Helldivers 2Stratagems

Best Helldivers 2 Stratagems Tier List – All Ranked (May 2024 Update)

Table of contents

Helldivers 2 Tier List – The Best Stratagems

Having the best Helldivers 2 stratagems can ensure you clear more difficult content and gain more stars while you’re liberating planets for Super Earth. You only get four stratagems slots so you better make them count!

These rankings take into account all our experiences with all difficulties through level 9 (Helldiver, the hardest difficulty) alongside what we’ve observed top players taking.

As always with our tier lists, we recommend prioritizing your own strengths, weaknesses, and playstyle preferences. As long as you’re clearing the content successfully and having fun, you do you!

If you’re just starting out, consider our list of the best stratgems to unlock first. For primary weapons, head to our Helldivers 2 Primary Weapons tier list.

Here are our rankings for the best stratagems in Helldivers 2:

Tier Helldivers 2 Stratagems Tier List
S Railgun, Auto Cannon, Arc Thrower, Quasar Cannon, Expendable Anti-Tank, Shield Generator Pack, Eagle Airstrike
A Stalwart, Anti Material Rifle, Grenade Launcher, Recoilless Rifle, Guard Dog Rover, Supply Pack, Patriot Exosuit, Orbital Laser, Orbital Railgun Strike, Eagle Cluster Bomb, Eagle 500KG Bomb, Auto Cannon Sentry, Mortar Sentry, EMS Mortar Sentry
B Recoilless Rifle, Flame Thrower, Laser Cannon, Jump Pack, Eagle 110MM Rocket Pods, Eagle Napalm, Orbital Precision Strike, Orbital Airburst Strike, Rocket Sentry, Gatling, Shield Generator
C Machine Gun, Heavy Machine Gun, Spear, Orbital Gatling Barrage, Orbital Walking Barrage, Orbital EMS Strike, Orbital Smoke STrike, Orbital 120MM HE Barrage, Orbital 380MM HE Barrage, Orbital Gas Strike, Eagle Strafing Run, Eagle Smoke Strike, Machine Gun Sentry, HMG Emplacement
D Guard Dog, Tesla, Anti-Personnel, Incendiary Mines

Note that the stratagems are NOT ordered within tiers and are instead organized by color categories (weapons, backpacks, strikes, and placements).

For a more visual version of our Helldivers 2 tier list, check out the infographic below (click to expand it):

best helldivers 2 stratagems tier list (april 2024 update)


Our team is still testing but here are the likely rank changes on the way:

  • Quasar – Staying S
    • At first, the 5 second additional charge time seems damning, but in reality, you’re usually switching to another gun between shots when using the Quasar.
      • So overall, although it does lower its ceiling slightly, its floor is still strong enough for us to keep it as S for now.
  • Laser Cannon – Staying B 
    • The changes offered more of a sidegrade, so while we’re testing, we aren’t expecting the Laser Cannon to move.
  • Railgun – Staying A 
    • Railgun stocks are rising once again, but it’s still a neutered form of its former glory.
  • Machinegun Sentry – Staying B
    • Not too significant of a change to warrant a rank shift.
  • Tesla Tower – Staying D
    • The buff to the Tesla Tower health doesn’t provide enough of a bump to take it still.
  • Guard Dog Rover – Possibly A to B, saying for now
    • Definitely worse but still has a lot of utility, like providing vision on dark maps or covering your back with consistent uptime.
  • Guard Dog – Possibly D to C, staying for now
    • The Guard Dog’s increase to damage is nice because it looks to headshot automatically, but the bump isn’t groundbreaking.

Stratagem Tier Commentary

S-tier (Optimal)

Tier S-tier Stratagems
S Auto Cannon, Arc Thrower, Quasar, Expendable Anti-Tank, Shield Generator Pack, Eagle Airstrike

The S-tier stratagems are all meta staples and among the most often seen at the highest difficulties against both factions.

The Autocannon provides amazing firepower and uptime (especially with allied help), and the Shield Generator Pack provides a massive boost to survive the constant onslaught of Helldiver.

Even before the balance patch, Arc Thrower rose as a top Support Weapon due to its ability to ignore armor, unlimited ammo, ability to AoE while focusing major threats, and its strength when used in tandem with another Arc Thrower. Plus, after some practice, the playerbase has gotten much better at not killing allies with friendly fire.

After the balance changes to Chargers and Bile Titans, spawn rates, and how the Expendable Anti-Tank (E.A.T.) and Recoiless Rifle work against them, the E.A.T. has become a clear S-tier option.

The E.A.T. has an incredibly low cooldown so you can virtually have it for every major fight. It helps you take out dropship, take out Chargers/Bile Titans, and is very flexible whether playing solo or in a team.

Since its launch as a new stratagem, the Quasar Cannon has made a splash in the meta as a top pick in virtually every situation if you can avoid getting overwhelmed by numbers.

Lastly, we have the Eagle Airstrike which has risen to be the most versatile airstrike and is very spammable, especially with the Ship Module upgrades. There are instances where the A-tier strikes are better than the Eagle Airstrike, but they are typically more situational.

A-tier (Very Good)

Tier A-tier Stratagems
A Railgun, Stalwart, Anti-Material Rifle, Recoilless Rifle, Grenade Launcher, Guard Dog Rover, Supply Pack, Patriot Exosuit, Orbital Laser, Orbital Railgun Strike, Eagle Cluster Bomb, Eagle 500KG Bomb, Auto Cannon Sentry, Mortar Sentry, EMS Mortar Sentry

The A-tier stratagems are all very good in virtually all situations but aren’t seen as “necessary” as their S-tier comparisons.

The Railgun was already trending downward with its nerfs (it used to be the undisputed best weapon) and with the Quasar solidifying its presence as the new S-tier on the block, we’re moving it to A-tier. There’s been a growing movement from the community asking for its nerfs to be reverted.

There are a good amount of stratagems here that are often discussed as S-tier picks in the community such as the 500KG Bomb, Orbital Laser, Eagle Cluster Bomb, and so on but since they depend on your preference and playstyle, we placed them here for now.

They also have some built-in weaknesses, for example, the Orbital Laser can only be used three times per map and squad while the Eagle Cluster Bomb is unable to destroy objective buildings. In many contexts though they are S-tier, just not in as many.

Other stratagems in A-tier like the Guard Dog Rover, Supply Pack, and Mortar Sentry can all be incredibly impactful but just have S-tier better options to eventually replace them after you level up or are S-tier on certain maps.

That being said, you can clear the hardest content convincingly with A-tier stratagems, especially with some S-tier choices mixed in. Just make sure to coordinate with the ones that are prone to team killing.

B-tier (Good)

Tier B-tier Stratagems
B Laser Cannon, Flame Thrower, RL-77 Airburst Rocket Launcher, Jump Pack, Ballistic Shield, Orbital Precision Strike, Orbital Airburst Strike, Eagle 110MM Rocket Pods, Eagle Napalm Strike, Rocket Sentry, Gatling Sentry, Shield Generator

Once you get to B-tier stratagems, you’ll find options that are still good in their own right but noticeably less versatile, consistent, or impactful than the S/A-tier options.

If you take them in the wrong context, you can get punished but they definitely have situations where they will shine and look more like A-tier stratagems.

For example, taking the Jump Pack on a flat planet versus one with a lot of vertical mobility will offer a big difference – just be smart about it!

Another example is the Shield Generator, which has a ton of upside but needs your team to play around it, whether it’s as protection against automaton projectiles or as bait against the terminids.

The Flamethrower is in a good place now and is a nice tech against chargers, especially at low-to-mid difficulties. Its lack of range will likely keep it at B-tier at best.

Similarly, after its buffs, the Laser Cannon, has been massively improved from its launch iteration that was borderline useless. It’s typically better against automatons but has improved usage against terminids with the introduction of the flying units.

C-tier (Situational)

Tier C-tier Stratagems
C Machine Gun, Spear, Anti Material Rifle, Orbital Gatling Barrage, Orbital Walking Barrage,  Orbital EMS Strike, Orbital Smoke Strike, Orbital Gas Strike, Eagle Airstrike, Eagle Strafing Run, Eagle Smoke Strife, Orbital 120MM HE Barrage, Orbital 380MM HE Barrage, Machine Gun Sentry, HMG Emplacement

For the majority of C-tier, we have stratagems that need the right situation to be solid. They may be only good against a particular faction or only effective for a few mission types.

That being said, if you do choose the right situation they can fit right into a high difficulty loadout but may still require more effort than choices ranked above them.

In general, you can likely find better replacements ranked above them outside of a few niche circumstances where the situational choice is exactly what you need.

D-tier (Needs Buffs)

Tier D-tier Stratagems
D Guard Dog, Orbital 120MM HE Barrage, Orbital 380MM HE Barrage, Tesla Tower, Anti-Personnel Minefield, Incendiary Mines

In D-tier are stratagems that are just straight-up bad and need buffs or only work in super niche situations.

The Guard Dog is a key example of needing buffs to be worth taking – we strongly recommend saving your currency for something else.

Choices like the Tesla Tower and Mines are stratagems that do have useful situations but there aren’t enough of them to warrant taking them in most cases.

It is possible to clear the highest difficulties with this tier but will take a lot more effort and/or coordination built around it.