The use of laser doping in solar cell fabrication has received increased attention in recent years, especially due to its ability to form a selective emitter without subjecting the wafer to prolonged high temperature processes and likely corresponding degradation. At the University of New South Wales, a novel laser doping method was developed that combines the formation of the selective emitter with a self-aligned metallisation pattern. This paper investigates the influence of different plating methods on shunt and enhanced recombination regions. It was found that the pseudo fill factors of solar cells plated using photoplating are higher compared to those plated with the electroless method, indicating reduced shunting and/or junction recombination. The superiority of the photoplating method is even more pronounced at high laser powers. According to our knowledge this is the first time photoplating and electroless plating techniques have been compared for laser-doped solar cells. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.