Community Sniper strategy

From Team Fortress Wiki
Jump to: navigation, search
Cold Blooded Killer

The Sniper is a long-range support class that focuses on the elimination of high-priority targets. As a light class with only 125 health, the Sniper generally stays behind his team's lines to avoid taking heavy fire. The Sniper is one of the three classes that can gain headshot bonuses (the others being an Ambassador-wielding Spy and a Pyro who can airblast the arrows from the Huntsman). Headshots are guaranteed critical hits, and often result in an instant kill when fully charged (with the exception of anyone with a bullet resistance). The ability to do this consistently can set apart an amateur Sniper from an elite one.

Quick Tips

  • Snipers need to be aware of their surroundings because they are often the main targets of Spies and enemy Snipers, both of which they are most vulnerable to. Equip the Razorback, SMG, or Jarate to help with Spies. While reloading your rifle, look around and move from side to side to Spy check the area you're sniping from.
  • Try not to crowd up the class! Too many Snipers can ruin a team's viability. If you're not getting kills as a Sniper, you're not contributing and thus should consider switching classes until there are fewer Snipers.
  • Put your crosshairs on a target before scoping to maximize mobility.


Keep the dot on a nearby object so enemy players won't suspect you to be there.
  • Since your enemies can see the laser dot of your rifle, consider aiming at a doorway or other obstacle to hide your presence. They will be much easier to hit if they are not expecting you than if they are actively trying to dodge your aim. Alternatively, you can use the Huntsman, which doesn't have a laser dot (though be aware that the Huntsman does not have hitscan properties and is affected by gravity, and adjust your aim accordingly).
    • In contrast to this, you can use your laser dot to discourage enemy advances. Most classes will not willingly walk into a Sniper's line of fire, and will instead take another route. This tactic does not always work well with Scouts, who are fast enough to slip through your aim, nor with Spies, who can use their Cloak or Disguise Kit to avoid detection. Note that the enemy can only see the laser dot when facing an object in the same direction you're facing.
  • On a separate note, the Sniper Rifle's laser dot can also be used for Spy checking by backing into a corner, scoping in and slowly sweeping from one end of the area to the other. Since the laser dot is projected onto walls, teammates and enemies, the dot also projects onto invisible Spies. This will subtly reveal their location to both you and any bystanders by either showing other players a laser dot floating in midair or the laser dot dramatically increasing in size for the player (depending on how far away the Spy is from them. If the Spy is further away, the dot size will not change at all). Since the results of this Spy-checking method aren't as effective as Jarate or other tracking items, it is recommended that this tactic is used if you think a Spy is in the room with you and you have no other immediate alternatives.
  • Watch for enemy Snipers. An uncharged headshot will instantly kill you, and experienced Snipers can fire one in a fraction of a second. If you want to charge your shot, do so behind an obstacle where you can't be seen, and peek out when you're ready to shoot. This is not a foolproof method, however, as enemy Snipers may change their position or simply wait until you show yourself.
  • Sticking to one spot might get you killed. The freezecam will give your position away after a single kill; you should switch to a new location often, especially after killing another Sniper or firing a shot from the Machina, which fires an obvious tracer that shows everyone your position.
  • Mobility in general is a valued trait for the Sniper. Remember that walking while zoomed is ineffective, as your speed is almost halved.
  • Pick your targets carefully. As a support class, it's always important to help your team out in the most efficient way possible, so look out for high-value targets on the battlefield, mainly Medics, Heavies, and other Snipers. By killing targets that would otherwise disrupt your aim, inflict heavy damage, or negatively impact your team, you are being a great support to your entire team.
    • A quick shot against a Medic's patient, or the Medic himself, can force him to use his ÜberCharge early, allowing your teammates to kill the patient before he has a good chance to inflict any damage to your team on the front lines.
      • However, a Headshot with a Sniper Rifle will instantly kill a Medic (unless the Medic is overhealed). Take this into consideration, as you can easily take out support Medics.
  • Disabling the automatic re-zoom option might help you, but it's not a requirement. Some Snipers prefer to not use the automatic re-zoom of the Sniper Rifle's scope after every shot. To prevent the re-zoom, turn off the automatic re-zoom in the "Advanced Options" button on the main menu.
    • Alternately, pressing alt-fire after taking a scoped shot and before the rifle has re-zoomed will prevent the re-zoom from occurring.
  • A fully-charged shot can instantly destroy any Level 1 Building and do major damage to others. Put pressure on enemy Engineers by standing outside the range of their equipment and hitting them with charged shots. Make sure to kill the Engineers first, since harming their buildings will give them enough time to repair them, wasting your ammo and leaving you vulnerable to enemies, especially Spies and enemy Snipers. However, working in conjunction with a friendly Soldier or another Sniper can easily overwhelm the Engineer's repair capabilities.
  • Crouching shifts your vision downwards while making you a much smaller target (albeit a slower one). This can be useful for getting a better shot on your enemies. Crouching may also throw off enemy Snipers going for a headshot, especially if you have just fired a shot and are retreating.
  • Jumping to avoid an enemy Sniper will only make you an easier target to hit, as you will move through the air in a predictable path (unless you are air strafing).
  • Pay attention to respawn timers, especially when facing many enemy Snipers. After killing an enemy Sniper, you may only have a few seconds to focus on other targets before they respawn and target you.
  • When forced into close combat (i.e. encountering an enemy at close range), you have two options: retreat and attempt a quick headshot or bodyshot, or fight with your secondary and melee weapons. A quick headshot is rarely a viable option unless you know you can make it. It's generally more advisable to retreat while firing your SMG or throwing your Jarate. Make sure to strafe while retreating to make your movement less predictable to Soldiers and Demomen. Rushing in with your melee weapon has different results depending on the weapon. The Shahanshah is primarily designed for this style of attack, and the Kukri is also viable. The Bushwacka works exceptionally if you use Jarate. The Tribalman's Shiv is better suited to surprise attacks and revealing Cloaked Spies.
  • When sniping, it's common for one or more Spies to simultaneously attack you. You can use walls to protect your back while you attack if you don't use the Razorback. But keep alert, as a Spy can kill you just as easily with their Revolver or backstab you from the side, if you're not careful.
    • If Spies become a problem even after equipping the Razorback, consider equipping the Jarate and the Bushwacka. The Jarate can easily expose enemy Spies and the Bushwhacka allows the player to kill a Spy coated in Jarate with only one hit as opposed to two with the Kukri (save for random critical hits). For a more offensive and aware Sniper, this strategy is often more effective than equipping the Razorback, as it allows you to eliminate Spies with relative ease. However, the Spy may take advantage of the Bushwacka's damage vulnerability, simply backing up and gunning you down.
    • Alternatively, you can stay near your teammates for support, preventing Spies from attacking you as easily.

Bodyshots versus Headshots

Generally, a Sniper should be using the power of headshots to their advantage to kill or control enemies. However, there are cases where a bodyshot may be easier or more useful.

  • No-scope bodyshots are useful when dealing with opponents up close, whereas a headshot is much harder to pull off without practice.
  • Sometimes, just the presence of a Sniper is enough to deter enemies from crossing through an area. Despite this, there may be enemies who will be willing to test your aim, such as Scouts or disguised Spies. You can use charged bodyshots to deal with them if your aim isn't up to snuff.
  • If an enemy Sniper is more experienced than you or is out-sniping you, using charged bodyshots to kill them outright or uncharged shots to throw off their aim may be a valuable utility.
  • Engineers are most often around or hiding among their buildings to keep themselves safe from headshots. In cases like this, a fully charged bodyshot may be your only option, as he will be protected by his Sentry Gun or Dispenser otherwise.
  • If enemies are aware of your presence and are actively firing at you to throw off your aim, going the easier route of shooting them with a bodyshot can kill them, or at the very least shake off beefier targets while you retreat.
  • With the Sydney Sleeper, your headshots are only able to deal Mini-Crit damage, and you cover your foes in Jarate so you rely less on headshots and let your teammates finish them off for you. This weapon works best with bodyshots as a result.
    • The Sydney Sleeper allows you to extinguish teammates no matter where you shoot them. Use bodyshots or no-scopes to your advantage in protecting teammates.
    • Using 'quickscopes' on opponents will cover them in Jarate for at least 2 seconds, making it easier to kill them with Mini-Crits if needed.
  • Despite their uses, it is important to never become complacent in using only bodyshots. Though you may get results easier, and there is no shame in using them when you have to, the difference in damage per second and your importance as a high-priority elimination class can make it detrimental to spend most of the game charging comparatively weaker shots-- especially against competent Medics who are actively using ÜberCharge. The decision between charging a shot or killing big threats like Medics, Spies, or other Snipers in a fraction of a second could be the difference between your team winning the game or having you and your entire team wiped out. Use bodyshots wisely!

Weapon Specific

Primary Weapons

Sniper Rifle + reskins

Weapon Kill Icon Ammo Damage
Loaded Carried 0% Charge 100% Charge Critical at 0% Critical at 100%
Sniper Rifle
Sniper Rifle
Killicon sniper rifle.png 1 25 43-57 128-172 150 450
Killicon sniperriflehs.png
AWPer Hand
AWPer Hand
Killicon sniper rifle.png
Killicon sniperriflehs.png
  • Aim for the head. A headshot will automatically crit, and a fully charged headshot is the only thing short of a backstab that can instantly kill a fully Overhealed Heavy.
  • A fully charged Bodyshot can instantly kill Scouts, Engineers, Spies, Medics, and other Snipers if they are not Overhealed. A notable exception is a Medic with the Vaccinator, which can provide him with a 10% damage resistance.
  • Keeping your back against a wall while zoomed in can protect you from a backstab, but you should still be wary of Spies. On the other hand, keeping your back against a wall will leave you more open to splash damage from rockets.
    • Note that Spies can backstab 180 degrees around the back of a player, so you are still partially vulnerable even with your back against a wall.
  • Unscoped Sniper Rifle shots do 50 damage. If a target is too close, you should be using your secondary or melee weapons.
  • Standing still while zoomed in will make you an easy target for enemy Snipers and Spies. Move around and Spy check often to throw both classes off.
  • Do not stay zoomed in constantly. It's easy to miss an enemy coming towards you with your narrowed field of view, or miss a chance to hit another enemy a few yards away.
  • Positioning is key; you should look for high vantage points to get a good view of the battlefield, or positions where you can easily cover multiple enemy routes. Ideally, you want to maximize your threat to your enemies while minimizing their threat to you.
  • Changing the cl_interp variable to 0.034 in your autoexec.cfg file can help increase the likelihood of hitting a fast-moving enemy. See Scripting.
  • Firing through small holes in walls minimizes the space enemies can shoot back through. This makes you a minuscule target, but this also limits the area you can cover.
  • When scoped your Sniper Rifle emits a laser to wherever you are looking at. Enemies can see this and will avoid it, if an enemy hides behind cover, move your scope away from where they can see it to bait them out.

The table below lists the percentage charge needed to kill enemies with a bodyshot/headshot. Percentages greater than 100 mean you cannot kill enemies with one shot in this fashion.

Note: All classes except the Scout, Pyro, and Sniper have gear that can increase or decrease their total health, so only use this table as a guide. The Soldier may use the Battalion's Backup, reducing your damage and preventing you from scoring headshots on his affected teammates: Look for a circle around their feet.

Huntsman + reskins

Weapon Kill Icon Ammo Damage
Loaded Carried 0% Charge 100% Charge Critical at 0% Critical at 100%
Killicon huntsman.png 1 12 44-58 / 104-118 103-137 / 153-187 150 / 210 360 / 420
Killicon huntsmanhs.png
Killicon flaming huntsman.png
Killicon flaming huntsman afterburn.png
Fortified Compound
Fortified Compound
Killicon huntsman.png
Killicon huntsmanhs.png
Killicon flaming huntsman.png
Killicon flaming huntsman afterburn.png
  • The Huntsman gives the Sniper a bow to fire arrows as projectiles while removing his ability to scope. Charging the arrow increases damage as usual, but also increases the arrow's projectile speed and horizontal arcing.
  • This weapon is meant for a more aggressive and mobile playstyle. In addition it greatly improves your combat capabilities at close range, at the cost of long range accuracy.
  • The Huntsman's arrows take time to travel to your target. Lead your target unless they're headed straight for you. Arrows will always hit to the lower-right corner of the crosshair.
    • Arrows arc downwards when fired. The longer you charge your shot, the straighter and faster your shot will fly. Aim your arrows above your target if they are far away, and constantly raise the distance above your target the farther away they are.
  • When under fire, don't stick around to see if your shots hit their mark; duck behind cover! Enable the hit sound in Advanced Options so you can easily hear a successful shot.
  • Occasionally take shots at areas enemies are likely to appear from, even if you don't see anyone there at the moment. By the time your arrow reaches its destination, an enemy may have appeared. This is most useful when aiming at common Sniper nests and choke points.
  • A Sniper using a standard kind of Sniper Rifle has an advantage over you, since his weapon doesn't have travel time. Avoid engaging them at medium/long range unless they are under fire or are plainly unaware of your presence.
    • If the Sniper is taking a shot and ducking behind cover in a very predictable pattern, it's possible to time your shots in order to hit him as he peeks out again. However, be sure you think about doing the same after you take the shot. If you miss, the enemy Sniper will see your arrow and know that you are reloading and completely vulnerable. If you don't move from where he last saw you, he'll quite easily predict where to shoot next.
  • Huntsman Snipers have higher mobility and no scope to restrict their field of view. They are also capable of landing near-instant headshots, and have an easier time defending themselves with their primary weapon.
    • This helps in defending yourself against Spies in particular, as you do not need to scope in to deal lethal damage to them. The larger projectile hitbox will also give you a more sizable advantage in tracking them down if they cloak to escape.
  • The SMG pairs well with the Huntsman; it allows you to finish off an enemy faster if you miss a headshot and instead bodyshot them. In addition, if you run out of arrows, you will have a secondary damage source.
    • If you equip a secondary other than the SMG, keep an eye on the amount of ammunition available. If you run out of arrows, you will only be able to use your melee weapon for direct damage.
  • Use alt-fire to gently release drawn arrows without firing. Holding it drawn back for more than 5 seconds will result in a very inaccurate shot that will likely miss.
    • Remember that the Huntsman loses aim after a few seconds. It is recommended to pull back the Huntsman only when you are certain an enemy is about to come into your line of sight. (Press alt-fire to release drawn arrows without firing.)
    • There is a visual cue that indicates that you should cancel your shot to prevent the shot from being inaccurate. If you notice the Sniper's hands beginning to shake while drawn back, that means you have been aiming for more than 5 seconds, and the shot will fly away from the crosshair if released.
      • Don't overly rely on this visual cue, as you won't need to see that if you know the timing.
  • The Huntsman does not have a laser sight to alert enemies, giving you an edge and an element of surprise on the battlefield. Use this advantage to fire safely behind cover. Make sure to still keep your mobility, though, as the freezecam will still give away your position!
  • Before going around a corner, have your Huntsman fully drawn to be ready for approaching enemies. Alternately, jump around a corner while charging a shot to surprise your attackers.
  • Avoid fighting in wide-open areas, where enemies can easily dodge your arrows. Stick to narrow spaces or mid-range combat whenever possible.
  • Fired arrows each have a team-colored trail and will stick in walls for a while. This can give away your position.
  • Attempt to ambush enemies; catching them off-guard will leave them with no time to dodge your arrows.
  • A friendly Pyro with any Flamethrower or a torch on DeGroot Keep can light your arrows on fire, even if they're not drawn. Lit arrows have the added bonus of setting your enemies on fire. Switching weapons will cause a lit arrow to go out.
  • Since the Huntsman does similar damage to the Rifle while firing faster, you can use it to put pressure on enemy Medics and Engineers. Team up with a friendly Soldier or Sniper to quickly take down buildings or force a Medic to deploy an ÜberCharge.
  • The Huntsman can do a maximum of 360 damage with a fully-charged headshot. This means you cannot kill an overhealed Heavy with a single arrow, because his Medic gives him up to 450 health.
    • To kill an overhealed Heavy under these conditions, you will need at least two headshots. Do the fully-charged headshot first, followed by a quick headshot as soon as the next arrow is ready. Regardless, it is recommended to target the Medic first before damaging the Heavy.
    • Heavies overhealed by the Dalokohs Bar can still be killed with a fully-charged headshot, as this only increases Heavy's health to 350.
  • Unlike any of the scoped rifles, the Huntsman can be fired while in the air. This can allow you to surprise enemies from above. However, once drawn back, you cannot jump until the arrow is released or fired.

The table below lists the percentage charge needed to kill enemies with a bodyshot/headshot. Percentages greater than 100 mean you cannot kill enemies with one shot in this fashion.

Note: If random damage spread is enabled, body shot percentages will vary. All classes but the Pyro and Sniper have items that can increase or lower their total health, so only use this table as a guide.

Sydney Sleeper

Weapon Kill Icon Ammo Damage
Loaded Carried 0% Charge 100% Charge Critical at 0% Critical at 100%
Sydney Sleeper
Sydney Sleeper
Killicon sydney sleeper.png 1 25 43-57 128-172 150 450
  • The Sydney Sleeper gives the Sniper the ability to apply the Jarate effect on scoped shots, with the duration scaled from 2 to 5 seconds depending on the charge. This Jarate-coating effect on scoped shots can also be used to douse flames on teammates. It also charges up scoped shots 25% faster and each headshot reduces the recharge time of the Jarate by 1 second if it is equipped. The downside is the headshots only deals Mini-Crits instead of full Critical hits.
    • Even though it can be used to douse flames on teammates, executing this is quite difficult. It is recommended to aim for the center of mass.
    • Sharing all the downsides of Jarate in addition to the upsides, the Sydney Sleeper's Jarate debuff can be prematurely cancelled by the doused enemy in the same way that Jarate's debuff can, including through prolonged healing from a Medic, Engineer's Dispenser, or the Payload cart, being submerged in water, or touching a Resupply cabinet.
    • The Mini-Crit headshots do not register as headshots for Achievement purposes and Scoring systems. Consider using other primary weapons if you are trying to obtain any achievements or contracts related to headshots.
  • The Sydney Sleeper can be described as a support-oriented version of the Sniper Rifle. Lacking the ability to perform quick and powerful full-damage Headshots, the Sydney Sleeper's "playstyle" is a mix between those of the Sniper Rifle and Jarate. Delivering Mini-Crit headshots and full-damage Bodyshots (assisted by a slightly faster charge rate), the Sydney Sleeper is not too much of a downgrade from the Sniper Rifle in terms of its raw firepower. In exchange for this loss of this firepower, the Sydney Sleeper can apply Jarate to enemies, allowing the Sniper to aid multiple teammates in combat from the safety of friendly territory, by increasing the damage of his teammates via the Jarate debuff (which increases damage against sodden enemies by 35%). In this way, the player is essentially transferring their firepower into Assists, rather than claiming kills for themself.
    • Despite being less reliant on Headshots and more reliant on Bodyshots and Assists, the Sydney Sleeper is just as difficult to use as the Sniper Rifle, if not more difficult to use. A Sydney Sleeper Sniper should stay close to his teammates in order to not be caught off guard by Classes such as the Scout or Pyro, as the lack of "Quickscopes" (150-damage Headshots) can severely reduce the Sniper's abilities in a self-defensive situation against some of the more aggressive Classes.
  • The darts apply Jarate onto a single target, with duration increasing by how long you charged it up. You can use each shot to "mark" opponents with the Jarate's debuff, highlighting high priority enemies for your team.
  • An unscoped shot on a coated enemy will do 68 damage (the same as a Headshot). Use this to finish off attackers.
    • A 68-damage Quickscope Headshot followed up by a 68-damage unscoped Bodyshot on the same enemy (who will be coated from the first shot) will result in death by this point if he is a Scout, Engineer, Sniper, or Spy, and hasn't had any contact with Healing/Water sources during this time. There is almost no room for error with this combo. To give more room for error, the first shot can be charged slightly. This is also the relevant strategy for dealing with enemy Pyros, Demomen, Soldiers, and Heavies.
  • The Mini-Crit headshot ability can allow a Sniper to deal over 200 damage with a single fully charged Headshot, giving him more power against classes like the Pyro, Demoman, and Soldier, who can now be killed in one shot (if they are not Overhealed).
    • Despite being more freely able to rely on Bodyshots, it's important to always aim for Headshots with the Sydney Sleeper, in order to maximize your damage potential.
  • With the Sydney Sleeper, it is important to stick to areas where your teammates are present, or to areas where there are no enemies present aside from the occasional enemy Spy (which can easily be dealt with).
    • The Sydney Sleeper can benefit greatly from a partnership with a friendly Engineer, who can provide great protection from various enemies, and can also supply Ammo and Health.
    • It is a good idea to stay slightly further back from the rest of your team with the Sydney Sleeper. You cannot defend yourself as easily with the Sydney Sleeper as you can with the Sniper Rifle, due to the reduced power of your Quickscope Headshots. This is in spite of what the Sydney Sleeper's assigned loadout (set) may encourage, with the Darwin's Danger Shield component encouraging close or mid-ranged combat.
  • In a heated firefight, focus on hitting heavier classes with charged shots to aid your teammates. Coated enemies will be more cautious before entering a battlefield.
    • Despite being less effective than just killing the enemies immediately, this can be used to control enemy movements. This is especially useful while playing around the objective of the game mode, where preventing enemies from entering or leaving an area can ease the pressure on your teammates to defend or attack the objective.
  • Prioritize hitting Spies if you find any. The Jarate debuff will temporarily nullify their Invisibility and any Disguises.
    • The Jarate debuff will distinguish them from your teammates (if they are Disguised as members of your own team).
    • This is especially effective if they have the Dead Ringer equipped, as when they "die", their outline will be highlighted by the Jarate effect for the duration of their charge; the Dead Ringer cannot cure Jarate.
    • Spies who are using the Invis Watch or Cloak and Dagger can be confirmed to be using those weapons (as opposed to the Dead Ringer) if an invisible but coated figure is not seen fleeing the scene.
  • The Sydney Sleeper is one of the best weapons the Sniper has for taking out Engineer buildings because of its faster charge rate and the downsides do not apply to the Engineer's buildings.
  • Never try to face a Sniper head-on; he can headshot you quickly whereas you must wait a few seconds before being able to kill him. If you are forced to face one head-on, use corners and objects to safely charge your shot, and peek out to hopefully make a kill. Otherwise, rely on no-scopes.
    • Take aim when the Sniper is busy or distracted; he is still a threat to your team, and it is still your job to deal with him. Take your time, either by waiting for a chance or taking an alternate route, to remain out of his mind/sight. You should be able to safely kill him if this goes as planned.
  • The SMG is a more viable backup weapon when an enemy is coated, so it makes a good companion.
    • Similarly, the Cleaner's Carbine is also rendered more effective in such a situation. Damaging and/or killing an enemy with the Cleaner's Carbine is easier when they are coated in Jarate. This can be used to charge up the Crikey Meter, which, when full, will allow the Sniper to unleash a flurry of guaranteed Mini-Crits, continuing the cycle, and making for a highly Mini-Crit-oriented playstyle.
  • Even though each headshot reduces the recharge time of the Jarate by 1 second if it is equipped, the Jarate is not exactly a great combo with the Sydney Sleeper due to the slight redundancy when compared to the Sydney Sleeper's abilities. However, the Jarate can fill in the gap where the Sniper cannot douse himself with his Sydney Sleeper. Additionally, Jarate is easier to aim than shots from the Sydney Sleeper, and can be used to reveal invisible Spies in a way that the Sydney Sleeper can't (at least not easily), via "random spam", which utilizes the "Splash".
    • Pairing the Sydney Sleeper + Jarate combo with Bushwacka can help take maximum advantage of the extra opportunities to apply the Jarate debuff.
  • The Darwin's Danger Shield is a decent backup weapon for the Sydney Sleeper. However, the player should not be fooled by the shield's statistics and charge into the battlefield; it should be used passively as a defense against fiery weapons, like the Scorch Shot, from a distance.
  • The Bushwacka is also a great backup weapon for coated enemies.
    • You can 'Quickscope' close-range enemies with a dart and quickly switch to the Bushwacka. However, you should avoid charging at an enemy with your Bushwacka hoping to take advantage of Sydney Sleeper's Jarate debuff; the enemy would likely retaliate and take advantage of your damage vulnerability while you hold up the Bushwacka.

Bazaar Bargain + reskins

Weapon Kill Icon Ammo Damage
Loaded Carried 0% Charge 100% Charge Critical at 0% Critical at 100%
Bazaar Bargain
Bazaar Bargain
Killicon bazaar bargain.png 1 25 43-57 128-172 150 450
Killicon sniperriflehs.png
  • The Bazaar Bargain starts out with a 50% slower charge rate when scoped-in. A headshot kill caused by the Bazaar Bargain will increase the charge rate by 25%, maxing out at 200% of the normal charge rate. This is represented by a "Head" counter on the HUD, with one head equaling +25% charge. Six consecutive headshots are needed to achieve the maximum charge rate.
  • This weapon rewards skilled Snipers the most, as one must obtain three headshot kills in a single life to begin receiving any benefit from it.
  • For your first few heads, target classes that can be killed with an uncharged headshot (Scouts, Engineers, Medics, Snipers, Spies).
  • Beware of Soldiers with the Air Strike, Demomen with the Eyelander, Medics with the Vita-Saw, or other Snipers wielding the Bazaar Bargain; if they manage to kill you, your Head/Organ count will be added to theirs! But if you manage to kill them with a scoped headshot, their Head/Organ count will be added to yours! Demomen who have collected several heads gain glowing eyepatches, so target them to gain heads quickly.
  • Prioritize surviving over trying to go on a sniping rampage, even if you have several heads. Your head counter will be lost upon your death.

Machina + reskins

Weapon Kill Icon Ammo Damage
Loaded Carried 0% Charge 100% Charge Critical at 0% Critical at 100%
Killicon machina.png 1 25 43-57 147-197 150 517
Killicon sniperriflehs.png
Killicon machina penetrate.png
Killicon machina penetratehs.png
Shooting Star
Shooting Star
Killicon shooting star.png
Killicon sniperriflehs.png
Killicon machina penetrate.png
Killicon machina penetratehs.png
  • The Machina deals 15% more damage and can pierce through multiple targets while scoped at full charge, but at the cost of generating considerably more noise per shot, being unable to fire un-scoped, and leaving a highly-distinctive team-colored tracer behind the shot.
  • The Machina is best in long corridors and entryway sniping, where the Machina's piercing attribute allows it to hit multiple foes at once. The BLU team entrances on Payload maps, the tunnel and alleyway on Badwater Basin, and maps that funnel enemies down specific routes are where the Machina truly excels. The Machina can kill both a Heavy and his Medic behind him with a well-placed, fully-charged shot.
  • This weapon all but necessitates taking the SMG along with it. As the Machina cannot fire unless scoped, it is difficult to defend yourself in close-quarters combat. Though the weapon is still functional with other secondary weapons, you will be forced to rely on your melee weapon for dealing with enemies that manage to get close.
  • You can simulate unscoped shots by holding down primary fire and then pressing alt-fire to shoot.
  • This weapon's power for stealth trade can be countered by using it whilst roaming, so the tracer cannot be used by your opponents to locate you in any one position.
  • The Machina may succeed where other rifles fail; a Heavy with the Fists of Steel active can survive a fully charged headshot from the Sniper Rifle (450 − 40% = 270), but the Machina's extra damage will kill a Heavy under these conditions (518 − 40% = 311).

Hitman's Heatmaker

Weapon Kill Icon Ammo Damage
Loaded Carried 0% Charge 100% Charge Critical at 0% Critical at 100%
Hitman's Heatmaker
Hitman's Heatmaker
Killicon hitman's heatmaker.png 1 25 34-48 120 150 450
Killicon sniperriflehs.png
  • The Hitman's Heatmaker comes with a "Focus" meter that increases with each kill and assist; in this case, every kill fills the meter by 33%, and every assist fills by 11%. Upon filling the bar, The Sniper can press reload key (default key: R) to increases the Hitman's Heatmaker's charge rate by 25% and the player does not unscope, but the rifle temporarily fires tracer rounds. Additionally, the rifle is capped at 80% body-shot damage, limiting one-hit kills to headshots.
  • Contrary to popular belief, the player can unscope while in focus mode, and even switch weapons. They simply remain scoped unless the player chooses to unscope.
  • Since the benefits of the rifle are limited to its focus mode, consider a different rifle if Spies frequently prowl your location.
    • This weapon pairs well with the Razorback, as you are vulnerable to backstabs while still in scoped mode. Listen for the sound of your Razorback breaking so you can unscope and kill the Spy. However, you are still vulnerable to the Spy's Revolver, which may kill you before you have time to react.
  • Though bodyshots cannot get one-hit kills, do not be discouraged from using them — if the enemy is under attack or not at full health, you still have a high chance of getting a kill or assist despite performing a less difficult shot.
  • This is a good weapon for a Sniper who likes to stay back from the front lines and avoid risks, in order to fill up his focus. Choose this weapon if you like to aim for headshots and want a bonus to charge rate, but don't wish to carry the Bazaar Bargain's initial charge rate penalty.
  • Activate your Focus when your target(s) moves unpredictably. This will help you line up your shot by staying zoomed in, and comes with the bonus of a faster charge rate for heavier targets. Make sure your back is against a wall if you can while doing this, as Spies will be even more of a threat.
  • This weapon is especially good for Mann vs Machine, due to its rapid-shot ability against multiple, or giant robots. Try to mix with damage boost upgrade to maximize its potential.
  • This Primary necessitates a mobile playstyle, as the tracer rounds gained through the use of Focus is sure to attract unwelcome guests to your sniping nest. This can be counteracted by predetermining multiple vantage points you wish to snipe from and rotating between them to keep opponents wondering where you are at any given time.
  • The firing sound of this weapon is significantly softer than the other rifles thanks to its suppressor. This will make you more difficult to track in general, due to the loss of the distinct firing sound from a Sniper Rifle. It also means you can potentially infiltrate the enemy team's backlines and pick off high priority targets for a bit before being discovered.


Weapon Kill Icon Ammo Damage
Loaded Carried 0% Charge 100% Charge Critical at 0% Critical at 100%
Killicon classic.png 1 25 38-50 137 150 450
Killicon sniperriflehs.png
  • The Classic allows the player to charge their shot without having to zoom in, but the player still have decreased movement speed. It is only capable of getting headshots when fully charged, and deals 10% less damage on bodyshots. Unlike other rifles, the Classic is charged by holding down the fire key, and releasing to fire the shot. The Classic also allows the ability to fire multiple shots without leaving the scope.
  • The player can actually cancel a shot simply by switching weapons to secondary or melee, or by jumping while releasing the fire key.
  • Due to the damage penalty on bodyshots, try to aim for headshots as much as you can to maximize the effectiveness of this weapon.
  • Only hold down the fire key when you know an enemy is visible, or you'll be vulnerable with your decreased movement speed.
    • Thus, timing is key with this weapon. Hold down the fire key and release only when an enemy is in your line of sight, or you'll end up wasting your shot.
  • Be aware that you cannot fire a charged shot in midair. Look out for classes with Juggling abilities.
  • The Classic is a unique rifle in which it is possible to jump without unscoping or firing a shot. This means you have extra vertical maneuverability with this weapon, even while charging, although you are still limited by slowed movement speed or being unable to fire in the air.
  • Don't be too fooled by the damage penalty for bodyshots, as a fully-charged bodyshot is still capable of killing a non-Overhealed Scout, Spy, Engineer, and Sniper in one shot.
  • It's recommend to use the ability to look around you while charging in case someone, especially Spies, try to kill you from behind your back or too close to the scope. Remember that you can still headshot even while unscoped, as long as the rifle is fully charged.
  • Due to the Classic's unique ability to fire multiple shots while zoomed in, it'll be easier to pick off multiple targets in a short period of time with this weapon.
  • You are at a disadvantage when facing other Snipers, since you cannot spend the time to charge a shot without being headshotted yourself. Use your abilities to move at full speed while scoped in and fire multiple shots without unscoping to your advantage.
  • Try some combos with any SMG, which could minimize the disadvantage of 10% less bodyshot damage.
  • Be aware that Classic leaves a bullet trail on shot. It isn't visible as the Machina or the Hitman's Heatmaker's focused shot, but sensitive players can still notice it easily.

Secondary Weapons

SMG + reskins

Weapon Kill Icon Ammo Damage
Loaded Carried Point Blank Medium Range Long Range Critical
Killicon SMG.png 25 75 8-12 4-6 4-5 24
  • The SMG is more suited for close combat than your rifle and has a much tighter spread than other similar sustained fire weapons like the Pistol or Minigun. This gives you a weapon with an excellent middle ground between a wide spread pattern or the pin-point accuracy of your Primary. Additionally, it can be used to finish off low-health enemies who you have just headshot.
  • It's important to make every shot with this weapon count, due to the low damage output. Aim carefully and keep your crosshair trained around the enemy's torso, rather than just spraying bullets wildly.
  • This weapon is useful in rushing opponents due to the fast fire rate. With several bullets hitting their mark, you may pressure your opponents enough to convince them to flee from you instead of continuing to engage.
  • The SMG is a decent Spychecking tool and can be useful for spraying general areas such as around corners or raised platforms to reveal or draw out Spies who are trying to hide in the vicinity. Once you know a Spy is in the immediate area, fire bullets into likely hiding places and watch for blood splattering and Cloak flicker to show when you've hit a Spy.
  • The SMG is much more deadly if used when Mini-Crits or Critical Hits are in effect, due to its low damage and high accuracy. The Kritzkrieg in particular allows you to deal excellent damage, even at longer ranges.
  • Combining the SMG with the Tribalman's Shiv's bleed effect can be incredibly effective. Hit them with the Tribalman's Shiv to make them bleed, back up to mid-range, and start firing with the SMG. Having two constant sources of damage can quickly drain the health out of any class, but the success rate may vary; using this method on classes such as Soldiers and Heavies is not a good idea and should only be used in the worst of circumstances.
  • The SMG carries only three extra clips and runs out of ammo surprisingly quickly. Take heed of this and search for ammo packs regularly if you find yourself using this item often to defend yourself.

Cleaner's Carbine

Weapon Kill Icon Ammo Damage
Loaded Carried Point Blank Medium Range Long Range Critical
Cleaner's Carbine
Cleaner's Carbine
Killicon cleaner's carbine.png 20 75 8-12 4-6 4-5 24
  • The Cleaner's Carbine is similar to the stock SMG, but has a CRIKEY bar which, after getting filled by dealing damage with the weapon and activated through secondary fire, gives the user a 100% rate of Mini-Crits for 8 seconds. However, it holds 20% less ammo in a clip, fires 25% slower, and grants no random crits.
  • The Cleaner's Carbine allows a Sniper to be more aggressive when hunting down Spies or finishing off foes when in close quarters combat. The power of Mini-Crits and the fast firing speed of this weapon allow you to defend yourself more efficiently, especially against those who normally give you a hard time, such as Scouts or Demoknights.
  • The Mini-Crits pass onto your other weapons, so if an enemy is out of the Cleaner's Carbine's effective range, switch to the rifle to get a quick, unscoped, mini-crit bodyshot. If an enemy is close by and you have to reload the Cleaner's Carbine, switch to your melee to get an easy kill. The Bushwacka, which deals critical hits whenever it would normally Mini-Crit, makes an excellent choice when paired with this weapon.
  • The Carbine is a solid backup choice with the Huntsman. Combining the Mini-Crits with a fully charged bodyshot by the Huntsman will effectively kill any class with 150 health or lower.
  • While it may normally be difficult to smoke out disguised Spies with the SMG, the CRIKEY bar will fill when hitting disguised Spies, making it both an excellent Spy-checking tool and a strong way to finish them off before they can escape after being discovered.
  • The Carbine is well-suited for situations where your need to defend yourself when in enemy territory. The CRIKEY bar is best saved for when the standard damage of the SMG is not effective enough to dissuade your attackers.
  • The firing speed and ammo penalties might not seem like terribly punishing downsides, but may prove lethal to you in a fight. Therefore it is extra important that you hit all your shots.
  • CRIKEY charge can be gained from firing at enemies and buildings alike. Since buildings stand still, are repaired often, and are not subject to damage falloff, you can reliably charge the CRIKEY bar by attacking or destroying Sentry Guns, Dispensers, and Teleporters from afar.

Jarate + reskins

Weapon Ammo Effect
Loaded Carried Effect on Enemies Effect on Teammates Effect Duration Recharge Time
1 Incoming damage is taken in mini-crits. Also negates Cloak. Extinguishes flame on yourself and/or teammates. 10 seconds 20 seconds (16 seconds when teammate extinguished)
Self-Aware Beauty Mark
Self-Aware Beauty Mark
  • The Jarate is similar to the Mad Milk; it is a thrown projectile that covers enemies in the substance, and nullifies the Cloak of enemy Spies and extinguishes teammates and yourself when on fire. Anyone who attacks a player covered in Jarate will deal Mini-Crit. Jarate has a recharge time of 20 seconds.
  • Jarate is thrown at a slight arc, which means it requires you to aim in a different way than most other projectiles. Leading your throw to a certain degree will cause the jar to be tossed more accurately and more likely to hit opponents further away.
  • The Critical hits always prioritize over Mini-Crits from Jarate, meaning that every Jarated enemy you damage will always score either a Critical hit or a Mini-Crit.
  • Try to throw it at a Spy as soon as you spot him so that he can't Cloak and escape. Jarate renders the Spy's Cloak useless, lightly displaying his team color and dripping yellow Jarate particles. If you suspect a Spy is in the vicinity, do not be afraid to use your Jarate to Spycheck.
  • You can use Jarate to extinguish yourself and your allies if on fire. Throw it at the ground if you are on fire yourself. Extinguishing teammates will lessen the cooldown of Jarate by 20%, which rewards you for using it less conservatively.
  • Be aware that Jarate cannot be thrown through friendly players that are further away from you and explode directly on teammates. Try to avoid having it hit a player who is not on fire that is in the way.
  • Pyros, Demomen, and Soldiers can make for good Jarate buddies, since they have powerful area-of-effect attacks with a similar range to Jarate. This means they have a better chance of hitting the coated enemy and dealing more damage to them.
    • Soldiers with any Banner are especially useful, as your Mini-Crits will charge their rage, so that they can grant further buffs.
  • Jarate is a good weapon for when you need to clear a point of enemies quickly. Throwing it at groups of enemies who are on a Cart or Control Point can help your team thin their numbers.
  • Combine Jarate with the Bushwacka, which Crits whenever it can Mini-Crit, for reliable Critical hits.
  • Keep in mind that Jarate does count as a projectile, so it can be airblasted by a Pyro back to you. Similarly, treat Jarate tosses like any other projectile against an experienced Pyro. Aim for the feet or take advantage of the Jarate's large splash radius to minimize the chance of them reflecting it back to you.
  • Remember that Jarate causes enemies to take Mini-Crits. If both teams are pushing in a chokepoint, use Jarate to change the tides of battle.


Weapon Ammo Effect
Loaded Carried Passive Effect Effect on Enemies Effect Duration Recharge Time
1 Immunity to a single Backstab. The player will be alerted by a loud electrical sound, as well as being zoomed out of their scope if they were zoomed in once the Razorback is broken. If a backstab is attempted, the Spy will be unable to attack, Cloak and switch weapons. 2 seconds 30 seconds
A Razorback breaks after one successful backstab.
  • The Razorback gives the ability to passively block a single backstab attempt. It additionally will short circuit the Spy's Cloak and prevent him from switching weapons for 2 seconds. As a downside, it completely negates the Sniper's ability to be overhealed.
  • Keep an ear out for the electrical breaking sound of your Razorback, as it means a Spy is right behind you. Try killing him with your melee weapon, but be quick, because if too much time passes, the Spy can kill (or weaken) you with his Revolver.
  • Only use the Razorback if you know the enemy has Spies on their team and those Spies are actively impeding your sniping. The SMG is very advantageous in hunting down Spies in your area or taking down nearby weak enemies. The other secondary item, Jarate, is excellent for keeping already-discovered Spies visible to your team or making enemies easier to kill due to its Mini-Crit effects.
  • The Tribalman’s Shiv pairs very well with the Razorback as the bleeding effect can help to prevent the Spy from escaping via cloaking.
  • The peace-of-mind of being able to survive a backstab helps sniping on a psychological level, despite its many counters. This can be a benefit to certain new players or paranoid Snipers who get backstabbed too often.
  • If you are actively capturing Control Points or pushing the Cart, the Razorback will help protect you from chainstabs.
  • Razorbacks respawn after thirty seconds once they are broken; the only way to get one faster is to visit a resupply locker, so once it's broken, you have to either watch your back for thirty seconds, or head back to spawn to get a new one.
  • If you are not in a well-defended location, the Razorback is not recommended. Experienced Ambassador Spies will kill you before you realize what hit you. However, it can also deter a Your Eternal Reward Spy due to forcing them to choose between killing you and losing a precious disguise or ignoring you and letting you continue picking off their team.
  • The Razorback excels in Medieval Mode, as Spies will be limited to the use of their knives and disguise kits. This will dissuade them from attempting to backstab you, or even engaging with you at all.
  • Just because you are immune to one backstab doesn't mean you can ignore your surroundings. If you know there is a Spy in the area, don't let him go so far as to remove your Razorback. Try Spy-checking or warning your teammates.
  • If you have this shield equipped and are being shot, chances are a Spy is nearby and noticed your Razorback. Assuming you don't die, the best course of action is to run for safety, get health, and warn your teammates.
  • As most experienced Spies will simply switch to their Revolver instead of stabbing your shield, the Razorback is best used for offensive Snipers with the Huntsman or experienced ones "quick-scoping" with the Sniper Rifles, as it will prevent trickstabs.

Darwin's Danger Shield

Weapon Effect
Passive Effect
Darwin's Danger Shield
Darwin's Danger Shield
50% fire damage resistance. 100% afterburn immunity.
  • The Darwin's Danger Shield renders you immune to afterburn and halves the damage taken from fire.
  • When used with the Huntsman, you can get closer to the battlefield. You can now shoot arrows at close range without so much worry about Pyros disrupting you.
    • Alternatively, pairing the Shahanshah with this shield and the Huntsman allows you to make a last stand when things get rough and you must escape.
  • The immunity to afterburn will render the Dragon's Fury a worse option for the Pyro, as the Dragon's Fury relies on enemies to be afflicted with Afterburn in order to output its bonus damage. However, when under direct flame damage, they can still gain increased damage on you, necessitating you keep your distance wherever possible.
    • The fire damage resistance will also halve the damage from the fireball, resulting in prolonging against the Pyro more effectively.
  • This can give an advantage to Snipers that find themselves getting ambushed by enemy Pyros.
    • This is especially useful for negating flare shots, which would otherwise result in flinching from fire damage that could considerably disrupt your aim.
    • Negating afterburn can also deny enemy Pyros from obtaining critical hits from combos, such as the Flare Gun's crit-on-burning-players attribute.
    • However, fighting against Pyro with Darwin's Danger Shield is not very effective. Utilize its fire damage resistance to instead run away from Pyro to the safety of teammates.

Cozy Camper

Weapon Effect
Passive Effect
Cozy Camper
Cozy Camper
No flinching while scoped and fully charged. Knockback reduced by 20% while scoped. Regenerate 1-4 health per second while equipped depending how recently the Sniper has been injured.
  • The Cozy Camper grants a 20% knockback resistance while scoped in and completely negates aim flinch while scoped in and fully charged. It will also heal the Sniper passively in a similar fashion to that of the Medic, or Soldier with the Concherer.
  • The Cozy Camper is a good secondary if you often stick around one spot while sniping.
    • The weapon is less effective if you snipe near the front lines. As a result, this is a poor choice with the Huntsman.
    • If you snipe far away from the main action, or take advantage of your scope often, it can be helpful for rifles such as Hitman's Heatmaker.
  • Be sure to take note of when you are actually taking damage; if you have a fully charged shot, you will no longer have an obvious visual indicator of the scope moving.
    • With damaging effects that take place over time (such as afterburn and bleeding), you can fire at least one shot before needing to find a health source.
    • Remember, Pyros firing at you with the Flare Gun or the Detonator can take you out in two or three direct hits.
  • Although you suffer less knockback while scoped, you will still be forced to unscope while in the air and be subject to aerials.
  • It is extremely easy to become complacent while aiming. Be aware of your surroundings lest someone takes you out at close range or with the occasional Kill taunt.
  • The Cozy Camper is not well-suited for Snipers who prefer quick shots and pop in and out of scope often. When using the Cozy Camper, do not be afraid to unscope to reposition for a better shot.
  • The Cozy Camper can work well with the Sydney Sleeper due to its increased charge speed. This combination allows the Sniper to scope in, fire an unflinching quick charged shot, and move behind cover before he can be retaliated against.
  • The Cozy Camper can be detrimental when there are enemy Spies. The attributes of this weapon encourage the Sniper to stay scoped in, which gives Spies ample opportunity to backstab you while you are focused on maintaining your flinch immunity.

Melee Weapons

Kukri + reskins

Weapon Kill Icon Attack Interval Damage
Point Blank Critical
Killicon kukri.png 0.8 seconds 65 195
Frying Pan
Frying Pan
Killicon frying pan.png
Killicon saxxy.png
Conscientious Objector
Conscientious Objector
Killicon conscientious objector.png
Freedom Staff
Freedom Staff
Killicon freedom staff.png
Bat Outta Hell
Bat Outta Hell
Killicon bat outta hell.png
Memory Maker
Memory Maker
Killicon memory maker.png
Ham Shank
Ham Shank
Killicon ham shank.png
Golden Frying Pan
Golden Frying Pan
Killicon golden frying pan.png
Necro Smasher
Necro Smasher
Killicon necro smasher.png
Crossing Guard
Crossing Guard
Killicon crossing guard.png
Prinny Machete
Prinny Machete
Killicon prinny machete.png
  • Two blows with the Kukri are enough to kill non-Overhealed Spies, Scouts, Engineers, or Snipers. Three blows will kill a Demoman, Medic or Pyro, and four will kill a Soldier.
  • Of all the melee weapons you possess, the Kukri is your greatest tool for close-quarters combat if you are in a pinch. Its larger burst damage than the Shahanshah or Tribalman's Shiv, and the lack of damage vulnerability like the Bushwacka can give you an easier time killing your enemy in the case of an ambush from Scouts or Spies.
  • Despite the versatility of your melee weapon, you are still very vulnerable in up-close dueling. It may be in your best interest to retreat, instead of chasing after your opponent to secure a kill, as that increases your chances of meeting up with a class you can't effectively fight against.

Tribalman's Shiv

Weapon Kill Icon Attack Interval Damage
Point Blank Critical
Tribalman's Shiv
Tribalman's Shiv
Killicon tribalman's shiv.png 0.8 seconds 33 98
Bleeding Killicon bleed.png 48 damage over 6 seconds N/A N/A
  • The Tribalman's Shiv trades 50% of the melee damage for the ability to deal bleed damage over time for 6 seconds. The total bleed damage is up to 48 (8 per second, up to 6 seconds), which combined with the 33 melee damage sums to 81 damage.
    • If it mini-crits, the mini-crit melee attack becomes 44, and the total bleed damage becomes 60 (10 per second); it deals 104 damage in total if all bleed is inflicted.
  • In many ways, the Bleeding effect of the Tribalman's Shiv behaves much in the same way as the Pyro's afterburn. However, bleeding has the advantage of not being removed by being submerged in water, or extinguished with Jarate. Only resupply cabinets and health kits can stop the bleeding effect.
  • Use your Jarate in combination with the Shiv for bleeding Mini-Crits. Using this combination results in almost a one-hit kill on 125 HP classes such as the Scout, Spy, Sniper, and Engineer. This combination is also useful when wearing down heavier classes; if needed, supplement this damage with your primary weapon.
    • You can pair this weapon with the Sydney Sleeper as a last resort if your charged shot is unable to kill a class in one hit. Since the bleeding lingers, you may be able to finish off an opponent with the Mini-Crits even if you end up dying.
  • Overall, the Tribalman's Shiv causes more damage than the Kukri, but over a longer duration.
  • Due to the post-damage, two hits with the Tribalman's Shiv on lighter classes (Scout, Spy, Sniper, and Engineer) should be enough to kill them by the bleeding, unless they find a way to heal themselves within 6 seconds.
    • To ensure you kill a lighter class quickly, you can make a quick bodyshot with your rifle of choice before leaving.
  • Cloaked Spies will be semi-visible when bleeding, due to a slight flicker of their Cloak and the blood effect.
  • Spies using the Dead Ringer won't flicker from bleeding, but will still leave the blood effect, revealing their location.
  • Due to the fact that bleeding does not stack when hit the same target with the Tribalman's Shiv multiple times, it may be a good idea to hit each opponent once when fighting multiple foes, and then hit each one again instead of focusing on one first.
  • Pairing the Tribalman's Shiv with the SMG or the Cleaner's Carbine can increase damage on the victim with the bleeding supplemented by the hitscan bullets.
  • This weapon is built for avoiding or escaping direct combat. Using a strategy that requires you to be on the front lines (such as with the Huntsman) is often not very effective.
  • A Critical hit against an enemy with moderate health can be devastating. If you score a Crit against an enemy, you can take the chance to run away and the bleeding will probably finish them off.


Weapon Kill Icon Attack Interval Damage
Point Blank Critical
Killicon bushwacka.png 0.8 seconds 65 195
  • Any attack with the Bushwacka that would be a Mini-Crit will become a full Crit. However, the Bushwacka is unable to get random Critical hits and the Sniper will take 20% more damage while the Bushwacka is active.
  • This weapon can be very effective when used in conjunction with the Jarate and the Cleaner's Carbine, due to its ability to turn Mini-Crits into full Crits.
  • If your enemies have the habit of closing in after being hit by the Sydney Sleeper, this is an excellent counter.
  • The Mini-Crit into Crit effect is applicable to any source of Mini-Crits (Buff Banner, marked for death, etc).
  • The Bushwacka is ideal for dispatching Spies who have activated the Dead Ringer. Coating them in Jarate and hitting them a few times will kill them quickly.
  • In conjunction with a well-placed Jarate toss, the Bushwacka can easily dispatch most enemies; even distracted, overhealed Heavies.
  • Be wary about when you pull out this weapon, due to the increased damage you take when it is active. Only wield it if you are sure that a melee kill is imminent.

Shahanshah + reskins

Weapon Kill Icon Attack Interval Damage
Point Blank Critical
Killicon shahanshah.png 0.8 seconds 81 / 49 244 / 146
  • The Shahanshah does 25% less damage when the Sniper is at or above 50% health, but does 25% more damage when he is below 50% health.
  • The Shahanshah is good for fighting Spies. Spies fight at close range, so you'll probably take enough damage to make you a force to be reckoned with.
  • The Shahanshah is best used in combination with the Razorback. The Razorback will encourage Spies to use their Revolver instead of their knife. Being hit with a Revolver will easily bring you under the 50% health requirement and improve your ability to fight Spies even further.
  • The Shahanshah is less effective for ambushing enemies, should the situation arise. For example, if you are the only one around and it becomes necessary to stop a capture, you may need to ambush, which is less effective with this weapon.
  • The Shahanshah can be very powerful when used in tandem with Jarate or the Cleaner's Carbine. The combined damage of being below the 50% threshold and Mini-Crits will make you a forced to be reckoned with, and allow you to fight back against Spies, Scouts and Pyros more effectively.
  • Although you deal extra damage when below half health, try not to always take advantage of the bonus. After all, your reduced health means enemies can very well kill you with no difficulty.

Kill taunts

Arrow Stab

Kill Icon Weapon Damage Duration Details
Arrow Stab
Arrow Stab
Killicon arrow stab.png Huntsman
Fortified Compound
500 4 seconds The Sniper will remove the prepped arrow from his bow, spin it behind him, and then fiercely stab it forwards before yanking it back.
  • The Huntsman's Arrow Stab taunt is the second-fastest taunt in the game, taking a mere 4 seconds to kill. The initial thrust stuns enemy players, while pulling the arrow out kills.
    • It takes about 0.7s for the Sniper to stun an enemy after activating the taunt. During the process of taunting, he will say "Stab, stab, stab!". The first "Stab!" word occurs before he stuns the target within thrusting range.
  • You can stun (but not kill) ÜberCharged enemies with the Arrow Stab, causing them to waste precious seconds.
  • You don't need to touch the enemy with the initial thrust to get the kill; the enemy merely must be in melee range when the arrow is yanked back.
  • On the other hand, it is possible to stun the enemy with the initial thrust but not kill them with the retraction. The taunt is sufficiently fast that you should be able to taunt again before the first thrust's stun wears off.
  • Being such a fast taunt, you can use it to kill distracted enemies or enemies that you suspect are charging towards your position, perhaps around tight corners.

Weapon combinations

Cooperative Class Strategies

Leaderboard class scout.png Scout

Cooperating with a Scout is a bit unorthodox due to your completely different fighting styles. Despite this, there is still some chemistry to be found with a friendly Scout.

  • If a Scout is using the Fan O'War, your Bushwacka will score critical hits on an enemy marked for death.
  • You provide a great distraction for the Scout. If enemies are reluctant to cross open areas because of you, they will begin using alternate routes to attack, which allows the Scout to more easily ambush them.
  • If an enemy Engineer is using the Gunslinger, destroying his mini-Sentry Guns from a distance with your Sniper Rifle can help a Scout tremendously.
  • The combination of Jarate with the bleeding effect of a Scout's Boston Basher, Three-Rune Blade, Wrap Assassin, or Flying Guillotine can quickly kill weaker classes and severely weaken bulkier ones.
  • When using the Huntsman, you will generally fight closer to the frontlines. A Scout can provide a good distraction, giving you more time to pick your targets.
  • Regardless of the above tactics, a Scout will generally be too far away for you to help him much due to the different natures of your classes; a Scout is helpless at long range, while a Sniper is worst at close range. Unless you are sure that you can fight in the frontlines, it's best to find another class to team up with instead.

Leaderboard class soldier.png Soldier

The Soldier is a bulky class that can provide excellent protection for you and is a great distraction. While there is not much direct help you can do for him, there are some situational advantages you should keep in mind.

  • The Soldier's overwhelming power and presence in a battle means he, like the Heavy, will be the center of attention in most circumstances. Using this knowledge, you can start inconspicuously eliminating classes in the backlines such as Medics, other Snipers and Heavies.
  • Due to the Rocket Launcher's large splash radius and high damage, Soldiers are excellent at protecting Snipers from the threats of Scouts and Spies before they can even approach.
  • Use Jarate when working with a Soldier, the Mini-Crits rewarded makes the Soldier's own explosive damage even more effective.
    • Furthermore, extinguishing a Soldier who is on fire doesn't have to retreat for health as early, which strengthens your team's next push.
  • Enemy Pyros can prevent a Soldier from doing maximum damage due to their airblast. Take them out to allow the Soldier more liberal use of his Rocket Launcher.
    • If both your Soldier and you are constantly harassed by Pyros, consider equipping the Darwin's Danger Shield and seeking protection from a different class, such as an Engineer or Heavy.
  • Just like you, the Soldier is quite effective at suppressing fire from enemy Snipers at long range. He can fire rockets at common Sniper spots, distracting them enough to allow you to finish them off, or by outright killing them.
  • Soldiers who use the B.A.S.E. Jumper are sitting ducks for any class with accurate hitscan, or straightforward projectiles. As such, sniping those who attempt to target the parachuting Soldier will allow him to traverse the skies more safely and cause destruction from unexpected angles.
  • A Soldier using the Battalion's Backup, when activated, can make it much easier for you to take out an enemy Sniper, as you will be immune to Critical hits, making it impossible for him to headshot you.
  • Enemy Snipers can be a detriment to an actively jumping Soldier. As you are one of the most effective counters to other Snipers, killing them will make a Soldier's life much easier.
  • The Huntsman changes the Sniper's playstyle similarly to that of the Soldier's, allowing you to coordinate in the same locations and with similar strategies for maximum damage potential.
    • For instance, a fully charged Huntsman headshot combined with a close-range rocket will kill even a fully overhealed Heavy.

Leaderboard class pyro.png Pyro

A Pyro can eliminate the risk of getting backstabbed due to their excellent Spy-checking ability, allowing you to snipe without having to constantly watch your back. Additionally, your inherent role of priority elimination allows you to keep your Pyro around by killing the classes that want them dead the most.

  • As with the Scout, the fear of a Sniper will make enemies avoid open areas, which allows the Pyro to more easily ambush them. This is especially effective when the Pyro is using the Backburner.
  • Combining Jarate with afterburn can be extremely powerful and will severely weaken even some of the most resilient classes in a matter of seconds.
  • Due to the Pyro's effective range being so small, they are a good target for long-range harassment from enemy Snipers or Engineers and their Sentry Guns. Killing these threats goes a long way towards protecting your Pyros when needed.
  • A Pyro can light your Huntsman arrows on fire. This is especially effective when you are fighting close to the frontlines, as the Pyro can constantly keep your arrows lit up.
  • A Pyro can use their Flare Gun to harass enemy Snipers, making it easier for you to take them out.

Leaderboard class demoman.png Demoman

Like the Soldier, the Demoman is a bulky class that can protect you with his explosive ordnance. You also can be great protection for the Demoman in certain situations.

  • When the Demoman is using the B.A.S.E. Jumper be sure to protect him, as he is an easy target when descending, especially for enemy Snipers.
  • If possible, take out any enemy's Scottish Resistance or Quickiebomb Launcher stickybombs with your Sniper Rifle or SMG, as they can destroy your Demoman's own stickies.
  • You provide good long range assistance to a Demoman, as he lacks any hitscan weaponry. Focus on targets that are outside the Demoman's effective range.
  • Do not "steal" sure kills from a Demoman who is using the Half-Zatoichi, as he will then be unable to put it away without suffering 50 HP of damage.
  • You can greatly assist a Demoman in taking out an enemy Sentry nest. Taking out the Engineer with your Sniper Rifle makes sure he can't repair or haul his buildings while the Demoman destroys them.

Leaderboard class heavy.png Heavy

The Heavy is an important class in the sense that he is capable of a fearsome level of defense to both yourself and your allied Medics. Therefore, it is in your best interest to protect them wherever possible. On the opposite side, the Heavy also is great at protecting you from the average threats that can give Snipers a rough time.

  • Eliminating enemy Snipers is of utmost importance when supporting a friendly Heavy. The Heavy is a slow class with a large hitbox, making him a juicy target for a Sniper. This is especially true when the Heavy is using the Brass Beast, which decreases Heavy's already slow movement speed while spun up down to a crawl.
  • The Heavy's firepower and obvious, intimidating presence will usually draw lots of enemy fire to him. This allows you to pick your targets more carefully without having to worry too much about incoming fire.
  • The Heavy's Sandvich can both extinguish and heal you in cases where you cannot reach a health pack in time before burning to death from afterburn.
  • If you are close to the frontlines with a Heavy and facing a group of opponents, try to hit all of them with Jarate, or tag them with the Sydney Sleeper. The Heavy can then easily deal with them with his Minigun.
  • The Heavy excels at killing any opponents that face him head-on. This means classes like the Scout and Pyro will have a rough time reaching you without going through your Heavy buddy first.
  • Although the Heavy boasts the most health of all the classes and is usually not likely to die due to afterburn, extinguishing him with Jarate is still a good idea, as it allows him to save his Sandvich for a more critical situation.
  • A Heavy using the Holiday Punch can make enemies laugh, allowing you to easily headshot them.
  • A Heavy using the Natascha can slow down enemies, which makes it easier for you to take them out.

Leaderboard class engineer.png Engineer

While working with an Engineer may not be overly effective, you can still help him keep his Sentry nest maintained.

  • While the Engineer himself is rather close-ranged in combat, his Sentry Gun has a very large effective hitscan range. This makes it very useful in deterring classes that attempt to ambush you while sniping.
  • The Spy causes trouble for both the Engineer and the Sniper, but their combined tools can make a Spy's life very difficult if used properly:
    • Make sure to protect your Engineer when he is using the Wrangler, as he may stand completely still while using it, making him an easier target for Spies to backstab.
    • If the Engineer's buildings are being sapped, throw Jarate close to the buildings to reveal the Spy.
  • If you have the SMG equipped, you can use it to destroy enemy sticky bombs that threaten your Engineer's buildings.
  • Taking out enemy Medics denies their ÜberCharge advantage, which goes a long way toward defending a Sentry nest.
  • The Engineer can be very effective in protecting you at close range, thanks to his Shotgun.
  • Jarate greatly increases the effectiveness of the Southern Hospitality. Its added fire vulnerability is mitigated and its bleed damage will be upgraded to mini-crits.
  • The Pomson 6000 can light your Huntsman arrows on fire.

Leaderboard class medic.png Medic

Protecting your Medic from the enemy Snipers or other similar threats should be your first priority at all times.

  • Since you will often be closer to the battle when using the Huntsman, Medics may often come to you for protection if their pocket has died or if a particularly dangerous foes like a Scout or Spy is chasing after him. Since you can more easily protect yourself from close range with the Huntsman and SMG, you can help deal with the threat quickly and allow the Medic to get back to the safety of beefier teammates.
    • While you are not a very efficient pocket for a Medic, the Huntsman paired with the Kritzkrieg can still do considerable damage in the hands of a skilled Huntsman Sniper. This also applies to the SMG or Cleaner's Carbine, though not to the same extent.
  • Always extinguish the Medic first with your Jarate. You will automatically gain back 20% of it's charge, so there is no reason to be greedy about using it.
  • You will generally be a fair distance away from your Medic, so try not to rely on his healing and remember the locations of health packs. If you absolutely need a Medic, go to him rather than have him come to you, as his distance from you means he may have to abandon the rest of the team to help you. If he is using the Crusader's Crossbow, stand completely still so he can quickly heal you from a distance and get back to his work.

Leaderboard class sniper.png Sniper

Two Snipers working together is extremely hazardous to the enemy team, as they will constantly have to avoid open areas, limiting their effectiveness.

  • If the other Sniper is using the SMG or Cleaner's Carbine, equip Jarate to improve its effectiveness.
  • You can work as a Sniper-Spotter pair: one can stay scoped in to keep his shot fully charged, while the other can stay unscoped to call out potential targets and keep watch for ambushes or Spies.
  • A pair of Snipers is especially problematic for a lone enemy Sniper, as he constantly has to worry about a headshot from both of you, limiting his effectiveness.
  • If the other Sniper is using the Sydney Sleeper you can equip the Bushwacka and have one Sniper drench enemies in Jarate while having the other finish them off.
  • If one Sniper is using the Huntsman, the other would do well to use a hitscan type of Primary to better deal with Snipers, or when faster ranged damage is needed.
  • Multiple Snipers can be very powerful when coordinated together, and cause massive chaos. However, two Snipers is more often than not enough, consider going a different class if you notice more than two Snipers on your team.

Leaderboard class spy.png Spy

You and the Spy fulfill a very similar role, albeit in a different fashion. Cooperating with a Spy can maximize the effectiveness of this role and instill fear and paranoia on the enemy team.

  • The Spy's intelligence can be very important when deciding where to position yourself. If the Spy alerts you to an enemy heading towards a specific chokepoint, you can reach that point before they do and surprise them with a charged (head)shot.
  • If you see a friendly Spy on fire, put him out with Jarate to keep his cover up. As a perk, if it's an enemy Spy, he'll be soaked in it, revealing him.
  • If your Spy's presence is revealed to the enemy team, use that opportunity to headshot as many opponents as you can while their attention is diverted.
  • Communication with a Spy is very important: you can wait until he is in position behind an enemy Pocket, take out theira Medic and then let him deal with the Pocket, or vice versa.
  • You can take out a whole Sentry nest with a Spy. Take out the Engineer with your Sniper Rifle and let the Spy take care of the buildings with his Sapper. If needed, supplement with shots from your Primary, or with the SMG's tight bullet spread.
  • Due to their nature of being single-target classes, the Sniper and Spy are best off going for different targets or trying to coordinate taking down 2 or 3 targets at a time. However, don't be afraid to abandon each other to retreat into a better situation rather than dying.

Sniping Priorities

Priorities vary and depend on the situation at the time. The following list should often, but not always, be used in order to specify which target is the first to take down. But if there is an easier shot to take, you should take the time to kill that target first. For example, if you have a large number of teammates battling a nearby Medic with a Heavy, sometimes taking out the Heavy first is the better choice since your teammates will be able to quickly control the area and kill the isolated Medic. If you shoot the Medic first, the Heavy might hold his ground by himself long enough for reinforcements to arrive, but it will only prevent them from using an ÜberCharge.

In order of priority, you should be taking out:

  1. Snipers
  2. Medics
  3. Demomen
  4. Heavies

The rest in relative priority order:

  1. Soldiers
  2. Engineers
  3. Pyros
  4. Spies
  5. Scouts
  • Snipers are on the top of the list because they deny your teammates the ability to cross an open space freely and present the biggest threat to you as another Sniper.
  • Medics are next because they have the ability to heal and activate an ÜberCharge. They can also assist the enemy forces by providing overheals in order to survive the brutal fight with your teammates. The Medics are a higher priority when they have an ÜberCharge ready.
  • Demoman's area denial is a formidable defense against your team; he can easily block your flank routes and choke points with Stickybombs, and his grenades can deal 400 damage in a few seconds. Taking him out destroys his stickies and prevents him from spamming explosives, allowing your team to move in.
  • Heavy's job is to block attacks intended for his teammates and grind down overextending enemies. Despite his large hitbox and slow movement speed, a good Heavy will duck and weave out of your shots, causing you to waste time charging shots to try to hit him. However, when he is killed the enemy team becomes more vulnerable to spam and flanks, and the enemy team will lose firepower.
  • Soldiers can be a dangerous threat if they take notice of your presence, and Direct Hit Soldiers are especially dangerous. They can strafe and fire rockets at you to prevent a clean shot, and good soldiers may even attempt to rocket jump toward you with the sole purpose of eliminating you. Taking them down will essentially save your teammates the possibility of being wiped out by the Soldier's rockets.
  • Without his buildings, Engineer doesn't pose much of a threat to you or your team. However, his nest makes a stellar defense, as long as he's maintaining it. Once he dies, his buildings are much easier to demolish - if you have a sightline, shoot them. If Engineer is running the Gunslinger, picking him off isn't as high a priority, as Mini-Sentry Guns have fairly little area-denial capability.
  • Pyros have awkward-shaped heads, which can make it easier to kill them. They have the ability to easily destroy your team in close combat, so they must be taken down quickly and prior to their onslaught. Pyros equipped with the Flare Gun can set you aflame at range and greatly hinder your ability to snipe.
  • Spies are usually cloaked or disguised. If you see one, shoot him before he causes any trouble, but they will become hard to find as time goes on. Thus, you probably should not worry about them, though if you spot a Spy and did not see him die, call out his presence to your team and watch your back. Most of the time, he should not be a sniping priority.
  • Scouts move too fast in most cases for sniping, and you would be wasting your time and ammo trying to snipe Scouts. In fact, the only times you should even attempt to snipe a Scout is when he is capturing an objective (such as the Intelligence or the Control Point), there are no other larger threats to kill, or if he's closing in on you. If you must snipe a Scout, charge a scoped shot and wait until he is in midair and has used his double-jump, then bodyshot him for an instant kill. (Small exception: On 2Fort, Scouts can often pose a great threat to you and your team if they take the bridge's roof. If you time it right, you can often take them out and retreat to cover before an enemy takes a shot at you. This doesn't make them the highest priority (they are little more than a nuisance if they miss their jump), but makes them a more significant threat than most Spies and Pyros would.)

See also