Do we really need a sniper?

Hi there, played every BL title so far, and happily I’d say. I started with the first BL playing Mordecai. It was fun doing the sniper back then. Now the obvious replacement would be Fl4k, except that the game keeps throwing storm of mobs at you, so that sniping becomes really underperforming. I kinda feel the need to take a shotgun to end a battle, there’s no space for strategy. I like to remain hidden, and pick my enemies one after the other from a distance, but this in BL3 is just not optimal. Anyone has the same feeling? Wouldn’t a Moze be better in most circumstances?


Have you used the Wedding Invitation, Sand Hawk, or Unseen Threat with Fl4k? These are all excellent snipers with which Fl4k is very good.

Try bossing with GITM and a Sand Hawk. Try using the WI against Wotan. These are very good weapons and Fl4k wrecks with them.

Fl4k is the best sniper in the game with Amara a distant second I would say, and she is only close for the same reason Maya was good with snipers, which is that holding an enemy frozen in place helps a ton with sniping.

Sniping with Fl4k might not be quite as powerful as it was with Zero, Aurelia, Mordecai, or even Lilith (Specter COM), but it is still a very powerful playstyle.

The only character I don’t really one-shot snipe with is Moze, but only because she’s relegated to Torgue or Vladof weapons (and most Vladof sniper rifles are assault rifles with a shallow loot pool).

Mordecai’s sniping in BL1 (if I remember right) was mostly enhanced with high damage modifiers, so one-shotting was easier, but between this and the relative lack of vertical gameplay in BL1, he was “just” a strong wielder of sniper rifles.

Zer0 in BL2 is where I really got a good taste of rooftop, one-shot sniping, since that game had way more vertical elements, and Decepti0n let him get into those high areas undetected, kill undetected, and de-aggro enemies.

BL3 expands on this a bit with even more vertical elements (if for no other reason than we have a mantle mechanic on top of maps covered in jungle gyms), and FL4K has a stealth/damage mechanic for sneaking/killing.

The main differences I notice between this stealth sniping in BL2 and BL3 is that 1) FL4K has a pet that tends to stir mobs up, taking away from the leisurely rooftop derangement that is so fun (even if they aren’t attacking you personally), 2) keeping stealthy means two kills per Fade Away, and running back to cover to fire the third shot so they won’t see you when you reappear on kill, and 3) if you do stir up a mob, turning invisible won’t make them de-aggro.

To get around item 1, I’ve been re-specing my character and not selecting a pet. To get around item 2, you can use Guerillas in the Mist (if you can afford the damage loss), and/or use the Unseen Threat (though the jury is still out for me if its stealth tactic works properly). Item 3 is just a bit higher risk, but the enemies lock on to where you were last seen before going invisible, not where you are, so even this can be used to your advantage a bit.

For distant, stealth sniping, FL4K definitely works, and this game was made for it when you start looking at maps through this lens.

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Throwing it out there-

At what point is the sniping playstyle not sniping anymore?

Picking off enemies from far away is one thing, but fighting at mid/close range by quickly ADSing or no-scoping doesn’t feel like sniping anymore.


You don’t need snipers to snipe. You can use pistols like the Moonfire or Unforgiven, shotguns like the OPC, ARs like the Clairvoyance, and even launchers like the Ion Cannon. If you want to capture the playstyle of hanging back somewhere far and killing an enemy with one well placed shot to the head you have a wealth of options.

Sniping with an airborne Nimble Jack is probably my favorite sniping that isn’t with a true sniper rifle.

I feel like the game is actively designed to break people out of camping habits since BL2 (at least at endgame). Teleporting enemies, flying drones, homing missiles…
There’s fun sniping to be had but it requires a bit of an adjustment in your approach. 2-3-shotting mobs at endgame is not gonna be common with a random purple sniper (there’s still options, of course).


End game like level 57, or end game like MM10? I’m sure there are Epic sniper rifles that could carry one through most mobs through, what, MM5 or 6 anyway? Add an amp shield, stack a few anointments…

Endgame like m10, although I’m aware that’s optional.
But even at m6, I have my doubts that, say, a purple antimatter rifle from maliwan gives you that sniper feeling, even with anointments. They’re accurate semi-auto guns that may perform well, but the “sniper feeling” is more or less oneshotting trashmobs, in my book.


Maliwan’s Antimatter rifles are great for sniping engaged mobs, since there’s no charge time. One of my sirens uses all my Maliwan gear, and sniping for her, much like Maya, is “easy” when you hold an enemy steady with Phasegrasp/lock, and hit their head (even gives you time to charge up something big with the new gimmick). I haven’t otherwise had a go with her at traditional sniping though (where my Hyperion allegiance siren has had some fun here).

For the stealth aspect, we’re largely looking at FL4K for Fade Away, and I’m a fan of Jakobs rifles, as they can deliver on their one-shot promise. An Epic Muckamuck should get one well into the Mayhem levels?

I’m Jakobs-sniping around Eden 6 at the moment… if I find a good Muckamuck or something, I’ll give it a go.

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Hey thanks for all this material to think about! Now… I forgot to say, I’m level 15, so my experience is rather limited. What I’m “complaining” about is not the fact that my sniper rifle doesn’t kill. I complain about the fact that enemies tend to storm towards you and always close distances. And if you got a sniper rifle against a platoon of 10 enemies you will always need to change your weapon and get something that blasts like a shotgun. I tried the villa and between dogs and drones it’s impossible to use a sniper rifle. I’m used to something like: Big building, enemies patrolling it, occasional psycho that comes running towards me. Now it seems many foes act “skag like” and come charging towards you…


Amara, with TTB, is unbeatable with a sniper. I love Fl4k and you can snipe Graveward with one shot from an ion Cannon, but that requires specific gear and an exact sequence to set it up. That’s not ideal for regular game play. But Amara can take out small mobs from a distance with an Unseen Threat and no As. She can take out a large mob in one shot with phasegrasp and TTB, in M10. Moze is also very good with a sniper.

All my characters use a sniper.


That’s been the case since BL2. Outside of some maps like Lynchwood, sniping has been more “high powered assault rifli-ing” due to the map design and enemy spawns. You can try to use cryo or singularity grenades to disrupt movement, but for the most part enemies run towards you and you need to take that into account.

My suggestion would be to familiarize yourself with how cryo efficiency works and use cryo Rakks to slow enemies. At your level Rakk should freeze fairly easily since enemies don’t have tons of health. The on demand slows or freezing should prevent them from rushing you.


So can Fl4k. My point about Amara was that TTB makes snipers ridiculous, not necessarily Amara’s actual skills/abilities with snipers or sniping weapons (or things that make snipers better, like weapon handling, gun damage, and crit damage). The “hold enemies still” part of TTB just makes sniping so much easier, because of the way the shared damage and overkill work. Also, Remnant.

The Clairvoyance and OPQ also are not snipers, but can be used almost like them.


@boombumr Spec’ing Megavore is also an indirect boost to sniping for this reason. Not only do you hit more crits during long-range sniping, but you also can crit when you miss a charging enemy.


This is why I’m more into Fl4k than the siren. I still must find a good build for a sniping Fl4k, as I’m not very fond of fade away. I know the build will probably be green+red and end with megavore, but I’m undecided between which pet to use and which path to follow first.

Most maps in BL2 let me snipe “normally” with a combination of, “I’m way up here where they can’t see/reach me” and “Zer0 is very good at stealth kills”. FL4K is less good at stealth kills, I think, but BL3 is so far even better than BL2 for having high vantage points for this sort of thing. The whole point of this long range sniping for me is that the mob never even gets aggro. I cleared a couple sections of the Spendopticon last night and never saw red on my minimap (which is the goal for me). I cleared other sections but screwed up, giving away my position, but the distance still let me pop them before they got close enough to be an issue.

I’ll try infiltrating the Villa undetected tonight. The final fight against Joey will be an exception for sure, but frankly this sounds pretty fun. (Note to self: I’ve only got a few days left to fart around there!)

If you want any kind of stealth, re-spec and skip the pet. They will blow your cover constantly, and even if you decide to roll with that and let them keep the enemies distracted, 1) some of them will invariably target you, and 2) they’re way harder to hit at distance when they’re running around like maniacs or taking cover.


I was going to post something similar here about this but more in regards to skills.
I’ve managed to work my Fl4K up to 32, got Megavore and starting on the Stalker tree.
From my limited experience I manage sniping with a mukamuk is awesome.
I do need to deal with mobs occasionally, if I don’t space myself or can’t find higher ground, usually I’ll switch to whatever high pellet shotgun I have or whatever AR I have. It’s weird doing the cartel event in normal but hey free XP and weapons.
I think the big thing you’ll need to figure out is where you can create that space between you and the mobs. For me I look around and try to find high spots and climb up and start sniping away.
Thankfully, my pet draws a lot of attention for me while I’m doing this and doesn’t go down too fast.
Just something to consider, from another Fl4k newb.

Edit: As someone else mentioned Rak a Cold One does help slow them down and you can spam it frequently!


I was looking at amara with regards to sniping. I never played her but, looking at her red skill tree it seems like she can lock a target, snipe it in the head and at the same time hurt every foe around it and lock them still. This would definitely outperform Fl4k as a sniper. What remains to be seen is what amara can do with normal mobs, given her AS is dedicated to sniping… While Fl4k has the rakks and pet to distract/lend a hand if he’s outnumbered.

You should play her.

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