ADS is a term that holds great significance in gaming. If you’re unfamiliar with the jargon, ADS refers to bringing up a weapon’s sights for better aim and accuracy. 

It is generally present in modern First-Person Shooter games and is commonly used by gamers. If you’ve never heard of it before (and that’s probably why you’re here), here’s a quick guide for everything you need to know about ADS.

What does ADS stand for?

ADS stands for “Aim Down Sights,” called “iron sights.” This term is actively used in first-person shooter games, Call of Duty and Battlefield, although more games may still use this term.

This feature allows players to focus on their targets and deliver precise shots as their field of view is narrowed to focus on the target.

Note: Some MMO players use the term ADS to refer to enemies that are typically easy to kill, more like bots. But this usage of ADS is wrong; one should call those enemies “adds,” implying additional, bot-like players.

What is ADS in gaming and shooter games?

Aim Down Sight means aiming a weapon by looking through the sights or scope attached to it. Aiming through the scope provides a view of a specific area, so you can shoot far better than when hip-fired (we’ll discuss it later on).

It is intended to be used while focusing on an enemy at some considerable distance. This feature has changed gaming dynamics by forcing gamers to consider whether they need improved accuracy over quicker movement when engaging enemies.


The mechanics of ADS can vary from game to game, with some titles offering multiple levels of zoom or different types of sights for customization.

The reason it’s added to games is because it adds a touch of realism while operating weapons. This provides an immersive experience, and players adapt to real battle situations.

Games with ADS

Call of Duty creators became aware of the ADS trend and incorporated the term in the game, listing speeds of ADS with different weapons. While in VALORANT, ADS generally slows down players, encouraging hip fire in close combat.

Below are some more games that use Aim Down Sight feature:

  • Call of Duty: Modern Warfare
  • Red Dead Redemption II
  • COD Mobile
  • PUBG
  • Destiny II
  • Halo 5: Guardians
  • Counter-Strike
  • And many more

Importance of Aim Down Sights in gaming

ADS is quite essential in gaming. It maintains a balance between short-range and long-range players in multiplayer environments as it levels the playing field between aggressive rushers and more cautious tacticians who prefer precision over sheer firepower.

Think of it as a system where you sacrifice your time if you receive the advantage of firing precisely. Similarly, if you prefer to save time, you won’t be able to shoot as accurately as with ADS.

Aim Down Sight versus Hip Firing

ADS is mainly used when a player wants to shoot precisely from a far distance.

Players can also take advantage of the weapon’s inherent attributes, such as reduced recoil or increased damage output through ADS.

  • It involves lining up the sights of a firearm with the target.
  • Provides more accuracy and precision in shooting.
  • Long-range engagements oriented.
  • Requires taking time to aim and steady the weapon.
  • Often used when engaging enemies at a distance or using scopes/optics.

Hip firing, on the other hand, is firing without any form of aiming assistance from sights or scopes.


It is most effective when an enemy player is right before you and moving continuously to avoid your aim.

  • Shooting without aiming down the sights of a firearm.
  • Provides a broader field of view for quickly exploring potential targets.
  • Speed and mobility by sacrificing accuracy.
  • Commonly employed in close-quarters combat situations.
  • Relies on instinctive shooting and muscle memory rather than precise aiming.

When should you use ADS?

It all boils down to the method you’re playing with. Hip fire in very close combat and ADS in long-ranged battles is preferable.

Aim down sight helps you aim better in mid to long-range combats. Also, certain weapons are designed explicitly for ADS usage, for instance, sniper rifles. These land intended shots only when aimed down on a target.

Hip-firing should be a last resort for long distances because it’ll probably make you miss 90% of your shots.

When should you not use ADS?

Hip firing, instead of ADS, is recommended in close-quarters combat scenarios, such as tight corridors or when facing opponents at point-blank range.  This is because relying on hip-fire accuracy may be more effective than taking the time to aim down sights.

If the enemy in front of you is endlessly jumping around, hip fire is the only way, as ADS will not encompass all the areas to shoot your enemy.

Aim Down Sight provides increased accuracy and precision at the cost of reduced mobility, making it suitable for long-range engagements.  Hip-firing sacrifices accuracy in exchange for better maneuverability, which proves helpful in close-quarters battles where quick reactions are crucial.

Different games provide different options to set up ADS according to your preferences, so you can look settings up for individual games for a better overall gaming experience.

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