Every now and then, I will play first person shooters on my off time. I've played a few of them, ranging from Destiny to Battlefront to Battlefield and I have always heard of reloading, well as reloading your weapon with a new clip.

Recently I heard that some first person shooters, when reloading your weapon, they contain a "hard reload" instead of a "soft reload". What is the difference between the two types of reloading?

1 Answer 1


If my memory is right, the hard reload was one done automatically when you kept pressing fire and eventually ran out of ammo, in contrast the soft reload was done when you manually selected reload without trying to shoot first (so, in the example, you were reloading while still having few bullets left)

The difference is hard to notice, but because in first case the script then would try shooting, noticed lack of ammo, done the reloading and continue the shooting, which would lead to longer downtime when you are defenseless, thanks to that attempted failed shot.

It's not necessary visible in every game, but in some it might take a noticeable fraction of a second longer.

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    In real life and very rare games, a hard reload is suppose to give you an extra bullet, because you are reloading when there is a bullet in the chamber. Very very few games factor this in.
    – Nelson
    Nov 24, 2016 at 3:27
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    Not to mention that in hard reload you missed the chance to hit your target when you ran out of ammo, and are now reloading while vulnerable, while a soft reload can be done while behind cover so you can then pop out and fire your entire clip at someone. It's basically doing micromanaging on your ammos supply; you are performing extra actions to help optimize your ammo load for when you really need it. Dec 1, 2016 at 11:58
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    Most games also seem to force you to draw a round into the chamber on a 'Hard Reload', adding an extra animation (and therefore taking extra time). Also, @Nelson did you mean a soft reload? You shouldn't have a bullet in the chamber during a Hard Reload
    – Robotnik
    Jan 11, 2017 at 7:20

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