Anti-Sniper strategy

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That's some shonky business right there!

The Sniper specializes in eliminating enemies at long range. He will typically position himself at a vantage point away from the battlefield, scanning the area for targets. His primary weapons can charge and deliver headshots at extreme range, so ignoring him is never an option. The best way to deal with a Sniper is awareness; if you know he's watching one route, try taking another route or firing at him to force him behind cover.

The Sniper is very weak at close combat; his Submachine Gun and melee weapon lose out to most other guns. Maneuvering close enough to engage him is best done by the Spy, who can Cloak and backstab, or the Scout, who can approach from alternate routes and is a difficult target.

General

Attributes Anti-Sniper strategy
Sniper emblem RED.png Role
  • The Sniper's role is to pick off any exposed enemies. Make good use of cover and keep moving to avoid being an easy target.
  • A Sniper is most effective when he fights from a distance. If you get close, he will have difficulty landing a headshot on you.
Leaderboard class medic.png Health
  • The Sniper shares the lowest base health with the Scout, Spy, & Engineer. He will generally lose direct fights against sturdier classes.
Leaderboard class scout.png Speed
  • The Sniper runs at an average pace, but is heavily slowed while aiming. He has difficulty fleeing from mobile opponents such as the Scout, Soldier, and Pyro.
Leaderboard class soldier.png Power
  • The Sniper's primary weapons are unaffected by damage fall-off. Try not to get hit at all, as even an uncharged headshot or a fully-charged bodyshot from the default Sniper Rifle deals 150 damage - enough to instantly kill weaker classes and severely injure tougher ones.
  • A fully-charged headshot will instantly kill any class, barring a combination of overhealing and damage reduction.
  • Pay attention to the rifle the Sniper is using. Different rifles have varying damage and charge rate.

Weapon-specific

Main article: Sniper weapons

Primary weapons

Weapon Anti-Sniper strategy
Sniper Rifle
Sniper Rifle + reskins
  • The Sniper Rifle fires single, accurate bullets over extreme distances, but takes nearly two seconds to reload. It is less effective against several foes or when up close.
  • The Sniper Rifle can zoom in to charge a shot, indicated by the Sniper holding the weapon to his eye. When scoped, the Sniper walks slowly and has a limited field of vision, making him susceptible to flanks from Scouts and Spies.
  • If you're caught in his sights, move unpredictably and shoot at him to make him flinch and misaim. As you approach, keep in mind that experienced Snipers can still headshot enemies who are only a few feet away.
    • Although certain weapons, like the Rocket Launcher and Scorch Shot, can be fired at extreme ranges, avoid getting into a "sniping" war with an enemy Sniper, lest they land a quick headshot on you.
  • Check if there is a Sniper or his rifle's laser dot before entering an area. He can only cover one route at a time, so take a different route, attack with teammates, or move once his laser dot goes away and his attention is somewhere else.
Huntsman
Huntsman + reskins
  • The Huntsman fires arrows, which move slower than bullets. Incoming arrows can be dodged, unlike Sniper Rifle bullets.
  • Arrows have deceptively large hitboxes. Beware of fighting in narrow corridors, where dodging is much more difficult.
  • The Huntsman cannot zoom in, forcing the Sniper to fight closer to the front lines and making him easier to target. The lack of zoom also allows him to spot flanking enemies more easily.
Sydney Sleeper
Sydney Sleeper
  • The Sydney Sleeper’s headshot deals less damage (a maximum of 202 damage, compared to the Sniper Rifle’s 450). This means that not even a skilled Sniper can instantly kill you without some delay.
  • A scoped shot from this weapon coats the victim in Jarate, allowing the Sniper's allies to finish you off easily. If you are hit, consider falling back for a few seconds until the debuff wears off.
  • Overall, the Sydney Sleeper deals less damage on headshot, but charges faster; beware fast 150-damage bodyshots if playing as a fragile class like the Medic.
Bazaar Bargain
Bazaar Bargain
  • The Bazaar Bargain reduces the charge time of the Sniper's rifle as he lands multiple headshots. If you see teammates dying to his headshots, note his skill level and avoid his line of sight.
Machina
Machina + reskins
  • The Machina's fully charged shot pierces enemies. Don't count on teammates being able to bodyblock for you if the Sniper has time to charge, especially if you play as the Medic.
  • The Machina's tracer rounds reveal its user, making tracking the Sniper down much easier.
  • This weapon can only fire while scoped, leaving the Sniper more vulnerable up close.
Hitman's Heatmaker
Hitman's Heatmaker
  • After obtaining an amount of kills or assists, the Sniper can activate the Heatmaker's “focus” ability, which charges his rifle faster and keeps him scoped between shots. A Sniper who stays alive long enough to obtain that much kill credit may be skilled.
  • When focus is activated, the Hitman's Heatmaker stays scoped after each shot and fires tracer rounds that reveal the Sniper. This could be a chance to track and defeat the Sniper up close while he is too focused on making use of his buff.
  • The Hitman's Heatmaker suffers a bodyshot damage penalty, rewarding you for partially dodging the Sniper's shots.

Classic
Classic

  • The Classic allows the Sniper to charge his shots independently from his scope. Because of this, he will have an easier time to spot and aim at potential attackers.
  • Each shot from The Classic has a bodyshot damage penalty and can only headshot when fully charged. Engage him between charged shots; he must prepare his charged shot in advance before he can deal considerable damage to you.

Secondary weapons

Weapon Anti-Sniper strategy
Submachine Gun
SMG + reskins
  • The Submachine Gun is surprisingly accurate. Don't get complacent if a Sniper switches to it; move away and retaliate with a more powerful weapon.
  • The Sniper only holds three clips of SMG ammo; he cannot fight for long before you can overwhelm him.
  • If you are struck by a strong attack, such as a fully-charged Huntsman arrow, the Sniper may switch to his SMG to finish you off. This takes him less time than attacking again with his primary weapon.
Razorback
Razorback
  • A Sniper may wear the Razorback to discourage Spies from backstabbing him. As the Spy, take care to not reveal yourself to the enemy team if you decide to kill the Sniper with your Revolver.
    • Depending on your gun choice, it may take up to 3 shots to kill him, so wait until the Sniper scopes in before striking.
  • Equipping the Razorback deprives a Sniper of a secondary weapon, making him much weaker in direct combat.
  • The Razorback renders the Sniper unable to receive any kind of overheal, meaning that in a Sniper duel, he will always die to an uncharged headshot.
Jarate
Jarate + reskins
  • If you're covered in Jarate, the Sniper's team will deal guaranteed mini-crits to you, for about 35% more damage. Take cover if there are other enemies nearby until the debuff wears off in ten seconds.
  • Jarate can be removed by extended Healing, entering water, or touching a Resupply cabinet.
  • A lone Sniper will often follow up his Jarate toss with his weapon. React to his ranged or melee weapon appropriately.
    • As the Sniper Rifle has no damage falloff, each uncharged shot he lands on you will now deal 68 damage.
  • The Sniper can use Jarate to extinguish himself or his teammates. As the Pyro, don't always rely on afterburn to finish him off.
Darwin's Danger Shield
Darwin's Danger Shield
  • Darwin's Danger Shield's grants afterburn immunity and 50% damage resistance against fire. If ambushing him as the Pyro, switch to your Shotgun or melee weapon instead.
Cozy Camper
Cozy Camper
  • A Sniper equipped with the Cozy Camper will not flinch if his Sniper Rifle is fully charged. Force him to take cover or shoot early.
  • A Sniper with the Cozy Camper may stay scoped in more often, so assume his shots will deal extra damage, but that his field of vision is severely reduced.
  • Be on the lookout for if a Sniper comes out of cover - his Rifle may already be charged.
  • The Cozy Camper deprives the Sniper of a secondary weapon, making him nearly useless in close-range combat.
  • The Cozy Camper gives passive health regeneration to the Sniper, nullifying chip damage. Threaten him with heavy damage so he takes cover.
Cleaner's Carbine
Cleaner's Carbine
  • Dealing 100 damage with the Cleaner's Carbine fills a "CRIKEY" bar, giving the Sniper 8 seconds of mini-crits once filled and activated. If this happens, treat fighting him as if you have been hit by Jarate.
  • The Cleaner's Carbine suffers from a smaller clip size and lower fire rate, so the Sniper either has to surprise an enemy or deal substantial chip damage. If you spot the Sniper trying to do either, attack back to prevent them from reaching full "CRIKEY."
  • The Carbine's damage boost works well with the Bushwacka; be prepared for it!

Melee Weapons

Weapon Anti-Sniper strategy
Kukri
Kukri + reskins
  • A Sniper will generally use the Kukri weapon as a last resort when cornered. It is still as strong as other melee weapons, so back up and finish him off.
Tribalman's Shiv
Tribalman's Shiv
  • Don't get careless just because the Tribalman's Shiv seemingly does little damage – it inflicts bleed, causing you to take extra damage over time.
  • After applying bleed, the Sniper may create space and attack you with a ranged weapon. Quickly decide to end the fight or retreat, before the damage stacks up.
  • If you are hit by the Shiv again, your bleeding duration will reset. Know where you can find healing once the fight ends.
Bushwacka
Bushwacka
  • A Sniper will typically pull out the Bushwacka after accessing mini-crits, usually from Jarate or the Cleaner's Carbine. Fight from just outside melee range, where he is weakest, and take advantage of the damage vulnerability he receives while the Bushwacka is active.
Shahanshah
Shahanshah
  • The Shahanshah deals increased damage if the Sniper is below half health. If fighting him in melee combat, know that his strikes may become stronger after you land a hit or two.
  • A Sniper who fights with the Shahanshah is likely injured and trying to take advantage of its damage bonus. Similar to when he is using the Bushwacka, keep your distance.

See also