The lasers serve as the targeting system for all weapons in the Dead Space series, and have a different appearance for each weapon's firing mode. The lasers will change in length and size according to the distance from the user to the nearest acquired target for increased accuracy.
Dead Space 2 introduces a new aiming system similar to the targeting reticules found in common shooters that, while still retaining lasers, affixes them to the center of the screen (hence the "center" aiming mode) which prevents Isaac from veering his aim off-target when he turns to the sides. The original aiming type can be toggled in the settings menu which also brings back the traditional laser sights in the place of the new reticles.
Weapons in Dead Space 3 features multiple kinds of laser targets that are unique to certain types of tools and tips. Turning on the "classic" aiming mode again reintroduces the original lasers, while vastly increasing the player's aiming and turning speed. "Classic" aiming is always on during Classic mode.
The color of the laser also indicates the player's current ammo status: blue when full to medium, orange when low and red when depleted.
- It is never explained how and from where the lasers operate as, judging by the shape and positioning of the lasers, they seem to come directly out of the barrel of the equipped weapon and do not disappear even when firing. Also how the lasers are activated upon aiming is unclear, as the weapon users do not seem to operate any kind of mechanism to produce them.
- Some NPCs have lasers coming out of their weapons when firing at the player and Necromorphs, such as the members of the Unitologist Circle and most EarthGov personnel, though the lasers are absent during most cinematics. NPC lasers are colored blue (Dead Space 2) and bright orange (Dead Space 3).