ChatGPT vs

Recently I wrote an article on the possibility of AI writing blogs in the future. It’s a horrible thought that Airsoft media could become totally artificial, because it’s the people that make Airsoft great. A couple of nights ago a good friend decided to ask ChatGPT :

Please write me a quick blog post for improving airsoft sniper abilities.

Not knowing where this blog had come from, I was initially kind about it but on learning that it was written by a bot, I thought I’d share the result, and then pick it apart and correct it. It looks like the bot has just pulled a lot of very basic, common advice off Google (I think that’s how it works) and it reads more like the sort of advice a non-sniper would guess at rather than being written by an experienced hand. I do sometimes wonder what people will be like in 50 years time, having everything done for them. They’ll probably have Airsoft guns with triggers that shoot when you pull them in, and let go, so it’s less effort…

I’ve put the ChatGPT article in bold, and I’ll put my thoughts underneath.

Title: Mastering the Art of Airsoft Sniping: Tips for Improving Your Skills

Umm…yeah ok, let’s roll with it.

Introduction: Airsoft sniping is a challenging yet exhilarating role on the battlefield. Being an effective sniper requires a combination of skill, patience, and precision. Whether you’re a novice or an experienced player, there are always ways to enhance your airsoft sniper abilities. In this blog post, we’ll explore some valuable tips to help you elevate your sniping game.

Good opener – there’s always more to learn and more to study. Skill, patience and precision are the main elements. Often overlooked is the fact though that it’s often more physically demanding than CQB, unless you’re just planning on sitting there pinging targets as they pass.

1. Choose the Right Equipment: Invest in a high-quality airsoft sniper rifle that suits your style and preferences. Look for features such as accuracy, range, and durability. Additionally, select the appropriate optics, such as a scope, to enhance your long-range accuracy. Remember, your equipment is the foundation of your sniping prowess.

I’ve written many times that I don’t think that you need to be splashing out on a top end rifle; it’s the thing that annoys me the most in forums when people say “yeah you can only be any good if you spend over £1000 on a rifle first”. I covered the expectations of a sniper rifle in this article here. Some of the best rifles I’ve used are the cheap ones with nothing more than a bucking change, and the most disappointing are often the ones crammed with so many different parts that nothing is compatible any more. Accuracy is king – you need that shot hitting where you’re pointing it but that’s not always relative to the cost. It’s basically getting the hop set straight. Range can be scrapped these days – hot AEG’s and DMR’s will come close anyway. The game is about stealthy hit-and-run tactics, not longe range artillery strikes and if you think it is, you’ll always fall short on your performance. Durability and reliability are very important too – you don’t want any failures or gas leaks in the middle of the game, especially if you’ve crawled face first for an hour to get into position. A scope is quite important, just a decent set of crosshairs on the target will do. I avoid short dots type optics just to save on the chance of a battery fail. Overall, yes your equipment is the foundation of your prowess but that’s down to smart choices, not a fat wallet.

2. Master Concealment and Camouflage: As a sniper, your ability to remain unseen is paramount. Learn effective concealment techniques and invest in proper camouflage gear that matches the terrain. Utilize natural cover like foliage, rocks, or shadows to break up your silhouette. Blend into your surroundings and become a ghost in the field.

Yeah, pretty obviously. You’re the weakest player on the field in a firefight, so you have to learn to stay out of sight and shoot without being seen. Don’t rely on natural veg too much, it wilts, dies and snags but it’s decent for photos. Your silhouette is broken up not by the terrain around you, but your choice of concealment first and foremost. You can’t rely on rocks for example because they might not be present in the right place at the right time. Use of terrain though as you move won’t break up your silhouette but it will cover your movements. Two different skills. Lose the word ghost too, never get too confident in your abilities and besides, it sounds like some cheesy game character.

3. Patience and Observation: Sniping requires patience and keen observation skills. Take your time to assess the battlefield, study enemy movements, and identify high-value targets. Learn to remain still for extended periods, waiting for the perfect opportunity to strike. Patience combined with observation will help you make precise shots at critical moments.

Yep, patience especially on the trigger is the difference between a good sniper, and an average one who doesn’t have that discipline. Choose your moments carefully – wait until backs are turned or otherwise distracted so they don’t see where that bb came from.

4. Practice Stealth and Movement: Snipers must be masters of stealth and movement. Practice silent and deliberate movement to reposition yourself without giving away your position. Learn to crawl or low-crawl silently to maintain your stealth advantage. The element of surprise is often the key to a successful sniping mission.

Practice but also check over your kit, because that’s where a lot of the noise comes from. How to move silently will do more for your stealth than your camouflage will. In a dense woodland, noise will alert the enemy sooner than movement. More tips on movement in this article.

5. Long-Range Accuracy: Focus on improving your marksmanship and long-range accuracy. Practice regularly to familiarize yourself with your rifle’s ballistics, trajectory, and effective range. Master the art of adjusting for windage, elevation, and target movement. Consistent practice will help you make those crucial long-range shots.

Practice is very important, so too learning the behaviour of one rifle, rather than constantly trying to buy the latest gun releases. Having a feel for your own weapon and how it shoots makes a big difference. As I mentioned earlier though, lose the obsession with range – 90% of sniper shots whether they admit it or not are between 30-60m, which is standard range for AEG’s too. What makes us effective is being undetectable while we shoot. Target movement can be hard to predict but obviously the further away, the greater the problem. Be close, be clinical. Focus on short to mid range accuracy instead.

6. Team Communication: Effective communication with your team is essential, even as a sniper. Coordinate with your squadmates, providing critical information about enemy positions and movements. Use hand signals or whisper communication to maintain stealth. Clear communication ensures everyone is on the same page and maximizes your team’s overall effectiveness.

At the top of the sniper game, communication is limited because we want to be invisible to both teams. AEG users are horrendous for shouting or waving at you which just gives your whole position away. As well as that, a lot of them are too trigger-happy and won’t wait to identify you, they’ll just see a sniper and open up in case it’s an enemy one. Don’t risk it. Use a radio to get information on the battlefield as a whole, even if you just run an earbud to relay information in so you can act on it. Speaking is obviously a bad idea a lot of the time, although you might get moments where you’re away from the action and can provide an update to your command. If you ever see the likes of Kicking Mustang whispering on a video – don’t. Talking quietly travels less than a whisper. On the subject of hand signals, bear in mind your hands are camouflaged heavily and won’t be as visible for a lot of communications, meaning you’ll have to make larger hand signals. If you find yourself making larger hand signals, go all the way and just slap yourself across the face for making large, unnecessary movements. Stealth is more important than communication.

7. Adaptability and Flexibility: A successful sniper can adapt to various situations. Be prepared to adjust your tactics and approach based on the changing dynamics of the battlefield. Sometimes, switching between long-range sniping and supporting your team in close-quarter battles may be necessary. Flexibility is key to thriving in different scenarios.

Always be flexible, don’t form plans in advance. Learn to react to what is happening around you, and read the game and player movements. Supporting in close quarters, you can if necessary but run the risk of being seen. And most of us just carry pistols so you’re going to have to take care of business with around 20 shots. If you find yourself in a CQB environment such as a building, I’d be asking how and why you got their first.

8. Maintain a Sniper’s Mindset: Lastly, cultivate a sniper’s mindset. Stay calm, focused, and disciplined even in intense situations. Make calculated decisions based on risk and reward. Remember that precision and stealth are your greatest assets. Embrace the role of a sniper, and let your patience and accuracy lead you to victory.

Good one. Try to eliminate risk from any situation though – the risk is always being shot and having to start over, and I’m yet to find a reward worth that. Also don’t think about victory in a sense of “I must win this game”. Think about your job, doing your job and be satisfied if you’ve done it well. Winning or losing is irrelevant – how you did and what you find to improve on is much more important to your development as a sniper. And you can always be on a losing team but hear “damn that sniper was good though”.

Conclusion: Becoming a skilled airsoft sniper takes time, practice, and a commitment to continuous improvement. By following these tips and incorporating them into your gameplay, you can sharpen your skills and dominate the battlefield. Remember, each shot counts, and with dedication, you’ll become an indispensable asset to your airsoft team. Happy sniping! (Note: While airsoft is a recreational activity, always prioritize safety and follow the rules and guidelines of your local airsoft field.)

Agree actually. And especially the bit about rules and guidelines – they’re there for a reason and if you have to bend rules to be a success, you’re not good enough to be able to work within them. Accept the rules, learn to work within them and don’t go whining to Mr YouTube when things don’t go your way. The game is the game and you execute your skills within the boundaries of that game.

Not bad ChatGPT for scouring the combined knowledge of all mankind via the Internet. Not quite ready to take over yet though. Skynet will have to wait.

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