Sniping isn't just for your defenders, you too can be a sniper! 🙂
I almost exclusively play as a sniper and have tried a lot of different approaches over the past year+. This is a summary of my current ideas. The thing to remember is that sniper is a support role. Trash cleanup and mob elimination is not the sniper's highest responsibility (more on that later.)
The best spot for the sniper is where they have a view of all the spawn points. If the sniper is running around, they are probably not killing to their potential.
Everyone knows sniper = Blaster killer, but the reality is that snipers also deal with other ranged or shielded menaces – pitchers, cowboy husks, lobbers, riot husks, and shielded husks. All of those hassle your teammates and are the sniper's responsibility to kill soon after they spawn in. The squad on the front lines takes care of the rest, and can do so easily without having to dodge Lobbers and Blasters. Even better, if the sniper breaks all the shields then teammates don't have to move in close or waste time switching to an Obliterator or other piercing weapon just to handle the shield.
Also, if a Taker is swooping down toward a teammate, I try to take them out before they get hit. But usually the people on the front line can handle the Takers. Same goes to the Smashers, people on the front line are going to be more efficient killers for Smashers. If playing a Soldier though, you can use a fast firing weapon to max out Debilitating shots then move on to more pressing targets.
If the trash breaks through the front line, that is what the turret is for. Hopefully this isn't happening often. If Smashers get too close or the mini boss closes in, then I'll switch to an AR to help finish them off.
Easy mode when sniping is double UAH. UAH has everything you need for better sniping – fast reload, less recoil, faster rate of fire, deb shots for the monsters that don't go down in 1 shot. When first getting used to the sniping role, this is where to go.
An alternative approach to double UAH is to use an Outlander with Overbearing which gives the TEDDY an 8 tile attack range, great for covering the spawn points from sniping distance to clear trash so you can focus on ranged enemies. That means Enforcer or Trailblaster. I've been using Trailblaster because I'm OP for the content (PL130) and there are already too many Enforcers, but Enforcer would probably be a better fit for a sniper that wants a TEDDY backup.
I tried so hard to use TEDD Shot Jess as a sniper. Just not for me. Here is the thing – as a sniper you have to be very in tune with the game mechanics to take advantage of timing. Jess is way too random. Her reload speed is based on how many headshots she took. So is my reload speed going to be 0% faster? Or 35% this time around? How many headshots did I get since the last reload? Wait, how much longer till I'm getting another headshot fragment? Also, she doesn't have Overbearing so her TEDDY range is going to be a lot less than spawn range in most cases.
As for weapons – Obliterator is perfect for Blasters, Riot Husks, and Shielded Husks. It is overpowered for everything else, and a bit slow to keep up with the spawn rates late in the game. I'll usually run with two sniper weapons, the second being a long-range fast-firing weapon. Preferably it has a medium range scope to keep a better eye on the battlefield when ADS and still take advantage of easy headshots. The second weapon I'm enjoying right now is the Crankshot. The Deathwing works too, but has a long range scope. Although not sniper weapons, the Tiger and Deathstalker fit perfectly into this role also. I think a Hunter Killer would work here too, but I like automatic weapons for secondary. Super Shredder is powerful, but the fire rate is restrictive for this purpose, it is a better Obliterator alternative if anything. I used a Triple Tap for a while too, and it works, but found the damage sub par compared to the alternatives. All the other sniper weapons are outclassed badly in one way or another. These secondary weapons are for long range trash cleanup between Obliterator destruction. I'll switch back and forth between the two depending on the makeup of the targets.
Then for the third weapon slot, I'll usually use an AR of some sort. This is particularly useful before the objective when doing side activities. It is difficult to use sniper rifles exclusively when taking out an encampment, for example. Even so, for the random map encounters, I'll use the Obliterator to take out the Blaster/Taker/Riot Husk, then finish off the rest with my secondary sniper or AR depending on the range to the husks.
I'd love to hear from other snipers, see what insights they have to share. And from people that don't play sniper, how do you feel about having a sniper in your party?
TLDR: Snipe from a stationary position taking out Blasters, pitchers, cowboy husks, lobbers, riot husks, and shielded husks. Use double UAH (easy mode) or Enforcer/Trailblaster (TEDDY for trash cleanup). Three weapon slots: Obliterator, Crankshot/Deathwing/Tiger/Deathstalker, favorite short range AR.
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