Where to Find and Defeat Annihilator Tanks in Helldivers 2

Helldivers 2 Where to find and defeat Annihilator Tanks Featured Image

Annihilator Tanks are supposed to be the most powerful piece of hardware the Automatons can throw at us, and in many cases, they will live to their annihilator name. But spend a couple of seconds fighting one-on-one and you’ll know why it is more of a showpiece than an actual weapon of war.

This guide will tell you everything you need to know about the Annihilator Tanks in Helldivers 2 and how to effectively deal with them. Spoiler alert: you don’t need much to deal with them. First and foremost, let’s go over the different types of Annihilator Tanks and what they are capable of.

The Annihilator Tank starts appearing on the battlefield as early as Rank 4 [Challenging] missions are unlocked. There is no way to determine if an Annihilator Tank will appear on certain missions. For now, it seems random. I suspect that it has something to do with the large factory-like outposts but I can’t say for certain just yet.

There are currently two types of Annihilator Tanks in Helldiver 2 as of its launch, though both tanks go by the same moniker according to the game. The first variant is your typical main battle tank with a rotating turret and heavy armor plating. The second variant maintains the same vehicle design but with an anti-air quad turret instead.

The main battle tank variant boasts a powerful main gun and a rapid-fire machine on the lower front of the tank. The turret is very accurate from range and is the tank’s primary attack option. The quad turret features a nimble rotating turret that can kill easily mop up a Helldiver from mid-range. Staying behind cover might be your best bet against either turret configuration. Both tanks also have built-in rocket launchers that occasionally shoot rockets at targets in front of the tank.

How to Defeat Annihilator Tanks in Helldivers 2

At first sight, you’d think that the Annihilator Tank would utterly decimate you, your team, and three other fire teams on the same planet. It’s only when you get up close to them that you begin to realize that something is off. It turns out that Annihilators are tame compared to Devastors. Don’t get me wrong, it can still wipe you off the face of the planet if you are anywhere in the vicinity of the front of the tank or its turret. But spend a couple of seconds fighting it and you’ll see how hilariously bad it is.

The truth of the matter is that the Annihilator Tank turns into a pussy cat in the open field. You can easily run circles around it in the time it takes for it to decide a direction and go forward. That’s right. The damned tank is subject to tank controls. Who would have guessed?

The Annihilator’s weak spot is a heat sink located at the back of the turret. It’s pretty much the only thing that can take light armor-piercing weapons fire. Any other surface of the tank will require at least a 500 KG bomb or a focused Orbital Strike to even cause a dent in its armor.

The most obvious way of taking down an Annihilator Tank is to shoot a homing missile from the SPEAR Launcher from a safe distance. The launcher is more than capable of taking a tank down with a single missile but there is the chance of you getting unlucky, resulting in two missiles being used. Alternatively, you can use the Orbital Rail Cannon Strike to deal massive amounts of damage on a single unit.

To take down the Annihilator from a short range, you’ll first thing you need to do is take down any stormtroopers or devastators in the area. These grunts actually pose a threat to you while you run laps around the tank. If you leave them alive, they will have plenty of chances to shoot you in the back as you’re busy positioning yourself behind the turret.

The second thing you need to do is to get yourself in a position to strike the heat sink. The turret will slowly turn as it tracks your location but if you’re active, there is no way for the turret to get a beat on you. With something like the Autocannon, you can take down the tank in 2-3 hits. The Grenade Launcher is ok too if you aren’t high enough in level. Of course, the Railgun is what you want to use once you’ve reached Level 20. Nothing beats that gun’s ability to destroy weak spots.

Look, I know I’ve been poking fun at the tank’s expense the entire article. But after all the BS we Helldivers have to endure every mission, we deserve to have a little fun. Admittedly, the tank is the heaviest unit the Automatons have in their arsenal so it is deserving of some respect. For instance, you don’t want to be in front of the tank when it is moving forward. Nor do you want to stay in front of the machine gun turret longer than you need to. In such cases, I am reminded of a certain line that goes by thus, “overconfidence is a slow and insidious killer.” Don’t be that teammate.

What I’ve talked about also applies to the quad-turret. But do keep in mind that the quad turret turns a lot faster than the main battle tank’s turret. Usually, I don’t bother running circles and instead, I just go for the quick and easy 500 KG bomb solution.

Whatever way you decide to take down an Annihilator Tank, make sure there is some distance between the both of you when it goes down. The tank will explode after defeat, potentially killing you if you are close to it.

On a final note, tank turrets are also known to be put on top of towers in some kind of hybrid defense tower. Personally, it’s just lazy design by the robots but kodus to them for even attempting to install a turret on top of a tower. The make-shift defense tower may have the same weakness but the turret at least tries to protect itself by turning away ever so slightly. I do dislike having to run around the walls of a compound to get an angle on the turret.

And that’s everything I have observed from my encounters with Annihilator Tanks in Helldivers 2. I hope that one day the developers add something like anti-personnel burst mines to discourage players like me from running circles around it. I won’t hate it should it appear on the tank. Something called the Annihilator Tank should be feared and made a priority target by every member of the team. Until then, I will continue to poke fun at it.