Helldivers 2: Best Early Loadout [My Opinion]

After spending more than 20 hours in Helldivers 2, here is the best early loadout for you.

Helldivers 2’s loadout consists of one Primary, one Secondary, Grenades, 4 Stratagems, one Booster, and a Body Armor. You can select your loadout before the mission. Your whole mission performance depends on your selected loadout. If you are in the early stages of Helldivers 2, this guide shows the best early loadout you can choose in the game.

Key Takeaways
  • You can choose any unlocked items in your loadout.
  • The selected gear cannot be changed during the mission.
  • The shotgun has very high damage, and the pistol supports it with a high fire rate. 
  • The Stratagems provide high damage and fire rates to target bug crowds or a single enemy.

My Best Early-Game Loadout In Helldivers 2

The following table gives an overview of the best Loadout you can have:

Primary WeaponSecondary WeaponGrenadeStratagemsBoosterBody Armor
SG-8 PunisherP-19 RedeemerG-6 Frag Grenade1. Eagle Airstrike
2. Gatling Sentry
3. Orbital Precision Strike
4. Machine Gun
Vitality Enhancement FS-05 Marksman
  • Why I Chose This Loadout: I chose this loadout to get high damage and resist enemy attacks, mainly when facing a crowd of enemy bugs.
  • Very high damage.
  • Great against a group of enemies.
  • High magazine capacity of primary and secondary weapons.
  • Stratagems provide high fire rates and damage.
  • Armor absorbs damage from enemy attacks.
  • Not effective in difficult missions.
  • High recoil of the primary weapon.
  • Low fire rate of the primary weapon.

SG-8 Punisher Shotgun

The Best Damage Dealing Primary Weapon.
helldivers 2 best loadout primary weapon
SG-8 Punisher Shotgun stats showcase in Helldivers 2 [Screenshot by eXputer]
DamageCapacityRecoilFire RateWeapons Traits
360016110080Light Armor Penetrating
Rounds Reload
  • Why I Chose This Weapon: I chose this weapon for enemy hordes as it has incredibly high damage to blow off Terminids head.

Initially, I looked for a weapon that could deal significant damage to take down aliens, so the perfect option was the SG-8 Punisher. Although assault rifles are good, they have no match to this beast in the damage department. Also, it comes with a large magazine and a decent fire rate, providing effective outcomes in fights. Although recoil can be an issue with this gun, using it more frequently can give a firm grip on its usage.

Weapon Traits:

  • Light Armor Penetrating 
  • Rounds Reload 

P-19 Redeemer Pistol 

The Best Fire Rate Secondary Weapon.
helldivers 2 secondary weapon
P-19 Redeemer Pistol showcase in Helldivers 2[Screenshot By eXputer]
DamageCapacityRecoilFire RateWeapon Traits
0600310111100Light Armor Penetrating
One Handed
  • Why I Chose This Weapon: I chose this weapon because the shotgun has a high fire rate, and this perfectly supports it. 

After choosing a high-damage shotgun as the primary weapon, I went for a more versatile secondary weapon, the P-19 Redeemer. The gun has relatively low damage but a staggering high fire rate to balance it out. So, if you run out of ammo on your SG-8 Punisher, you can quickly switch to it for crowd control. Also, it has a very low recoil and large magazine capacity, giving you a complete package to destroy the aliens.

Weapon Traits: 

  • Light Armor Penetrating
  • One Handed 

G-6 Frag Grenade

The Best Early Game Grenade.
helldivers 2 best grenade
G-6 Frag Grenade stats showcase in Helldivers 2[Screenshot By eXputer]
DamagePenetrationOuter RadiusFuse Time
  • Why I Chose This Grenade: This grenade is readily available initially and provides decent damage to enemy groups.

The grenade I chose is the G-6 High Explosive because of its significant damage. Unfortunately, the explosion’s radius is not large enough, so you need to be precise when using it. It dramatically helps when many bugs surround you; take them out quickly. 

Best Stratagems 

The Best Damage Dealing Stratagems.
Machine Gun stratagem in helldivers 2
MG-43 Machine Gun Stratagem showcase in Helldivers 2 [Screenshot By eXputer]
  • Why I Chose These Stratagems: I chose these stratagems because of their high damage and low cooldown time, which allows me to use them more frequently.

Stratagems selection is essential to elevate your loadout effectiveness, so I chose these three to get the most versatility in my attack:

  • Eagle Airstrike: This is highly effective against a cluster of enemies. It destroys them with a barrage of bombs, with 0 calls in time and only 15 seconds of cooldown time. But you can only use it twice, so use it efficiently.  
  • Orbital Precision Strike: A single precise shot with a call time of only 4 seconds and a cooldown time of 100 seconds. So, it can frequently take down a single enemy with high HP. 
  • Machine Gun: It causes devastating damage and can be used unlimited times. So if you want to destroy crowded bugs without wasting time, this is the best stratagem.

Best Booster And Armor

The Best Armor For Speed.
helldivers 2 armor
FS-05 Marksman Body Armor showcase in Helldivers 2[Screenshot By eXputer]
Armor RatingSpeedStamina RegenArmor Passive
  • Why I Chose This Armor: I chose it because of its high speed, which helps me dodge enemy bugs in a fight.

The Vitality Enhancement Booster requires only 20 medals to unlock and helps all hell divers gain injury resistance during the mission. For the best armor and helmet, I selected FS-05 Marksman, which is suited ideally for the best early loadout. They will help you reduce recoil by 30% when crouched or prone. Also, it provides 50 resistance against explosive damage attacks.

Other Honorable Mentions

Besides the items already mentioned for my best early loadout, some alternative options are also worth mentioning:

  • AR-23E Liberator Explosive: It is an excellent option because of the high fire rate, but the damage is shallow compared to the SG-8 Punisher. 
  • P-2 Peacemaker: It was the second option after P-19 Redeemer but has a lower fire rate and a large capacity.
  • Eagle Cluster Bomb: I considered using an Eagle Cluster Bomb, but it is difficult to obtain early in the game, so I had to stick with an Eagle Airstrike.
  • G-12 High Explosive: This explosive has great damage stats but has a higher fuse time and lower radius.
  • Stamina Enhancement: It does not provide the defensive factor that is available with Vitality Enhancement.
  • SC-34 Infiltrator: I wanted an armor that reduces recoil for my early loadout, but this didn’t assist in reducing recoil.

My Verdict After Trying Out This Loadout

This is arguably Helldivers 2’s best early loadout that you can easily afford, and it provides the best damage stats overall.

The loadout is balanced in all areas; it will cover your assault and defense, providing you with a versatile approach to progress further in the game. The weapons can be easily unlocked and are available in the game; they deal with high damage and fire rates. Also, the armor helps to control recoil and resistance against enemy attacks.

That covers the best early loadout in Helldivers 2. Read Atik Younus’s article to learn more about obtaining medals in the game. 


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Feedback From Our Fellow Gamers

Great article. I\'m glad the SG-8 is part of this build!


The SG-8 is a fantastic choice because I love shotguns! Good choice for this build ngl.


The combination of stargems work nicely. Thanks

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Daniyal is a Guides Writer and Editor at eXputer with over one year of experience in content writing. He's had a passion for tech and gaming for more than 15 years. Ever since his first console, the PS2, he's constantly branching off to different genres, and his go-to at the moment is the Souls experience pioneered by FromSoftware, which is evident by his 1,500+ hours of game time on Elden Ring. You can learn some more about Daniyal's gaming journey on his Steam & Xbox profiles.

Experience: 1+ Years || Mainly Covers Guides || Education: Bachelors in Computer Sciences.

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