially a nod to the Leyden Ball, a fictional bullet that is described in Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea. It is described as a bead of glass with a steel jacket and lead bead inside that acts as a miniature but complete Leyden Jar (a type of primitive battery). Upon impact it would shatter, discharging its high-voltage payload and incapacitating or killing the target, not unlike the effect of Mini-Stun bullets.
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