Sniper (Highlander)

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As that Highlander is a format with 1 of each class, both teams will have one Sniper at all times. It's usually up to the Sniper or one of the other Pick classes such as Scout, Spy, or Soldier to initiate a fight. The Sniper can be used to help either begin a push or make sure that a push doesn't begin by securing an important kill such as the Medic, Heavy or Demoman. This key pick helps reduce the resistance or offensive capabilities of the enemy team during a push or hold. This is the biggest responsibility of a Sniper, and most of the Sniper's other responsibilities are directly tied to this. A lot of teams, especially regarding higher divisions, tend to adjust their playstyle to the quality of their sniper, which can lead to a "pocket-sniper", where the teams strategies heavily revolve around this important pick class.


Pick Priority[edit]

  1. Anybody who's attacking you. While your life isn't valued as much as demo or medic you are still a vital asset to the team fight so protecting your own life is placed before picks.
  2. The other Sniper. The enemy's Sniper is your counter, your Kryptonite, your nemesis. You two will be locked in a duel until you or him are dead. The other sniper poses such a threat as he can do everything you can and he is a danger to your team as you are to his. Eliminating him ASAP is advised but if he's nowhere in sight that's even more worrying...
  3. The Medic. Killing the Medic is relatively easy as he can be killed with an uncharged headshot or a fully charged bodyshot, when the medic is killed this means that it will be have to be another 40 seconds, plus respawn times, until the enemy team can have an Ubercharge giving your Combo the advantage. This also means that the enemy team is denied healing on the frontline of battle, meaning the flanking classes should get some easy picks or at least they will have to retreat.
  4. The Demoman. The Demoman's area denial is frustrating as passages and vital points can be blocked by stickies and grenade spam can deal up to 400 damage per clip. By killing the Demo all stickies set up are destroyed and your team is free to move in.
  5. The Heavy. The Heavy is the meat shield of the team and nearly always has overheal from the medic boosting him to 450 health. Despite his large hitbox and slow movement speed, skilled Heavies have learnt to duck and weave out of sniper shots. With the 20% resistance he receives from the Natascha and the Brass Beast he can survive fully charged headshots when fully buffed to 450. However when he is killed the team is more vulnerable to spam and flanks as a core element to the combo is dead.
  6. The Engineer. The humble Texan on his own is nothing to you but with his buildings he is much more of a threat as he stops your team from pushing. His death means that his buildings are not getting constant healing (or wrangled). However gunslinger engineer doesn't deliver as much denial as a wrench Engi so picking him of isn't as vital. But taking shots at his buildings when he's six-feet-under is advisable as every bit of damage helps for your team.
  7. The Pyro. The Pyro has limited range (even with the flare gun and other projectile weapons) but can air blast projectiles, harass with after burn and protect the combo easily. In short he is the bodyguard of the combo. But when he/she/it is dead your team's Spy as a lot more breathing room as his main counter is dead. Soldiers and Demos are free to spam as much as they like without the worry of their ammo being chucked back at them.
  8. The Soldier. The Soldier acts as an effective suicide bomber willing to place his life on the line for a valuable pick following more or less the same order of picks like you. Soldier tends to do the "Hit and Run" technique similar to Scout but at the cost of his own health when he rocket jumps. However when not bouncing round the map with his RPG he is rather easy to kill with a medium-sized hitbox and a slow movement speed. But practising how to air shot, headshot can make quick work of Soldier and giving the utmost pleasure when you achieve that.
  9. The Spy. The Spy is deadly to you as you are to him. The Spy like you is also classified as an assassin being able to get kills regardless of enemies health but his strength weakens with proximity (the spy excels at close range while the sniper excels at long). As his revolver and knife are much more dangerous at close range keeping your distance is advisable. Your kukri deals considerable damage and jarate and the SMG can be used to track him when he cloaks but your ears must be alert at all times. But when killing him your team can be consoled that their spines are safe from being penetrated.
  10. The Scout. the Scout is rarely a threat to you unless he attacks you head on and killing him isn't game changing but his 2x capture rate speeds up capturing time so denying a scout the objective is necessary.


Snipers tend to try and have long sight-lines due to their ability to utilize these positions to create an advantage based on their long-range capabilities; these sight lines mean that the two Snipers can often see each other. Typically, Snipers attempt to shoot each other in order to become the dominant force between the two, because killing the other Sniper opens up an opportunity to safely Pick without the risk of taking a headshot. However some Snipers choose to ignore the enemy sniper and move to other sight lines to avoid the risk of dying.

The Sniper versus Sniper fight is a very detailed one, with many servers hosted that are solely dedicated to letting Snipers fight each other at long range to help people refine their Sniper killing strategies. Some Snipers prefer to strafe around quickly left and right while out of scope and wait for the other Sniper to scope in before taking a shot. This is due to a few factors such as the extremely slow speed at which the Sniper moves while scoped in; he is unable to dodge a shot and is a standstill target while scoped in, meaning that the Sniper who scopes last will have the upper hand in a fight. Another reason why a Sniper may elect to shoot second is the fact that scoping in shows the enemy where you will be standing to take a shot - the enemy Sniper has an advantage here because he can choose where he stops and retains a small element of surprise due to being able to relocate himself. Other Snipers decide to disregard the "second scoping" tactic and decide to shoot first every time. This can be a hindrance to Snipers due to the difficulty of hitting shots on a randomly strafing target.

Area denial[edit]

The Sniper can effectively shut down entire attack routes with his innate ability to kill nearly anything in the game in one shot, given proper preparations and steady aim. Even without good aim the sheer presence of a Sniper can help to lock down an area. Snipers can ensure cart lanes and control points are clear, and can also help make sure flanking classes are kept away from important core classes.

Areas of interest on most maps are important areas for Snipers to focus on; for example, Snipers should focus on shooting near the cart on Payload maps as it is usually an area saturated with easy kills in the form of light classes who are pushing the cart to help their team advance. This is one way that the Sniper can contribute to his team easily, by slowing down the enemy team's objective taking power.

See also[edit]