Gears of War Wiki
Gears of War Wiki

A quick reload

Active Reload is a feature that was popularized by the Gears of War series. It is a minigame that changes the reloading mechanism of the held weapon. By tapping the Right Bumper once, a player can manually reload their gun rather than wait for the current clip/magazine/projectile to run out of ammo. But when the progress bar of the reload reaches the grey or white area of the meter, the player can press the right bumper again to attempt an active reload, which, depending on where the progress bar was stopped, reloads the gun a lot faster than a normal reload. There are three types of Active Reload: A quick reload is performed once the progress bar meets the grey area of the meter, a Perfect Reload is performed by matching the bar with the solid white area, and a failed active reload is when the bar is stopped in the black area.

Perfect Active Reload[]

Marcus Fenix, upon making a Perfect Reload

A Perfect Active Reload

The Perfect Reload is achieved when the reload bar at the top of the screen hits the solid white part of the bar, and pressing the reload button the second time will make the reloading process take less than half a second. The damage per shot is also increased by around 8% for all ammunition returned to the weapon. The shots that have increased damage are shown as flashing ammo. The Perfect Reload is a type of Active Reload, and can be used in Multiplayer for a much needed boost. However, if one doesn't fire any rounds, the Perfect Reloaded round(s) will disappear and he/she will be left with regular rounds.

All weapons have damage increase (except the Scorcher Flamethrower), and some weapons have a side effect. The Hammerburst II gets only 15 rounds in its magazine instead of the usual 17. So when you actively reload this weapon, you'd best watch how many bullets you have. The Boltok receives a massive rate of fire increase. Torque Bows get to charge up faster, so you'll want to get out of the line of sight fast when you hear the Torque Bow charging up. The Boomshot is kind of dangerous to active reload when in close quarters combat. Reason being that the Boomshot's grenade receives an aftershock of mini explosions. Last but not least, the Scorcher. This weapon only receives a range increase.

In Gears of War 2, for certain weapons such as the Longshot, if a Perfect Reload is achieved and all of the flashing ammunition in the magazine is expended, the next Perfect Reload will be harder to perform. The solid white region will get smaller each time this happens until it is a tiny sliver. Missing a perfect reload, letting your ammo's flashing time limit expire, or switching weapons will reset this behavior.

Failed Active Reload[]

"Goddamn son-of-a-bitch!"
—Marcus Fenix, upon failing an Active Reload
Failed active reload

A Failed Active Reload

Once the needle passes the Active Reload meter's gray section, you should let it go all the way to the end. Stopping it in the black results in the weapon jamming and the reloading process will therefore take longer than if you hadn't attempted an active reload. Also, a failed reload results in not only a longer wait, but leaves the player completely vulnerable. You may not be able to switch weapons, but you are still able to roll, evade and Roadie Run until the reload is complete.

Reload times[]

Weapon Perfect Reload (sec) Active Reload (sec) Normal Reload (sec) Failed (jammed) Reload (sec)
Lancer 1.8 2.25 3 4.1
Hammerburst II 2 2.25 3 4.45
Gnasher Shotgun 2 2.20 3.2 4.5
Snub Pistol 1.5 1.75 2.5 4.5
Boltok Pistol 1.75 2 2.5 4.5
Gorgon Pistol 1.5 2.15 2 5
Longshot 3.2 3.6 4.5 4.75
Torque Bow 2.5 2.75 3 5.1
Scorcher 1.5 2.00 2.5 4.5
Boomshot 1.5 2.00 2.5 4.5
Mortar 1.25 1.50 3.6 5.0

Please note that the above table was timed with a stopwatch, from the moment the magazine is empty to the time you can fire again. All numbers were done three times and averaged, so they are as close as possible but feel free to correct any mistakes.