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Viewing Article: Sniper Loadouts Part 1
 By: PoPo!
TROLLAN ALL DAY ERRYDAY
 Summary:
 A series of articles detailing good combinations of weapons/items for the TF2 classes.
 Posted on 2011-04-10 09:16:12
Viewed: 4012 times 
 Posts: 9015
Commented on: 0 times 
 Location: I'M ON A BOAT
  


The Sniper's weapons all mix fairly well, so for this week I'll go item by item instead of the usual loadout descriptions.

- Sniper Rifle



The gun the Sniper gets his name from, and for good reason. Quick-scoped headshots are an instant kill to a lot of classes, and charged headshots can just about kill anyone, even if they're overhealed, except for a Heavy with the Fists of Steel, or a Spy with the Dead Ringer active/ready (assuming both have high health).

Charged bodyshots aren't shabby, either. Bodyshots at 0% charge or no-scoped shots always deal 50 damage, there's no damage fall-off due to range, but the gun fires at a slow rate and isn't super-accurate no-scoped, so it's not a great weapon for up close and personal encounters. Your best bet is firing a quick no-scope shot, then switching either to your SMG (if you're using it) or melee weapon.

- Huntsman



A weapon for Snipers who prefer getting into mid- or somewhat close-range. Having a Pyro light your arrows on fire helps you churn out the damage. You can defend yourself better with this weapon if an enemy rushes you. Does the same damage on an uncharged headshot, but unlike a charged Sniper Rifle headshot, it will not instantly kill an overhealed Heavy. Pyros can deflect your arrows.

Charges much faster and shoots more quickly than either rifle. Suffers minor falloff damage on less charged shots. You can move around while charging the power gauge faster than either rifle, double the speed in fact. You can even charge in midair, but you cannot fire until you land. Note that you cannot use the Huntsman underwater.

Projectiles have a larger hitbox, so they can nail headshots where otherwise the Sniper Rifle would have missed the head. This is made up for by the Huntsman generally requiring better prediction-style aiming skills, but this is especially helpful in close quarters, as your arrows have less distance to travel, thus less prediction is required. Corner/chokepoint spam at head-level height can be highly effective. Just beware that your ammo is a bit limited, 13 shots in total.

- Sydney Sleeper



Applies the Jarate effect of causing guaranteed critical hits on a target when they're hit with a shot that's half-charge or less. The Sydney Sleeper is generally considered an inferior weapon to the Sniper Rifle, for lacking the quick kill factor of headshots, instead relying on you to finish off the wounded opponent, rely heavily on slow-charging bodyshots, and rely on your team mates to finish off your wounded targets. Be sure to use this gun's main feature, the Jarate effect, to full efficiency; you only have to be half-charged to get its effect, and it charges pretty rapidly.

The main reason to use it is for the Croc O Style set bonus, which makes you immune to headshots from enemy Snipers or Ambassador Spies. Sometimes, when the enemy Sniper(s) are just crazy-skilled, the set bonus can give you a leg-up in going toe to toe with them, but at the very high expense of being less capable of killing the other key targets of the enemy team. Another use is for the gimmick set of Sleeper/Jarate/Bushwacka, for full-on mini-crit shenanigans.

- Machina

A sidegrade, though less popular than some other choices. You get increased damage and piercing bullets that can hit multiple enemies in a straight line, though the latter doesn't happen all that often. In exchange, you can't make noscope shots, and it fires off a tracer that can give away your position, which can get you killed sometimes.

The increase in damage, however, is somewhat irrelevant, as it's not quite enough to one-hit kill 175-health classes, and a fully charged headshot with the default rifle will already kill nearly anything. It can help a fully-charged bodyshot take down a damaged foe, though, when the default rifle would've failed to.

-Hitman's Heatmaker

Pretty much the opposite of the Machina, in many regards. It does 20% less bodyshot damage, but its silenced shots, while still very audible, are quieter than with the other rifles, which is sometimes enough for the sound not to stand out as much when there's other noises going on; I find that people notice me by sound slightly less often when I use it, but nothing major. Though the bodyshot penalty means you can't kill 125-health classes in one bodyshot, a Sniper should ideally be trying to mainly go for headshots.

When you fill the focus meter by getting kills with it, you go into focus mode, where, for a few seconds, you do not have to unzoom after each shot, though you can still manually unzoom. In this mode, your shots leave tracers behind, but they charge 25% faster, and staying zoomed can be a big tactical advantage, to help you nail a few headshots in a row. Just don't get tunnel-vision and let yourself get killed from the side or behind. My personal favorite of the Sniper's primary weapons.

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