Anti-Sniper strategy

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That's some shonky business right there!
Perhaps they can bury you in that van you call 'home.'
The Spy

The Sniper specializes in eliminating enemies at long range. He will typically position himself at a calm vantage point away from the battlefield, scanning the area for targets. His primary weapons can charge and deliver headshots, so ignoring him is never an option. Fortunately, the Sniper is very weak at close combat. A cornered Sniper can usually only fight with weaker armaments, such as his Submachine Gun or melee weapon. The best way to deal with a Sniper is awareness; if you know he's watching one route, try taking another or forcing his attention somewhere else.

General

Attributes Anti-Sniper strategy
Sniper emblem RED.png Role
  • The Sniper's goal 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 to him, he will have difficulty landing a headshot on you.
Leaderboard class medic.png Health
  • The Sniper has rather low base health; he will generally lose in a direct fight against sturdier classes.
Leaderboard class scout.png Speed
  • The Sniper runs at an average pace, but slows down heavily while aiming. He will find it difficult to flee 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.

Weapon-specific

Main article: Sniper weapons

Primary weapons

Weapon Anti-Sniper strategy
Sniper Rifle
Sniper Rifle + reskins
  • The Sniper Rifle fires a single, perfectly accurate bullet, but takes nearly two seconds to reload. This makes it ineffective in crowded or close quarters.
  • The Sniper Rifle has the ability to zoom in to charge a shot, indicated by the Sniper holding the weapon to his eye. When scoped, he walks very slowly and has a limited field of vision. He will be scoped often, making him susceptible to ambushes.
    • Even with limited visibility, experienced Snipers can still headshot enemies who are only a few feet away. Charging at him from the front is ill-advised.
  • Check if there is a Sniper or his weapon's laser dot before entering an area to avoid walking into a charged shot. He can only cover one route at a time, so take a different route or move once his laser dot moves away.
    • Be careful - the Sniper may move his laser pointer away from your field of view to trick you into thinking he’s looking elsewhere, then immediately attack you when you expose yourself.
  • If you must approach a Sniper while in the open, shoot at him to make him flinch, which throws off his aim, or hide behind cover while advancing.
Huntsman
Huntsman + reskins
  • The Huntsman fires arrows, which move slower than bullets. This makes it possible to dodge incoming arrows.
  • 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; treating it as the default Sniper Rifle is a safe bet.
Bazaar Bargain
Bazaar Bargain
  • The Bazaar Bargain reduces the Sniper’s rifle's charge time as he lands multiple headshots. If you see teammates dying to his headshots, make sure to avoid his line of sight - he is likely skilled enough to kill you instantly.
Machina
Machina + reskins
  • The Machina's fully charged shot pierces enemies, so avoid clustering up with teammates.
  • The Machina's tracer rounds reveal its user, making tracking the Sniper down much easier.
  • It can only fire while scoped, leaving the Sniper even 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. A Sniper who stays alive long enough to obtain that much kill credit may be skilled.
  • When focus is activated, the Hitman's Heatmaker uses tracer rounds that reveal the Sniper after each shot, making him easier to locate.
  • The Hitman's Heatmaker suffers a bodyshot damage penalty, rewarding you for even partially dodging the Sniper's shots.

Classic
Classic

  • The Classic allows the Sniper to charge his shot while unscoped. This means that he'll have an easier time spotting and aiming at potential attackers.
  • The Classic can headshot only when it is fully charged. Engaging the Sniper between charged shots will lessen the damage you take.

Secondary weapons

Weapon Anti-Sniper strategy
Submachine Gun
Submachine Gun + reskins
  • The Submachine Gun is surprisingly accurate, but ineffective at longer ranges. If a Sniper attacks you with it, move away from him and retaliate with a more powerful weapon.
  • The Submachine Gun only contains three clips of ammo; the Sniper cannot fight for long before you threaten to overwhelm him.
Razorback
Razorback
  • The Razorback deprives a Sniper of his secondary weapon, making him much weaker in direct combat.
  • 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 primary weapon, which will take up to 3 shots depending on weapon choice.

Revolver, which will take 3 shots.

  • The Razorback renders 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.
  • The Sniper can use Jarate to extinguish himself or his teammates. Don't 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, allowing him to survive an ambushing Pyro with less difficulty. As the Pyro, switch to your Shotgun 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.
  • Be on the lookout and react accordingly if a Sniper comes out of cover.
  • 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. Try dealing constant/heavy damage to overcome this.
Cleaner's Carbine
Cleaner's Carbine
  • Dealing damage with the Cleaner's Carbine allows the Sniper to fill a "Crikey" bar, giving him 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, lower fire rate, and no random critical hits. It's a terrible back-up weapon without the mini-crit boost.
  • The Carbine's damage boost works well with the Bushwacka; be prepared for this weapon.

Melee Weapons

Weapon Anti-Sniper strategy
Kukri
Kukri + reskins
  • A Sniper will generally only use this weapon as a last resort. Simply back up and finish him off.
Tribalman's Shiv
Tribalman's Shiv
  • The Tribalman's Shiv does less damage upfront, giving you an immediate advantage in melee combat. However, it causes you to bleed and take extra damage over time, so end the fight quickly and remember where you can find a health pack.
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