How to get Helldivers 2 Armor Piercing Rounds

Helldivers 2 armor piercing
(Image credit: Sony)

Helldivers 2 armor piercing rounds and weapons are essential for getting beyond the mid-game difficulties, with increasing amounts of enemies protecting themselves with armor plating of varying degrees. If you can't handle armored foes you're not likely to get very far as a champion of democracy, so we'll explain Armor Piercing in Helldivers 2 and what weapons can and can't get through enemy armor.

Armor Piercing rounds in Helldivers 2 explained

Helldivers 2 armor piercing

(Image credit: Sony)

Armor Piercing in Helldivers 2 - called "Armor Penetrating" in game - comes in three varieties:

  • Light Armor Penetrating: The standard level of armor piercing, all weapons and even melee attacks can do this. The name is a little misleading - this level doesn't really break through armor at all.
  • Medium Armor Penetrating: This level of armor piercing will break through some - but not all - tiers of armor, usually good for mid-level bots like the Helldivers 2 Devastators.
  • Heavy Armor Penetrating: At time of writing there's no weapon actually labelled as such, but there are nonetheless weapons designed to punch through heavy armor plating - normally some of the Stratagem-dependent Helldivers 2 best weapons like the Autocannon and Railgun.

To be honest, there's no standard Primary weapon in Helldivers 2 that's got really good armor penetration - it's far better to rely on Stratagem weapons, airstrikes and explosives instead, while just using a primary you're comfortable with to fight enemies covered in armor plating.

How to kill armored enemies in Helldivers 2

Helldivers 2 armor piercing

(Image credit: Sony)

The more dangerous armored enemies in Helldivers 2 should not be shot with regular weapons - bullets can actually bounce off and ricochet into you or others. The process is as follows:

  1. Look for a weak spot (such as the vents on the Helldivers 2 Hulks) to target.
  2. If no weak spot is apparent, you'll be able to use Armor Penetrating and explosive weapons to break the armor, like you can do on a Helldivers 2 Bile Titan.
  3. This should reveal soft meat beneath - you've effectively created a weak spot. Target this with everything you have.

Helldivers 2 armor piercing

(Image credit: Sony)

If you're having a lot of trouble with armored enemies, here's some Stratagems we suggest bringing into the field.

  • Stratagem Weapons
    • Railgun
    • Autocannon
    • Expendable Anti-Tank 
    • Recoilless Rifle
    • Spear
    • Grenade Launcher
    • Anti-Material Rifle
  • Stratagem Airstrikes
    • Any Orbital Cannon
    • Eagle Cluster Bomb
    • Eagle Airstrike
    • Eagle 110mm Rocket Pods
    • Eagle 500kg Bomb
    • Orbital Precision Strike
    • Anti-Personnel Minefield

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Joel Franey
Guides Writer

Joel Franey is a writer, journalist, podcaster and raconteur with a Masters from Sussex University, none of which has actually equipped him for anything in real life. As a result he chooses to spend most of his time playing video games, reading old books and ingesting chemically-risky levels of caffeine. He is a firm believer that the vast majority of games would be improved by adding a grappling hook, and if they already have one, they should probably add another just to be safe. You can find old work of his at USgamer, Gfinity, Eurogamer and more besides.