Major Helldivers 2 balance patch tweaks over 24 different weapons and stratagems, adjusts enemies, slightly nerfs my beloved Quasar and Sickle, and more

helldivers 2
(Image credit: Arrowhead Game Studios)

Did you know that Helldivers 2 has a mission where you get to raise the Super Earth flag? I did, but I sure as liberty haven't ever done it. Not because of an absence of patriotism, you understand, but because it only ever popped up at lower difficulties.

That's changed now, among a host of other weapon tweaks, enemy changes, and balance fixes dropped in the humongous Patch 01.000.300 today, which brings "a number of adjustments, fixes and improvements to aid your democratic endeavours".

For starters, burning damage has been nerfed by around 15% after enjoying some time in the limelight. Heavier armour should be a little stronger, with ratings above 100 reducing the damage taken from headshots. Any reports of "concussive injuries" from a rocket slamming into the side of your dome are insurrectionist talk, and should be reported to your nearest democracy officer.

As for weapons, over 24 of them have been tweaked. I won't list them all until the end of this article, but here are some of the highlights for now:

  • The LAS-99 Quasar Cannon has had its recharge time increased by 5 seconds, which may be the death of one of my favourite strategies—putting another cannon on your mate and using it like a not-so-expendable anti-tank launcher on defence missions, since they recharge on the ground.
  • The LAS-98 Laser Cannon, which was already a cult favourite against bots, has had some damage buffs.
  • The LAS-16 Sickle has had its magazine count knocked down from 6 to 3. Even as a Sickle user, this seems like a sensible way to nerf it—it doesn't make the weapon less effective, it just means you need to be smart about letting it cool down.
  • The RS-422 Railgun has had its armour penetration buffed slightly in both Safe and Unsafe modes, which could herald its return. As a trade-off, its stagger force is worse.
  • The new  new RL-77 Airburst Rocket Launcher shouldn't blow you up nearly as much anymore.

When it comes to the enemies of democracy, Bile Spewers move slower, Hulks are harder to stagger, and those pesky Automaton factories shouldn't be flooding your skies with liberty-hating gunships as much. Most notably, enemy patrols will now be more frequent with smaller party sizes—though groups of four shouldn't notice any changes: "The biggest noticeable change will be for solo players at higher difficulties."

As for general gameplay improvements, the "raise the flag" missions will now spawn on higher difficulties. My comfort zone is difficulty seven (Suicide Mission) and I've noticed a few flag missions popping up on Terminid planets already. Arrowhead also has made "minor level generation improvements to how we distribute locations throughout the mission map," which "should improve variation in distance between objectives, and objectives will likely not spawn as far away from each other as often as before." 

Additionally, your shots that ricochet off heavily-armoured enemies "will now properly hit the Helldiver who fired them." I'm sure this will never happen to me, the most accurate Helldiver in the universe (don't look at my mission stats, please. Just let me have this).

A litany of fixes addressing crashes and glitches have also been released, including an "issue that allowed traitors to try to sabotage the extraction shuttle by deploying sentry stratagems below it." Again, they're too numerous to notice here, but I'm most excited by the nerf to the local foliage, which have been a constant thorn in my side by blocking a lot of my Sickle and Quasar Cannon shots. Leaves are just built different on alien worlds, I guess.

You can peruse the full list of patch notes below.

Helldivers Patch 01.000.300

helldivers 2 democratic detonation

(Image credit: Arrowhead Game Studios)


For this patch, we have made improvements and changes to the following areas: 

Balance changes to weapons, stratagems, and enemies.

Change to the Spread Democracy mission.



  • Armors with armor rating above 100 now also reduce damage on headshots.
  • Victory poses will now only play for the extracted. (No stolen valor on my ship.)

Primary, Secondary, & Support Weapons

CB-9 Exploding Crossbow

  • Slightly smaller explosion
  • Increased stagger
  • Decreased number of maximum mags from 12 to 8
  • Increased number of magazines received from resupply from 6 to 8
  • Slight reduction in ergonomics
  • Muzzle velocity increased

LAS-99 Quasar Cannon

  • Increased recharge time by 5 seconds

BR-14 Adjudicator

  • Full auto is now the default fire mode
  • Reduced recoil
  • Increased maximum mags from 6 to 8
  • Increased number of magazines received from resupply from 6 to 8
  • Now placed amongst assault rifles

Laser Cannon

  • Slightly increased damage
  • Slightly reduced damage versus large volume bodies
  • SG-8P Punisher Plasma
  • Decreased maximum mags from 12 to 8
  • Increased amount of magazines received from resupply from 6 to 8
  • Increased projectile speed, but will still keep a similar range
  • Decreased damage falloff on the explosion
  • Now placed in the energy weapons category

ARC-12 Blitzer

  • Increased shots per minute from 30 to 45
  • Now placed in the energy weapons category

R-36 Eruptor

  • Decreased number of maximum mags from 12 to 6
  • Explosion damage drops off slightly faster

LAS-16 Sickle

  • Decreased amount of magazines from 6 down to 3


  • Increased damage from 300 to 350
  • Decreased max number of mags from 6 down to 4


  • Increased armor penetration in both safe mode and unsafe mode
  • Stagger force slightly reduced

MG-101 Heavy Machine Gun 

  • Third person crosshair enabled

Diligence Counter Sniper

  • Damage increased from 128 to 140
  • Ergonomics improved


  • Damage increased from 112 to 125

P-19 Redeemer

  • Slight increase in recoil


  • Increased damage from 60 to 75


  • Increased damage from 150 to 175
  • Speedloader added when reloading on an empty cylinder–speeds up reload on empty considerably


  • Increased damage from 150 to 200


  • Damage increased from 55 to 60

Liberator Concussive 

  • Damage increased from 55 to 65


  • Damage decreased from 300 to 275

Guard Dog Rover 

  • Decreased damage by 30%

Guard Dog

  • Slight increase in damage

Fire Weapons

  • Burning damage reduced by 15% 


Machinegun Sentry 

  • Increased health to match other Sentries

Tesla Tower

  • Increased health by 33%

RL-77 Airburst Rocket Launcher

  • Airburst Rocket Launcher will no longer detonate when shot near stratagems (HMG turret, Sentries, Resupplies) and other Helldivers.
  • Reduced proximity radius


Balancing adjustments have been made to:

  • Bile Spewer and Nursing Spewers movespeed slightly reduced
  • Hulks: Force required for them to stagger slightly increased
  • Hulk Scorcher direct flamethrower damage reduced by 20%
  • Devastator fire rate slightly increased (only the standard devastator)
  • Gunships sideways movement slightly increased
  • Scout strider Riders now less vulnerable to explosions
  • Fog Generators health and armor increased
  • Gunship spawners now have a much lower cap on how many gunships they can have active at the same time.

Enemy Patrols

  • Balancing adjustment to patrol spawning.
  • Patrol spawning has been increased when there are fewer than 4 players. The fewer the players the bigger the change. For 4 player missions there will be no change compared to before.The biggest noticeable change will be for solo players at higher difficulties.


  • Made minor level generation improvements to how we distribute locations throughout the mission map. This should improve variation in distance between objectives, and objectives will likely not spawn as far away from each other as often as before.
  • Added setting in the options menu gameplay section to disable automatic climbing and vaulting while sprinting.
  • The Spread Democracy mission otherwise known as “raise the flag” can now be enjoyed on higher difficulties for maximum freedom spreading.
  • When readying up, Helldivers now salute to ensure maximum democratic readiness.
  • Added ambience to the Tremor planetary hazard to underline the severity so Helldivers can react accordingly
  • Shots that ricochet from heavy armored enemies will now properly hit the Helldiver who fired them. Trigger discipline is highly recommended.


Crash Fixes

  • Fixed crash that could occur when host abandoned mission with squad.
  • Fixed crash that could occur if a player tried to enter an occupied EXO-45 Patriot Suit.
  • Fixed crash that could occur for all players after or during mission results screen.
  • Fixed crash that could occur after shooting from the EXO-45 Patriot Suit’s rocket launcher.
  • Fixed crash that could occur for all players apart from the one that rejoined the ongoing mission with different armor and got reinforced.
  • Fixed Superior Packing Methodology ship module not working properly.
  • Fixed Blast Absorption ship module so that it correctly increases sentries’ resistance to explosions.
  • Fixed issue where players could not navigate to the search results in the Social Menu.
  • Fixed some issues where items equipped in a Warbond were not actually equipped.
  • Fixed an exploit that allowed overly eager Helldivers to use grenades excessively.
  • Fixed issue where kills from orbital barrage did not progress Indirect Fire Exercise order.
  • Fixed issue that allowed traitors to try to sabotage the extraction shuttle by deploying sentry stratagems below it.
  • Fixed issue where ion storms incorrectly prevented extraction beacon from deploying.
  • Fixed some stratagem beams using incorrect color-coding.
  • Fixed issue where the left stick on a controller could not be used to navigate the Social menu.
  • Fixed some issues where various UI elements were cut off, off-centered or too close to the edge of the screen on ultrawide displays.
  • Fixed Anti-Materiel Rifle facing away from the Helldiver after deploying it.
  • Fixed bug where player could duplicate rounds by canceling the reload of Anti-Materiel Rifle at a specific time.
  • Fixed bug where Anti-Materiel Rifle would consume an extra magazine after a canceled reload.
  • Fixed bug where Recoilless Rifle would consume an extra shell from the backpack if the reload was canceled just after a shell was i* inserted, but before the reload was completed.
  • Fixed issue where the Sickle and Quasar Cannon could not shoot through foliage.
  • Fixed several issues where weapon thumbnails would disappear when scrolling through Armory.
  • Fixed issues where Automaton Gunships sometimes could not see the player.
  • Fixed incorrect collision being left over after destroying Automaton bunkers or detector towers with hellbombs.
  • Fixed issue where Hellbombs would not deploy on certain missions
  • Fixed certain issues that resulted in Helldivers drowning in deep water upon landing.
  • Fixed issue where Hellpod Space Optimization made ammo go above capacity.
  • Fixed issue where Stalkers became very visible in fog
  • Mines are now pingable for better coordination with your team.
  • Receiving friend requests now gives the player a pop up.
  • Improved readability of prompts and hints displayed in the tutorial and onboarding.
  • Total experience is now visible in the career tab.
  • Added better support for ultrawide monitors by fixing the aspect ratio of menus to 16:9 and adding a setting to control the width of the HUD.
  • Keybinds bound to numpad will no longer reset upon restart.
  • Fixed inconsistent audio when headphones are plugged into the Dual Sense controller while playing on PC.
  • Playing Rock, Paper, Scissors in front of the ship no longer causes player to fall out into space.
  • APW-1 Anti-Material Rifle and MG-206 Heavy Machine Gun now trigger hitmarkers while scoped in.
  • Secondary weapon no longer remains in the Ballistic Shield ADS position after using a stim with the Ballistic Shield Backpack equipped.
  • "Open Text Chat" is now rebindable.
  • Explosive weapons such as R-36 Eruptor, CB-9 Exploding Crossbow. GP-31 Grenade Pistol no longer pulls players inward from the blast.
  • Disabled the squad invites during the tutorial which caused an overlap in the UI.
  • Fixed Primary and Secondary weapons overlapping on the character model in the armory.
  • Fixed UI elements during first boot are cut off on a 21:9 aspect ratio monitor.
  • Report and block player is now visible in the squad menu.
  • Dead Scavengers now stop screaming for help if killed while calling in reinforcements.
  • Fixed Anti Air cannons showing up as "Stratagem Scramblers" in danger warnings.
  • Added reload stage for the Spear reload after the spent missile had been discarded.

Known Issues

These are issues that were either introduced by this patch and are being worked on, or are from a previous version and have not yet been fixed. 

  • Damage-over-time effects may only apply when dealt by the host. We expect to have this fixed in the next patch.
  • Reinforcement may not be available for some players who join a game in progress.
  • Helldiver may be unable to stand up from crouching when surrounded by enemies.
  • Game may crash if the host leaves while dead and rejoins the same play session.
  • Game may crash if the player changes the text language while on a mission.
  • Various issues involving friend invites and cross-play:
  • Friend Request cannot be accepted when the requesting player changed their username before the request was accepted.
  • Cross-platform friend invites might not show up in the Friend Requests tab.
  • Players cannot unfriend players befriended via friend code.
  • Players cannot unblock players that were not in their Friends list beforehand.
  • Players may experience delays in Medals and Super Credits payouts.
  • Enemies that bleed out do not progress Personal Orders and Eradicate missions.
  • Scopes on some weapons such as the Anti-Materiel Rifle are slightly misaligned.
  • Arc weapons sometimes behave inconsistently and sometimes misfire.
  • Spear’s targeting is inconsistent, making it hard to lock-on to larger enemies.
  • Stratagem beam might attach itself to an enemy but it will deploy to its original location.
  • Explosions do not break your limbs (except for when you fly into a rock).
  • Area around Automaton Detector Tower makes blue stratagems such as the Hellbomb bounce and be repelled when trying to call them down close to the tower.
  • Planet liberation reaches 100% at the end of every Defend mission.
Harvey Randall
Staff Writer

Harvey's history with games started when he first begged his parents for a World of Warcraft subscription aged 12, though he's since been cursed with Final Fantasy 14-brain and a huge crush on G'raha Tia. He made his start as a freelancer, writing for websites like Techradar, The Escapist, Dicebreaker, The Gamer, Into the Spine—and of course, PC Gamer. He'll sink his teeth into anything that looks interesting, though he has a soft spot for RPGs, soulslikes, roguelikes, deckbuilders, MMOs, and weird indie titles. He also plays a shelf load of TTRPGs in his offline time. Don't ask him what his favourite system is, he has too many.