Basic Sniper strategy

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The Sniper is a long range, fragile class. He and the Spy are the only classes that can headshot. His role is to pick off important or dangerous targets such as skilled enemy Snipers, enemy Heavies and Medics, or Engineers near a Sentry Gun.



  • Your Sniper Rifle's laser dot is visible to the enemy. If you want to hide it, aim at a windowsill or nearby object until you are ready to shoot.
  • If you are firing from unusual positions, remember that the killcam will reveal your location to the enemy. This is important if your position is easy to flank or approach.
  • You will often be the first target for Spies. Check often. Pay attention.
  • Experiment with your mouse sensitivity. Too low, and you will have difficulty aiming at dodging enemies. Too high, and you may have problems aiming for small targets, like their heads. Test each setting for at least a day so you can adjust.
  • Fully charged bodyshots do excellent damage. They can kill Medics and level one Sentry Guns.

Weapon Specific Tips

A list of useful tidbits about the Sniper's tools.

Sniper Rifle

  • Quick headshots are preferable to charged bodyshots. You'll deal more damage faster.
  • You can fire your gun without scoping. It is completely accurate and deals uncharged bodyshot damage. Don't bother scoping if you have to fire immediately.
  • Boosted Crits from the Kritzkrieg or similar sources make any shot deal headshot damage.
  • If an opposing Sniper is carrying the Croc-o-style kit, hit him with a fully charged bodyshot rather than a headshot; the Croc-o-style kit prevents him from dying to a headshot (he will be left with 1 hp), but a fully charged bodyshot will still kill him in one shot, provided he is not buffed by an opposing Medic.
  • The Sniper Rifle is a great weapon to take out a Sentry Gun over long range since there is no damage fall-off attacking buildings.


  • Because Huntsman arrows are projectiles, lead your target.
  • When the Huntsman hits a person, it makes a distinctive sound which is always audible to the Sniper who fired it, no matter how far away the target is. You don't have to see if your arrows hit. You can hear them.
  • Firing around head height towards chokepoints will score occasional kills.
  • Arrows curve down a bit, and curve even more if you don't charge the shot. Aim up if you're shooting for the head.
  • The alt-fire button lets you stop charging your arrow. Use this to save ammo and to relax the Sniper's arm. If he is charged for more than 5 seconds, the arrow will be fired with spread and will generally miss the target.
  • Friendly Pyros can light your arrows on fire, even when you do not have one drawn. These arrows will not do extra damage on a hit, but will light the target on fire.
  • Projectiles have a large hitbox. Sometimes you can nail a headshot by shooting just to one side of their head. This is good for hitting distant foes and Engineers behind buildings.

Sydney Sleeper

  • Snipers with less than average aim should opt to use The Sydney Sleeper over the Rifle. You're able to deal a good amount of damage and apply the Jarate effect without having to aim for heads.
  • The Sydney Sleeper + Submachine Gun (SMG) can be an very lethal combination. If you hit a shot charged long enough to cover your target in Jarate, a single clip of the SMG can deal about 250 damage. Moreover, Mini-Crits don't suffer from damage fall-off, giving you a great advantage in short and medium ranges.

Submachine Gun

  • The Submachine Gun (SMG) is best used to finish off damaged foes, especially with the Huntsman and Sydney Sleeper.


  • Only use the Razorback if you know the enemy has Spies on their team and those Spies are actively targeting you. The SMG and Jarate are better anti-Spy choices if you're not constantly assaulted.
  • The Razorback works best near friends. Otherwise, a Spy can still use the Ambassador to reliably kill you.
  • The only way to get a new Razorback is by visiting a resupply cabinet. Remember to get a new shield if your old one is broken!

Darwin's Danger Shield

  • This shield raises your maximum health to 150 at the cost of losing your secondary weapon. Consider using it with the Huntsman for close range combat.


  • The Jarate's Mini-Crits do not stack with normal Crits. Which means you'll either score a Critical hit (ex: Headshots) or you'll get a Mini-Crit (Bodyshot).
  • 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 near useless, lightly displaying his team color and dripping Jarate particles.
  • Using Jarate with the Bushwacka can be very effective.


  • In close quarters, such as many Sniper decks, the Kukri can quickly dispatch cornered enemies without the low initial damage of the Shiv or the Pyro vulnerability of the Bushwacka.
  • The Kukri is best used when defending yourself from flanking enemies, especially Spies.

Tribalman's Shiv

  • Use your Jarate in combination with the Shiv for bleeding Mini-Crits. One combo hit on a 125 hp class will kill them.
  • Overall, the Tribalman's Shiv causes more damage than the normal Kukri but over a longer duration.
  • Cloaked Spies will be semi-visible when bleeding, due to a slight flicker of their Cloak and the blood effect.


  • Because it turns Mini-Crits into Crits, it is great to use in combination with Jarate.
  • If your enemies have the habit of closing in after being hit by the Sydney Sleeper, this is an excellent counter.
  • Unless the opposing team has an actively attacking Pyro, the Bushwacka should be used in place of the Kukri if you are not using the Tribalman's Shiv.

The Croc-o-style Kit

The Croc-o-style Kit

  • The main perk of this set, the immunity to death by headshots, is great when fighting predictable enemy Snipers. If you are headshot, you will survive with one health.
  • Also remember that you will be unable to kill heavier classes on your own unless you can successfully fire off two shots in quick succession.
  • Be careful during Sniper duels. Experienced Snipers will prefer bodyshots on you as well.

See also

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