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Which Is Best? (Autocannon or Railgun)

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Helldivers 2 SEAF Artillery Strategem

Your primary weapons are only as good as the type of enemy in front of you in Helldivers 2. They hardly scratch the armored shells and plates of enemies that start appearing in the game’s higher-difficulty missions. You will need something like the AC-8 Autocannon or the RS-422 Railgun to breach that enemy armor in Helldivers 2.



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Both are excellent anti-tank options with the capability of dishing out tons of damage while providing support. They are, hence, unsurprisingly hailed as the best support weapons in Helldivers 2. However, you can only choose one of them.


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Best Anti-Tank in Helldivers 2 – Autocannon or Railgun?

Helldivers 2 Autocannon Railgun Showdown

The Autocannon is highly effective against light-medium armor in Helldivers 2. You can destroy Scout Striders from the front, right through their armor plating, without needing to aim at their weak spots.

The same goes for Helldivers 2‘s annoying Bile Spewers, which can be blown up with a couple of good shots. Even the heavily armored Chargers do not stand a chance. You become a fully automatic turret on the move, peppering groups of enemies from range.

In comparison, the Railgun is a one-shot solution for the most heavily armored enemies in the game. It can put down Helldivers 2‘s Bile Titan with just a couple of well-placed shots, something that the Autocannon cannot. Overcharged shots are guaranteed to ignore any type of armor in front of you, meaning that you can expect a lot of overkills during missions.


However, just because the Railgun is one of the last weapons to unlock does not automatically mean that it trumps the rest. There are several pros and cons here that determine which of the two anti-tank support weapons fits your requirements in Helldivers 2.

Autocannon

Railgun

Requirements

Level 10 (7,000 R)

Level 20 (10,000 R)

Call-In Time

3 seconds

3 seconds

Uses

Unlimited

Unlimited

Cooldown

480 seconds

480 seconds

Firing Rate

High

Single, Charged Shot

Reload Speed

Slow

Slow

Recoil

Slight Kick Between Shots

None

Ammo

5 Shots per Clip (10 Clips With Support Backpack)

20 Shots Per Clip (2 Clips)

Armor Penetration

Light-Medium Armor

Tears Through Heavy Armor

Splash Damage

Yes (Small Area of Effect)

No

Special

Team-Reloads for Uninterrupted Firing

Unsafe Mode for Higher Damage

Other

Takes Backpack Space

Requires Precision Shots


The Railgun Uses Only One Backpack Slot

One major reason why you should pick the Railgun over the Autocannon is the free slot. The Autocannon uses two slots: one for the weapon and another for its Support Backpack. The Railgun uses only one, meaning that you can take another stratagem.

The most popular late-game loadout right now pairs the Railgun with either the Shield Generator Pack to block enemy fire or the Guard Dog Rover for extra firepower.

The Railgun Destroys Heavily-Armored Elites in Unsafe Mode

Once you get the timing right on your overcharged (unsafe) shots, the Railgun becomes a death sentence for every armored enemy that normally requires multiple Autocannon hits.

You can one-shot Devastators through their armored torsos, which is impossible with an Autocannon. You can destroy an Automaton Tank with a few overcharged shots without aiming for its vulnerable spot. Remove the armor from the legs of a Charger in two shots. These enemies normally force players to unleash their Hangar or Orbital Cannon stratagems.


The Railgun Allows You To Run and Gun

Something else where the Railgun stands over the Autocannon is its run-and-gun playstyle in Helldivers 2. This allows you to kite enemies before turning back to unleash a charged shot, which is especially important for solo Helldivers 2 players.

You can also reload while moving, which is impossible with the Autocannon. Not to mention that trying to kite with an Autocannon carries the risk of eating some of your own explosive damage at close range.

The Autocannon Becomes Unstoppable With Team-Reload

Unlike the Railgun, the Autocannon is excellent for clearing out groups of medium-sized enemies in Helldivers 2. Its high firing rate allows you to stand your ground to land explosive damage on grouped-up enemies, at least until you need to reload.

That is where the Autocannon shines even more. Its Support Backpack may take up an extra slot, but you get to shoot up to 50 explosive shells in a row as long as another player is willing to help you team-reload.

Supply and Support Backpacks do not affect mobility or stamina regeneration. Your weight and encumbrance depend on the
type of armor equipped
.


The Autocannon Can Destroy Nests and Factories

Here is an important tip for new Helldivers 2 players: You can close bug nests and shut down bot factories with Autocannons. Just aim at the nest hole or factory vent and fire. That beats risking your life by going in close to throw a grenade.

Autocannons and Grenade Launchers are perfect for Blitz search-and-destroy missions where you have to close several bug nests or bot factories in a short time.

Related

Helldivers 2: How to Play Solo

Helldivers 2 is a strategic game that requires teamwork and collaboration. However, if you are looking for a way to play solo, here is a guide for it.

Verdict

railgun and autocannon in helldivers 2

If you want to kill specific armored enemies, and you have good aim, nothing beats the Railgun in Helldivers 2. If you want to clear groups of enemies, destroy structures, and generally want more utility, go with the Autocannon.


The Railgun is essentially a tank destroyer, but not every enemy is a tank. Hence, charging shots for light-medium armored enemies will feel a bit over the top, especially when you can have an Autocannon dismantle an entire horde within the same timeframe.

You can also consider the Autocannon as the jack of all trades, while the Railgun is the anti-tank master of erasing that one, heavily armored, enemy elite in Helldivers 2.

There still needs to be a balance though. A full team with four Railguns will likely get overrun with ease. You need a couple of Autocannons to thin the herds when your stratagems are on cooldown.

Helldivers2GameCover

Helldivers 2
Platform(s)
PC , PlayStation 5

Released
February 8, 2024

Developer(s)
Arrowhead Game Studios AB

Genre(s)
Shooter

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