The sniper is undoubtedly the most coveted role in all of airsoft.
Joking aside, you ask any player the position they dreamed of when they first started out, and a sharpshooter will be the answer.
It’s rogue, it’s heroic, it’s skillful, it’s highly romanticized. We can thank Hollywood for that.
It’s also the most challenging role to play, and only the most experienced airsofters can achieve greatness here.
But even legends have to start somewhere, and so in this article, we take a look at the best airsoft sniper tips, to help you improve your chances of success, and up your game as your squad’s lethal marksperson.
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- Tips for Airsoft Snipers – Too Long, Didn’t Read
- Airsoft Sniper Tips & Tactics for Beginners
Tips for Airsoft Snipers – Too Long, Didn’t Read
Before we break down our sniper advice into more detail, for those short on time, here are the main points in a summarized guide:
- Primary weapon.
- Scopes and rangefinders.
- Understanding the role.
- Practice, practice, practice.
- Patience, focus, and patience. That isn’t a typo.
- Clothing and camouflage.
- Secondary weapon.
- Communication and teamwork.
- Equipment maintenance.
- Final important thoughts.
As you can tell, there’s a lot more to it than some brief bullet points, so let’s get into how you can become a more effective airsoft sniper.
Airsoft Sniper Tips & Tactics for Beginners
Naturally, in order to become a long-distance marksperson, you’ll need a primary weapon that’s up to the task.
And while choosing the right one can often be one of the most exciting aspects of this role, it’s actually a lot harder than you might think.
The market is awash with cheap, knock-off airsoft weapons that claim to be effective at range, but have left so many rookie airsoft snipers disappointed.
There’s no beating around the bush here, if you want to be a good sniper, you need a good sniper rifle – which means you’re going to have to part with a fair bit of cash from the get-go.
And that doesn’t even scratch the surface of what dedicated snipers pay when it comes to modifications and upgrades for their guns.
This article on the best airsoft sniper rifles is a good place to start, but remember – while there might be some budget-friendly options there, you should be looking at spending over $200 if you really want to make the grade.
Look for weapons that are upgradable, and easy-to-customize to suit your playing style, skills, and preferences.
And go here if you want to learn more about the different types of airsoft guns, because maybe there’s a better option out there for you.
Much like in paintball, an airsoft weapon is only going to be as good as the quality of the ammunition that it fires. Using inferior paint in paintball guns is a big mistake, likewise for poor BB pellets in airsoft.
And this is especially significant for snipers, who need a quality BB that’s going to fly straight and true.
Use a tried and trusted airsoft ammo brand, don’t go lower than 0.40 grams in weight for each pellet, and choose something that’s going to be kind to the environment.
These biodegradable airsoft BBs from Bioshot come highly recommended – particularly for the sniper platform.
And speaking of airsoft companies, this article on the best airsoft brands on the market is a nice guide to the respected movers and shakers in the industry.
Scopes and Rangefinders
More often than not, you’ll find that optics are a completely different entity to the rifle itself.
Some lower-end models will come with a scope as standard, but the higher up you go, the chances are you’re going to need to purchase one separately.
And they can easily cost just as much as the gun itself.
Like all things in this world, you generally get what you pay for, and pairing a good-quality scope with a good-quality gun is going to significantly improve your chances of success in the field.
Even if it does mean spending a small fortune.
Rangefinders can also be a fun, inexpensive addition to your loadout (if you don’t have a spotter working with you). Check out this review of the best rangefinders for distance shooters on the market for examples.
Just as effective for assisting in taking out enemy personnel in airsoft as they are for hunting deer.
Additionally, you might also want to invest in a bipod, which can help significantly when it comes to keeping a rock-steady hold on your weapon, and a more stable shooting platform in the field.
Understanding the Role
You’ve got your primary weapon set up, and you’re happy with it, but before you start getting your hands dirty, you need to understand the sniper role, and what’s going to be expected of you.
Without going into too much detail, and depending on the type of game, a sniper typically doesn’t see that much “action.” They move infrequently – if at all – often called on to stay hidden and motionless in one position for extended periods of time.
Having said that, you might play other games with an active sniper role, where a sharpshooter is moving regularly, and is expected to remain mobile – certainly after taking a shot.
A sniper’s primary role is to take out enemy troops at distance, without giving away their own position.
Just be aware that you’re not suddenly going to get a massive jump in range over your opponents with an airsoft sniper rifle – unlike a real high-caliber firearm.
As such, you’re going to need to learn how to upgrade your weapon to level the playing field and actually be effective. More on this below.
Additionally, snipers may be called upon to slow down an enemy advance, call out troop movements, assist in recon, and generally make a nuisance of themselves – sometimes deep behind enemy lines.
If you want hard-core, fast-paced action where you’re spraying BBs with a run and gun – the sniper role is not for you.
For more information, plus a look at every other position on the battlefield, take a look at this excellent article on the different airsoft roles available.
Practice, Practice, Practice
Like everything in life, you’re only going to get good at it with practice. Target shooting is certainly no exception, both with real firearms, and with airsoft guns.
I highly recommend you get to know your weapon, the scope, and how the pellets behave before you set foot in a competitive arena.
If you don’t have access to some land you can practice on, ask around at your local airsoft field to see if anyone knows of someone willing to allow airsofters onto their property. (Just remember to use biodegradable BBs if this is the case.)
Search the internet for some airsoft training drills, with a particular emphasis on long-distance shooting practice.
Learn about breath control, how to hold your rifle properly, how and when to pull the trigger, how to switch effortlessly from your primary to your secondary weapon… the list is almost endless for the drills you can find out there.
Just look at what Keanu was doing to learn how to play John Wick.
The more hours you can put in honing your skills, the more it’s going to benefit you and your team in a combat situation.
Patience, Focus, and Other Attributes
Aside from developing a talent with accurate target shooting, there are several other attributes you can brush up on when it comes to improving your skills as a sniper.
And one of the most important disciplines is patience. Without it, you’re going to be all but useless as a marksperson in the field.
It’s possible to train yourself to be a more patient person, and to be more mindful and “in-the-moment.” Look for real-life sniper training articles and videos, which are easily transferable to airsoft.
As well as the ability to stay calm, and wait for the opportunity to strike, you need to be a highly focussed individual who will remain aware of everything going on around you. Even if nothing is actually going on.
Maintaining a constant level of alertness is key. Don’t knock meditation – which can help dramatically when it comes to maintaining focus in the field.
You will also need to develop your abilities to navigate terrain, be physically fit, read maps, have a good brain for math, have excellent common sense, and maintain strict discipline.
The ability to make a snap decision about the best possible place to set up might make a huge difference between victory and defeat. There’s a lot of pressure on a sniper – you need to be able to handle it.
It’s not just all about being able to hit a target at 150 feet.
Clothing and Camouflage
Remaining completely hidden is a key part of an airsoft sniper’s role.
And the sky’s the limit for how far you can take this, depending on the type of game you’re playing.
The most dedicated, experienced, and successful snipers, will operate with a full ghillie suit – which makes them all but invisible to the opposition.
If you’re really serious about this role, then I would recommend you invest in such a garment, but remember that they can weigh a considerable amount, and you’re very likely to run hot.
You should be physically capable of negotiating terrain and carrying the extra burden while doing so.
For lighter games and skirmishes, it’s still important for a sniper to blend into their surroundings, so pay attention to the terrain and conditions when choosing your clothing and gear.
This article will help you if you’re playing airsoft in winter, for example.
And check out this piece on what to wear for airsoft for some great suggestions for your core kit, but snipers will likely need to go the extra distance when it comes to remaining hidden from the enemy.
At the very least, I highly recommend wearing some tactical pants with knee pads, as you’re probably going to be crawling around in the undergrowth, and you’ll benefit from the best protection possible.
And whatever you do, don’t forget adequate eye-protection. Take a look at this review of the best airsoft goggles on the market, and don’t dare turn up in whatever you use for snowboarding.
As well as your trusty long-distance rifle, you’re also going to need a backup gun should the enemy discover your position, and the action becomes uncomfortably close-quarters.
(Plus, it’s always loads of fun to carry an airsoft pistol.)
Still, a single-shot sniper rifle is going to be all but useless in such circumstances, and you’ll need a sidearm to stand a chance of staying alive.
This article on the best airsoft pistols will help you choose a quality secondary weapon, and I would encourage you to lean towards gas-powered options rather than spring or electric.
Aside from being more satisfying to shoot, they will offer a higher rate of fire, which is invaluable in a CQB (Close Quarters Battle) situation.
For additional help, this article will point you in the right direction when choosing Co2 or green gas pistols.
Communication and Teamwork
Just because a sniper usually works by him or herself doesn’t mean they are alone. Teamwork is essential if you want to complete your objective, and there’s no ‘I’ in TEAM.
As such, an airsoft sniper is expected to liaise with the rest of his or her company, and communicate with the team in order to best coordinate offensive or defensive tactics.
Carrying a radio is therefore highly recommended.
Reconnaissance is an important part of a sniper’s role, especially if they’re playing in an advanced position, and/or you’re not employing a scout in the game.
And if you can’t let your teammates know there’s heavy enemy troop activity in a particular sector, then you might well be looking at defeat.
While the sniper is commonly separate from the rest of the team, they’re not Rambo. Be a team player, and you will already be maximizing your chances of achieving your objective.
Airsoft Sniper Tactics
Entire books have been written about this subject (and a truly dedicated airsoft sniper will have read many of them), but we can briefly touch upon some key sniper tactics to instantly improve your game.
Understand that this is just the basics, and to get to a professional level you will need to do your own research, study, and practice.
Choose a high, concealed location with good protection from the rear. Dense bushes are a great choice, so long as you don’t go too far inside, and thus miss shooting opportunities.
Take your shot only when you can guarantee a hit. Remember – you don’t always need to shoot. Consider the risks of giving away your position, or holding fast to achieve a better advantage.
When it comes to aiming, factor in distance, wind direction, and cover. Aim for the enemy torso. Headshots might be prized among video gamers, but they’re not recommended in airsoft.
Aside from the obvious risks (even if wearing a quality airsoft mask) the head is harder to hit than the larger surface area of the body. Torso shots will offer a higher chance of achieving a kill, while avoiding potential injuries.
Keep your movements slow and deliberate. Move your eyes before you move your head.
You may or may not need to relocate after a shot. If you do, go as quickly and as quietly as possible.
Unless, of course, you’ve been spotted – in which case, shoulder your rifle, draw your sidearm, and get the f**k out of Dodge.
Learn and understand your escape routes. When you’re setting up your initial position, you should always know how you’re getting out in case everything goes south.
For a full, in-depth guide to this position and the tactics that go with it, allow me to refer you to this complete video guide from Austrian airsoft sniper legend Novritsch.
Equipment Maintenance and Modification
A good airsoft sniper will know and understand their equipment like the back of their hands, and have adjusted and customized it to perfection.
When it comes to range, out-of-the-box, most sniper rifles aren’t going to offer that much more distance than your average AEG. Take a look at these airsoft AEGs for some examples.
As such, you need to learn how to upgrade your gun in order for you to consistently hit the target at distance, time after time. This isn’t an optional step – you either do it, or you fail.
Furthermore, after every game, you should make sure your weapon is cleaned, checked for damage, and then adequately stored, so it works right off the bat during the next encounter.
This article on how to maintain your airsoft gun will help as a general guide to most weapons in the sport.
There are plenty of resources out there when it comes to upgrading your gear and equipment, but you should remember that what works for another player, might not work for you.
I highly encourage making plenty of mistakes and learning from them, in order to finely tune your loadout, skills, and abilities.
While this article covers the essentials on how to start out and improve as an airsoft sniper, no amount of reading is going to be a substitute for experience.
As mentioned, practice makes perfect. Real, in-the-field engagements will ensure you learn in a day what it might take you years to pick up from reading articles and watching videos.
And above all, remember to have fun out there. Airsoft is an addictive, adrenaline-fueled sport with many, overly-competitive players.
Tempers can boil over, but nobody has the right to give you a hard time if you’re trying to learn a new discipline, (particularly how to be an airsoft sniper) and you’re not yet the best player on the field.
Also, bear in mind that this article, along with any airsoft guide – sniper or otherwise – is just a guide. You can wear what you want, play where you want, shoot what you want, and employ whatever tactics you want. Nothing is set in stone.
Remember – it’s just a game. A freakin’ awesome game, but a game nonetheless.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this article, and it’s given you some food for thought on the best airsoft sniper tips.
It’s the hardest but ultimately the most rewarding position on the battlefield, and it takes a special kind of player to get it right.
Let me know your sniper experiences in the comments, or if you’re a veteran from many campaigns, and you want to share some more expert tips and tricks with the new recruits.
Stay safe out there, call your hits, and happy airsofting!