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Warhawk: Tip #9 – Master the Sniper Rifle

September 14, 2008

A lot of people complaining about the sniper rifle prompted me to write this tip. Note: I used to be one of the people complaining.

The sniper rifle is greatly misunderstood in Warhawk. Most people will say it’s too hard to make a great shot. Well, they’re looking at it all wrong. Sniping in Warhawk isn’t so much about making a great shot as it is waiting for an enemy to make a mistake. How often do enemies make mistakes you ask? Well, the answer is OFTEN. Let’s begin with the basics.

The Rifle
The sniper rifle is a long range rifle in Warhawk, designed to be used to take out enemies at a distance while leaving you fairly unexposed. It features two zoom modes, which can be accessed using R3. Press once to zoom in once, then press again to zoom in further. The sniper rifle will take out any troop with one landed shot, can take out a Warhawk with 2-3 shots, and can take out enemy jeeps in a few shots. The sniper rifle will NOT damage tanks, turrets, dropships, or APCs. The sniper rifle pickup comes with 7 bullets, and up to 14 bullets can be loaded.

Location, Location, Location
One of the first things you’ll want to do upon acquiring a sniper rifle is find a good sniping location. If you are traveling far from the sniper rifle pickup and if you aren’t a good shot yet, you’ll want to wait for the rifle to respawn to have 14 shots to play with. You’ll want to find a location that is elevated that gives you a good view of the map. Cover is a great thing to have also to make it harder to take you out. Towers are good spots (although other snipers tend to look for those areas), on top of mountains behind trees, rooftops, etc.

Aiming Basics
The key to sniping is all in the aiming. Let’s start from the beginning. If possible from your position, you’ll want to crouch while sniping. This will increase your aim accuracy and can mean the difference between a kill and giving away your position. After this you will want to press R3 to zoom once. If you are too far away, press R3 again to zoom in further. Try moving the crosshairs around. You may want to turn down the character aim speed to make sniping easier as the default will make fine adjustments very tough.

Now if firing at a stationary target, simply place your crosshairs on them and fire. After firing there will be a small reload time before you can fire off another shot. The problem is that when you fire, a bullet trail is left, giving away your position, meaning you do not want to fire more than necessary.

Moving Targets
If firing at a moving target you will need to do a few things. The first thing I try to do is watch the line the enemy is moving in. If they are moving in a straight line, move your crosshairs to where they are running to. Right before they hit your crosshairs, you’ll want to fire b/c you need to take bullet travel time into account. If you predicted their movement properly, you should have landed yourself a kill. When firing at a moving target, you always need to “lead” them meaning that if you fire when they’re in your crosshairs, you’re going to miss. That is why you need to anticipate where they are moving to.

General Tips
-The bridge in Eucadia is a great place to pick off enemies as they tend to bottleneck there. There is a hill above the bridge with a sniper rifle pickup that is a great spot to snipe from. Unfortunately it leaves you vulnerable as there isn’t much cover. If enemies don’t take you out though, keep at it. My philosophy is take what the enemy will give you. If they’re going to give you the hill with the pickup right there, take advantage of it until they stop you.

-Look for zones/nodes. Many enemies will stop right next to them and not move, making them easy targets for you to pick off.

-Look for enemies firing the machine gun on the jeep. You can snipe them while they are firing.

-Look for enemies popping out of the hatch in the tank or APC. Easy targets as both vehicles move fairly slow.

-Snipers in towers or bunkers can be easy targets as they probably aren’t moving.

-If a pesky Warhawk is hovering, take a few shots at him. I’ve sniped quite a few Warhawks and it’s always funny when they look to see how they were shot down and see a sniper rifle icon next to their name.

-Look for enemies running to certain things. For example, you see an enemy running and you see a Warhawk in the distance. Chances are he’s running to the Warhawk so line up those sights next to the Warhawk.

-Move often. If the enemy is good, they won’t let you snipe from the same position for long. Take a few shots and move.

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