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Metro Exodus’ Tikhar air rifle: you’re going to need to know how to keep that pressure gauge pumped up.

Much like charging the battery for Arytom’s flashlight, there’s a somewhat funky control mechanism to pump the Tikhar air rifle in Metro Exodus.

Quite why we can’t learn from the accessibility issues of other games – like when Josh Straub, editor-in-chief of disabled gaming website DAGER System, couldn’t complete Uncharted 2 due to the trend for button-mashing to complete actions – and stick with simple control schemes is beyond us. But while developers insist on coming up with weird and wacky ways to replace simple button presses, some of you are going to need articles like this to explain.

So in case you missed it, here’s how to pump the Tikhar air rifle in Metro Exodus.

Pumping the Tikhar air rifle

First of all, you’ll need the Tikhar air rifle equipped. Obviously. These button presses will do something entirely different if you’re not holding that pneumatic rifle.

So, press and hold the reload button. Not a quick press – that will reload the pellets in the Tikhar – but press and hold it, and don’t let go. That’s ‘Square’ on PS4, ‘X’ on Xbox One, and the ‘R’ key on PC (if you’re using the default key bindings).

While still holding down the reload button, you’ll then need to pump the fire button. That’s the right trigger on PS4 and Xbox One, or the left mouse button on PC. And by pump we mean press the button lots of times really quickly. Yes, we know, accessibility be damned.

As you do that, you’ll see the needle of the air pressure gauge on the TIkhar air rifle climb. When it gets to around midnight or one on the clock face, stop pumping.

Over-pumping the Tikhar air rifle

If you over-pump the Tikhar air rifle in Metro Exodus, you’re going to have a bad time.

Obviously not having any pressure in the rifle is bad. You’ll find the pellets dribble out of the end of the barrel with little force, with range and stopping power dropping the lower the gauge gets. No pressure means no power. It’s a fairly simple equation.

But if you over-pump the Tikhar air rifle, that’s also bad. If the pressure is overloaded – that’s in the red area of the gauge, over towards the three o’clock area – then range and power won’t be an issue, but accuracy definitely will be. You’ll find that shots squirt out wildly, and if the pressure is maxed out, they can ping off in random directions.

In short, the Tikhar air rifle in Metro Exodus is a bit like Goldilocks and her porridge: you need to get it just right.

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