Being an airsoft sniper means a lot of hard work and dedication to your rifle, and if you don’t have the time and patience you might want to stay away. But if you’re willing to put in the work, you’ll have an amazing experience taking out targets on the field. This guide will cover all the tips, tricks, and advice you’ll need to master the art of airsoft sniping.
What to Expect
While other squad members engage in fast-paced exchanges, snipers employ a more deliberate approach. Instead of spraying flurries of BBs downfield, a skillful marksman chooses their shots wisely. Engagement distances are longer, and targets tend to be fewer and farther between. For this reason, you’ll need to be level headed while on a mission. However, as enemies wander off alone, they become easy targets. Those quick-and-dirty shots are the lifeblood of a patient marksman.
That being said, snipers can hold many different roles in the field. You may be tasked with providing support for assaults on key positions. You might instead sneak ahead and become a dangerous obstacle for advancing enemies. A dug-in sniper can be a massive headache for opposing teams. Lastly, cunning shooters can set up shop in enemy territory, picking targets off between respawn points and the front lines.
You may even have a spotter assist you with your mission. Having an extra set of eyes can grant you a unique advantage in the right scenario. This is more common in military simulations, often called “milsims.”
Gear up With a Versatile Loadout
Since you can be thrust into a variety of situations, choosing the right equipment is essential. It might go without saying, but selecting a good sniper rifle should be a priority. While doing so, be mindful of the environments you’ll be playing in most commonly. If you mostly stick to open spaces, a powerful, long- barreled rifle may be the smartest option. No long-range rifle is complete without a quality scope, so make sure you have properly sighted in your optics. Consider adding a silencer as well. Since many rifles claim a high FPS and contain strong springs or gas propulsion, they can be noisier than desired.
For mid-range environments, you might opt to choose something more compact with a higher rate of fire. When enemies are generally closer in proximity, this flexibility can make a positive difference.
In that same vein, a dependable sidearm will become your ace in the hole while in sticky situations. It’s often said that a pistol should act as an extension of the sniper’s body. Drawing and shooting should be second nature, so choosing a comfortable and accurate weapon is key. Something semi-automatic will effectively cover most bases. Attach a silencer to your pistol as well.
Finally, equipping a sturdy bipod will allow you to fire from a solid platform, cutting down on weapon sway. This will make you more accurate, and help immensely while sitting or prone.
Though you’ll likely go through ammo much more slowly than your teammates, you should always bring extra magazines. This applies to both your primary and secondary weapons. Running out of ammunition is problematic enough for anyone. It’s especially bad when you’re attempting to pin down advancing squads, or worse – while behind enemy lines.
You may want to consider bringing along a grenade or two. Picture this: you’re advancing upon a building which is a prime sniper’s nest. However, it’s occupied by one or more opponents. As a single-shot specialist, you’re likely ill-equipped to take on multiple enemies in close combat. With a grenade, you can eliminate an unsuspecting group rather easily without engaging directly. This is a much safer strategy.
Focus and efficiency are everything when sniping. You may want to consider adding a speed loader to your toolkit, for quick magazine replenishment. This will allow you to turn your eyes back down range that much sooner.
Lastly, but certainly not least, please grab some face protection. A quality pair of goggles and a face shield will keep you safe from fast-moving BBs. As an added bonus, they might even offer some additional concealment.
As Novritsch and other popular snipers state, you can have the most highly-upgraded rifle in the world, but it won’t matter if you use cheap BBs. Luckily, choosing the right ammo can instantly make your gun more accurate. When choosing BBs, keep specs like weight, finish, and composition in mind. For example, you’ll never be able to reliably hit a target if your BBs are too light. These are more vulnerable to wind and other environmental factors, especially from long range.
Using rounds in the .2g to .3g weight range is often too light for rifles with good power. These will be difficult to control and may adversely affect your range. Opting for something heavier will actually make you a deadlier shooter. That’s not to say you should break the bank for your ammo, but you’ll likely need to buy fewer rounds since sniping is a precision game.
If your rounds are not polished or contain imperfections, they will not fly as true through the air. While sighting in your rifle, this can pose a problem. Nobody wants to encounter accuracy challenges in the field. In some cases, low-quality BBs can negatively impact FPS. Keep in mind, however, that high FPS does not always mean high range. A good BB flight is the biggest factor in that department.
As Novritsch states, color is also important for shot tracking. It’s difficult to make adjustments when you can’t observe how your shots react through the air. You cannot control your playing conditions, but you can control what you put in your gun. That’s an easy win for preparedness.
Dress for Your Climate
Luckily, this is an easy rule to follow if you own the right apparel. If you’re playing predominantly in hot or warm conditions, make sure to wear lightweight, breathable clothing to prevent overheating. When playing games that extend for many hours (as there have been 24-hour MilSims), you’ll want to keep your endurance in mind. In these situations, it may also be useful to carry a hydration pack or canteen.
Given that your success will rely on patience and clear judgment, staying comfortable should rank highly on your list of priorities.
If in cold or wet environments, consider waterproof or water-resistant clothing. Staying dry and warm will keep you in the game longer, and give you an advantage over poorly- prepared opponents.
On a related note, consider the unique risks associated with your playing environment. Given that many snipers spend time in wooded areas or fields, make sure to watch out for ticks and other harmful insects or animals. Wear protective clothing that covers your skin, consider insecticide or repellants, and check yourself for hitchhikers after your game. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.
Remaining Hidden is Everything
Be Mindful of Your Surroundings
Snipers are viewed as hunters, and thus should make it a point to blend in. Expect for others to be focused on the machine gunners in front of them. Sit back, relax, and take advantage of the chaos – they’ll never see those shots coming. Just make sure to avoid getting too comfortable, and relocate periodically. Once you accomplish your goal, it’s best to move on, preventing enemies from zeroing in on your whereabouts.
Another tip for remaining undetected is choosing a smart position. This might sound like a no brainer, but snipers often leave themselves exposed on all sides. Avoid situations where your back is exposed and unguarded. You must focus on what’s happening in their field of view, and can’t actively worry about your six. When alone, you risk someone discovering you before you detect them.
Don’t stick your rifle barrel out of windows when you’re inside buildings, as that telegraphs your position. If you find yourself engaged with enemies carrying automatic weapons, cater to your rifle’s range. You can shoot further than your opponents, so you have the luxury of staying relatively safe at long distances.
Camouflage is Your Friend
As always, tailor your dress to your environment. As a sniper, you’ll feel most at home while concealed, so choose colors and patterns that match your surroundings. If in an urban field, you might opt for tans, greys, or black.
However, many events will occur in wooded environments. In these situations, using nature to your advantage is key. Take advantage of foliage such as bushes and twigs that break up the human form. Trees can act as useful cover as well. Matching your clothing to the forest around you will help you blend in effectively. Gloves are also a worthy investment because they hide exposed skin. When using a natural object as cover, lean against it to break up your silhouette.
If you want to go the extra mile, consider making or purchasing a full ghillie suit. These cloak-like coverings can be constructed from natural materials like twigs and leaves. They may also be artificially made to resemble whatever cover you use. With a quality ghillie suit, you can push more boundaries, allowing you to encroach closer to enemy positions. The longer you stay hidden, the longer you can support your teammates.
If you’re able, add some additional cloaking to your rifle as well. Long-barreled guns are awkward objects that stand out, so any efforts to conceal them are worthwhile.
Limit Your Movement
When you’re stationary and in a shooting position, be mindful of the movements you make. Since keeping your cover is crucial, avoid sharp motions that could give you away. Shoot and remain perfectly still, especially if an enemy is scanning for the origin of your shot. When reloading, pull back your bolt gradually and chamber a round slowly.
When adjusting your position or seeking new cover, stay crouched to avoid attracting attention. In addition, it may be useful to crawl patiently to a new location. This helps you keep a low profile. If you feel as though you’re moving too slowly or in slow motion, you’re probably doing things right.
Keep in Contact With Your Team
Depending on how serious or expansive your airsoft battle is, communicating back and forth will be advantageous. We touched on accessories earlier, but want to include one more: a portable radio, or walkie talkie.
As a sniper, you’ll want to relay enemy movements to your teammates and fellow marksman when necessary. Additionally, gathering intel from others can be the difference between “life or death.” Staying informed will help prevent you from being caught in a sudden ambush. It will also keep you up to date with your team’s movements, in case they need support. In active games, front lines and respawns are always changing. It really does pay to stay informed to avoid surprises.
In games where reviving is legal, a stealthy sniper can also sneak in and patch up a downed squadmate. Listening for these calls on your radio will allow you to tackle many important roles on your team.
As YouTuber and seasoned sniper kickingmustang proclaims, it’s also useful to have a reliable, high-quality headset. This will allow you to communicate simply by whispering, without giving away your position.
Practice, Practice, Practice!
So, you have all the gear you need. The most important thing you can do is get out there and get accustomed to sniping. Experience changing surroundings, test out new techniques and develop your mental approach. Mess around with shooting adjustments and playing in varying weather conditions. Test out different ranges with your weapon.
There will be a healthy amount of trial and error before you develop your sniping skills. However, you’ll find that you’ll rapidly improve. Before you know it, sniping will become second nature.
Thanks for checking out our guide! If you want to jump right in, we encourage you to head out there armed with these important tips.