CoD4 Ultimate Sniping Guide - Techniques
TECHNIQUES: Once you've got your class made, your location picked, and your claymores placed, you've got to know how to snipe. Some techniques in here may be rather basic, while others are more advanced. They are in no particular order.
Using smoke grenades to reach a spot: Smoke grenades are my grenade of choice for sniping, mainly because they allow to the reach a spot unharmed. When throwing them to lay down cover, don't throw them at your feet, but not at the enemy's feet, either. If it's at your feet, you won't be able to navigate your way around, and you'll be caught in the open when the smoke settles down. If it's at the enemies feet, they can walk forward and see you. It's best to put the smoke in between you and the enemy, maybe favoring you, so you have good cover, but aren't blinded. Once you throw the smoke, wait a second or two before making your move.
Using your pistol and being competitive with sub machine gun users: There will be times when you have to use your pistols to defend yourself against enemies with shotguns, sub machine guns, and assault rifles.
First you have to know your pistol and how it reacts. I'll start with the Desert Eagle. The Desert Eagle has pretty poor iron sights by popular opinion. Luckily, it has pin-point accuracy from the hip; it's crosshairs are the tightest in the game, even more than the sub machine guns. Also, the Desert Eagle packs a big punch, and will kill in a hit at the ranges you'll be using it at. The downside is it has some large vertical recoil. To compensate for this, you should aim at the stomach and fire off 3 rounds, incase one misses. Because you aimed at the stomach on the first shot, the bullets will walk up the target, all hitting him. When used this way, the Desert Eagle's recoil is irrelevant, but it's 2-hitting power is very valuable. The M1911 is different in that you can hip-fire inside, but out in the open you'll want to look down the sights. Also, you only need to aim for the chest in order to compromise for it's recoil. The M1911 will kill in 2 hits at point blank, and 3 at close range.
Since the pistol would be seen by the majority as the under-dog against any of these weapons, you must exploit your advantages, and take advantage of their weaknesses. First, let's talk about how to beat shotguns. There are a number of weaknesses that shotguns have. First, they have to be in range, so if they are close, back pedal as you fire at them. The farther away you get, the better your odds. Second, the crosshairs have to be centered on you, so the more you jump around and move, preferably left to right, the less chance they have of hitting you. Also, if you see them retreat behind a corner, 90% of the time that means they are reloading. Since shotguns tend to reload slowly, this is a great chance to grab the kill.
Sub machine guns and assault rifles are similar in how you beat them. First, you have to know they need 2-3 hits to kill you. You only need two. Their guns are fairly large on the screen and zoom in when aiming down the sights, so it's harder to track abrupt movements up close. So, the more you move around, the harder you will be to follow. Also, since their guns generally are going to have recoil, it may be a good idea to hide behind cover, and make it difficult for them to hit you. What ever you do, don't let them find you standing out in the open, lining up shots. You have to jump around and fire fast if you want a chance. The hip-fire is good, so you should use it.
Swapping out your pistol: While the Desert Eagle is a great close-medium range weapon, you can't honestly say it's the best. It beats a lot of guns, but there are some guns that are even better. So, if you happen to find one on the ground, why not pick it up and use it in the future. Here's the guns and my views on whether you should swap your pistol for them or not.
M16: No. If you miss a burst you are dead. This is a long range gun, not a point blank one.
G3: This also kills in two hits, but it has worse hip-accuracy, so why downgrade?
M14: Hits as hard as a Deagle, but worse hip-accuracy - another down-grade.
AK-47: Kills in two hits just like the pistols, but is fully automatics. Worth swapping for.
M4: Kills in three hits, but has a high ROF, so it's fine as well. Worth swapping for.
G36: Kills too slowly in my opinion. Optional; it‘s an M4 with a lower ROF. I don't swap for it, but if you really like the G36 feel free.
MP44: Another optional. It's an AK with a lower ROF.
MP5: Built for close-medium range...
Skorpion: Built for close-medium range, but you may not like the clip size. Recommended, but optional.
Mini-Uzi: Built for close-medium range...
AK-74u: Built for close-medium range....
P90: Built for close-medium range...
Shotguns: I do not recommend swapping for these. You need to have something for medium ranges.
Snipers: No. Not even a .50cal using the full clip is acceptable for close range. Too much of a risk, too tight of crosshairs.
Light Machine Guns: Again, the crosshairs are too large. Don't swap for these.
A lot of the guns you'll swap your pistol for will be found on enemy corpses who died from your claymores. When the claymore kills them, don't immediately grab his gun. He may have a buddy who was nearby that is about to set off your second claymores. Wait for a few seconds and see if the second claymore goes off. If not, you can go down and claim your gun.
What to do if a claymore goes off, but doesn't kill: If it's the first claymore that went off, toss a smoke grenade so they don't see the second claymore or and might accidentally walk into it, and so they don‘t see the grenade, then. you should toss a cooked grenade their way and hope either the grenade or the second claymore gets them. If the second claymore goes off but doesn't kill, you should run to them and jump around the corner, hoping for that hit that will kill. This is what they are least expecting, so it's the most likely to succeed.
Looking down the scope before spotting a target: You should look down the scope before you see anyone, but you should move it around any place where enemies could be. Occasionally, you should de-scope and check to see where everyone is on the radar.
Steadying the scope before spotting a target: You should not steady the scope before you know someone is there. Only steady the scope before hand in sniper-to-sniper battles, and if you KNOW someone is going to run around the corner. Probably the best way to know is to look at the UAV.
Priority- who to snipe if you've got the option: For this section, you have to at least know what snipers look like. They are the guys that either have caps on their heads, or are dressed in ghillie suits.
Once you are able to recognize what gun they have by their looks, you have to decide who is the biggest threat, and in turn who you should snipe first. Snipers usually know all the spots, so if they are facing your direction, you MUST kill them first. Even if you are aiming for a headshot on another guy, if a sniper enters your field of view he becomes top priority. Light machine gun users and assault rifle users are second priority, while sub machine gunners and shotgunners are a threat at all to you, so you can wait until everyone else is dead before focusing on them.
When to just take the shot and get the kill, and when to take the head shot: Obviously, headshots are nice to get, but there are times when you can take the time to line up a headshot and there are times when you should just go for the chest and get the kill. If a sniper is facing you, he's about a second away from blowing your head off, so it's best just to hit him and kill him any way you know how. However, seeing as snipers tend to not move, if you see one who isn't facing your direction, you can take the headshot and know that he will not kill you and he will not move. If you see a shotgun user, he will be very likely to have juggernaut on, but he is also pretty likely to be rushing around. If you can one-hit juggernauts to the chest than do so, but if you can't then aim high and hope for a headshot. Light machine gun users, according to my experience, are new to the game, and are likely to have juggernaut on, and are also prone to camping. These are the guys you should headshot the most. Since they may have juggernaut, it's best to hit the kill and be assured of a kill. And since they are less likely to be moving around, you can line up a headshot with a decent amount of confidence that they won't move. Assault rifle and sub machine gun users like to move quite a bit as well, and are unlikely to have juggernaut, so it's best just to get the chest or stomach shot, kill them, and move on.
How to kill juggernaut users: Yes, you can get guns like the R700, .50cal, or Dragonuv and one-hit juggernauts to the chest, but what if you hit in the stomach...how do you kill them considering how slowly snipers fire? There is a technique I made up myself for killing them. When you hit with a sniper rifle, at the very worst, you will do 70 damage to a juggernaut. A Desert Eagle at maximum range does 30 damage under those conditions, or enough to finish them off. Since pistols swap out incredibly fast, you can hit them with your sniper, not kill, pull out your pistol that is already pre aimed to the target and fire off a single round, hitting and finishing them off. This also works quite well if you hit someone's foot and don't register a kill.
What to do if an LMG user opens fire on you: Light machine guns, as overpowered as they are, have the ability to shoot over long distances and penetrate walls with stunning efficiency. Most of the light machine gun users are new to the game, and have not quite learned the technique of burst firing...thank god. When they open fire, they will likely go full auto, so bullets will go everywhere. If he hits you once, there's a good chance he will empty his whole clip on you until you are dead. There are two things you have to know to succeed here. 1. LMGs have horrible recoil, so the smaller the target you are the less likely to are to be hit. 2. After a bullet penetrates a wall, it's damage is reduced the farther it goes. Simply put, the closer you are to the wall the more damage you'll take. The trick to surviving a barrage of LMG bullets is to go prone immediately and back up from the wall. This will make you very hard to hit, and each hit won't do a lot of damage.
What to do if a sniper spots you and has the scope pre-aimed, waiting for you: This is where a lot of people have trouble. What do you do when the enemy sniper is waiting for you to pop up? Well, he is expecting you to pop up exactly where you just where, so why not prone and move a couple feet to the left or right, adjusting your scope accordingly. Next, he probably has it steadied and most snipers use iron lungs, so wait about 11 seconds before making your move. When you go up, your scope should be already pre-aimed in their general direction, and it should be steadied. Just make the slight adjustment, and BANG. No more sniper. When you go up, the adjustment and shooting should preferably take around a second or less.
When to leave your spot and when to fight off enemies: When you get really good at sniping, and especially when you are going on those big kill streaks, enemies are going to start rushing your position. You have to know when to fight them off, and when to just book it. If it's one or two guys and you've got claymores, let the claymores do their magic, maybe finish off the second guy if he doesn't die. Once the claymores are gone, and no enemies are nearby, it's best to leave the spot and group up with some teammates or other snipers. These situations are ideal, but sometimes maybe 4-6 people will rush you...and with that many, it doesn't matter if you have claymores. If they are entering one a time you, it's best to fire them off, one by one. Since they are going one by one, you can't jump out the window or the end of the line will get you. However, since they are not together, they are probably unorganized and you've got a decent chance at fighting them off one at a time. If they enter as a group, they will be organized and no pistol can take on 4+ guys at once. Hell, a P90 or MP5 would struggle greatly at that. However, since they are together, when the first guy enters, so does the last, so you can jump out the window before they get to you and make a run for it, maybe tossing a smoke somewhere. You can tell how they are grouped by the killcam. Basically if you've got claymores stay, if not go. If there's 3+, look at how they are grouped from the UAV and decide accordingly.
Cheating the kill cam: The kill cam is one of the sniper's greatest enemies, since it gives away your position to the angry enemies. However, if you stay scoped in after the shot for about 3-4 seconds, all the enemy sees is a magnified view of where they died and it's tougher to trace it back to you. I do not prefer to stick the scope into the sky of ground, since there may be someone near the guy you just killed and you can get a second kill. Once you get a kill, just keep the scope up, maybe scanning for friends. This way, you've got a chance at a second kill and you'll be tough to trace.
Leading your target: This is a technique used by snipers to hit running targets. Let's say you've got a guy running to the right across your screen. Simply place your crosshairs way to the right, and wait until he runs into the center of the crosshairs...and....BOOM. You should fire when he is in the center of your crosshairs or JUST before.
No scoping: No scoping is fun and embarrassing to die from, but not nearly as effective or practical as actually looking down the sights. There are 4 techniques: Lucky, Spastic, G-shot, and Weapon Swap. Honestly, the only one that is somewhat practical in a game would be the spastic technique, but you waste a ton of ammo and you're better off with a pistol. Here's how each technique is done. Lucky: you just stand still, fire, and hope for a hit. Very low odds of success. Spastic: You unload a full clip from a semi-auto rifle at point blank range. It usually works about as well as a pistol, but it's a waste of ammo. G-shot: Here you strafe either left or right. When you move, the crosshair expands, and when you stop it shrinks. Exactly when it is done shrinking is when you should take your shot. The bullet should go to the center of the crosshairs. Weapon Swap: First, you hit the weapon swap button. This is Y for xbox, 1 or 2 for PC, and triangle for PS3. So, hit weapon swap, then quickly follow up by hitting weapon swap and fire at the same time. For xbox, for example, you would hit Y, then Y and RT. If timed properly, the bullet will land in the center of the crosshairs.
Dragging and firing, very quickly: This is where you see an enemy, 'toss' the scope in his general direction and fire. It seems to work with the M40 and R700, but since the R700 can't make a back-up shot if you miss, I'd only use it on the M40. It allows for quick kills, but you shouldn't expect a hit all the time. It's fun, but not quite practical, like no-scoping.
How to be tough to spot: This is the final thing you have to learn while sniping. The harder you are to see, the better. Obviously, you have to choose the stance that gives you the view, but makes you tough to see. Once you are in position, DO NOT MOVE. If you adjust to make a shot, it will give away your position to any snipers. When you have to adjust, go prone, make the necessary adjustment, then pop your head back up. Nothing is more obvious than moving and making adjustments while crouching. Your head will bob up and down. How obvious do you need it? If you prone, the head will disappear, than reappear, all in an instant. You are a lot less likely to be seen.
Well, that's it for my guide. Hopefully after reading this you have a solid class made, know where to snipe, and most importantly, how. Any feedback is appreciated. If you see any grammatical, or spelling errors, or if I missed a technique or didn't explain something properly please make me aware of it.