Weapon Animation (switching weapons)

When watching a few content creator’s videos, I have noticed some frustration around weapon animations, specifically when pulling out the weapon to fire. The gun will rack each time, even if the clip is full after a reload.

A lot of comments in those videos have mentioned this is FS trying to balance the heavy hitting weapons vs the pistol/weaker guns. Is this true?

With shooter titles, I personally feel reloading an empty magazine should have the longest animation by far and switching to a weapon fully loaded, should not have an extra animation. (This ends up feeling punishing when it should feel rewarded that you prepared your magazine, your weapon swap is smooth and this encourages player to reload before fights.)

To push this point home, If the chamber has already been loaded, and is ready to fire, this should not create a second animation every time you swap.

Personally, I struggle sometimes during a horde with decision making, I’m not sure if I want to range or melee, this results in me switching weapons A LOT. Vermintide had a very fast swap and could allow players, to quick swap and shoot, I can see why FS would want to move away from this. I think if a player has the mechanical skill to - dodge, swap, shoot, dodge and swap to melee, let them! An extra second of “animation lock” can add up and become very punishing.

Extra animations will get players killed and will frustrate others that have an understanding of firearms, or even played other shooters, since it does not make mechanical sense.

My last point is reloading a mag half full should not have to reload the chamber as well. This is an unnecessary animation; you’re loading a bullet that is already there.

If this is intended, because “balancing”, it may be confusing for players that come from defined shooters, such as CoD or other battle royal types, when the weapon mechanics they are accustomed to are not present. My question ends up being, is this intended?

I think a good solution, an age-old solution, is to lower the ammo for the “heavy” hitting weapons so players learn to manage their clips and reward the players with less reloading animations when they efficiently manage their weapon.

In contrast, when we pull out our melee weapon, we don’t wipe off the blood.
Although having those animations be player initiated would be fricken sick!

What does the community think? Did you have any frustration with weapon swapping animations?



agree. In the beta it just felt very sluggish, awkward and awful from the gameplay side of things while the animation itself looked silly with the constant racking and reracking. On some weapons like the ogryn kickback it defeated the purpose of the weapon itself seeing as it functions 95% like a VT2 blunderbuss which was often used while quickswapping for a quick stagger or berserker kill.
What does this achieve? Why say the game is focused on hybrid combat while putting in a mechanic that makes it very difficult to engage in hybrid combat and makes you do only melee or only ranged for long periods? Why make Vermintide 2 seem like a game that has a better flow between melee and ranged?
The special timings are still as fast as in VT2 so the added time during the weapon switch is just going to be a nightmare for new players while also getting you killed in high level play even when you properly react to a special because the animation made you fiddle with the gun. In the beginner guide video from yesterday you can even see MilkandcookiesTW eat hits because of this, no wonder in today’s video he felt that the mechanic wasn’t good and that it didn’t encourage hybrid combat


@plaviout Yes. I’d even go as far to say some specials in Darktide will be harder to combat. The hound is lightning fast and racking a fully loaded gun will get players pounced!
My instinct is always to shoot the hound, since he is usually too fast to melee but if switching weapons gets me killed for choosing to switch, Ill be on the struggle bus.


It’s stupid and they should know better. For a game with an alleged increased focus on ranged combat, they’ve made consistent attempts to discourage ranged combat. Your dodge is crap, ranged specials are hard to see, and you can’t insta special snipe.

Which is what balanced crossbows and handguns (and trollhammer) in VT2 (and also made old Scavenged Shot such a valuable talent rip in pieces). That which was not balanced by reserves/clip size was balanced by charge time (bolt staff). Very interesting how once again, this was a solved issue yet here we are.

Because it does.

This isn’t CS. It’s a pretty arcade-y game despite the atmosphere and setting. There’s no point in any of this crap existing and when compounded with the multitude of other similar issues, is going to lower the skill ceiling and consequently bleed the high skilled players that keep the game alive.


I was about to make topic about that. Glad its here already.

This is just stupid. Not only weapons DO NOT WORK like that, you don’t have to rack the slide every single time but it also destroys the Tides flow of hybrid combat, switching to range weapon in the middle of your swing, killing special, getting back to melee etc.

Perfectly put.

Please kindly revent or fix (I belive it’s some early-beta bug as I don’t believe Fatshark would be so dense to make it a design choice) this as it MIGHT SEEM SMALL but it’s actually a huge issue with how Tides are played and how smooth the combat in your games is.

Adding @Aqshy for visiblity as this will become huge negative feedback during early-beta time.


I think its intentional, so you cant use, or cant quickly transit to ranged weapons, when you are supposed to use melee. Just check out milkandcookietv’s recent bolter chain axe gameplay. It prevents him from using only ranged weapon bolter, when he has plebs around him.

I dont think it ruins the meaning of hybrid gameplay, it actually ensures that you have to use melee too. Otherwise, he’d just end up shooting the entire gameplay.

Also the bolter itself looks like op weapon especially on veteran. I think its just fair to give it some cons.

And him and all his team in same video said it’s stupid and doesn’t make any sense and works against “hybrid combat” that was supposed to be there. I came right after his video as I immidietly agreed with his correct conclusion that it’s stupid and needs to be changed.


Dont know about you, but i’ve seen hybrid combat in his video alright, despite the fact that it has racking animation. While i agree it doesnt have sense for a wapon to rack all the time, i also think there should be some precaution preventing upcomming ranged meta.

You’re right, it doesn’t ruin anything. In my opinion it punishes you for switching to range. Fast swapping to melee is nice, but if you try to disengage to shoot the sniper special afar, suppress a patrol, or hound, you have to wait during the extra animation until you gun is ready to fire. This moment is crucial.

The little things like this can be extremely punishing on higher difficulties. It does, in turn, mean you have to account for the extra animation while disengaging, which may cost an extra dodge you may or may not have room for.


And yet the author of the video himself is saying that it doesn’t make sense as both weapon design (guns don’t work like that) and as opposite to what hybird combat should be.

The high-skill gameplay in V2 was in big part a smooth switching from melee to range weapons to eliminate specials when in the middle of melee dancing with opponents. It’s a another skill celling and skill celling is important or longevity of the game once casuals will leave game after a month-two as usual. It’s nice to be able to pull off stuff like that as it’s a culimination of hundreds of hours put into mastering Tide gameplay.

This is step back.

Exactly. If I am in the middle of melee and I can’t fast switch to gun to shoot a sniper that I just avoid shot from: then what’s the point of hybrid combat. I try to switch to gun to react fast, aim fast, accuretely while having split of second in melee and I get killed becasue gun needs to be slided again for some bizzare reason.

That’s not really good game design and the longer you will play with it the more fustrating it will be.


I understand, and i agree with you at some point as i have played plenty of cata runs myself. But i think that on higher difficulty, you should also have team look after you, creating some space around you so you have time to switch. Im not saying all heavy weapons should have delayed time. For example lasguns ahould be instant, but bolter is on point. If bolter was meant to be efficient special killer, it would be efficient everything killer, making it superior choice to play, while making other ranged weapons inferior.

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That never worked in Vermintide 2. This is utopia. Also many times in Tide games you are left alone to carry game and you need to be able to defend yourself from range enemies while in the middle of melee. It’s a basic concept of game that introduces melee heavy combat while at the same time threatening you with range enemies. If you don’t have quick and smooth transition between melee and range then that design is becoming counterproductive.

90% of people playing this game will play in pugs and probably maybe duos with 2 randoms. There won’t be ANY COORDIATION at all for some “you create space, I take care of sniper!”. It doesn’t work like that in pug games in co-op games. Never did, never will.

Especially without class restriction you can get 4 zealots and good luck without being able to quick range swap as everyone will be in melee all the time.


lasgun is also pretty long, most ranged weapons had very slow animations, this doesn’t affect the weapon balance so much as it does affect the gameplay flow and enjoyment. Unless you’re communicating telepathically the team will never be fast enough to react to specials coming at you while you’re stuck in the animation unless they were already looking in that particular direction with their gun out while also aiming down sights so this doesn’t promote any kind of teamwork and coherency already makes the team stick together so this mechanic only makes the game feel bad while playing which was mentioned a lot of times on the feedback forums during the beta.
This mechanic will be deadly to new players and a detriment to the overall flow of gameplay.


Yeah, especially for players that will run with some close range as shotgun, melta etc. They fight with some trash mobs, avoiding mauler smashes and they see charging Mutant or running Pox Hound or Scrapper Shotgunner. They do the obvious decision: switch to strong close range weapon (it’s close range for reason) and kill it before it reaches you.

They swap: BUM!.. slide animation lock. They get killed by special casue animation prevented them from shooting. That’s frustating as decision was good. When you see packmaster running at you, you fast switch to for example longbow/crossbow and quick headshot it. Simillar with Assassin or Leech.

That slider animation lock on swap It’s just bad design in Tide game. It’s just bad.


Its not utopia. Its perfectly possible with proper communication, situational awareness and team coherency. Everyone should know what his build focuses on. What role he should fulfill.

Its absolutely possible to play cata as duo melee focused grail knight with ranged focused waystalker e.g. who acts as a special killer, while GN creates an opening for him for a 2 seconds when also being unable to switch to any ranged weapon himself.

In v2 you were always alarmed when a special was spawned and thus you got few seconds to act acordingly, position yourself properly, not only as a team on a map, but also as a individual in formation. Highest difficulty should promote just that, as that itself determines how skilled you really are, not just being side dodging or light attack spamming rambo.

What you are saying basicaly is, that difficulty of a game should be adjusted to player’s unwillingness to adjust to difficulty of a game.

Also v2 doesnt have a weapon that excells at everything. If bolter didnt have any downsides it would be good at everything in every situation. Also comparing v2 experience to darktide isnt very accurate because there will be much more ranged enemies to oppose, much more cover to use, and much more closed enviroment making it easier to turtle yourself, not risking getting surrounded at 360 degree, which makes ranged weapon meta abuse even easier.

Darktide should offer a lot complex tactical gameplay than v2 ever had, which wont happen if certain weapons, and certain playstyles (upcomming range meta) are not adressed.

This is cope.

  1. There is no proper communication with random/pugs. What game were you playing casue it was not the same I was playing in last few years. You have assistant with second keyboard to write in chat for you in lightning speed?

  2. Of course it’s possible with the most powerful melee class combined with the most powerfull range class in duo, but doesn’t change the fact that both can instantly change weapons. For example one of core gameplay of high-skill Grail Knight is fending horde with M&S and in the middle of swing fast swap to Exe Sword to decapitate SV/Zerker etc. and swap back to M&S. Same with Waystalker who when pressed in melee can still instantly fire ult and instantly swap to range weapon to snipe. You are describing scenario where it’s safe for both of them to do their job partialy becasue it’s fast to switch when needed to tool you need in split of second.

  3. In Darktide you are also alarmed and dodging spam is more forgiving then in V2 so I don’t udnerstand your argument here. Highest difficulty promotes indivudal skill to deal with everything by yourself and combining that with other people who are also able to handle everything by themselfs (thus making competent Cata party) if situations requires. Classes make some parts easier for them to handle but overall every single player at Cata if left solo should have tools to be able to carry. Fast swaping is part of that to deal with specials when pressed in melee.

  4. You also don’t know if Bolter can excell at everything. Dude, game is not even OUT yet and you are judging Bolter that you NEVER YOURSELF even played with. Come on, that’s not argument. I can’t take this seriously. In V2 there were range weapons that exceeded other options, but you can’t judge any range weapon yet in Darktide for it’s power as game is not out yet. But we can judge the animation lock as it’s very easy to see the issues it can cause for every single range weapon and we experienced that already.

Super cope.

  1. Darktide won’t offer anything more complex/tactical than what V2 did. It’s basically 80% what V2. The whole core gameplay is the same. If you expect so super tactical co-op gameplay here you will be dissapointed really fast.

Ok, this is getting somewhere i never intended this to go to. No time arguing with ‘pro gamers’. Lets just agree to disagree.

Just one question. I cant know that bolter is good at everything (while by judging from milkandcookies gameplay it clearly is), because i didnt play the game yet, but you are absolutely certail that delay mechanic (not implying that constant racking is the best solution) is already game breaking mechanic? I sense hypocrisy.

Otherwise have fun forumtiding. You have won.

I doubt fatshark will listen anyways.

“but you are absolutely certail that delay mechanic (not implying that constant racking is the best solution) is already game breaking mechanic?”. We’re certain because it felt awful and really impacted gameplay on difficulty 4 and 5 in the beta with most weapons in the ranged weapon slot. We know that the mechanic is bad because we felt it ourselves while playing the game.
MCTW was level 30 with a gear with over 300 rating on Malice(difficulty 3). Bolter had the explosions but it more or less wasn’t any more powerful ranged tool than a mk12 lasgun on the same difficulty in the beta after you leveled up and got a good one from the store. The bolter already has low ammo and a very slow reload, that should be it’s balancing part, same with most of the ranged weapons instead of making them clunky to use with a repeating animation that takes you out of the gameplay.
The whole point were trying to make here that the animations are making the game feel bad while “balancing” anything except the enjoyment levels you’re getting from the game.
Also why wouldn’t they listen if the feedback is good? They already listened for the scoreboards and weapon stats as confirmed by the new devblog, feedback is important and voicing it doubly so


I think that in the granded picture of things the issue is that the weapon animations are limiting gameplay options. I prefer a little easier game that isn’t clunky or has delayed responsiveness to a game that is more challenging but is also clunky and less responsive. Who asked for this.

Fun > everything else