The Rate of Fire (also firing rate, fire rate, RoF) of a firearm is the number of rounds that it can cycle in a given period of time. This is usually measured in rounds per minute (RPM). Modern automatic firearms can approach 1000 RPM, while certain weapon systems have attained rates as high as one million RPM.

In most games in the Battlefield series since Battlefield 2, many weapons available to players can have their fire mode selector switch manipulated, allowing players to change a weapon's firemode. All automatic, burst, and semi-auto weapons in all games in the series have set firerates that weapons will cap out at when firing.

Single shotEdit

Single shot weapons do not automatically load the next round can only fire one shot at a time, and the next round must be manually loaded. These generally have high power, because all of the shot's power is used to boost the bullet, while in (semi) automatic weapons, a part of the power is used to cycle a new round into the chamber. Their high power is offset by their much slower rate of fire.

Bolt actionEdit

A bolt action is a system in which one shot is capable of being fired with each slide of bolt attached to a weapon. Bolt action rifles have seen limited use in modern times outside of sniper rifles as automatic weapons have become more accessible.

The Straight Pull Bolt attachment in Battlefield 3 allows Recons to slide the bolt of a bolt-action sniper rifle for another shot without being forced to look away from their sights or scope.

The M26 MASS is a bolt-action Shotgun.

Lever actionEdit

Similar to bolt-action, a lever action weapon requires the user to activate a lever to extract the spent round and load the next round. Lever action weapons fell out of use by World War I, with few examples remaining in limited use.

The Mare's Leg is a cut-down rifle with a lever-action system, featured as a long-range sidearm in Battlefield 4. The full-length weapon hails from around the same time period as the Russian 1895, a licensed variant of an American lever action rifle.

Pump actionEdit

Pump action weapons—typically limited to shotguns—use a pump slide to extract and chamber cartridges. A tube situated next to the barrel is typically used to hold spare shells, although some weapons may use a detachable magazine.

To make up for their slower rate of fire, pump-action shotguns in the Battlefield series are typically balanced by having increased damage per projectile, and/or being able to fire more projectiles per shell.

Slam fireEdit

An exception to the one-shot-per-trigger-pull scheme are weapons that allow for slam fire. Unlike conventional pump-action weapons, keeping the trigger held down on a slamfire weapon allows the next cartridge to be fired just as it finishes loading into the chamber. Slamfire weapons such as the M97 Trench Gun function similarly to fully automatic weapons, though with a lower rate of fire.


Revolvers utilize a cylinder containing multiple chambers, and the ability to load a cartridge into each separate chamber. The cylinder is advanced by cocking the firing hammer (and thus in turn by whatever method is used to cock the hammer).

Although notably used for handguns, some shotguns and rifles use a revolver mechanism. On many revolver handguns the cylinder is displaced to allow extraction and reloading, while revolver shotguns may expel the shell casing and have a separate port for single-loading fresh shells. Some exotic weapons may even feature interchangeable cylinders.

The .44 Magnum is a well-known and widely used handgun throughout the Battlefield series. Two modern revolver shotguns featured are the DAO-12 and the MK3A1 Jackhammer. Revolvers will continue to be used in the future on weapons such as the P33 Pereira and Clark 15B shotgun.

Selective fireEdit

Selective fire firearms offer a switch to select between different fire settings, and are seen on most modern weapons. In game, this is done either by re-selecting the weapon (with the Main Weapon key), or with a dedicated Fire Select key.


A semi-automatic weapon will fire only one round per trigger pull, while also cycling the next round (unlike a bolt-action weapon). Recoil and distortion due to weapon heating tend to throw off the accuracy of further rounds in other firing modes—using the semi-automatic mode allows a shooter to place accurate fire at a distance.

A shooter at long range can often place more shots on target with semi-auto fire than with even a controlled automatic spray.

Burst fireEdit

In burst fire mode, one trigger pull will cycle two or three shots. The weapons that use this mode tend to have lower recoil, allowing a shooter to place a relatively tight grouping with little effort. Certain other weapons are designed to enforce conservation of ammunition or better marksmanship discipline, such as the M16A4 and KH2002 (although the real-world weapon does offer automatic mode).

The Beretta 93R is a notable burst-fire pistol.

Certain weapons, such as the AN-94, have a higher rate of fire while in burst fire mode. But coupled with the delay between bursts, the overall rate of fire is comparable to the same weapon's automatic fire mode. As pulling the trigger early may result in a burst not being fired, finding the 'tempo' for each weapon is essential for maintaining a high rate of fire.


Automatic or full-auto mode allows the shooter to fire continuously while the trigger is depressed. Machine guns are designed with this feature in mind, along with many assault rifles and PDWs. The G18 is an automatic pistol.

Automatic fire is often less accurate than other firing modes. The shooter may need to adjust their aim as recoil accumulates and the weapon drifts off-target.

By pulling the trigger for a short time, a shooter can burst fire an automatic weapon. This may be necessary when the game allows for the weapon to overheat, or to preserve accuracy at long range.

Maximum rate of fireEdit

Certain weapons that are exclusively semi-automatic may have a limited rate of fire, such as the .44 Magnum.

This eliminates the problem of such weapons being bound solely to the speed at which one can press their fire key, since there are input devices that allow such functions to be mapped to other inputs, such as a high-velocity mouse wheel.


  • Notably, the Battlefield series incorrectly depicts burst fire like many other video games, although this is primarily done in order to somehow differentiate burst capable weapons. In real life, a weapon with a burst fire mode, for example an MP5A5 can fire up to three rounds when set to burst - burst fire mode does not force the weapon to fire a minimum of three rounds. It is perfectly possible to fire single shots, or even two round bursts with weapons such as the MP5A5, the M4, the M16A2 or A4.

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