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Have you ever felt as though your gun just doesn't have enough kick? Tired of the same old bullet-spewing? Well, have we got the solution for you!

Secondary Fire!

That's right, just add a second trigger, or the right mouse button, and have it trigger any number of special attacks that need at most be tangentially related to the primary fire mode! Sometimes this is handled as a fire mode toggle, changing what the main fire button does, but is functionally the same as a separate trigger. It gives the player a "two guns for the price of one" effect. It also eases the job of the mappers to an extent, since finding a new weapon usually requires a lot of design aspects to make it feel like an event to remember. Cutting these events in half gives more time to make the times you do get a weapon more exciting. These secondary fire modes can be roughly divided into several categories:

Burst or Rapid Fire: Usually found on pistols, sometimes on rifles, this allows for a faster, but less accurate series of shots, generally intended to be used at short range or during more intense firefights where precision is unneeded. A variant of this often appears in games featuring a double-barreled shotgun, firing both barrels at once.

Charged Attack: This is the province of the Energy Weapon, usually allowing a high damage shot that takes time to charge up. You may or may not be able to hold the shot safely, or the gun may explode if you try to charge it too long, but the results are usually a One-Hit Kill on anything you fire it at. Often this is activated by holding in the primary trigger rather than using the secondary.

Under/Overslung Weapons: Most common on assault rifles, but can appear on any gun, these can take the form of shotguns, Grenade Launchers, cutting lasers or something similar. Often, these weapons can damage the player if misused, but even more often they take things down fast. The alt-fire weapon may use the gun's standard ammo, but more often has its own ammo supply which may be hard to come by.

Melee Combat: Often used in place of a default hand-to-hand weapon, a secondary fire might involve stabbing or whacking the opponent with the gun, which may have bayonets or spikes specifically for that purpose. See also Pistol-Whipping. In games with dedicated melee weapons, the alt-fire may instead allow you to block other people using melee weapons, possibly also countering. This is most often applied to swords.

Zoom: Almost exclusively on sniper or marksman weapons, allows use of a scope to make accurate shots over a range. Usually this is useless at short range because it obscures your view and/or slows down the speed of the cursor so you can't easily track nearby targets. This includes the iron sight modes common in the more realistic shooters.

Spinning Up Barrels: If your game has a Gatling gun among your arsenal, it may take time to spin the barrels up to firing speed. Many games feature a secondary fire that spins the barrels without firing, so that when you do hit the fire button, it starts shooting immediately. This feature often causes the gun to overheat faster as a drawback. If overheat isn't a mechanism, it may slow down the user to a snail's pace, alert enemies within earshot, and/or make the gun less accurate in favor of an even better fire rate.

Related But Different Secondary Fire: Weapon which has secondary fire which uses same type of ammo as the primary fire, but the projectile itself is different. For an example, the ASMD Shock Rifle from the Unreal series has an instant-hit concussive beam as its primary fire, but its alt-fire takes the form of a plasma ball. As a bonus, these two attacks can be combined (shoot the ball with the beam) to form a tertiary fire mode by exploding the ball powerfully.

Completely Unrelated Secondary Fire: Weapon where secondary fire uses different type of ammo and its nature is very different, too. Painkiller, primarily. This is for weapons that don't fit any other category, where the secondary fire has little to do with the primary, such as a shotgun with a freeze ray attached.

This is also Truth in Television, as most modern assault rifles have at least a fire selector for automatic, semi-automatic, burst fire, and similar modes, as well as underslung grenade launchers and shotgun attachments, and also the bayonet, a knife attached to the end of the rifle as a melee weapon.

It should be noted that Iron Sights as a secondary function are more and more common and any additional secondary effects are added on top of this mode.

See also Swiss-Army Weapon and Gun Accessories. Not to be confused with Friendly Fire.


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    Burst/Rapid Fire 
  • Some guns in the original Call of Duty had the option to switch between full-auto and semi-auto (or between "full auto" and "slow auto" for the BAR), though since most people just stuck with full-auto they removed it for the second game. Some developers apparently tried to re-implement it as an attachment in later games, but it took until Call of Duty: Black Ops II for it to actually show up as Select Fire; it lets you switch full-auto weapons to burst fire for lower recoil but delays between each burst, and burst-firing or semi-auto weapons to full-auto for greater close-range utility at the cost of range and greater recoil. Ghosts likewise has separate Full-Auto, Semi-Auto and Burst Fire attachments to let you pick which mode you want, with the same benefits and drawbacks.
  • The bullet-hose HS010 submachine gun in E.Y.E: Divine Cybermancy has a fire mode to triple the already absurdly fast fire rate to 3000rpm, which causes it to fire faster than the Sulfatum. When in triple-fire mode, the gun sounds like it's ripping itself apart as you fire.
  • Several guns in the Fallout series have selectable rapid fire modes. In Fallout Tactics, the double-barreled shotgun can fire either one or both barrels at once.
  • DOOM Eternal replaces the Burst Fire shotgun mod from DOOM (2016) with a Full Auto mod that basically turns the shotgun into a gatling shotgun.
  • Gears of War 2's Hammerburst rifle was automatic and had no recoil, but fired slowly. Pressing the trigger continuously as fast as possible would make it fire much faster, but give it a lot of recoil.
  • GoldenEye (1997) had selective fire on most of its automatics. Tapping the trigger button would fire a single shot, pressing it once would fire a three-round burst, and holding it would engage fully automatic fire.
  • Half-Life
    • The Hive Hand's alt-fire gives a faster rate of fire, though the secondary fire projectiles lack the homing capability primary fire has.
    • Strangely enough, the Glock 17 as well. It's actually a Glock 18 with a 17's model; the 18 was select fire.
    • In a more realistic portrayal, Sven Co-op 's shotgun modeled after the HD packs SPAS-12 dropped the "double barrels" for rapid, semi-automatic fire, much like the real weapon, at the cost of a higher pellet spread than the primary, pump action fire.
  • Jedi Outcast: the E-11 Stormtrooper rifle has a full-auto mode. It does nothing for its accuracy, though.
  • Killzone: The Helghast pistol inverts this, firing a 3-round burst as primary fire and a single shot as its secondary fire. Meanwhile, the shotgun and AT rifle unload 2 shots at once with their secondary fire, while the Helghast rocket launcher fires all three tubes.
  • Nexuiz has the Rifle, whose alternate fire shots a burst of several bullets, with the amount of bullets depending on how long the button is pressed.
  • Perfect Dark had a secondary fire setting for every weapon, with rapid fire being a common type.
    • The Magsec 4 can either fire semi-auto or 3 round burst in exchange for worse accuracy than the standard Falcon 2.
    • The Cyclone is an extreme example as its secondary fire empties the entire 50-round clip at its target with one pull. This mode is significantly faster than leaving it on normal fire and holding down the trigger the whole way through, though with horrendous accuracy.
  • As a rule, handguns and miniguns in the Unreal series have slower, more-accurate fire on primary and a faster, less-accurate fire mode on secondary, though later games invert this and give a slower but more powerful secondary mode to the miniguns.
  • Warframe features a few rifles that can be toggled between auto and semi-auto modes, such as Tenno-produced Stradavar, Zenith and Fulmin or Grineer-made Argonak and Quatz, the latter being a handgun whose firing mode depends on whether you're aiming or not. A few others have a secondary fire that consumes an entire clip in one burst.
  • Most guns in the XCOM games can switch between single-shot and rapid fire. Or rather, Aimed Shot (slow but accurate), Snap Shot (fast but less accurate), and Auto Shot (woefully inaccurate individually but you get a burst of three).
  • The Real Life M1917 Burton Light Machine Rifle is a semi-auto rifle intended to be mounted on biplanes for fighting zeppelins. It has two triggers, one of which disengages the interruptor, causing it to fire full-auto when both are pulled.
  • Unupgraded Marines in Aliens vs. Predator: Extinction will fire single shots at long range and switch to full-auto at close range. The upgrade involves better armor and switching out the fire selector for a grenade launcher.

    Charged Attack 
  • All the weapons in Bulletstorm.
  • A lot of weapons in the Dark Forces Saga have these:
    • Mysteries of the Sith: the DL-44 blaster pistol can charge fives shots' worth of energy into a more powerful blast.
    • Jedi Outcast: Kyle's Bryar pistol gains a charged attack, and the DEMP 2note  fires an expanding field of electric death.
  • DOOM (2016) has several weapons like this:
    • The shotgun can charge up either a three shot burst or a grenade.
    • The plasma rifle has a weaponized cooling system that violently discharges a heat sink. It is charged by using the weapon's primary fire, with the longer you fire plasma bolts translating into a stronger heatwave. It can even be upgraded to hold more heat, and passively siphon heat off the weapons power core.
    • The pistol has the good old "Hold down the trigger for 30 seconds for an exponentially stronger shot" version.
    • The Heavy Assault Rifle's mini-missiles described below requires quite some time to arm all 6 rockets. When it's fully upgraded, it can fire missiles with no charge time.
    • The Chaingun can combine this with the Spinning Up Barrels version. The "Gatling Rotor" mod overwhelms the safety features, but its Master Upgrade allows it to channel the heat into the bullets.
    • The Gauss Cannon combines this with Zoom. It also has the "Siege Mode" secondary, which turns it into a Wave-Motion Gun. The Arbelast in DOOM Eternal fills the same function, except replace Wave Motion Cannon with a wide energy wave.
  • This is the standard "Alt Reload" for Energy Weapons in DRL. It allows the weapon to fire a single burst at double damage-and then promptly explode; in the BFG's case, with enough force to level the area.
  • The Facere Mortis and Damocles swords in E.Y.E: Divine Cybermancy both have a charged attack. On the Facere Mortis, the sword simply glows red and does more damage. On the Damocles, the sword spouts static electricity and makes enemies explode in a shower of gibs, while igniting anything nearby.
  • Half-Life
    • The pistol in Half-Life 2 had a charged attack that caused rapid fire; it was actually a bug, which was removed in Half-Life 2: Deathmatch and, much later, also removed from the original game as part of the Orange Box/Mac port.
    • The Tau Cannon from Half-Life - the primary fire shot quick blasts, while the secondary fire could be charged up. When charged, the thing could be used to take down helicopters. Just don't let it overcharge.
  • The Plasma pistol from the Halo games do this, activated by holding the primary trigger. The Halo 4 Boltshot and Halo 5: Guardians Incineration Cannon can also do this.
  • The DLC-only Geth Plasma Shotgun from Mass Effect 2 has a charge mode, although you have to be out of cover to charge it.
  • Mega Man (Classic) and Mega Man X are perhaps the iconic examples with their Arm Cannons.
  • Samus' arm cannon in Metroid.
  • The Phoenix Samurai in NightFire.
  • The Mauler energy pistol from Perfect Dark can automatically charge up when set in charge mode. It uses five rounds to become fully charged, and reloading would cause the charge to be wasted.
  • Your firearms in Rodina can fire rockets while holding alt-fire button.
  • Any ship from R-Type.
  • The Cow Mangler 5000 from Team Fortress 2 can fire a stronger blast that charges itself over a few seconds. It is triggered by the right mouse button, no less. The charged shot takes up the full clip, though, and the charging time is not variable.
  • Oddly enough, the shotgun analog in Tron 2.0.
  • The GES BioRifle in the Unreal series.

    Under/Overslung Weapons 
  • Aliens: the marines fire grenades and bullets. Ripley's duct-taped supergun also has a flashlight and flamethrower.
  • Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare and its sequels both have grenade launcher attachments to most of the game's assault rifles. Modern Warfare 2 and later also have a similar shotgun attachment.
  • Command & Conquer: Generals: Rangers can be upgraded to switch to flashbang grenades instead of firing assault rifles. Flashbangs deal high splash damage to infantry but fire slower and do nothing against vehicles and buildings, and instakill all infantry garrisoned in buildings (a remnant of the original mechanic in which enemy infantry could be stunned and captured).
  • In DOOM (2016), the Heavy Assault Rifle can be modded to fire miniature rockets. The Combat Shotgun also has a grenade launcher attachment. The Super Shotgun in DOOM Eternal gets a grappling hook attachment.
  • GURPS: Ultratech allows you to attach a grenade launching railgun to most two handed weapons. It only gets one shot, but still pretty awesome.
  • Half-Life
    • Half-Life had either an MP5 submachinegun or an M4 assault rifle (depending on whether or not you have the Hi-Def pack) equipped with an M203 grenade launcher. It was much more powerful and practical than the Half-Life 2 version; grenades were more common and you could carry ten of them instead of just three. They also arced less and dealt more damage.
    • The SMG in Half-Life 2. Unlike the standard grenades, these grenades explode on impact. They are also rather rare.
  • The Imperial Heavy Repeater of Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast and Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy replaces the tri-shot ability of the earlier model from previous games with what is, for all intents and purposes, the Star Wars equivalent of an M203 attached to an assault rifle.
  • The first Killzone game has underslung weapons on both assault rifle variants: the ISA rifle has a grenade launcher, while the Helghast rifle has a single-shot shotgun. The ISA chaingun also has an underslung rocket launcher.
  • Marathon's assault rifles always had a grenade launcher as an alt-fire.
  • In Metroid, Samus has a beam cannon as her primary weapon, and a rocket launcher secondary, which can be fired or switched to at the touch of a button. While it is slightly more powerful than a charge shot, missiles will open Red doors and kill certain enemies the charge attack cannot. As a drawback, missiles have a finite supply. Missiles themselves, in Super Metroid and Metroid: Zero Mission, can be switched between Regular and Super Missiles.
  • AIMS-20 in NightFire.
  • The stakegun in Painkiller. The minigun as well...except it's a ROCKET launcher instead.
  • The SuperDragon assault rifle from Perfect Dark has an underslung grenade launcher that can hold six rounds per clip. Zero's MAC-16 carries on this feature as well.
  • The K-8 Krukov from Saints Row: The Third comes with a grenade launcher when fully upgraded.
  • In Serious Sam II, secondary fire, with the exception of sniper rifle, throws grenades.
  • The UT2003-04 assault rifle has an underslung grenade launcher.
  • Wolfenstein: The New Order features an underslung drum-fed rocket launcher that can be attached to the Assault Rifle.
  • In Planet Mercenary weapons with the Variable Ammunition quality have at least two different firing modes, most notably the Strohl G/G (Gauss / Gunfoam) series. The Underslung Launcher quality is needed for grenades and similar explosives.

    Melee Combat 
  • The Half-Life mod-turned-standalone horror game Cry of Fear handles weapons much the same.
  • In Dark Watch, a vampire/western shooter, all weapons have a bladed or piercing end somewhere that can be used as a powerful melee attack.
  • E.Y.E: Divine Cybermancy features the PSI-strike ability - when holding sprint while holding any two-handed weapon, you raise your hand up and blast any nearby enemies with an Hand Blast, gibbing anything it hits. The player can also block incoming bullet by holding sprint and holding the Zoom/block key; you will raise up your weapon towards you torso, using its size to protect you. The protection varies by weapon, so a tiny pistol won't do crap, but holding up the Sulfatum minigun to your chest will prevent most bullets from hitting your torso.
  • Although definitely not the first game to do this, Halo: Combat Evolved and its sequels certainly popularized it.
  • In Left 4 Dead, the usual "secondary fire" button is used for melee attacks. However, when holding a healing item in front of a teammate, it allows to heal him instead of yourself. This can lead to amusement when the healer doesn't have the teammate correctly centred in their view, and appears to be brutally clubbing them with a first aid kit.
  • Several pistols in Perfect Dark that don't have a unique secondary mode gives a Pistol Whip as their secondary. The Tranquilizer has a "Lethal Injection" which is also a melee attack as you have to be right up against the target to use — the Tranquilizer's normal mode can shoot from a distance to make the target woozy.
  • Team Fortress 2 succeeds in Inverting this one. The Scout's main Melee weapon is a Baseball Bat. Two of his alternate bats can hit projectiles (Baseballs that Stun, and Ornaments that inflict Bleeding). One of the Scout's primaries, the Shortstop, provides a straighter example by letting him reach out and shove enemies away from him, possibly into an environmental hazard.
  • TimeSplitters Future Perfect has this for most if not all weapons.
  • TRON 2.0 has this for the Disc type weapons, as well as the block, which can deflect other discs
  • Every gun can be used to make a melee attack in World War I shooter Verdun, and several roles have a bayonet attached to their rifle (and in one case to their Webley revolver) which allows for one-hit-kills. Otherwise the melee attack involves bashing with the butt of the weapon and two hits to kill.
  • The Panthera from Warframe is a sawblade gun whose secondary fire makes sawblades levitate in front of its barrel, functioning as a chainsaw of sorts. It still consumes ammo this way, but only when dealing damage.

  • In DOOM (2016), the Heavy Assault Rifle can be modded with a tactical scope, which allows it to be used as a DMR. The Gauss Cannon can also be modded with a scope, and it charges up as you do so.
  • All hunter guns in Evolve, with the exception of Renegade Abe's shotgun.
  • Most weapons in E.Y.E: Divine Cybermancy can zoom in, causing you to use the iron-sights along with projecting a virtual crosshair ahead of the ironsights. The S6000 assault rifle has two levels of zoom - a cybernetically enhanced zoom, and another level of zoom which activates a self-powered EYE vision, highlighting all non-metastreumonic enemies.
  • Half-Life:
    • Secondary fire activates the laser sight for the rocket launcher and, in Opposing Force, the Desert Eagle. This didn't zoom in but it did let you guide launched missiles and made the Desert Eagle more accurate, the latter in return for firing slightly slower.
    • The crossbow featured in both games had a zoom effect. The .357 featured a zoom in as well if cheats were enabled. Half-Life 2 in itself also has an unrelated zoom function as a part of the HEV suit, though it isn't meant for use in combat - you are prevented from firing while zoomed in this manner, requiring quick release-and-press of the or scripting trickery to simulate a universal weapon zoom with it and a weapon that's already accurate to get any use out of it anyway.
  • Halo 5: Guardians adds the Smart-Scope feature to the Halo series, allowing all weapons to be zoomed in.
  • The left trigger does this for every weapon in Mass Effect
  • Nexuiz has its Railgun/Sniper Rifle hybrid, the Nex, with the secondary being a zoom scope.
  • Perfect Dark has special zoom features for a few of its weapons' secondary attacks:
    • While weapons with scopes could activate their zoom with the R-button, the secondary mode for the AR-34 and Sniper Rifle is a permanent zoom that allows lateral movement by the wielder when active as holding down the R-button turned the joystick (which normally controlled your lateral movement) into a targeting reticle which meant you couldn't move while aiming.
    • The Farsight could not only let you see and shoot through walls, the secondary function caused you to automatically track onto the the closest target.
  • Team Fortress 2: The Sniper's various rifles use the secondary fire to scope in, allowing them to inflict critical headshots and charge up for bonus damage.
  • A nerfed version of the Farsight also appears in TimeSplitters Future Perfect, a Spiritual Successor to Perfect Dark.
  • Warframe features a handful of sniper rifles, each including multiple zoom levels granting varying headshot bonus to damage or Critical Hit chance.

    Spinning Up Barrels 
  • The Death Machine from Call of Duty: Black Ops and Call of Duty: Black Ops II is a minigun given to you from Care Packages (in Black Ops 2, it is rewarded when a certain number of points is received), and when you try to aim down the sights, it will instead spin the barrels. Same for the mounted miniguns in the Modern Warfare games.
  • DOOM (2016) has the Chaingun able to be spun up. While this allows it to immediately start rapid-fire, it takes longer to reach its full DPS than firing normally. Crosses over with Charge Attack, since its Master upgrade channels some of its waste heat into the firing chamber, allowing it to fire superheated bullets once it hits maximum rotation. Seeing as it doesn't slow you down to spin the Chaingun up however, there really isn't a downside to it.
  • Perfect Dark's Reaper can do this, both to spin up early to get bullets out faster and grind up close-range enemies with the various blades attached to it.
  • The Autocannon from Singularity must be spun up with the iron sight button to fire.
  • The minigun from Syndicate needs time to spin up before it can fire.
  • The Heavy Weapons Guy from the Team Fortress games can spin up his minigun in order to fire when he was ready, at the cost of movement speed.
  • Both TimeSplitters 2 and Future Perfect had miniguns that had spinning barrels as secondary fire, at the cost of making the gun overheat faster. 2 had it worse, since if you overused this function then it triggered a sound glitch that caused the sounds of the barrel to persist throughout the entire match.

    Related but Different 
  • In many games where you control tanks, noticeably in Mass Effect and Halo: Combat Evolved, one button will use a machine gun turret mounted on the tank, while the other will fire the tank's artillery canon.
  • Commandand Conquer Generals: The GLA's Scud Launcher launches high-explosive missiles against vehicles and structures and persistent anthrax clouds against infantry.
  • DOOM (2016) 's plasma rifle has two: a "stun bomb" plasma bolt that creates a shockwave of electricity, and a weaponized cooling vent that acts like a slowly-charging shotgun. DOOM Eternal replaces the stun bomb with a lock-on energy beam that literally cooks the victim until it violently explodes. The chaingun also has the ability to split into three or four miniguns, multiplying its damage output but causing it to overheat and stall if fired for too long (until the weapon's been mastered), or deploy an energy shield.
  • In Evolve, Renegade Abe's shotgun will empty all loaded ammunition in a single slug.
  • Half-Life series:
    • The first game's shotgun alt-fires both barrels at once. Which is funny, since it's not a double barreled shotgun. On the Real Life SPAS-12 the in-game shotgun is supposed to be, the "second barrel" is in fact the tube magazine.
    • In Half-Life 2, hand grenades can be thrown overhand with the primary fire button or tossed underhand with the secondary. If you're crouching while tossing them underhand, you'll roll them along the floor.
    • The pheropod's secondary effect is "come here, antlions". As opposed to "go over there, antlions", which is what you'll do far more often.
  • Dark Forces Saga: the Wookiee Bowcaster appears in most of the games, and has a secondary fire that shoots a bouncing projectile that deflects off walls - this can prove just as dangerous to Kyle as to his enemies.
    • Jedi Knight: Dark Forces II: the Rail Detonator's rockets can be fired to stick to something and wait for a moment before exploding.
    • Jedi Outcast: the Merr-Sonn PLX-2M rocket launcher has a homing rocket mode. Point the gun at an enemy, let it lock on, then fire and forget.
  • The Judge Dredd movie's Lawgiver pistols had multiple voice-selectable alt fires. Standard, rapid fire, 'double whammy' (two shots at once at different targets), armor piercing and flares. This is also true for the original comic, the 2012 movie and the licensed games.
  • Killzone:
    • The ISA rocket launcher can either dead-fire a rocket or shoot a laser-guided projectile.
    • The grenade launcher normally shoots projectiles that detonate on impact, but its secondary firing mode converts its grenades into proximity mines.
  • Several of Nexuiz's weapons, such as the Electro (primary: a bolt; secondary: a bouncing ball) and the Crylink (primary: shotgun-like spread; secondary: horizontal line spread).
  • Some of the more unique secondary modes for weapons in Perfect Dark fall under this category:
    • The Shotgun has a double blast mode (it's single-barrelled, but fires twice).
    • The Phoenix fires two completely different types of shot using the same ammo (laser vs. explosives).
    • The Callisto NTG's High-Impact Shells are more powerful and can shoot through walls but has a slower firing rate compared to its primary mode.
    • The handheld Crossbow has two different types of darts; ones tipped with sedatives are standard while ones tipped with deadly poison are available as a secondary. This is more important for the single-player campaign, as killing unrelated bystanders is an automatic mission failure.
    • The Laptop Gun can be thrown and deployed as a sentry, which will fire autonomously at any detected enemies that come within line of sight. Throwing it also takes 200 rounds from your ammo stockpile (thankfully your total cap is 800).
    • The RCP-120's secondary mode turns the user invisible by using its ammo (at a very rapid rate, so make sure you're well-stocked before engaging it).
    • The hand-thrown Grenade's secondary activates Pinball Mode, which makes it the world's deadliest superball as it bounces lively off the floors and walls until it detects a target close enough and explodes — which could include you. If the other players didn't Rage Quit on you for including such a random, chaotic weapon in a multiplayer game, you would learn quickly to fear the high-pitched pinging of a Pinball Mode grenade bouncing your way.
    • The Devastator Grenade Launcher normally shoots grenade rounds that detonate on impact, but its secondary mode temporarily activates a magnet embedded in the rounds that allows it to cling onto the surface of a wall or ceiling for several seconds before dropping down and exploding.
    • The Rocket Launcher's secondary allows the user to lock onto a target before firing — though the rocket launched is slower, it will hone in on the target. The Slayer rocket launcher is similar, except its secondary is a fly-by-wire mode meaning using it put you in a remote camera view of the rocket itself that you can steer where you like towards your target.
    • Zero's standard-issue Falcon has a secondary mode where you could pull out the entire magazine and throw it on the ground, where it would set off like a firecracker as a distraction. The DY357 Magnum could also mislead enemies relying on sound to figure out your position with its Decoy Shot, which will fire a silent shot at a wall before detonating after several seconds.
  • Red Faction has a few examples:
    • One rather bizarre one is the sub-machine gun, which is effectively two entirely separate automatic weapons bolted together. Primary fire uses the same rounds as the pistol but at a much higher rate, whilst the secondary trigger fires the same rounds as the assault rifle, only with half the magazine size and not as accurately. Even the bots in multiplayer appeared to think the latter function was completely pointless.
    • The same game gives us a number of less memorable examples. The assault rifle and shotgun both have the option of burst or fully automatic fire (the shotgun works a bit like the option for twin-linked or alternating fire for certain weapons in Descent), the rocket launcher can be either dumb-fired or homing, and the grenade can be set to either a four-second timer or impact fusing. Another slightly odd one is the flamethrower, whose fuel tank can be unscrewed and thrown to act like a Molotov Cocktail when it hits. Even for a Mega-Corp whose lousy safety record is actually a plot point, that makes very little sense.
  • The Pyro's Flamethrower in Team Fortress 2 has a secondary fire that shoots a burst of compressed gas to push back people, extinguish burning teammates and deflect projectiles: it uses the same ammo counter as the flamethrower's flames, costing 20 ammo per burst.
  • A few of the weapons from Unreal function this way.
    • The Flak Cannon normally fires a burst of flak, and the secondary fire just spits out the shell without breaking it up (like a grenade).
    • The Stinger normally fires a stream of shards and the secondary fire spits out a bunch at once (like a shotgun).
  • In Unreal II: The Awakening:
    • The standard assault rifle's alt-fire mode uses the primary ammo to launch a cluster of shards that initially acts like a shotgun slug if it hits an enemy. If the slug hits something that isn't an enemy (like the floor or a wall) then the shards ricochet off on their own.
    • Similarly, the altfire for the aptly named Hydra grenade launcher didn't do anything except cycle ammo. However, if you held the primary fire down before launching, it'd engage a time delay fuse for the grenades rather than a standard impact fuse. Then there's the flamethrower, which spewed out unstable, unlit fuel so you could make traps - though it'd spontaneously combust anyway if left for too long.
  • Unreal Tournament did this for a few of its guns, too. The Shock Rifle is the example for this type of secondary fire above, but the Pulse/Link Gun was another one: primary fired plasma shots, secondary emitted a mid-range beam. Enters into tertiary-fire territory with the Link Gun from 2003 onwards, where you can use secondary fire to link up with teammates to boost the power of their Link Guns.
  • In StarCraft, the Terran Siege Tank can unfold into a howitzer battery, swapping its twin-linked 30mm Plasma Cannon with a massive "Arclite Shock Cannon," which more than doubles its attack power, at the cost of giving it an Arbitrary Weapon Range and rooting it in place. In the original, it's two guns crammed into the same turret, but in the sequel, the two smaller cannons unfold into one big one.
  • In StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm, the Terran Hellion attack buggy gains the ability to swap between its fast, long-ranged ATV mode and its slower, shorter-ranged Mini-Mecha Hellbat form. It uses the exact same flamethrower, it just rapidly oscilates it back and forth to make it hit in a cone rather than a long line.

    Completely Unrelated 
  • In Gundam F90's model design series, the F 90 II Long Range Type carries a long-barreled rifle that switches between firing solid shells or beam blasts; both modes are effectively Humongous Mecha-scale sniper rifles.
  • The Overwatch rifle in Half-Life 2, which alt-fires disintegraty energy ball thingies. Could be vaguely considered a grenade due to its one-hit kill nature.
  • Painkiller plays this trope to the hilt, and then a bit farther: each weapon has two modes of fire, each drawing from a unique ammunition pool (exception: the rocket launcher and grenade launcher both draw from the same pool.) Additionally, it gives some weapons a third mode that can be used by combining the existing two modes — for example, if you use the Painkiller's primary fire (spinning blades) then hit the secondary fire (launching the blades) you get spinning blades flying through the air. And it is awesome.
  • Perfect Dark had some secondary modes that weren't related to the weapon's main function.
    • The Dragon has a sneaky surprise for its secondary fire, as it lets you throw it on the ground and activate a proximity mine. Very useful against ammo campers. Zero's UGL Liberator submachine gun also has this feature.
    • Zero's secondary fire for the KSI-74 is the ability to fire the bayonet mounted under the barrel at the target.
  • Team Fortress 2 usually uses the secondary fire as a complement to the weapon (zoom the sniper rifle, detonate remote mines, spin up the minigun, etc.), but a couple are used to activate very different effects. The Engineer has a wrench that can teleport him back to spawn and a shotgun that lets him pick up his sentry at long distance.
  • Warhammer 40,000 has this with the Space Marines Combi-weapon which combines the standard bolter with either a flamer, plasma gun or a meltagun. Though these extra weapons only have one shot (which the player can use whenever he wants) and will for the rest of the game count as an ordinary bolter.
  • Wolfenstein: The New Order has a couple of examples of this. The automatic shotgun can swap between regular shells and shrapnel rounds that can bounce off of solid obstructions. Meanwhile, the AR Marksman is normally a sniper rifle, but can flip its scope off to the side to convert into a laser assault rifle.
  • The Covert Ops DLC campaign for StarCraft II has the "Magrail Munitions" upgrade, wich gives Nova's Black-Ops Marauders a railgun cannon that triggers every 20 seconds and does 30 damage.

    Multiple / Uncategorized 
  • SCP: Secret Laboratory: By default, the .44 Revolver will fire after holding left-click for a tenth of a second. Middle-clicking will cock the hammer, making the next shot much more accurate.
  • The Gravity Gun in Half-Life 2 onward doesn't have a primary and secondary fire in the strictest sense — you need both of them more or less equally — but assigns throwing things to the primary fire button and pulling them in to the secondary.
  • Some Half-Life mods followed the trope as well. The Specialists was a mod that focused on stylish, action-movie style gameplay. Some guns had scopes. With guns akimbo, your secondary fire button shot the other gun. Then, there were some secondary fire modes that just changed how you held the gun, to no benefit other than the obvious.
  • Eternal Darkness features an OICW in the second to last level. The rifle portion can be switched between semi-auto, burst and fully automatic fire, and it is also underslung on a semi-automatic grenade launcher.
  • In Diamonds Are Forever, James Bond used his Walther PPK to attach a cable to a building from a distance.
  • Zorg's gun in The Fifth Element. This had standard bullets, rockets, net launchers, liquid nitrogen, flamethrowers... and the little red button on the bottom of the gun.
  • BioShock effectively goes the mode-selector route by giving guns different ammo options, some with widely varying effects. For example, the chemical thrower in the original game fires napalm, liquid nitrogen, and electric gel.
  • Dead Space handles it well with every gun having two firing options, including explosive grenades and room-clearing circular attacks. In the third game, due to overhauling the weaponry system and replacing it with a crafting mechanic, you can have nearly any weapon as your guns secondary fire. However, there are a few weapons (like the Hydraulic Engine) that are secondary-fire only.
  • Blood. The secondary fire options for various weapons included: starburst incendiary flares for the flare gun, a shot from both barrels at once for the sawed-off shotgun, a strafing fire for the Tommy gun, lighting then tossing the flammable spray cans, the ball of lighting for the Tesla cannon, and ripping the head off a Voodoo doll (a very powerful attack, but renders the doll useless).
    • Later patches and/or expansion packs also added a devastating attack for the Napalm Launcher and the ability to drop the Soul Leech on the ground so it could act as a sentry gun. Blood was also one of the first shooters that featured secondary fire.
    • Blood 2 continued on the fine tradition, and even included and alternate attack for the melee weapon; a slow but powerful reverse-grip slash.
  • Star Wars: Dark Forces was one of the first FPSes to have this. Every weapon had a secondary fire mode, including rapid fire modes, cluster-firing modes for weapons with multiple barrels, alternate detonation options for grenades/mines, and a rocket-launcher option for the Dark Trooper weapon.
    • Naturally, every weapon save lightsabers and generic explosives from the Jedi Knight games also had a secondary fire function that fulfilled one of the types above.
    • The Wookiee crossbow in particular included a Charged Attack with its primary firing mode, and its secondary fire was a projectile that could rebound off of walls.
    • Perhaps lazy programming or a lampshade hanging, in Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy, toggling a console command changed Force Lightning into a flamethrower.
    • The lightsaber actually did get a secondary fire in Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast: the Saber Throw power.
  • Every weapon in the Unreal series. This also extends to vehicles and mod weapons.
  • A rare RTS example: Command & Conquer: Red Alert 2, which had a love affair with letting units deploy to unleash a secondary, related attack (usually requiring them to remain stationary). For example, the Desolator unit's normal attack was a radiation gun capable of wiping out individual infantry, but it could also deploy to poison its entire surroundings and kill many more infantry and even other ground units like tanks.
    • Red Alert 3 takes this even further; almost every unit has a secondary mode. For the Japanese units, this may even be as drastic as transforming into an aircraft and back again.
  • Another RTS example is Ground Control II, where every single unit (except for the deployable turrets and radars) had two modes. Those varied from switching between a tank's machine gun and cannon, having infantry kneel down and pull out anti-tank weapons, disabling a unit's weapons to boost speed or health regeneration, to deploying a tank's side armor, making it vulnerable in the sides and rear but almost impervious in the front, and giving cover to nearby vehicles.
  • Marathon was perhaps the first to do this, with dual-wielding pistols/shotguns, a fusion pistol (with the option of charging up for more powerful shots or autofire), an assault rifle/grenade launcher, and a rapid-fire alien weapon that could fire straight ahead, at 45 degree angles, or both at the same time.
    • Narrowly beaten by the original System Shock, which featured multiple ammo types and sliders to select the power output of energy weapons.
  • System Shock 2 - the only weapons that didn't have multiple firing modes and/or ammo were the melee ones. Most of the modes were a choice between more power/accuracy or More Dakka.
  • Clive Barker's Jericho has Black's sniper rifle, which fires grenades on alt fire instead of firing a second weapon as it does with everyone else.
  • Gunman Chronicles. Every gun had a whole menu to configure it.
    • The pistol could be switched between laser beam, rapidfire energy orb, high-power energy orb, and sniper laser.
    • The shotgun could adjust the number of shells per shot and spread.
    • The machinegun could be switched between semiauto rifle and rotary machinegun modes.
    • The rocket launcher... oh god.
      • The payload can be explosive or cluster.
      • The detonation can be on impact, with or without timer, on proximity, or on tripping a laser beam after impaling the warhead in a wall.
      • The rockets can be launched dumb, spiralling, guided or homing
    • The grenades are cannibalised rockets, so they have most of the above settings.
    • The toxic gun can fire a variable mix of acid (which damages organic targets), base (which damages mechanical targets) and neutral (which keeps a mixture of the above two from exploding in your face).
  • It may not be an FPS, but Valkyria Chronicles gave some of its classes a secondary fire. Scouts could be upgraded to have grenade launchers attached to their rifles (given that they have hand grenades anyway, this is mostly a range upgrade) and Stormtroopers could be upgraded to have flame throwers attached to their machine guns.
  • The Gears of War games have a gun with a fucking chainsaw attached to it.
  • The .45 blaster used by Deckard in Blade Runner is hypothesised to be a two-barrelled beast, the lower barrel being a standard pistol, and the upper barrel firing a special, more powerful round. The fact it has two triggers (and is therefore twice as awesome) would support this.
  • Every weapon in Flying Heroes has a secondary fire. These are always at least somewhat related to the weapon's primary fire — for instance, the secondary fire for the tier 5 weapons (which ordinarily fire homing rockets) shoots a manually-guided rocket. The secondary fire is the same for most weapon tiers of each clan, but certain clans get specialized secondary fires that play to the clan's theme — for instance, while the secondary fire for other clans' tier 1 weapons is just a more powerful version of the primary attack, the Magion's tier 1 can sap mana from nearby enemies.
  • Jak and Daxter: Jak's Morph Gun and Gunstaff can be used to smack people around and combining them with a jumping spin-kick can increase their rate of fire.
  • Dystopia contains all versions except for an unrelated secondary:
    • The Laser Rifle, MK 808, and Ion Cannon all zoom in.
    • The Assault Rifle zooms and goes to burst mode.
    • The Bolt Gun and Grenade Launcher detonate their respective projectiles.
    • The Tesla Rifle, instead of shooting lightning like the primary fire, charges and slings ball lightning.
    • The Basilisk (autoshotgun BFG) shoots a grenade.
    • The Rocket Launcher shoots in Fly-by-Wire mode.
    • The Smartlock Pistols shoot a tracer round and lock on.
    • The Shotgun fires two barrels.
    • The Minigun spins up.
    • The Katana blocks incoming Katanas.
  • The Brutal DOOM Mod for Doom features alt-fire for all but excluding the chainsaw, BFG, rocket launcher, Mancubi flame cannon and the Revenant rocket launcher.
    • The fists throws a slower but more potent right hook.
    • The assault rifle, shotgun and Nazi MP-40 features iron sights.
    • The super shotgun can fire one barrel at a time instead of both.
    • The minigun winds up.
    • The grenade launcher fires delayed, bouncing grenades instead of the impact fuse variants.
    • The plasma rifle shoots a shotgun like blast (Note that the blast isn't dependent on how long the trigger is held down, it just seems like it's charging).
    • The railgun zooms in.
  • The Resistance series loves this trope. Literally every single weapon has a secondary fire, which fall into all the categories above.
  • As does the earlier Star Trek: Elite Force series, with most of the guns falling into the related-but-different format, but the second game includes at least one example from every category.
  • Every mech in Hawken has a secondary weapon, and almost all of those secondary weapons have unique functions. Sometimes it's as simple as zooming in - other times, it can be more interesting.
    • The Corsair-KLA acts as a Grenade Launcher normally, but its altfire toggles it into a Short-Range Shotgun with a spray of explosive shot. Altfire toggles back to Launcher mode.
    • The EOC Predator fires out remotely-detonated explosive charges. Altfire detonates the charges.
    • The Grenade Launcher launches grenades. They bounce or explode on contact with a mech, but can be remotely detonated after launch using the altfire key.
    • The Helix Repair Torch normally repairs allies, but altfire toggles it into leeching health from enemies. Either way, the Technician also regenerates when using it on a valid target.
    • The Hellfire Missiles can be blindfired in a pinch, but they work best if you hit altfire to scan for a target first for a Missile Lock-On.
    • The KE-Sabot and Sabot Rifle zoom in, increasing their accuracy. Nice and simple.
    • The SAARE Launcher acts as a Grenade Launcher that consumes your mech's heat in order to fire. Altfire toggles it into firing more larger, more powerful grenades that require more heat.
    • The TOW Launcher fires a powerful, hard-hitting rocket. Hitting the altfire or trigger again will detonate the rocket in mid-air.
  • DRL has this in spades, for almost every weapon available, and sometimes even alternate reloads. Let's see:
    • Pistol have an "aimed shot", giving a significant accuracy bonus at the cost of double recovery time. Great for finishing wounded enemies, since the recovery time comes into play after the shot.
    • Double shotguns will fire only a single shell as a secondary fire.
    • Rapid-fire weapons (chaingun and plasma rifle as the most accessible examples) have chainfire as a sustained secondary fire - on the first, "warm-up" turn the weapon spits 66% of normal count of projectiles, the normal count on the second turn and 150% on the third and each subsequent turn. The player can even switch targets without breaking chainfire, but depending on the original and next target's angular distance, a bullet or two may go to waste (or into the body of some really unhappy enemy in the arc of fire). Doubles up as means of conserving ammo against weak targets, which the player may be able to kill with just one or two bullets.
    • Even the lowly combat knife can be thrown, either for softening up enemies before they come into melee range (if you have more than one), or for destroying barrels in the player's path.
    • And finally, pretty much every exotic or unique weapon has some sort of secondary fire, all the way up to nuking the whole level, destroying the weapon in the process (and the player as well, if he isn't prepared).
  • Every single weapon in Star Trek Online. Ranged weapons have a standard attack, an alternate attack (varies by type — sniper weapons have a kind of charge attack, for instance) and a melee attack (usually just hitting the enemy with the butt of the gun), melee weapons gets three types of melee attacks.
  • In Perfect Dark, even your fists have a secondary fire — if you don't want to knock the enemy out with "Punch", you can instead steal their weapons with "Disarm". Though in the story mode, this usually knocks them out anyway.
  • In Warhammer 40,000: Inquisitor Martyr, each gun has four attacks. Usually, single-shot and burst fire are bound to the left and right mouse button, and then the 1 and 2 keys have a Related but Different attack each. The exception is the Autogun class, which has a burstfire primary and a full-auto secondary. Certain attacks also have the "Compression" rule, which allows them to make a Charged Attack.
  • Borderlands, as of Borderlands 3, has literally ALL of these, except for Spinning Up Barrels.
    • Weapons can spawn with a bayonet, which increases melee damage when equipped.
    • All weapons can zoom in, which causes you to aim down sights. Depending on the scope (and in 3, the manufacturer), you'll get a different looking crosshair.
    • Dahl weapons can switch between semi-auto and burst fire. In previous entries this was done on ADS, in 3 and later you can switch at will with the press of a button.
    • All Maliwan weapons in 3 need to be charged before firing.
    • All Vladof weapons in 3 have some kind of underbarrel attachment, ranging from a taser to micro-rockets to an attached shotgun.

Alternative Title(s): Alt Fire, Alternate Fire