Any advice for which guns are best against the big bugs?

Any advice for which guns are best against the big bugs?

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By big Bugs I assume you mean Impaler, Tank, and Behemoth?

Ok, so if you are playing without the DLC then the RX-1 Railgun should be your go-to weapon. When fully upgraded it can stun ALL Bugs for a couple of seconds in one shot (except for the smallest patrol units - they die from anything in one hit), keeping them in place long enough for you or your friends to do anything you need to do - retreat, do objectives, reload, throw Stratagems, etc…
The Railgun will stop charging Tanks and Behemoths in their tracks, allowing you or your teammates to get out of the way and avoid death by getting run over!
The stun also forces Impalers to retract their deadly tentacles, which is good if they are about to destroy an objective or kill your teammates, but also bad if you actually want it to expose its weak spot.

Please note that the Railgun is very ammo-hungry and I recommend you DON’T use it against smaller Bugs (such as the Scouts and Vanguards). Use your sidearm for those! Even if not fully upgraded (although that is recommended) you need nothing else other than your trusty P-2 Peacemaker pistol to deal with the smallest Bugs. Alternatively you can bring an MG-94 Machine Gun to deal with those, as well as the various Bug mobs.

If you are playing with a full team then it is usually enough if 1 or 2 people (at the most) wield the Railgun into battle.

As for actually killing the big units, the best NON-DLC support weapons to kill the big bugs with are the RL-112 (best used with a reload buddy :slight_smile: ) or EAT-17. Please note that the Bug Behemoths can sometimes survive a direct shot from either rocket launcher, requiring a follow-up shot. As for the smaller Bug Tanks and the Impalers, you can use pretty much any weapon to shoot their fleshy weak spot (Tank Bug has its weak spot on the back, Impaler in the front, but only exposed when it burrows its tentacles into the ground).

If you have the DLC, then the TOX-13 Avenger is, hands down, the only weapon that you need to deal with any and all Bugs (but bonus points for having a teammate bring a FLAM-40 Incinerator and playing Bug Exterminators with you :smiley: ).

Another fan-favourite DLC weapon against the Bugs is the M-25 Rumbler. Although it is a slow, clunky, cumbersome and volatile weapon (beware of accidentals!!!) it is also versatile enough to deal with anything in the entire game - there is nothing it can’t kill, but that includes yourself and your friends more often than not!


Thank you for the advice I have all of the dlcs so I will go with the toxic

I would like to second the rumbler. It can take a LOT of practice, but can be an amazing tool, and is very effective against all big enemies besides the Cyborg tanks. Another route to consider is the Demolisher, again, it can take some practice, but it will deal with most big baddies if placed correctly, can deal with bug nests, and you can even just set some down and bait your Tanks and Behemoths into them.

The Railcannon Strike is also a very efficient way to deal with your big nemesis, but I would only recommend bringing that if you’re playing with a group. If you rely on that on a solo run, you will tend to get swarmed.

A friendly Impaler tip:
The arms will tell you which direction he is in. They always have the exposed (orange) sides facing out, so just aim that rumbler or railcannon behind the wall of tentacles and you should find your target!


@Megachrist @thedude567 @Citizen_Graves just moved these posts from the LFG thread to keep it on topic. Please continue to discuss tactics and posts questions here though! It’s really useful and interesting to read :slight_smile:


I would have to say, that if by guns the question refers to primary weapons, then I don’t find any such suitable for the big bugs, because some other means must be found to neutralize them.
What are other means? There are a few good choices in terms of blue strategems, but I believe the best choice is determined by one’s own style of play.
All have their strengths and weaknesses, and their efficacy depends upon how this works individually with each player.
The Rumbler was covered above, and the EAT was mentioned, which absolutely must be fully upgraded to be truly useful. Proper aim is essential with the EAT, you really want to shoot the Behemoths in the flank, and from as close to a 90 degree angle as possible. Impalers can be shot straight on when tentacles are out, sometimes it takes a little patience for the shot to become available.
I really like the Recoilless Rifle, because despite that it is not significantly better than the EAT, and it is far more awkward to use, if one can partner with a loader, or load for an operator, then it becomes the absolute best mobile weapon of choice when it’s time to shoot the big bugs.
If one must reload one’s own weapon, then the EAT is often the better choice, simply because it won’t preclude the use of shields, resupply/jump packs, or other heavy weapons such as the MG 94.
I really believe special mention must be made for the MLSX Commando. It isn’t a one shot kill, but one need not expend their entire magazine to handle the big nasties, either, and it is quite effective against the midsize bugs.
Like the Recoilless Rifle, it has a support pack, which means one can resupply quickly as a team, or must forego shields and jumps and the like. I’ve deployed the Commando successfully in solo missions, so it isn’t a one dimensional weapon.
Finally, I find the Toxic Avenger to be hands down the most dangerous weapon in the game to fellow players. I have been able to save a few players who were sprayed, but most were instant kills. I’m certain a top player like Citizen Graves can wield one effectively, but most can’t, at least from what I’ve seen. Personally, I find in my own play, its best used solo, where there are no friendlies to hit.
Out of the whole list, the easiest to use, and least dangerous to fellow players is probably the fully upgraded EAT. One can be carried, and the other can be shot, or given to another player. They work most of the time on most everything, and are rather understated in their effectiveness.

I disagree with this, as the raingun can really give you the upper hand for the tankier bugs, other weapons include the scorcher (as when fully upgraded can light them on fire, dealing low damage, but it could help you finish off a behemoth) and for the Impalers I highly recommend shotguns, as when their tentacles are out, you can deal a lot of damage to the exposed weak spot.

Adding onto this, the Paragon can still damage everything but the Behemoth if you hit unarmored areas and buy the team some time to take it down properly, if you don’t choose to just empty a mag or two into it.

What weapon isnt dangerous to other players? I have seen a lot more players killed by the Rumbler than the Tox-13. I highly recommend the bug spray :hd_bugs:

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This is perfect advice. I’m missing a mention of the REC-6 Demolishers though. It’s worth taking two Demolishers and then a laser-based primary like the LAS-16 Sickle so you don’t need to also carry ammo.

The Sickle is perfect for popping Scouts, Vanguards and Stalkers from long range and as long as you manage the heat gauge, it can dish out constant pain. If you hit your targets in their center of mass, at a 90 degree angle (so front, sides or back), it will deal almost two-and-a-half times as much damage per shot.

The Demolishers take some getting used to, but they are one of the most versatile strats in the game. While they CAN be detonated in mid-air, this is not very effective against armored enemies. Great against groups of enemies though, and once you get a feel for the explosion’s range, amazing at quickly creating some breathing room.

Rolling a demo charge up to a big armored bug is one way to get the most anti-tank use out of it. One will usually finish off an Impaler; while it may barely survive, shooting its weak spot with your regular weapon should kill it quickly, conserving Demolishers.
For Tanks and Behemoths I tend to just throw two into their path as they charge.

As a bonus, one or two Demolishers can completely take the “oomph” out of a group of Brood Commanders that spawns uncomfortably close.

Another bonus, if you walk off of a cliff or otherwise coughtriplevolcanodeathtrapcough can’t get your gear back, you can just call in some more demo charges.

You can also share Demolishers with your teammates and use them to swap out secondary weapons. Think about that last one for a sec – only the EAT-17 has the same advantage, where you can conveniently call down a stratagem to swap out a secondary weapon you may have accidentally or temporarily picked up. Other squadmates can also use it for the same purpose.
It’s not a huge factor, but it has been useful enough times for me to warrant a mention. While you can, of course, also just kill someone holding your weapon, this can lead to… misunderstandings.

Oh, and it also blows up mission objectives. Two bug nests can be destroyed simultaneously if they are placed close together. I recommend mid-air detonation; the range is huge.


Well Bug, I’m flattered that you took the time to try to argue with my perspective.
Have a great day.

I’ve left the REC-6 advice all to you, since that is your field of expertise and preferred loadout (if I remember correctly). :wink:

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I’ve missed your post before, so I’m only replying a bit late.

So here’s the thing, I don’t consider myself a top player (far from it, actually) and even if I did, I wouldn’t agree that certain weapons should be reserved for those who can wield them perfectly. Mistakes happen in this game, at any and all player-skill-levels, and the only way to improve with any item is to use them and learn all their quirks.

Or, in other words: you can’t make a Freedom Omelette without breaking some Liberty Eggs.

So, yeah, while I will always agree that certain items are really really REALLY dangerous to teammates, the only way to improve is to try out stuff and get your hands dirty with everything, especially the items that get your team killed all the time. That’s how you improve.

This is the reason I almost exclusively play random games, btw.
In most other games, I tend to be a min-max type of player, brooding over stats and numbers, spending hours to decide wether to wield this or that item. In Helldivers, while I do have my preferred gear-items, playing with randoms forces me to adapt to ever changing situations and ever different playstyles.
I mention this because, while I agree that EAT-17 is one of the most beneficial and easy to use / learn Stratagems in this game, it’s sometimes also too dangerous to bring into a game; for example, it’s a sure-fire way to get your noob-teammates’ vehicles or exosuits crushed.

Everything is dangerous in Helldivers. Some things more, and other things less. But if you limit yourself to the “safe stuff” you’re not going to learn how to adapt to an ever-changing battlefield. Which is what personally draws me to this game.


@Citizen_Graves well put and I could not agree more. However some people forget this is a game … and you’re supposed to have fun. When a noob grabs your Rumbler - think of it as a challenge … instead of bashing him to death … as I have seen some players do. Have fun and experiment … kill and get killed …

Well, CG, I’ve viewed your YouTube videos, and it certainly appears that you are a better player than most I’ve gamed alongside.
Still, speaking only for myself, HD is unique in that I can play some missions where everything falls into place, and play others where everything falls apart.
My last game, I joined a mission, and got shot from behind by a player who wanted my equipment. He managed to steal it for less than 30 seconds before the enemies killed him and ended the game.
This was followed by a thrilling solo dive where I died twice, but somehow managed to get in the shuttle at the end.
For whatever it’s worth, I’ve been killed so often by Toxic Avengers that I’ve lost count, far more often than via the Rumbler. Still, point well taken, one must learn by doing.
Ultimately, when facing big bugs, some other weapon must be used to end them beyond primaries. I have dispatched Impalers with consistent rifle fire, but the time and ammunition required precludes this option most of the time, at least in my own play.
Personally, I prefer blue strategems to red, but I readily admit that more options exist in the red.
Combinations of weapons can also work synergistically, anti-tank mines and EATs, for example, but in the end HD usually involves a struggle and improvisation. No weapon choice covers everything, but some are better than others, I have found, depending on the objective.
HD is intense and challenging, the big bugs are definitely part of it.

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Wow. I recognize so much of myself in your words! I’m the same way. I’d even go so far as to say that Helldivers solo is a separate game than co-op. Starting the second when someone else drops in. It becomes about figuring out how to mesh together and adapt to each other’s playstyle.

I love that part of the game, but I do usually play random games with fairly “safe” loadouts (sh-20, boots/cardio, rec6/rumbler and a strong primary). When playing with friends and/or randoms that I “click” with I experiment more.

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The Commando DLC mortar is really good at destroying big bugs without accidentally killing teammates if you can aim well.