Helldivers 2 players become part Automaton by mapping stratagems to a Stream Deck

Think fast! A 12-foot-tall Charger is on a collision course with your brittle helldiver body. Your guns won’t scratch its armored carapace, but a quick airstrike could stop it in its tracks. Worry not, follow these convenient Super Earth-supplied instructions for calling down life-saving support at a moment’s notice: just hold CTRL, then press right, down down, up up, left, down down do—aaand you’re squished. Better luck next time.

One of the best mechanics in Helldivers 2 is also its biggest learning curve: stratagem codes. Punching in these recipes of destruction in the middle of an active warzone can get you killed, but their unchanging sequences mean they can be mastered. Turns out, they can also be automated.

Setting up macros that instantly punch in stratagem codes has been a thing in the Helldivers community dating back to the first game. With the unexpected virality of its sequel, a few elite helldivers have upped the ante by mapping stratagems to an Elgato Stream Deck. A few fans on TikTok and YouTube have put together tutorials for assigning buttons to specific stratagems. This setup from TikTok user dankischillin is particularly neat because they uploaded each stratagem’s icon art to the Stream Deck profile for maximum macro fashion (you can download the profile yourself from their Discord).

Imagine: The power to drop a 500 kg payload of liberty with the press of a button. It’s enough to make an automaton shake its bolts loose. 


♬ original sound – Dank

While most Stream Deck-equipped helldivers are using the hardware to streamline their play, I’m partial to YouTuber BigBadHater’s approach, who taped a Stream Deck to their wrist and mapped arrow keys to the buttons to mimic their helldiver’s calldown action in real life. Is it faster than the normal way? Clearly not. Is it cool as hell? I mean just look:


♬ At Doom’s Gate – Mick Gordon

Of course, some watchdogs of managed democracy have noted in comments that automating the stratagem process stinks of “Automaton behavior.” A fair paranoia, especially after Super Earth’s recent defeat at Malevelon Creek.

A serious argument against stratagem macros is that frantic code punching is part of the fun of Helldivers 2. The game is designed around not just resource management, but time management—you’re rewarded for kiting enemies away from teammates and executing tactical retreats that buy you time to call down your biggest bomb.

But as with everything else in Helldivers 2, stratagem sanctity isn’t something to be taken so seriously. Arrowhead has yet to object to macros, and crafting a mini command center with all my favorite stratagems at my fingertips does sound pretty fun. Just nobody tell Arrowhead’s galactic dungeon master Joel, lest we incur his wrath and find our stratagem codes have been scrambled.

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