1. Cancel Look To Get A Wider View
The Marksman ability seems like an obvious choice to take with the Sniper because who doesn’t want to be able to shoot sooner? Well the downside is that it greatly reduces your view angle making it much harder to cover all your angles. If you are covering a narrow area like a long corridor this isn’t that bad but in more open areas it can lead to you leaving yourself open to flanking enemies. So what do you do when you want to cover more ground?
The trick is to cancel the Look order. Marksman only affects the Look order, it doesn’t affect your normal vision. When you want to watch a wider area you can move into position and set your Look direction and then use the Cancel Look order to return to your default vision. This does mean that you will not be getting the benefit of your Marksman ability but in the rare cases where seeing more is more important that shooting sooner it can be a good tactic to try.
2. Become a Better Tracker
Tracking is a trickier ability to use effectively but the payoff can be huge. When your Sniper has Tracking any enemy she spots becomes marked and their position will continue to update for a few seconds after you lose line of sight. Knowing where your opponent’s units are can be a big advantage because it takes away the element of surprise and lets you plan a counter-attack.
You want to maximise the chances of spotting the enemy by positioning your Sniper where she can view the widest possible area or has line of sight to major chokepoints. The biggest threat to your Sniper will be enemy Snipers with the Marksman ability so avoid getting counter-sniped by using sneak and peek tactics. Edge your Sniper into position around a corner or in a window to take a quick look and then move back into safety. You only need to spot an enemy for a fraction of a second to start tracking them.
3. Slow And Steady Wins the Fight
The Sniper is the slowest team member and has the longest firing time but her rifle packs a serious punch. Whenever possible you want to minimize the time it takes her to aim and pull the trigger. Movement speed and facing direction are two factors that affect a unit’s aim time and you can minimize these aim penalties by making use of the Look and Hold on Sight orders.
When moving your Sniper set a Look direction so that the Look line points to where you think your enemy will appear, usually right on the edge of a corner. This causes your Sniper to look directly where the enemy should pop out, minimizing any facing direction penalties. Look automatically makes your Sniper walk slower as well which reduces the movement penalty. By giving her a Hold On Sight order she’ll stop as soon as she spots an enemy which further reduces any movement penalties she might have.
Of course, don’t let this stop you from moving at full speed or sprinting if you know you’re safe and are unlikely to encounter any enemy units this turn but if you think think there’s a good chance you’ll spot an enemy remember to slow down and look directly at your target.
4. Don’t Stand In One Spot
Once you find a good position to snipe from it can be tempting to set up camp and never leave but this can be a bad idea. Once your opponent knows where you are you become much more vulnerable to a counter attack if you keep standing still. If he knows your Sniper is not going to move he can start planning out the perfect sequence of moves to take your Sniper out.
This doesn’t mean you need to completely abandon your post. Sometimes just a small shift to the side is all it takes. That small movement could completely throw off your opponent’s plan if he was counting on you standing still and lining up a perfect Free Fire shot. That said, it can also be a good idea to mix up and sprint over to a new position from time to time just in case an enemy Bomber is sneaking up to bomb you out.
5. Use Your Teammates As Bait
A Sniper is often the best way to take out another Sniper that has locked down a lane but it can be tricky to do if the enemy Sniper is already behind cover or has the Marksman ability and you don’t. In situations like this it can be helpful to lean on your other teammates a bit for support.
When choosing a target to aim at characters always choose the closest enemy in line of sight first. You can use this to your advantage by having another teammate run into view first to distract the enemy Sniper and then have your Sniper follow just behind. Because it takes a little bit of time for a Sniper to finish aiming and take their shot you’ll often have enough time to Sprint your decoy unit over to cover and Crouch before the enemy Sniper can shoot them. And by the time she’s switched targets to your Sniper you’ll have finished aiming and will put a bullet in her.
6. Find The Element of Surprise
Your opponent is going to be wary of any obvious Sniper locations. Some areas on the map just scream “Sniper” and he’s going to approach those areas very cautiously. When possible, look for areas that can give you line of sight to where the opponent will be approaching from but are not immediately obvious. For example, look for positions where you can see through a multiple row of windows and doorways. Even if your opponent thinks that’s the angle you’ll be coming from he probably won’t anticipate you being so far back (or have a way to attack you back there).
Another good surprise tactic is to have your Sniper positioned so she is looking at a boarded up doorway and then use a Shotgunner or Bomber to blow away the barrier and create a new sightline for you Sniper. Your opponent will often have somebody like a Shotgunner or Bomber in position ready to kill whoever you send through but won’t be anticipating your Sniper being farther back and having line of sight through the door which can snag you an easy kill or two.
7. Cover Your Team
The Sniper’s greatest strength is probably her ability to lock down a lane and deny a portion of the map from your opponent. You can play this purely defensively by putting your Sniper on guard duty and watching the back routes but you can also play aggressively with this tactic by positioning you Sniper so that she can cover your other teammates on their approach. If you hold her back and watch the corridor you plan to send your team down you can afford to Sprint your other teammates forward knowing that your Sniper can kill any enemies that show up (just don’t get too careless! You don’t want to Sprint your team into a grenade blast or a waiting Shotgunner).