As Helldivers 2 players all-in on anti-tank Stratagems, dev advises "tailoring their loadouts to kill weaker stuff" too because guns are intentionally wimpy

 Helldivers 2 bile titan head exploding in intro cutscene.
Helldivers 2 bile titan head exploding in intro cutscene.

Helldivers 2's balance lead has responded to complaints from players that the co-op shooter's primary weapons aren't powerful enough.

Democracy defenders have been asking for weapon buffs since Helldivers 2 launched, and a massive balance patch aimed instead at nerfing the game's most overpowered weapons did little to satisfy them. Well, in a new developer blog, Arrowhead head of product testing Patrik Lasota said, essentially, primary weapons are designed to make you feel underpowered if you aren't using them in conjunction with your Stratagems.

"Many have commented that they aren't powerful enough and are unable to deal with all the enemies either by the amount of ammunition required or their raw DPS," Lasota said. "This is very much intentional, you need to rely on your Stratagems, and the Stratagems of your team to deal with all the enemies effectively. Either by Eagle Airstrikes, Orbitals, Support Weapons, or Turrets, some of your loadout/team should be tailoring their loadout to killing the weaker stuff more efficiently."

They added: "This doesn’t mean that your primary weapon shouldn’t feel good to use, but please understand that it is primary only in the sense that it’s something you always spawn with."

This debate feels like a natural response to folks prioritizing anti-tank options to deal with oppressive Chargers and Bile Titans, only to get overwhelmed by the hoards of squishy targets they aren't prepared for because they ditched their turrets and airbursts and so on. But it can feel like a rock and a hard place at times: would you rather get overwhelmed by a dozen armored enemies, or a zillion tiny enemies? Hence the balance debates currently dominating the community.

In the same blog, Lasota addressed weapons balancing more broadly, advising players to learn to embrace nerfs instead of hoping for their favorite weapons to be buffed. Talking directly to players who say "'Don't Nerf, only Buff'", Lasota said, "as a designer I can tell you this is not a great idea, but I understand where the sentiment comes from."

Sounds like some folks might be in need of some Helldivers 2 tips.