Helldivers 2 Heavy Machine Gun Weapon Guide

Helldivers 2 Heavy Machine Gun Guide Featured Image

The heavy machine gun is one of those guns that will take some time to grow on some people. In its current state, the HMG is difficult to love. It kicks like a mule and there’s never enough ammo for a sustained action. But will highly damaging bullets make up for all the shortcomings? Let’s talk about it.

In this guide, I’ll tell you how to get the Heavy Machine Gun in Helldivers 2 and how to use it properly. I’ll also tell you what I think are the best times to bring it out and how to deal with the painful recoil.

How to get the Heavy Machine Gun in Helldivers 2

The Heavy Machine Gun can be acquired from the ship management terminal under the stratagems tabs. The stratagem costs 6,000 Requisition Slips and requires the player to be above Level 15 at the very least. Despite being called the MG-101 Heavy Machine Gun in promotional material, the MG-206 Heavy Machine Gun is the official of the HMG.

The weapon sports a 75-bullet magazine and three firing speeds: 450, 750, and 950 RPM. The HMG used to be able to shoot at 1250 RPM but that has since been toned down as of Patch 01.000.200. It is capable of holding up to two spare magazines in reserve.

How to Use the Heavy Machine Gun

As soon as you get your hands on the HMG, you’ll immediately notice it has a completely different feel from the other machine guns. Unlike the highly mobile and reliable Stewart machine gun, the HMG almost necessitates you to be stationary.

The recoil of this weapon is so severe that a single pull of the trigger makes the reticle jump 45 degrees on either side. This is horrible for sustained firing. Instead, you’ll want to shoot in bursts as much as possible to preserve ammo and ensure consistent hits on distant targets.

The only time you want to lay into the trigger is when melee enemies are up in your face. At the very least, it won’t matter if the gun is jumping wildly or not, the shots will connect on large targets regardless.

When dealing with Scavengers, it is best to tap the trigger. They’ll likely go down in one hit. The same cannot be said about the Raiders. It will usually take two bullets to properly down a Raider. I wish this wasn’t the case considering how bad the ammo economy is with this weapon.

The Heavy Machine Gun is one of the few weapons where changing the fire rate matters.

450 RPM is good for distant targets. You’ll still want to go one bullet at a time but at least you won’t mistakenly shoot another round.

750 RPM is the default fire rate and is good against targets within 100 meters of you. Sometimes, you’ll want to prefer this fire rate because armored enemies like the Scout Striders take more bullets to take down, and 450 won’t cut them down fast enough.

950 RPM is only good for targets that are already in your face. I’m talking about Berserkers and Bile Spewers. This is one of the rare times when the gun feels good to use. Make sure you have at least 75% of your magazine if you change to this mode. Otherwise, you will fall short of taking down more than a couple of enemies.

What makes the Heavy Machine Gun so hard to love?

The Heavy Machine Gun is the most awkward support weapon in the arsenal. It is unwieldy and doesn’t have a third-person reticle like the other machine guns. The only other weapon to have this feature is the Anti-Material Rifle. You can excuse the sniper rifle for not having a third-person reticle, a machine gun has no excuse.

Everything about this weapon falls short of expectations. You would think that it has enough of a punch to easily take down a Raider in one hit but it seldom does. You also need to carry a resupply backpack at all times to make up for the lack of ammo reserves. The only good about it is that it can turn faster than the Heavy Machine Gun Emplacement. Sadly, I’m comparing the machine gun to the MG emplacement. It doesn’t get any lower than that.

Let’s face it, the Heavy Machine Gun is not something many of us would consider bringing along in any serious dive. I’m sure some defenders would sing its praises but I spent the last couple of days trying to find a reason for it existing. I haven’t found any good answers.

Heavy Machine Gun Noteworthy Interactions

You can destroy Spore Spewers using the Heavy Machine Gun. It will take you nearly two full magazines but it is possible. The Shriekers Nest will prove to be harder to destroy, especially if these winged devils are constantly harassing you.

It is good for destroying the heat vents of big targets like the Hulks. As it should. I would be truly disappointed if that wasn’t the case.

You can destroy an Annihilator Tank by targeting the heat vents but it might require you to climb onto the tank and lay on the trigger right on the vent. And just because you can do it, doesn’t mean I recommend it. The number of times I died to test this theory wasn’t worth the sacrifice.

You might be able to take down a gunship if you manage to land consistent hits on one of its thrusters. Good luck surviving long enough to see the task through. (You are better off using an expendable anti-tank rocket.)

You can destroy a Charger’s abdomen with enough sustained fire. I recommend pulling off a matador maneuver and then shooting with 950 RPM for good measure. Shooting the armor is a waste of ammo. Alternatively, you can target the leg joints if you have the aim and the patience.

And that’s everything I’ve got on the Heavy Machine Gun. I have to admit it wasn’t all that bad using the HMG. It had its moment especially when the Berserkers line up and they all go down like sacks of potatoes. But those moments don’t happen very often. And unfortunately, it doesn’t have the same level of utility as the Stewart. I vastly prefer the Stewart over the HMG at the moment. Maybe Arrowhead will give it some love in the future. I hope a buff is in the works soon.