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Loads and Loads of Loading

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"If cartridges were still popular, this game would have finished loading by now."note 
Message on a loading screen, Yooka-Laylee


"Whensoever games are loaded off disk, whether that be a floppy, a hard drive, or some kind of Blu-ray thing, there will be games that take longer to load than to play."


Ah, Loading Screens. How we loathe them, and yet how common they are. However, those aren't the subject of this trope — this trope is about games that take too damn long to load, and do so not just at startup, but the entire time you're playing.

This is something of a cyclic trope because of technology changes. Computer gamers of the 1980s learned to loathe the slow-as-molasses tape and floppy disk drives of the era, and cheered when they were replaced by the much faster hard disks. But it didn't take too long for games to take advantage of increasing disk size and grow so big that they took as long to load from the hard disk as their ancestors did from floppies. Solid-state cartridges from the old days had fast random access times that some cases matched or exceeded RAM, leading to near-instantaneous load times, but because solid-state memory costs a lot more than optical disc-based data storage even today, most game cartridges tend to be fairly limited in data capacity (if you thought $60 for a 32-gigabyte Nintendo Switch game was greedy, wait until you see the cost of a 1-terabyte microSD cardnote ). Thus, it becomes tempting to compress data for modern cartridge games to make them fit in the limited space, and since most game consoles have equally limited RAM (since that also requires pricy solid-state technology), it can take a long time to uncompress that data. So it goes...


It can help when hard drives grow larger. This not only allows them to store more of the game's data, which will usually load faster from the hard drive than from an optical disc, but also allows them to use uncompressed storage, which takes a lot less work from the CPU to load. However, on an optical drive, compressed data can be faster to load and decompress than uncompressed it's a double-edged sword on weaker systems.

Load times for cartridge-programmed games are an extremely complicated issue. Cartridges work, in theory, by allowing the system to access data near-instantly (as fast as electricity can travel through the solid-state ROM chips used to store the game data). Though some consoles like the N64 used slow rom which means that the CPU didn't have access to the ROM directly: It can only stream items that don't require fast memory, like sound or animation and load everything else in RAM. The problem is that solid-state memory is not nearly as fast as dynamic RAM (except for the NES, SNES, TurboGrafx-16, and GBA), so most of the time, the CPU can't work with it - it has to run off of program code stored in RAM. Moving data from solid-state to RAM takes time, and while it's not nearly as bad as long disc-based load times, it can add up... especially on the GBA, which has cartridges storing up to 32 megabytes (Mother 3), for a system that only has 256 kilobytes of RAM. Decompression times can also bottle neck graphics

No relation to The Load, though that may be what you call games suffering from this. Point of advice: bring a book for some of these, preferably a thick one you can put


down quickly. See also Dynamic Loading, when loading sequences are performed "behind the scenes" and (hopefully) go unnoticed by the player.


This was less of a problem on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 onwards, as they work by installing from the disc to the hard drive— once that's done, the disc is only used for checking that you own the game. For about a decade that was the only advancement... then the PlayStation 5 and the Xbox Series X|S arrived, which both utilize Solid State Drives to their fullest potential for lightning-fast load times: certain games can have practically instant loads of levels that would previously take 30 seconds or more. Time will tell how much this will proliferate to other platforms like PC and handhelds, but for now the 9th Generation consoles are reaping the benefits (and making the games that don't take advantage stand out even more).


Video Game Examples:

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  • The console version of Advent Rising would have staggering loading times — up to two minutes, several times a level. It gets around this by loading pre-rendered cutscenes (varying from story scenes to suggestions of what to do next to a bunch of pretty scenery) and playing those at the loading points, preventing the player from skipping them until loading is finished.
  • The SNES Cult Classic Another World is infamous for having frequent load times, considering it is on a Super Nintendo cartridge. The game also suffers noticeable amounts of slowdown even with these load times, leading to some calling it a Porting Disaster.
  • The PlayStation version of Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain suffers heavily from this. Other games in the series range from short to barely existent loading times. Soul Reaver in particular only has one loading screen, when you first load the save, after which all new environments are streamed as you come to them, with nary a hiccup. The problem does persist even while playing the one bought off of PSN. Strangely enough, it seems playing it on the PSP cuts loading time in half. The PC version (released a year later) had almost zero loading times.
  • Castlevania:
    • Most of the Metroidvania games do this, particularly Symphony of the Night, where the load time between rooms is nearly unnoticeable. That, and later Aria of Sorrow, actually put small hallways between two areas to give it even more time to load the graphics and enemies for the next area. (SotN didn't try to disguise these hallways either; it even includes the letters "CD," with a little picture of one underneath). SotN also includes some interaction for the black loading screens: you can use the controller to create graphical effects on the "loading" text. Not a big deal, but certainly miles better than a typical static version of the same thing.
    • The cartridge-based Castlevania titles for the Nintendo 64 don't need these loading sections, given that they only serve to divide up "castle sections" and not actual "game screens" which are all of a pretty equal size. They're retained to give a smooth transition of music and art style.
    • Castlevania II: Simon's Quest: The Japanese version, which was released for the Famicom Disk System, had players sit through a simple, static loading screen whenever they entered a new area. This could quickly add up if, say, an enemy knocked Simon off-screen with a projectile, which could sometimes happen mere seconds after loading finished. On top of this, loading some areas also required you to switch which side of the disk was in. If you were knocked off-screen after that, you'd have to switch disk sides twice to get back: once to load the previous area, and again to load the one you were in. Soon, the load times became notorious among Japanese players, even to this day. The North American and European/Australian versions for the cartridge-based NES eliminated loading altogether, but were instead infamous for a "Blind Idiot" Translation that sometimes made it harder to complete the game.
  • Crazy Taxi has a lengthy load time after you pick a car.
  • Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong's Double Trouble!: The GBA version has noticeable load times. Every time you enter a level, you have to wait for it to load. While the load times aren't terrible (about 5 seconds at most), it's notable because this is a cartridge. And the SNES version didn't suffer from this problem, and that came out 9 years earlier.
  • Shadow Man for Nintendo 64 does have short loading screens for areas, though it is also a rather large game that was originally made for the PC and had very little content cut out for the N64.
  • Magical Pop'n uses multiple fairly high-quality voice clips for the player character, which is something that only really became used on later consoles, with their faster loading and much more memory. Consequently, load times for this game are unusually long for an SNES title — normal areas take around 5 seconds to load, while the title screen, with its long voice clip of the main character saying the game's title, takes upwards of 10 seconds. And there is a 9-second long clip of the main character's voice actress talking about the game, accessible only in the Sound Test menu, which makes the game freeze as it loads and plays. The game even has a little chime just for this clip that tells the player that the clip is done playing and the game has unfrozen! Compare this to Star Fox, which uses a similarly-long audio clip for a dialogue between the Star Fox crew after the defeat of Andross; this game doesn't have any perceptible loading times, even for this audio clip. Presumably Magical Pop'n's long loading times are caused by the game having to decompress the large amount of data without a dedicated decompressor chip.
  • The Nintendo 64 version of Banjo-Tooie has an exceptionally large amount of content that not only is not compressed, but didn't use the Expansion Pak either, meaning that a cutscene taking place outside of the player's whereabouts will require a brief temporary freeze of the game so it can be triggered. This becomes a major annoyance in the level Hailfire Peaks, due to the more detailed visuals and effects of the level in comparison to the earlier worlds. They fixed this in the Xbox Live Arcade version, but not without the unintended consequence of the music not syncing up with the cutscenes when it was originally supposed to.
  • Cave Story 3D, unlike the original, has 2-3 second load screens when going in between rooms. This may seem like a minor annoyance at first, but keep in mind, they RUIN the normal ending (pan over one level, load screen, pan over another level, load screen).
  • The video game adaptation of Finding Nemo on the Nintendo GameCube took a stupidly long time to load levels. Perhaps the game's usage of recorded audio as opposed to MIDI music that contributes to the load times.
  • Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets on PS2 has sufficiently long loading times, you begin to wonder if they're attempting to show the Hogwarts year in real time. They were a good 20-30 seconds long, and they were everywhere. This was because this it was one of the few PS2 games that came on a CD, which had much slower read times than the DVD's used by most other games on the system.
  • Haven: Call of the King for the PS2 would take roughly 5-10 minutes to load when it started, but there was no loading after that, as the whole game had been loaded in one shot.
  • The Legend of Zelda:
    • This is what makes Zelda's Adventure very infamous. Several seconds are spent loading by going from screen to screen, with visible pauses in the graphics and music.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask is usually good at averting this, since it makes use of the Expansion Pak to run every time-sensitive event programmed in the game during the three-day cycle without compromising the technical performance, and most of the time the transition between areas doesn't take any longer to load than in the game's predecessor. However, there is one instance where a load period is noticeable: When Link is spotted by a Gerudo Pirate in their Fortress, the game seemingly freezes for a few seconds as it loads the outside of that areas (which is the vast coast of Great Bay), to which Link is kicked.
    • The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker: The load times for islands are supposed to be masked by the immense overworld, though even the most complex islands load in less than a second. Inside dungeons, rooms load instantaneously, except for miniboss and boss rooms. When entering these rooms, the screen darkens while the miniboss or boss programming is loaded. This also happens to the miniboss and boss rooms in The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, since the game was built upon the other's engine.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword: The screen fading that signals a loading period occurs when entering the largest room of a dungeon, since these rooms are among the largest enclosed areas in the series and they have several features within.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild has some pretty lengthy load times when loading into the overworld since it's basically loading the entire massive map. On the Nintendo Switch version, loading into the overworld from the main menu can take roughly 30 seconds and it's a few seconds quicker if one loads into the overworld from a shrine or other enclosed location. However, playing the downloaded version of the game loads everything a few seconds quicker than it does on the cartridge version due to the console having immediate access to the data whereas the data on the cartridge version needs to be pulled from it.
    • Hyrule Warriors, isn't as bad as other examples, but the Wii U's 1.5.0 update introduced a bug that significantly extended the load times for each mission. The 1.6.0 update timed with the Ganon DLC Pack thankfully fixes this.
  • LEGO Island 2 had load times so long, you could actually use the time to consult the manual, and brush up on your knowledge of how to play the next mini-game. The PSX version did not improve on this issue at all. After reverse engineering was performed, it was soon discovered this was entirely the result of bad programming — the game prioritizes rendering the load screen over actually reading any data; for every frame of the load screen that is rendered, only a single byte of data is read in. The real kicker is that this can be fixed by altering a single instruction in the game's EXE file to change the logic so the data reading is prioritized over the rendering.
  • The PS2 version of Ōkami even has two mini-games, one about button mashing and one about timed presses, to help ease loading times. They even net you Demon Fangs. The Wii version reduced the load times significantly, so it doesn't have this. Ōkamiden has more loading screen since the largest areas are segmented into parts due to the DS's capacity limitations.
  • The PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 versions of Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor, due to being ran on less powerful hardware, have insanely long load times ranging from 10 to 15 seconds every time the player exits the pause menu, transitions missions, dies, reloads a save slot, and even between cutscenes.

  • Fear Effect. This trope is a real annoyance in the first game (particularly after death scenes), but was fixed in the prequel.
  • Sanity: Aiken's Artifact processed lightmaps when loading a level. Most of the loading period was in that single task, and was identified as part of the loading description.
  • SEED: Rise of Darkness (iPhone) has to load everything... Area transition? Load... You die and get sent to the main menu? Load... Exacerbated by the fact that areas in SEED are small.
  • S.L.A.I.: Steel Lancer Arena International is notorious for loading everywhere. It's expected (if long) for the game to load transitions between the non-combat portion and the arena, but just going into a store merits a noticeable amount of loading... and there's a dozen possible shops you can go into at any given time! However, considering the game is about an internet-based system centered around a fast-moving arena combat sport from the days before cheap high-speed internet access, this might make some sense; one of the first things the NPC helper buddy complains about when the game starts is too much lag from too many users sucking up all the bandwidth.
  • There are very very minor loadtimes in the arcade version of Total Carnage. It's near-impossible to see them on a PC unless you have outdated hardware, however. The cutscenes disguise it, and then the pre-gameplay map disguises it more. What is first loaded underneath the map is a screenshot of how the level looks with your current stats overlaid.

  • The Adventures of Willy Beamish for the Sega CD had such gratuitous load times that the game, itself, came with a sort of distracting screen saver, referred to as "Laser Balls," which could be called up at any time with a press of the Start button.
  • Many graphical adventure games for 8-bit computer systems would have to stop the game to slowly paint every background element whenever the player arrived on a new screen. Asterix and the Magic Cauldron is one example of this.
  • Broken Sword 3 had load times of a few minutes every time you entered a new area.
  • Expect to see the animated flower doodle screen most of the time when you play the Innersar University game, which is exclusive for those who bought a My American Girl doll. Paying a hundred bucks for you to enter the community is one thing. Being subjected to loading screens every so often, however, is something only a Buddhist monk would be able to tolerate, especially on a slower connection.
  • King's Quest IV was the last King's Quest game you could play directly off that 5.25" floppies... if you so desired. However you would be dealing with so many disk swaps and load screens, you'd be spending more time keeping the game running than actually playing it.
  • King's Quest: Mask of Eternity has loads upwards of twenty minutes for each level. It takes forever to load each area, with multiple loading screens each time you load up the game. Mask of Eternity, in order to conserve hard disk space, only kept the current region files on the hard drive. When you first started a region, it copied that region's files from the CD to the game folder and when you left for a new area, it uninstalled the previous region files and installed the upcoming area's files. There's only 9 regions in the game, two of them extremely small, and the other 7 quite large. That means switching levels was kinda like doing a semi-uninstall/install each time, deleting like 100 MB from your hard drive and then copying another 100 MB from the CD back onto it (real fun with a 2x CD-Rom drive). There was no official way to do a full install of the game either.
  • Leisure Suit Larry: Magna Cum Laude had immensely long load times when starting up, when loading any mini-game (which is practically all the gameplay), and when going from any area to any other area, like from your dorm room to the hall outside. The graphics were in no way detailed enough to justify this. The bizarre thing about this is that, if you Alt-Tab out of the game and then restore it, the load time instantly reaches 100%. Which makes one wonder if the loads were just made long so you would have time to stare at the scantily-clad women in the loading screens. The PC version had much faster loading times than the console versions.
  • If your computer was old enough, the intro music to Space Quest III: The Pirates of Pestulon would finish before the opening sequence it was designed to play over even started.
  • The Three Stooges on the Commodore 64 probably holds some kind of record for play time/load time ratio. While most C64 games would load the entire game into memory at once, The Three Stooges was a hefty piece of work comprising numerous Minigames (and, this being the '80s, each "minigame" was essentially a full game by the standards of the day). Entering a new minigame meant loading the whole thing from scratch, often preceded by swapping disks (cleverly referred to as "reels"). Even starting the game itself took forever, due to the number of intro cinematics (each of which was, you guessed it, preceded by a long load time) some of which even included then-memory-intensive voice clips.
    • The Amiga version was similarly affected, though it was also possible to install the game to a hard disk (assuming you had one) and eliminate the delays.


    Beat 'em Ups 
  • At least in Akiba's Trip the loading isn't too long, however because the game has you traveling between different parts of Akiba for practically every missionnote  you will see the loading screens often. Very often.
  • Batman Forever on the SNES. Between every (or at least nearly every) screen, there was a black screen urging the player to "HOLD ON." The "Forever" part must have been how long you were going to wait for the thing to finish loading... Especially galling as this was a cartridge game.
  • Beat Down: Fists of Vengeance would have been So Okay, It's Average at the worst had it not been for its stupidly high amount of loading. Everything you try to do is prefaced with some form of load screen, even pausing.
  • Fist of the North Star: Ken's Rage suffered noticeably in its conversion from the PS3 to the Xbox 360: Going by this comparison video, the combined loading time it takes for the level (and in-between cutscenes and menus) to load off the DVD drive on a 360 is a whopping 44 seconds, and over a minute with the DLC (just under ten times the amount of loading for the PS3 version). The second game was so bad about this, that the developer quickly released a patch that significantly cut loading times down.
  • World Software's beat 'em ups on the Amiga, like Franko: The Crazy Revenge and Doman: Grzechy Ardana have it quite bad with the frequency of the load times, with the typical loop consisting of you traveling through a handful of steps forward in the stage until the game would pause to load a further part of the stage and usually at least one to three enemies to fight just after the loading. This is actually a consequence of the developer's artist's preference to not using tiles for designing stage graphics "in order to avoid repetition".
  • Every time you load back to a check point in the Splatterhouse remake, with different screens showcasing the game's monsters to boot. Unfortunately, due to the game's difficulty, you'll be subjected to this a lot.

    Card Battles 
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! Reshef of Destruction for the GBA had a horrible case of this. Every time you did anything at all within a duel, cue a 2-second field scan. It takes about 1 second to play a card, then 2 seconds to load. Oh, and if you play any of the cards the game is scanning for, it becomes about 5 seconds. Each. Time. This was particularly egregious because going to a new area took about the same amount of time to load. Yes, an entire CITY loads as quickly as 1 card.
  • The later Yu-Gi-Oh World Championship games are getting worse and worse with this. Games from 2009 on suffer from loading times in between your opponent's actions, with the loading times getting longer and longer the more crowded the playing field gets. The loading times seem to get worse with each game.
    • World Championship 2011 has it the worst, with loading times between actions taking up to a minute and a half at the worst. While it's usually bearable, it gets progressively worse as a duel goes on. The game also spends an insignificant (but noticeable) time loading your name and gender whenever mentioning either in a conversation.

  • Criterion did their best to cut down on loading screens in Burnout Paradise, and for the most part, they were successful, however, what the game has instead is Loads and Loads of Microloading, which is to say, every time you pause the game or check the map, there is a small but noticeable delay. This is not great for compulsive map checkers. However the ten-plus second delay going from car to car in the junkyard before it actually appears on screen is annoying as heck. This was ostensibly an attempt to combat Burnout Revenge's loading times. At least on 360, it suffered from its own 30-45 second load screens each time you had to load a course, even if you restart a race.
  • Racing game series Forza Motorsport has notoriously long load times. 3 pushes this to its extreme level with load times of up to 5 minutes for long tracks. Forza 4 is a bit more optimized and cuts down on the load times, which were promptly re-introduced in Forza Horizon - the game loads the entire map (surprisingly quickly) but everything else has a loading screen. Want to go paint that new Javelin? LOADING SCREEN! Now tune it? Leave the tune shop, drive for five seconds to the garage, annnnnd LOADING SCREEN!
  • Gran Turismo 5 has some notoriously bad loading times (especially if you do not do the optional install), with more delays and apparent lock-ups if the game can't see PSN but your console can (due to a slightly desynchronized clock). Among these is a minute-plus wait after attempting anything that remotely involves the internet if your clock is not correct just to tell you that your clock is not correct. This lead to a 90-minute quick look from Giant Bomb, over half of which was spent either in menus waiting for things to load or at loading screens waiting for the game to load. Adding insult to injury on this front is that the game's environments don't even look at good as their Forza counterparts - which is completely inexcusable since the promotional material that allegedly showed actual gameplay looked better. Considering it took 6 years to develop this, it may have been a harbinger of the load times for Duke Nukem Forever (see corresponding entry)...
  • The PlayStation port of Hot Wheels Turbo Racing suffered from this, including a loading screen that comes after a loading screen!
  • Mario Kart 7 comes with beautifully designed track stages that move in full stereoscopic 60FPS, but with the jarring side-effect that you're presented with 4 to 7 seconds of white loading screens, each before and after the track preview. Granted, it's not much, but we're talking about a Nintendo handheld game stored on flash memory!
  • Midnight Club 3: Dub Edition on the PSP suffered from loading times normally twice as long as the race it's trying to load, mostly due to the fact that the graphics look essentially the same as the console versions, just a few bits taken out.
  • A fairly common complaint with ModNation Racers is its long loading times, which can take upwards of 45 seconds.
  • Need for Speed: The Run has a handy checkpoint reload system that has a hardly noticeable load time in most cases. However if the player messes up at the start of the level, they either have to waste a checkpoint reload (as they are limited in number for each segment of the race) or sit through the loading screen as the entire level is reloaded for absolutely no reason (the checkpoints themselves could also incur a pretty bad load time, which was especially annoying given you could trigger a flashback by venturing too close to the edge of the road, although these were patched).
  • Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit (2010) has a weird, asymmetrical loading issue: if you're playing as a racer, you can skip the opening cinematic for an event by hitting Select. However, hitting Select to bypass a cop cutscene won't skip you right away: the cutscene will still play and the game will indicate it's still loading the event.
  • The PC version of Pure has a bizarre bug where, if vertical sync is at all enabled either in-game or forced through the video card's separate options, all loading screens will suddenly turn into three-to-five minutes wait-fests. There is a loading screen after starting the game for the intro, a loading screen for the main menu, and at least two more loading screens to get into a race. If you've made Damn well sure that V-sync is off, each loading screen takes about ten seconds, if that.
  • Re-Volt is a good game, but the load times are annoying. Even 12 years after its release, the game still needs 15 seconds to start a race. This wouldn't be so bad... except, if you restart the race, you have to wait another 15 seconds. Apparently, the game has to load the track and the car models all over again for some inexplicable reason. To make things worse, loading the fancy main menu takes over 15 seconds of its own.
  • The Simpsons: Road Rage was ruined by loading times. We're talking fifty seconds of loading for a task that only lasts for twenty seconds...
  • Star Wars Episode I: Racer for the Sega Dreamcast hit what must be some sort of zenith, with loading screens constantly interrupting the ending credits.
  • Wangan Midnight Maximum Tune 3 often had players stuck at the loading screen for about 15-30 seconds, and this problem gets worse in versus matches. This only seems to happen on the huge Tokyo/Kanagawa map, as opposed to the smaller Osaka and Hakone maps. Maximum Tune 3 DX seems to recitify this issue.
  • Wipeout 2048. The game needs an initial 20 second load and then another half minute of loading each track... and this is after a patch which reduced load times by half. Worth noting that this only applied to the game's original 1.0 release and to a lesser extent the 1.01 patch. After 1.02, the load times for each race are now fairly minimal, clocking in at around 15 seconds each.

  • BlazBlue:
    • BlazBlue: Calamity Trigger loads fast enough. On the other side of the Fourth Wall, however, it takes Robot Girl Nu-13 at least a full minute to boot up and run her basic IFF software.
    • Sadly, BlazBlue: Continuum Shift was not as well-optimized and had long-ish loadtimes before each fight unless you installed the game to your HDD.
    • Calamity Trigger Portable had them as well, but really, what do you expect from UMD?
    • Blazblue: EXTEND for the Vita isn't much better, requiring more than twice as long as the console versions before every fight.
  • Dragon Ball: Raging Blast zigs-zags this in regards to team battles. If you select any character/transformation/fusion, then you have to sit through a small transition peroid before getting what you wanted. If you choose a character/Transformation that's blinking, however, then the switch/transformation is instant, not breaking up the pace of the fight.
  • Eternal Champions: Challenge from the Dark Side suffered from the Sega CD's single-speed CD-ROM drive, taking a lengthy amount of time to load between matches, and then further seconds (which halted the action and sound dead in their tracks) if a finishing move was triggered.
  • Guilty Gear -STRIVE- has a relatively smooth experience except when it first loads the game. The game needs to connect to the servers first, a process which can take over two minutes to complete. This is apparently because the game is calling the Japanese servers 127 times and creating a connection with every one of of those calls, which needs to make 4 round trips for each of them. A modder detected the problem and created a fix for it, cutting the load times to a quarter. Later patches have significantly reduced the startup load time, although it's still noticably longer than most comparable titles.
  • Infinity Blade III : It used to be that the OPENING LOADING SCREEN of the third game took at least five minutes to load at all. It's since been patched but can still be very slow at times.
  • The Neo Geo CD ports of The King of Fighters games, which have loading times so frequent and so ridiculously long (20 to 30 seconds, due to the CDs slow single speed drive) that it slows the pacing of all the games to a crawl. The Video Game Critic even gave the ports very low ratings for this alone, as opposed to the solid reviews given to the cartridge versions, because the loads are just that detrimental to the experience.
  • Jump Force has a loading screen after every fight and cutscene (no matter how long) in story mode, and each one lasts about 20 seconds (and they used to be about three minutes long before a patch was added).
  • The online smartphone game Marvel: Contest of Champions can be known to suffer from this, and it may be exacerbated a little more if you're not playing it on the best hardware, and/or don't have a strong Internet connection. For starters, you'll need to sit through a loading screen to enter or exit the crystals room, or a battle map. But that doesn't compare to the sheer number of loading screens you'll have to go through when you're playing on the main campaign. Every time you stop to engage an opponent on the way in a battle map, you need two loading screens to get to the actual fight, with the first loading screen being used to bring up the screen where you choose which character in your squad you want to use to fight them. Once you win, a third loading screen takes you back to the map. If you do the math here, you're probably going to have to sit through about a dozen or so loading screens to finish just one route in a map for one chapter in the main campaign. Wait — did we just mention just one route? That's right, you heard us correct, each chapter map actually has multiple unique routes that you have to clear to achieve 100% Completion, meaning that you'll have to pack a lot of patience for a few dozen more loading screens if you plan to fully explore a chapter in one sitting.
  • Mortal Kombat: Trilogy on PS1, dear lord. The game had to load on EVERY. SINGLE. SCREEN. Have you picked your fighter yet? Loading Versus Screen, have you entered your codes on the versus screen? Loading Stage Backgrounds, have you defeated your enemy already? Loading next enemy screen, have you seen who's your next enemy yet? Loading Stage B- FUCK THIS! And if you think that's bad, then let me tell you the game even had to load when Shang Tsung transformed into another character. To combat this, you had the option of limiting yourself to the characters you wanted to morph into, which could allow the game to just preload the data for those characters.
    • The Sega CD port of the first Mortal Kombat is guilty of having excess loading, too. This most commonly happens whenever one of the fighters performs a Finishing Move, but the game will also load a new set of sprites when Shang Tsung transforms.
  • SmackDown!:
    • This video explains why the PSP version of SmackDown! vs. Raw 2006 might not be the best use of your money...
    • And then there is SmackDown vs. Raw 2007, which would have multiple loading screens in a row.
    • So did SvR 2006, and the PS2 version wasn't much better about it, either. Heck, you'd even have to sit through the same two loading screens when replaying a match, something that's usually instantaneous because it's already loaded! Does none of that data get stored in the console's RAM? Interestingly, there were several games in the old PS1 library that would show multiple loading screens in a row.
    • This problem goes as far back as SmackDown! 2: Know Your Role for the original PS1. The loading screens for thirty second cutscenes were over a minute long, sometimes even longer.
  • Soulcalibur: Lost Swords has loading times that reach just over a minute in length. Putting into consideration that it doesn't look much better than Soulcalibur V, we're left to assume that either the game's trying to connect to it's servers and having a problem doing so.
  • Street Fighter:
    • Street Fighter Alpha 2 saw a port on the SNES with infuriatingly long load times. Despite using the SDD-1 chip for decompression, it took about 8 whole seconds at the start of each fight (in a genre where rounds usually have a time limit between one and two minutes, this is a long time); the screen would stop dead in its tracks, music and all, to load everything, despite the many, many, many technical shortcuts they had to take to even pull the port off.
    • The Saturn version of SFA 2 also has plenty of loading screens. It does have an option to cut out most of the bits between battles to cut the loading to a minimum though.
    • Endless loading screens were also a common complaint with the PlayStation version of the first Street Fighter Alpha.
    • Street Fighter IV (at least the PS3 version) doesn't have that long loading times, but in the arcade mode, you're required to re-select a character each time you lose and select "continue". Over time (and especially against Seth), those 25 seconds of loading for a new match will start to feel like forever. Moral of the story: Allow players to select "continue with the same character" to avoid reloading.
  • Street Fighter II for the Amiga came on four floppy disks and made players engage in plenty of disk-swapping action between fights. The ports of Super Street Fighter II and Turbo upped the number of disks to seven and eleven, though these at least allowed HD installation.
  • The otherwise superb Super Smash Bros. Brawl suffers from this.
    • Transforming characters also take longer to load than they did in Melee. If multiple characters transform at once, the loading time will even increase for all involved. Additionally, scrolling through the various alternate colours for your character will add on to the loading time for the match for some reason. One reason there are no more transforming characters in the 3DS/WiiU version is to cut down on otherwise unpredictable load times.
    • The game's creator apparently acknowledged that little point on the development blog, mentioning that the loading process begins as soon as characters are selected in an attempt to cut down on the time spent on the loading screen and that changing settings caused the "masking" of the loading time to not work as well. This is because Brawl was the first dual-layer disc the Wii had. The Wii's disc reading laser has to focus between one layer and the other to load data on different layers, adding considerably to the loading time.
    • It takes Super Smash Bros. 3DS exactly thirty seconds just to load the title screen. That's because the game is so huge it turns off the 3DS's background OS and boots into a minimal version of the OS just to guarantee it has enough RAM to load the game. As a result of this minimal mode, it takes 5-10 seconds to return to the 3DS home menu (because it has to start the home menu!) The New 3DS, with 2x the RAM of the original, thankfully cuts loading times by at least half all across the game (14 seconds to load to title as opposed to 30), and no longer needs to reboot the system into a minimal mode, making the experience much smoother.
  • The PlayStation ports of X-Men vs. Street Fighter, Marvel Super Heroes vs. Street Fighter and Marvel vs. Capcom also saw gratuitous loading, enough so that the gameplay suffered horribly. Such gameplay sacrifices include only 2 unique characters for 2P VS (one unique with the other two used by your opponent), long load times in between matches, and near-dead stops during the fights, especially for very graphic-intensive super combos. The Sega Saturn versions of the first two games avoided such issues only by making the 4 MB RAM cartridge a requirement. Luckily, the Dreamcast came out just in time for Capcom to develop an arcade-perfect version of Marvel vs. Capcom (although they still released a load-happy PSX version alongside it), and its sequel was developed on a Dreamcast-only arcade board, rendering these issues obsolete.


    First-Person Shooters 
  • Another example of a cartridge game requiring loading: Alien vs. Predator for the Atari Jaguar. When you first selected a campaign, it needed to load up the "simulation," and any time you rode an elevator or entered/exited an air duct, be prepared for the action to freeze for several seconds while the new area is loaded.
  • Battlefield 2 was just made of loading screens and it was sometimes longer to load than to actually play!
    • The mod for both 1942 and 2 Forgotten Hope pushed this to ridiculous levels. FH 1 had loading times that on computers that could load vanilla in a matter of seconds that could easily reach 5 minutes, and god help you with FH 2 on setting the cache. Admittedly, both are mods that push their game engines to their absolute limits.
  • BioShock is pretty slow on both saved games loading and transition between areas. The latter is at least mercifully rare, because (and this is the reason for the long loading times) the entire level loads into memory at a time.
  • Borderlands had some pretty lengthy load times when it came to transitioning between areas. Every load took about 30 seconds to fully load the next area. The sequel thankfully improves loading times and moving between areas takes as little as 5 seconds at most.
  • This is the main reason Counter-Strike: Condition Zero is so reviled. Counter Strike had sensible load times, but the AI in Condition Zero required a lot of additional resources to be loaded into the server's (read: your computer's) memory. It would also tend to freeze up for long periods of time.
  • Daikatana had notoriously slow loading times when it was released. Almost ten years later loading times are still slow. It's strange because there is no disc activity at all while a saved game is restored, even though it takes around 20 seconds, and disabling vertical sync in the configuration file makes the loading almost instant.
  • The PS2 version of Deus Ex divided all the areas of the PC version into smaller maps with loading between them. In areas where there are no enemies it occasionally takes shorter time to run through the map than the time it took to load it (especially annoying at the UNATCO base and in Hong Kong where loading times may get as long as 30 seconds).
  • Deus Ex: Invisible War doesn't as much load a new level as restart the game with the correct level loaded. Additionally, even over half a decade after it's release, it still takes quite a bit of time to load a new level on a modern, high-end computer, and the levels in the game small because it was made for the 64mb of RAM the Xbox had, so you'll have to load a lot, especially compared to Deus Ex, which had large, open levels and loaded quickly. Plus, there's about a 1 in 20 chance that the game will simply not start up again once it's done loading, deleting the last autosave but not making a new one.
  • Duke Nukem Forever has colossal loading times on the Xbox 360 and PS3, presumably due to poor optimization. On PC's, though, the loading is relatively quick.
  • Far Cry:
    • Far Cry 2, at least on consoles, features some serious loading times on startup or fast travel, although one can drive across the huge map normally without encountering loads. Loading a save takes a considerable amount of time, rivaled only by the time it takes to save in the first place. Players will also sometimes meet the feared "Loading screen that requires its own loading screen".
    • Far Cry Classic features this as well. The original PC game was famous for its wide-open areas with nary a loading screen between indoor and outdoor environments, but the 360/PS3 port needs to cut certain areas of the game into chunks to fit onto the consoles' lesser memory, and even then the areas that had to be cut in this manner still tend to make the game crash.
  • All the Halo games, especially Halo 3 if you install it to the hard drive. One would think that Microsoft would optimize Halo 3 to run from the hard drive when it got released in downloadable format, but anyone who downloaded it has no choice but to bear the long loading times as they cannot choose to run it from the disc. Reportedly, the reason for this was due to their attempt to reduce load times by frequently caching data from the optical disc onto the hard drive (a number of sites list load time improvements for hard drive installs — Halo 3 was quickly discovered to be an exception). If the game was installed to the hard drive, it would read the to-be-cached data from the hard drive, stop the drive, and then spin it up again in order to write that data to a different location on the same hard drive. All this was instead of simply streaming the chachable data from the optical drive while the both discs continued spinning. Meanwhile, gameplay is slowed while the hard drive is busy wearing itself out for no good reason. Halo: Reach isn't much better, but improves with an installation, while Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary has atrocious load times if you load it off the disc.
  • Painkiller loaded new levels so very slowly!
  • PlanetSide 2 has an enormous loading time when initially starting (especially after a game update has just finished installing), then another (slightly shorter) loadscreen to log in with your character. There is another short loading screen to spawn at your choice of facility, but the kicker is the game still hasn't loaded in all its assets, which generally leads to you being attacked by invisible jet fighters and headless infantry who are standing on trees floating in the air because the game hasn't loaded the rocks the trees are rooted into. There's also loading screens when respawning or taking long-distance teleporters, but they're mercifully short. A particularly infuriating Game-Breaking Bug (now largely gone) can cause you to get a long loading screen when switching seats in vehicles, normally an instantaneous action. Thankfully, updates following Operation Make Game Faster (OMFG) has significantly reduced the number of loading screens and sped up existing loadscreens and the dynamic loading speed..
  • Postal 2 initially suffered from long loading times. It was near-immediately patched, but it was still too late to get a decent review score. As stated in one review, "If loading lasts longer than ten minutes, you'd better turn it off."
  • The PSX port of Quake II, due to RAM limitations, had its levels divided into smaller sublevels separated by loading screens.
  • In the Xbox 360 port of Quake IV, the lengthy intro cutscene is unskippable, among others, plus the countless loading screens between chapters.
  • Serious Sam 1 opens with a long loading screen that's skippable. It's loading a demo level, and hitting ESC will get you to the main menu where you can actually play the game.
  • As this video from Eurogamer proves, Sniper: Ghost Warrior 3 suffers from this badly, to the extent that you can play an entire race in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe or four speedruns of Gone Home before the first level even loads! This is because the game loads the entire map before starting a level. Things move fast when loading has finished: there is no visible loading when travelling across the map or when going in and out of buildings, and respawning and fast travel are also fast. Whether or not all of this is worth the wait is for the individual player to decide.
  • The PlayStation 2 and Dreamcast versions of Soldier of Fortune, like many other aforementioned PC-to-console ports, divides the PC levels into sublevels with loading points.
  • System Shock 2 had a persistent world and saved the state of every object in a level to immense save files that took a very long time to load.
  • Unreal was famous for taking approximately half a minute or more to load almost anything. Given the game's highly advanced (at the time) graphics and level design, it's not that surprising. However, when you take into account the game's numerous bugs and compatibility issues, it's hard not to see the long load times as a tragically irritating design flaw. Its Updated Compilation Rerelease, Unreal Gold, fixes most of these issues and make the loading more bearable in older machines, and a split-second issue in powerful rigs.
  • Unreal II: The Awakening has load times that can go for over a minute that, unlike its predecessor above, happen even on The New '10s-age computers that far exceed the game's requirements.
  • Most of Valve's games using the Source engine have this as an annoying limitation, with notable exception of Counter-Strike: Global Offensive being optimised to the point where getting into a game takes less than 2 minutes. For the rest of the source games, it's caused by the games' insistence of pausing to load the games' assets for a given level, which nowadays, most games don't do this, because most engines can pre-cache nearby regions of the game world, but in Source, only one region can ever be in memory at a time:
    • Half-Life 2, while it loads fine on most systems today, at its release the loading times were extremely long for many people, along with happening at least once every ten minutes or so (yet taking longer than games with longer spaces between loads). This was made more egregious by how its predecessor was lauded for keeping its loads as short as possible. This comic reflects the situation nicely. It's even more prevalent in the Xbox port (original Xbox, not Xbox 360) due to the console's limitations, resulting in loading screens where there aren't any in the PC version.
    • This why even Portal, which was claimed to use the elevators to disguise the loading time, still pops up a "LOADING" screen after the elevator stops.
    • Portal 2 has an insane amount of loading screens, especially during the first part of the game, where every short level is intersected by a loading screen that takes, in some cases, as long or longer to load than the last level took to solve. If you are very quick to solve puzzles or are going for a Speed Run, you will spend more time in loading screens than you are in solving puzzles. At one point, there's an I Fell for Hours moment, where you fall down to Old Aperture, but it actually only lasts 20 seconds or so and it's preceded and followed by 15 second loading screens. Yes, the loading is 1.5 times as long as the falling.
    • This is also apparent for the Left 4 Dead series. Players will only play on one map at a time and while they can physically see the area where the next map will start, there's actually nothing beyond it except a few props and the void since there's nothing else rendered for the current map. Loading times can get worse for user created maps; the more data the map has, the longer it will take to load the map.
    • Left 4 Dead 2 also has significantly longer loading times compared to the original Left 4 Dead. In both games, by default, the game attempts to pre-cache all models so they will be ready to use as needed, which explains the loading time. In the case of Left 4 Dead 2, there is a lot more models and other content the game has to pre-cache, which causes a good amount of waiting for the next map to load. In Left 4 Dead, loading times could be as short as 5 or 10 seconds. Left 4 Dead 2 nearly doubles or triples that amount of time for loading.
    • Team Fortress 2 loads the entire game from start up, and it depends on your computer in how long it will take to load all of it. (Most of the time it's 2 or so minutes, faster with an SSD instead of a Hard Drive) Connecting to a server also depends on your computer's speed. The worst part? Sometimes you can connect to a server with a false player count, thus making this endeavor completely pointless.
    • Connecting to a server depends on the server itself. When connecting to a server, the game first downloads the server metadata, then it proceeds to download the currently-active game map that's being played on the server, then it downloads any custom models and scripts the server has installed, and finally, it downloads the sounds, before validating the client info and connecting for real. If the game finds that the map has changed while it was downloading all that, it will proceed to download the server metadata all over, the new game map, and sometimes any other models, scripts and sounds that the new map calls for. Depending on your connection, the server's connection, how tricked up the server is, the time you connect to the server, and whether you already have the map downloaded in the past, this can take anywhere between half a minute to about an hour. It should be noted that the above also applies to Garry's Mod, though it's less egregious as the idea of Garrys mod is to have custom content and gamemodes.
    • Garry's Mod, though things have been getting a lot better. Garry once posted a graph on his blog showing that some players waited up to half an hour just to play the game. Some time afterwards, Garry broke something that interacted with Wiremod in such a way as to cause loading times to spike massively. And, as previously mentioned, the Source engine performs its loading in such a way that Windows sometimes thinks it has crashed (Windows GUI applications are contractually obligated to respond to window messages— when they don't, Windows assumes they've crashed). Some people have been experiencing vastly increased load times for workshop addons for over a year now. While it used to take barely a second, enabling or disabling a single addon can now freeze the game for over a minute — even if the addon is barely 5 kilobytes in size! It makes deciding which mods you want to use an extremely tedious process.
  • World in Conflict and Call of Duty 4's normally long single player load screens are made enjoyable by putting in expository dialog and slickly produced cut-scenes to set up the next mission. Almost all the times the game is finished loading before the dialogue ends — if the player then presses a button, they can play instantly. In fact nearly anything that has a briefing uses this nowadays. If there IS a plain black loading screen it is to load the dialogue/cutscenes first and then get the game content out of the way while that plays.
  • World War II Online had a HIDEOUS problem of this when it was first released... Over three minutes just to respawn!
  • Prey (2017) is capable of loading somewhat decently on fast PCs, but if you're playing on a previous-generation CPU (no matter what the graphics card is) you'll be waiting a long time for level transitions. Given that the game's proclivity for fetch quests that have you traveling all over the space station, this gets irritating very rapidly.
  • Control is much the same, with the addition of an unsettling animated background as you wait... and wait... and wait...

  • The initial PS3 version of Bayonetta has a lot of loading, including the pause screen taking about five seconds to load. Fortunately, there's a title update out that allows users to install the game on the PS3's hard disk, putting the load times on par with the Xbox version. However, the update itself takes about an hour to install.
  • Devil May Cry 3: Dante's Awakening has decent length load screens; but lets you goof around by shooting and slashing the "Now Loading" words and actually lets you shatter them if you do it enough... though this actually makes the loading times LONGER despite how fun it is. Thankfully, the PC version has no loading screens.
  • Diablo II had a particularly unpleasant example at the end of Act 2 — in multiplayer games, while you're waiting for the final boss area to load, said boss has already started attacking you, frequently resulting in players being dead before they can do anything. In earlier versions of the expansion, the 5th wave of minions before the final boss caused a similar lag spike. Thankfully, these were fixed in later patches.
  • The original Diablo has a particularly egregious example occurring when the player opens the door to the Butcher's room. This was presumably because the game had to access his infamous utterance "Ahh, fresh meat!" on the CD.
  • In Dynasty Warriors 7, loading screens before story battles would play a simple cutscene narrating the story behind the battle. They were often interesting enough to sit through, if not for the incredible narration. You could choose a wallpaper to display during non-story loading screens, where it will also display a random biography of a character and allow you to pick the BGM you wish to hear during the battle.
  • Heavenly Sword isn't so bad... if you don't die too much. It takes up to about a minute to reload the same area you were already in, which is pretty small for most of the bosses, and is often combined with an unskippable cut-scene or two. Enjoy dying to Whiptail over and over again.
  • The PS3 version of Lollipop Chainsaw falls victim to this. Loading screens usually last for 30-45 seconds, sometimes more, sometimes less. The game has to load the cutscene, then when you skip the cutscene, you have to sit through another loading screen.
  • No More Heroes has a fair amount of loading, but also includes something to fidget with during them. Pressing the B button lets you bounce the rotating star, and if it goes off the top of the screen, it loops around the bottom and changes colour. This also applies to No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle, only the star is bigger and is in the center of the screen, and rotates faster as you press B repeatedly. No More Heroes III has long loading zones as well, though they're only prolonged when you're loading one of the hub areas.

    Idle Game 
  • Exponential Idle: Not initially, but after getting Auto-Prestige and doing it and Supremacy a lot, your super high profits and frequency of Prestige-ing turn so high that it can take several minutes for the phone to calculate how much money you've earned while the game was off and ultimately finish loading. That said, an update has added an option to turn offline progress off, potentially fixing the problem if you don't care about progressing more slowly.
  • FE000000: Depending on how many ticks of offline progress you've made, the game will spend some time simulating them. If you set the limit to the default 1024, it'll only take a few seconds at most, but if you want to go for 65355, it'll take somewhere between five to fifteen minutes, and even longer if you set it to 1.049e6. Still, to prevent offline progress from taking too long, you can get at most 1024 powers in a single tick.

  • Atlantica Online can get quite annoying in this regard when you use teleportation. You can only teleport to friends, towns, or dungeons. Want to talk to a quest NPC in front of a town? You get two loading screens, one for entering the town, one for leaving. Thanks to poor optimisation, the load times also get longer and longer as you keep playing, unless you restart your computer every now and then.
  • Blade & Soul: Since the game is instanced, expect to see a lot of loading screens whenever you move or windstride in a new area. You even need to load again even if you die and respawn in the same room. It's quite common to go through at least 3 loading screens in the cross-server lobby while joining for a dungeon run, which can take more than a minute each on slow internet connections.
  • Dragon Nest has a variation. Being a PC game the load times are dependent on each machine's specs but because everything is instanced, the player will encounter multiple loading screens when travelling to (and within) mission maps.
  • In EverQuest, there were some people who were called "slow zoners." These slow zoners just took a great deal of time watching a "loading" screen. Sometimes, up to 4 minutes. If said slow zoner was also a dual clienter (playing 2 clients in same computer... perfectly legal if you owned both accounts) loading time could get up to 10 or 15 minutes, making this, maybe, the most extreme example.
  • Final Fantasy XIV is pretty decent with load times unless you have a slow hard drive or are moving to an area that has a ton of players. However, the PlayStation 3 version is notorious for having very long load times (unless the player swapped out the stock hard drive for a solid state drive) and even if the player loads into an area just fine, there can be times where players and enemies can vanish from the screen because the system can't handle loading all the models. A patch in the Shadowbringers expansion altered how the game loads so that loading times are significantly reduced. Players on SSDs can have loading screens last only one to three seconds with the new loading algorithm.
  • Traveling from area to area in zOMG! produces incredibly long loading periods if you have an older computer or a slow internet connection. A somewhat related problem that's no less aggravating is the fact that the lag spikes occasionally get so bad they border on Game-Breaker territory. A meme with a limited amount of traction in the playerbase is stating something to the effect of the omnipresent lag monster eating the server or demanding human sacrifices.
    • Heroes of Newerth has a competitive loading screen. It shows each player's progress bar and each player is ranked based on how quickly they load the game. This has no ingame effects, but you want to be #1, don't you?
  • League of Legends is not a particularly slow loading game, but being a free to play multiplayer game, some players have outdated or budget hardware and slow everyone's loading time to a crawl. The loading screen does display individual progress percentages, so you know exactly who is making you wait 4 more minutes after your own 11 second loading time.
  • Magic The Gathering Online gets this at the program startup. It takes some time to open on normal utilisation, but the updating process that add considerable time to the starting-up process. And it gets updated a lot.
  • The Matrix Online had some pretty terrible load times, but compensated fairly cleverly. When everything but the textures were loaded, the game started you up, just showing the iconic scrolling green text Matrix-vision as everything's texture. This was neat, but got old when it lasted for several minutes.
  • RuneScape has this problem in Dungeoneering, where you experience a 1-2 second loading screen for *every* door opened. There can be 30-60 doors in a dungeon that takes 30-40 minutes, which means it's more the frequency of loading that makes it "Loads and Loads" than the actual time taken.
  • Second Life streams all content in real-time from the server. Instead of "loading" screens, you get to watch the content appear in progressively greater detail as it gets downloaded. For a sufficiently complicated area, it could take half an hour or more for everything to finish loading. Fortunately, the important stuff (the shapes of buildings) downloads first, followed by finer detail and textures.
    • If you're driving a fast vehicle, however, most of the content is behind you by the time it gets loaded.
    • If you are entering a region you never visited for the first time, it will take several minutes for everything to be rendered into view, including avatars of other people. However, once you visit the same region frequently, rendering times become shorter due to everything being stored in the cache.
  • The Secret World was designed and optimized for DirectX 11. You can still play it on a Direct X 9 or 10 system, but this increases the start-up load time from about five seconds to almost two minutes.
  • Star Wars: The Old Republic got a lot of flak for this. In inclusion to the already long loading screens between zoning, every world past the first few had an orbital station your ship would dock in. This wound up increasing the time you spent looking at a loading screen exponentially. you had one for docking, one for taking the elevator, and one for taking the shuttle down to the actual planet. Eventually Bioware realized how bad this was and allowed an option to take the shuttle directly back to your ship, with the promise to allow you to skip the orbital station entirely later on.
  • World of Warcraft: The older the computer that still fits the minimal requirements and the more recent the expansion is, the more loading there will be. In such cases there's also often loading of textures in-game, manifesting via temporary Invisible Walls.
    • Especially enjoyable if you are traveling on a ship. When you're done loading, the ship might already have left the harbor again... although in general, the game is rather easy on loading times, generally only requiring them for going from one continent to the other or into a instanced dungeon.
    • Blackwing Lair was notoriously bad in this regard. Due to its vertical multi-story design, the game engine had to load every floor including the final boss when a player entered the dungeon. On slower computers, loading the whole dungeon at once took so much time that the server disconnected the player due to a timeout, requiring the player to reconnect and load everything again and again and again...
    • Moonglade. That land of peace and harmony, that is a L10 PvP hot zone where you would wind up dead before your screen finished loading. (Assuming, of course, you were on a PvP server or were flagged for PvP.)

  • The PS1 game Extreme Pinball had horrid load times—one table takes 1-2 minutes to load.


  • The 2009 Bionic Commando game has so much loading that Yahtzee included some in his review.
  • The infamous Bubsy 3D: Furbitten Planet for the PS1 has loading times for the title screen...which is just a static image, by the way. Granted, it was released when disc-based gaming technologies were in their infancy...
  • Conker: Live and Reloaded, the Xbox remake of Conker's Bad Fur Day, suffered heavily from this, especially in contrast to the cartridge-based original. Even the opening cutscene had up to four separate, thirty-second load sequences!
  • Crash Bandicoot: The Wrath of Cortex: Many of the levels can be completed faster than their load times. PlayStation magazines used it as the yardstick for bad loading times for years afterward. Apparently the reason for this was because the developers had initially implemented a minigame within the loading screen (where you could control Crash falling and collecting incoming wumpa fruit), however an alleged patent by Namco to utilise playable loading screens forced them to take it out last minute with not enough time to refine the coding to run quicker. It certainly didn't help that the game was released on a CD, when most PS2 games were already then being released on DVDs. The loading times were improved for the Greatest Hits re-release of the game, as well as the Xbox and GameCube versions.
  • Early versions of the web game Dontrel Dolphin suffered from this. It wasn't uncommon for the game to require around 45 seconds on a then-new PC to load new stages, despite the game being a simple 2D platformer with graphics comparable to an early Amiga game. Later versions fixed this, and had pretty minimal loading times... though given that the level title cards were probably the only part of the game not to be offensive to the eyes, that's not necessarily a good thing.
  • Kang Fu can literally take eight and a half minutes to load.
  • LittleBigPlanet:
    • Loading levels from the community can take a while, depending on how detailed they are. Some levels actually tell you to restart the game or back up your data before trying to load them, due to a risk of crashing your system, Sealed Fate being one example.
    • In the PS Vita game, there are a load of places where the game will freeze for a few frames. Also, undoing and redoing take a long time to load. A really annoying bug in this game is if your PS Vita memory card is worn out, these supposed to be short freezes will bloat up to freezes that last multiple seconds.
    • The third game was originally going to be PS4-only, but then the PS3 also got a release. The result is a game that's good on loading times on the new-gen console, but has load times of 20 seconds and upward on the last-gen console. It gets particularly egregious when you play levels from the two prior games, which can take even longer to load than they did in the game they were made in! For example, one LBP2 level takes about 5 seconds to restart, and that's counting the fade to black after you reset, the black screen after that, and the unfade from black before the level starts. The same level takes 20 seconds to restart in PS3!LBP3.
  • Mega Man X7, the first game in the X series for the PlayStation 2 suffered from this. In many cases, the game takes more than 10 seconds to load. The most egregious example is in the final stage of the game during the Boss Rush. Step into a teleporter for a rematch with the Maverick? Loading screen. Defeated the Maverick? Loading screen. Pick another teleporter to fight another Maverick? Another loading screen. And so on, so forth.
  • Metroid:
    • From the original Metroid, the series has used elevators to disguise its loading times (it was originally a Famicom Disk System game, where the load times were significantly longer than in its NES counterpart).
    • The Metroid Prime Trilogy games do this for travel between areas, but now individual rooms also have to be loaded. The games hide this well by loading the next room as you approach a door, and refusing to open it until the room is ready. This usually just takes a second, so it's not too annoying, but now and then a door will take forever to open, and leave you a sitting duck in the meantime. Also, the loading system was buggy in the original American release of the first game, liable to crash it if overtaxed. Some of the room loads in Metroid Prime 3: Corruption can leave you standing around for several seconds waiting for the door. This is almost always due to loading a scripted event, so you can usually tell when something's going down just by how long it takes the door to open. The load times greatly improve on the digital version of the Metroid Prime Trilogy compilation, making most doors open instantly after shooting them and load times via elevators take about 5 to 7 seconds at most. This is mostly due to the games being directly on the hard drive (Wii U) instead of having to load from a Nintendo GameCube or Wii disc.
    • Metroid Prime: Hunters tries to use small empty hallways between rooms to disguise the loading. It does not work, as you can often spend as much as 10 seconds standing at the door waiting for the damn thing to open, particularly if one of the other Hunters or Guardians are in the next room. Keep in mind this is on a Nintendo DS cart.
    • Metroid: Other M is the first game in the series to actually pause the screen and say "LOADING". If you're playing casually, you may never see this — but if you're playing for speed, you'll see it a lot. Sometimes a load even takes place while you're wall-climbing, which may cause you to fall and get a loading screen for the previous room again.
  • Mickey Mania features loading screens where Mickey stares at his watch for a few seconds or reads the script before the start of each level in every version of the game except for the Sega Genesis version. While the Sega CD and PlayStation versions of the game at least have the excuse of being early CD-based games, this feature is most infamous in the SNES version, which uses a cartridge similar to the Genesis version.
  • Prince of Persia:
    • Prince of Persia: Revelations, the PSP version of Prince of Persia: Warrior Within, would often pause to load in the middle of gameplay, with absolutely no warning or regard to the action happening on screen. Sometimes it would happen as the player was simply walking, which wouldn't be so much of a problem. Worse is when it would happen in the middle of combat, or during a platforming segment.
    • The PC versions of Warrior Within and The Two Thrones also suffered from this, forcing you to watch the loading screen animation in full even if the game itself reloaded in one or two seconds. They also forced you watch a pointless and annoyingly long 'death' cutscene whenever you died. Simply deleting all the loading and death cutscenes from the game's folder makes the game infinitely more playable.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog:
    • The loading screens for the Sega Saturn version of Sonic 3D Blast can run for as long as 30 seconds. The Genesis version of the game has no loading screens due to being on a cartridge, the Japanese release of the Saturn version slightly shortened the loading times, and the PC version significantly shortened them.
    • Sonic Shuffle would actually have been a fairly good party game, except for its horrible omnipresent loading screens. Even the cheating AI would have been tolerable if you hadn't had to wait so long for it. The fifth and final board, 4th Dimension Space, took longer to load than the previous four boards due to the fact that that board was more graphic-intense than the others. To be fair, some of the loading screens in Sonic Shuffle have beautiful illustrations of Lumina, Void, and the Precioustone Monsters, as well as hints that explain what the various forcejewels do.
    • Shadow the Hedgehog would load several times — in one cinematic! Thankfully, the loads weren't that long, but a touch of preloading would've solved everything.
    • Sonic the Hedgehog (2006) was notorious for large amounts of loading screens for almost everything - including menus, 10 second long puzzles and single lines of dialogue, without voice acting. This is due to the game loading unnecessary assets such as most of the hub world, even in boss fights that only take place on a single city block. This is so much the case that the Sonic Twitter lampshaded how much loading it has during one of their Twitter Takeovers.
      Eggman: @imquitegood asks: "Has Sonic '06 finished loading yet?"
      Sonic: Heh. Some people say it's still loading to this day.
      Eggman: Here I thought it just never happened.
  • The popular 3D fangame Sonic World has a fairly annoying problem with loading — the load times from between menus are fast, but loading levels reveals problems on par with (if not worse than) Sonic 06. Not only does the loading process take a long time (likely owing to the engine and the sheer size of the levels), but every time you want to restart the levelnote , it reloads the entire thing, so you have to sit through the long loading process all over again! For the record, even 06 restarted a level near instantly. Going for a Perfect score bonus for those sweet S-Ranks can be painful at times, especially due to the wonky physics producing a lot of unforeseeable deaths.
  • In SpongeBob SquarePants: Revenge of the Flying Dutchman for the PS2, there is a loading screen for everything. And god help you if you get the dreaded double loading with the first screen having SpongeBob holding an hourglass and the second with bubbles slowly filling the screen, then you can finally start the next area/room. Made even worse if you enter the wrong room and have to go back, going through effectively four load screens for nothing.
  • Spyro: Enter the Dragonfly had ridiculous load times for a PS2/GameCube game. A particularly jarring thing is that when exiting or entering something it'll often have the typical Spyro loading screen, but immediately afterward have a plain black screen just saying 'Loading' in one corner. That's right, even the loading screen needs a loading screen. Now combine this with Spyro often glitching up when he exits a minigame.
  • Mostly absent in Super Mario Galaxy, the exception being the screen reminding the player to put on the wrist strap (you have to wait longer to be able to skip it than most other Wii games). Otherwise, load times are nonexistent or at the very least well-hiddennote , and the textures and models are still among the most detailed on the Wii, and the music is in a recorded sound format as opposed to MIDI. This also extends to Super Mario Galaxy 2.
  • Super Monkey Ball Deluxe PS2 has loading screens for practically everything. Even worse, when it tries to load your replays, the loading times can reach about one and a half minutes.

  • Myst IV had this in its Xbox version, as it would take several seconds just to move from one spot to the next. In a game that is about exploration and finding connections to solve puzzles, this made the game almost unplayable.
  • The PS3 version of Portal seems to have a bad case of this. The game has designated loading areas, mostly in logical places (namely elevator rides), but if you're quick at the game and your computer isn't so fast you'll see a lot more loading than portals.
  • Riven, the second game in the Myst series, compounded its loading time frustrations by making you physically swap CDs whenever you went to a different island. Towards the end of the game this could result in you having to shuffle three CDs just to follow one fairly long path between two points. Thankfully, this issue can be avoided on newer systems by ripping the CDs and tweaking the configuration files so that the game loads its resources from disk. There's also the DVD version that has everything on one disc, plus a nice making-of video. And then there's the re-release.
  • Uru: Complete Chronicles has this. Badly, sometimes. First person adventure games may not have been meant to be MMORPGs.

    Real-Time Strategy 

  • Aikatsu! Photo on Stage!! tends to load whenever the screen is changed. Accessing story data requires separate data download (instead of having everything downloaded initially at once) as well, presumably to ease up data usage for mobile data plan users.
  • Beat City for the Nintendo DS has this problem which is somewhat odd for a cartridge based handheld game, and especially one that's clearly inspired by Rhythm Heaven, a game with next to no loading times on the same system.
  • Guitar Hero III and subsequent games in the series have trouble with this. Loading screens were needed to load a new menu screen. Just picking a song on quickplay could take far longer than it should because the game requires four loading periods just to go through all the options beforehand. Not only that, but on some of the Wii versions of World Tour, the final pre-performance loading screen would freeze itself before heading to the performance. This arose an issue because the game would also fully freeze on those same spots, making it rather indistinguishable whether you were about to play or about to reset the console. An even worse case from the Wii edition of "World Tour" was practice mode. Every time you wanted to restart a section, you had to select "restart"... and then sit through another loading screen. If you're practicing an entire song, this could be worse. There's also the PS2 version of Guitar Hero III's saving times. It takes about 4 minutes to save the game where the previous games took about 20 seconds. It's not like it's a really large file that it's saving; it's 325 kb, while Devil May Cry 3: Dante's Awakening has 364 kb save files, yet doesn't take nearly as long.
  • In the Groove had this problem in its PlayStation 2 port - mainly because it has an elaborate 3D menu system for song selection. In addition, when compared to DanceDanceRevolution which masked its short loading times with Announcer Chatter, audience cheering, and animations, In the Groove has a "Loading..." screen and a plain black screen which goes on for several seconds, which can easily be mistaken for hardware failure. They're also optimized for going forward, so backtracking, especially from the mod menu back to the song select menu, are the slowest load times.
  • Lego Rock Band has this. Badly. As in almost every transition between menus. And it's a good five seconds every time. So if you're in the Rock Den and your green drum accidentally hits on the Rock Shop when you were going for Free Play? Five seconds of loading to get there, and five more to get back, then five MORE to get the Free Play menu when you actually select it.


  • Crypt Of The Necrodancer attempts to prevent load times from interrupting your game... apparently by loading every single file in the game at once in a process that can take a couple of minutes each time you boot the game. On the bright side, there are no loading screens after the title screen.

    Role-Playing Games 
  • Bloodborne's original release was seamless when it came to transitioning between areas, but the game still had long load times when dying or traveling to and from the Hunters' Dream. While the devs eventually found a way to shorten the load times (and also changed the loading screen to display random item descriptions, when it was featureless before), the fact that you have to travel to the Hunters' Dream to level up means that players will have to deal with them fairly frequently.
  • The PlayStation version of Chrono Trigger has a few problems with this early on (it takes about ten seconds to load a battle), but eventually improves significantly.
  • The first Deception is the worst about it, but this plagues the whole franchise. Later games, with their more detailed visuals, usually couldn't even keep more than two enemies in memory at a time, having to pause to spool up new ones in cutscenes.
  • Digimon:
    • Digimon World 4 had loading screens between the different areas in one world. It wasn't quite as bad as Sonic '06, but it still made the game nigh-unplayable. The hub is the most unbearable part: three tiny areas which you have to visit frequently between missions to buy gear and save your game.
    • Digimon World 2 first takes about 20 seconds to start a battle. Then after deciding the attacks it will few minutes to play again since the Digimon like taking their time before attacking. It gets worse when you learn the game has level caps meaning that you will have to level up you Digimon several times from zero.
    • Digimon World Data Squad needs a little loading break for almost everything, from choosing attacks to opening different parts of the menu. This little lag can quickly add up if the player is having a bad day with Random Encounters. Naturally, entering different parts of the world requires a proper loading screen, further adding to the loading times.
    • Digimon World 3 was also pretty bad. In what seems like an attempt to streamline the loading process when the player enters a new area, the area loads as you traverse it. Naturally, on a particularly slow day, you can be trapped with only a few blocks of visible space to wander through, lest you venture through the glitchy areas beneath the loading boxes.
    • The mobile game Digimon ReArise is notorious for this to the point that most complaints in their Google Store page criticize the many amounts of loadings. Nearly anytime you click something, you'll have to wait for a loading. Opening shop menu? Loading. Quest menu? Loading. Challenge menu? Loading. Guild menu? Loading. Friends menu? Loading. Digivolve menu? Loading. Workout menu? Loading. Upgrade menu? Loading. Plugin menu? Loading. Story Mode? Loading. Clash Battle? Loading. Battle Park? Loading.
  • Disco Elysium: Buildings (and, quite often, rooms within buildings) are separate objects from the outside world, and must be loaded when you enter them. A particularly bad case is when you interview Klaasje (Miss Oranje Disco Dancer), who has an apartment on the top floor of the Whirling-in-Rags hostel. Go into the hostel from outdoors. Load. Go from the downstairs of the hostel to the upstairs. Load. Klassje's apartment has two levels, and the lower level is part of the upstairs. Go from the lower level to the upper level. Load. Go from the upper level to the outdoor patio, where you find her. Load. That's four loading screens to talk to one person.
  • Dragon Age: Inquisition has rather lengthy loading times when travelling between major areas, lasting between 20-30 seconds at best and one entire minute at worst. While the areas themselves are rather huge with enough content and practically non-existent in-area loading times to justify this, this is also a game that encourages the player to often return to the main keep to complete finished tasks, start new tasks and check with vendors. Hope you enjoy reading the randomized codex entries that pop up during loading, because you'll be seeing them a lot. Luckily this can be alleviated greatly if the game is installed on an SSD, shortening loading times to the point where they take only 10 seconds at most.
  • The Dragon Age: Origins loading times start out rather fast but, due to a memory leak, get longer in a single play session to eventually reach epic proportions.
  • Dragon Quest VIII had some of the worst loading times of any PlayStation 2 RPG. The world map is incredibly large and detailed, but loading times are the tradeoff. What's more, there are actually three world maps — one on foot, one on boat and one from the air. If you got off your boat at the wrong place by accident, it could take you over 30 seconds to get back on and start sailing again. And there's no loading animation; the screen is just plain black. Counting the time with any animation onscreen that you have to wait for, it seems to take an average of 15 seconds to load your saved game, 10 seconds to enter or leave a town, 3-10 seconds to enter a building (depending on its size), 7-10 seconds to reload a town after exiting a building, and at least 15 seconds to teleport anywhere with Zoom or a Chimera Wing. Additionally, during battles there may be a pause between actions that can last as long as 4 seconds, during which nothing but the camera will be moving. This also happens when you use the orb to fly over the world map. You can actually hear half of the world map's BGM before it finally finishes loading the screen.
  • The PC title Dungeon Lords (which looks a LOT like an MMO, but it's single-player) has its fair share of loading screens whenever you change maps. What's notable, however, is that it doesn't preload the map with critters ? instead, the game effectively has an empty map until you either trigger a set encounter or have a random one, at which time the program will pause for a second or so while it renders them. The upshot of this is that, whenever you see your character (or the background) freeze for a half-second, you know there's something coming that'll require a good smacking. By the way, you can change the frequency of random encounters in the options; don't use the "More" setting.
  • Echoes of Mana gives you a loading screen between any and all transitions, including going from one menu screen to another. This gets very annoying very quickly.
  • The Elder Scrolls:
    • Morrowind: When the game first came out, loading times were absolutely abysmal on both the Xbox and PC versions. The overworld would take as long as three minutes to load and doing something as simple as running too fast could cause the game to grind to a halt. Thankfully, as technology has advanced in the decade plus since the game was released, this is now significantly less of an issue. Even a modern "off the shelf" PC can now play the game with loading times of less than a second. At times, the "Loading..." box at the bottom of the screen appears and disappears so quickly you barely notice it. A 2020 interview with director Todd Howard following Bethesda's acquisition by Microsoft shed some light on the reason for such long loading screens on the original Xbox. With its large seemless overworld and quality graphics, Morrowind pushed the original Xbox to its absolute limits. This necessitated some genius programming utilizing a little known trick - a background reboot of the system. Once the system memory is nearly full, the game puts up a loading screen while rebooting the Xbox in the background. This clears the memory, allowing you to keep playing, while explaining some of those excessive 3+ minute loads.
    • The Xbox 360 version of Oblivion had long loading times as well. Granted, the average loading screen didn't last as long as some of the record-breakers on this page (30-40 seconds tops), but they pop up whenever you enter a building/dungeon, exit a building/dungeon, or fast-travel. You could even initiate a "Loading..." prompt by running really fast (i.e., faster than the game can render the landscape). By contrast, the PC version has much shorter load times; some are even short enough to omit the loading screen. Then there's the fact that the Xbox 360 version doesn't begin to load downloaded content until after you press Start, so you can't just fire up the game then come back in a couple minutes and be ready to start. You must get through the initial splash screens, then press Start, then wait. But again, the load times aren't terrible.
    • Skyrim can suffer from this as well. Because the game holds the location of every single object (from chairs and tables to that arrow you fired at that bandit and missed by two miles to that apple sitting on a plate in some dude's home somewhere), the longer you play a particular character the longer the initial loading time will be.note  On the PS3 version, save file bloat can be so problematic that it becomes unplayable in long running games. This is somewhat alleviated on the PC versions with the unofficial patches (but can quickly be countered by adding mods). One of the biggest things the unofficial patches do is keep weapons and shields attached to a dead enemy. Because of the physics engine, a weapon or a shield could be knocked out of a defeated NPC's hands. As a result, the weapon and the corpse would become separate entities and while corpses would be removed, weapons and the like would not, thus remaining in the game world, cluttering it up. In comparison, the PC version loads much, much faster than console versions because of more RAM and the hard drive being faster than a disc, and you can also use big texture mods many times the size of the original textures... which take as long as the console versions to load.
  • Evergrace has a load for every area transition AND room, but pads this out with extremely interesting background info, much of which is actually not in the game. The problem? They're only 2-4 seconds. You spend half that time pulling where you left off at out of your memory, read another line, and bang back into the game. When you DO finally read all the different loading screens, you wonder why the sequel did nothing with it.
  • Fable II loads each location you enter, with enough time to read two hints during the load. Fable III is worse, as you'll spend a lot of time looking at those posters.
  • The original Windows/Mac version of Fallout had loading screens from each area to the next, when Omni re-ported it to the new Mac OS along with the previously Windows-only sequel years later, the loading times were reduced so much that they completely omitted the loading screens.
  • Fallout: New Vegas suffers from an extremely frustrating case of this, where you can have ten or fifteen second load times for the inside of a moderately sized store. Combined with a sloppy fast travel mode and a large number of zone breaks (some larger indoor cells, e.g. Vault 34, are even divided into sub-cells), it sometimes takes four load screens to reach a quest giver (and four more on your way out). And that's only when the game works. The Tipping Forties crew decided to measure how much of their video was being taken up by load times during their Let's Play, and their game hung up on the loading screen, forcing them to stare at the loading screen for almost half the video. The absolute nadir of the proceedings is going to see Contreras, the quartermaster in the New California Republic base (which you have to do repeatedly to complete his sidequest). From the overworld, you have to go into the base (load screen) into the airport terminal (load screen) either onto the tarmac or into the concourse (load screen either way) and then into Contreras' supply shed (final load screen). It says something that one of the earliest mods for the PC version of the game was a mod that adds a fast travel marker right outside Contreras' door.
  • Fallout 3 was even worse, with the DC downtown broken into dozens of cells only accessible through a maze of subway tunnels, which means loads of loading screens.
  • Fallout 4 is the worst at present, having fifteen seconds (or more) per loading screen. Those fifteen seconds are minimum, by the way, as the game fakes loading until that point even if it's finished unless you forciby end the screen once it's actually done, which can take as little as four seconds on typical gaming PCs by the time of the game's release.
  • Certain Fate/Grand Order events can cause the servers to go offline for over 24 hours, infamously ruining players' daily log-in streaks (and the associated bonuses). (see also: "Unlimited Maintenance Works")
  • Final Fantasy:
    • Final Fantasy VII, if you played it on computer, required better than the minimum specs. The minimum specs would run the game OK for the most part, but the coliseum section had a very short cut scene that had Cloud run toward the centre of an arena surrounded on all sides by bubbling green acid. If you didn't have significantly more than the minimum specs, this usually 5 second cut-scene would literally last 15 minutes. The PlayStation version had it a bit rough for loading times. It took only a few seconds to load the next area whenever you entered it, but entering battles showed just how slow they can be; when a battle starts, you have to endure a Fight Woosh for about a second and a half, followed by around 5 seconds of the battle scene loading. This is due to the game loading data and models for the enemies as the camera pans around (to somewhat hide the character models just popping into existence) before your party's models are loaded.
    • Final Fantasy XIII has some truly impressive load times, up to a minute or so. This is, however, not much of a problem, since they really only come up when loading a saved game or changing the map (and there's about fifteen maps in the game, with little backtracking). The problem is significantly worse in Final Fantasy XIII-2, which has lots of small maps that you hop between frequently.
  • Final Fantasy Anthology had this problem. Level grinding in it, and particularly hunting Rages on the Veldt in Final Fantasy VI, becomes downright impossible unless you have loads of free time and/or patience. both of the games on that set (Final Fantasy V and Final Fantasy VI) took 2-3 seconds to switch from the game, to battle or the main menu, and back again, which was annoying most of the time and in certain areas where you have to open the menu repeatedly, maddening. Especially during Timed Missions (such as the Karnak escape in Final Fantasy V or the escape from the Floating Continent in Final Fantasy VI), where the timer kept going during the loading times. This was because the PlayStation had only 2MB of RAM and the RO Ms were larger.
  • Five Nights at Freddy's World has loading screens whenever you close a menu or exit a shop. Want to change your party line up? Loading. Accidentally touch a shopkeeper? Loading. Inexplicably, there are no loading screens when opening the menus or entering a shop.
  • Star Wars: The Force Unleashed played relatively well with very little loading. Unfortunately, every option on the pause menu (at least in the 360 version)took a good 5-10 seconds to load, both going to the menu and coming back from the menu. This makes simple things like changing controller sensitivity, customizing your lightsaber, putting on a different costume, and using your leveling up crystals a hassle. For this reason, lightsaber color tends to stay the same for long periods of time, and the costume worn for the level tends to stay the default worn for that level (since if you start a level, you're either wearing what you last wore, or, if you're carrying over from the previous level, the level default costume, and changing your clothes isn't that great waiting a half to a whole minute of loading before playing 5-15 minutes of level for advanced players.)
  • The SSI Gold Box series back in 1980s would run on a low-end machine like an IBM PC... but any combat required a 3-5 minute load. Given how often combat occurs in these games, this makes the game unplayable unless you were very, very, very patient.
  • Jade Empire was generally tolerable in its loading times, but during the Imperial Arena fights, after every win or loss the player was forced to sit through a loading time while the backstage area was loaded. Then another loading time before the next round could begin. In an otherwise highly polished game, this was an unexpected aggravation.
  • Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep can get really bad with the amount of loading going on, even if you do the Data Install. Very noticeable if you have an older PSP, as it takes several seconds for the menu to load, much longer for map/scene transitions, and you can even have fights put on hold mid-battle while activating a D-Link or Command Style.
  • Kingdom Hearts II and Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep Final Mix in the 2.5 bundle on PS3 get hit by this HARD. Using a Summon/D-Link/Drive form can take a very long time to load. Also, the English version suffers from short lock ups caused by slow loading during boss fights.
    • While Summons and D-Links pause everything else until finished, Drives on the other hand has the standard "knock enemies into the air" effect like in the PS2 versions, but the transformation takes such a long time to load that the slowmotion disappears, and everything starts moving normal again while Sora is still doing his invulnerability flex for another 5-10 seconds. This causes the enemy stagger caused by the transformation to run out and likely cause Sora to straight up get counter attacked, ruining a benefit of Drive transformation. Pausing right after transforming bypasses the problem but you just replace one type of waiting with another. The 1.5+2.5 version on the PS4 fixes this problem completely due to the required hard drive install, meaning rapid loading times in general.
    • And the reaction command "Reversal" somehow became a victim of this too. During 2 certain bosses (Twilight Thorn and Final Xemnas) the bosses shoot some thorn-like attack towards you which you can use "Reversal" to dodge. But sometimes the reaction command takes too long to load for the player to use it. This makes playing a level 1 run on the PS3 way harder as the start of Final Xemnas you are forced into using "Reversal" or the limit with Riku to not instantly die. Once again, the PS4 version fixed the problem.
  • Kingdom Hearts III has considerably longer load times than any previous game in the series, likely owing to its expansive and highly detailed environments. Room transitions can take as long as 25 seconds on an original-model PS4 in certain worlds. Every death is followed by a similarly lengthy loading screen before you can retry the battle, making Critical mode even more of a headache than usual. Playing on a next-gen system reduces the load times a fair bit, but you're still looking at around 15 seconds to load rooms even on PS5.
  • Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords had appalling loading times sometimes. Due to the areas that were being loaded being rather large this was not very bothersome. However, whenever your character had to go back and forth between areas it could take a long time
  • The Last Remnant suffered quite terribly with long loading times when initiating combat or changing areas in the Xbox 360 version. You could install the game to the 360's hard drive but this only helped somewhat. In the PC version loading times would be near instant or last around 1-2 seconds compared to 10-30 seconds for the 360 version.
  • Legend of Mana on PlayStation has some pretty noticeable load times for a PS1 game (about 2-5 seconds), which would happen every time you change screens or a story scene happened. These were very, very common occurrences.
  • The SNES game The Lord of the Rings Volume One had several seconds of loading times between areas - which was quite jarring on a system where loading time was practically unheard of. Disabling music makes it a lot faster.
  • Lost Odyssey. While the loading screens aren't as massive as other examples on this list, you're faced with one rather long one every time you change screens, start a cutscene or enter a battle; which, being an Eastern RPG, happens a lot. The loading screens also have loading screens for them (i.e. it starts out as a black screen with a small 'loading' on the bottom, and eventually a small character sheet from one of the game's playable characters pops up), and said character sheets are even minor spoilers on their own, as some characters appear on said sheets before they actually join the group(or, in one particular case, even show up at all). Installing the game on your HD mitigates the load times to a good degree, although considering the game is on 4 discs, having all of them installed takes up a ton of space.
  • Lunar: Silver Star Harmony for the PSP, despite being much better than the PSX version in terms of VA, music and graphics, has to load every. Single. Screen. Individually. This wouldn't be so bad, but the load time for each screen is about three to four seconds, the music fades out and the battle system, which is entirely different in terms of graphics and layout, loads faster. Also, the game features PS1-style fade in/fade out transitions to make the loading less noticeable, but these transitions are STILL THERE in the PlayStation Network version. PSN versions of games require hardly any loading, if any at all, since the entire game has been installed on your memory card, but due to the the fade animation you have still have to wait like everyone who bought a disk copy.
  • Magic Pengel. To get from anywhere to anywhere you have to sit through loading screens that can be up to a full minute long, during which nothing happens. And you have to travel around constantly in this game; if you aren't watching cutscenes, drawing Doodles or fighting, you're walking around or waiting for the stupid game to load so you can walk around.
    • The sequel, Graffiti Kingdom, is much better about this; the loading screens are more frequent, but they are very, very short, sometimes not even a whole second in length.
  • Mana Khemia: Student Alliance, an RPG for the PSP "features" loading screens every time you change areas (and the school is divided into about twenty of them) as well as every time you enter or exit a battle. Sad, because the game is otherwise decent.
  • Mass Effect tried to disguise some of its loading screens by putting the player on an elevator while data loaded. It didn't work very well, according to Penny Arcade, at least. It backfired once Microsoft's NXE allowed you to install a game to your hard drive. Loading times in most games, including Mass Effect, are reduced, but the length of the elevator rides is hard-coded, meaning they still take the same length of time even if the load finished half-way.
    This gets even weirder in the very well-done PC port. Even on a 7,200 rpm hard drive, the non-elevator loading times are significantly reduced; what makes the elevators so noticeable is the one elevator that doesn't have a hard-coded travel time, the elevator to the Normandy's cargo bay, where there are no plot-relevant news broadcasts or team chatter. This elevator on the console takes forever to move about ten feet, traveling so slowly you can count the inches. The PC version installed on a 10,000 rpm Raptor hard drive with a decent CPU to handle the decompression mentioned in the article, however, will take less than two seconds. Miranda lampshades this in the second game, showing her frustration at a slow elevator by smashing it with an omni-tool to make it go faster.
  • Mass Effect 2 on PC forces the player to watch the entire loading animation, even if the level is done loading. This can be fixed by replacing the loading animations with short custom loading videos.
  • Mass Effect 3 also has quite a bit of loading, especially on the Citadel, whenever you're trying to move between levels, and the loading screens on the Normandy return as well. Especially noticeable when you're trying to turn in items from galactic exploration quests.
  • Mass Effect: Andromeda has multiple examples. The longest load-time is usually when first entering the game, no matter where you left off. Presumably, this is because the Frostbite engine uses this as an opportunity to pre-cache many commonly-needed assets that stay loaded across map loads. Regardless, the initial load usually takes long enough for you to hear 90% of John Paesano's A Better Beginning, which is four minutes and twenty-five seconds long.
  • Monster Hunter:
    • All games prior to Monster Hunter: World have maps divided in numbered zones (ranging from 9 to 12 depending on the case). Whenever you walk into a new zone, the game loads the new zone. This leads to very annoying gathering missions in which you have to run all around the map searching for a place to mine/fish/collect herbs/etc. However, after the first missions, when you start hunting bigger monsters, you change zones less frequently, though if you're searching for the monster, you will have to watch a few loading screens. Even so, there are still lengthy times for when a quest is being loaded, for the quest reward screen after completing a mission and when the player returns to the village or guild headquarters afterwards.
    • Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate has its own issues, as the game desperately needs the faster processor provided by the New 3DS. Staring the game itself on an old model can take upwards of a minute, and it takes just as long to close. Pausing also incurs two ten to fifteen second loads, though this may have something to do with the fact that the game can only be paused by using the home button and bringing up the 3DS main menu or by closing the 3DS entirely. That's ten seconds to go out to the console menu, another 10 seconds to go back into the game itself, and another few seconds while the game pops up the actual pause screen so you can resume the game. Thankfully, normal gameplay rarely has loads of more than a second or two.
  • Neverwinter Nights 2 is pretty bad about this. Every single area requires two load screens (one for the level data, one for the module data, i.e. geometry and characters), and while sometimes the first load will be skipped if the level's still in memory, it can get pretty frustrating to spend 20 seconds each time you go into a building or between city districts, especially in Neverwinter, Crossroad Keep and other smaller areas or quest hubs.
  • Neverwinter Nights premium module, Infinite Dungeons has fairly long loading times compared to other modules because of the much higher volumes of data that needs to be processed and because of heavier amounts of scripting to create the randomly generated levels.
  • Odin Sphere makes great use of large, beautifully hand-drawn sprites, but this causes stages to load slowly. The most annoying example is the Pooka Village — if one wants to visit both restaurants, one will have to wait through the loading screen for the village, the café, the village again, the restaurant, and the village one last time. And that's if one already has all the ingredients needed to make some food. This was alleviated in the European release of the game, which had very minimal load times. Playing on a backwards-compatible PS3 takes a huge chunk out too, as well as alleviating some of the slowdown when battles get especially hectic. These loading times were further alleviated in Odin Sphere Leifthrasir.
  • Okage: Shadow King was utterly destroyed by its load times. The story was interesting, the characters were fun, the graphics were interesting, and the gameplay was fairly standard RPG fare. Unfortunately, the game was riddled with loading screens, such as between major areas, going into buildings, going into different rooms in the same building... This wasn't helped by the fact that you often had no clue where to go and exploring to find your next clue was a major part of the gameplay.
  • Pathfinder: Kingmaker was pretty bad in this regard. Early in the game, loading time was pretty reasonable and it was only a matter of seconds. However, as you progress in the game and uncover new areas, loading got worse to many long minutes. This could be explain in part because of the Unity game engine and really large saved files. A patch reduced the size of saved games, but it's still highly recommanded to play the game on a SSD.
  • Parasite Eve fades to black when you leave the current area and transition into the next one. The black screen followed by the fade out usually takes 5 seconds at most, but it adds up when you have to backtrack. Parasite Eve 2 does the same thing.
  • The first Persona game for PS1 was guilty of this in both the Japanese and American versions, albeit the worst loading session was maybe ten seconds in length. The only difference between both in terms of difference was the American version added a "Now Loading" screen instead of just leaving black transitions.
  • Pokémon:
    • Pokémon Diamond and Pearl games may give you a message when you save that it's "saving a lot of data," which means it will take about three times as long to load. This caused by the Box System. If you catch a Pokémon and it's sent to the box, prepare to take a while to save. If you look at the Box System for one second and don't even bother touching anything, prepare to take a long while to save. If you go hours on your journey without bothering to mess with the Box System, you'll save in a few seconds. Also, doing anything with the boxes triggers a flag that causes the game to calculate the checksums of all boxed Pokémon data on the next save, to make sure nothing got corrupted. It's a good programming practice taken into overdrive.
    • HeartGold and SoulSilver seem to have cut the save and load times rather nicely. As in, "Saving a lot of data" appears only when save data is corrupted and you are saving again with a backup save file, or after a GTS trade.
    • Pokémon Stadium 2 had a feature to play the Pokémon Game Boy games on your TV. It let the player choose between loading just a little bit before starting and interrupting the game by loading stuff, or loading a lot before starting, thus allowing the game to be interrupted less frequently. Pokémon Stadium also had this feature, but only with the option to load everything at once. Although, loading times were noticeably shorter in this game.
    • Pokémon Black and White brings us the Pokémon Global Link / Dream World website functionality. It tends to be absolutely brutal to load even on fast Internet connections. The frequency with which loading is necessary - virtually every screen change, and even twice in some parts of loading the Dream World - is something of a disappointment. It doesn't help that the DS is throttled to only 12 kilobytes of data transfer per second, regardless of how much faster the host connection is.
    • Pokémon Rumble World has quite a LONG initial load time, specially considering it is not too big and is in your SD Card. Not only that, but the transition from stage to town takes long. It's likely there to prevent segmented loading.
  • The Japan-only PopoloCrois: Hajimari no Bouken is infamous for this: changing areas takes about ten seconds to load the new map, while battles take up to a minute between the swoosh, the pan throughout the battlefield and finally, a zoom into one of the party members. And as if it wasn't enough, it fades to black and takes other ten seconds to load up the battle animations whenever an enemy or party member takes an action. If you can't load it from an HDD to eliminate the loading, you better have the patience of a saint.
  • Riviera: The Promised Land was a GBA RPG that was later ported to the PSP. Along with this, it received a massive content upgrade, including voice acting, and additional extras. The problem with this is that it would load from the UMD for nearly EVERYTHING. Considering the addition of FULL VOICE ACTING, this became problematic. It didn't even have the courtesy to load an entire conversation's worth of voices at once, either. An exchange that would go by in under thirty seconds had an addition of about five seconds to each line of loading.
    • Curiously, the Japanese version of the game has about half the loading time of the English version. Apparently Atlus didn't do the best coding job in the world.
  • The first Robopon is infamous for this; even the menus take time to load. The sequel had no loading time at all.
  • Spectral Souls (PSP) doesn't seem to keep anything in memory. There's a load-time of up to 3 seconds before every attack animation, even if you use the same attack 3 times in a row, and a load-time between each page of a character's dialogue. The main problem with this is because this game is a direct port of a PS2 game that was not optimized for use on the PSP's processor. So the player is literally playing another system title on something it wasn't designed for. The fourth and fifth Generation of Chaos games were also especially bad for this, taking up to fifteen seconds to load a special attack animation, and even longer if you have voices turned on.
  • Suikoden V seemed incapable of retaining more than one small screen of the world in its memory at a time; or so the fracturing of your base would lead you to believe. It got to the point where gamers were plotting routes through their base to minimize the number of loading screens they'd have to sit through, even if they actually had to walk farther. the game also had annoyingly long loading times for getting in and out of combat, which was particularly aggravating considering it has graphics more comparable to PlayStation 1 than the PS2 it was released on. They even managed to put up a loading screen when getting out of combat. And worst of all was when you'd be inside a dungeon, and the combat area would only take up about half of the screen.
  • Summoner for the PlayStation 2 fell into this. Imagine a MMORPG, but it's single player. The world was huge and immersive and genuinely fun to explore at times, but the loading, the Loads And Loads Of Loading horrible, horrible loading...
  • Tales of the Abyss for the PlayStation 2 had an animated loading screen every time you entered a new location, and it took even longer to load when booting up a cutscene. Though, it made it easy to tell when a cutscene was coming, because the animation would freeze. Also, after battles on the world map, it takes a ridiculously long time to load up the map. Particularly annoying, as 2 dungeons technically take place on the map. The load times being especially awful when you were in the desert. Oddly, this loading problem only existed in the American version for whatever reason (never has been proven, but believed to be poor coding when re-inserting the translated dialogue). The Japanese version's load times are less than 1/3 of the American release.
  • Trails of Cold Steel I was originally released on a handheld device (the PS Vita), and splits large areas into many small maps. On the one hand, that means loads of loading as you move around. On the other hand, those small maps load very quickly on modern hardware such as the PC and PS4 ports, so it isn't too annoying.
  • Vagrant Story is similarly a heavy offender, especially for load times when saving and loading. Mostly because it used a huge amount of memory card space for each save, but what can you do? The room-to-room and cutscene load times were not that great, either.
  • Wasteland generally made me slightly dread trying to go through the game's promotion (levelling up) command, since it would have to load the image of either a general Ranger, or a guy saluting if you make your promotion. Now, the game repeatedly checks for promotion after each one, but eventually you run out, and it has to load up the Ranger. Then to the next character, and load for them. And then back. Parties can be up to 7 characters. Be grateful that Wasteland came on disk and not tape, as some hardware solutions (like Jiffy DOS 6.0) would speed up the load times to just a few seconds.
  • The Witcher, at least before the patch, had scandalously long load times, and when transitioning a lot (and entering a hut, a cave, anything, counted as a transition), players spent more time watching load screens than actually playing. It was corrected in a patch, but by then, many players were already holding fists full of hair. Even post-patch, the loading times on low-end systems were still atrocious, with even small, indoor scenes taking in the vicinity of five minutes to load.
  • Xenosaga Ep. 2 has this problem in a big bad way. Opinions on the mechanics of the battle system are split, but everyone agrees that it seems just a wee bit unreasonable to see the game freeze, the screen transition animation occur about a second later, all the enemies load over the next 5 seconds, then the players load over the next 4 or so, then 3 seconds later hear the battle music start, and only a second after that be able to actually input commands. HDLoader is practically a necessity (or would be if certain parts didn't flat-out crash when played from a hard drive). Xenosaga 3's instant-action battle transitions are proof positive that someone in that dev house got chewed out big time for the unmitigated clusterfuck that was XS2's battle engine.
  • Xenoblade Chronicles X: A concession to fitting such an expansive game onto a single blu-ray is that all the game assets are stored heavily compressed; combined with the Wii U's modest hard drive space precluding any large, uninvited install procedures, load times of 20-30 seconds are the norm when playing from a disc, and crop up any time you trigger a cutscene or fast-travel. As a counter to this, uncompressed asset packs can be downloaded for free from the e-shop, dramatically reducing loading times for those with the space to store them.

    Shoot 'em Ups 
  • The 2011 remake of Cannon Fodder was inexcusably slow to load levels. You could not only drink your coffee while waiting for the game to start, you could brew it and then drink it. And all it had was a generic 3D engine — decent-looking and performing, but with no spectacularly beautiful landscapes or fantastic feats of gameplay to justify such biblical loading times.
  • Part of what made the Xbox 360 port of DoDonPachi dai ou jou fail spectacularly was the excessive load times, even for menus.
  • Dungeon Hunter 1 and 2 for the iPad. Sure, it's running on an iPad, but leaving any city or dungeon requires a load screen where individual dots (about 20, with each taking a few seconds) show progress. Do the math; it's unpleasant.
  • Rayxanber II has obnoxious pauses in the gameplay every time you reach a Boss Battle.
  • The Commodore 64 conversion of R-Type on tape. Roughly 5 minutes of loading to play. When you ran out of credits you had to wait another 5 minutes for it to load again even if you never advanced more than 5 screens into the game. It's one of those shooters where you have to memorise everything to get through, so this was very frustrating.
  • The PlayStation port of the arcade game Viewpoint is notorious for excessive loading. Each time you die, you're going to be greeted with a loading screen.

  • Back in the dark ages of computing, SubLogic's Flight Simulator II for the Commodore 64 took four minutes to load. The C64's disk drive was quite rare in Britain (and apparently most of Europe) as it was an expensive, complicated thing. Tapes were king, and the C64 had a terrible tape protocol until people began to develop their own speed loading routines. The worst may be the really ancient game Blagger, which takes 15 minutes to load from tape. Revenge of the Mutant Camels took nearer 30 (although it did have a compressed version on the other side of the tape, this wouldn't work with certain early models of the C64 cassette drive).
  • Being a game from 1998, Hardwar loads so fast on modern systems you barely catch a glimpse of the loading screen; at the time of its launch, though, it took a good while for even a fast computer of the time to load the game world. The developers were aware of this, and indeed lampshaded this necessary evil — if you press CTRL during the process, the loading message changes from "Initialising world" to "Testing patience".
  • While Kerbal Space Program usually loads quite fast, if you're using mods, the load times can get extremely high. If you have lots of mods and are using Active Texture Manager (which compresses textures to save RAM) for the first time, loading can take upwards of an hour, as the ATM plugin has to compress all the textures and save them to a cache. Thankfully, ATM loads textures from the cache the subsequent times you play.
  • This trope looks particularly ridiculous when you consider Operation Flashpoint. Despite being the first game that Bohemia Interactive released, it had technological advances which made (and still make) any game with long loading times look ridiculous. Because of behind-the-scenes loading, once you get into the game properly, there are absolutely no loading screens, which is made far more impressive by the fact that each of the islands in the game was on its own almost four times larger than the whole world map of The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion.
  • RollerCoaster Tycoon 3, especially with expansion packs and custom content installed, can potentially take a hugely long time to load, depending on the size of the map. Ironic when you consider that the first game had no loading to speak of.
  • Silent Hunter 3 has quite long loading times, but it's even worse when you add the GWX-mod. It's a 1.33-gigabyte that replaces basically everything in the game, so it doesn't sound like it'd increase loading times much, right? WRONG! It takes 10 minutes to start a mission, and this is on a Pentium 4 with 1 gig of RAM! The sad part is that the mod is very good.
  • The Sims series:
    • The Sims, in the era it was originally released (early 2000s), brought an average system with 64-128 MB of RAM to its knees. Nowadays, with technology having marched on, running the game on a modern machine completely averts the problem, with the initial loading screen lasting 2 to 3 minutes tops and moving between lots taking literally seconds.
    • The Sims 2 can take a long time to load initially, especially with all expansions and stuff packs installed and/or a large amount of custom content; loading times upwards of an hour aren't unheard of from people with a lot of CC. note  There are also loading screens for loading a (sub)neighborhood, loading a lot and loading Create-a-Sim. Switching to a lot in a different subneigborhood requires loading the subneighborhood before loading the lot, which means back-to-back loading screens. note  It gets more absurd: when a neighborhood is first loaded or created after installing certain expansion packs, a "stealth" subneighborhood (used to add new NPCs and families) is added, which involves its own loading screen; firing up a neighborhood after installing all the expansion packs at once will give you six loading screens, one for the neighborhood itself and five for each "stealth" subneighborhood. note 
    • TS2 was also the worst offender for the PSP, which stopped to load practically every 10 seconds, with loading in the middle of walking, loading during conversations, loading to access menus, loading to move the cursor in said menus...
    • With the load times in TS2 discouraging many players from leaving the home lot, The Sims 3 made a selling point of averting this; beyond the loading screens when starting up the game (which can still grow longer the more expansions and/or CC you have) and loading a world, your Sims are free to traipse around town without ever encountering another loading screen. However, if your computer is not quite up to the task of running TS3, moving about the neighborhood too fast can result in missing textures as the game tries to catches up. Also, travelling to an exotic destination, university or the future technically involves loading another world, which means a loading screen.
    • The spinoff MySims also falls victim to this, with load times stuck between every location change, which you do more often than you would think.
    • The Sims Social has a little fun with its loading screen, displaying random phrases like "Adding Spices" and "Getting to the Choppa". One of the phrases, appropriately enough, is "Loading Loading Screen".
    • The Sims 4 went back to TS2-style loading screens as part of its goal of being easier to run on lower-end machines, which led to a lot of disappointment from fans spoiled by TS3's open world. Each world is subdivided in neighborhoods; while said neighborhoods are "open" à la TS3, the community lots you'll want to travel to are always in another neighborhood, which means, yep, loading screens!
  • SimCity:
  • Sim City 4, although at least this was offset by the comedy loading messages.
    • The PlayStation version of SimCity 2000 was very bad for this, taking up to two minutes to load the loading menu, and then another minute once you've selected a city, even if it's completely empty.
    • Any console port of 2000 qualifies, including SimCity DS, which is actually 2000 with the SimCity 3000 skin slapped on. Particularly when initially generating a map or loading a saved game. There's also loading noticeable in the game, although it's supposed to be a "2-second pause while the system swaps data in and out of RAM".
    • SimCity 2013 took this trope to absurd extremes. The servers the game relied on could not hold the strain of all the players. This caused many issues, the most glaring being the half hour or longer wait times just to connect. This is also before the in game loading screens, which also could be time consuming as well.
  • Mech arena combat simulator S.L.A.I.: Steel Lancer Arena International was unforgiving about its load times. Expect plenty of loading in any conceivable instance. Loading the game? Fine. Loading before matches? Acceptable. Loading before cutscenes? Annoying, if expected. Loading before going in and out of stores? That's where it steps right into this trope. Hilariously, one of the first things that happens when a new game is started is an in-universe complaint about lag.
  • The Star Wars Starfighter series only has loading screens in two places: as soon as you pop the disk in, and before each level... but they're still looooooong. We're talking bare minimum of 30 seconds to get to the title screen, sometimes nearly a minute to actually load a big level.
  • Another Origin game, Strike Commander, offered the player a game of Pong to help pass the time while it was loading data, from the 1x CD-ROM drives that were standard hardware at the time of the game's release.
  • Story of Seasons:
    • Tree of Tranquility for the Wii. Exit a building - load screen. Enter a building — load screen. Enter a different area of town - load screen. Hell, change rooms in a larger building (like Town Hall or the Hotel) - load screen. The retool, Animal Parade, has even MORE loading time due to the island being significantly larger.
    • Rune Factory Frontier suffers from this as well.
    • The PlayStation 2 port of Harvest Moon: A Wonderful Life severely suffered from this as well. Actually, the entire game was significantly slower than its GameCube counter-part. It didn't help Special Edition that the GameCube version had little to no load time at all. The additional content wasn't enough to make up for the loading screens.
  • Start of Vega Strike (including precaching of resources) takes enough time to scrutinize Loading Screens on modern systems and a really long time on old ones: you get one on the way to main menu, then two others while loading a saved game. On the bright side, the loading screens are mostly entertaining, as the setting's flavor and good background music are loaded and started first.
  • When Wing Commander III was released in 1994, a cutting edge PC could take 10 minutes to load each mission. It became common practice to defrag the hard disk between every mission to improve the load times! Going from 8MB of RAM to 16MB dramatically improved the load times, but 16MB was an expensive luxury when this game came out.
    • This was made extra fun in missions that had a transition between space and planet-based combat. You would fly towards a planet, get a short cinematic cutscene showing your descent to the planet, and then it would have to load again! And then again when you left the planet.
  • The X-Universe series, which normally load new sectors in roughly 30 seconds, can have several minute load times in sectors with heavy industry buildup by the player, leading most players to dump their factories in a sector they never visit except for additional expansion. X: Rebirth has a longer initial loading time (but still reasonable) to get into the game and after alt-tabbing, but uses procedural loading to effectively instantly load new areas without a loading screen.

  • Hot Shots Golf 5 on the PlayStation 3. The loading times aren't bad, but they're not great. So why is it worth a mention? Because of the ~15 minute mandatory initial install. It has about the same graphics as Mario Golf on the GameCube, on a way more powerful system, with 5GB of information loaded on the system's hard drive (thus theoretically averting the main disadvantage of the system: slow disc read times), and it still has slower load times overall. So the otherwise bearable spoonfuls and spoonfuls of loading wouldn't normally feel so bad, they're disheartening after loads and loads of install.
    • This is hardly the only PS3 game with Loads And Loads Of Install Time. See Metal Gear Solid 4 and Devil May Cry 4 above. Vampire Rain: Altered Species takes the dishonor of having the longest PS3 install at a whopping 24 minutes!
  • An inversion in Madden 2004 for the PS2 at least, where there were loads and loads of saving. If the music wasn't playing while it was going on, you'd think the game froze.
  • The PS2 version of Tony Hawk's Underground suffers from this, with load times taking up about 30 seconds to load a level, compared to the GameCube, Xbox and PC versions, which load the levels almost instantly.
  • NBA 2K20 as the longest loading screens of all time beating all of Sonic '06's loading screens, totaling a whopping 12 hours.


    Stealth-Based Games 
  • Assassin's Creed is pretty good with its load times for the most part, except if you're playing on PC and want the game to quit to the desktop. To do that, you'll have to pause the game, pick the "exit" option in the menu, wait for the loading screen, exit the Animus and get up, pause the game again and select "quit", wait through another loading screen, sign in to your profile, and THEN finally make the game end itself. Thankfully, you can usually just hit Alt-F4 without fear of corrupting your save data. In fact, on a PC with a fast hard drive or an SSD it is possible to load the level before the VO hint has finished speaking, leaving the player wondering how to actually accomplish some of the advanced moves. Shown in full effect here.
  • Metal Gear:
    • The HD version of Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty has a tiny but noticeable loading before every codec conversation and because the game switches between codec and cutscene quite often, it can get annoying. This does carry on to the HD version of 3 but it isn't as noticeable.
    • Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater features a short load every time you go into the pause menu. Ordinarily this wouldn't be too much of a problem but in order to take the stealth option you're required to change Naked Snake's camo in the pause menu quite often. Also, Naked Snake's food has to be accessed from the pause menu as well (failure to eat for an extended time results in lower stamina and a rumbling stomach which can alert nearby enemies; not something you'd want when sneaking up behind an enemy to slit his throat).
    • Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots has a combined twenty-one minutes of watching Snake smoke. And this doesn't include the load times between stages, either. Sony originally had a policy where 4 GB was the max install size, and Metal Gear Solid used all of it for each individual chapter which is why it ended up installing between chapters. Sony eventually relaxed that policy, and Konami followed up with a patch to allow you to install all of it, with the combined size ending up around 10 GB total.
    • Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 has very, very long load times that can last over a minute whenever initiating a mission or entering a new area. The game quite clearly pushes the ten year-old hardware to its limit.
  • Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time has loading times that will drive you crazy. They can take up to 1 minute and they happen quite frequently too, exiting safe houses, starting missions, ending missions and since most missions warp the player back to the safe house, you end up having to deal with double that length.
  • The PC version of Splinter Cell: Double Agent had loading times for different sections in the menu. That's right: going from, say, "sound options" to "keyboard options", then "load game"? That's 3 loading animations. The Wii U version of Blacklist had loading times ranging from 40 seconds to A FULL MINUTE.

    Survival Horror 
  • Dead Rising 2. Every time you changed mall regions, there's a loading screen that takes 10-20 seconds. To complete some missions you had to go through three or four mall regions just to reach the objective, then the same number of regions (and loading screens) to get back to the safe room. This was complicated by the fact that the world was non-persistent, so when you transitioned back to a region you had already gone through, you'd have to fight (or run) your way through a whole bunch of respawned zombies again.
  • Resident Evil:
    • The original Resident Evil game had the infamous "doors opening" sequences slotted in to try and mask the long loading times between rooms, as well as being a nod to Sweet Home (1989)'s introduction. Considering you were in a mansion, that's a lot of rooms.
    • The N64 port of Resident Evil 2 ran from a cartridge with virtually no load times. Previews of the game stated the doors would be kept "for atmosphere". The remake of the first game for the GameCube likewise all but eliminated these loading times. Playtesters complained that this felt unnatural, so they inserted the "doors opening" sequences and prolonged the transition between rooms. The really fun part of this is that when you faced the hunters when you returned to the mansion, or when Nemesis launches yet another ambush in the third game, when you're at the Clock Tower shortly after Jill recovers from an earlier attack. These enemies (And Nemesis) could, under a couple of canned circumstances, destroy doors. Or, as The Dark Id said in his Let's Play of Resident Evil 3: Nemesis — "By the Fires of Hades! The Nemesis is powerful enough to destroy loading screens. He can alter the very fabric of gameplay reality!"
    • Again became relevant with the releases of Resident Evil: Outbreak and File #2. With a PS2 HDD, one could shorten the loading times considerably so Capcom forced HDD players to play at DVD speeds when they were in mixed rooms. However, when PS3 users using backwards compatibility played with PS2 users, they could easily load the next rooms faster and so often took all the quality items before the PS2 players could even enter the room.
    • Resident Evil 0 has lengthy load times for some reason despite using the same engine as the remake of the first game, which is especially noticeable when some surprise attacks from enemies bring the game to a grinding halt and can take upwards of three or four seconds to load. This was not fixed whatsoever for the Wii re-release.
    • Resident Evil 5 has about three or four loading screens within each chapter.
  • Corpse Party: Blood Drive, despite being a cartridge-based PlayStation Vita game, has a "NOW LOADING" screen for every possible screen transition: Including opening the main menu and navigating to/from each sub-menu.

    Third-Person Shooters 
  • Anthem (2019) quickly became infamous for its amount and duration of loading screens, both in the early access builds and the main release. One comparison video shows one of Anthem's loading screens taking more than double that of Sonic the Hedgehog (2006), and players report the loading screens of Anthem being extremely frequent — simply switching gear takes a player through four loading screens.
  • Army of Two for the Xbox 360 has acceptable loading times during play, spaced very far apart. The menu is a different story. Starting the game from the title screen OR changing your loadout mid-mission both subject you to menu screens that, while slickly animated, take far too much time to load. And of course each selection will bring you to a submenu, with its own page and therefore its own loading period... times two if you're playing co-op. Oh, and don't screw up. Then you get to start over again.
  • Control does not usually take too long to load. It has a loading screen of tolerable length once, when you start playing, then the rest loads fairly seamlessly. Unless you die, that is. Respawning takes at least a minute of loading even if you have a SSD and a decent PC; on slower PCs it can take significantly longer, and heavens help you if you only have a mechanical hard drive. Notably this happens even if the last spawn point is one room back — and all the while the game displays an unsettling red mess of a loading screen, really making you wish it'd hurry up already.
  • Drake of the 99 Dragons: Every time the player dies, they have to sit through two loading screens so that they can be taken to the guardians' realm for them to mock you for your failure.
  • Ghost Recon: Future Soldier, like Max Payne 3, uses unskippable cutscenes in lieu of loading screens.
  • The PS2 version of Max Payne suffers heavily from this. While the loads are not overly long (maybe twenty seconds each) they are extremely frequent (every five or ten minutes of gameplay) and the stupid console can't even leave the background music on while loading, breaking the mood completely. Max Payne 3 ends up with this too. While it's not noticeable during normal gameplay due to it being disguised with a cutscene, when you're replaying or trying the various Time Attack modes and are forced to watch every cutscene in the game because they're unskippable it becomes apparent.
  • Men in Black II: Alien Escape for the PlayStation 2 had load time comparable to the Commodore 64. It takes 10 seconds to load the briefing of a mission and then 30 more to finally load the level.
  • SAS Zombie Assault 4 has a LOT of loading.
    • First, to load Ninja Kiwi logo. Then, it loads the title screen and menus. While you navigate the menu it will start loading inventory images and multiplayer menu (though, by then, you can go and get yourself into Single Player mode). And the worst part? It has to load TWICE for a stage: First it loads the resource, then it has to BUILD the stage, not counting the parts it loads on the fly like the boss room. And if you die, there is no "retry" button, only a revive that requires purchase. Failed stage? Too bad, you got to go ALL the way back to the inventory menu and sit through "BUILDING" again!
    • It gets worse with multiplayer, specially if one of your team mates has a really slow connection. And sometimes loading issues happen ONLY in multiplayer, resulting in the mission becoming unbeatable and skills not working.
    • The loading time is cut down considerably for the mobile version of the game, but still haunts them.
  • Nearly all of the PlayStation Tomb Raider games suffered from loading times in a variety of ways.
    • If you were prone to being killed a lot (and you most likely would due to the series' Everything Trying to Kill You plus pitfalls), you had to wait for the menu to pop up, which took about a second or two if you tried to skip the death sequence, choose to reload your last save, and then wait for the level to reload. While it is understandable that loading a level for the first time can take a while, the game still takes at least 10 to 15 seconds just to reload your previous save state as if the game simply "forgot" how everything was up to that point.
    • In those same games, going through your inventory was also prone to short pauses (about 1 to 2 seconds) to bring it up and another 3 seconds to play the "use item" animation in the menu (only in the first 3 games) before returning to the game and the item gets used. If you go through your items a lot, expect a lot of short pauses.
    • The PC versions of the same games make loading seem trivial since loading a saved game or a level literally takes about one second on most modern machines todays. In addition to the much faster data read/write times, the PC versions let you use hotkeys (F5/F6) to save/reload games, instead of having to navigate through the menus and finding the appropriate options. The result is that the PC games more or less have a savestate system. (This was probably not the case during the first releases years back due to computers not being powerful back then.)
    • Tomb Raider: The Last Revelation is perhaps the biggest offender. Someone evidently decided that it would be fun to increase the complexity of the game by giving the player huge areas to explore at once. Of course the areas ended up so big that they had to be split into multiple sections, with transitions between sections taking a hideously long time. What made this even worse was that the game had no way of recording objectives or displaying waypoint markers and so the player was expected to just blunder around until they found the correct way forwards. This meant that, without a guide, players were likely to miss what they were supposed to be looking for and so wander through the corridors and loading screen far more often than necessary.
    • The DS version of Tomb Raider: Underworld not only breaks each area up into 10 mini-levels that take ~5 minutes each, but it forces you to sit through no fewer than 5 loading screens in between them! At one point, this happens: 5 loading screens reveal the level — Lara runs up to a pedestal — another loading screen- a horribly-compressed cutscene plays- another loading screen — Lara runs out of the door — 5 more loading screens, "level" finishes. A damn shame, since the game is actually pretty fun, but the loading just kills it.
  • Total Overdose on the PS2 had lots of slow, boring loading screens. Running around shooting things in slow motion would be so much more fun if you didn't have to wait through loading screens so often.

    Turn-Based Strategy 
  • The Harebrained Schemes BattleTech video game is built in the Unity engine. Due to the sheer amount of stuff that even a single mission has to track, calculate, and generate, it is not uncommon for the game to take several minutes just to get to the main menu after launching, and even regular missions can take a couple of minutes to load, especially during long sessions. It's so bad that mid-mission saves can take as long to save as missions do just to start, and even then it sometimes bugs out and causes mid-mission saves to collapse in on themselves in an infinite loop of loading.note 
  • Civilization:
    • Civilization V has this bad. On large or huge maps, it takes forever to load the map from the main menu, and the AI phases in between your turns are almost unbearable in the late game. Playing in "strategic mode," with a 2D hex grid helps a lot, though. This problem is most noticeable when you've moved all of your units, but the computer hasn't registered it yet, so it won't let you end your turn until you wait for about 30 to 45 seconds. Then, you have to wait for all of the computer players to move. With games that normally can take 10-20 hours, this gets frustrating. The chief reason why the endgame wait times can reach Biblical levels is due to how the game handles aircraft combat. Fortunately the problem can be alleviated greatly by enabling Quick Movement and Quick Combat, which makes the game just skip the animations respectively. Good for multiplayer, especially.
    • Civilization VI is even worse. Loading a large size map on a less-than-optimal machine? You can go make a sandwich and when you come back, the game will STILL be loading.
  • An interesting inversion from Battlefront's Combat Mission series...The units, tanks, the maps, all simple bitmaps, loads near instantenously on even old machines. And then you give them their marching orders... It isn't actually a "load" in technical terms but a "calculation" of the next minute of combat. If every single one of your units is firing at every single one of the enemy's that turn, expect to go out and get a pizza. And maybe finish it before you see the results. It is also possible to destroy buildings and some trees and other objects, so if anything gets whacked on that turn, expect it to double.
  • The Fall from Heaven modification of Civilization IV can take almost an hour to load a single late-game turn on a large map, even with a fast computer. The culprit is Civ IV's infamously poorly optimized engine struggling to deal with potentially hundreds of units being summoned, killed and affected by spells.
  • The Total War franchise has had a bit of a chequered history with loading. Most of the issues were eventually fixed or at least improved with later patches.
    • Total War: Shogun 2 was a bit infamous for the amount of time it took to initially boot up a save file and load battle maps, taking up to five minutes for some users.
    • On release, Total War: Rome II had it bad. In the interests of historical realism, rather than creating an amorphous "Rebels" faction for most of the NPC settlements, many, many historical minor factions were created instead, leading to over one hundred factions total at the start of campaigns if you got all the downloadable content. This meant that on launch turn times could easily take more than two or three minutes, even on good computers.
    • And the same issue popped up again in the Mortal Empires version of Total War: Warhammer II. Due to it combining the map and factions of the first game with the second, the campaign map was huge and there were once again over a hundred factions with more capable of spawning at any point. Turn times were so agonisingly long that the developers put out an entire update based around alleviating them, officially named the "Potion of Speed".
  • Video Chess, a first-party title for the Atari 2600, has some of the longest load times ever recorded for any video game under certain conditions — those being, if you're playing on a real Atari system and the game difficulty is turned to the highest setting, owing to the primitive power of the system coupled with the age-forgotten complexity of just how demanding a chess algorithm can be — being clocked in at ten hours for moves that the CPU has particular trouble thinking around. Making the wait more painful, the game doesn't have the memory to both display the board and think at the same time, so it has a loading animation turning the entire screen into a flashing solid color.
  • Worms: Open Warfare 2 on the DS has the dubious honor of managing to have this on a cartridge-based game. You have several seconds of loading between each play, even when you restart a map where the landscape is indestructible (most puzzle maps). That makes it quite annoying when you fail the same puzzle or Laboratory a few times.

    Wide-Open Sandbox 
  • Most Ubisoft games in this genre suffer from this as if you buy the Season Pass and other Downloadable Content, because the title screen will have to cross-check every piece of additional content you bought to certify that you actually own it. This can push a post-title screen load that was previously 10 seconds up to 40 or more.
  • Bully, at least the Wii version. It's so full of ridiculously long loading times that it made the game completely unplayable for some. Meanwhile, the PC version of Bully: Scholarship Edition is also like this. It takes like 10 minutes (seriously, it's not much less than that) to get to the title screen. It then takes about 5 minutes to get to the menu, then another 5 or so minutes to load the game. Even when the game is loaded, there is still a 6 second loading screen every time the players changes areas.
  • By itself, Cortex Command loads fairly quickly. However, once you start adding third-party mods, load times increase proportionately. After a while, it makes more sense to just run the game in windowed mode, alt-tab and do something else until the menu music starts up.
  • Dwarf Fortress: Usually the delays are just increasing lag, but certain events can end up this way due to too much to process at one time, particularly when spring arrives and everything thaws, or winter arrives and everything freezes; the exact moment the temperature hits 0 Celsius, you'll have to wait a couple minutes until your computer's done choking the sudden change down. The worst, however, is world generation. Small worlds aren't too much trouble, but generating anything large past a hundred years or so can take several hours if you aren't careful. Thankfully, by the time the Steam release came out that was fixed with optimization (mainly making sure the game didn't parse the entire history of the world every time someone wrote a book), and now you need to really push it for worldgen to even approach twenty minutes.
  • Downloading excessive numbers of add-ons for Garry's Mod can result in very long load times. Garry did an automatic survey of GMod users, and there was one person who had an average loading time of over 25 minutes. There was a short time that the game had a strange error which multiplied load times by a factor of about five. Fifteen minutes just to get on to a regular server. If you got kicked, it might as well have been a fifteen-minute ban from every server in the game.
  • Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas: The biggest game environment for its time? Perhaps, but it took quite a while to bring it up. The title screen alone took several minutes to load, so much so that it almost seems that it freezes. And if you go inside or outside a building during the game? At least thirty seconds.
    • While the ability to buy and change CJ's clothes is awesome, it takes forever. You choose the piece of clothing from a menu, CJ goes into the dressing room, takes about five to ten seconds to load his changed character model, and then comes out and does a "checking out my duds" animation that takes another few seconds. Then, you choose whether to buy or wear it or not, and CJ either just goes back into the dressing room or does a "hot damn!" pose that takes another few seconds. Repeat for every single item you select. And if you've got a lot of money, and want to buy every item a store has... well, you'll probably be able to read the manual from front to back in the time it takes to do this.
    • Still, at the time San Andreas was a big step forward, since it not only had a massive map, but loaded it seamlessly, as opposed to its predecessors, where there would be annoying loading screens everytime you went from a half of the (already small) city, to another. So while the game takes a while to load once you booted it up, you won't have to suffer much loading again for the rest of the session once the game gets going. One way or another, these problems were mitigated in the PC port, which loaded the in-game map, clothes changing animations etc. pretty fast; on a modern gaming computer, the loading screen for traveling to a new part of the city or changing clothes is less than a second.
    • The mobile ports of Grand Theft Auto III and Grand Theft Auto: Vice City no longer displays any loading screens whenever you go to another part of the city, although there's a somewhat noticeable pause as you travel through.
  • The GTA Online mode of Grand Theft Auto V suffers from this as well, because it not only has to load the enormous city map, but all the online services as well, which includes game modes, exclusive items and all that.
  • The console ports of Mafia: The City of Lost Heaven were infamous for this. The game loads the city and missions as a series of levels rather than stream the contents GTA-style. This was the case with the original PC version, but the limited RAM of the Xbox and PS2 added to the problem, even if the developers trimmed the game environment down to a somewhat barren city.
  • Minecraft manages to avert this for the most part, but sometimes it messes up, and it messes up HARD. Especially in snapshot versions of the game, or on slow computers, the world can fail to load, leaving glitchy, gaping holes in the ground through which the player can see any underground cavities. Thankfully, collision data seems to be loaded first, keeping the player from falling into the void, even if he or she seems to be sinking into it. This failure to load was much worse in the alpha and beta versions, but now it is almost tolerable. A similar failure to load occurs when the player teleports to a faraway location. The game cannot anticipate where the player will teleport to and also cannot stream the world data like it does during normal gameplay, so more often than not, the player finds himself or herself in a blue-black void, slowly falling into an invisible ocean then into the void below the world's bottom border. On slower computers the player may end up very deep below the world before the actual terrain is loaded. Even the game's normal loading behavior has some problems. When the player moves into previously ungenerated terrain, the game starts sucking up huge amounts of CPU power to generate the world, often resulting in a framerate drop of 10 FPS or more. To add insult to injury, the vanilla version of the game does not support multithreaded world generation and loading, though mods exist to fix this. Actual loading times were excruciatingly long only in the alpha and beta versions for already generated worlds; new worlds can still take quite a long time to generate even in newer versions of the game. And if you have a lot of mods on your Minecraft game (usually from a modpack), expect the time to get to the title screen to be about 3 minutes instead of "vanilla" Minecrafts 10-20 seconds.
  • Play Station Home, the PS3's virtual-world, Product Placement-heavy timewaster is made up of a lot of small areas. Each of them has to be loaded individually, taking 30 seconds to a minute even if it's already cached to your hard drive. This is followed by Loads and Loads of Dynamic Loading as peoples avatars download and pop-in and videos on screens (invariably also ads) buffer for playback.
    • It has gotten a lot better though with patch 1.35. It completely changed the way the character logs in, replaces the abysmally slow World Map with a much-faster Navigator screen, and now it takes about a quarter of what it used to take to load an area.
  • When [PROTOTYPE]'s Dynamic Loading fails, the player gets stuck with a multi-minute loading screen with no progress bar.
  • Red Dead Redemption II doesn't have too bad loading in-game (Booting up the game takes about a minute, but then you don't have to look at another loading screen ever again unless you reload a save), but you pay for it up front if you bought a physical copy, as the game has to be installed off of a separate disc before it can be played, a process that takes several hours. As in, 18 hours on a Playstation 4 Pro.
  • Rimworld, in comparison, isn't too bad other than loading the world if you made it too big. That is, the vanilla version. The game is extremely moddable and has an enormous library, to the point you can reach three digits of mods without even realizing. And that is when the big load times start, particularly whenever you actually start the game. People with high mod counts and low-end computers have been known to wait up to forty minutes for the main menu to finally show up, and even when not that taxed ten-minute load times aren't that uncommon.
  • ROBLOX can sometimes have this on more elaborate places. Fortunately, it shows you what it has loaded, and tells you how many bricks/connectors have been made. You can even zoom in and change angles while loading!
  • The PC version of The Saboteur has a Dynamic Loading fail on computers with multi-core CPUs and an ATI/AMD video card (also fairly common) causing frequent pauses as the game struggles to load in textures, especially while driving a sports car. This is in addition to numerous side effects of this bug and other bugs.
  • Subnautica can take several minutes to load when you first start it up, but after that you won't see the loading screen again for the rest of the session. However, some players might experience certain artifacts like the notorious terrain "pop-in" or a noticeable pause when entering/exiting a base or vehicle.

  • Phoenix Games was notorious for their knock-offs and abysmal quality, many of which were made in association with the just-as-notorious and terrible Dingo Pictures. Despite many of their games being little more than a collection of terrible sliding puzzles, painting mini-games and low quality animated clips, loading times could be upwards of a minute, struggling even to load the language selection screens. Even worse, because of the incredibly poor quality of the discs themselves, the 'games' (if you can call them that) can cause the PS2 to overheat and potentially kill the console itself! See Caddicarus's review on ''Dalmatians 3'' to experience the horror.
  • SuperMash: It can take 20+ seconds to generate a game and another 10 seconds to load it.
  • One of the main issues of Tweenies: Game Time for the PS1 is the sheer abundance of loading screens, including one that appears before the screen asking the player if they want to play the same mini-game again. One of the game's glitches causes the game to be stuck on the loading screen forever, requiring the player to reset the game to get out of it.
  • The load times of Animal Crossing: New Horizons at the title screen have progressively gotten longer and longer as it recieved more and more free content updates. Similar to the Ubisoft example above, this is because the game is checking all of the installed updates: the original load time was something like 10 seconds, but as of mid-2020 it can take over a minute and a half to get to the Isabelle check-in.


Non-video game examples:

    Consoles and Computers 
  • The Commodore 64 was the king of this trope. Long load times were actually inherent to the design - the floppy drive went from having four data lines in the original design to one by the time of release, quadrupling the load times already inflicted by the floppy format. Tapes were even worse. If you plan on playing any C64 games, do it in an emulator with turbo mode or have a fast loader cartridge handy for those who insist on using original hardware.
    • The original IEE488 interface used on the Commodore PET was expensive to implement, and required equally expensive and clunky cables that were only available from a few sources, so they tried to design a simpler, lower-cost serial interface for the VIC-20. Unfortunately, they discovered at the last minute that there was a flaw in one of the serial-bus chips they'd used, and the only way to ship on schedule was to intentionally slow down the data rate far enough that the flaw wouldn't occur. Once that was done, backwards compatibility dictated that even after they fixed the flaw in the chips, every computer and disk drive made after that still had to run at the same glacial speeds so the drives would still be compatible with the million-plus VIC-20s already sold and shipped, and so that VIC-20 users could upgrade to the C64 without having to replace their $400+ disk drives too.
    • Since this was such an obvious problem, it was also acknowledged: many tape games came with loading sequence graphics and music (that eventually expanded into the original Demoscene), crude audio mixers for you to create own loading tunes and even some mini-games to keep you busy for the duration of the loading event. Modern games prohibited such features, due to Namco's 5,718,632 patent on it, but thankfully the patent expired on November 27, 2015.
    • Ironically, the C64 could run games and certain software titles from cartridges, eliminating load times altogether.
    • This trope was the inspiration behind the Commodore 64 GS, a cartridge-based system that commodore made in 1989, since one of the taglines with which it was advertised was Super Fast Loading Times. It flopped because it had the exact same graphical capabilities as a regular Commodore 64 and plenty of games for it were straight ports, which posed its own problems, such as the fact that the C64GS port of Ocean's The Terminator required the push of a button that was not implemented in the controller. A little later however and the above would be accomplished.
  • The original Xbox set out to avoid this by allowing games "cache space" on the internal HDD - data could be copied there for fast access during gameplay. But games which actually used this feature took forever to initially fire up (eg Fable, Ninja Gaiden), as it basically amounted to copying a few hundred megabytes in one massive loading spree (it still generally did a better job than the PS2, due to a superior DVD drive - the Xbox knocks about a minute off San Andreas' start time, for example). Both systems could be modified to run entire games off a HDD, obliterating load times and removing the need to get up and swap discs.
  • The PlayStation 3 inherited this feature, with some games requiring an install time of 20 minutes or more the first time you play them. In this case, it's because the Blu-Ray discs are very data heavy (more specifically, the PS3's Blu-ray Disc drive operates at approximately 9 MB/s, while the Xbox 360's DVD drive reaches 15.85 MB/s, seriously compromising performance of multiplatform titles on the former, and furthermore, game developers have declared that the 360 drive's data transfer speed is already low for their needs...), and therefore take longer to access. In an effort to prevent long loading sections, the games are installed to the hard drive, or pre-loaded. Then games like Uncharted 2 come along and just blow that out of the water (it doesn't install at all, and has no loading time after you start playing).
  • The Xbox 360 officially integrated this feature in a firmware update - though it requires that the disc for the game you wish to play be in the DVD drive to function to prevent the rampant piracy that often resulted with modded PS2 and Xbox consoles. This can still be quite handy should the DVD drive start to fail as it requires much less work from it. However, some games actually slow down when played off the hard drive. Halo 3, in particular, outright calls people that install the game to their hard drives idiots. This is because the 360, like the original Xbox before it, has dedicated "cache space" on the hard drive. If a game gets a full install, then it may still try to use that cache space - but instead of copying from the disc drive to the HDD (in which case the two drives can operate simultaneously), it's copying from the HDD to the same HDD (and the read/write operations can't happen at the same time). Programmers could, in theory, tweak their games to disable caching for full installs (in which case there'd be a hands-down performance improvement), but the Halo 3 coders did their work before such installs were possible (and have no apparent interest in releasing a patch).
  • As noted above, many of the original PlayStation games suffered from this, as it was one of the first CD-based consoles. Even the PSN re-releases are guilty.
  • PlayStation Portable games in general tend to suffer long load times due to the slow speed of the UMD drive, which is all the more silly considering it is a handheld. If you want to play during a 30 minute train ride, you want to start as fast as possible and not waste half of that time just to load the game.
    • People often install custom firmware on their PSPs, rip their games from the UMD in .iso format, put them on relatively expensive high-capacity and speed Memory Sticks, and run games off of them just to alleviate the load times. Although it is fun to watch Crisis Core load faster than the load screen can be displayed. Ripped games can in .iso format or .cso format- .cso files are much smaller, helpful for those with smaller memory sticks, but take significantly longer to load than .iso's. Sony seems to have done this as well - the PSP Go does not have a UMD drive. Instead, all games are loaded off of memory sticks. But your old UMD library? Worthless. You had to buy the games again. Digital copies were retroactively made an option for disc-based PSPs too. Unfortunately, it also meant that you need to invest in a few extra large memory sticks. And yes, you needed to buy the games again even if you already own them on UMD; Sony's not giving you an option to trade in your physical UMD for downloadable content.
    • PSP load times seemed to be getting better over the years. As an example, Final Fantasy Tactics: War of the Lions loads faster than the original PSX release.
    • On a loading related note, installing data to the memory stick helps improve load times for bigger games, if given the option (and you have enough memory). Such titles include Dissidia Final Fantasy, Gundam vs Gundam NEXT Plus, and Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep.
    • Accessing This Very Wiki with your PSP will take long to load sometimes.
    • The Vita actually lowers the loading times for some PSP games. As for the Vita games themselves...they seem to have gotten longer.
  • This is one of the reasons James "The Angry Video Game Nerd" Rolfe slams the Sega CD in his review of it.
    • This specifically resulted from the Sega CD using a single-speed CD-ROM drive, as this was before CD-ROM technology was affordable or advanced. The Neo Geo CD also used one, and is similarly notorious for atrocious loading times that get worse the newer and bigger the game is. Good luck trying to play The Last Blade on it.
    • Neo Geo CD. For games where it only had to load each level, like Aero Fighters 3 or Metal Slug, it was okay. For fighting games, it'd take about half a minute for each fight. For The King of Fighters games, it took the same time for each round.
    • Single speed on the Sega CD was better than the double speed on the Saturn and PlayStation. Both 32-bit consoles had a mean average of 4MB of RAM and could load about 300KB per second, meaning it takes about 13 seconds to fill RAM. The Sega CD had 896KB (Base Genesis (128KB) + Sega CD Main RAM (768KB)) and could load about 150KB per second, meaning it takes about 6 seconds to fill RAM.
  • The Wii has this. Not a specific game on the Wii, the programs on the Wii itself. There's fairly ridiculous load times just to browse the shop channel, along with some of the other online functions, such as videos on the Nintendo Channel (why does it only buffer when you reach the point that the video has loaded up to so far, and then stop after a few seconds?).

    Explainable in some of the cases, like the shop channel, which is really just a glorified website (which, due to the fact that you could connect to it from a PC before Nintendo started requiring authentication, means it's not stored locally, and websites do take time to transfer and load). It wouldn't be surprising if some of the other channels are the same way, and given the Wii's software layout, is likely the better choice over having it take up precious space in the 512MB NAND flash memory that also stores channels, saves, and the various OSes?

    Just getting to the control panel used to be pretty slow back at launch. It seems to have gotten a little faster through firmware updates. The Wii also has a relatively puny amount of RAM (a measly 88MB), about as much memory as you'd find in a late-1990s PC. This maximized the need to swap data in and out of RAM a lot.
  • An obscure ostensibly-7th-generation console system from Mattel, the HyperScan, attempted to join Collectible Card Game and console into one. It had specifications in the ballpark of the sixth generation of console systems while trying to compete against the seventh, but loading times were unbearable even for the standard of the previous generation - Rerez tested one and found it took two minutes of loading to display the intro logos, with more loading screens peppered throughout the games. It flopped miserably: the games were not fun to play, the card system was awkward and the absurd loading times certainly didn't help.
  • Nintendo went out of their way to avert this, particularly notably with the Nintendo 64, which continued to use cartridges long after the others began using CDs, simply because the load times were significantly less (and they were much harder to pirate). The same is true, to a lesser extent, of the Nintendo GameCube and the Wii as Nintendo employed constant angular velocity (CAV) as opposed to the constant linear velocity (CLV) used elsewhere. CAV has the advantage of having higher data rates toward the center of the disk, rather than a constant data rate from CLV.
  • ZX Spectrum games were loaded from tapes, so you had to go through about half an hour of odd colour patterns and noise until you got to the game proper. And then there were these odd cases where you had to run both sides of the tape, or stop at specific points and continue running them later after some level... Kids today complain about a few seconds, what do they know...
    • Amstrad CPC games were also usually sold on tapes. Frequently, about a quarter of the loading time would consist of loading the loading screen. And if you were lucky, the end result wouldn't be "R Tape loading error, 0:1" ("Read Error a[or b]" on the Amstrad).
      • Wizard's Lair took 19 minutes to load on the Amstrad. You can complete it in 17.
      • Similarly, the tape version of OutRun on the Amstrad. The whole game took approximately five minutes to complete. You had to wait at least that long before you could even start playing, and then each stage had to load separately from the tape when you got there. At no point was it worth the wait.
      • There was a Street Fighter II port on the Spectrum that took around 45 minutes to load the character select screen. It then took 45 minutes or so to load the actual, 2-minute maximum fight. Fight over, it then took get the idea.
    • Here's a creative use of Spectrum tape loading time.
    • Tape loading on Spectrum was not only long and noisy, but also fraught with errors, especially if the tape recorder or the tape itself (which was often pirated and thus of uncertain quality) were in less than perfect condition. Many a gamer's nerves suffered when an almost completed load of a game was thrown off by a power spike from a fridge starting up in the kitchen.

      Unlike C64 and Atari examples, however, there were only about ten games released on a cartridge for Spectrum (and even those required a rather rare and expensive Interface 2 extension), so most fans had to bear with tapes or invest into a floppy drive, which were (except for those in late Amstrad models), while generally much better that C64 one, even more expensive, and could cost more then a Speccy itself.
  • Konami is notorious for insanely long boot times in their DanceDanceRevolution arcade games. System 573-based games usually take 10+ minutes to boot up. When they switched DDR to PlayStation 2-based hardware, it only got worse - Supernova can take up to half an hour. By comparison, Pump It Up Exceed 1 takes...about 15 seconds. Konami's M2 arcade games suffer from slow CD loading, which is probably one reason why the console version of the M2 became Vaporware.
  • Capcom's CP System IIInote  arcade board used Cd-Roms for its games. While this came with the advantage of larger games—size constraints plagued the CP System II in its later years—It also meant potential load times which wouldn't be good for Arcade Games. Capcom tried to get around this by making games install themselves into the board's memory, thus avoiding in-game load times entirely, but this resulted in 25 to 45 minute install timesnote ! Worse yet, if you wanted to play a different game (a heavily advertised feature of the CPS-3 was the ability to switch games as long as you had the right amount of memory chips), you needed to go through the whole process again. This, combined with its infamous suicide battery cart that would go off at the slightest provocation contributed to the board's commercial failure.
  • The Atari 8-Bit Computers, especially in Poland, where they remained alive the longest. Ask anyone in that country who was an Atari gamer in the early nineties, and nine times out of ten you'll hear stories of an entire family gathered around the Atari for a half-hour, being careful not to make any loud noises or sudden movements, and praying that this time the game will load without errors. Much like the C64, though, the loading problem with Atari computers could be circumvented by only using cartridge-based software.
  • The 3DS has rather long loading times, due to its low amount of RAM (128MB), and expanded feature set compared to, say, its predecessor, the DS. The Web Browser, particularly, is nearly unusable with modern websites that expect a modern PC on the other end, and it doesn't even try to load mobile sites. The New 3DS includes a faster processor and double the RAM, making things much better.
  • The Wii U has comparatively long loading times in between screens, and navigating the menu. This has gotten enough complaints that Nintendo promised to fix it in a future patch. The worst offender is accessing the vWii compatibility mode- it takes up to 30 seconds of blackness before the Wii menu appears. Nintendo recognizes this, and has added certain features to lessen the pain. For example, the Quick Start menu shows you any new SpotPass software downloaded while you were away, or lets you boot directly to a game, while the Wii U's operating system loads in the background. The eShop, while far faster than the Wii's Shop Channel ever was, has a little matching game to help you pass the time. You might even find yourself wanting the loading screen back.
  • Extremely common in Mobile Phone Games. Though it can be circumvented by, of course, larger RAM and processor or simply allocating at least 4 GB in Bluestacks (Android emulator).
  • The Nintendo DS managed to avoid long loading times for the most part, with the glaring exception of DS Download Play. This feature allowed for wireless multiplayer with only one player needing to own a copy of the game. Since large amounts of game data had to be sent from Player 1's game card to everyone else's DS systems, long and frequent load times were usually required. Even the best games suffered from load times upwards of a minute long for things that would load instantly in single player or multi-card play.

  • A Running Gag in Captain Marvel is various alien characters from Higher-Tech Species having to deal with this unpleasant reality of Earth in the 1990s. First, Carol deals with the slow internet from a cybercafe. And later, a CD with a black box recording takes a while to play.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Star Trek: The Next Generation: In "Future Imperfect", one of the telltale signs for Riker that he was in a Faked Rip Van Winkle scenario was that the Enterprise's computer took forever to find information. The holodeck scenario tried very hard to introduce Dynamic Loading to keep Riker from getting too suspicious. An ongoing computer diagnostic made it slow and tedious to access information while actually giving the program simulators enough time to put together the information Riker was requesting. It fell apart when the scenario went on for too long for computer maintenance to realistically be the cause, along with Data himself, unaffected by the diagnostic, having similar slowdowns when asked to show off his trillions of calculations per second and not being able to deliver.
  • Succession: Apparently the problem with Waystar's streaming app, StarGo. It takes forever to load, and Roman and Lukas (a streaming service tech mogul they're hoping to buy out) make fun of it. Lukas pees on the phone as it loads to test it out and it's still loading by the time he's done.
  • Wellington Paranormal: The Unit has to look up a video tutorial to perform an exorcism in the "Demon Girl" episode, but has to wait for the video to buffer multiple times.

  • In Dan Mangan + Blacksmith's music video for Vessel, there is a "Loading Politics..." bar at 1:48. It loaded very slowly, gaining two bars before it transitions to the next animation.

  • If you take the ratio between the resolution of DVDs vs. Blu-ray, then multiply a DVD's loading time by that ratio, you don't get anywhere near the actual time a lower-end Blu-ray player takes to load a movie. Not helping is how complex Blu-ray menus are (the disks outright include a Java virtual machine like the ones used by websites).
  • Smart TVs can be this, especially older ones (ie. Vizios before the SmartCast interface). Same goes for cable/satellite/fiber/IPTV boxes, streaming sticks, and various other technological gadgets.

  • Adventurers! includes this as one of the many tropes it parodies.
  • Homestuck:
    • Parodied in regard to its Flash animations/games:
    • HTML5-based interactive "walkaround" pages can take a long time to load, and slow down your browser to a crawl (and each room must be loaded separately and hogs a lot of memory; on slower computers, they all but break your computer a few rooms in.) Below a certain point, your best bet is to watch the YouTube video of the walkaround instead. Cascade's file size broke the 50MB marker, and while on a fibre connection it'll load well, imagine being on a T1-equivalent connection on the day that Hussie broke Newgrounds.
    • In-universe, Sburb apparently takes long enough to install and load that Dave starts drawing Sweet Bro and Hella Jeff updates.
  • Maliki parodies this in this strip, in which every single everyday item has to be updated before it can be used.
    Dialog Box: You have selected "Ice Tea". The update IceTea 6.3.4b is now available for this product. Do you want to install it now?
    Maliki: NO! CANCEL!
    Dialog Box: You chose to cancel the update. Please wait while the system is restoring your previous settings...
    Dialog Box: Oops, the process encountered an error. Do you want to try to cancel the update again? There's a risk that you lose the content of your bottle.
  • Penny Arcade debuted with a stab at Sin's long load times (which were nasty when first released, but a later patch shortened them greatly). They also took a stab at Devil May Cry 4's 20-minute initial install time on the PS3.
  • Parodied on The Way of the Metagamer with this ridiculously-slow loading bar.


    Web Original 
  • Homestar Runner knows What Everyone Will Be Talkin Abrat! The 2018 April Fools' Day episode has a little girl suggest that the site make a cartoon where there's a loading screen that lasts for a hundred seconds, but she struggles to think what should happen afterwards. After being interrupted by a Strong Bad Email, the April Fools cartoon finally finishes loading and the girl decides the short should end with Stinkoman punching Bubs in the face.
    Strong Bad: Is this cartoon seriously just all the loading screens?
  • Flash cartoons/games in general almost always have "preloaders" that halt the play of the file until it has been fully downloaded. Preloaders that start the video before the loading is done based on the estimated connection speed, similar to the buffering that video player panes do, are theoretically possible but very rarely used. Some may have mini-animations or small games that take less time to load, and can amuse people in the meantime: the Animutation Suzukisan has a short animated loop when it's around 25% loaded, and some the first two Homestar Runner Halloween toons have really simple games you can play while waiting.
  • Lampshaded and demonstrated in this little musical number.
  • Invoked in the original Evil Overlord List, with item #99: "Any data file of crucial importance will be padded to 1.45MB in size."explanation 
  • In the SuperMarioLogan episode, "Bowser's Video Game", Charleyyy and Friends: The Video Game has tons of loading screens, much to the annoyance of Bowser, who is a huge fan of the show the game is based on.

    Web Video 
  • Wonders Of The World Wide Web: Invoked, every program is described as taking a long time to start up or do other functions. "45 minutes" is a commonly used number.

    Western Animation 
  • The Looney Tunes Show: In the "Pizzarriba" Merrie Melodies music video (part of "Working Duck"), Speedy Gonzales sings about how the titular restaurant has a website designed by his cousin Gustavo that allows the customers to order from their computer. Porky tries to log into it, but keeps running into loading screens that go on for at least a day. Speedy and Gustavo find out when they make their delivery at Porky's house.
    Speedy: Wow! Is this thing still loading, Gustavo?
    Gustavo: Si, 88%.
    Speedy: Oh, there it goes. We're almost up! Wait, did it freeze again? Gustavo, you've gotta be kidding me, man! You said you were good with computers!
    Gustavo: No, I said I have a computer.

    Real Life 
  • The Internet. In some cases, an unstable internet connection will cause certain browsers to think they're still loading when the connection is already broken.
    • There is also browsers that reload when something does break, which makes it seem as if the browser is trolling the user, as the user can SEE all the content they want/need in the background behind the 'now reloading' message, but can't access it. This typically occurs most with news sites, as the site itself and the video or article the user might want loads properly, then you start reading/watching ....and then an ad way at the bottom you can't see that always fails to loads keeps kicking the restart button.
    • There are still backwater towns all over the world whose inhabitants' only way into the internet is a 56k (or worse) modem.
  • Something the parents of small children didn't have until the late 1990s, was children's websites not loading in time for impatient children, or the connection hanging at the wrong moment.
  • While relegated to the background, modern operating systems use a swap file that transfers running applications to virtual memory on the hard drive. If you have enough applications running, or if said applications hog too much memory, then you will have a similar effect where applications freeze for 30 seconds. And then there's what happens when your browser chokes on the page after it's loaded, like with old versions of Internet Explorer. If you're really unlucky, Internet Explorer will stop responding when loading a page that's not even ON the internet! And if you're using an older version of Windows where Explorer is pulling double-duty as the file browser? Maybe it's time to get a new OS.
    • Due to their low storage and/or memory capacities, if you've several apps and/or (especially) browser tabs opened and switch between them low-end smartphones and tablets will re-load them from scratch, which can be (and usually is) a pain in the ass with low-speed Internet connections.
    • This isn't actually new. Back in the 80s, computers had to swap data in and out of a scratch file or data file on the disk due to the relatively low amount of memory they had. Old time users of Lotus 1-2-3, the first spreadsheet program for the PC, will remember the computer pausing and the disk drive spinning up followed by several seconds of waiting when flipping from one section to another in a heavily populated spreadsheet, even if the PC was fully loaded with 640KB of RAM. Needless to say, the business world breathed a sigh of relief once hard drives and EMS memory cards appeared which allowed the PC to load data much faster than off floppy disk and raise above the 640KB RAM limit respectively.
  • Loading can depend on a lot of factors, but it mostly boils down to three things: how fast your medium is, how many files you're loading from it, and how much does it have to initialize. For example, putting an SSD into your console or computer will dramatically show improvements with up to five times the transfer rate and a thousand times faster response times. Have to wait a while as Windows boots? You might want to check on how many things it's trying to load too on startup. Microsoft found a way to circumvent a lot of loading by saving the states of device drivers on shutdown. Since the hardware doesn't need to initialize anymore, it cuts down on load times by a good 20 seconds.
  • Adverts and other advertisements on websites can cause some major slowdown or have web pages take longer than usual to load due to all the scripts running at once. On a semi decent fast internet connection, it's not too noticeable, but slower connection users can see their web pages taking a while longer to load everything. Most people use ad blockers and/or script killers to disable the ads so that they're not in the way and makes the websites load faster.






JonTron - Star Wars Chess

Jon awaits the Star Wars chess pieces to get into place.

How well does it match the trope?

4.75 (24 votes)

Example of:

Main / LoadsAndLoadsOfLoading

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