The "infinite ammo, never reload" Helldivers 2 loadout has made fighting the Automatons so much more fun that I can never go back

Helldivers 2
(Image credit: Arrowhead Game Studios)

I don't like reloading. I understand why games with guns make you reload those guns, and I do appreciate a good reload animation, but minimizing reload time is generally one of my goals in any shooter. It's why I love weapon perks like Auto-Loading Holster and Ambitious Assassin in Destiny 2, and why games like Doom Eternal, where guns do mercifully have bottomless clips, are some of my favorites. This is also why I've utterly fallen in love with a combo of two weapons in Helldivers 2, both of which have infinite or pseudo-infinite ammo for magazines that you technically never have to reload. I'm hooked on the LAS-99 Quasar Cannon as well as the humble LAS-16 Sickle, and combining the two has been absolutely heavenly. 

Bury me with my forever guns

Helldivers 2 LAS-16 Sickle

(Image credit: Arrowhead Game Studios)

When choosing weapons and builds and strategies in games, I've noticed that I've started to value reliability and consistency more than peak theoretical performance. My word for this is how "comfy" something feels. If one option is technically a little weaker than the meta pick, but it's a lot easier to use and feels better in my hands, I'll take the comfy option almost every time. And folks, the Quasar-Sickle combo is as comfy as a cool, custom-molded, memory foam pillow at 2am on a hot summer day. 

The Quasar Cannon is basically a laser-based rocket launcher with infinite ammo and an overheat mechanic, specifically a cooldown time of about 10 seconds after each shot. You charge up a round, shoot the head off a Terminid Charger or Automaton Hulk with extreme democratic prejudice, then put the weapon away for a little bit before you can fire it again. There's no tedious pause to reload heavy shells. Keep on movin' and let the Quasar do its work. 

The charge period isn't very long and the cooldown doesn't feel that long either. Both of these are easy compromises since the Quasar has totally infinite ammo. There are no reserves; if this thing is off-cooldown, you can fire it forever. This makes it incredibly flexible and stress-free to use out in the fields of the Galactic War, and its considerable stopping power makes it a solid pick against virtually any enemy.  

pretty epic Quasar moment, shot down a bot drop on the way to the lone wolf in our squad (lead the target!) from r/Helldivers

The Sickle works a little differently. It's a laser-based assault rifle with considerable range, a cool reticle plus a set of long-range scopes, and a brief charge-up period that leads right into consistent rapid fire that feels like a mini chain gun. It also has an overheat gauge, but when you max it out, you can sort of "reload" it by popping in a new energy heat sink to get right back to blasting.

If you control your fire and, like me, regularly swap back to the Quasar Cannon on cooldown, it's rare to see the Sickle overheat. At least, it doesn't happen often to me on difficulty seven missions. And even then, slapping in a new heat sink is so quick that it doesn't feel like a punishment for maxing out the heat gauge. You also get a lot of them, and since you have infinite ammo as long as you let the gauge cool off, I basically never need to call in resupply stratagems anymore. Apart from grenades, the only supplies I might realistically run out of would be secondary ammo, which I don't dip into much since my other weapons have such good uptime, and stims, which I also don't use very much because my weapons kick more ass than Doom Guy's sneakers. 

How many other guns can say that? "Proven to improve your physical fitness and household budgeting."

Both of these guns are great in isolation, but together they are peak comfiness. It feels like they're always ready to go, my mind put at ease by the knowledge that I always have ammo in the chamber and in reserve. See, I'm ironically also a reload addict who will whip out a whole new magazine after firing two bullets in many games – thank you, Destiny, for ruining me in this and many other ways – so adjusting to Helldivers 2's punishing mag system was a test of willpower. 

Thanks to the Quasar-Sickle special, I don't have to spend my willpower monitoring reloading anymore. Reloading is a thing of the past. I am in my comfort zone, thriving. Now I can spend my willpower on other things, like summoning the will to stop playing Unicorn Overlord long enough to exercise, or resisting the urge to buy more cookware than my kitchen can possibly contain. How many other guns can say that? "Proven to improve your physical fitness and household budgeting." Your results may vary, but that's high praise in my book. Super Earth should make that a back-of-the-box blurb for these things, frankly, and while they're at it send me royalties after the inevitable spike in Sickle sales. These new ship upgrades ain't gonna buy themselves

Austin Wood

Austin freelanced for the likes of PC Gamer, Eurogamer, IGN, Sports Illustrated, and more while finishing his journalism degree, and he's been with GamesRadar+ since 2019. They've yet to realize that his position as a senior writer is just a cover up for his career-spanning Destiny column, and he's kept the ruse going with a focus on news and the occasional feature, all while playing as many roguelikes as possible.