The best armor in Helldivers 2 and how it works

Helldivers 2 armor sets
(Image credit: Sony)

Choosing the best Helldivers 2 armor to fit your playstyle and preferences can make a big difference during missions and in the heat of combat. Your helmet and cape are purely cosmetic choices, but your body armor is an integral part of your build in Helldivers 2 due to the additional passive benefits it provides through stats that determe your speed, stamina, and damage resistance. The passive perk is what you should pay the most attention to, giving you some extra oomph in the form of extra stims or grenades to extra recoil control or chance to resist death! Here's everything you need to know about armor in Helldivers 2 to help you decide what to wear.

Best Helldivers 2 armor

Helldivers 2 comparing armor in armoury menu

(Image credit: Sony)

Picking the best Helldivers 2 armor is mostly about equipping a good passive perk with your preferred armor weight. Wearing light, medium, or heavy armor is not critical to creating the best Helldivers 2 loadout as it's mainly down to your own preference, and I'll expand on the benefits and drawbacks of each below. Although, you'll definitely want to pick a suit that has one of the better passives attached, so here are some of the best armor suits that I suggest donning:

  • B-08 Light Gunner: Light armor with the Extra Padding passive, offering medium armor-level protection with light mobility. Buy from the Superstore.
  • B-27 Fortified Commando: Heavy armor with the Extra Padding passive, providing the most protection of any armor set in the game. Buy from the Superstore.
  • CM-21 Trench Paramedic: Light armor with the Med-Kit passive, letting you stay very mobile and healed up. Buy from the Superstore. The CM-09 Bonesnapper medium armor is a good alternative from the Helldivers Mobilize Warbond.
  • DP-40 Hero of the Federation: Medium armor with the Democracy Protects passive. Not being affected by bleed damage is one less thing to worry about and the 50% to not die can be very useful for saving reinforcements. From the Helldivers Mobilize Warbond.
  • SA-25 Steel Trooper: Medium armor with Servo-Assisted passive. Throwing Stratagems further is nice to have, and the extra limb health will reduce the impact of injuries. From the Helldivers 2 Steeled Veterans Warbond. The SC-37 Legionnaire light armor from the Superstore has the same passive, trading a bit of protection for slightly more mobility.
  • SC-30 Trailblazer Scout: Light armor with the Scout Passive – perfect for stealthy approaches where you'd rather sneak past enemies than engage head on. From the Helldivers Mobilize Warbond.

At the time of writing, light armor still seems to be the most useful of all the armor types due to the noticeable speed and stamina boosts you gain compared to medium and heavy. This is especially important when fight the Helldivers 2 Terminids as you need to match their ability to stay alive. However, while wearing light armor, your Helldiver will be very fragile, so the Shield Generator Pack is strongly recommended, especially since it's one of the best Helldivers 2 Stratagems.

Heavy armor does provide ample protection, but I've not found it noticeably better overall compared to light or medium armor due to the speed and stamina penalties. I'd only recommend heavy armor for fighting Helldivers 2 Automatons as their use of ranged weapons means there's less of a need to constantly move. Finally, medium armor is the jack of all trades armor type, being perfectly adequate in any mission but perhaps not the optimal choice – it's a good type to fall back on if you're not sure what to wear.

How Helldivers 2 armor works

Helldivers 2 infiltrator armor stats and scout passive

(Image credit: Sony)

The armor suit you choose for your Helldiver has three stats and an Armor Passive to provide some nice buffs while playing missions. The values of the three armor stats – Armor Rating, Speed, and Stamina Regen – are largely determined by the suit's weight, though there is some stat variation within each type. Light armor offers the best speed and stamina regeneration at the cost of armor rating, whereas heavy armor is the opposite, sacrificing speed and stamina regen for extra protection. Medium armor sits in the middle of the two, providing a balance of speed and resilience.

  • Speed: Determines the running and sprinting speed of your Helldiver.
  • Stamina Regen: Affects the rate your stamina is consumed as you sprint and perform other actions, letting you sprint continuously for longer. From testing different armor suits, I didn't notice any differences to the stamina regeneration rate.
  • Armor Rating: Determines how much damage resistance your armor provides and how susceptible to injuries your Helldiver is. Armor suits with an Armor Rating over 100 reduce the damage taken from headshots too. This stat is much harder to test due to the many variables in combat, so it's hard to say exactly how damage resistance is affected by Armor Rating.

Helmets and capes have no special qualities, and all are rated 100 in each stat. You can of course change your armor whenever you like by visiting the armory station on any Destroyer or when picking your loadout just before dropping into a mission, but this is the extent of armor customization in Helldivers 2. There's no way to change the colors on your armor or change passives regardless of the armor you're wearing. An armor transmog-like feature is also unlikely to come to Helldivers 2 as the creative director has said it "doesn't make sense".

Helldivers 2 armor passives

Helldivers 2 hero of the federation medium armor

(Image credit: Sony)

The main benefit of armor in Helldivers 2 is that it provides a passive perk that enhances your Helldiver's capabilities in the field. Passives are not restricted to certain armor types, but medium armor seems to currently have the best selection. Here are all the armor passives in Helldivers 2:

  • Democracy Protects: 50% chance to not die when taking lethal damage. Prevents all damage from bleeding if your Helldiver's chest is haemorrhaging.
  • Electrical Conduit: Provides 95% resistance to arc damage (that means electrical damage from the Arc Thrower, Arc-12 Blitzer, and Tesla Tower). This passive is only available on armor from the Helldivers 2 Cutting Edge Warbond.
  • Engineering Kit: Further reduces recoil when crouching or prone by 30%. Also increases initial grenade inventory and total capacity by two.
  • Extra Padding: Increases Armor Rating by 50, providing extra protection against damage.
  • Fortified: Further reduces recoil when crouching or prone by 30%. Provides 50% damage resistance to explosives.
  • Med-Kit: Increases initial stim inventory and total capacity by two. Increases stim effect duration by two seconds.
  • Scout: Markers placed on the map generate radar scans every two seconds. Reduces the range at which enemies can detect the wearer by 30%.
  • Servo-Assisted: Increases throwing range by 30% and provides 50% more limb health.

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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.