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TF Sniper Strategies

by [KoQ] Snare
 
    The sniper is a very complicated class.  When used incorrectly, he is easily taken out.  However,  when played by am experienced person, the sniper becomes a gibbing machine.  He is the only class that could possibly have as many kills as attempts.   The sniper is also capable of providing valuable reconnaissance.

Scope Script

    Before becoming a good sniper, you'll need to get a good "zooming" script besides the built-in autozoom.  This is because the built in autozoom severely limits the speed at which you can fire, and the time before you can begin moving after firing. Here is the one I use, that has come from hours of testing and changing:
//sniper  quick zoom
alias zoom "fov 27.00; sensitivity 1.7; wait;"
alias unzoom "fov 90; sensitivity 4; wait"
alias snipe1 " zoom; wait; +attack; wait; alias snipe snipe2"
alias snipe2 " -attack; wait; unzoom; alias snipe snipe1"
alias snipe snipe1

alias change change1
alias change1 "impulse 4; bind mouse1 +attack; alias change change2; echo normal"
alias change2 "impulse 2; bind mouse1 snipe; alias snipe snipe1; alias change change1; echo zoom"
bind "e" change
This script does a few nice things for you. First, it sets the "e" key to switch between the sniper rifle and the nail gun. When nail gun is selected, no zooming will occur, but when the sniper rifle is selected zoom will be enabled. Now when zooming is on, the first time you press fire, it zooms in and turns on the laser. You do not need to hold down the button now, the laser will stay on until you hit fire again. When that happens, the rifle fires and unzooms your view. All the values and keys to this script can be easily changed to fit your needs.
 

Aiming

    Ok, now that you have a good script,  you'll need to know how to aim using the sniper gun.  There is a little known secret in QW called NOAIM.  Make sure this is set to zero because it is the key to making aiming easy.  (Most people turn noaim to 1 when using rockets and such, but it is helpful to use the 0 value while playing the sniper!)  When it is set to zero, you only have to get your sniper laser in vertical alignment with a target and fire -- the computer will automatically do the horizontal alignment for you and you'll score a direct hit.  This is how the sniper is able to get people in mid-air when they are jumping down from high places.  When it is set to 1, the shot always goes exactly where your laser is.

    Although noaim 0 can be very helpful, there are some situations it doesn't work well in. One such case is when you are in the shadows on 2fort4 and shooting at a sniper in the bunker on the sniper loft. If noaim is 0, you will never hit the sniper because the autoaimming will make the shot goto his chest, which is protected by the bunker. Because of this and other situations, I tend to toggle between noaim 0 and noaim 1 quite a bit, so here is the script I use to do it with.

alias toggle_aim1 "noaim 1; echo Assisted aiming OFF; bind mouse2 toggle_aim2"
alias toggle_aim2 "noaim 0; echo Assisted aiming ON; bind mouse2 toggle_aim1"
bind mouse2 toggle_aim1
 
With this you can use mouse2 to switch between noaim 0 and noaim1, of course you can bind it to another key.

    Another very important thing to do as a sniper is learn how to lead your targets (unless you are an lpb). This basically just consists of aiming ahead of your target just enough to compensate for your ping time. The lower your ping, the less you have to compensate. Here is picture so show the general idea (I had to make the laser white because of jpg compression)

    Another very important issue as a sniper is to make sure you use the crosshair to aim, not the laser. This is because the laser is affected by lag, but the crosshair is not. By using the crosshair to aim, you can get a bead on your target and by the time you fire, your laser will have caught up to your crosshair, causing you to hit exactly where your cross hair is. Now of course, the built in crosshair is lame, and not very accurate, so i suggest you get a better one. You can get the one i use here. It is small and dead accurate with the laser.
 

Recon and Safety

    The sniper's goal is not to go out of his way to kill everything he sees.  He is your first line of defense that tries to take out enemies before they can even get to your base.  But he is also in a good position to see everything that is going on in the battle field, and therefore, he needs to tell his teammates everything important he sees or encounters.  I bind v, b, n, & m to "say_team" commands that I know I will use frequently...

"say_team Incoming enemy : front entrance"
"say_team Incoming enemy : water"
"say_team Incoming enemy : rocket jump"

    These are 3 that I always use.  This way,  if and when enemies get past me, I can quickly let my teammates know where enemies are coming from.  One thing that is very important to remember:  if an enemy gets by you and he was shooting at you -- you can almost guarantee that if he gets past your inside defense, he will immediately come after you.  When an enemy gets by me, I tell my teammates and then stay and snipe/recon for about 10 or less seconds.  Then I run over to a very dark area (one in which I'll  have a good shot at the position I was previously at),  then when the enemy comes looking to easily kill me from behind, my site is on him and he's dead before he knows what happened!

IMPORTANT - Anytime a soldier makes it past you, assume he is going to rocket jump up to you. On 2fort4, when a soldier gets past me, I immediately run to the dark hallway that leads to the upper respawn room.   From that position, I can easily run to see if he rocket jumps up the back-way into the upper respawn room.   Be prepared, the soldier is capable of rocket jumping into the upper tier from two different position, so watch your back.  Or better yet,  anticipate his next move and have your rifle waiting for him...
 

Overview
 
+ Sniper Rifle - Very Fragile
+ Long Range - Very Weak at Short Range
+ Quick Kills
+ Provides Recon
 
Send comments and questions to Snare 
 Copyright 1997 by Ryan Haney and [KoQ]