The five best early Stratagems in Helldivers 2

Stratagems are incredibly powerful tools for you and your allies in Helldivers 2. They have unlimited uses, but typically go on cooldown for a few minutes between uses. The catch is that you can only have four equipped at once when you drop into a mission.

These Stratagems can manifest as bombs, airstrikes, turrets and more, and are the key to surviving every mission against the bugs and robots plaguing Super Earth. In this Helldivers 2 guide, we’ll recommend our five favorite Stratagems for you to unlock and add to your Helldiver.


Orbital Precision Strike

The Ship Management menu showing all the different Stratagems in Helldivers 2 Image: Arrowhead Game Studios

The Orbital Precision Strike is the first Stratagem you start with in Helldivers 2 — it’s the one you learn to use in the tutorial. But even past the tutorial, it’s a great piece of utility to keep with you, and worthy of your precious Stratagem slots.

Orbital Precision Strike deals a lot of damage if you can hit the target you’re aiming for. But what you lose in accuracy, you gain in raw cooldown time. You can use the Orbital Precision Strike every couple of minutes in Helldivers 2, which makes it great for taking out a big bad, a small group of enemies, or hive spawn holes.

It’s a simple Stratagem, and it may be one of the first ones you earn, but it’s worth holding onto until you’re sure you have four other options you like better.


Anti-Personnel Minefield

The Ship Management menu showing all the different Stratagems in Helldivers 2 Image: Arrowhead Game Studios

The Anti-Personnel Minefield Stratagem is a difficult recommendation to put on here because bad teammates have screwed me over with it more frequently than good teammates have saved me with it. But a clutch minefield is just too good to ignore.

By throwing one of these down on an entrance to an area you’re trying to defend, you can completely deny a zone from enemies. Either they go through it and the mines explode on their underbellies (removing the threat) or they avoid the mines and take a roundabout path. Win, win.

However, you have to be extremely careful when placing these mines, as putting them on an objective in a panic or through a traffic-heavy area of the map can actually trap your teammates and blow them up. Powerful, but dangerous. I recommend dropping into a few missions solo to get the hang of the mines, otherwise your friends are going to hate you.


Recoilless Rifle

The Ship Management menu showing all the different Stratagems in Helldivers 2 Image: Arrowhead Game Studios

The Recoilless Rifle is excellent for killing big, armored enemies like Chargers. It comes with a backpack loaded up with ammo that either you or a teammate can wear. If you’re accurate, you can use the Recoilless Rifle (which is basically a bazooka with a scope) to punch a hole through enemy armor. It’s extremely effective.

Now, the Recoilless Rifle isn’t very good at killing enemies if you hit their weak spot. So you’ll actually want to aim for a Charger’s head or leg armor to kill it. Still, the Recoilless Rifle is an excellent tool at dealing with big, nasty bugs in the earlier parts of the game before you have many other options for dealing big damage to a single target.


Gatling Sentry

The Ship Management menu showing all the different Stratagems in Helldivers 2 Image: Arrowhead Game Studios

The Gatling Sentry is a powerful tool for locking down an area in Helldivers 2, and it can chew through enemies faster than almost anything short of an explosion. However, just like the mines, the Gatling Sentry can be very dangerous if you’re not careful.

The most common use for a Gatling Sentry is to defend the launch pad while you’re trying to extract at the end of the mission or you’re waiting for an objective to finish. But you can also throw it down near a nest and watch it go to work mowing through countless bugs at a time, or pop it down while fighting a boss so it can shoot while you chase the monster around.

The thing about turrets is that they aren’t smart enough to know if there’s a Helldiver between it and the bug it’s shooting at. So if you get in the turret’s way, or if there’s a bug chasing you and the turret sees, it’s going to cut through both of you. So, like all Stratagems, just be careful.


Eagle Airstrike

The Ship Management menu showing all the different Stratagems in Helldivers 2 Image: Arrowhead Game Studios

The Eagle Airstrike is one of the best early investments you can make in Helldivers 2. It comes with two charges and lets you summon what is essentially just a bombing run. These bombs rocket across the ground and affect a massive area. It can kill tons of bugs in a single shot and close multiple tunnels as well.

What makes the Eagle Airstrike so good is that after you activate it, it takes mere seconds for the plane to arrive and drop bombs, making it very easy for you to react to unexpected bug movements and take out quick targets.

The big caveat here — other than how easy it is to kill teammates in a bombing run; a running theme in this guide — is that once you use the two chargers for Eagle Airstrike, the Stratagem will go on cooldown for a prolonged period of time. Once the ship is refueled a few minutes later, you’ll have two more charges to spend. But that downtime can leave you in a tight bind if your Stratagem is stuck on cooldown when you really need some explosions.

One bonus tip with the Eagle Airstrike is that you can input a separate Stratagem command to actually reload early if you’ve only used one bomb. So, if you’re not going to be using the Eagle Airstrike for a few minutes while you’re walking to an objective, send it to resupply so that you’re ready for back-to-back airstrikes once you need it again.