Today I learned that, for all heroes with limited ammunition, they can reload cancel their weapons with a melee attack.

What I'm curious about is, does it really save time? Is it really a "cancel"? I'll give an example.

With Reaper's shotguns, if he presses reload, the ammo indicator on the bottom right will instantly refresh to 8/8, but it will still play the "drop gun, pull new ones out of thin air" animation. If I melee after pressing reload, it will allow me to fire as soon as the melee animation takes place.

However, what I've seen is that if I press melee immediately after I press reload, there seems to be a delay as to when I can fire the shotguns. If I wait just a half-second later to press melee, then I can fire almost immediately. Because of this delay, I'm wondering if reload cancelling really does save time, or is the reload time set, regardless of cancelling?

  • Just curious, what happens when you try to "reload cancel" with a character with no "limited ammunition" (can't test it right now)
    – bmarkham
    May 31, 2016 at 2:55
  • 1
    Well, you can't reload cancel for infinite ammo characters because, like their name implies, they have infinite ammo. Limited ammo means they have a magazine or a clip, like Reaper's Shotguns, S76's Pulse Rifle, Genji's Shuriken, etc. Infinite meaning weapons like Hanzo's Storm Bow, D.va's Particle Cannons. Basically, infinite = no reload necessary
    – childe
    May 31, 2016 at 2:59
  • Ah for some reason, I thought you meant like "not a lot of ammo" like Reaper.
    – bmarkham
    May 31, 2016 at 3:00

3 Answers 3


No, it is not. After a reload cancel there is a delay, which is equal to the time required to reload without canceling the animation. I suppose that reload animations were made to fit the reload time, not the other way around. Here are two GIFs,which demonstrate that (by reddit user - daddatv):

At full speed

Frame by frame

  • 1
    Please note that Gfycat will shut down on Sept. 1, 2023. This affects the media you included in your post since they were uploaded to Gfycat. I recommend that you edit your post and reupload the Gfycat media through SE Imgur to avoid losing them. You might need to edit the media to make it ≤ 2 MiB, which is the maximum file size allowed by SE Imgur. See this meta post for more info. Jul 14, 2023 at 4:05
  • The links have been updated to use Imgur.
    – DGarvanski
    Jul 14, 2023 at 8:25
  • That's good to know. By the way, were those uploaded via a logged-in account on Imgur? I'm asking because a 2023-05-15 change in Imgur’s TOS could cause the loss of those media if they weren't uploaded using a logged-in account. (Note that this doesn't apply to SE Imgur.) Jul 14, 2023 at 8:35

I did some testing with McCree and Soldier 76 and compared the times in a video so feel free to check it out!

  • 8
    Thanks for posting the video, but would you mind adding a short description of your findings? It's viewed as polite for people who might not be able to watch the video :)
    – two bugs
    Jun 4, 2016 at 23:51

Frame perfectly, I think so.

In my testing with Mei, it's equal, but I also use a timing that's more consistent I think, rather than perfect. My projectiles start at an angle though.

As DGarvanski referenced, /u/daddatv found out Reaper can shoot two frames faster by interrupting reload with melee.

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