Helldivers 2 railgun changes

Helldivers 2 Railgun Is Still Good After Its Nerf

What Arrowhead describes as a “minor patch” included some big changes and fixes. Planetary hazards are now active, armor rating values work as intended, and there are several changes to weapons. One of them focuses on the Railgun. Here’s the change straight from the developer:

Railgun – Decreased armor penetration in Safe Mode, decreased damage against durable enemy parts. 

I fired up a quick game to see what the change looks like. On Chargers, Railgun shots now bounce off their legs when using the weapon in Safe Mode. You can still expose a Charger’s leg with the Railgun, but from the little bit I’ve played it appears it now takes three shots instead of two. Obviously, this will go faster if multiple people have Railguns. It definitely feels less consistent right now as it takes getting used to the overcharge mode for the shots to do damage.

Unsafe mode lets you ‘overcharge’ the Railgun for more damage. But it comes with the risk of exploding in your hands. For overcharging shots, you’ll need to hold the fire button for a full charge like usual, but also hold it for about a second longer for the overcharge to kick in. This is easiest to see when aiming down the sights so you can see the charge meter. 

The change isn’t too bad, but it will leave you exposed when lining up shots for slightly longer as you wait for it to overcharge. It won’t shock me to see folks go with other options like the autocannon, grenade launcher, Spear, etc. Which is the point of today’s nerf. Make it so the Railgun isn’t the obvious choice for taking out heavy enemies.

This change doesn’t make the Railgun ‘bad.’ It just won’t be the obvious choice anymore.

Arrowhead’s Patrik Lasota (Head of Product Testing) discussed why this change happened to the Railgun. 

“It was vastly over-performing in how safe it was to use and how convenient it was, not requiring a backpack or assistance to be effective, and not requiring risk to take out even larger armored targets,” says Lasota. 

Yeah, it’s hard to argue with that point. Being able to go Railgun and a Sheild Backpack was way too strong to ignore on higher difficulties. That’s why it became the ‘meta.’

You’ll also need to pick your shots more carefully with the Railgun, aiming at the head or other weak points. 

Lasota wrapped up his thoughts on the Railgun by saying:

“We are aware it rose to prominence as part of other anti-tank weapons not being as convenient or efficient in comparison. We are monitoring the situation closely and will adjust more based on how this change plays out.”

The change is a solid one. The overcharge mechanic adds extra risk while keeping its power against the game’s toughest enemies. 

It’s refreshing to get a more in-depth look at the reasons for a weapon’s changes. While the Railgun nerf might seem steep at first glance, it’s really not too bad—and it’s hard to argue with the developer’s reasons for the change. 

Check out the full patch notes for all of today’s changes and this blog post for a more detailed explanation of why they were implemented.