What are Apex’s new laser sights and why do they matter?

The better to see you with, my dear.

Image via Respawn Entertainment

In season 14, Apex Legends is receiving a new attachment in the form of a barrel mod. Known as laser sights, this new attachment was designed specifically for SMGs and pistols. Developer Respawn Entertainment specifically created laser sights to address some of their concerns, particularly in late-game, small-ring environments and close-quarters fights.

The dev team doesn’t add weapons, attachments, and other lootable items to the game’s battle royale mode without a good reason. Alongside the attachment’s announcement, we learned about Respawn’s goal for its use and why they added it to an already packed floor loot pool.

What are laser sights?

Laser sights are an epic-rarity attachment for SMGs and pistols that grant a large hipfire spread reduction. They’re essentially the opposite of barrel stabilizers, which offer reduced recoil, particularly when aiming down sights. Despite laser sights’ name, they don’t actually include an optic for the weapon; instead, it adds a colored laser to the underside of your gun’s barrel. The color of the laser can be customized in the game’s settings as an accessibility aid.

Why do laser sights matter?

Respawn shared that laser sights serve several purposes within the wider game. One of the development team’s biggest goals for season 14 was to further emphasize and differentiate each weapon category from every other to make each group of weapons feel unique. Rather than blending together, the team wants assault rifles, SMGs, pistols, shotguns, sniper rifles, LMGs, and marksman weapons to feel variable and different from each other.

Laser sights help with this by pulling pistols and SMGs away from LMGs and assault rifles, their closest cousins. Allowing all four weapon categories to use barrel stabilizers was starting to make things blend together, particularly because all four categories contain auto-fire guns. With the addition of laser sights on pistols and SMGs, those two categories are now better at very close-range fights, while the recoil reduction granted by barrel stabilizers make LMGs and assault rifles better for longer short- to mid-range fights.

This emphasis on close-range fights with laser sights is another important reason for its inclusion. Earlier in the game, sniper rifles and other long-range weapons are more useful; as the ring continues to close, close-range weapons become much more effective. When taking on these frantic final ring fights, it isn’t always practical or smart to aim down sights at enemies, making some of the benefits of barrel stabilizers useless on short-range guns like SMGs and pistols.

Respawn’s secondary goal with laser sights was to make that recoil reduction more usable at the very end of the game. Laser sights helps with this by providing a buff to recoil reduction, enabling players to stay on target during those late-game rings. This further serves to differentiate pistols and SMGs from other weapons and gives each category of weapon a time during the match when it’s most powerful. Combined with the return of Skullpiercer and Double Tap plus buffs to the EVA-8, the laser sights should make every step of the game feel more balanced and help every weapon feel more advantageous at specific times.