BioShock Wiki
BioShock Wiki

Ion laser weapon icon.png
The Thinker has taken note of your new toy. A firecracker before the eyes of God.
― Reed Wahl[src]

The Ion Laser is a new weapon introduced in the Minerva's Den narrative Downloadable Content for BioShock 2. It fires a beam of concentrated energy, dealing continuous damage. As with all weapons in the game, it has a quick-melee attack, during which Subject Sigma raises the gun and bashes the target with it.


  • Intensity Upgrade

The intensity upgrade increases the Damage output of the Ion Laser's beam.

This upgrade increases the damage dealt by the Ion Laser.

Ammo Types - Ion Laser[]

Laser Cell.png
  • Laser Cell - Base ammunition for the Ion Laser, each unit deals a small amount of piercing damage.
Thermal Cell.png
  • Thermal Cell - Uncommon ammunition for the Ion Laser, each unit deals a small amount of fire damage and ignites the target.
Burst Cell.png
  • Burst Cell - Rare ammunition for the Ion Laser, each unit deals a small amount of piercing damage. Capable of being charged up to expel a high-damage burst.

Ion Laser Ammo Capacity[]

Ammo Type Magazine Capacity (Base) Carry Capacity
Laser Cell 100 400
Thermal Cell 100 200
Burst Cell 100 200


  • The Ion Laser's pinpoint accuracy and lack of recoil allow the player to use this weapon even at long distances.
  • On the other hand, the weapon's pencil-thin beam makes it harder to hit moving targets. The best counter to this is to aim for the target's midsection and use stunning Plasmids (see below). Without the use of Plasmids, knowing the enemy's movement pattern is key.
  • Take cover when reloading, as the player will be left defenseless for over a second.
  • Avoid firing the weapon's Thermal Cell ammo continuously, as its main strength relies in its damage over time. Instead, fire a small burst of Thermal Cell ammo before switching to Laser Cells or Burst Cells.
  • Take cover when charging up a Burst Cell. Alternatively, stun the target with a Plasmid.
  • Lancers and Ion Laser Security Bots hold a great deal of Ion Laser ammunition, allowing the player to refill on Laser Cell and Thermal Cell ammo.
  • A fully charged Burst Cell blast, although powerful, burns through 50 Burst Cells. Since Burst Cells are rare and the player can only carry 200 at once, it is advised to save them for powerful enemies only.

Recommended Plasmids[]

  • Electro Bolt will lock the enemy in place, making it easier to hit them.
  • Incinerate! will deal damage over time, reducing the amount of ammunition needed to kill the target.
  • Winter Blast will stun the enemy for even longer, as well as increase their vulnerability to damage. However, if using Winter Blast 1 the enemy will shatter, leaving no loot.
  • Gravity Well will drag all nearby enemies towards the target area and prevent them from moving, letting the user pick them off with ease.

Recommended Tonics[]

  • The Armored Shell line of Tonics will reduce the amount of damage taken during fights, as enemies attacked by the Ion Laser will often fight back and injure the player.
  • Headhunter will allow the player to use the weapon's perfect accuracy to dispose of Splicers and Alpha Series even faster.
  • Walking Inferno will increase the damage output of the weapon's Thermal Cell ammunition.

Help Caption

Press _ to fire.

Press _ for a quick melee attack.

Fires a constant beam of laser light, good for cutting down individual targets.

Base ammo: Laser Cell -- Medium damage output.

Alternate ammo: Heat Cell -- Train on enemies or flammable objects to set them on fire.

Alternate ammo: Burst Cell -- Hold _ to fully charge, then release to unleash an extreme burst of damage. Shots released before being fully charged are ineffective.


Behind the Scenes[]

  • The term "laser" is an acronym for "LASER" (Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation), and was used as a common noun and adjective by one of its inventors, Gordon Gould, in 1959.[1] The term was commonly used for weapons in science fiction in the 60's, over the name "Ray Gun", which was known in novels in the 20's.
  • There exists an alternate help caption in the game file, listed below:
Ion Laser Damage Increase
A secondary lasing chamber amplifies the cutting power of the laser beam.


  1. Gordon Gould on Wikipedia