Box art - Returnal

Returnal How to Reload: Overload explained

Returnal is an unconventional game in several ways. As a shooter, undoubtedly one of the biggest is its lack of a reload button. While ammo is infinite and weapons don’t need reloading, the in-game Overload mechanic stops Selene from being an unstoppable force. It can be a difficult system to get to grips with, however. As such, anybody struggling should stick with this Returnal how to reload guide and Overload explainer.

Returnal: How to stop weapon overheating and reduce gun cooldown

Returnal how to reload

To get more ammo in Returnal, stop shooting and allow the weapon time to automatically replenish ammunition. After firing every available shot, guns overheat, at which point players must correctly time their Overload to instantly reload.

The HUD features an indicator below the targeting reticule that displays the remaining ammo before a gun overheats (see above). It’s best to stop firing before this ammo counter fully depletes, though, if it does, it’ll turn into the Overload meter.

Returnal’s Overload bar gradually fills up from left to right. Players must press R2 when it overlaps with the indicated sweet spot in the center of the bar. This will instantly reduce the cooldown to zero and allow users to resume firing, essentially serving as a reload. Gears of War fans will already be familiar with the system, as it works very much like performing an active reload.

Different weapons have different ammo counts and Overload thresholds, which can make it hard to memorize the exact timing. As a result, players often need to manage their shots and observe the Overload meter very carefully. It is possible, however, to increase Weapon Proficiency for the current run and make managing ammo that bit easier.

Getting complacent is a surefire way to die and lose all non-persistent progress during the current cycle. That can be a real bummer, so check out these tips and tricks to help with survival.

There is one benefit to dying, though: Selene’s ship contains a Resogun Easter egg!