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Helldivers 2 update turns this weak weapon into a fiery powerhouse

Your favorite weapon is probably in the new Helldivers 2 nerfs, but it isn’t all bad, as this once weak option is a go-to bug slayer.

Helldivers 2 nerfs: An image of a Helldiver escaping from an explosion.

It was only a matter of time before Helldivers 2 nerfs would target some of the game’s most popular picks. The latest Helldivers 2 update for Arrowhead Game Studios’ PS5 shooter is the biggest yet, rebalancing multiple weapons and introducing new threats to avoid in the galaxy. As a result, you may want to start considering the Flamethrower, as the initially disappointing weapon just became a must-have support Stratagem.

Many of the best multiplayer games around eventually bring in nerfs, and love or hate it, Helldivers 2 was always going to be part of that trend. Patrik Lasota, head of product testing at Arrowhead, details a surprising buff for the flamethrower that isn’t to be overlooked: “The flamer has felt a little too anaemic […] we have increased the flamethrower direct damage to be able to barbecue enemies that get close much faster.” In our early hours with the breakout co-op game, we always sidelined the Flamethrower for other weapons like the Railgun or the RL-112 Recoilless Rifle.

But Arrowhead is delivering on its word, as we’ve already put the Flamethrower to the test since the patch went live, which introduces deadly Planetary Hazards too. Sure, our squad mates are still getting caught in a char-grilled blaze, but wiping out Terminids is an almost effortless task with the Flamethrower. At least for smaller enemies, as you’ll need more firepower for Chargers and the like. Speaking of Chargers, the Railgun became the de-facto method of crippling them in one of the best PS5 games around, and you’ll have noticed its power is significantly reduced.

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That’s if you’re using the weapon’s Safe Mode. Lasota explains that “you now must run it in unsafe mode and overcharge it” if you’re hoping to defeat a Charger or even a Bile Titan. But you’ll need to place your shots exceptionally well: “In addition, we reigned in the Railguns ability to damage massive body parts, meaning to get any real efficiency out of it you must score hits on heads and other weak points.”

This actually gives the Unsafe Mode toggle a sense of skill and urgency, as it was quite commonly underused. It takes a few more shots than normal to eliminate Chargers, but we’ve found it very fun trying to time our shots with Unsafe Mode enabled.

Much has been said about the Helldivers 2 meta, with Arrowhead itself encouraging players to experiment with their loadouts. The Breaker shotgun is a weapon that has reigned at the top for weeks, and despite assurance it’d remain untouched, Arrowhead has indeed nerfed it (kind of). The powerful shotgun has more recoil and fewer shells per magazine, but you’ll still get the same level of potency from its firepower.

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