Yeah it rhymes so I should really make it a thing. Welcome to Stip’s Tips. Things I’ve learned (often the hard/expensive way) in the past few years that have helped me become a more effective player. And I won’t charge you lot a penny for it.
– Don’t pay for online sniper guides. Honestly, they’re absolutely crap and leave you wondering what you just paid for.
Right I’ll start properly now.
– This isn’t a role you just pick up on game days. Success is borne from preparation of kit and self. Put time into your camouflage and tactics. Study the role. Study the players, both snipers and your local opponents. Always be looking to learn.
– Be happy being by yourself. At game days anyway. The last thing you need is an entourage giving you away and making noise. Nobody is going to see you go on an epic killstreak and tell you how awesome you are afterwards; you have to judge your own game as you go along and evaluate your performance afterwards. If you want to pair up with another sniper to achieve objectives, always keep a distance between you. If one is discovered, the other still has a chance.
– Always remember you have only one shot (at a time). You’re not going to be able to hold the fort single handedly with that. Hit the flanks or pick off stragglers.
– Get a copy of Queen’s “Keep Yourself Alive”. Learn the chorus. Use it as your ringtone. Remember it in the field.
– Don’t give yourself away cheaply. Never push a bad position for the sake of a kill. It’s always better to stay alive and keep yourself out there somewhere. Even if you can’t hit them, they’ll know you’re out there and that will disrupt their game plan. That’s what you’re there for.
– Make your own objectives and play your own game if you can. Unless you’re on a Milsim and you have specific orders. Don’t get dragged along at the AEG users’ pace and try and go for their objectives. If the objective for example is to capture a flag, let them get on with it and use yourself to harass the opposition from hidden positions.
– I was going to say keep your distance from them, but sometimes the noise and distraction from a group of AEG skirmishers can provide useful cover for you to move, or to fire with less chance of being seen or heard.
– Expect friendly fire from trigger happy idiots. It’s good practice to stay hidden from your own side, as well as your opponents.
– K/D ratio matters. But with lower numbers. Last couple of skirmish days I had, I scored 18-1 and 26-2. The bit I was more pleased with was the low death count. I’d happily take 4-0 for a full day’s play because it means I’m doing the job of staying hidden and staying alive, which keeps the opposition guessing. I’ve sat out games where afterwards, people have credited me with stray shots that hit them out of nowhere. Obviously I’m not going to admit that I wasn’t out there. I need that psychological advantage. Yes I took the credit. I’m a bad person (but a good sniper – that matters more).
– Don’t shoot the first thing that appears in your crosshairs. Wait until you know how many players there are in the immediate vicinity. If there are ten, and one manages to see where the shot came from, you’re in trouble. Restraint on the trigger saves lives.
– On that note, shoot people in the back. Really. They won’t see it coming.
– Avoid obvious sniper positions. That’s where people will be expecting you. And always make sure your position has an escape route. As an example – a “Sniper Tower”. People expect you to be there and there’s no easy way down to escape heavy incoming fire.
– Do a 360° check of the area before you move.
– Spend time on your camouflage and keep evolving it with the seasons. Remember though that if you model it on a specific 2m X 2m square of woodland you took a photo of, it’ll work brilliantly in that spot at that time of year but you need something adaptable enough to be able to remain unseen in multiple areas.
– Don’t buy it, make it. Learn to understand camouflage.
– Don’t overdo your suit/ghillie/hood. I managed to get the first shot in against a really good sniper at a sniperops event because the tall ferns on his back were waving a lot as he moved. Break up your outline but try and keep it low profile. Things that move around a lot aren’t your friend, as natural as it may look.
– Jute looks like string, is hot and heavy and snags a lot. Yes real snipers use it. But they’re a lot further away from the enemy than you are.
– Keep your eyes and ears as free as you can. Your senses are vital. Choose radio headsets wisely.
– Aim to look like a pile of nothing, rather than a pile of something. It’s not about whether the enemy will see you, it’s whether they’ll notice you or recognise you as a player.
– No point in having a big black rifle unless you’re just going to hang it on your wall. Spray the rifle and make it as messy as your ghillie otherwise it’s going to give you away. And do the barrel and scope – it’s not just a case of hydro-dipping the stock. It’s a tool, not a decoration.
– Don’t wear what “Marine Scout Sniper, Afghanistan 2007” wore. Your kit is for airsoft, not a Warzone. Run as light as you can. If you’re skirmishing, you’ll be stopping for lunch anyway. Just bring your rifle and your mags. If it’s a full day, pack a food/water and ammo pouch.
– Belt rigs are extremely popular among snipers. But bear in mind that if you’re on the move, your legs are moving the most and pouches and kit there will too. I try to keep things higher up and flatter to the body. A few small pouches are better than one or two big ones.
– Keep your rifle clean and well maintained. You need that one shot to work first time.
– Pack for the length of the event. Don’t overload yourself for a 1hr skirmish game, don’t pack too lightly for a full weekend.
– Don’t sling your rifle, it’s extra hassle being too attached to it. There are times when you need to put it down.
– Try and keep your kit quiet. Avoid noisy materials, especially velcro. Get camo tape on those buckles!
Hope this helps. Don’t be the guy with the bolt action rifle playing like he has an AEG!