Hell Let Loose is the latest game in what is shaping up to be a bit of a renaissance for the realistic shooter. As such, it handles quite a bit differently from what you might be used to if you’re playing CoD or BFV. The emphasis is much more on playing a role in a larger team to secure victories. No soldier in Hell Let Loose will be very successful going at it alone, cooperating and working together with your team is key.
Since people new to these games might struggle with this, I thought I’d put together a small Hell Let Loose weapons guide.
The “Best” Hell Let Loose Weapon
First things first, Hell Let Loose is a game where you will almost always die by a single bullet. Therefore, all weapons are by and large equally deadly, what differentiates them is when and where they are the most effective. Also, you do not choose your weapon in Hell Let Loose, as it is determined by the role you are playing in your squad. Therefore, the weapon you get will give you a strong hint as to what your role is supposed to be on the battlefield.
If you are familiar with realistic WW2 shooters, this will be par for the course. If not, here is a quick list and guide for how and when to use the respective weapons. Keep in mind that this is an Early Access game and therefore things might get tweaked and change along the way. However, the overall relationship between the weapons will probably stay the same as the developers are focused on keeping things realistic.
Standard Infantry Rifle – Long Range
These are the standard infantry rifles of WW2, issued to large swathes of units throughout the war. In Hell Let Loose they are represented by the M1 Garand for the Americans and the Karabiner 98k for the Germans.
These weapons are mainly meant to engage enemies at a relatively long range. Other games may have taught you that these weapons aren’t great in an all-out firefight due to their slower rate of fire and bulkier frame. However, the scale of the maps in Hell Let Loose makes them formidable tools of murder. I even found myself preferring them to guns with a higher fire-rate a lot of the time.
That said, you need to make sure you use them in the right situation. What you want with these types of rifles are open ranges and some cover to hide behind. Since their fire-rate is fairly slow, these rifles are at their best when fired at stationary targets or enemies who are moving towards or away from you. Targets moving from side to side become significantly harder to hit and are best left to your machine gunner if possible.
The infantry rifle becomes decidedly less effective once you move into towns or trenches. The abundance of cover and tight spaces combined with a slow rate of fire make them a whole lot harder to use effectively.
Some roles in the game come with a semi-auto rifle. These are a lighter evolution of the infantry rifle that is usually shorter and easier to carry around. They can fire at a much higher frequency than their older counterparts but forgo some of the range and accuracy in doing so. Other than that, they have largely the same role on the battlefield as the standard infantry rifle.
SMG – Short Range
Where the rifle falters, the SMG shines. The low powered 9mm round in an SMG does not have a lot of punch or accuracy when fired over long distances. Indeed, firing an SMG at enemies across a field or at a distance greater than a few hundred meters (if that) will likely be a fool’s errand. Instead, use the SMG while clearing out houses or trenches and in engagements which are in close proximity.
While out in the field, your best bet with an SMG is to lay down some suppressive fire for your riflemen or try to close the distance. In Hell Let Loose, you have the iconic MP40 and the M1 Thompson as your SMGs. They are fairly similar though the MP40 has superior accuracy while the Thompson fires a bit faster.
Assault Rifles – Medium to Long Range
The assault rifle tries to combine the rapid fire of an SMG with the superior stopping power and range of an infantry rifle. As such, they are good in medium to long range. While long range sniping is difficult with them, it can still be done.
When firing an assault rifle, try to stick with short bursts as the recoil will be a nightmare otherwise. Additionally, while they are not as good as an SMG in a close-quarter fight due to their bulkiness, they are still a heck of a lot better to have when storming a building than a standard rifle is.
In Hell Let Loose, you need to deploy machine guns for them to be truly effective. This is done on a piece of cover or while lying prone. Keep in mind your position though, as grass and other vegetation could make it impossible for you to see and fire effectively. Also as of this writing, the deployment can fall victim to the occasional clipping bug. Nothing major, but you sometimes find yourself embedded inside a hill after you have deployed your machine gun.
The machine gun is best placed at a ridge or somewhere in a cover that has a wide open area in front of it. The role of the machine gunner is to blanket enemy positions with a storm of bullets. As a single hit is usually enough to kill, they can be incredibly deadly if deployed properly. They are, however, slow and bulky to move, so a machine gunner is prone to get flanked if he is not supported by squadmates who can spot and provide cover.
The bazooka and the panzerschreck are excellent weapons to counter enemy tanks with. If you can engage them at a relatively close range, that is.
Tanks in Hell Let Loose are lumbering beasts with poor eyesight — do your best to keep this in mind while fighting them. Firing at or running towards a tank that is far away is paramount to suicide. Try to get in close and use its poor visibility and turn speed against it. Hit the tank on the sides or the rear on the opposite side of the turret for best effect and chances of survival. A few good hits will turn any armor into scrap metal.
So here are the normal infantry weapons at your disposal at this stage of the Early Access for Hell Let Loose. The developers have said they are looking to add new weapons and tools down the line but for now these are the main toys you have at your disposal.