Want to learn how to finish missions quickly & effeciently in under 13 minutes every single time? Of course you do! This guide will show you the importance of Planning, Communication, and Execution, helping you to become a valuable asset to your team.
How to Plan Mission
Just as a disclaimer, this guide is written based on my personal experiences with the game so far, and is not intended to say that my opinions are the best. There are many tips, tricks, and guides out there that also do a great job of explaining how to complete missions quickly and efficiently.
Later on in the guide, you will see some mission timings. Keep in mind that these given timings are only estimates of how long it would take to arrive and complete each objective. Also, I've only made these timings based on the map(s) I've made, which means that these timings may vary with other maps in the game.
As mentioned before, this guide will also be discussing 3 important elements:
Each of these three elements plays a big part in your team building skills, and how well your squad performs throughout each mission.
Before we begin, observe the image to the right, and take a moment to come up with a plan with the fastest possible route without failing any objectives.
Keep in mind that nothing about this map has been indentified, so you don't know which alien faction you're fighting, what type of terrain you're fighting on, or what difficulty the planet's level is at.
Remember that spawning close to any objective increases the amount of enemy activity in that area.
Spawning away from your first objective decreases the chances of enemies swarming onto your location, and will also buy you time to prepare your stratgems.
However, stratagem beacons also attract enemies towards your location, so have an escape route in mind. The best way to do this is to also avoid spawning into any apex/closed corners because, enemies can easily back your team up into a corner and finish you off without leaving any openings to escape from.
Based on what I've experienced, most Helldivers would complete objectives based on how far away they are from the LZ/evac, starting with objectives that are furthest away from the LZ/evac. The reason for this is to prevent players from having to go all the way back to an objective that could have been completed along the way. The planet's terrain type doesn't really matter, but having snow boots during snowy/winter missions helps a lot with movement, since most of a winter planet's terrain is covered in snow which significantly slows down player movement without boots.
Here's a plan of what most Helldivers would have done:
- Dropzone (approx. 30sec to gear up) - (20sec to arrive at Obj:2).
- Launchpad (1min 20s to complete) - (25sec to arrive at Obj:3).
- Convoy (minimum 1min 17s to complete) - (15sec to arrive at Obj:4).
- Artillery (minimum 35sec to complete) - (15sec to arrive at Obj:5).
- Launchpad (1min 20s to complete) - (20sec to arrive at Obj:6).
- Artillery (minimum 35sec to complete) - (approx. 30s to search for Blackbox).
- Blackbox (approx. 1min to drop off) - (15sec to arrive at LZ/evac).
- Extraction (minimum 1min 32sec).
Minimum Total Mission Time >>>> 10min 29s (if everything goes smoothly and all objectives are successfully completed without vehicles/mechs)
There are usually only 3 main factors that really matter when planning missions:
- What type of alien faction you're fighting (Bugs, Cyborgs, Illuminates).
- Reason: Choosing a suitable loadout for each alien type will make fighting easier.
- What difficulty the planet's level is at.
- Reason: Protection missions are usually more difficult to complete the higher the planet's difficulty is at. Sometimes it's best to skip and come back to objectives later. Choosing your battles wisely can also save your ammunition for when you really need it.
- Where mobile-protection objectives are located (convoy, escort, blackbox).
- Reason: This is probably the most crucial factor if you want to maintain your mission path. Completing these objectives in the right order can save you a lot of time & effort by preventing your squad from wasting time running back and forth.
Let's say that we planned this mission out of order according to what is on this map.
As soon as objective #2 is completed, I can guarentee that whatever objective is chosen next will eventually result in the squad starting to move away from the LZ/evac (as indicated with the red lines). The only exception is objective "E" because, in this particular circumstance, it's guarenteed you'll be moving away from the LZ/evac at some point.
The point is, as soon as you start moving away from the LZ/evac, or the next closest objective, this adds up unnecessary time, therefore taking longer to complete a mission.
Things start to get a whole lot more deliciously complicated once you start adding these "escorts" into the equation.
Take a moment to observe and come up with a plan based on the following map. Keep in mind that I've replaced one of the previous objectives with an "escort" objective instead.
As already mentioned, planning can get more complicated when conducting "escort" objectives.
The two main reasons for this is because:
- Escorts can die very easily.
- The safest option is take escorts straight to the bunker/delivery spot.
When I say "safest option", what I mean is that I don't recommend trying to complete other objectives while you still have escorts following you.
Enemies and teammates alike are both capable of killing off escorts either intentionally, or unintentionally. Very rarely will you see Helldivers successfully complete objectives while protecting a group of escorts at the same time, especially on higher difficulty planets.
If you want to try it, by all means be my guest (but I warned you).
With this knowledge in mind, some adjustments will need to be made for your master plan depending on where the "escorts" are located on the map. Keep in mind that just because your mission route needs to be changed based on the suitability of protecting your escorts, doesn't mean you still can't try and save some time by planning your mission in a strategic order.
- Dropzone (30s to gear up) - (20s to arrive at Obj:2).
- Launchpad (1min 20s) - (25s to arrive at Obj:3).
- Convoy (minimum 1min 17s) - (25s to arrive at Obj:4).
- Launchpad (1min 20s) - (20s to arrive at Obj:5).
- Escort (minimum 1min 15s to drop off) - (20s to arrive at Obj:6).
- Artillery (minimum 35s) - (min. 30s to search Blackbox).
- Blackbox (1min to drop off) - (15sec to arrive at LZ/evac).
- Extraction (minimum 1min 32sec).
Minimum Total Mission Time >>>> 11min 24sec (if everything goes smoothly).
Note: You may have noticed that the mission path has changed slightly compared to the previous map in Part 1. The main reason for this switch is to maintain the mission path. Remember that one of the 3 main factors in planning is to create a path that leads towards the LZ/evac (or next closest objective) as much as possible. If I decided to take the "escorts" as Obj:4 instead of Obj:5, I'd be running back and forth to complete the Launchpad objective furthest South, therefore wasting unnecessary time.
Now let's add another "escorts" objective onto the map. Take a moment to try and come up with a plan.
Keep in mind that you have the option to take multiple groups of escorts with you at the same time. I also do not recommend completing other objectives while you still have escorts following you, especially on higher difficulty planets.
As you can see, I've made Obj:2 my priority by grabbing both escorts first to go straight to the delivery point because, it's the safest option. After dropping off the escorts, I'd continue to Obj:3, Obj:4 & so on. My estimate for the total mission time would approximately be 12min 30sec.
In conclusion: the goal of planning is to complete objectives in an order that leads toward the LZ as much as possible.
"Communication is a key element to being part of any team."
I don't usually use a microphone, but I still use the text chat, emotes, circling objectives on the map with the cursor before starting missions, and using map waypoints to show where we should go on the map. I've had teammates from all over the world who didn't speak the same language, and still visually confirmed what the plan was with these communication strategies.
Things to communicate before starting a mission:
- Does everyone agree with the strategy and chosen path?
- Does your team want to find samples?
- Have any suggestions to the team's loadouts before launching the mission?
Confirming these things before starting a mission will save you time to prevent people from fiddle-♥♥♥ing around not knowing what the plan is during a mission.
If a teammate is just confused, is still all over the place, or doesn't agree with any strategy, you can deal with them however way you like (hopefully without being a troll, toxic, or salty), or tell them that you read this guide and know what to do.
Executing your team's plan should be self-explanatory. Plans can change, but they shouldn't change that much in Helldivers.
Before starting a mission, plan your path so that you're completing objectives that lead towards the landing zone as much possible, starting with the objectives that are furthest away from the landing zone.
Communication is a key element to being part of any team. Use all the game's communication tools. Let everyone know what you wanna do before the mission starts.
Execute your plan as much as possible. Your plan shouldn't change that much.
Do these 3 things and I can guarantee you'll be completing missions faster than ever!