How to level up fast in Helldivers 2

Helldivers 2 XP and level farming
(Image credit: Sony)

Helldivers 2 fast levelling and XP farming methods are something that a lot of players will want to know after spending time in lobbies where all the other players seem to have really fun-looking high level gear, like Railguns and Shield backpacks. There's a few ways to level up as part of the fairly nuanced Helldivers 2 progression system, but if you want to reach the vaunted "level 20" as fast as possible, you'll need to know how to exploit that system efficiently and effectively. With that in mind, here's the best known XP farming method for Helldivers 2, to help you level up quickly and become a galactic hero.

How to farm XP in Helldivers 2 and level up quickly

(Image: © Sony)

Levelling up quickly in Helldivers 2 requires an XP farming method I've been referring to as the "smash and grab", similar to Sample farming in Helldivers 2, but with some differences. Here's how to do it:

  1. Unlock the highest difficulty you can (higher difficulties grant increased XP modifiers)
  2. Go to a Bot-controlled world and look for a mission type: "Blitz: Search and Destroy"
  3. Equip your team with Mortar Sentries, EMS Mortar Sentries, Orbital Lasers, Autocannon Sentries, and large-scale airstrikes that maximise structural damage.
  4. When you land, deploy the Mortars and start quickly moving to destroy the Fabricators - you don't need to kill anything, just get through them quickly.
  5. Use your Stratagems to damage the factories from outside the bots' outposts, without having to risk going inside where possible.
  6. Don't feel the need to complete the camps and raze everything - you just need to destroy the required fabricators.
  7. Once you're done, immediately go to extract and leave.

I'd like to thank Reddit user Rich-Squirrel-187 for bringing this specific method to the public's attention, refining the already-understood practice of completing quick missions on a very bare-bones level. Done efficiently and with a practised team, you can complete a Blitz mission in about five minutes or even less, and net a healthy reward of XP on safe extraction. Yes, fully razing bot encampments and completing side objectives does add to the final reward, but it's a faster system overall to do the bare minimum and leave with a passing grade, then repeat that system - you can net over 1000 experience in minutes doing this.

Helldivers 2 XP and level farming

(Image credit: Sony)

There's other nuances that might not be clear here. For one thing, the Sentries can draw focus from the Helldivers 2 enemies, allowing you to dash in and ruin the Fabricators, while the EMS Mortar is incredibly helpful during extraction, as it holds all foes back for a decent period of time, even if it doesn't damage them.

The reason we also suggest doing a Bot planet over a Bug planet - picking the nastier of the two Helldivers 2 factions - is that Fabricators are something that your stratagems will actively target (if they have that feature), while nests tend to slip under the radar. Not only that, but if you're running rather than fighting, it's easier to outpace the slow bots - even if it's harder to actually kill them.

© GamesRadar+. Not to be reproduced without permission

Joel Franey
Guides Writer

Joel Franey is a writer, journalist, podcaster and raconteur with a Masters from Sussex University, none of which has actually equipped him for anything in real life. As a result he chooses to spend most of his time playing video games, reading old books and ingesting chemically-risky levels of caffeine. He is a firm believer that the vast majority of games would be improved by adding a grappling hook, and if they already have one, they should probably add another just to be safe. You can find old work of his at USgamer, Gfinity, Eurogamer and more besides.