Escape From Tarkov offers a wide variety of weapons to aid you in survival, and while most categories are broad and offer a multitude of options with which you can experiment, sniper rifles have a very specific description and offer a very specific set of advantages.
Why use a sniper rifle?
With one notable exception, every sniper rifle is a single-shot, bolt action rifle with restricted magazine sizes and chambered in either 7.62x54R or 7.62×51 NATO. With basic ammunition, these rifles offer an extremely high one-shot-kill capability to the chest, up through tier 4 armor. But even against tiers 5 and 6, more specialized rounds are still devastating to the chest, and will kill in one hit to the head. There are semi-automatic rifles chambered in these calibers as well, but their added weight detracts from their handling.
To exemplify how specific the role of sniper rifles are, lets luck at the humble Mosin Nagant.
Both the Sniper and Infantry variation of the Mosin are available from Prapor level 1 with the Infantry model selling for 34K Roubles and the Sniper variant as a barter for 4 AA batteries and 2 D batteries.
The Mosin Nagant isn’t quick to handle, and can only hold 5 rounds in the magazine, its Iron sights leave something to be desired for most shooters and you can’t mount anything but the PU 3.5x riflescope until you’ve unlocked either the Flea Market or the vendor Jaeger. But even basic 7.62x54R available with Prapor will give a guaranteed one-shot-kill to the chest through even level 4 armor.
However, once you do have access to additional parts and leveled up vendors, you open up a wide range of options with the mosin. Including a 10 round detachable magazine and the Archangel stock.
Aside from the optic, you’ll notice there’s very little on this Mosin. The reason for that is Ergonomics. Ergonomics affects 3 things
- Aim down sights speed
- ADS stamina drain
- Noise caused by aiming (very minor)
Ergonomics are the primary reason I won’t be going into a deep and detailed build guide about each rifle, since the vast majority of builds should really be focused around minimizing bulk and maximizing your Ergonomics, and your choice of sights really come down to personal preference and practice.
Best way to Build a Sniper Rifle
High ergonomics is generally your goal with sniper rifles, and covering each sniper depends on your account’s progress and a lot of personal preference. Instead, I’ll just make some general build notes here:
Even cheap sight upgrades are not to be underestimated. Iron sights might seem fine at first, but the increased visibility from red-dot and holographic sights can make you much more maneuverable, while even slight magnification can help you spot and engage targets further out than with irons.
Suppressor are your friends, they’ll sometimes murder your ergonomics but really a suppressor can make the difference between trading out with someone’s buddy and taking out an armored trio without them knowing what happened.
Don’t underestimate thermal scopes. They’re expensive, and many players treat them with reverence, but they still usually don’t understand just how valuable they really are. At night and in the day thermal scopes allow for massively enhanced visibility across great distances, especially in outdoor areas where normally a green shirt moving through trees would be difficult to spot, but a bright white light shining through some black branches isn’t.
Best Maps for Sniper Rifles
Woods is built for snipers, with brush and trees providing your primary cover, it really emphasizes the sniper play style and tests both your ability to move with stealth and to spot others trying to do the same.
Customs provides a good number of long range sight lines down the main road, across the bridge, and even a high up vantage point in construction.
Shoreline offers some baby woods gameplay, but with plenty of building and non-forest environments to break things up.
As a sniper, you’re given no forgiveness on a missed shot, but a single well placed round will prevent a fight from ever happening. The biggest downside to sniper rifles as a category is rate of fire, since anything short of a chest or headshot will give your opponent ample time to send several rounds back at you. The advantages you have to turn against them are exceptional long-range performance and per shot lethality.