Helldivers 2: Seven Guns That Need to Be In Your Next Drop

Released in February 2024, Helldivers 2 has absolutely taken over gaming. The sequel to the top-down shooter from years ago was a surprise hit. Though the original game was a run multiplayer romp, the sequel completely revamped the game and provided us with a four-player cooperative multiplayer shooter with a third-person perspective and very addictive gameplay. 

It’s chock full of violent engagements with terrifying bugs and massive automatons that are constantly attacking you. Gamers play as a Helldiver, an elite drop trooper, tasked with a wide variety of missions in many different worlds. The game combines elements of the ODST troops from Halo with a very Starship Troopers-like feel. The game is very over the top and humorous about democracy, patriotism, and freedom. 

For Democracy 

The game is difficult, and you’re almost always on the edge of death. Ripping and roaring through the game with a wide variety of weapons is a blast. Shooting machine guns, rifles, shotguns, and my favorite, the flamethrower, into waves of bugs is a ton of fun. 

three helldivers
Bullpups are all the rage in Helldivers.

The weapons in Helldivers are great. Every Helldiver carries a main gun and a sidearm, but also has access to support weapons they can call in via “Stratagems.” These include medium and light machine guns, anti-material rifles, recoilless rifles, anti-tank weapons, and, of course, the flamethrower. On top of that, you can call for over drones, turrets, gun emplacements, and massive calls for danger-close air support. 

The guns in Helldivers are quasi-believable. Sure, there are laser rifles, but there is also a pump-action shotgun that resembles a Kel-Tec KSG and a DMR rifle with some AR-10 influence. They are mostly grounded, or at least as grounded as Super Earth allows them to be. With that in mind, I got to thinking: what real-life guns would work for Helldivers 2? 

Protect Super-Earth 

The guns in Helldivers 2 are designed to fight a wide variety of threats, from giant robots to massive bugs. Since the Helldivers are grounded, I figured some real guns would work well in the game. Which real guns? Well, they have to have a futuristic appearance and design and be effective against either bugs or automatons. 

helldivers 2 cover image
For Democracy!

Here are a few guns I think would be at home on Super Earth and the Helldiver’s frontier. 

The SRM 1216 

Shotguns rule at killing bugs, and the SRM 1216 might be one of the most futuristic shotguns we have these days. It’s a 12 gauge, semi-auto, roller-delayed blowback gun that uses a quasi-bullpup-like design. It’s a bit more akin to an Uzi than a true bullpup. 

SRM 1216
The SRM 1216 is compact and capable, roughly the same size as an M4 with the stock extended.

The SRM 1216 features a fascinating magazine. It’s a removable, detachable design composed of four magazine tubes. Each tube holds four rounds, and when one tube runs dry, the shooter rotates the magazine, and the next tube is ready and waiting. Once all four tubes are empty, you swap magazines and do it all over again. This thing will put a dozen bugs down with absolute ease. 

Calico Liberty Pistol 

Liberty is in the name! Of course, it works for the Helldivers. The Calico Liberty is legally a pistol, but in the Helldivers world, it would be best used as a submachine gun since Helldivers don’t have to deal with the NFA and the Hughes Amendment. The Calico Liberty is a roller-delayed 9mm ‘pistol’ that uses the famed Calico helical magazine. 

Calico liberty tactical pistol
Look at this thing! Imagine it as a single-handed submachine gun.

That big circular thing on the back holds 50 rounds of 9mm. Yep, it’s oddly mounted but well-balanced and easy to shoot. The rear sight is a part of the magazine and the more modern tactical versions offer a rail for optics and accessories. A 50-round drum would make it an excellent SMG in the game and provide lots of one-handed firepower.  


As far as sidearms go, the game could use a more powerful option. The standard handguns are fine, but when you’re facing down a mindless, violent automaton that’s threatening the democracy of Super Earth, you want some punch. The FK BRNO fires the 7.5 FK round, which is a pistol round designed to fly fast, penetrate deep, and go far. 

FK BRNO PSD Multi Caliber Pistol
The FK BRNO PSD Multi Caliber Pistol is available through The Italian Firearms Group. (Photo: FK BRNO)

This big handgun easily makes shots out to 50 yards and continues to carry lots of energy and velocity at that range. With the right cartridge, you can hunt dangerous game up to 500 pounds, so bugs don’t stand a chance. It wouldn’t be a stretch for a special armor-piercing round to be made for piercing the hearts of the automatons. The BRNO pistol features low recoil thanks to its clever recoil attenuation system. 

Ohio Ordnance REAPR 

The Ohio Ordnance REAPR is a belt-fed medium machine gun built around a roller-delayed blowback system. What sets this gun apart from the standard machine gun is its use of .338 Norma Magnum cartridges. It’s a beastly gun that can reach up to 2,000 meters on vehicle-sized targets and provides excellent penetration. 

Ohio Ordnance REAPR
The REAPR would be a perfect long-range machine gun for the game.

The hefty recoil makes it more of a stationary weapon when it comes to accurate fire; I think it would be fun to have a gun that makes use of Helldivers 2’s prone position while still being man-portable. Plus, the gun breaks down into three components, making it easy to carry the weapon in a backpack. In our case, it could easily fit into a supply pod. 

True Velocity RM277

Bullpups are the weapons of the future…and they always will be. In the future of Super Earth bullpups exist and are used widely. The RM277 was created by both General Dynamics and Lone Star Future Weapons to produce a rifle to replace the M4/M16 series as part of the NGSW. It lost, but it appeared to be a very promising design. 

true velocity rifle
The bullpup design was fielded by True Velocity/LoneStar Future Weapons (formerly a General Dynamics design).

It fires a unique 6.8mm TVCM cartridge designed by True Velocity. This hefty, super-powerful cartridge was designed to pierce through modern body armor and work with a smart gun-like scope by Vortex. It would be a great assault rifle of DMR for picking off Automatons or Terminids in the future war for democracy. 


The OICW, or Objective Individual Combat Weapon, was a failed attempt to replace the M16 series of rifles. When the GWOT heated up, the OICW got a few kills in Afghanistan but was largely abandoned afterward. The weapon is technically two weapons. The first is a 5.56 rifle. The second is a 20mm grenade launcher with airburst capabilities. 

The OICW XM29 was a combination grenade launcher and rifle.

Do I need to even go on as to why this would be a great weapon as a Helldiver? You have a rifle for up-close work and a freaking computer-controlled grenade launcher. You can take down bugs and automatons with a renewed sense of vigor and enthusiasm as you launch those magazine-fed grenades for freedom and democracy. 

Hellfire R9X Missle 

Let’s leave the article with a call for fire option. The game is full of over-the-top bombing runs, artillery barrages, and orbital cannon fire. What about something more subtle? The Hellfire R9X missile has no warhead but deploys five katana-like blades to do its killing. This precise munition is perfect as a non-explosive option to destroy the enemy without blowing up your buddies. 

r9x missle diagram
The R9X is what happens when your missile designer watches too much anime.

Feet First Into Hell 

Will the Helldivers developers take my suggestions? Probably not, but it’d be a lot cooler if they did! The game is a ton of fun. It’s challenging, exciting, and really fun with a good group of friends. I’m looking forward to what comes next from Helldivers and the development crew. 

Travis Pike is a former Marine Machine Gunner and a lifelong firearms enthusiast. Now that his days of working a 240B like Charlie Parker on the sax are over he's a regular guy who likes to shoot, write, and find ways to combine the two. He holds an NRA certification as a Basic Pistol Instructor and is probably most likely the world's Okayest firearm instructor. He is a simplicisist when it comes to talking about himself in the 3rd person and a self-professed tactical hipster. Hit him up on Instagram, @travis.l.pike, with story ideas.

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