Helldivers 1:Weapons

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Standard Weapons

Helldiver troops are sent into battle with one primary weapon as well as a sidearm. There are 23 primary weapons to choose from in total, each falling into one of several categories depending on their characteristics, such as assault rifles or shotguns.

Unlocked weapons (from leveling or DLC) can be switched within their category by clicking on the large faint arrows right or left. These arrows are located on the weapon picture during weapon select.

The P-2 Peacemaker is the standard-issue sidearm and is always equipped unless the player selects one of three Perk sidearms.

Most weapons are unlocked when the player reaches certain Ranks, while others are made available at any Rank to players who purchase the relevant DLC Pack.

Every weapon (except for the three Pistol Perks and Saber) has multiple upgrades which can be purchased with Research Points. These can raise the weapon's efficiency greatly by increasing damage and magazine size; or provide unique bonuses like incendiary or armour-piercing rounds.

One-Handed Weapons

Additionally, some primary weapons are classed as one-handed. When mortally wounded, while carrying a Black Box/Power Core or when transporting an artillery shell, this trait allows players to continue to use primary weapons instead of being forced to swap to their sidearm.

  • When holding a Black Box, Power Core or artillery shell or while mortally wounded, it is possible to switch between your one-handed primary weapon and your sidearm (and vice versa) by pressing and holding the 'weapon switch' button (triangle on PS3/PS4, scroll wheel or 1/2 keys on PC).

On top of that, one-handed weapons are exceptionally easy to handle, allowing for a greater movement and turning speed when aiming down sights, when compared to conventional two-handed weapons.

One-handed primary weapons:

Standard Weapons Table

These primary weapons and sidearms can be equipped before deploying to combat:

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

* Item is part of a paid DLC pack. DLC weapons are unlocked immediately after purchase.
Item is classed as a Perk.
Item is Proving Grounds restricted.
Adds Incendiary damage when fully upgraded.

Heavy Weapons

Players can also equip certain Stratagems which, during combat, allow them to call down heavy weapons (also known as support weapons or secondary weapons). These Stratagems must first be unlocked by successfully completing all missions on their associated planet or purchasing the relevant DLC. Players are only capable of carrying one heavy weapon at a time during combat.

Heavy weapons fall into several categories, with some (for example, the LAS-98 Laser Cannon) essentially being more powerful versions of certain primary weapons; while others have special attributes (for example, the TOX-13 Avenger's ability to slow down enemies) which can make them invaluable in some situations.

Heavy Weapons Table

These heavy weapons can be requested during combat as Stratagems:

Anti-Personnel MG-94 Machine Gun silhouette.png
MG-94 Machine Gun
MGX-42 Machine Gun silhouette.png
MGX-42 Machine Gun
AC-22 Dum-Dum silhouette.png
AC-22 Dum-Dum*
LAS-98 Laser Cannon silhouette.png
LAS-98 Laser Cannon
Incendiary / Chemical FLAM-40 Incinerator silhouette.png
FLAM-40 Incinerator
TOX-13 Avenger silhouette.png
TOX-13 Avenger*
Explosive Obliterator Grenade Launcher silhouette.png
Obliterator Grenade Launcher
MLS-4X Commando silhouette.png
MLS-4X Commando* §
Anti-Tank RL-112 Recoilless Rifle silhouette.png
RL-112 Recoilless Rifle
EAT-17 silhouette.png
REC-6 Demolisher silhouette.png
REC-6 Demolisher*
M-25 Rumbler silhouette.png
M-25 Rumbler*
Non-Damaging REP-80 silhouette.png
Sniffer silhouette.png
ME-1 Sniffer Metal Detector

* Item is part of a paid DLC pack. DLC Stratagems are unlocked immediately after purchase.
Adds Incendiary damage when fully upgraded.
§ Becomes Anti-Tank capable when fully upgraded.
Adds Chemical damage when fully upgraded.
Only available if the map contains an active defuse objective.


Grenades are thrown explosives which are mapped to a dedicated input. All Helldivers spawn with, and can only carry, two grenades at a time, but picking up Ammunition restocks all missing grenades. There are four types of grenades:

  • Fragmentation Grenades: The default type of grenade, these explode into a multitude of fragments which deal significant damage to all enemies, Helldivers, objects and vehicles which are not protected by tank-level armor.
  • Stun Grenades: Rather than exploding into deadly fragments, these throwables release concussive waves which stun all Helldivers and enemies in a large radius (except for stun-immune enemies such as IFVs). The associated Perk unlocks at rank 5 (Warrant).
  • Smoke Grenades: Rather than exploding into deadly fragments, these throwables release clouds of smoke which block enemies' lines of sight without impairing movement. The associated Perk unlocks at rank 15 (Colonel).
  • Incendiary Grenades: Rather than exploding into deadly fragments, these throwables release patches of napalm which set flammable units on fire, and destroy Illuminate projectiles. The associated Perk unlocks at rank 17 (Commodore).

Detailed Reload Mechanics

Tactical Reloads

As is mentioned in the in-game tips, many weapons can be reloaded more quickly if the player reloads before emptying the full magazine. Fully emptying the magazine leads to a significantly slower reload time for those weapons.

  • Up until the 5.06 patch fixed this issue, it was only necessary to perform a single successful fast reload to retain fast reloads for that weapon until either the player was killed, the weapon was dropped or the mission ended.

Chambering Rounds

Many weapons that let players perform a fast reload have an additional benefit: it retains a single round (bullet) in the chamber after changing out the clip (if it has not been fully emptied). This gives the player one additional round of ammunition in addition to the full clip inserted after reloading. This even works for the AC-22 Dum-Dum autocannon.

In lieu of magazines, weapons based on Laser and Arc technology use an overheat gauge and a charge-building mechanic, respectively. As such, neither the fast reload nor chambered round mechanics apply to these classes of weapons at all.