Sniper match-ups

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Be polite. Be efficient. Have a plan to kill everyone you meet.
The Sniper on exemplary battlefield etiquette
Class Strategy
Sniper.png
Sniper
vs Scout.png
Scout
Although an enemy Scout is difficult to hit, he’ll only be able to harass you with his Pistol at longer ranges. He dominates you at close range, so try to take him out before he gets too close. His head is a rather small target, so don’t be afraid to take your time to land a fully charged bodyshot instead of going for a quick headshot. If he does move in a predictable direction, such as straight towards you, a quick headshot is still ideal. If he does manage to close the distance, he’ll have a huge advantage. At close range, backpedal while firing your Submachine Gun or unscoped shots from your primary weapon.
Sniper.png
Sniper
vs Soldier.png
Soldier
An enemy Soldier will typically be fighting at the frontlines, far away from you. He is a slow, bulky target and is easy to hit when grounded. If he sees you, he’ll probably fire rockets at your position to force you behind cover. In this situation, you can just take quick shots between his barrages. If he tries to approach you by rocket jumping, you’ll have to either shoot him out of the air or simply retreat. It is suicide to go toe-to-toe with a Soldier at close range, where he can easily land rockets and Shotgun blasts.
Sniper.png
Sniper
vs Pyro.png
Pyro
Unless an enemy Pyro is using the Flare Gun or its variations, he has no way to effectively fight back at long range. If he is out in the open, you can attack without fear of retaliation. However, at close range, his Flamethrower will devastate you. If stuck in this sort of situation, backpedal while firing your Submachine Gun or unscoped shots from your primary weapon. The effects of afterburn will negatively affect your aim but can be negated by Jarate, which extinguishes flames, or the Cozy Camper, which helps negate the damage. If you are using the Huntsman, note that arrows are the one damaging projectile you have that can be reflected.
Sniper.png
Sniper
vs Demoman.png
Demoman
Over long distances, an enemy Demoman can only lob inaccurate grenades and Stickybombs at your position. Keep moving in between your own shots to avoid the wide splash damage. If he tries to sticky jump or use one of his shields to approach you, hide behind cover or take advantage of his predictable trajectory to land an easy headshot. At medium range, his explosives can easily make short work of you. If he gets too close, backpedal while firing your Submachine Gun or unscoped shots from your primary weapon. The Demoman, with his indirect weaponry, is one of the only classes capable of attacking you from outside your line of sight; well placed explosives can turn your sniping spot into a deathtrap. Keep an eye (and ear) out for traps and use your Sniper Rifle or Submachine Gun to remove Stickybombs if needed.
Sniper.png
Sniper
vs Heavy.png
Heavy
The Heavy’s slow speed and large size make him a juicy target. At a distance, his Minigun fire suffers from bullet spread and will do minimal damage, allowing you to snipe freely. Remain distant; even at medium range, his bullets will cause you to flinch and make it much harder to aim. One fully charged headshot will instantly kill an overhealed Heavy, well worth waiting for if he has a Medic healing him. If a Heavy somehow maneuvers to your sniping location, just run; both unscoped shots from your primary weapon and your Submachine Gun will deal pitiful damage.
Sniper.png
Sniper
vs Engineer.png
Engineer
An Engineer is usually encamped in a defensive position that makes it too dangerous to approach with just your Sniper Rifle. Unless the two of you are away from his Sentry Gun, you are unlikely to face each other in direct combat. His Shotgun and possibly Combat Mini-Sentry give him the advantage in close range combat, so don’t seek him out yourself. However, an exposed Sentry Gun can be picked off with a few charged shots from your primary weapon, forcing the Engineer to expose himself to repair or abandon it. If the Engineer is actively repairing the Sentry Gun or harassing you with the Wrangler, target him first; he can’t repair his buildings if he’s dead. If the Engineer is hiding behind his Sentry Gun and can't be hit, try firing at his other buildings to force him out from cover.
Sniper.png
Sniper
vs Medic.png
Medic
When you see an enemy Medic, he should become one of your top priority targets. Do your best to land a headshot or fully charged bodyshot to instantly eliminate his team’s source of healing. His Syringe Gun and other weapons are ineffective over longer distances (except for the Crusader's Crossbow); if he is alone, you should be able to fire at him without any problems. However, even a Medic can easily take you down at close range, where his Syringe Gun will outperform your Submachine Gun. His relatively high speed will allow him to easily chase you, so it might be best to stand your ground anyway.
Sniper.png
Sniper
vs Sniper.png
Sniper
One of your main jobs is to eliminate enemy Snipers that’re constantly picking off your own teammates. Because a Sniper duel can be decided in just one shot, focus on predicting the enemy Sniper's movements while remaining mobile yourself. A standing target is extremely easy to hit - even when aiming, strafe back and forth, adjusting your crosshair as needed. Accustom yourself to aiming for quick headshots unless you're sure your target can be killed by a bodyshot. After taking your shot, keep moving and don't stay exposed; if you fail to kill him, there will be a small window of time where he can freely fire at you. Establishing control of a zone first is important; being in a position to land a fully charged bodyshot on your enemy as soon as they step out from behind cover is a great advantage. If there are signs that an enemy Sniper is already watching the area, such as his Sniper Rifle's laser dot or injured teammates, consider moving to another position so that you can freely take the first shot. If you don't wish to do so, leave cover while charging your shot so that you are already prepared to fire. A Sniper with the Huntsman will have to fight considerably closer to the frontlines and is thus at a disadvantage when facing a Sniper with the default Sniper Rifle.
Sniper.png
Sniper
vs Spy.png
Spy
The Spy is your nemesis. Because you will frequently be focused on aiming at targets that are far away, you may not notice when he’s behind you with his Knife. As a Sniper, you generally work alone, so stay aware of your surroundings and Spy check any suspicious teammates that get too close. To discourage a Spy from picking you off, stay close enough to your team that they can provide assistance (or vengeance). Jarate won't protect you against a backstab but can nullify the Spy's Cloak and disguise, making him easy to track down. If you choose to use the Razorback, you deprive yourself of a secondary weapon but force the Spy to use his gun, which should draw your team's attention. His Revolver gives him an advantage in a straight-up duel, but you have melee weapons, such as the Tribalman's Shiv, that give you the upper hand in melee range.


See also