Helldivers 2: Is the EAT-17 or Recoilless Rifle Better?

Shell on shell action

You’ve leveled up a few times, scrounged together some Requisition Slips, and you’re starting to wonder how to strip the thick carapaces off those big bugs and robots that are starting to pop up in your missions. You’ve got at least two good options, so let’s break them down. Here’s our breakdown between the EAT-17 and the Recoilless Rifle in Helldivers 2.

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Helldivers 2 – EAT-17 vs. Recoilless Rifle: Pros and Cons

The EAT-17 has a short cooldown for two “shots,” while the Recoilless Rifle is on a long cooldown for five rounds. This means they have slightly different use cases depending on how many people are in your squad, and more importantly, if you have a “buddy” to help you reload.

Long story short, solo players benefit more from the EAT-17. By “solo players,” I also mean those of us who join PUGs and don’t verbally communicate much with the rest of our team. Since the EAT-17 calls two expendable rifles every 70 seconds, you can quickly drop a couple down where they’re easy to find and pick them up to dispense some armor-breaking justice quickly. What’s more, the EAT-17 can be used in conjunction with other Support weapons, meaning if you’re rocking something like a flame thrower or grenade launcher, you can simply pick it back up after firing the EAT-17.

The Recoilless Rifle, conversely, is excellent when paired with a teammate. When you call it down, you’ll notice there are two components: a backpack and a rifle. Have a teammate grab the backpack, then stand to your right with the rifle out. They can then support your fire by quickly reloading between rounds, making quick work of Bile Titans, Chargers, Hulks, and Tanks. The Recoilless is perfect for boss encounters, or in situations when more than two shots are needed in rapid succession.

If you’re still early in the game, some other early game stratagems like mortar turrets will help even the odds against the seemingly endless waves of automatons during this pitched battle.


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David Morgan
David is a pediatric asthma researcher at Cincinnati Children's Hospital by day, and Prima Freelancer by night. He always finds time for the games he loves, and then some more to tell you all about them.