How to use cartridges in Atomic Heart

How to use cartridges in Atomic Heart
Images via Mundfish

Written by 

Tarran Stockton


8th Mar 2023 14:51

You may want to know how to use cartridges, as you'll pick up plenty of them during your journey, and it's not immediately obvious what they are used for. Atomic Heart is a first-person action RPG set in an alternate history Soviet Union; the game takes place in a science facility where the robot labor force has turned on everyone. 

The game features a lot of looting, allowing players to scavenge resources to upgrade their weapons, which is key to using the cartridge mechanic. So, take a look at how to use cartridges in the game. 

How do you use cartridges?

Cartridges are items that can be found while looting or crafted, which provide the weapon they are paired with elemental damage based on the type of cartridge you use. There are three cartridge types: Fire, Ice, and Electric. 

How to use cartridges in Atomic Heart
Click to enlarge

However, you can't just use a cartridge straight away after finding one, as you will first need to upgrade your chosen weapon. Some weapons have an upgrade option called 'Cartridge Gun' which modifies the weapon with a little slot that you can place a cartridge into. 

It's worth noting that elemental weapons don't have this, but all ballistic guns and melee weapons do. 

Once you have the necessary upgrade, you first need to ensure you have a cartridge in your inventory. For PC users, equip the weapon you want to use, and press the middle mouse button. This will bring up a dial menu where you can select the cartridge and slot it into the weapon. 

How to use cartridges in Atomic Heart console
Click to enlarge

For console users, the process is slightly different. Start by bringing up the weapon wheel with X/Square, then select the blank section at the bottom of the wheel with RT/R2. The weapon wheel will then display the cartridges in your inventory, letting you select them by hovering over them and pressing RT/R2 again.  

You can now go into combat with a nice elemental damage buff, and upgrading the cartridge weapon upgrade will let you use them for longer before they run out. 

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We also cover how to enter Atomic Heart Testing Grounds 8, which will let you grab some key upgrades for your weapons. 

Tarran Stockton
About the author
Tarran Stockton
Tarran is a Senior Guides Writer at GGRecon. He previously wrote reviews for his college newspaper before studying Media and Communication at university. His favourite genres include role-playing games, strategy games, and boomer shooters - along with anything indie. You can also find him in the pit at local hardcore shows.
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