What Does ADS Mean In Gaming?

If you’ve recently begun playing a first-person shooter game, and it’s your first time ever playing one, then chances are you’ve been bombarded with a whole bunch of new terms and things to get used to very quickly!

What Does ADS Mean In Gaming?

First-person shooters are fast-paced games, so it’s important to try and match that speed when it comes to learning everything you can about them as much as possible! 

One of the terms that will likely come up a lot is the term “ADS”, so if you’re unsure what it means, and how it affects your gameplay, then read on through our guide in order to help you learn what it means! 

The Most Common “ADS” Meaning

Generally, the most common meaning for “ADS” in gaming is “Aim Down Sights”, which as you can imagine, is extremely commonplace in the world of first-person shooters.

ADS can be used in multiple different contexts too, as we’ll explore further now. 

The act of “Aiming Down Sight” is where the player presses a button in order for them to use the sights of the weapon before firing.

Typically, using the sights on your gun in a first-person shooter game is a surefire way to increase your accuracy when trying to shoot at your enemies, especially if they’re at a particularly larger distance. 

If your weapon has an optic sight or a scope on it, then aiming down sight for a prolonged period of time can sometimes be known as “Hardscoping”, but that’s a conversation for another time…

In the Call of Duty franchise, ADS is a term that has been picked up by the game and is used frequently in the descriptions of weapons.

Each weapon has its own unique ADS time, which is simply how long it takes between you pressing the button to aim down the sights, and your character lifting their weapon in order for you to actually use the sight. 

As you can imagine, heavier weapons, such as sniper rifles or heavy machine guns take a lot longer to aim down sight than a pistol or a submachine gun would, and is often something worth noting when it comes to building your class or loadout. 

The sluggish nature of some of these heavier weapons is why the game often offers different attachments for weapons that help to quicken the ADS time, which in turn means you can get the drop on your enemies and get them in your sights much quicker than they are able to get on you!

The other option for when you’re looking to shoot at your enemies is to “hip fire”, which is when your player is not aiming down sights and is instead holding their weapon at their hip.

This tends to mean that you’ll be able to fire quicker than your enemies faster than they’ll fire at you, but hip firing is incredibly inaccurate, so it’s perhaps best to save hip firing for when your target is right in front of you at close quarters! 

Hip Firing accuracy can also be aided greatly in some of the games throughout the Call of Duty franchise through the use of a laser sight, which helps you to see exactly where your gain is pointed, despite not aiming down the sight! 

It’s not just Call of Duty where aiming down sights can hinder the speed of your character being able to fire your weapon either, in games such as Battlefield, Valorant, and even select guns on CS:GO (Namely the snipers). 

So if you’re looking to try and master your craft in some of these games, then you should really take into account the aim down sight time on the weapons you plan on using if you’re going to have success in the game!

Alternative ADS Meaning?

Alternative ADS Meaning?

Aim Down Sight is the only meaning of ADS in gaming, however, there is often some question between the term ADS, and the term ADDS. 

The term ADDS originates from the MMO (Massively Multiplayer Online Game) community, and is often used to refer to enemies that are additional enemies that are spawned in throughout the duration of a boss fight, these enemies don’t tend to have any sort of feature or function in the larger scale of things throughout the boss fight, instead, they provide just more of a hindrance, and will often be added if a boss is rather simple to kill. 

When these types of enemies tend to spawn during the boss fight, it is someone’s job to call them out and to decide whether or not these additional enemies are worth relocating some resources in order for them to be killed or not. 

If left alive, these additional enemies could prove problematic to your team as you struggle against the bigger boss, but taking players away to fight the additional enemies could lead to you becoming distracted and prevent you from progressing through the mechanics of the boss fight, making the fight take longer, and meaning that your team is likely to run low on magic or stamina, and more susceptible to losing at the hands of the boss itself. 


To summarise, ADS is a term frequently used within the first-person shooter community and refers to the act of aiming down the sights of a weapon.

The time it takes to ADS is a hot topic of conversation, and a gun’s usefulness can sometimes entirely depend on how quickly you are able to ADS whilst using it, although this can easily be changed through the use of some attachments.

 Alternatively, you can hip fire your weapon if you feel like you don’t have time to ADS, and are willing to sacrifice some accuracy in return for getting the drop on your enemies. 

Just be sure not to get ADS confused with ADDS! Which is a term in the MMO community for additional enemies spawning in!

Ashley Newby