Fractured Space Sniper Guide by Serafine
The Sniper is not OP.
Yes it is a class that is particular effective against new players and it can be very frustrating to fight one. You’re constantly getting poked from a ship so far away that you cannot even see it in normal view – and once your armor is broken it’s more than just a poke. However there are counters to snipers and I will talk about them later.
So for the start there’s only a short but very important advice when you face a Sniper: make yourself as hard to hit as possible. Use asteroids or stations as cover and fly erratic (just pressing Q and control all the time is not erratic). Snipers go for easy targets first, so don’t make yourself one.
While able to shoot across an entire lane the Sniper is not meant to be an immobile ship – yes, this counts for the LR Sniper as well. If you stay in one place for too long someone – probably an Assassin or a Frigate – will come and kick you off it. Also you might get a lot of kills while your team looses the battle because you just hug the forward station and refuse to capture stuff. In the early game captures are a lot more important than kills, so move.
You don’t need to run for every mining station when you see there’s allies moving towards it, but if you are alone in a lane or can quickly grab one, do it.
Your primary objective as a Sniper is to cover your team mates by killing stuff. However you have a mark target beam that greatly increases the damage a target takes, but it has a limited range. That’s why it’s recommended even for LR Snipers to get at least close enough to use it, especially if there’s an ally Assassin (or an Enforcer) ahead of you – mark target + ambush + rockets is one of the most devastating attacks in the entire game.
If you are a Railgun Sniper shoot on the move won’t be a problem – just don’t forget to go into 3rd person view every once in a while, or you might accidentally turn so hard that you loose field of fire, bump into an asteroid or get surprised by a sneaky Frigate/Hunter that managed to get close while you were in zoom tunnel vision mode.
For the LR Sniper shoot on the move is a bit more of a problem as your gun has a pretty high movement penalty and shots will go way off when you try to hit something while flying at full speed. Luckily there is a simple solution. Make sure your movement path is clear (because you’re about to enter tunnel vision), go to zoom mode, and move. You have to wait for your gun to charge up anyway, so that’s the time when you can move. Once you have chosen your target and got a clear field of view just stop for a short time, wait until the cone of fire is back to normal and shoot (note that the movement penalty relates to movement speed only, so if you break actively by hitting ‘s’ your cone of fire size decreases faster). If you’re not sure what’s ahead then now is the time to make a quick switch to 3rd person mode. If things look fine switch back into zoom and go ahead. When you’re confused about your precise facing but don’t want to leave zoom mode you can also take a look at the mini map.
Generally your preferred position should be somewhere behind your allies. You’re not a frontline ship, but you’re not supposed to hang around at your forward base either. You may want to change your elevation bit (move higher up is usually the better choice) but don’t overextend or you might find yourself without cover when there’s an enemy Sniper picking you as it’s next meal. Just because you’re a Sniper doesn’t mean you won’t need cover.
When moving around objects use Q and E a lot. These keys allow you to strafe sidewards which is especially useful on the Sniper since your gun can only fire forward.
If possible, always adjust your direction before you jump. Since ships keep their orientation you can make sure you look in the right direction when you arrive somewhere. You don’t want to enter a lane with your rear pointing at the enemy.
There are three main reasons to redeploy.
– The lane you are in is empty. Note that in early game it might be better to move forward and capture stuff. Kills are meaningless in the early game and more ressources will give you more upgrades and consequently more kills in the late game, when kills matter.
– An enemy managed to sneak up on you. Now it’s important not to panic. Quite a lot of Snipers just instantly pop the shield, try to shoot the attacker and die horribly. You shouldn’t be one of them. Stay calm and consider your options. If it’s a Frigate and there’s no allies around jump usually is your only option – you cannot beat the screen and the speed of that tiny little bugger. Initiate jump and 2 seconds later pop the shield. That way you can make sure that the shield stays on until you jumped out – if you pop the shield too early chances are high that you will die horribly.
If it’s another class the choice is not that easy. Flagships can be beaten when they are half health even if they have already started shooting you. Just save the shield for the missiles or you will regret it. Hunters range from difficult to impossible, depending on their kind of blink and player skill.
Disruptors, Corvettes and Enforcers can be taken out if they are not right in your face when you notice them first.
You might not be able to kill Assassins but escaping them is pretty easy. Just don’t pop the shield when you hear that ambush beam, it’s a common trick to make you waste it. Wait for the actual weapon to fire, then pop the shield, deflect the entire volley and power up your jump drive. If you’re fast enough the Assassin won’t get a second try.
– Gas has become available. Now not that just because you can have gas doesn’t mean you instantly have to go there – or that you have to go there at all. Watch your map and talk to your team. If they’re doing well at G they won’t need you and you should better go cap stuff while they keep the enemy busy.
The decision whether to redeploy or not always depend on the presence and behavior of your allies. If they try to defend you don’t jump out instantly. In the end it may be the lack of your firepower that makes them all die, while if you had stayed there you could have saved the day.
Summed up: Watch the battlefield, watch your map and talk to your allies. The Sniper is the class that benefits most from a good flow of information. Also be aware that if enemies capture your other forward station they may use your base as a shortcut and pop up behind you.
Now comes the tricky part. As mentioned above you should stay more or less moving, even as LR Sniper. But that’s not the topic here. The topics here is target priority.
– Pick the weak first. If there’s a ship just one or two shots away from death prioritize that. In the actual state of the game ships remain fully functional until they die. So to killing a ship is always better than just damaging one. A dead ship cannot kill your allies or capture stuff while an almost dead ship can perfectly do so.
– Enemy Snipers are your most important target. They are the ones that make your allies suffer and are most dangerous for you as well. A good enemy Sniper can easily kill you. If you engage one in a duell across the void, the rules for how not to be hit by a Sniper apply to you as well – fly erratic and use cover if necessary (obviously the first option only works when you have a Railgun – that’s why Railgun Snipers have a huge advantage in Sniper duells, especially at longer ranges). Most important: Always point your front towards the enemy Sniper, this makes you a MUCH smaller target and thus a lot harder to hit.
– Don’t go for the Flagship just because it’s easy to hit. It takes a ton of time to kill a Flagship and it may even be repaired or get into cover and jump out before you can kill it. Also a Flagship is pretty slow and there are faster targets that should be dealt with first.
Take a look at the battlefield and evaluate which targets are most dangerous to your allies and which ones are the easiest to kill. Usually Disruptors and Corvettes make good targets (if you can hit them) because of their repair and disable/boost abilities. Enforcers and Hunters are relatively easy to hit but can take quite some punishment (though the Enforcer has rather low armor). Bad choices usually are Frigates and Assassins because even if you damage them chances are high you won’t be able to kill them (however a Frigate that is distracted and doesn’t realize you are shooting it can be shot down very very quickly).
– Don’t run around in zoom mode all the time. Zoom gives you tunnel vision and can reduce your situational awareness to zero. And don’t use full zoom just because you can – this is especially true with the Railgun when shooting targets at mid range. Adjust your zoom to your needs, often you can achieve more with less.
See above (redeploy) for more information.
If you are caught in close combat the most important thing is not to panic. Actually you are far from helpless. Don’t raise your shield to early just because you’re taking some minor damage – you might need it later when the hard stuff hits you.
As an LR sniper note that your movement penalty is way lower when you do not use zoom – in fact it’s pretty easy to hit something close up with the LR, even while moving. And remember that when you press Q or E you are able to turn quicker. This may help you when enemies are trying to get behind you.
If there are allies and they are engaging the ships trying to kill you should go ahead and kill stuff that is trying to kill them. In the end you might all safe each others asses. When you’re alone jump often is your best chance.
And never underestimate your missiles. On a marked target (mark has a 360Â° radius and can be fire straight backwards) with broken armor they can do a whopping 2300 damage. I’ve finished a lot of Hunters and Enforcers with them when they just thought they had me.
The Sniper has four abilities.
The “haha, you can’t hurt me button”. It’s most useful to deflect burst damage from Assassins and Enforcers – ships that can one-shot you, but take so long to reload that you can easily jump out before they are able to hit you a second time. If you want to jump away from opponents that do a more consistent damage (Hunter, Disruptor, Flagship, Frigate) you should trigger the shield 2 seconds after you pressed jump – that way it won’t run out before you actually jumped out.
They are not that powerful, but since you have them you should use them. You should always maximize their damage by using “mark target” just a second before they hit the target. Note that the missiles fire in a 360Â° arc, so it’s possible to hit stuff your main cannon can’t – and since mark target is 360Â° as well you can use them to deal quite some damage, maybe enough to kill a battered Hunter or Assassin.
– Spotter Drone:
This thing is actually more useful that you might think. Patch it onto an enemy that is about to move behind cover. Now you can see where he moves and if he jumps out. In case of a ship hiding behind a mining station it gives you it’s exact location, so you can try to flank it.
– Mark target:
Enhances damage on target. This is not just useful for you – Escalate or Heavy Rockets do insane damage on a marked target. Use this ability offensively to support your allies.
Hard to hit, very fast and they have a screen that can entirely nullify your damage. Avoid them. If confronted head on they will just faceroll you.
A bad Disruptor is an easy target but if piloted by a good player there is no ship in the game that is harder to snipe. When they get close get ready to jump, there is barely anything you can do about them.
Easy to hit when they are far away, extremely dangerous close up due to their blink ability. Try to find out what blink they have (ranged blink is usually most dangerous to you because of the range) and act accordingly.
Listen out for the sound when they blink on you. Even if you know one is following you that’s no reason to jump out, just keep your shield ready. If you’re quick enough with shield and jump it’s very hard for them to kill you.
While they are no threat at long range you should be aware of them when they enter the 15.000km range. Boost makes them very fast and a few seconds of distraction (or tunnel vision) is enough for them to boost right into your face and kill you within a few seconds.
Actually I don’t see them as a real danger, they are far more threatening to other support ships. If one closes up on you use the shield to deflect the attack and jump away.
– If you’re hanging around at your forward station and the one on the other lane gets captured be aware that enemies might pop up behind you soon. This is a very popular tactic amongst some Assassin and Frigate veterans, so watch out.
Maybe the most important thing about a sniper is the ability to actually hit stuff. This is fairly easy with the LR cannon, but not so easy with the Railgun. It might be worth a try to lower your mouse sensitivity when you run into problems there, but a huge part of it is just practice and experience.
If you prefer the Railgun learn to lead ahead of the target – the skill ceiling of the Railgun is much higher than that of the LR cannon, but if you master it the Railgun will allow you to do hilarious shit an LR Sniper couldn’t even dream of.
The Sniper is a ship that has a surprisingly high skill ceiling. It requires some shooting skills as well as the ability to quickly make strategic and tactical decisions – if you choose the wrong lane or the wrong target it can have a huge impact on the whole battle.
The ship has earned itself a bad reputation because it is extremely effective against new players and can rack up a lot of kills when not countered properly (just like the Assassin). However kills don’t win you a match and while they’re annoying, teams with a lot of Snipers or Assassins usually loose because they don’t capture stuff and in general are unable to hold a position against more well-rounded teams. Having one or two Snipers on your side is very valuable, having more than that usually decreases your chances on winning a match dramatically.Other Fractured Space Articles
Fractured Space Basic Tactics Guide
Fractured Space Assassin Guide
Fractured Space Equalizer Guide
Fractured Space All Ship Classes Overview
Fractured Space Sniper Guide
Fractured Space Enforcer Guide