Milsims are always an intense experience, that’s why we play them. As a new player, you have all the bullets and explosions to deal with, as well as the learning curve for the new game. At the heart of Hell Let Loose is the cooperation mechanic. Teams win because of squads, and squads win because their members know what to do. This guide is to bring you new players up to speed so you can hit the battlefield running.
Just a quick pep talk first: Don’t worry about being ‘good’. Focus on your job. I play Squad Leader predominantly. For more on leading in Hell Let Loose, check out my Squad Leader’s Guide. Basically this means I die with my head in my map a lot. I constantly hear two different voice channels talking at the same time, alongside bullets and bombs. My personal stats are not ‘good’, BUT my squad consistently places first in multiple categories. The same rule applies to all roles though. Put your squad before yourself, and you will go far in Hell Let Loose. Now let’s begin.
Communication is Mightier than the Sword
Communicating is almost as useful as being able to 360 no scope. Use your microphone only when relaying information. Chatter about the upcoming patch prevents someone from alerting enemy movements, or keeps your Squad Leader from hearing the command channel. When relaying positions of enemy units, use your compass bearing. Some people won’t recognize your voice, or be facing the same direction. Saying left, right or behind that tree is useless. Saying “Enemy contact bearing 245 behind the burning tank.” or “Enemy armor approaching down the road from the east, bearing 020.” is a better choice. Be specific and be short. Save the socializing for Discord and the forums. If someone’s microphone is loud, ask them to edge it down, and say PLEASE. I’ve never had anyone argue about it or get mad. Don’t keep quiet about it if they are too loud, as it will become a hindrance during firefights. I’d suggest starting with your own voice and microphone volumes at 75% and adjust from there.
Don’t be afraid to talk in game. Occasionally I meet people that are unsure about it, and I always tell them the same thing. I’ve been playing video games for decades, and I can’t remember a single time someone got made fun of for their voice. HLL has people from around the world, and you get all kinds of crazy accents. Your voice is fine, and if someone says something, just change squads. I’ve found Hell Let Loose to have a really good community in that regard.
Starting Your Career
For your first time, find an infantry squad that has a Squad Leader. You can tell by the crown icon, and they are usually top of the squad. Once you join the squad, before you choose a role, see what your squad needs. Hold (C) to talk in squad chat, and ask your squad leader what role they need. If they don’t respond, try again. If they don’t respond after a few tries, dump the squad and find a new one. A non-talking squad leader is going to mean a bad play experience.
Being flexible will make you invaluable. Battlefield conditions change continuously, and different situations will require different roles. You can have your favorite or specialty, but it might not be useful under current conditions. If your Squad Leader doesn’t need anything in particular, go for whatever. If you aren’t sure what to pick, then I’d suggest one of the following roles:
Rifleman is always a solid choice. You can drop ammo boxes that any team member can use to refill ammo. Anti-Tank and Machine Gunners will love you long time. Place them behind cover, and not in open areas. It takes a few seconds to actually resupply from the ammo boxes.
Support allows you to build supplies anywhere on the battlefield. Supplies can be used for a TON of things by various roles, and you drop enough to build at least two different things. Dropping supplies allows your Squad Leader specifically to build Garrisons, which are spawn points for the entire team.
Engineer allows you to build resource nodes for your team, which power your tanks and Commander abilities (Bombing runs, strafing runs, supply drops). Build Munitions first, then hit TAB and see what resource your team needs next (Manpower or Fuel). Engineers also repair tanks, which is good, but remember to stay near your team.
Anti-Tank is generally always useful too. You have to be a little sneaky, and a little patient. You may stray a little far at times, so remember to always rally back with your squad. I wouldn’t start the game with this role, but the first time someone dies, it’s probably time to fill the role.
The other roles are needed as well, but these have the best defined expectations. You’ll feel more comfortable in your boots if you know exactly what you’re supposed to be doing.
TIP: If the game is just starting, Support and Engineer are vital to get those resource nodes up and running. Prioritize these.
Always stay on mission. If there’s a move marker up, move towards it. Stay with your squad, and don’t wander around solo. Hell Let Loose is a team game, and it isn’t won by 50 people playing lone wolves. Playing solo while in a squad denies that squad someone that might be willing to work as a team. If you don’t see any markers, hit (T) to bring them up. If there aren’t any markers at all, politely ask your Squad Leader to use them. A cohesive squad, is a highly effective squad. It was a proud moment to hear a Commander say our squad was “…doing God’s work.”
Along those lines, listen to your Squad Leader. You may not like what your SL is doing, but you had the chance to be SL, and didn’t take it. You have no idea what orders or information your SL is getting. This doesn’t mean you can’t offer new information, or give a brief suggestion. Just keep in mind if the SL says no, arguing is literally going to make things worse. Just go along for the ride and learn what you can. If your mission fails, then you’ve learned that you can trust your own judgement a little more. If your mission succeeds, then you’ll have learned something new to help you in the future. Keep an open mind.
Suppressing fire is hugely important. You don’t need to land kills to be effective. You are simply suppressing a particular area, and keeping their fire off target. For example, steadily firing a shot into a window to cover your squad’s approach to a building, or a corner to keep enemies from peeking around. You don’t have to spam your trigger finger, because running out of bullets or having to reload obviously ends the suppression. Fire one bullet at a time at a steady rhythm to keep any enemies from aiming at anything.
TIP: Don’t forget to lean with (Q) and (E). This makes you harder to see, and you present a smaller target to the enemy.
The Machine Gunner role is the absolute best at this, and can suppress larger areas. An example would be a gap in a hedgerow where enemies are crossing. Generally your Squad Leader should tell you where to suppress, but with some practice, you’ll learn how best to support your squad. MGs should always be in the back when advancing, and always covering the squad when approaching a building or other objective.
Dealing With Enemy Armor
Dealing with enemy armor is a multi person job, and one of them must be an Anti-Tank role. American AT has 5 shots, German AT has 2 shots. No matter which you are, you’ll want to hit the tank from the sides or rear. Try to hit the flat surfaces, avoid curves and angles. Also try to hit them from a 90 degree angle. Armor thickness is a thing. You may have to hit it more than once, so it’s going to be a hit-and-run operation. Light tanks are pretty much matchboxes, just don’t go for head on.
If you can find a Rifleman to drop an ammo box in advance, do it. You might need a refill. As for the second person, you’re going to need smoke grenades. You are the distraction/bait, congratulations. Land those smoke grenades right in front of the tank to block the vision of the crew, forcing it to move. Again, a nearby ammo box for extra smoke grenades is helpful. Everyone else should simply provide suppressing fire to cover the AT from enemy infantry fire.
Anti-Tank roles also have the option of building fixed AT guns, and Engineer roles can place anti-tank mines. These are something you’ll have to pre-plan, as trying to set them up while already under fire from enemy armor is going to be a big nope.
Destroy Enemy Equipment
Everything that you can build, your enemy can build. And that means you can also tear it down! Dismantle any enemy resource nodes or supplies you come across by pressing and holding (F). This will take a decent amount of time, so go prone (Z) and use cover if you can. Enemy Garrisons and Squad Spawns will be destroyed just by you walking near them, or with a well placed grenade. Destroying these spawn points pushes back the enemy assault, giving your team room to breathe. This is of course a double edged sword, so make sure your SL knows if your squad spawn or nearby garrison is down so you can work to place another. This also has the helpful side effect of letting you know the enemy position. Also alert your squad to any supplies parachuting down from the sky. These are supplies being dropped by the enemy Commander, or your Commander. They are most likely used to set up Garrisons, and are a great place to look for enemy infantry.
TIP: German supplies look like a missile. Now you know if they’re your supplies, or the enemy’s.
Find Good Teammates
I want to close on this note. Cover your squad mates, watch their backs, and generally be the kind of player you want to have in your squad. Everyone started right where you are, and most people will respect that. Tell your AT good job when they scrap a tank, thank your medic for picking you up, and say ‘good game’ at the end of every match. People will remember a good teammate. Through streaming and playing, I’ve picked up a good group of people to play with, and learned a lot about the game. In fact, I got some help from them to write this guide. If you’re looking for good people, you can always start on my Discord. Pop in the text channel and let us know you’re new, and ask any questions. You can also post when you’re looking for group. The more you practice with the same people, the more you’ll get a handle on your squad’s strengths and weaknesses. Look to fill those gaps, and good teammates will find you.
Keep your head down, and good luck!