So I understand that if a gun has a Smartgun System installed then it can be connected to goggles/glasses with the Smartlink Vision Mod to grant +2 Accuracy and +1 Dice Pool bonus.

However the description of the Smartgun System also states that it can be used with a DNI an augmentation for which you paid essence to gain a +2 Dice Pool Bonus but it doesn't clarify (at least to my reading) whether this means the user has to have a Smartlink Vision Mod in their eyes (cyber or otherwise) or whether a Datajack alone will do the trick.

What exactly is needed to receive the +2 Dice Pool bonus?


3 Answers 3


To receive the +2 Dice Pool bonus, only Smartlink Vision Mod in their eyes and smartgun is necessary.

SR5 p. 433 :

A wireless smartlink provides a dice pool bonus to all attacks with the weapon: +1 if you’re using gear with a smartlink or +2 if you’re using an augmentation for which you paid Essence.

There is no reference to the DNI, only to the Essence

  • \$\begingroup\$ This seems the clearest answer so far (and the one I'm mostly likely to take) but I'm curious as whether it's ONLY the Smartlink Vision Mod that can grant this +2 bonus or whether other 'wares can provide the same effect which is why I mentioned the Datajack in my question. \$\endgroup\$
    – Aiken
    Jul 14, 2014 at 9:12
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Pretty sure Datajacks don't provide any kind of smartlink capability. What smartlink winds up doing is showing you HUD information about where to point the gun...which would stand to reason it needs to interact directly with cybereyes or a set of googles. \$\endgroup\$
    – Cthos
    Jul 14, 2014 at 15:08
  • \$\begingroup\$ Yeah I'm gonna agree with that, the other answer seems to debate this but I just can't imagine why they'd make the Essence cost for a Smartlink alone higher if a Datajack could achieve the same effect. You could also read the rules text as "+1 if you're using gear with a smartlink (+2 if it's an augmentation for which you paid Essence)" which would seem very clear that a smartlink is required. \$\endgroup\$
    – Aiken
    Jul 15, 2014 at 7:39
  • \$\begingroup\$ Quick start rules example on p10 state - His limit for the test is the gun’s Accuracy. Since both he and the weapon are equipped with a smartlink, he can use the higher rating in parentheses,... \$\endgroup\$
    – AquaAlex
    Jul 17, 2014 at 14:14
  • \$\begingroup\$ @AquaAlex while that's somewhat relevant, this question is specifically about the Dice Pool modifier granted while using a Smartgun's Wireless bonus (which is not the same as Accuracy). \$\endgroup\$
    – Aiken
    Jul 17, 2014 at 15:32

Short Answer

  • You must have a Smartlink vision enhancement either implanted in your natural eyes or as part of cybereyes and some method of connecting them to your smartgun through a DNI in order to receive the full +2 dice pool bonus.
  • Using external equipment such as goggles or glasses with the Smartlink vision enhancement grants the +1 bonus only.
  • Characters with no Smartlink-equipped gear/augments cannot receive a dice pool bonus from this feature and do not get increased accuracy with their smartgun i.e. the smartgun system is useless without a corresponding smartlink.

Rules as Written

This question arose from the somewhat ambiguous wording of the smartgun system section, from a misconception on my part where I somehow thought it specified that the +2 bonus was for having a DNI (thanks to Archaos for correcting me on that front in his answer); and from the often-interchanged use of Smartlink and Smartgun when referring to the part of the system installed in/on the weapon itself.

While Archaos' answer made a critical correction and David's answer provided an opportunity to make me think about what would happen to the balance of Essence costs if alternatives to using the smartlink vision enhancement were available I still felt like the question hadn't been completely and concretely answered.

My initial confusion most likely came from these two sentences of rules text:

SR5 Core Rulebook, Page 433:

Smartgun system:
The smartgun features are accessed either by universal access port cable to an imaging device (like glasses, goggles or a datajack for someone with cybereyes) or by a wireless connection working in concert with direct neural interface.
Wireless: A wireless smartlink provides a dice pool bonus to all attacks with the weapon: +1 if you're using gear with a smartlink or +2 if you're using an augmentation for which you paid essence.

On their own these two snippets of rules text seem to conflict in that the wireless bonus section specifies that a smartlink must be present in the piece of gear you're connected to while the earlier text makes no such specification. This left me to confused as to what exactly was required and thus posing my question.

However after reviewing the answers provided here and doing some more reading myself to confirm my suspicions, I came across these two snippets of rules text.

SR5 Core Rulebook, Page 433:

Smartgun system: This connects a firearm or a projectile weapon directly to the user's smartlink.

SR5 Core Rulebook, Page 444:

Smartlink: [...] Without a smartlink a smartgun system just sends out data that isn't received by anyone and has no effect. A smartlink installed in a natural eye or in a pair of cybereyes is more effective than a smartlink installed in an external device.

Looking at it this leaves me in no doubt that a smartlink system must also be present in order for the user to receive any bonus from the smartgun system and that being able to perceive AR (through a DNI or otherwise) has no bearing on the effectiveness of a smartgun system.

Refererring back to the first two sections of rules text this means that to receive the full +2 bonus the smartlink system must be installed in the user's eyes (cyber or natural) and they must connect their smartgun directly to their smartlink either by connecting a cable to their datajack or by a wireless connection to a device which has a Direct Neural Interface such as an implanted commlink.


Things that will work for the +2: A datajack, an implanted commlink or cyberdeck, Smartlink Mod installed in cybereyes. These all give a way to see AR and cost Essence.

Things that will only give the +1: Image Link in contacts or other eyewear, 'trodes. These give a way to see AR, but do not cost Essence.

I have a similar question regarding Technomancers and smartguns. It may or may not be relevant to your question, but the discussions in the answers might give you more insight.

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ Are you certain a datajack alone works? It seems strange that something costing 0.1 Essence (Datajack) could do the same things and more than something costing 0.3 Essence (Smartlink Implant in natural eyes). Re-reading the rules (and Archaos' answer) it seems fairly certain that a Smartlink Vision Mod is needed in either natural eyes or cybereyes to receive the +2. \$\endgroup\$
    – Aiken
    Jul 14, 2014 at 7:50
  • \$\begingroup\$ to be fair, I'm not certain. However, a datajack is a direct neural interface, which by my reading is enough to grant ALL bonuses you can get from AR. You get the same benefit - "seeing" from the smartgun and all the important overlay info - without needing eyeware because it's all beamed directly into your brain. Ultimately, without clarification from the devs, it becomes "ask your GM", but it seems pretty straightforward to me. \$\endgroup\$ Jul 14, 2014 at 8:55
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    \$\begingroup\$ "Ask your GM" is as always great advice. Unfortunately in my case I am the GM and was looking for a concrete interpretation to give to my players who are all new to the system, as am I. Based on its essence cost I suspect the only intended purpose of a Datajack is to allow you to wire yourself directly into a device to negate noise and/or provide a DNI for arbitrary external devices (all cyberware is considered to have a DNI regardless of whether you have a datajack). \$\endgroup\$
    – Aiken
    Jul 14, 2014 at 9:08
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    \$\begingroup\$ I can see your reasoning. I simply believe that a DNI - capable of overriding your vision to take you into VR - that can connect to the smartgun should be able to display all the same things in your vision that glasses or cybereyes can display. It is "RAW" that a datajack can display AR (core pg. 222). Note that a datajack's sole purpose is connecting to gear, though, while other 'ware do things in and of themselves. Also note that a 'jack is a unique vulnerability if captured - you can't turn off the direct connection. While you're unconscious, ALL your 'ware can be accessed through it. \$\endgroup\$ Jul 14, 2014 at 19:44
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    \$\begingroup\$ Unfortunately I'm going to have to disagree with this answer and the associated comments. All the points presented state that these methods enable you to perceive AR, which is quite true. However the rules are very clear that goggles/glasses/contacts REQUIRE a smartlink to grant the dice pool bonus and therefore I can only assume that being able to perceive AR is not enough to grant this benefit and a specific system is required. \$\endgroup\$
    – Aiken
    Jul 15, 2014 at 7:44

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