AR-61 Tenderizer in the hands of a Helldiver in Helldivers 2
Image via Arrowhead Game Studios

Arrowhead CEO says Helldivers 2 assault rifles became ‘diluted’ in current meta

Something needs to change.

The weapons sandbox in Helldivers 2 constantly changes with the addition of new Warbonds and frequent balance changes. Despite all that, one weapon category seemingly doesn’t live up to its name.

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Helldivers 2 fan on May 12 pointed out the developer needs to evaluate weapons’ place in the sandbox, especially assault rifles, which feel like “modded BB guns and serve zero purpose.” In response to the post, Arrowhead CEO Johan Pilestedt agreed and added that the representation of assault rifles has become diluted. “It’s always strange in games where rifles are seen as pea shooters rather than the 2k J spitters that they are,” Pilestedt wrote.

Three Helldivers in arctic armor sets in Helldivers 2
Diligence all the way. Image via Arrowhead Game Studios

As the original post highlighted, assault rifles currently have “no place even if you aren’t super meta concerned.” At the time of writing, the best weapons in Helldivers 2 are shotguns and energy-based weapons. The latest assault rifle added with the Polar Patriots Warbond, the AR-61 Tenderizer, has lower stats than the starting AR-23 Liberator and is very underwhelming, according to players.

Although the latest patches buffed several primary weapons, fans found the changes not meaningful enough, and considering how many enemies there are with medium armor, regular assault rifles still feel underpowered.

At the same time, whenever Helldivers 2 strikes a weapon with a nerf, it’s often a fairly significant one. A great example is the latest CB-9 Exploding Crossbow nerf, which practically removed the “Exploding” part from its name, making the crossbow a single-target tool instead of an add-clearing weapon many players found fun.

While we don’t know if assault rifles will receive any substantial buffs in the near future, Pilestedt previously wrote he thinks the developer has gone too far in some areas when it comes to weapon balance, and he’ll talk to the team to avoid removing fun from the game.


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Freelance News and SEO Writer for Dot Esports, covering everything from live service games like Destiny 2 and Fortnite to new releases. Writing about games since 2021. When he's not writing, he's probably grinding for loot in Destiny 2.