Poll Question 232 – How do you reload?

9th July 2011

Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3

Sometimes the little techniques you use to play can make big difference. Too often I don’t manage my ammo very well and I regularly find myself staring into the eyes of some army grunt and running out of ammo!

It’s something I need to do better. In fact, to be honest I am not sure what happens if I reload my weapon when my ammo hasn’t fully run out – do I lose what was in the clip or not?

Anyway, are you clear headed enough to pay attention to these details?

How do you reload?

Thanks to GeneralVivi for suggesting this question.

The Poll


  1. Soylent Bacon

    I reload pretty much any time I’m not firing at an enemy. If I shot at a guy, ran behind cover for some reason, and think I’m safe for a few seconds, I’ll make my 49/50 rounds back into 50/50, partly out of habit of hitting the “R” key when I’m idle and partly because I like seeing things complete like that. Nothing to do with strategy!

  2. If I play a game where the ammo is topped up when I reload (which is pretty much all FPS games now unless they are going for realism), then I reload after every enemy encounter regardless of how much ammo I have left in the magazine.

    However, I have played a few games where the ammo is given in magazines and when you reload you lose what ever you had left in that magazine. In those cases, I generally reload after maybe a third or so of the magazine is left. Though, sometime I forget and reload after a few shots out of habit and then realise that I just wasted a magazine.

  3. Usually I reload every times I killed an enemy or as soon as I can. This what is advise in the HL1 hazard course and I do it since the first time. However you may encounter a mod where you loose the ammo left in the clip when you reload. It’s the case in Night At The Office .

  4. The Joker

    I agree with the other statements. After any sort of combat situation, I reload all of my weapons, double-checking they are fully locked and loaded. In firefights, I reload in between waves of enemy squads/groups, when behind cover, or when jumping around and avoiding enemy fire. I rarely have to automatically reload my weapons, I just do it myself whenever there is time.

  5. Frohman11

    I sometimes faced the problem where I dont care about reloads , and then get swarmed and have 1/65 bullets in my wepon.
    So now im allways flanking , using the ammo wise and taking the aimed shots like a predator , every headshot is just 1 bullet , so aim for the head.
    When I run out of ammo and im in a bad luck infront of a MG I can get out my knife and
    A) DIE !
    B) Be sneaky , get behind the MG gunner and stab him to death , use the MG to kill the rest.

  6. Kyo

    I press “R” every time I’m done firing at my enemies, even if it’s one or two bullets. I’m less conscious of reloading when I’m in the middle of a firefight, to my detriment. I don’t generally seek cover to reload. But, in games like Gears of War (and I think Halo as well), they have a warning sound that tells you when you’re about to run out of bullets, so you have an audio cue to seek cover instead of having to keep an eye on your ammo. That’s nice to have.

    I like how Half-Life 2 also auto-reloads when you switch away from weapons. Nothing worse than switching over to your shotgun only to realize you failed to reload it five minutes ago.

    As Wozzle says, if the game has some weird system where you toss out the remaining bullets when you reload, so they I wouldn’t reload all the time (and probably wouldn’t be playing the game either – that’s annoying!). Also, if a weapon takes a long time to reload, then I’ll tend to avoid doing it during combat if I can.

    I’ve never really gotten the hang of Left 4 Dead 2’s odd shotgun mechanics (the fewer loaded shells you have, the longer it takes to reload, so if you’re in a panic scenario and you get down to 1 loaded shell, you’re basically screwed as far as the shotgun goes).

    One other thing I’ve never been a huge fan of is the weapon swap reloading you see in Call of Duty. Reloading obviously leaves you vulnerable, so they encourage you to quickly swap to a knife if you get attacked. I’ve never been coordinated enough to pull off that move.

  7. it would seem that most are using the same techniques I use. I do like to reload while under cover, and after each kill if possible. I also like to stack my weapons. For half life 1 it might be M16 and shot gun. If I see grunts I shoot them sparingly with the M16, jump back behind the wall, corner, ect. and hit Q for the shot gun. as they around the corner, point blank kills. saves a lot of ammo. In half life 2 and episodes. I keep the 9mm handy when confronted with zombies or head crabs, but keep the machine gun as main. now if I am in a zombie fest its shot gun first, if I can not reload it fast enough at leas the 9mm has the capacity as I am backing away. with the impulse rifle I find I count my shots as it does not hold much ammo.
    now, all this talking about reloading makes me want go and load a new summer map and shoot the bad guys so I can enjoy reloading. off to download.

  8. scraps

    I always forget to reload and end up dying then have to press the F9 button

  9. GoodGuyA

    Basically I shoot about rapidly, trying to land hits. If I end up with none left and start reloading, I try and fire once or twice more to see if I can get them. If that doesn’t work, I retreat to try and reload to full. You’re right, it does make a huge difference in playstyles.

  10. noface

    Every few shots. Now I know this is better than running out of ammo completelly, but it does have a bad side. I often find myself in day of defeat source killing 1 or two people then reloading, only to find an enemy coming round the corner and shooting me while im still reloading, even if I didnt need to reload. This can be frustrating. I think you need to find a balance between reloading and using ammo. If you have a good place to hide while you reload, reloading quickly after you kill an enemy can be helpful because you can then kill even more, but if you are in the open and streams of enemies are coming, I think the best you can did is use all your ammo in hopes of killing them all (or enough) to reload in time to finish any stranglers off. I have also noticed that if you have little ammo in your clip remaining, in a multiplayer match, when you have no where to hide it can be beneficial to run and shoot at them, making them slightly panic and making THEM run for cover so you can reload!

  11. Reloading, after every few shots!
    Wise to always have full magazine, just in case…

  12. LolmartSecurity

    I have a strange OCD about my ammo counts being even numbers, so I reload at random times and then may fire off more shots and reload again to equalize the ammo count. Not an effective tactic.

  13. I usually melee and reload afterwards. But I’m very conservative about my ammo.

  14. Hec

    I think i’m a very average gamer, indeed, I reload every few shoots is like a mania or obssesion whatever u wanted to call it, that I don’t feel right if I don’t have enough ammo, to combat with, in HL2 and HL1, the mp5 and the SMG, waste many bullets that don’t hit directly on the target so I don’t feel confortable too much with those guns, I rather prefer some more acurate as the AR2 and in case of Hl1 I like the crosbow, and even shotgun for closer combat, the exception for HL1 is the enhanced graphs package, that improove models and weapons so offers u the M16 instead of that unaccurate MP5, so there in that verssion I like the M16 that allows u gave more direct hits and kills, so my ammo is ok an balanced during combat, so yeah you could say that I reload alot when I play, which is dangerous in a heavy battle, also I get a little frustrated when the AR2 changes mags automatically, when u reload it before the kills is ok, bnut in a middle of a battle it feels teeeerribly slow!, also the crosbow, and the Magnum.

  15. Major Banter

    I’m COD drilled – enemy down, area momentarily safe, hit reload.

    Anybody who’s played plenty of COD reloads in an identical way. It’s hilarious – boot up a split-screen match on a console, throw in some bots, fire at the same bot and watch everybody reload simultaneously.

  16. SiPlus

    Kill > cover > reload > repeat until all enemies are dead.

  17. Error 404 Not Found

    I used to just let the game do it, but after watching quite a few “Lets Play…” videos I now try to reload when I’m about 3/4 down, and when I have cover.
    I generally use Mousewheel up to jump and Mousewheel down to reload, so if I’m in a situation where I have to jump into (or up to) cover I can quite nicely jump and reload at near enough the same time with a quick flick of the finger.
    The magnum always seems to catch me out, because I always forget how long it takes to reload. I’ll have to try to be a bit more careful with that one xp

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