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Old 06-06-2009, 08:15 PM   #1
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Sniper Guide

The Sniper

Sniping in Team Fortress has always been generally looked down upon by veteran players of other classes in one way or another, but I hope to point out in this guide that there is more to a sniper than just aiming and shooting.

The first thing you'll notice about the sniper is that they have very weak armour, and doesn't usually last more than five seconds when an enemy stumbles upon their hiding spot. That's why movement and concealment tactics are the most important aspects of a sniper, and aiming comes second.


The sniper rifle can be "charged up" by holding down the fire button. The longer you hold down the button, the more power your shot will have when released. You are extremely vulnerable to counter-sniper attack each second you stand in the open. Therefore, it is best to charge your rifle when in cover, then step out, aim and release as swiftly as possible before getting back in cover. If you know there are no enemy snipers around, you can stand in open areas for longer periods of time - but you have to keep your eyes and ears open to all other forms of attack. You can also put the sniper rifle in Autorifle mode, which rapidly fires low-powered projectiles and has a large spread. The Autorifle is best used to finish your enemies off or to discover cloaked spies. At longer ranges or down narrow corridors, you can also use the sniper's nailgun to finish off enemies or destroy engineer utilities.

Enemy Vulnerabilities

Snipers can kill any class with one medium / high powered shot to the head, but the head is obviously the smallest target and can be tough to hit when enemies run around in random directions. Enemies can also be cripped with shot(s) to the leg. High powered shots to the leg will have more of an impact, or you can also stack up multiple leg shots to reduce their speed to a crawl. Keep in mind that you cannot stop them altogether, though, unless you finish them off. They can still shoot back.

Sniper vs. Other Classes

Sniper vs. Sniper: As a sniper, your ultimate nemesis will be snipers from the opposing team, due to the fact that they have exactly the same advantages as you, and normally concentrate on shooting each other first. Enemy snipers will force you to use cover more often, and concentrate on them - which will allow more enemies to cross the map than would have normally. Experienced snipers will be able to pinpoint your location within a fraction of a second of stepping out of cover or being shot at, using a combination of sight and sound deduction and experience.

Sniper vs. Pyro: Their flames obscure your vision, and will melt you down in a millisecond if you allow them to get close enough. The best strategy is to attempt to shoot their legs as they rocket across the map (they are also a surprisingly speedy class) to slow them down and try your hardest to keep out of range of their flamethrower.

Sniper vs. Heavy Weapons Guy: Although they are an easy target when distracted, the Heavy Weapons Guy's minigun has recently been given enough of a boost to decimate / disrupt a sniper even at medium range. Due to their heavy armour, a sniper doesn't have much of a chance at close range against a Heavy Weapons Guy unless you get the first shot in on their head, or cripple their legs and run away. An experienced Heavy Weapons Guy will bunny-hop around the map in an attempt to avoid your fire, weaving his way towards you - perhaps shooting at you with his shotgun from long range.

Sniper vs. Spy: Spies can be picked off rather easily when cloaked at medium to long range, but experienced spies know that simply bunny-hopping across the map randomly whilst uncloaked, and occasionally grenade-jumping is more effective at avoiding sniper fire. Experienced spies also know how to effectively use tranquilizer guns and gas, which can render a sniper virtually useless and prone to getting stabbed / shotgunned.

Sniper vs. Demoman: These guys can blow themselves across the map and kill you with one throw of their cluster grenade. Don't let an experienced Demoman spot your hiding place, or move if they do unless you're confident of taking them out every time they attempt to det-jump towards you. Their detonation charges also have a surprising range when they bounce across the ground or around corners.

Sniper vs. Soldier: The sight of a soldier rocket-jumping towards you can be unsettling for any sniper. Experienced soldiers know that randomly firing rockets in a sniper's general direction is enough of a distraction to temporarily supress a sniper, buying them time to close in or protect their team members as they cross the map. Two direct rocket hits is all it takes to kill a sniper, yet a soldier's armour can be annoyingly resilient if you miss the first time. Leg shots work wonders against this class. Once you have them crippled - try to finish them off with a headshot.

Sniper vs. Medic: Medics can perform huge jumps around the map, similar to scouts, but are slower and slightly easier to hit. Medics are less likely to ignore snipers, because they are perfectly capable of killing them with their super shotgun, super nailgun or infecting them with their medikit, spelling inevitable doom. Snipers should attempt leg shots against this class before the medic is able to perform a concussion grenade jump.

Sniper vs. Scout: The scout's speed is extremely tough to follow or predict when you're trying to snipe them. The best bet may be to simply ignore them unless their travelling angle is in line with your aim direction. They are most vulnerable when setting up a concussion grenade jump or in the air coming straight towards you. Experienced scouts will steer themselves randomly in the air to counter sniper fire. Most of the time scouts will ignore you, as their main role is to retrieve the flag and return it back to their own base.

Sniper vs. Engineer: A fully charged sniper rifle can take down engineer sentry guns and dispensers with one shot. If the Engineer is standing right next to one of his gadgets when it gets blown up, he will take a large amount of damage or die from the explosion, although you have to get into position to shoot them first. Beware of the Engineer's EMP grenade, which can hit you through walls. Make sure you throw your excess ammo away with the 'X' key before you set out, and don't stand too close to your own teammates if you know there's an engineer around.


Sniper tactics vary with each map, but here are some general guidelines:

The more you can see of the enemy's base or the open environment around you, the easier it is for you to spot enemies and enemies to spot you, or at the very least your laser beam / dot. Stay concealed until your sniper rifle is charged up to reasonable power.

If anyone spots your hiding place, you are vulnerable to retailiation when they respawn. There is no respawn delay, so you are vulnerable at all times depending on the experience of the opposing team - especially if your hiding place is tipped off.

Move around the map after a few kills, but don't wander into their base unless you're feeling very confident or bored.

There is no shame in a sniper running back to the respawn room to resupply - especially if a pyro is chasing him / her. Don't let taunts get to you.

If you think a target is weak, switch out your autorifle or nail gun to finish them off... but make sure you avoid their return fire by running around in random directions if you do.


Snipers only have access to the standard grenade and can carry up to four at any one time, but start out with two. As with any class, the grenade can be primed and held until ready to throw, giving your opponents less of a chance to spot the grenade and escape the blast. As a sniper, you should be keeping an eye / ear out for any suspicious sights and sounds. As soon as you sense trouble nearby, prime a grenade and look for a target. Aim quickly, decisively and swiftly and attempt to shoot the target before releasing the grenade if you can (as grenades will knock people around, making it harder to aim at them). Grenades will give you a great edge in finishing off your opponents and can also be used to jump yourself into unorthadox positions in the map, as long as you have the HP / armour to survive it.

Last edited by Crazycarl; 06-09-2009 at 02:47 AM. Reason: <3
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Old 06-06-2009, 10:42 PM   #2
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Great Start! Thanks bro!
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Old 06-07-2009, 02:35 AM   #3
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Dang it, they've disabled editing posts after a certain amount of time. I hate that!
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Old 06-07-2009, 05:37 AM   #4
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Nice guide

Originally Posted by Undesirable View Post
Dang it, they've disabled editing posts after a certain amount of time. I hate that!
Yeah it's bullshit you can't edit posts after some time.
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Old 06-07-2009, 10:06 PM   #5
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Spam skanky w/ PMs, GO GO GO!
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Old 06-08-2009, 02:51 AM   #6
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I'm glad I don't have editing restrictions

btw I added This thread to the FF Guides Sticky Thread

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