sniper rifle

Sniper Rifles

Sniper Rifles can be split in two broad groups: semi auto and bolt action – SASR and BASR respectively. Do not be confused by SAS-R, which is an NC BASR. 

Both sniper rifle types focus on getting headshots as primary goal. SASR kill in two headshots, and can make quick follow-up shots. BASR kill in one headshot within 200m-300m, but fire much slower.

By default, TR and VS infiltrators use 99SV and VA39 Spectre semi auto rifles respectively, NC infiltrators use NC-14 Bolt Driver

Additionally, each faction has access to a unique empire-specific Sniper Rifle that embodies traits of each faction: TRAP-M1,  Phaseshift VX-S and AF-8 Railjack.

Semi Auto Sniper Rifles

There are two SASR for each faction. All SASR kill in 2 headshots at all ranges.

TR and NC rifles have identical statistics. VS rifles do slightly more damage within 100m, have slightly higher velocity and no bullet drop, but they do less damage at 100m+. Comparison.

Close Range: Impetus, Phantom, KSR-35 – have access to low-zoom scopes: iron sights, 1x, 2x, 3.4x and 4x, but not HS/NV scope. All of these scopes don’t have sway.

Long Range: Gauss SPR, VA39 Spectre, 99SV – have access to sniper scopes: 6x to 12x. All of these scopes have sway, but it is removed by Ballistic Computer rail attachment, which is unlocked and equipped by default.

How to use a SASR

The following instruction is based on this post by Plague Rat.

Avoid the big mistakes

1. DON’T SPAM SHOTS. Wait for the crosshair to fully return before firing another shot. Due to some convoluted weapon mechanics, it takes Cone of Fire a tiny amount of time longer to restore than for crosshair to fully return. If you fire too soon, you will be less accurate.

2. Go for quality of shots over quantity. The absolute ideal is to kill every target with 2-3 shots (shielded heavies take 3 headshots). 

Spraying half your mag or more at a target this way is just simply doing it wrong. This is BY FAR the biggest way people fail with these weapons, grow to dislike them, and grab the first available BASR.

3. Drop your scope regularly to look around. Tunnel vision is a bad habit, with SASRs especially because of the multiple shots you’re going to be easier to locate, and you’ll want to know where the threats are and when you have to move.

4. Don’t push through recoil. Almost always it’s better to let the weapon settle before taking the next shot.

5. If you’re using a scope with sway, don’t start holding your breath until you’re about to shoot. A lot of snipers hold their breath way too early when they’re still zeroing in, and this is fine with a BASR because you’re only firing one shot. But not with a SASR, that requires multiple hits.

Aim with sway, and start holding just before fine tune your aim and open fire. This way you’ll have ample time for comfortable follow-ups. Target Focus hold breath implants help a lot with that.


SASR’s have a higher skill ceiling. With a BASR, It’s a simple pass/fail – you either kill with a single bullet or not. With a SASR, you can drop your target in any number of headshot/bodyshot combinations, and this is fine, but be mindful of how you’re killing targets, and always try to improve. Any infantry target can be dropped with 2-3 rounds, but you’re not going to be there on day one.


Shoot the MAXes. Compared to the BASRs you can do a significantly more damage in a shorter amount of time to a MAX with an SASR. You won’t kill it unless it’s already a bit damaged, but it’s a great help to your buddies that suddenly have a much easier time disposing of the threat. And MAXes can’t fight back well at range.

EMP ambushes are great. You can throw one of these out to about 40ish meters. At which point effected targets become a OHK headshot, and you have a rifle that doesn’t have to wait a second or two between shots, and a 10 round mag. Happy times.

It probably goes without saying but you’re better off with your pistol in close quarters. Yeah, it’s a semi-auto and all, but with movement penalties and the CoF bloom, it’s just awkward as hell when you’re suddenly fighting up close and personal, especially if you’re using the SASR with a sniper scope. It CAN work, but you’ll stand a better chance of not dying if you just switch to your sidearm.


For SASR, Forward Grip reduces both vertical (15%) and horizontal (25%) recoil. It makes pushing through recoil easier if you have to, and increases the speed at which you can take double-tap headshots. 

Ballistic Computer removes sway from high magnification scopes, and makes long range SASR considerably easier to use. 

Suppressor removes the minimap signature when you fire, and removes muzzle flash, but reduces damage and velocity. You will still be able to kill in the same amount of headshots, but bodyshots will become noticeably weaker. 

You only show up on the minimap within 40m, so with a long range SASR you’re better off just keeping the distance from combat. But suppressor can be reasonable on a close range BASR if you intend to do a lot of aggressive sniping at closer ranges.

Bolt Action Sniper Rifles

From MasterFrost’s sniping guide.

BASRs are known for their ability to OHK with a headshot out to a certain range. Each faction has four of these. BASR are split into tiers, the higher the tier – the longer the effective range and higher the velocity, but longer reload and longer time between shots.

Tier 1 “close range”: TSAR-42, Ghost, SAS-R.

They can use optics with 1x-4x magnification that have no scope sway. 200m OHK range.

Tier 2 “medium range”: M-77B, LA80, V10.

rifles offer a longer reload time, along with a bit lower refire-rate than the Tier 1 rifles, but they have a faster bullet (and as a result, less bullet drop). 250m OHK range

Tier 3 “long range”: SR-7, NC-14 Bolt Driver, XM98.

250m OHK range, but slightly higher velocity.

Tier 4 “super long range”: RAMS .50, Longshot, Parallax.

300m OHK range.


All BASRs are able to equip straight-pull bolts, which allow the sniper to chamber the next round without leaving the scope, but often promote tunnel-vision habits in newer players.

These are to be used responsibly, and the user should never forget to remain greedless. There is no stat-based drawback to equipping them, but it is important that a player remain situationally aware and mobile, rather than stationary and in ‘farm mode’.

Empire Specific Sniper Rifles


TRAP-M1 can fire in bursts of 2 or 3 rounds. It’s classified as “sniper rifle”, but it would be more proper to call it the middle ground between semi-auto and full-auto Scout Rifles. 

As other sniper rifles, it has poor hip fire. 2x burst has a bit less recoil and CoF Bloom, and is intended for longer ranges than 3x burst. 

Due to average damage output and accuracy, and inconveniences associated with using burst weapons, TRAP-M1 enjoys overwhelmingly negative feedback, and is often called a “trap” purchase. 

That said, the weapon has received a trickle of buffs over the years, and it’s possible that now it’s not absolutely terrible. If a versatile burst fire weapon with different firemodes sounds interesting to you, it is heavily suggested to trial it and look for second opinions.

AF-8 Railjack

AF-8 Railjack

One of the few true rail guns in NC arsenal, Railjack is one of the hardest hitting bolt action rifles, and has the highest projectile velocity of any infantry weapon in the game.

As always, there’s a catch: Railjack has a 0.2 second firing delay between trigger pull and the actual shot, which makes it somewhat tricky to use, because you still need to adjust aim for target movement during those 0.2 seconds.

Since Railjack is primarily an extra long range sniper rifle, you are likely to be firing while stationary, so it could make sense to bind “fire” somewhere on your keyboard, so you can shoot and move the mouse independently. 

Phaseshift VX-S

Phaseshift VX-S

Embracing adaptability and versatility, Phaseshift can switch between “semi auto” and “bolt action” fire modes, though in reality the “bolt action” mode is just a more powerful semi auto mode. No bullet drop in either of the fire modes. 

With Phaseshift in “bolt action” mode, you can make two back to back shots, potentially killing two targets with headshots (example).

Phaseshift also uses heat mechanic instead of ammunition:

Firing accumulates heat. The amount of accumulated Heat Per Shot depends on the fire mode. When you stop firing, after a Heat Recovery Delay, the weapon starts bleeding off the heat at a Heat Recovery Rate

There is only so much heat the weapon can accumulate at once, equal to Heat Capacity. If you overheat your weapon, you will suffer an Overheat Penalty, and you will not be able to fire again until the weapon fully cools down. 

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