Can you play Helldivers 2 solo?

Helldivers 2 solo player returning to Destroyer
(Image credit: Sony)

Playing Helldivers 2 solo is entirely possible, but whether it's recommended is a different story as Helldivers 2 can be brutally tough. To be clear, you won't find a dedicated single-player mode which means your only option is to dive into a normal mission, forgoing any assistance from squadmates, which means you'll be facing the full force of the enemies alone. It's certainly doable on the lower difficulties, but for the average player the increase in bug and bot numbers and firepower, along with more complicated missions, means the higher difficulties present some extreme caveats for lone Helldivers 2 players. Below, I've explained how to play Helldiver 2 solo and have provided some tips for those dropping in on their own.

How to play Helldivers 2 solo

Helldivers 2 solo player blowing up Automatons and mission complete

(Image credit: Sony)

To play Helldivers 2 solo, you obviously need to make sure you're alone on your Destroyer when you choose a mission and you should also head into the options menu and turn Matchmaking Privacy to 'friends only'. This'll ensure you don't match with other players when you choose a mission with an SOS beacon active and that other players won't join your session. Choose an operation on the planet map like normal and don't queue into quickplay or pick a SOS beacon mission, then you'll dive down to the surface alone.

But should you play Helldivers 2 solo? I and other members of the GamesRadar+ guides team wouldn't recommend it unless you're really up for the challenge. It's entirely possible, but with Helldivers 2 being a pretty tough game, even with a full squad, it gets a lot worse when you're alone. The easiest difficulties (Trivial and Easy) are manageable solo, but Medium and Challenging are a noticeable step up. Then it starts becoming near-impossible for solo players in Hard, Extreme, and beyond. Unless you're a skilled player up for a punishing challenge and already have some of the best Helldivers 2 Stratagems and best Helldivers 2 weapons, there is little point playing solo on Hard or above.

Helldivers 2 solo tips

Helldivers 2 solo player shooting robot with railgun

(Image credit: Sony)

Despite my warnings against playing Helldivers 2 solo, sometimes it is preferable to matching with randoms in Quickplay. Check out these general Helldivers 2 tips as well as these solo-specific pointers:

  1. Cover all bases for fighting enemies: Since you're a one-Helldiver army, you need to have everything you need to battle the full range of Helldivers 2 enemies, rather than fulfilling a specific team role. Think explosives, armor-piercing, close-range, and long-range weapons and Stratagems to battle any foe.
  2. The Shield Generator Backpack is a must-have: This support Stratagem is only available at level 20, but having a reaerating bubble-shield around goes a long way towards keeping you alive in extremely dangerous situations. It's essential if you're going solo on higher difficulties. 
  3. A Guard Dog and turrets are also useful: If you're not at level 20 yet, having a Guard Dog (especially the Rover) around is will massively help with killing groups of weaker enemies that can overwhelm solo players. Deploying an automated turret means you'll have extra firepower and enemies should be distracted enough to stop attacking you for a bit, buying you time reload and resupply.
  4. Be stealthy and avoid fights: Bug Bursts and Bot Drops can come at horrendous times, and they're often triggered by wandering into random enemy patrols. It's best to keep an eye out for these patrols and avoid them as best as you can to minimize the number of enemies you'll face and ammo you use. Enemies are also very persistent, so running away from a large fight rarely works!
  5. Speed is key: Helldivers missions get more chaotic the longer they last. Enemies spawn in frequently and really start to stack up when the timer runs low. If you're alone, you should focus on the main objectives as much as possible to get in and out fast. 
  6. Light armor is best: Currently, some of the best Helldivers 2 armor is light armor due to the extra speed and stamina it offers, helping you stay mobile. The Scout passive is especially useful for solo players to have as it means enemies can't detect you as easily.
  7. Don't forget the SOS Beacon: If you want help mid-mission, you can of course call in an SOS Beacon to try and connect other Helldivers to your game. An extra body might just make all the difference, though there's no guarantee that anybody shows up.

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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.