Atomic Heart Cartridge Gun: best way to use & how to equip

Elemental damage is your friend.... most of the time

Atomic Heart Cartridge Gun Featured Image

Atomic Heart is the kind of game that allows you to dispense with enemies in creative ways. Much like the Bioshock series, you can chain abilities together and put down enemies with a hail of bullets. One such option to improve your arsenal of weapons is the use of cartridges. In this guide, we will discuss the Atomic Heart Cartridge Gun, how to equip cartridges, and the best way to use them.

Cartridges are weapon extensions that give your weapon elemental damage capabilities. You can consider something like a barrel grenade launcher or a masterkey. Each cartridge coats your bullets with an elementally charged substance. Meaning that with enough uses, the cartridge gets spent. Like how printer cartridges need to be replaced when they run out of ink. But changing cartridges on your gun is a lot more simple and less prone to finger jams.

Atomic Heart All Weapons Guide Featured Image Alt

There are 3 types of cartridges present in the game:

  • Fire cartridges – effective against mutants and other organic-based enemies.
  • Electric cartridges – effective against robots. Able to stun and damage them at the same time.
  • Ice cartridges – effective against fast-moving enemies. Deal enough damage to frozen enemies to cause them to shatter.

How to equip cartridges in Atomic Heart

First, you have to upgrade your weapons using a Nora machine and craft the slots before you can equip cartridges in Atomic Heart. Once you have done that you can equip cartridges by following the steps below:

  1. Open the Nora machine menu, then select Upgrades
  2. Go to Cartridge Gun to display all weapons
  3. Unlock the basic level of a weapon to open its cartridge slot
  4. Head to the Crafting menu then select Cartridge Guns

From there, you can make cartridges for any weapon with one of the 3 types of cartridges mentioned above.

Cartridge Gun Drawbacks

As good as they can potentially be, cartridges still take up a spot where ammo stacks and healing items could be. And because the game doesn’t really show you how to use them properly in the first place, they often are left unused and waste space.

Additionally, cartridges like the fire one consume one chemistry to create. These sought-after resources can be better used in the creation of stronger healing items.

Best Cartridge Gun Tactics in Atomic Heart

When it comes to elemental damage, the polymeric jet is the perfect ability to pair with cartridges. When you cast the ability, you cover an area with Combat Polymer. This stuff sticks to everything, even enemies.

What you need to do is to spread the polymer onto enemies and then shoot them with your weapon.

Alternatively, you can spread the polymer on the floor in front of you. This will create globs that you can apply elemental attributes to set up a defensive field that can slow down approaching enemies.

Other abilities such as shok and frostbite stack elemental damage on top of the current elemental damage you’ve already dealt. Do keep in mind that elemental damage stacking is additive, not multiplicative.

And that’s all there is to optimizing your cartridge gun usage in Atomic Heart. See you next time, agents. Don’t forget the grounds are your experimental playground. You don’t quite know what works until you give it a shot against live enemies.

Managing Editor