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Feature

10 Tips For Dying (Slightly) Less In Helldivers

by Jeff Marchiafava on Mar 05, 2015 at 10:00 AM

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Helldivers is a demanding twin-stick shooter that pits you against endless hostile aliens. The bottom line? You're going to die a lot. However, we've compiled a list of helpful tips that should give you a brief respite from your next inevitable death.

Tip #1: Hold Your Fire!
Look, I get it – in most twin-stick shooters there's rarely a reason to take your finger off the trigger. Not so in Helldivers. Not only is your ammo limited, but friendly fire is a constant threat that can't be turned off. Do your squadmates a favor and line up your shots with care, and only fire in short bursts to maintain accuracy. You're going to have a hard enough time surviving the unending onslaught of enemies barreling down at you; you shouldn't have to worry about the buddy standing behind you too.

Tip #2: Find The Right Difficulty
This one is less about keeping you alive and more about having fun. The first thing you'll want to do is home in on the right difficulty for you and your crew, but that entails more than just the number located next to the planet. Enemy type and terrain also have an effect on the difficulty. Bugs are generally the easiest race, followed by Cyborgs and then the Illuminate. On the planetary side of things, desert levels are easier than lake-ridden jungle levels, while snow levels present the biggest challenge. Mission objectives may also affect how difficult a planet is, so check out all of the missions before pursuing a planetary reward. Keep tackling higher-level planets until you find the sweet spot; you'll know you're there when you're consistently battling through an entire level, but still managing to beat most of the objectives.

Tip #3: Choose A Good Drop Zone
One unique feature in Helldivers is the ability to select a precise drop zone anywhere on the level before the mission begins. Take this opportunity to study the map and coordinate the most efficient route with your squad. That way everyone will know the order in which you'll be tackling the objectives, and you can move quickly from one location to the next. If you land close enough to a capture objective, you'll actually start securing the point before you exit your pod, giving you a helpful head-start. However, since enemies tend to congregate around objectives, most of the time you're better off dropping into a more secluded area to give your crew time to arm up.

Tip #4: Watch Out!
Ambushing enemies and friendly fire aren't the only threats you have to worry about. Helldivers' vast array of helpful strategems are called down from orbit, and you don't want to be standing under one when they land. Warn your friends when you're calling in armaments or reinforcements, and remember that they don't land exactly on the spot you designate. Water and snow severely limit your movement speed, so don't hang out too close to the landing zone. Also, keep in mind that the dropship will also smoosh you faster than any stampeding bug will – give it a wide berth as it comes in for extraction.

Tip #5: Bring The Right Tools
You'll unlock a bunch of stratagems as you progress through Helldivers, and although you'll land on a few favorites (see the next tip), you should change things up depending on the mission. A good squad will coordinate their stratagems before diving into the fray. Is one of your objectives hidden on the map? Make sure someone is packing a helpful UAV. If you've got a lot of ground to cover, have another friend pick the APC. Anti-personnel mines and distractor beacons are great defensive options for getting enemies off your back during escort missions. The higher the difficulty level, the more important this kind of team coordination becomes.

Coming Up Next: What weapons and items to upgrade, the most valuable stratagem in the game, and a few more tips to keep you alive...

Tip #6: A Few Of My Favorite Things
What kind of equipment you choose will ultimately depend on your playstyle, but here are some personal favorites that I would recommend upgrading sooner rather than later. The LAS-5 'Scythe' is an awesome laser that doesn't require any ammo as long as you don't let it overheat, and it has excellent accuracy and range. I'd also recommend maxing out the RL-112 Recoilless Rifle; this rocket launcher comes with a decent ammo cache and can one-shot most armored enemies, which is a godsend when a high-level foe threatens to wipe out your entire crew. The Minigun Turret and Reinforce stratagems are also good abilities to upgrade as soon as possible. In terms of perks, I almost always go with the Autoinjector, which speeds up how quickly your health replenishes and makes it easier to get yourself up from an incap – a literal lifesaver when you're playing with inaccurate friends (I'm looking at you, Ben Reeves).

Tip #7: All Hail The Mech
I could've included this one with my previous recommendations, but it's awesome enough to warrant its own tip. Seriously, unlock and upgrade the EXO-44 as soon as possible. No matter what the mission is, having a massive, well-armored mech that sports both a minigun and rocket launcher never hurts. Not only can it make your wait for extraction a cakewalk, but the surprisingly swift robosuit isn't slowed down by water or snow. Don't forget that you can equip a stratagem multiple times as well, meaning you could theoretically go into battle with one mech for every one of your squadmates (or four for yourself, if you're greedy).

Tip #8: Check The Map
Sure, you'll constantly be pulling up the map to see where your next objective is, but you should also be using its sensory ping to anticipate where your enemies are coming from. Roaming foes will spot you as soon as they appear on screen, and you only have a second before they raise an alarm and call in reinforcements – if you're not already aiming in their direction, you probably won't dispatch them in time. Designate a member of your squad to check the map and call out enemy locations as you move. Don't be afraid to take the long route to an objective if it's void of enemies – you'll ultimately save time and ammo by not having to fend off waves of angry extraterrestrials.

Tip #9: Hit The Deck!
Lots of players overlook the prone ability because it causes you to move at a snail's pace and prevents you from shooting. Don't make the same mistake. Not only will dropping to the ground save you from the fire of your automated turrets and errant allies (seriously, Ben, stop selecting the shotgun), but going prone will also make you impervious to the ranged attacks of some enemies. Jumping at the apex of a hellbomb not only looks super awesome, but it can save your life depending on how far you are from the explosion.

Tip #10: Use The Terrain To Your Advantage
Being chased by a trail of enemies can make it difficult to call down reinforcements. Use the cover (and Helldivers' questionable pathfinding) to your advantage by ducking around any trees, rocks, and other environmental objects you can find. Oftentimes breaking a straight path between you and your enemy can give you that extra second you need to key in a respawn, and slow enemies like the bugs' lumbering tank can be even cheesed by circling a small object. It might not be the most honorable way to wind down the time to extraction, but at least you'll live.

For more on Helldivers, read our review and check out recent Test Chamber. Got any more tips for your fellow helldivers? Share them in the comments below!