A Sniper Rifle is a firearm designed to engage human targets with high precision individual shots at long range. When compared to assault rifles, they fire higher-powered ammunition, have greater range and accuracy, and tend to mount scopes with higher magnification, although their magazine capacities and rates of fire tend to be lower. In the Battlefield series, the term "sniper rifle" also encompasses designated marksman weapons, a class of rifles intended to lay down rapid, accurate fire at longer ranges than those at which the average infantryman armed with the average service rifle or carbine can be effective, but not intended to hit targets at the extreme ranges of which true sniper rifles are capable.
When to shootEdit
Sniper weapons typically have a low rate of fire, which means that the sniper has to make each shot count or risk wasting ammo. When presented with multiple targets, the sniper also has to decide which ones are worth engaging, or if the situation should be handled in a different way.
An enemy support soldier capturing a flag may be a high-value target, but the presence of a counter sniper searching for the player complicates the choice. If the player goes for the support soldier, the enemy sniper may quickly acquire and kill the player; on the other hand, eliminating the sniper may give the support soldier just enough extra time to capture the flag.
At long ranges, target leading is necessary to compensate for lateral movement by a sniper's target. Like bullet drop, the distance to target affects how much leading the shooter needs to provide.
Scope drift is a gameplay mechanic—added in Battlefield 2—that replicates a soldier's breathing and the effect it has on aim. In-game, the rifle's aim will periodically drift up and down, adding an element of challenge.
Certain games allow snipers to temporarily stabilize their scope drift:
To stabilize the scope, one must hold the Sprint key (Left Shift on PC, L3 on PS3 and LS Xbox 360) or use the bipod if equipped.
- Battlefield 2142
- The Gruber 5 Stabilizer is a sniper rifle attachment that negates scope drift for up to three seconds. Like other limited-charge devices, using the device drains a meter that must be recharged. By default, the Sprint
- key activates stabilization while scoped.
In Battlefield 3, scope glint is a gameplay mechanic added to high power scope attachments. A high power scope is defined as a scope with a zoom greater than 4x. This causes a sniper's scope to be visible from a considerable distance as a bright flare. The glare is brightest when seen from the direct line of fire and is less noticeable at off angles. It's worth noting that the facing angle for a scope glint to appear is significantly tighter than it is for it to disappear, meaning that a sniping player will need to rotate a considerable degree in order to make an enemy lose track of them.
The player can mitigate the effect either by aiming away from the enemy (and using peripheral vision), or by unequipping the scope in customization.
Usable Iron SightsEdit
A new feature in Battlefield 3 allows the player to use the iron sights of all sniper rifles by not equipping any optic on it. This feature doesn't remove bullet drop, although it forces players to use the rifle at close to medium range and allows the players to not have to compensate for bullet drop due to the shorter distances.
Types of Sniper RiflesEdit
Bolt Action Sniper Rifles: Bolt Action rifles use bolts that are operated manually by the opening and closing of the action with a small handle, most commonly placed on the right-hand side of the weapon. In game, Bolt Action rifles have immense power that can kill enemies in one shot most of the time. Though it has immense power compared to semi-automatic rifles, they tend to have a slower rate-of-fire due to it's bolt-action design. Hence, a bolt-action rifle is generally recommended to gamers who can land headshots easily.
Semi-Automatic Sniper Rifles: Semi-Automatic rifles are rifles that automatically extract a spent casing and load a new cartridge into the chamber after every pull of the trigger. Because of this, they have a higher rate-of-fire than bolt-action rifles, but many still have fire-limiters to balance the weapon. Most semi-automatic rifles are classed in the Designated Marksman Rifle category. However, they are less powerful than bolt-action rifles, but this is quickly remedied by their rate-of-fire. A semi-automatic rifle is recommended to those who land bodyshots often, or players new to sniping. Although it is possible to achieve a headshot at long range with a semi-automatic rifle, it is more difficult to do so as they have higher bullet-drop.