Atomic Heart cartridges and how to use them

You need to unlock Atomic Heart cartridges before you can equip them to your weapon, so here's how to craft and use these powerful elemental upgrades.

Atomic Heart cartridges

If you’re wondering on how to use Atomic Heart cartridges for your weapons, we’ll cover how these elemental perks can boost your gear. Cartridges are a huge help in Atomic Heart, because enemies have specific weaknesses that you can target.

Whether you’re equipping cartridges on just one of the best Atomic Heart weapons or you want the option available for your entire arsenal, there are a few key things you need to know about cartridges in Atomic Heart.

How to use Atomic Heart cartridges

To use Atomic Heart cartridges on your weapons, you must first upgrade your weapon of choice at a NORA machine and craft the cartridges slot. Then, with the weapon equipped, you can press the middle mouse button on PC – or X/square if you’re using a controller – to bring up the weapon wheel in the bottom right corner. This will allow you to cycle through and pick from your available cartridges.

There are three types of cartridges: fire, electric, and ice, and each one is fit for a specific type of enemy. For example, robots are typically weak to electric, while fire is useful against mutants, sprouts, and the like. Usually, you can inflict elemental damage using Atomic Heart skills, but cartridges give you additional freedom in swapping out your active skills. Crafting cartridges does require you to have found the required recipes out and about in the Atomic Heart map, contained in large chests.

Atomic Heart cartridges will eventually run out of fuel, but can easily be replaced if you have a recipe and the materials to craft a new one. They are a staple of our Atomic Heart tips guide since they’re effective against trickier Atomic Heart bosses, but for more FPS games, here’s our list of the best PC games in 2023.

Developer Mundfish has come under increasing scrutiny in recent weeks after it was alleged that the Russian government stands to gain financially from the release of Atomic Heart. This is due to the fact that investors involved in financing Mundfish include GEM Capital, an investment fund whose founder has ties to Gazprom and VTB Bank, both of which are majority-owned by the Russian state.

Further, Mundfish is partnering with VK (formerly Mail.RU) for the Russian release of Atomic Heart, evading sanctions on Steam. VK is also majority-owned by the Russian state through Gazprombank, and Mundfish’s CEO is a former Creative Director at Mail.RU.

With Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine, many players are choosing to boycott the game in protest and donate money to organisations like The Ukraine Crisis Appeal, International Rescue Committee, and the British Red Cross.