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Sniper Rifle

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Reach out and touch somebody('s head)

"Indeed, a good sniper knows how to choose well his hiding place, and the noise of his single shot cannot reveal him. His hit—generally a lethal one."
The IDF History Department, War of Independence Chronicles

A sniper rifle is specially constructed to hit targets accurately at a longer range than standard small arms. They come in a variety of sizes and types. As an artifact it has strong connotations of power and exoticism, delivering instant death from afar. Those using it are usually seen as a special class of fighter through the mindset and skill-level involved: see Cold Sniper, Friendly Sniper. Outside wartime scenarios it has mixed or sinister association with assassins. An assassin's sniper rifle will often be convertible to components for a stealthy getaway.

Used in a Sniping Mission, and required for a Sniper Duel. Often, there will be a Sniper Scope Glint that gives away a sniper's position. Some video games may venerate a No Scope. This is a Standard FPS Gun. When an ordinary sniper rifle is deemed insufficient (either because of extreme range, to make the sniper more visually impressive by giving them a bigger gun, or just because There Is No Kill like Overkill) an anti-materiel rifle (generally a minimum of .50 caliber/12.7mm bore diameter) will come into play.

Historically, the first military snipers (or "sharpshooters" as they were called then) used civilian hunting rifles such as the long-barreled "Pennsylvania" and "Kentucky" rifles, or ordinary military-issued rifles. The American Civil War saw the first true sniping rifles such as the Whitworth rifle, a big, heavy weapon with an octagonal barrel and a 3x telescope sight that could hit a target a thousand yards away. By 1900, regular arms technology had caught up, and for the first half of the 20th century, sniper rifles were simply standard-issue rifles fitted with scopes. As carbines and assault rifles were adopted as the main infantry weapons, however, specialized rifles for this role became necessary once again. Today, snipers typically use bolt-action rifles fitted with powerful scopes and modified for increased range and accuracy.

It's generally the reason behind Pink Mist. May be used with Scope Snipe and (for dramatic rather than functional reasons) Laser Sight. Related to Boom, Headshot! and Pretty Little Headshots. Subversion of Short-Range Long-Range Weapon. Despite the similar name, it is not used in a Snipe Hunt.

See also: Sniper Pistol, Handguns, Revolvers Are Just Better, Gatling Good and Sawed-Off Shotgun.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • Madlax has a wide assortment of extra cool sniper rifles:
    • Limelda — a professional Cold Sniper — sports a H&K PSG-1.
    • Madlax uses a Remington M24 SWS Custom in one episode.
    • And Luciano wields a SAKO TRG-21 as shown in the page image.
  • Lyrical Nanoha has Storm Raider, Vice's Magitek Dragunov-like sniper rifle Intelligent Device. Its AI could also pilot a helicopter, either through direct upload or remote control.
  • Mazinger Z: Mechanical Beast Jenova M9 was equiped with a -obviously gigantic- sniper rifle. Its Improbable Aiming Skills allowed Jenova taking full advantage of its weapon, using it to try and shoot Kouji off from an Airborne Air Craft Carrier, one hundred kilometres above ground.
  • Mana's long-range weapon of choice in Negima! Magister Negi Magi is an M40A1 sniper rifle. She uses this to especially great effect during the Mahora Festival arc. During her Big Damn Heroes moment in Chapter 280, Mana wields a PGM Hecate II, which she summons from between her breasts.
  • The Dynames and Cherudim Gundams in Mobile Suit Gundam 00 both carry mecha sized energy rifles that are used in the same way as a conventional sniper rifle. Oh, and the Dynames has another sniper rifle that can hit targets in orbit... from the ground. This can become ridiculous when Gundam-sized sniper disguise nets are used. Before 00, several sniper-style Humongous Mecha were featured as part of the backstory, though the only one to gain any real notice is the GM Sniper II, which was the strongest unlockable in the Sega Dreamcast game Rise from the Ashes.
  • Caine the Longshot from Trigun uses a sniper rifle with a ridiculously long barrel —so long it droops from its own weight when slung over his shoulder, and actually has bipods all the way down the length to raise it when he sets it down on the ground.
  • The Evangelions occasionally use sniper rifles in various episodes of Neon Genesis Evangelion. However, since Angels are best engaged at close range, these rifles usually prove ineffective. Rei in Unit-00 usually carries the sniper rifle if one is issued to the Evas, using one at close range against Armisael (to little effect). Shinji also uses the prototype positron rifle against Ramiel. Naturally, being a Humongous Mecha show, the rifles are as tall as skyscrapers.
  • Balalaika from Black Lagoon used them in Afghanistan, with great skill.
    • Her skill was justified by the fact that she had been training as an Olympic marksman for years prior to the war.
  • Yoko from Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann uses a heavily modified Barret M-82A.
  • Duke Togo occasionally uses one to assassinate his targets in Golgo 13. However, since he usually operates from somewhat closer range, he more often uses an M-16.
  • In Monster, Tenma uses a prototype that was turned down by the German army.
  • Shows up from time to time in Texhnolyze, especially by Yoshi, to aid in his manipulative Wild Card escapades.
  • In YuYu Hakusho, the Chapter Black arc features a one-line character known as Sniper. His power? Making targets appear on Yusuke's body that he can hit with anything, including knives, a car, a bullet, dice, a rock, etc.
  • Sinon wields a PGM Hecate-II in the GGO-arc of Sword Art Online. It's noted that since GGO emulates real-world combat extremely closely, sniper rifles are rare because of the skill required to use one effectively.
  • Darker than Black: Suou uses a scoped PTRD Anti-tank rifle as one in the second season.

    Comic Books 
  • Secret Invasion: Spider-Man's enemy Norman Osborn uses a big sniper rifle to kill the Skrull queen, and soon after, The Punisher uses an identical one to try and assassinate Norman.
  • Sin City has seen a few: Burt Shlubb is a sniper. A sniper attacked Dwight in Big Fat Kill and a separate one attacked Wallace in Hell and Back.
  • Judge Dredd: Justice Department snipers have featured in a couple of stories, usually with fibre-optic cables leading from the scope directly to their helmets.
  • Robin (1993): Jaeger's most common weapon is a sniper rifle that he can use at great distances when he's not recording one of his snuff films in which he kills his victims from a much closer range.
  • Wonder Woman Vol 5: Maru uses a sniper rifle against Diana with the intent that the distance it affords her will allow her to kill the Amazon without letting her retaliate. She underestimated Diana's Healing Factor and speed though.

  • Jack Reacher is about the investigation into a sniper who killed five people in an apparently unmotivated massacre. It's also mentioned that the title character once took part in the Wimbledon Cup shooting competition, although a former gunnery sergeant points out that he's got a little rusty since then.
  • A Dragunov is used in John Woo's The Killer by the title character to carry out the hit at the dragon boat festival. In reality it's a mock-up built from a Chinese Norinco Type 56 assault rifle.
  • Lethal Weapon's Martin Riggs uses a sniper rifle at one point to back up his partner Murtaugh when his family gets kidnapped.
  • Little Dead Rotting Hood: When Sheriff Adam and some locals go into the woods one night to deal with the attacking wolves, Benson brings along a flamethrower. Sheriff Adam immediately confiscates it and gives him a sniper rifle.
  • Quigley Down Under: Quigley uses a Shiloh Sharps 1874 Long Range rifle for his amazing long-range shots.
  • Rambo IV has the mercenary "School Boy" and his trusty Barrett M82CQ. After all, for this franchise, your sniper needs to be the type that dispenses death with .50 caliber rounds.
  • Smokin' Aces: Used by one of the would-be assassins. Just to emphasize how absurdly powerful it is, her partner says: ".50 cal? What are you trying to take out? A jumbo jet?" Sure enough, she proceeds to wipe out a hallway full of FBI agents.
  • Swamp Shark: When Rachel spies a shark fin coming towards the Gator Shed, she grabs a sniper rifle and tries shooting it.
  • James Bond uses sniper rifles in several films, including From Russia with Love, The Living Daylights, Licence to Kill and Die Another Day.
    • The From Russia with Love example is kind of stretching the term; the rifle in question is a small-caliber weapon effective at relatively short ranges, where modern sniper rifles can kill at over a thousand yards.
  • Eraser features railgun sniper rifles that fire aluminium bullets at "close to the speed of light". They also have X-Ray scopes. note 
  • In The Outlaw Josey Wales, Josey uses a Sharps 1865 sniper rifle to cut a ferry tow-rope and send a group of Redlegs on a "Missouri boat ride".

  • In Dan Abnett's Warhammer 40,000: Gaunt's Ghosts novels, snipers carry a "long-las", which may be customized. Larkin had to stop using his on Gereon for a lack of ammunition. When, in The Armour of Contempt, Curth reveals she kept it safe for him, he is so delighted it even distracts him from the fact he just lost his foot.
  • The Day of the Jackal: the title character has a custom-built sniper rifle whose parts can be disguised, eg the barrel becomes part of a crutch.
  • The Executioner. Cold Sniper turned Vigilante Man Mack Bolan prefers elephant guns for sniper rifles — using first a Marlin .444 lever-action, then the Weatherby Mark V in .460 Magnum calibre. This leads to several Your Head Asplode moments.
  • In Specter of the Past, a sniper rifle that shoots an invisible laser beam is used along with a special reflection device to implicate Han Solo in a murder designed to stir up trouble for the New Republic.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In NCIS, Gibbs, Ziva, and recurring bad guy Ari Haswari are all skilled snipers. True to life, all of them use bolt-action rifles of one kind or another for sniping. Gibbs prefers his "old friend" the M40A1, while Ari uses a Bravo 51.
    • On NCIS: Los Angeles, Kensi also routinely uses a customized bolt-action rifle when operating as the team sniper.
  • One episode of Chuck has the enemy spy team set up a spider rifle to make a shot so difficult, only six people in the entire world are known to have the skills to make it. Unfortunately, one member of the enemy team is one of those six. Fortunately, so is John Casey.
  • Bones:
    • Seeley Booth was a sniper in the Army Rangers, and occasionally breaks out his rifle for an episode.
    • His dark counterpart, Cold Sniper Jacob Broadsky, also uses one several times during his arc in season six. He makes his own bullets for it.
  • The season seven Stargate SG-1 episode "Orpheus" saw O'Neill using a sniper rifle instead of his usual P90 against Jaffa guards at a prisoner-of-war camp.
  • Among Kono's jobs in Hawaii Five-0 is manning the sniper's perch when necessary. She uses it to great effect in the big crossover with NCIS: Los Angeles to defuse a hostage situation.
  • JAG:
    • The episode "High Ground" has an NCO Friendly Sniper with Improbable Aiming Skills becoming a Cold Sniper, due to the fact that his Colonel didn't give a damn about an agreement he had made with the predecessor to not ship him off to a combat zone ever again.
    • The female assassin in "Washington Holiday" carries one of those sniper rifles convertible to components for a stealthy getaway.
  • The title character of The Mandalorian has a blaster rifle that can disintegrate living targets with one shot, however it uses up a full power cell with each blast so he has to reload each time he pulls the trigger. It also has a pair of tuning fork-like prongs on the end that can act like a cattle prod at close range but is still so cumbersome he often leaves it behind when going into confined quarters.


    Tabletop Games 
  • There are a slew of them in GURPS Ultra-Tech. Some highlights: The Payload Rifle can carry a miniature anti-tank round with pinpoint accuracy out to nearly two miles, the Laser Sniper Rifle would be accurate to ten miles if its beam could do damage at that distance.note 
  • Sniper rifles are a separate class of weapon in Shadowrun, they tend to be limited in rate of fire and be horribly inaccurate if fired in any situation other than from a stationary position after aiming carefully, but they deal more damage than any other firearm and are better at penetrating personal armor than anti-tank missiles.
  • Games Workshop games:
    • Warhammer, and its Gaiden Game Mordheim, feature the Hochland long rifle, or more properly "Leon Todmeister's Fantabulously Far-reaching Harquebus of Unforeseeable and Unperceived Bereavement". This highly advanced firearm has a range and precision far superior to that of any other blackpowder weapon used by the forces of the Empire, allowing the firer to pick out individual enemy models within a regiment.
    • The Skaven have their own sniper weapon called the Warplock Jezzail, a rifled longarm. It requires a team of two to use, one gunner and another to hold the Pavise used to balance the weapon. It also uses Warpstone bullets and primer and has a tendency to jam or occasionally explode, killing the sniper.
    • Quite a few races in Warhammer 40,000 use sniper rifles, from the lowly Imperial Guard to the advanced Eldar, though the tendency is to field entire units armed with scoped weapons. The exceptions to this rule are the Imperial Guard, who give sniper rifles to squad specialists or small teams of independently-operating marksmen, and the Tau, whose sniper units consist of a Fire Warrior directing several Sniper Drones bearing precision railguns. In gameplay terms, a sniper rifle will almost always hit, has an even chance of wounding even the toughest target thanks to their ability to find weak points, may ignore the target's armor, and any casualties caused by one will force the enemy to make a morale test or be pinned down.
  • Fairly common in Infinity, where they're a preferred tool for downing heavily-armoured targets at range thanks to their high damage value and the difficulty of retaliating. They come in plenty of exotic flavours above and beyond normal bullets, from the fairly common armour-piercing MULTI sniper rifle to the alien plasma sniper rifle.
  • Planet Mercenary doesn't use "rifle" since gauss and beam weapons don't use rifling, but long guns with the sniper quality deal an extra die of damage if the player does nothing but aim and shoot on their turn. Of note is the Phubahr OSOK (One Shot, One Kill), which is very cheap but breaks after one use, and the flavor text suggests that it is intended as a disposable assassin's tool (and a footnote implies Planet Mercenary's CEO used one to terminate a lawyer who complained about the liability issues of selling them.))

    Video Games 
  • In any online multiplayer (especially Co-Op), that focuses on gun fighting, expect a teammate to specialize in long distance artillery. In fact, it's often a problem that all your teammates want to specialize that way.
  • Danger Girl have Sydney's preferred weapon after her trusty whip, her prized sniper rifle. Which works wonders in stages where she's assigned to rescue hostages, by sniping enemies from a distance to release captives.
  • The snipers in Dirty Bomb have access to either the Fel-ix or MOA SNPR-1 for bolt-actions, the PDP-70 if they want a scoped semi-auto rifle, and the Grandeur SR, which is a scopeless battle rifle with a similar effective distance.
  • Planetside has the Bolt Driver, and the Heavy Scout Rifle. The Bolt Driver can take down unarmored infantry in one shot, and fires a single bullet larger than some guns. The Heavy Scout Rifle, on the other hand, has a ten shot magazine, and does far less damage.
  • Resistance: This one can slow down time. Not used in online mode for obvious reasons, where it just zooms in faster than usual.
  • Skinwalker Hunt: You tend to start each hunt in the game with a sniper rifle in your hand. It can put down a bear in 1-2 shots.
  • Team Fortress Classic and Team Fortress 2 both had the sniper class use a Laser Sight.
  • Triggore: A sniper rifle is one of the weapons you can wield in the game. They can put down enemies in one shot, but can only hold two bullets.
  • When there are guns other than handguns in The Walking Dead (Telltale), they're almost always sniper rifles.
  • You can wield a sniper rifle in Withstand. It's useful for taking out enemies over a long distance.
  • The Sniper rifle is the first weapon that Elizabeth tosses you in BioShock Infinite
  • Breed grants you a sniper rifle to take down enemy Breeds from a distance. Meanwhile, there are Breed mooks who utilize laser snipers.
  • Deus Ex Universe
    • Deus Ex includes a sniper rifle whose sight crosshairs wobble, with less wobble as your skill improves.
    • Comes in three flavors in Deus Ex: Human Revolution, standard sniper rifle with 3-rounds magazine, silenced sniper rifle with 2 more rounds (available through DLC), and single-shot tranquilizer rifle.
  • Mass Effect:
    • The first game has a sniper rifle similar to Deus Ex.
    • Mass Effect 2 removed the wobble and added a time slowdown when scoped for Infiltrator. It also added three new sniper rifles:
      • The Mantis - one-shot, very effective and powerful against armour but weak against barriers;
      • The Viper - multiple-shot, weaker than the Mantis but more effective against barriers, and;
      • The Widow - quite possibly the best weapon in the game. One-shot, deals as much damage as the grenade launcher, effective against all defenses. It should be — it was designed to fight shielded and armoured vehicles (and krogan), and the recoil would break the bones of a normal human. Only available for Legion or as an Infinity-Plus-One-Gun for Soldier / Infiltrator Shepard.
      • DLC adds the Incisor - slightly weaker than the Viper, good against everything, and fires in three-round bursts. That's right, a burst-fire sniper rifle. It burns through ammo quickly though, but it's great for your squaddies to use.
    • Mass Effect 3 keeps all the rifles from 2 and introduces plenty of new ones. The Black Widow (modded Widow with less damage but three shots), the Cerberus Raptor (weak, but high rate of fire), the Indra (Alienware giveaway, weaker than the Raptor, but fully automatic) and the N7 Valiant (Collector's Edition, capabilities in between Black Widow and Viper). Oh, and the Geth Javelin - one shot, even more powerful than the Widow ands sees through enemy cloaks and fires ferrofluid, but has a very slow rate of fire and extremely limited ammo capacity.
    • DLC packs add the batarian Kishock Harpoon Gun (one-shot, impales enemies on glowing spears and lets them bleed out), the turian Krysae Rifle (explosive ammo) and a Collector sniper rifle (longer-range version of Javik's particle gun).
    • Mass Effect: Andromeda continues the tradition, carrying over many of the rifles from previous games adding a handful of new ones native to Andromeda - this includes the chargeable kett Lanat and the angaran Isharay, which outstrips even the Widow in damage and has a name that translates to "goodbye".
  • Counter-Strike's infamous AWP, somewhat less infamous SG550, and not-infamous-at-all Scout.
  • Max Payne's sniper rifle allows for bullet cam which follows the bullet as it travels to Max's target. Max's sniper rifle is a Remington 700 variant with a detachable mag. His Action Girl counterpart, Mona Sax, uses a PSL (incorrectly labeled "Dragunov") for picking people off.
  • In Hitman, Agent 47 uses a variety of sniper rifles during his career. The one he uses in Hitman: Blood Money is a Walther WA-2000, only 176 of which were built.
  • Half-Life series: Gordon Freeman prefers a sniper crossbow, which is stated to normally deliver tranquilizer rounds to alien lifeforms. In Half-Life 2, the crossbow is built from spare parts and can pin an enemy to a wall, and also uses glowy sizzle rebar as ammunition.
    • Half-Life: Opposing Force gave its protagonist, Corporal Adrian Shepard, an actual sniper rifle.
  • In Mirror's Edge, all sniper rifles are apparently Barrett M82s. That Faith survives being hit by one of these brutes belies the fragile in her Fragile Speedster.
  • Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare features a lot of sniper rifles, including a Barrett M82 in the Sniping Mission. Said Barrett shoots so far away, you can see the bullet flying through the air and need to compensate for wind. note 
    • Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 takes this a bit further, featuring a grand total of 5 sniper rifles (4 usable in multiplayer): the M14 (called M21 in multiplayer), a semi-automatic battle rifle that goes very well with a silencer and scope; the Dragunov, a not-that-powerful one (this is the one not available in multiplayer); the WA-2000, a rare semi-automatic piece of equipment whose only limitation is the slow reload time; the Barrett M82, yes, the same beast; and the Intervention, a massive bolt-action that makes a ''very'' satisfying sound when you fire it and, were not for the slow reload times, would be the best thing to take out Juggernauts.
  • The sniper rifles in Wolfenstein 3-D wobble for a few moments after the scope is engaged. Walking or aiming will cause the wobble to increase — sometimes to the point of disengaging the scope, while standing still and crouching will cause it to decrease faster.
  • Prey (2006) has a weird Organic Technology-based Hunter Rifle, complete with a scope in the form of a tentacle that, when activated, juts out and latches onto your eyeball. It doubles as an assault rifle when unscoped, rapidly firing weaker blasts that don't cost as much ammo as a scoped-in shot. Also, should you run low enough on ammo, it slowly regenerates up to one sniper shot's worth.
  • Wild ARMs 3 has the Gungnir HAG35 of the Mighty Glacier sniper, Clive Winslet. Very accurate and very damaging.
  • One of the five available classes for your squad in Valkyria Chronicles is the eponymous sniper who carriers, as you'd imagine, a sniper rifle. Unfortunately due to them being effected by a specific crouch game-mechanic, they aren't all that useful initially. They get much more useful as you level up and better rifles & orders become available.
  • The arcade versions of the Silent Scope Mounted Gun Game series are well-known for their sniper rifle gimmick. If you look inside the scope of the simulated gun, the scope simulates a real sniper rifle scope. Usage of this is practically required, as your on-screen targeting sight is too imprecise to hit a far-away enemy with it. note 
  • In Clive Barker's Jericho, telekinetic sniper Abigail Black wields a customised sniper rifle, named Flash Thought, equipped with an underslung grenade launcher. She also has an ability known as Ghost Bullet, whereby she fires a shot and telekinetically steers the bullet to her targets - just one such bullet is able to strike up to three separate enemies.
  • Unreal
    • Unreal Tournament had a Sniper Rifle as its second-most powerful weapon, with the announcer intoning "Headshot!" when you peg an enemy in the coconut. It was taken out of UT2K3, replaced with a variant that shot lightning bolts, but returned in UT2K4.
    • Unreal II: The Awakening featured this description for its sniper rifle. "The T72 is a highly specialized weapon that should be used only for long-range sniping, but it does its job very, very well. Its targeting system compensates for wind and other variables to create an instant hit on virtually any target you can see."
  • Each game in the Metal Gear series has at least one featured sniper battle, though with two exceptions, you don't actually need to use the game's sniper rifles. In Metal Gear Solid 4, the M82A2 (the bullpup variant of the standard M82), available from Drebin, is recommended by Hideo Kojima. For good reason.
  • In Resident Evil – Code: Veronica, Alfred Ashford's weapon is the Sniper Rifle, complete with Laser Sight — though he can never seem to hit anything at all. He even misses Claire at point blank range.
  • The Sniper Rifle in Star Fox: Assault is lethal regardless of where you hit. It's only limited by coming with low amounts of ammo and requiring you to be zoomed in.
  • GoldenEye (1997) is widely credited as being one of the first games to feature a variable-zoom sniper rifle. The developers chose to show off this property by making the sniper rifle accessible within a few seconds of starting the first level of the game — an area with numerous towers and long-range lines of sight...
  • Perfect Dark features, in addition to "normal" rifles, an alien tech sniper rifle called the Farsight. It features an x-ray scope, a motion tracker, and bullets powerful enough to instantly penetrate every wall in a level and kill with a shot to the foot, it may be the most overpowered weapon ever seen.
    • The Farsight is a railgun intended to be used against the enemies who have shields and the boss monster. Interestingly, if used with either the light amplification goggles or the IR goggles, you get a view from the goggles, instead of the x-ray view. The light amplification goggles makes it look like you're firing the gun from Eraser. The IR goggles does the same thing, only with a red tint.
  • Margarete uses one in Shadow Hearts 1, where it functions as a substitute Death spell. It actually works on bosses!
  • Every Halo game features at least one type:
    • UNSC Sniper Rifle System 99 S2 Anti-Materiel series. 14.5x114mm Armor-Piercing Fin-Stabilized Discarding-Sabot. 2300-meter range. Several variants. Human sniper rifle. Capable of destroying tanks in Halo: Reach. Replaced from Halo 4 onward by the new S5 model, which is pretty much the same (and inherits some of Reach's anti-vehicle capabilities).
    • Covenant Type-50 Particle Beam Rifle. Halos 2, 3, and ODST. Exactly What It Says on the Tin. Fairly identical to the UNSC sniper rifle. In the hands of Jackals on Legendary, will leave you screaming in incoherent rage.
    • Covenant Type-52 Special Applications Rifle, aka Focus Rifle. Halo: Reach. The love child of a sniper rifle and a sentinel beam. Good shield-drainer.
    • UNSC M99 "Stanchion" Special Applications Scoped Rifle. Was Expanded Universe only until Halo Wars 2. Coilgun sniper rifle, accelerates a .21-caliber round to 15 kilometers per second. Can literally blow a person apart from over 6 kilometers out. Only a few people are trained to use it.
    • Covenant Type-27 Special Applications Rifle. Beam rifle model introduced in Halo 4. Pretty much the same as its T-50 counterpart, except for aesthetic and audio differences. Interestingly, it's actually an older model than the T-50.
    • Promethean Z-750 Special Application Sniper Rifle, a.k.a. Binary Rifle. Forerunner sniper rifle, fires a red particle beam. Strongest in-game sniper weapon, counterbalanced by a two-round clip size and eight-round total mag capacity. As fury-inducing as the Covenant T-50, if not more. Also has a very visible targeting laser when zoomed in.
  • Syndicate's sniper rifle was long range, but had the power of a pistol. Might as well use the laser or the gauss gun for sniping instead.
  • Cold Winter, a GoldenEye (1997)-inspired PS2 FPS, features no fewer than four different types of sniper rifle through the course of its story missions.
  • The Ratchet & Clank series has sniper rifles from Going Commando onward. The list includes the Pulse Rifle in Going Commando, the Flux Rifle in Up Your Arsenal, the Fusion Rifle in Deadlocked, the Sniper Mine in Size Matters, and the Plasma Striker in A Crack in Time, Into the Nexus, and Ratchet & Clank (2016).
  • Red Faction: Guerrilla has sniper rifles. It can be fired scoped and unscoped. It is often possible to get a one-shot-kill with the rifle, as opposed to several other weapons which require an enemy to be generously hosed down with fire. Its' rate of fire is low so it is not ideal when facing several drones at close range.
    • It also has a "Rail Driver" that has an X-ray scope and shoots through most hard objects. It can be used to great effect against vehicle crews, and the last bossfight against the enemy commander being IN A TANK is way too easy with it. It is not an instakill (except for headshots) but it does good damage.
  • Sniper Elite naturally has these as the player's primary weapon, with a detailed bullet physics system to go along with them. Just about every rifle from the WWII era has shown up in the franchise, as well as several from WWI and earlier.
  • The original Jagged Alliance 2 features the M24 SWS and SVD, although deliberately gimped to prevent them from breaking the game.
    • In a fan based mod called version 1.13, more than 30 unique sniper rifles are featured, with varying roles such as silenced(VSS Vintorez), semi-automatic DMRs covering ranges of up to 700 meters(M14 EBR, M21, SVD, SR-25, MSG-90, SCAR-H with 24 inch barrel, etc), dedicated anti-personnel(DSR-1, AI-AWM, TRG-42, ERMA SR-100, etc) or anti-materiel(M82A2, OSV-96). The effectiveness of sniper rifles has also dramatically improved in 1.13, to the extent that some are able to engage targets from more than four times the effective range of assault rifles. Unfortunately, the enemy has them too. Not so much a game breaker when your mercs are suffering headshots from across the map.
    • To prevent the new long range sniper rifles from obsoleting every other rifles in the game, a couple of restrictions are enforced. As the magnification value of the scope increases, the sniper sees further while looking down the scope but suffers more severe tunnel vision so that one can't see enemies sneaking from the side. (They don't show up on the screen unless the sniper changes stance and turns around, or if there are no other buddies to cover the flanks). In addition, shots may get severely inaccurate if the enemy manages to get within regular assault rifle range.
  • In Dark Void, the player uses a sniper rifle called the Reclaimer. Sniping becomes much more fun when you can shoot from virtually any vantage point using your Jet Pack.
  • In LEGO Star Wars: The Clone Wars, some of the many, many characters carry these. Interestingly, when aiming, rather than going into first-person mode, the normal reticle becomes a dramatization of a scope, with a zoomed-in picture of the action in it.
  • Sniper Rifles are fairly common throughout the Fallout series. They tend to have small magazines and slow firing rates coupled with long range and significant bonuses to accuracy and critical rate.
    • Fallout: New Vegas features the most powerful sniper rifle in the series: the .50MG Anti-Materiel Rifle. Deliberately designed after the PGM Hécate II , the AMR allows the player to one-shot some of the most powerful enemies in the game with normal .50MG rounds,and cartoonishly knock back human enemies. On top of that, the rifle also allows the use of armor-piercing, incendiary, and explosive rounds. The only reason it's not a Game-Breaker is because the rifle itself weighs as much as three other guns, fires slowly, and the ammo on hardcore mode will weigh you down if you carry more than 25 rounds. Then the Gun Runners Arsenal DLC was debuted, giving the AMR lighter weight, faster fire, and a suppressor.
      • To be fair, the suppressor on the Anti-Materiel Rifle doesn't silence the weapon, as other suppressor mods do for other weapons; it merely makes the shots quieter.
    • In Fallout 4, the player can build their own custom sniper rifle. Given enough scrap and the right perks, the common cut-down hunting rifle can become New Vegas's AMR in all but name.
  • Samus gets to use one called the Imperialist in the Metroid Prime: Hunters single-player mode. In multiplayer, the Imperialist is Trace's signature weapon, and it allows him to turn invisible when standing still long enough.
  • Brink! has "light rifles," which function mostly like sniper rifles, except that the firepower is so low that it can only kill light-bodied opponents in one-shot with no buffs.
  • Anarchy Reigns has one as a pick up item to use against your enemies.
  • Second Sight puts an unusual twist on the sniper rifle's normal gameplay. Instead of moving you from third-person to first-person when aiming it, it uses the game's ordinary target-selection crosshairs and adds the scope view as an inset in the lower-right corner of the screen.
  • No sniper rifles are for sale in X-COM: UFO Defense, but an assault rifle works just as well. A trooper with an accuracy rating of 60 can plug an alien from 50 squares away. A Plasma Rifle extends that range to the far side of the map. Accomplished snipers will rack up the most kills of any of your troops.
    • In X-COM: Apocalypse, a Laser Sniper Rifle is one of the starting weapons, and the best choice for taking out targets at long range.
    • XCOM: Enemy Unknown features a line of sniper rifles for the Sniper class. The best one shoots plasma.
  • Sniper rifles return as the Sharpshooter's primary weapon in XCOM 2. You start with a massive anti-materiel rifle akin to the Barrett M82 and work your way up to magnetic and eventually plasma versions. If you happen to own the War of the Chosen DLC, the game's foremost Game-Breaker can be obtained by taking down the Hunter. His Darklance not only outperforms any other sniper rifle in the game, it also needs just one action to fire instead of two, so you can move and shoot in the same turn. A sharpshooter with the Death From Above skill wielding this beast from high ground can fire off as many shots as they have ammo on them, which can result in one guy/gal massacring the entire map in a single turn.
  • The MDK series is an odd example: Kurt's chaingun on his coilsuit can detach from the right arm and be placed on the head to function as a sniper rifle, complete with increased firepower and Hollywood Silencer sound. It's an important part of the game, since, for example, in the second game, you can get Sniper Grenades and Sniper Mortars for long-ranged explosive power.
  • Hedgewars' sniper rifle carries a laser sight, and the further away you are, the harder it hits.
  • Splatoon has the Charger weapon class. Charger weapons require the user to charge up by holding the trigger, but unleash a long-range burst of ink that inflict a One-Hit Splat (except for the Bamboozler, which requires two hits to KO). While the weapons are deadly powerful, their slow charge time and limited coverage capability make them useless in the hands of unskilled players.
  • Two of the medic characters in Evolve, Val and Lazarus, wield sniper rifles as their primary weapon. Given their foes are large enough to shrug off headshots, they play key roles by instead leaving weak points that can be hit by their teammates for extra damage. Val's sniper rifle leaves a more powerful weak point, but Lazarus's has more shots per clip and doesn't leave tracer streaks that can be tracked back to him.
  • Overwatch:
    • Widowmaker's weapon of choice is a sniper rifle that doubles as an assault rifle for close- to mid-range combat.
    • Ana uses a sniper rifle that fires poison darts. Since she's also a support character, shooting allies with her rifle heals them instead.
  • Battleborn:
    • The shaft of Marquis' Classy Cane is actually a long range sniper rifle. The handle of his cane meanwhile is a short range pistol making his cane two guns in one. He can alternate between each gun depending on how he holds the cane.
    • MX.Deadeye minions are equipped with Laser Sight guided sniper rifles for long range attacks.
  • Most squads in Verdun have a dedicated rifleman role that can equip a sniper rifle. Of course, the game being set in World War I, the sniper rifles are the same rifles other roles are using, just with a scope attached, and the only benefit the scope provides is magnification.
  • All three S.T.A.L.K.E.R. games feature snipers as end-game equipment. Before you lay hands on a Dragunov or Vintoreznote , if you intend on going long-ranged, your best bet is to attach a scope to an assault rifle and set it to semi-auto, and in fact there are a few unique AR's especially modified to snipe.
  • Sonic Robo Blast 2's multiplayer maps feature the "Rail Ring", a weapon ring that functions like a sniper- laying waste to any technicolor rodent on the receiving end.
  • Borderlands 2 has sniper rifles that generally exhibit powerful scopes, high accuracy, high damage, low rate of fire, and low total ammunition pool. There are five manufacturers: Dahl (which fire four-round bursts when scoped in, eating up ammo quickly but doing a lot of damage), Maliwan (use elemental damage, making them more specialised), Vladof (large ammo clips and high rate of fire, making them almost hybrid assault rifles), Hyperion (hugely inaccurate without time zoomed in or sustained fire, but become pinpoint accurate after that), and Jakobs (never any elements, slow rates of fire, high recoil, but an obscene critical hit damage multiplier). Specialist snipers tend to prefer Jakobs, because instead of inflicting double damage on a headshot or other critical, it inflicts a whopping five times the normal damage. The character who focuses most on them is Zer0, whose sniping tree gives him things like improved ammo capacity and reload speed on sniper rifles, and the ability to have enemy critical hit locations highlighted in red when using Decepti0n (which multiples his damage, allowing some obscenely large numbers when a critical hit is delivered with a sniper rifle from cloak.
  • Persona: Kei Nanjo and Eriko Kirishima both use sniper rifles for their primary firearm.
  • Medal of Honor:
    • Medal of Honor: Allied Assault has the M1903A4 Springfield, which is used by Lt. Powell in 4 out of 6 missions. During the Omaha Beach level, he obtains one from a dead Army Ranger that was killed by a German machine gunner. For the Germans, there's the Karabiner 98 K sniper variant, which is used by Powell in one level and by Barnes and Baker in both expansions. Spearhead adds the scoped Gewehr 43, which becomes available in one level.
    • Medal of Honor: Pacific Assault has the M1903A1 Springfield, a variant used exclusively by the US Marines, and is one of the weapons of your squad's marksman, Willy Gaines. Conlin himself can use one early on during the Makin Island chapter.
    • Medal of Honor: Airborne brings back the M1903A1 from Pacific Assault, albeit using a different scope. It can be upgraded to have a match-grade bolt, stripper clips, and a Grenade Launcher.
    • Medal of Honor: Vanguard has the M1D Garand, which can be obtained by picking up an equipment upgrade for the M1 Garand. Like its non-scoped counterpart, it kills in one shot.
  • The first First Encounter Assault Recon and its two expansions feature the Type-7 Particle Weapon as the one sniper-type weapon. It's a plasma rifle with great zoom but no discernible sighting system that vaporizes all matter on the target on a kill shot, apart from the skeleton and the weapon they were carrying.
  • Rising Storm: The Americans and Japanese have access to sniper variants of the Springfield and Arisaka.
    • The Americans start out with the M1903A4, which has a subpar scope, that can later be upgraded to the much better M1903A1 sniper variant, which has a far more powerful scope.
    • The Japanese, meanwhile, have access to two different sniper rifles, the Type 97, chambered in 6.5mm, and the Type 99, chambered in 7.7mm. Much like their base variants, the former is more accurate at the cost of stopping power, with the latter being vice versa.
  • Rising Storm 2: Vietnam has several sniper rifles of mostly American and Soviet origin.
    • The US and Australian Army gets access to the XM21 rifle, an M14 variant with a sniper scope. The USMC, meanwhile, gets the M40 sniper rifle, a bolt-action rifle based on the Remington 700.
    • The ARVN get access to both the aforementioned XM21 as well as a sniper variant of the M1 Garand, which is otherwise identical to the standard M1 aside from the scope. In campaign mode, the latter is also given to the US Army during early war segments.
    • The PAVN and NLF get access to three sniper rifles. The first is a scoped variant of the Mosin-Nagant, which is used by both factions. The second is the Dragunov SVD, which is exlusive to the NVA in standard mode, while the VC only get in during the late war segment in campaign mode. The third rifle is a scoped variant of the MAS-49 rifle, which is used exclusively by the VC, and in campaign mode is used until the mid-war segment.
  • PAYDAY 2 has sniper rifles as a class of primary weapons. Most of them are bolt-action and have a low ammo reserve, but even the weakest can one-shot Mooks, and they can all penetrate walls, Shields, and other enemies.
  • Warframe has a fine selection of sniper rifles, ranging from the Corpus' designed Snipetron (with a Vandal variant) and Lanka (Sniper Railgun!) to the Grineer's Vulkar (and its Wraith variant). The Tenno also have their own, like the Vectis and Rubico (both of which have Primed variants), with the Kormorex joining the lineup. Each rifle also has its own bonuses when zoomed in. Aside from having an Aura that can give extra sniper ammo and damage respectively, sniper rifles also come with a combo counter that grants increased damage on successively landed shots. Missing a shot used to cancel the combo and bonus, but now it causes the counter to decrease by one, which also happens if you go too long without landing a shot.
  • Left 4 Dead has the hunting rifle, which acts as the game's sniper rifle. It's a One-Hit Kill to common infected and can nearly do the same to the special infected if aimed at the head. The sequel adds a second sniper rifle that holds more ammo compared to the hunting rifle and a smidge less unscoped accuracy. "The Last Stand" update also added the previously regionally locked Steyr Scout and Arctic Warfare Super Magnum bolt-action rifles from Counter-Strike: Source to the regular rotation.
  • The Sniper Rifle is a late game gun in Terraria, and the gun with the highest damage per shot in the whole game. Thanks to its scope, it has a "zoom" function that shifts the viewpoint from centered straight on your character towards whatever direction the cursor is at. Musket balls and silver/tungsten bullets fired from it will gain the same speed and perforation power as High Velocity Bullets.
  • Ashes 2063 has the junker musket, a waste-made rifle that fires slugs about the size of a 10 gauge shotgun shellnote . It hits exceptionally hard and has a scope for very long range shooting, but it only holds one shot at a time. In Afterglow, it can be upgraded to having a 3-round magazine for 150 junk, and after that, an experimental Gauss-like driver that can "charge up" slugs for up to double the musket's already impressive firepower, and gives the slug penetrative power as well. Just be careful if you hear mad cackling in an Old World location, for Laughing Toms favors these fine weapons as well...
  • Blood II: The Chosen features one, the only perfectly accurate hitscan weapon. The scope zoom in it is the exact same as the binoculars's, but with a different reticle and sound effect. If you stand still long enough, Caleb will fiddle with the scope's adjustment screw.
  • Primal Carnage: The Scientist's main weapon is a sniper rifle, of which she has three different choices. All three have excellent range and are extremely powerful, but the rate of fire and clip size compared to other weapon classes is terrible for all three. Aside from the bog-standard default, she has an armour-piercing version which does even more damage and can hit multiple targets in one shot, but its firing speed is glacial, and a poison dart gun which has a faster rate of fire, but it does stacking rather than fixed damage (the first shot does only moderate damage, but each shot that hits the same target in quick succession does more damage than the last, until the eighth shot delivers a fatal dose regardless of remaining health).

  • Angel Down, Samuel's gun Serenety is an Anti-Materiel sniper rifle
  • In The Green-Eyed Sniper, the main character, Shanti, uses a very precise sniper rifle.
  • MS Paint Adventures: Problem Sleuth has a SNIPER'S SEXTANT.
  • In Sluggy Freelance, Nash Straw wisely uses one of these when targeting Oasis, rather than risk close range combat.
  • In Hard Graft Bernadette Montez uses one when she is "removing" some bad guys.
  • In Terra resident Friendly Sniper Grey O'Shea favors an Ace Custom C8-1 “Silent-Striker” Sniper Rifle. According to the codex it has an extendable barrel and bipod, 500x scope, and has a maximum range of three kilometers.
  • Lebin's Sniper Rifle, which was incidentally quite expensive. Alas, it gets thrown off a cliff and later completely destroyed by Rak.

    Web Original 
  • Being a Halo machinima, many characters in Red vs. Blue use them at various times. Church is the one who uses it the most, but has terrible aim; failing to hit anyone with it. Even Caboose shows better marksmanship. More often than not, they just use it to spy on the other team with its zoom function.
  • In RWBY, the main character Ruby Rose uses this as the alt. mode of her main weapon, which is also a scythe and often uses the Recoil Boost to rocket all over the battlefield. Yeah, it's that kind of series.
    • Pyrrha Nikos has a smaller one that can transform into either a javelin or a short sword, depending on the situation. In javelin form, the gun part can act as a booster for extra speed/range.
    • There's also minor character Nay, who possesses a much more straightforward example that she utilizes in the Vytal Festival Tournament

    Real Life 
  • Practically all rifles ever made since the early 19th century have sights calibrated to hit a target roughly 400yds away. The Sniper version of an 1853 Enfield has ladder sights calibrated out to about one mile.


Video Example(s):


Splatoon 2 - Splat Charger

The Splat Charger has to be charged up before use, but it unleashes a powerful blast of ink at full charge.

How well does it match the trope?

4.86 (7 votes)

Example of:

Main / ChargedAttack

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