How to destroy Automaton Gunships in Helldivers 2

Helldivers 2 Gunship exploding and shot down
(Image credit: Sony)

The new Helldivers 2 Gunships are a deadly addition to the Automatons' ranks, providing the devastation of a Bruiser Hulk but from the air. With that much firepower and armor, and the fact that they hover well above the ground, they're tough to destroy. Worst of all, Gunship Facilities also appear in Helldivers 2 missions and continuously produce these lethal aerial units. To help you see off the expanding Automaton threat, I've explained the best ways to destroy Helldivers 2 Gunships and remove them from the equation by blowing up the Gunship Facilities.

Helldivers 2 Automaton Gunships explained

Helldivers 2 Gunships flying

(Image credit: Sony)

As one of the latest enemy types to be added to Helldivers 2, the Automaton Gunships are a brutal aerial unit for the bots. They're almost the complete opposite of the Helldivers 2 Shriekers, moving slowly at a fixed altitude, raining laser fire and missile salvos at Helldivers on the ground. They're also heavily armored and can only be shot down without some of the best Helldivers 2 weapons.

Even if you shoot them down, they can keep coming thanks to a nearby Gunship Facility – a new type of Enemy Tactical Objective – that needs to be destroyed too. Overall, it means Gunships are a challenge to deal with, especially at the highest Helldivers 2 difficulties, where several of them can appear at once.

How to destroy Helldivers 2 Gunships

Helldivers 2 aiming quasar cannon at gunship

(Image credit: Sony)

Due to the heavy armor on these Gunships, regular primary weapons aren't going to cut it, so you need to shoot them with a really big gun to down them in one or two shots. The Spear, Recoilless Rifle, Expendable Anti-Tank, and Railgun are all solid options, but the Quasar Cannon is by far the best option thanks to its power, infinite ammo, and lack of backpack requirements.

If you're completing a mission on a planet occupied by the Helldivers 2 Automatons, especially on Suicide Mission and above, at least two Helldivers should be packing one of the above weapons to deal with not only these Gunships, but also things like Helldivers 2 Annihilator Tanks and Hulks. If you want to stop Gunships meddling with your mission permanently, however, you'll need to obliterate the nearby Gunship Facility.

How to destroy Helldivers 2 Gunship Facilities

Helldivers 2 Gunship facility exploding with hellbomb

(Image credit: Sony)

These massive ship-building towers should be easy to spot if you start getting attacked by Gunships, but they can only be taken down with a Hellbomb. Unlike many other bot structures which can be destroyed using some of the best Helldivers 2 Stratagems, such as the Orbital Laser and Eagle 500kg Bomb, Gunship Facilities really can only be destroyed by a Hellbomb.

Call one of these bombs in, ideally between the two towers in the facility, but before you detonate it, it is imperative that you clear the area of Automatons. Enemies always try to destroy a Hellbomb as soon as it gets armed, and Gunships are especially good at doing so since they can see over pretty much any cover you try and hide the bomb behind. Deal with all enemies first, then arm the Hellbomb when the skies are clear. After that, it's time to GTFO and carry on with the rest of your mission!

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Will Sawyer
Guides Writer

Will Sawyer is a guides writer at GamesRadar+ who works with the rest of the guides team to give readers great information and advice on the best items, how to complete a particular challenge, or where to go in some of the biggest video games. Will joined the GameRadar+ team in August 2021 and has written about service titles, including Fortnite, Destiny 2, and Warzone, as well as some of the biggest releases like Halo Infinite, Elden Ring, and God of War Ragnarok.