Sniper (competitive)

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Sniper.png
This article is for Competitive play, based on the Standard competitive format. For the generic article on this topic, see: Sniper.
Competitive articles are currently in development. If you have any questions, just ask.

The Sniper is a situational utility class sometimes used in the standard competitive lineup, valued for his picking and area denial capabilities.

Information

Health

Condition Health Overheal Quick-Fix Overheal
Leaderboard class sniper.png Sniper 125 185 155
With Darwin's Danger Shield equipped 150 225 185

Speed

Condition Normal Backward Crouched Swimming
Leaderboard class sniper.png Sniper
100 %
90 %
33 %
80 %
With any Rifle, except the Classic, zoomed in
27 %
27 %
9 %
21 %
Charging the Classic at either zoom level
27 %
27 %
9 %
21 %
With the Huntsman drawn
53 %
53 %
18 %
N/A

Weapons

Main article: Sniper weapons (competitive)

The Sniper uses his Sniper Rifles to deal huge damage on headshots, and otherwise deal large damage at long range.

Primary

Weapon Kill Icon Ammo
Loaded
Ammo
Carried
Damage Range Notes / Special Abilities
Sniper Rifle
Stock
Sniper Rifle
Killicon sniper rifle.png 25 N/A Base:
50150

Headshot:

150450
Pictogram plus.png Critical hits are guaranteed for headshots.

Pictogram minus.png No random critical hits.
Pictogram info.png Charges while zoomed.

Killicon sniperriflehs.png
AWPer Hand
Promotional / Craft
AWPer Hand
Killicon sniper rifle.png
Killicon sniperriflehs.png
Huntsman
Unlock
Huntsman
Killicon huntsman.png 1 12 Base:
51120

Headshot:

153360
Pictogram plus.png Critical hits are guaranteed for headshots.

Pictogram plus.png Friendly Pyros and Soldiers with the Righteous Bison and Engineers with the Pomson 6000 can light arrows to add fire damage.
Pictogram minus.png No random critical hits.
Pictogram minus.png Enemy Pyros can deflect arrows.
Pictogram minus.png Arrows lose their accuracy if the bow is drawn for more than 5 seconds.
Pictogram info.png Hold primary fire to draw the arrow; press secondary fire to retract the arrow.
Pictogram info.png Arrows can pin enemies to a wall upon being killed (purely cosmetic feature).

Killicon huntsmanhs.png
Killicon flaming huntsman.png
Killicon flaming huntsman afterburn.png
Fortified Compound
Promotional
Fortified Compound
Killicon huntsman.png
Killicon huntsmanhs.png
Killicon flaming huntsman.png
Killicon flaming huntsman afterburn.png
Sydney Sleeper
Craft
Sydney Sleeper
Killicon sydney sleeper.png 25 N/A Base:
50150
Pictogram plus.png On hit at one second of zoom-in time or greater, applies Jarate effect to the target for 8 seconds.

Pictogram plus.png Charge rate increased 25%.
Pictogram minus.png Headshots do not crit.
Pictogram minus.png No random critical hits.
Pictogram info.png Charges while zoomed.
Pictogram info.png Unlike the Jarate, this cannot extinguish burning allies on hit.

Bazaar Bargain
Craft
Bazaar Bargain
Killicon bazaar bargain.png 25 N/A Base:
50150

Headshot:

150450
Pictogram plus.png Critical hits are guaranteed for headshots.

Pictogram plus.png Each consecutive headshot gives +10 charge per second.
Pictogram minus.png No random critical hits.
Pictogram minus.png A body or missed shot reduces the bonus.
Pictogram minus.png -20% base charge rate penalty.
Pictogram info.png Charges while zoomed.

Killicon sniperriflehs.png
Machina
Promotional / Craft
Machina
Killicon machina.png 25 N/A Base:
50173

Headshot:

150518
Pictogram plus.png Critical hits are guaranteed for headshots.

Pictogram plus.png Fully charged shots deal +15% damage.
Pictogram plus.png Fully charged shots penetrate players and damage enemies behind them.
Pictogram minus.png Only fires when zoomed.
Pictogram minus.png Shots leave a bright, easily traceable team-colored line behind them.
Pictogram minus.png No random critical hits.
Pictogram info.png Charges while zoomed.

Killicon sniperriflehs.png
Killicon machina penetrate.png
Killicon machina penetratehs.png
Hitman's Heatmaker
Craft
Hitman's Heatmaker
Killicon hitman's heatmaker.png 25 N/A Base:
40120

Headshot:

150450
Pictogram plus.png Critical hits are guaranteed for headshots.

Pictogram plus.png Gain Focus on kills and assists.
Pictogram plus.png Focus activates by pressing 'reload' when Focus meter is full.
Pictogram info.png When Focus is active:

Pictogram plus.png +25% faster charge rate.
Pictogram info.png Doesn't unscope between shots.
Pictogram minus.png Shots leave a bright, easily traceable team-colored line behind them.

Pictogram minus.png -20% damage penalty on body shot.
Pictogram minus.png No random critical hits.
Pictogram info.png Charges while zoomed.
Pictogram info.png Headshot kills cause decapitation.

Killicon sniperriflehs.png
Classic
Craft
Classic
Killicon classic.png 25 N/A Base:
45135

Headshot:

50450
Pictogram plus.png Critical hits are guaranteed for headshots.

Pictogram plus.png Can charge without zooming.
Pictogram minus.png Cannot headshot unless fully charged.
Pictogram minus.png -10% damage penalty on body shot.
Pictogram minus.png No random critical hits.
Pictogram info.png Doesn't unscope between shots.
Pictogram info.png Does not automatically start charging when zoomed.
Pictogram info.png Charged shots will gib victims.

Killicon sniperriflehs.png

Usage

The role of the Sniper is simple: Kill key enemy targets. Every pick that a Sniper makes will reduce the enemy's numbers by one, which is significant in competitive Team Fortress 2 due to the role that every team member plays. The enemy Medic will always be the highest priority target for Snipers. A fully charged Sniper Rifle bodyshot and an uncharged headshot are the preferred methods of killing Medics, as both shots deal exactly 150 damage. A team that runs a Sniper will generally swap out a Scout for one, though on specific maps where Scouts are important, the roaming Soldier may change to Sniper instead.

Common Tactics

The kill order in competitive TF2 is slightly different from the kill order in casual play.

  • Immediate threats: Any target immediately trying to kill you (generally a Scout), and particularly enemy Snipers.
  • Medics: A fully charged bodyshot will work just as well as a headshot in taking out the most important class on the enemy team.
  • Demomen: Snipers can cripple the enemy's damage output by killing their Demoman. A pick on him is also an efficient way of removing his stickies.
  • Soldiers and Heavies: Big heads and slow movement speeds make Soldiers and Heavies rather vulnerable to the Sniper Rifle. A pick on these players is important due to their ability to tank damage.
  • Engineers and their buildings: Usually, a team's Demomen or Soldiers can easily take care of Engineers and their Sentry Guns, but a Sniper can work just as well, killing the Engineer with a single headshot or charged bodyshot.
  • Scouts: A fully charged bodyshot is probably the most reliable way of taking an enemy Scout out of the game. A pick on them takes pressure not only off the Sniper himself, but also off his team's Medic and Demoman.
  • Other Utilities: Another player dead on the opposing team is always good. Snipers should target the more important players first before spending the time and effort to kill other utilities.
  • Stickies: If the Demoman is absent, a Sniper can safely remove his sticky bombs from a control point and possibly allow a back-cap. This is particularly useful on the last points of 5-CP maps, which cap very quickly.

5-CP Push Strategies

The Sniper's inability to defend himself is one of his key impediments to seeing regular use in competitive play. This is especially evident on 5-CP maps, where it is somewhat difficult to stay far enough behind the team to safely eliminate key players while keeping up closely enough to prevent getting picked by enemy Scouts as they run off completely unharmed. Utility players should make sure that they chose the right time and place to switch to Sniper, because if a team decides to push forward quickly or desperately hold an area, it may be doing so without the help of one of its Scouts.

If attacking the final point, Snipers should not hesitate to use their Sniper Rifle to eliminate sticky bombs covering the point. If the enemy is unaware, this could easily lead to a back-cap by a friendly Scout. This is especially useful on maps with enclosed final points such as Badlands. The Sniper is often used to get a pick when the team is pushing the enemy's last point: this makes it easier for them to cap due to the sudden player advantage. Even if the Sniper doesn't manage to kill anyone he can still force the enemy team to adapt and ensure that they play more passively in order to reduce the risk of getting sniped.

Attack-Defend Strategies

Attack/Defend maps are where Snipers can truly shine. Gravel Pit is really the only Attack/Defend map that sees a good amount of competitive play, and relatively long sight-lines at points B and C allow both attackers and defenders to get the most out of running a Sniper.

In particular, if an attacking team moves on to attack B via the rooms from point C, a Sniper can take advantage of the long open area around B and get a few picks. In general, Snipers defending on Attack/Defend maps should have an easier time than they do on 5-CP maps. Sticking behind the team allows a Sniper on Defense to safely charge up a shot, without too much harassment from Scouts, especially if their team is using an Engineer, as the Sentry Gun provides a fine defense against enemy Scouts. Hiding in buildings and behind props the map has can also help a sniper make an essential kill. If the enemy team does not see a sniper, they are more likely to be vulnerable and careless.

One tactic that may be useful for defending Snipers is attempting to get a pick at the very beginning of a round, right when setup time ends. Defending Snipers have the option of placing themselves so that they can see the gates from the BLU spawn area to point A and can potentially score a pick in the first seconds of the match. While this strategy may be a major boon to the defending team if the Sniper manages to kill the enemy Medic and deprive attackers of an ÜberCharge, it is also incredibly dangerous for the Sniper, and will most likely result in his death. This can be problematic if the attacking team decides to push on B first, while the defending team is at a numerical disadvantage, lacking one of their utility players.

Capture-the-Flag Strategies

Due to his tendency to get picked easily while advancing, a Sniper may prove more useful defending his own team's intelligence than he will attacking the enemy team's, but he shouldn't hesitate to move up and pick a key player when his team pushes into the enemy Intelligence room.

If the Sniper happens to pick up the enemy intelligence himself when there is a teammate nearby, it may be wise to have him drop the intelligence (default key "l") and allow the friendly player to take it back to the Intelligence room, due to the ease with which enemies can kill a fleeing Sniper.

When defending his own team's intelligence, a Sniper should remain in a safe area where he can see the intelligence and most incoming threats. This way, he will be able to charge up a shot without being attacked and bodyshot a Scout or Medic going for the intelligence, killing them before they reach it. This is easier in a Capture-the-Flag game than in other game types, due to the long, unobstructed hallways and relatively open center area in Turbine, the most played competitive CTF map.

See also