The Gatling gun, also known as the minigun and the chain gun, was first made in 1861 by Dr. Richard Jordan Gatling. Early versions were operated by a hand crank, although modern incarnations use a motor to spin the multiple barrels. Each barrel fires in sequence as it is rotated into position, allowing a higher rate of fire than would be possible with an ordinary single-barrel machine gun. When present in video games, it is generally one of the most powerful guns available.
Gatling guns exists in various forms they can have a single rotating barrel or multiple ones. They can also have 2 up to 10 and even more even if most of the times they uses 3 - 4 or 6 barrels. In games, they can be electrically powered, manual, powered by hydraulics, gasoline motor or steam powered. The mean used to make the rotor spin varies from the era context, and if the game attempts to simulate realism, sci fi or something more fantasist. These weapons have often the reputation to be overpowered since they are more commonly used in run n'gun shooters and in these games we can often defeat a whole army by emptying our ammo.
Use in Games
Man Portable Miniguns
Some games feature Gatling guns that the player can carry, usually called Miniguns, (In games though they are called Chainguns, Mechaguns, Rotary machine gun, Vulcan Gun, etc ... ). They are more likely to have limited ammo, and uses often large magazines / ammo boxes.
The way these guns play varies from game to game. Some miniguns increase the firing rate the longer that they are fired up until a maximum speed is reached In order to balance the gun with other guns, it may bring different disadvantages. Sometimes they encumber the player, slowing down their movement while they have the weapon in hands. They can also take a few seconds to spin up before it shoots. They can also overheat in some games.
Mounted Gatling guns usually have less encumbrance to the player and often have unlimited ammo, and even when the ammo is limited they rarely needs to be reloaded, they have an definite amount and that's all. The range may not be 360 degrees though, as some mounted guns cannot shoot directly behind them.
Miniguns in reality can't be used as man portable infantry weapon even if there was projects in attempt to do so, the American XM214 was an attempt for it. While the model can be carried with its ammo it was heavy and emptied too quickly its ammunition. Miniguns are medium machine guns which can be used on pods or mounted on vehicles, until further developments it's a mounted weapon