In Team Fortress 2, your agent’s loadout can significantly affect how you play the game. Because of that, players often study the various weapon options and seek to customize their agents so that they can be used with great effectiveness.
The Sniper is a particular case because loadouts don’t change him as much. But they still do to some degree.
How the Sniper Is Played in TF2
In Team Fortress 2, the Sniper is a class that’s well-suited for those with excellent aim and positioning. Playing the Sniper will feel very satisfying if you enjoy staying back and creating advantages for your team by taking out annoying targets.
The Sniper’s main counters are the Spy and the Scout. Both of them are annoying to deal with. But against every other class, you’ll have a significant advantage.
The range you can shoot and kill from is huge. Your typical Sniper strategy is to find good spots that provide good coverage from unwanted bullets and then peek regularly to find unsuspecting enemy agents.
The easiest ones to kill are those who move slowly and don’t have disguise abilities. That’s why the scout and the Spy are hard to play against.
The only limitation of the Sniper is that he shoots rather infrequently. There’s a big delay between the shots, requiring you to be precise. Otherwise, the target will notice your presence, and you won’t be effective.
Learning to shoot moving targets is not easy, but with enough practice, this class will start to feel very familiar.
Important TF2 Sniper Loadouts
Loadouts represent combinations of weapon choices. Based on the items you choose for yourself, your playstyle will need to adjust to some degree. There’s more than one sniper rifle and more than one pistol. Different weapons work in different ways. Some deal more damage. Others can shoot faster. There’s always a tradeoff.
The best thing you can do is experiment with all the weapons that can be used for a class and see what works best for your particular skills and preferences.
Here are some of the commonly used Sniper loadouts in TF2:
The Headshot Loadout: Bazaar Bargain (main weapon)
This TF2 Sniper loadout is designed for those who know how to land a lot of headshots. This is a difficult skill to master in general, but it gets a bit easier when you play Sniper because of the scope. Seeing people as though they would be close to you even when they’re far away is a huge advantage. But you still need to know how to aim and when to pull the trigger.
The Bazaar Bargain decreases your base charge rate by 50%. However, the more headshots you hit, the more your charge rate increases. After the 2nd headshot, you’re back to standard. And from then, it only goes up until you reach the +200% limit. For every scoped headshot kill, the charge rate goes up by 25%.
The Huntsman Loadout: The Huntsman (main weapon)
A loadout with The Huntsman as your main weapon can drastically change your playstyle. Instead of a sniper, you’re using a powerful bow. You lose some of the range because you no longer have a scope, but you get other advantages, such as quickly switching to your secondary weapon and finishing the kill if an arrow wasn’t enough.
Using a bow on a Sniper can feel very unnatural at first, but if you train for a few hours, you’ll start to enjoy it. Fighting at mid-range is sometimes advantageous and safer, especially against a team full of Spies who have secured unknown positions near your spawn location.
The Machina Loadout: Machina (main weapon)
Machina is a modified sniper rifle in TF2, and it’s extremely powerful if you can fully charge it. It deals +15% damage per shot, and its projectiles penetrate players. However, these buffs come at a cost. The weapon cannot fire unless zoomed. So if you love no-scopes, don’t use them.
Other TF2 Sniper Loadouts
Other TF2 Sniper loadouts revolve around the remaining sniper rifles that this class can use.
Among them, there’s The Sydney Sleeper, which gives you +25% charge rage but deals no headshot crits, and The Hitman’s Heatmaker, which gives you the ability to build momentum by getting kills and assists. While in-focus, it gets a +25% faster charge but cannot be unscoped. Also, its body damage is reduced by 20%.
Ultimately, Team Fortress 2 puts all sorts of options at your disposal, and it is up to you to determine what would give you an edge. Most sniper players prefer the Bazaar Bargain because they’re confident in their ability to land headshots.
But if you’re a novice Sniper, you should use the default rifle first and then start experimenting with each of the other ones in part.