Greetings, fellow solitary gamer. If you’re thinking of giving the third-person co-op shooter Helldivers 2 a shot on your own, well, you’ll have your work cut out for you. Helldivers 2 is not only typically more fun with friends, much of the game’s challenges and mission structures are designed with multiple players in mind. Not to worry, you can still have fun in Helldivers 2 on your own, you’ll just need to adopt certain go-to strategies to come out alive.

Read More: Helldivers 2: The Kotaku Review
Buy Helldivers 2: Humble Bundle | Amazon | Target

Also, you might find yourself playing solo even if you usually team up with other players as ongoing server issues could result in you finding yourself fighting toward extraction alone. If that happens, these tips should also help you make it across the finish line.

Right now we only recommend taking on big bug Terminid enemies if you’re running solo. While doable, Automatons not only have guns, but their deployment strategies make them a more challenging foe to take on all by your lonesome.

Read More: The Essential Helldivers 2 Settings To Change Before Dropping In

Helldivers 2 is still a fairly new game, so we expect to discover more interesting strategies for perilously running in on your own or teaming up with pals. We will update this guide with any new techniques and strats that we come across.

How to avoid matchmaking with other players

To start, if you intend to play solo, you’ll need to turn off public matchmaking in the settings. In “Options,” navigate to “Gameplay” and set “Matchmaking Privacy” to “Friends Only.” In my experience, you will need to restart the game for this to take effect.

Furthermore, when deploying, be sure not to select missions that display an active party, usually labeled with a “¼” or “¾” to indicate party size.

Start with trivial and easy missions if you’re new

If you’re loading up Helldivers 2 for the first time to play solo, don’t push your luck. Even easy missions will be a challenge. Start slow and pick only missions marked easy or trivial (indicated in the lower center of the screen when choosing a mission).

Get yourself an anti-materiel rifle and a machine gun sentry right away

If you’re intentionally loading in solo, you’ll want to pack a couple of supply weapons. An anti-materiel rifle is essential as it’s powerful and its scope serves as an effective reconnaissance tool. On that note, be sure to mark enemies with R1 on PS5 and Q on PC when you spot them from a distance as this will place an indicator on them so you get a sense of how far they are and whether they’re coming to you.

A player runs down a hill while marked enemies are visibile behind them.

Marking a group of enemies is a great way to keep an eye on them from a distance. It also pays off when playing other people too.
Screenshot: Arrowhead Game Studios / Claire Jackson / Kotaku

You’ll also want to take the trusty machine gun as well. If you prefer to move around more while shooting and reloading, the stalwart isn’t a bad pick.

It’s essential to unlock and use the machine gun sentry, particularly for extraction.

Unlock the laser guard dog ASAP

The laser guard dog is a very good boy. It’ll automatically target and fire at enemies, meaning you can take on multiple targets at once. And if you’re running solo, you don’t have to worry about friendly fire.

Equip boosters

You can unlock boosters from the acquisitions menu. Equipping these before deployment (which don’t expire) will give you some buffs, such as being able to resist injury more effectively, full ammo, grenades, stims upon deployment, and more.

On the ground tactics

Once you’re on the ground, try not to get yourself into too much trouble. My advice is to stick to primary objectives. Having said that, once you land, it’s a good idea to find some ammo, stims, and grenades—assuming you don’t have a booster equipped that does this for you.

Unlike many games that have you killing hordes of enemies, you won’t earn any extra experience for slaying more foes. Don’t get into firefights you don’t need to.

Also, for the love of democracy, don’t spam grenades. This isn’t Halo (well, you shouldn’t be spamming grenades there either, but that’s for another guide). You need to manually equip a grenade and timing the explosion correctly can be tricky to nail. Grenades are not always a get out of jail free card when you’re being swarmed by enemies, but they are essential for taking out the holes bugs start crawling through, so don’t waste them.

Plan ahead for each extraction

Look out for lanes to lay down rapid gunfire on one end while a turret defends another.
Gif: Arrowhead Game Studios / Claire Jackson / Kotaku

When you call up your ship, expect to be swarmed by enemies. Leave yourself enough time on the clock to prepare. Do yourself a favor and drop a resupply Stratagem, that sentry machine gun we talked about, and at least one or two extra supply weapons before you call in the ship. Machine guns are particularly effective for reducing high volumes of enemies while you wait for the exfil ship.

Helldivers 2 certainly is meant to be played with multiple people working together as a team. That said, running solo can be a good way to learn the game the hard way and develop new strategies that might aid future teammates or prove to make you an unstoppably rare solo Helldiver.

Buy Helldivers 2: Humble Bundle | Amazon | Target

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