Dominating From a Distance—6 Pro Tips for Sniping in Apex Legends
Updated March 16, 2023.
Sniping is one of the more challenging roles in any first-person shooter, and sometimes you just need a push in the right direction to start sniping like a pro. That being said, here are our top 6 tips for sniping to help you dominate in Apex Legends.
1. Learn the Differences Between the 5 Snipers in Apex Legends
In Apex Legends there are only a few options when it comes to weapons to snipe with, but in the right hands, any of these snipers are deadly at all ranges, though some are certainly better suited for certain situations than others.
1. Charge Rifle
- Best for: Beginners and poking enemies from a distance
- Most user-friendly
- No bullet drop
- Decent damage
- Good for short- and long-range fights
- Consumes 2 ammo per shot
- Damage drop over 150m
- Slow damage output
- Reduced ability to peak and use cover effectively
The charge rifle's laser does 45 damage, as does the round at the end, so poking is as good as hitting the rounds if your tracking is good enough. Since the beam travels in a straight line, the charge rifle is also good for short-range engagements since its hip-fire is pretty good up to 10m.
However, you'll need a bigger backpack to carry the extra ammo, just so long as you're comfortable with tracking enemy movement from a distance to control their movement rather than go for kills. Don't distance yourself too much though, in order to avoid the damage drop.
- Best for: Versatility at all ranges
- Great at all ranges
- Biggest mag size
- Fastest sniper fire-rate
- Fast ADS speed
- Skullpiercer hop-up buffs headshot damage
- Harder to use
- Least body-shot damage
The Longbow is my personal favorite sniper rifle due to its great balance of damage, rate of fire, and ADS speed. The large magazine and fire rate make it the best all-around sniper rifle for dealing damage and getting knockdowns, but it takes some practice and patience to remain calm and pause between each shot. The skullpiercer hop-up makes it extra lethal if you can land headshots against your opponents.
- Best for: High single-shot damage
- Huge base-damage
- Great for medium to long-range engagements
- Can be amped with shield cells
- Fast ADS speed
- Built-in Tempo
- Slow rechambering speed
- Small magazine size
- Bullets are loud and visible
The Sentinel has the highest single-shot damage of any weapon you can find on the floor and an incredible ADS speed, but lacks in firing speed. However, the Tempo hop-up (now built-in) allows you to fire shots in quick succession if you time them correctly. You can also charge the weapon with shield cells, massively increasing the damage of each shot for 120 seconds at the cost of louder sound and more visible bullet tracers.
- Best for: Situational damage dealing
- Most damage per shot in the game
- 1-hit headshot in most cases
- Instills fear in your opponents
- Amazing at long-range
- Very slow rechambering speed
- Slow reload time
- Red weapon only
- Very few bullets
- Highly situational
The Kraber has been the only weapon to stay as a red weapon since the game's launch and can only be found in neutral care packages—and for good reason. The gun is a 1-shot demon where landing a headshot will almost guarantee you a knockdown.
Though the weapon has the highest damage per shot in the game, the Kraber isn't a gun you'll want your hands on at all times. Its 12-round max (4/mag), slow reload time, and huge scope makes it ineffective and unreliable at close range. Its situational properties make many people ignore the weapon entirely or make an effort to throw it off a cliff so it doesn't get used against them.
5. Vantage's Custom Sniper
- Best for: Recon and buffing your team's overall damage output
- Huge damage potential
- Acts as a 3rd weapon slot
- Gives team info and a damage boost
- Free bullets
- Bullets recharge slowly
- Only 5 rounds max at a time
- Needs consecutive hits to be effective
Vantage can pull out an old version of the Sentinel with unique damage mechanics as her ultimate ability. The first shot Vantage lands against an enemy with this gun will deal 50 damage to the body and mark the target for you and your team. Consecutive hits with the sniper will double that damage, as well as increase the damage dealt to the marked target with any weapon you or your teamies use against them. The rifle charges up bullets over time, gaining 1 bullet every 40 seconds to a cap of 5.
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2. Understand Long-Range vs. Close-Range Sniping
This is where players use distance to their advantage and practice hitting precise shots over a range that other guns can't compete in. You'll do better with the Kraber and Sentinal in these engagements, but chances are you'll be chunking off large portions of damage from players more than actually getting kills.
You end up trading the safety and damage of range for the disadvantage of trying to finish enemies from a distance. If the squad you're fighting has enough cover, they can revive their downed teammate, heal up, and find a way to escape before you can reposition fast enough to finish the kill.
The best ways to take advantage of long-range sniping are to count on third-partying other fights as it's a lot harder to pay attention to snipers in the distance when you're in the middle of a fight, and securing kills on knocked-down enemies over doing more damage, making it harder for them to re-group and escape.
Close-Range (Combat) Sniping
Combat sniping is a different ball game that uses quick peaks and fast movements to dodge and weave while doing damage. Breaking off an opponent's shield early with a well-placed shot can dramatically swing the fight in your favor, so using a sniper or marksman rifle at close range can act as a major damage initiator or a 1-hit finisher at the end of your other gun's magazine.
The best way to start stepping into this role is to play with the 30-30 Repeater, Longbow, or Sentinel, and get used to playing with open sights, and 'quick-scoping' your opponents so you can track them more effectively.
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3. Choose the Right Attachments
There's some confusion around how effective some attachments are for certain weapons over others. There are attachments that suit different situations, and different attachments for each weapon should be prioritized for the playstyle that you're choosing to run.
Optics are the most important factor in aiding the playstyle you plan on choosing.
It's important to remember that the longer the scope range you put on your sniper, the longer it takes to aim down sights.
This is fine for long-range, but less so for short-range engagements where you'll have a problem acquiring targets quickly if you have to spend that extra heartbeat aiming through a scope.
The stock not only lets you reload faster, which is essential for close-range combat or a heated fight, but it also gives your weapon better handling (faster weapon switching and ADS speed). The stock is definitely one of the attachments you'll want to prioritize if you're going for close-range engagements, but don't discount it for long-range fights either due to the added benefit of reduced weapon sway.
Getting a magazine for your sniper or marksman weapon is self-explanatory: you get more bullets per mag. Essential in all ranges, but more so for short-range.
Like the magazine, the barrel stabilizer is self-explanatory and will reduce your weapon's recoil, helping you aim between shots.
Hop-ups are very weapon specific and are probably the attachment you should prioritize least unless you're hunting for a specific one that changes the way you use a weapon, like shatter-caps on the 30-30 Repeater. They certainly do add a big advantage to your weapon, but you shouldn't rely on hop-ups to make your weapon efficient.
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4. Tweak Your Sensitivity Settings
This may take some time based on what sensitivities you're used to already. Lower sensitivities tend to yield higher accuracy from fine-tuned movements, while higher sensitivities are suited to flicking to enemies and require a lot of muscle memory to pull off effectively.
Pros recommend using a sensitivity that, when dragging your mouse from the left-hand side of your mouse-pad to the right without aiming down sights, your character turns around one-and-a-bit times so that you can do a 360-degree turn comfortably.
5. Practice the Right Way
How to Optimize Your Firing Range Practice
Spending some time in the firing range doing a routine or practicing before each play session is a great way to get warmed up, get your aim in, and hype yourself up for some Battle Royale or some Arenas.
My favorite routine is to take Mirage into the range, send out a clone, and do a 180 before activating the ability's mimic function to make the decoy mirror your movements so you can practice strafing and shooting at a moving target.
Don't spend too much time here, professional players spend 10-15 minutes doing warm-ups, and max 20 minutes at a time when practicing a new mechanic, like wall-jumping or tap-strafing.
Best Game Modes for Sniper Practice
The best game modes to practice sniping are the limited-time modes like Control and Gun Run as there are fast respawns and you can really get some good practice in against other players, but when these aren't on rotation it's not a bad idea to take up a sniper rifle in the Arenas.
Armed and Dangerous is another great limited-time game mode that's been around a few times that only allows shotguns and sniper rifles to spawn on the map, making it a great time to pick up Sniping as a skill.
Best Legends for Sniper Practice
Defensive characters like Gibraltar, Newcastle, and Rampart are much better suited for the long-range sniping game. Putting cover up to hide behind and peek from with these characters' abilities means that your sustainability from a distance is difficult for enemies to deal with, even if they have range as well.
Legends that have high mobility and can travel vertically well are definitely worth looking at if you're looking for all-around sniping potential. Pathfinder, Valkyrie, Vantage, Revenant, Horizon, and Octane are amazing at getting to great sniping locations and can get out of a spot quickly in a pinch.
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6. Develop Your Sniper Positioning
Where to Snipe From
There are spots all over the map that are great places to snipe from, the most obvious spots being on top of roofs, high ledges, and cliff edges. While they do provide superior vision, it's also where players expect you to be standing if you're sniping. It's not unwise to use the positions for yourself, but don't stick around for too long, lest you find yourself the victim of another sniper.
The biggest threat to a sniper (aside from being pushed or ganked) is another sniper, so knowing where other snipers might peek or camp could give you a real advantage in a ranged fight.
Repositioning After Firing
Moving after taking a shot means that you're far less predictable when enemies prepare for your next assault and can prevent enemies from effectively pushing to your position or potentially controlling the fight if it turns out they have snipers of their own. Moving also means that any 3rd-party squad looking for an easy engagement to jump in on can't attack you effectively, hopefully triggering them to attack the other squad instead and leaving the new 3rd-party opportunity to your squad.
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Dominate From a Distance
Hopefully, after reading this article, you can see that everyone can become competitive as a sniper in Apex Legends. All you need to do is put in the practice and apply our top tips and you'll be picking off your opponents from a distance in no time. And don't forget to download Buff to earn some free rewards along the way.