helldivers 2 meta loadout after new update

Image source: Arrowhead

All the best gear.

In the words of developer Arrowhead itself, Helldivers 2 isn’t supposed to be a sweaty game. And yet if you’re like us then you’re always seeking out the most effective loadouts to optimize your performance regardless. The game’s meta has shifted and changed in a big way following the latest update, Patch 01.000.100, nerfing some of its most powerful weapons and buffing one or two as well. Here we’ll be breaking down what we consider the best Helldivers 2 meta loadout after all the changes.

Helldivers 2 Meta Loadout After New Update

As mentioned above, as of patch 01.000.100, the Helldivers 2 meta loadout is now much changed. Say goodbye to the OP Rail Gun, and say hello to shotguns and even the… flame thrower! Here’s what we recommend as the best options right now:

Meta Weapons Loadout Option 1

  • Primary Weapon: The Punisher shotgun, with its enhanced damage and staggering ability, now serves as an excellent primary weapon for controlling the battlefield.
  • Secondary Weapon: For dealing with swarms and providing AoE damage, the flamethrower now presents itself as a viable secondary option, especially in group play where its risk to teammates can be managed.
  • Support Weapon: Given the criticisms of the laser cannon, players might lean towards alternatives like the ARC Thrower for its versatility, ability to handle swarms, and effectiveness against armored targets without the need to remain stationary.

Grenades, Booster, Support Gear

  • Grenades: Depending on the enemy type, players might opt for the G-16 Impact grenade for its explosive power or the G-10 Incendiary grenade for causing sustained burn damage to even armored foes.
  • Booster: While the Stamina Enhancement booster is recommended, personal preference and mission requirements can dictate the use of other boosters, such as the Hellpod Space Optimisation for increased loadout capacity. List of all boosters if you need a reference.
  • Secondary/Support Gear: The Shield Generator remains an essential piece of equipment, offering protection against close-range threats and environmental hazards, underscoring its versatility and defensive capabilities.


The chosen Stratagems provide a balanced approach to offense, defense, and utility:

  • Stratagem 1: Players may select between the B-1 Supply Pack for ammunition replenishment or the AX/LAS-5 “Guard Dog” Rover for mobile defense and firepower.
  • Stratagem 2: The Orbital Precision Strike offers pinpoint accuracy, making it ideal for eliminating high-value targets or collapsing Bug Holes, whereas the Eagle Airstrike provides widespread destruction.
  • Stratagem 3: The RS-422 Railgun is a staple for its high penetration and damage, suitable for taking down larger threats.
  • Stratagem 4: An Eagle 500 KG Bomb complements the aerial assault capabilities, delivering substantial explosive damage over a wide area.

You can check out our list of all stratagems in the game for more info on every ability.

Biggest Winners & Losers Following Patch 01.000.100

Let’s go over the biggest winners and losers after the recent patch. These are the weapons you basically should or should not be using given the nerfs/buffs.


  1. Flamethrower: The buff to the flamethrower is significant, making it a more viable option for dealing with swarms and even somewhat effective against chargers. Its increased AoE (Area of Effect) damage and ability to manage enemies more effectively mark it as a considerable improvement for both solo and group play, although with caution advised in the latter.
  2. Punisher Shotgun: As highlighted in a previous transcript, the Punisher shotgun has emerged as a powerful option due to its increased damage and staggering ability, making it highly effective for controlling enemies and providing utility in both solo and team scenarios.
  3. Breaker Incendiary and Spray and Pray Variants: Despite the base Breaker shotgun receiving a nerf, it remains a strong choice. The Incendiary variant, in particular, offers additional damage through its fire effect, while the Spray and Pray variant received a buff, increasing its viability.


  1. Rail Gun: With the nerf significantly impacting its ability to damage heavily armored targets, the rail gun’s utility in high-level play has decreased. This has led to player dissatisfaction and a shift towards alternatives that can offer similar or better utility against a broad range of enemies.
  2. Laser Cannon: Although stronger post-update, the laser cannon still struggles due to its inability to penetrate heavy armor and the necessity to remain stationary while firing. This limitation severely restricts its usefulness, especially for solo players facing the toughest of enemies.
  3. Base Breaker Shotgun: Despite remaining a viable weapon, the nerf it received reduces its dominance in the meta. Its decreased magazine capacity and increased recoil, although manageable, make it slightly less appealing than before.


  • Breaker Shotgun: The Breaker remains a top-tier choice against bugs, maintaining its effectiveness. However, since it didn’t receive a significant buff or nerf, its position remains relatively neutral in the context of winners and losers.

So there you have it. The best Helldivers 2 meta loadout has now shifted away from the Rail Gun and Laser Cannon, which will make dealing with certain enemies much harder. That being said, it’s also worth noting that while a meta in Helldivers 2 exists, it doesn’t necessarily make weapons and abilities outside of it unviable. Many players have found success with weapons or Stratagems not typically considered meta, such as the Stalwart or the flamethrower, which means you should feel free to experiment.