Manual Cycling of Firearms

As of, manually cycling firearms requires the player to press specific keys,
(either pressing the [Reload] key or the [Primary Attack] key,) cannot be initiated while aiming down sights, does not have any effect on point of aim, is not impacted by skill levels, (as these are not implemented yet,) and will still chamber a cartridge and be ready to fire even if the animation is skipped.
Each point listed above should be changed to some degree, and some of these changes may already be planned, expected, taken for granted, or seemingly inevitable, but will be listed regardless.

I am perfectly fine with requiring player input in order to cycle firearms, which can be used to facilitate changing ammunition types, nerf high tier sniper/anti-materiel rifles, require player skill (skillpoints and/or actual skill) to make certain low tier weapons as effective as higher tier weapons. What I would want to change is what buttons are pressed to cycle the action; [Primary Attack] is fine to cycle the action with, but [Reload] has another function that it should fill regardless of whether you have a round chambered or not. Having an additional keybind to cycle the action with is definitely an interesting option, that allows tryhards and roleplayers to do specific weapon manipulations, and helps those who physically struggle to rapidly press the same key, but this should definitely not replace the ability to change magazines, atleast not with default controls.

It should be possible to cycle the action without releasing/toggling the [Secondary Attack] key, atleast under some circumstances. Perhaps, only certain weapons should be able to do this (which is a buff some games give to straight-pull bolt actions,) perhaps it should require a perk to do (a paragraph on skills is forthcoming,) or perhaps the player should always have the option to either cycle the action while aiming down sights, (which would keep the weapon shouldered, reducing the time it takes to go back to point shooting/aiming down sights and maybe the amount point of aim gets displaced) or to cycle the action while not aiming down sights, (which would cause the weapon to be pulled away from the shoulder, where better leverage could allow the action to be cycled faster and maybe more reliably, but would be extremely inaccurate to fire in the moments it is being brought back up to the shoulder.)


In the case of weapons that lack a stock, the difference wouldn’t be between shouldering the weapon or not, because they cannot be shouldered, but would instead be a difference between supporting the weapon with both hands and moving one of the hands to get better leverage.

The reason that cycling the action should be able to displace point of aim is for balancing weapons against eachother. To exemplify this I will use single- and double- action variants of a hypothetical revolver item, because the lack of variables will aid in rational comparison. It is generally agreed that lighter single-action triggers are easier to shoot more accurately than double-action triggers, which could handily be a way to balance out the inconvenience of having to manually cock the hammer between each shot, but would actually make the single-action lockwork a direct upgrade, no matter how it is used. By causing the point of aim to be displaced by cocking the hammer, we make it so the player can’t take advantage of the single-action accuracy buff unless they take the time to correct their aim after it is displaced. Of course different weapons might be balanced to cause extreme, minimal, or even nonexistent displacement of point of aim, and that’s fine, so long as other features or context balances this out.

Once skills are implemented, they should have an impact on the speed, reliability, and aim displacement of cycling actions, perhaps with specific skills for specific types of actuation (i.e. lever-action, single-action, pump-action.) In addition to skill levels based on doing actions, Nelson has also expressed interest in a Path of Exiles type skill tree (I’m not really advocating for it, but) if this skill tree were implemented, perhaps perks on this tree could be what determines what kinds of action a player can use while aiming down sights or gice the player the option to cycle their weapon without manually pressing a key to do so.

It was fun to do in the demo, but I don’t think I should really have to explain myself when I say that you shouldn’t be able to just skip or cancel the cycling animation to shoot faster. It would be nice, however if the other extreme, (that it is to say always having to completely restart your progress toward cycling the action when interrupted,) were avoided as well.

One additional thing that might be worth changing would be the fact that the action always cycles 100% reliably. Now I’m not saying that we should constantly be plagued by bizarre and dangerous malfunctions simply because of bad luck, but the combination of bad ammunition with unclean/tight chambers of poorly-maintained/extremely-accurate barrels should cause malfunctions in manually actuated weapons, just as they should in semi or fully automatic ones. Perhaps it should take multiple attempts to cycle the action, perhaps it should take a longer cycling animation, or perhaps the player should be able to either try spamming the button until they successfully cycle the action or hold down the button to force the action out.

Let me know your thoughts especially about the parts where I listed multiple ways something could be handled, because these are the parts I’m less sure about.


bro you make suggestions like i write school essays


Lemme make it double spaced so the teacher can write feedback.

  • Always auto bolt cycle
  • Always manual bolt cycle
  • Player can choose in Options

0 voters

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  • Always cycle action as soon as a shot is fired
  • Only cycle action with player input
  • Cycle action with player input, and have unlockable perks to automatically cycle actions with each shot
  • Ability to choose between cycling automatically and cycling with player input hidden in the Input tab of the menu, but technically always available
  • I accidentally entered result in this poll, so I clicked hide results and resubmitted this option instead

0 voters


I would like to question your reasoning behind this.

I would also like to question this as most revolvers are single and double action.

I think you hit C instead of V there.

Although I’m still of the opinion that manual bolting is unnecessary and a bad idea, your points are all reasonable and I surprisingly I can find nothing wrong with them. However, if you could clarify on how exactly this makes certain low-tier weapons as effective as higher-tier ones, then I’d go along with the flow.

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What I was trying to explain is that someone who is skillful with the controls or uses in-game skillpoints can negate the disadvantages of manual actions, to make it so being fortunate enough to find better loot isn’t the only way to improve your chances in a gunfight.

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Hmmmm…okay, fair enough.

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Another question popped up today while I was pondering this. How would dual wielding single-action revolvers work? Would the shots be fired at the same time by pressing the action key and pressing the action key again would cock them, would both weapons have different keybinds for firing and cocking (i.e. the left and right mouse buttons), or would the shots be staggered and one weapon would be cocked while the other is fired?

Likewise, how would a weapon such as a double-barreled bolt-action rifle work? Would both barrels be fired at the same time, or would you be able to fire two shots before working the bolts? If the second is true, then another problem arises, how do you work the bolt on just one of the actions without having to fire a second shot?

I’d imagine in both cases changing firemodes would be a way to fix most of these problems, however the last problem is still left unanswered.

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I’d assume that when dual wielding, [Primary Attack] (LMB by default) would operate the weapon in your main hand (right hand by default?) and [Secondary Attack] (RMB by default) would operate the weapon in your off hand (left hand by default?) If it has one in the chamber, ‘operating’ means firing, if it has an empty chamber, ‘operating’ means cycling, if it’s not a firearm, the same controls do something else with it. If a dedicated key for cocking/cycling were added, (I’m fairly confident that [Reload] will be used for loading magazines, speed loaders, and/or individual shells into weapons, but as said above, there could be some niche uses for such a keybind, even if it weren’t used in default controller or keyboard control schemes,) then this keybind should probably prioritize cycling whichever action(s) need to be cycled (left, right, or both) and maybe you could choose to cycle both, regardless of whether there’s a cartridge chambered in either of them, by holding or double tapping it, but I find it difficult to imagine when it would be necessary to cycle a loaded cartridge out of the action, and this wouldn’t be better suited to attachment or inventory management.
Double (or greater) barreled firearms, I would imagine that [Secondary Attack] is used for ADS, and if a dedicated keybind existed for cycling, it could be used to cycle an action regardless of whether one is already cycled or not. The effect of [Primary Attack] would probably vary based on certain characteristics of the weapon, including:

  • Whether the actions are cycled simultaneously or individually. (The Gilboa DBR, Szescei&Fuchs DBR, and AF2011 have both actions cycled by a single charging handle/slide, certain aerial machine guns have separate actions that must be cocked individually, exposed hammer break-actions and double muskets could be cycled either way)
  • Whether there’s reason to have different firemodes (If different barrels fire different ammunition, they should be fired with different firemodes or using different keystrokes. If multiple triggers could be pulled simultaneously, a firemode for doing so could be implemented)

There’s also the possibility of having the server owner choosing if it’s a manual or auto cycling.


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