TF2 Sniping

I love playing Team Fortress 2, and in particular, sniping on TF2. I find it has a calming effect. Anyway, it took many hours for me to become a reasonable sniper. It’s not an easy class to master and does require practice. I am no sniping god, but here’s a few things I’ve learnt

Never, ever, ever stop moving!
Even when scoped, especially when scoped. Snipers aren’t as fast as a scout, but they’re still pretty quick. It makes you a lot harder to counter snipe, and harder to hit in general (and less likely to get back-stabbed). You’ll live a lot longer if you’re constantly moving. The more random the better. This also means you can spend less time wall hugging and creeping up from cover, and more time actually engaging the enemy.

Only stay scoped in as long as you need to:
While scoped you’re a lot less agile and your field of vision is reduced to nothing. The only target that requires a fully charged (or near enough) head shot is a heavy. Scouts, medics, other snipers all go down with a single scoped uncharged head shot. Others only need a little more charge. This isn’t so much about CoD style quick-scoping but about being efficient with kills and minimising the time your are at your most vulnerable. Snipers who spend their time zoomed in watching a small patch are doomed to a quick death.

Damage is damage:
Don’t get hung up on getting mostly head shots. If you can get one great, but don’t do it at the cost of missing any hits at all. If you’ve got a good body shot, take it. Every bit of damage done is helpful to the team.

Other snipers are not a threat:
Perhaps contrary to what is the usual highest priority target, but I think learning to ignore other snipers really helps you play as a team player. Most other snipers, however, will see you as a major threat and you can use this to advantage. As soon as you enter their field of vision you’ll become the primary focus – ignoring the uber-ready medic or other key players – but since you’re moving like crazy they’re not likely to hit you. Ths effectively takes them out of play, leaving you free to deal with the enemies medics and engies (who usual die with one quick-scoped head shot, and are a much more useful kills to the team). Then you can deal with the snipers at your own leisure (who are typically stood still and found in usual spots).

Avoid getting locked into sniper battles:
They only take your attention away from higher-priority targets and threats. It also annoys your team mates. Alongside ignoring them (above), this is best done by learning all the sniper nests then avoiding them! If you know the field of vision from various sniper nests you know where you can go to snipe without being counter-sniped (while avoiding rocket and pipe spams that come with sniper nests). And if you engage an enemy sniper remember: keep moving and only stay scoped as long as you need to. Finally, feign shots. I.e zoom in then quickly zoom back out. This makes the enemy sniper think you’re going to take a shot, they wait a second then try to take advantage of your reduce mobility and take their shot. Then you really strike!

Use jarate tactically:
20 seconds is a long time. And team mates can’t support you when they’re busy burning to death! What you’re not carrying jarate?!?! I suppose it’s a personal choice…

I think the best way to learn to play the sniper is to spend as much time as possible at the front. Then you have to keep moving and kill quickly. Also, being up front allows you to make fantastic, sometimes game changing, use of your jarate. Nothing is more annoying and useless to the team than a sniper that hangs around spawn never touching the cart/capture point or helping with a push. I certainly have more fun when I’m playing more aggressively, but the key is avoid over extending. Getting ahead of your team mates can leave you knee-deep in it.

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~ by Jay on March 31, 2012.

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