These energy based weapons do EM and Thermal damage, making these weapons great for cutting through shields, and not as good at penetrating armor. They do not use ammunition, and instead rely on the ship's capacitor more heavily than other weapon types, so your capacitor can be heavily drained if you don't monitor your ship carefully.
Even though they have no ammo, they require frequency crystals, which you'll find under the ammunition tab in the market menu. Installing a focusing crystal modifies the beam of the laser; all this means is that it modifies damage type and amount, and weapon range. The weapon retains its damage multiplier and firing rate. So, if a turret has a 3x multiplier and fires every 5 seconds, whatever damage type the focusing crystal uses will be multiplied by 3, and it will still fire every five seconds. There is often a trade off with crystals, so a very powerful damage crystal might have very low range. One advantage to using crystals is that you can swap them in the middle of a fight, just like ammunition, and it takes less time for a crystal to be ready to fire than a new ammo type.
Lasers are generally divided into two types:
- Pulse Lasers: Faster tracking, shorter range, higher rate of fire, less damage per shot.
- Beam Lasers: Slower tracking, longer range, lower rate of fire, more damage per shot.
In general Amarr ships are best suited to use lasers, due to laser capacitor use and damage bonuses.