A handy little guide I was working on today between alerts. Still finishing it, but I thought I'd post it now to get feedback. Since Infiltrators are now much more viable with the changes to Nanoweave, I've been playing them a lot - to great success. I'm probably not the only one who was hoping PU2 would revitalize them, and it most certainly did! It had fancier formatting, but the forum ate it, so this is a tad messy. Table of Contents 1.0 - Knowing the weapon [WEPN] 1.1 - Bolt-Actions [bOLT] 1.2 - Semi-Automatic [sEMI] 1.3 - Scout Rifles [sCOU] 1.4 - Submachine Guns [sMGs] 1.5 - Grenades [GRND] 2.0 - Positioning [POSI] 3.0 - Targetting [TRGT] 4.0 - Behind Enemy Lines [bHND] ======================== 1.0 - Knowing the Weapon [WEPN] In short, every rifle has subtle differences between them, and techniques which might work for one particular rifle may not work for another. Even rifles in the same category have noticeable differences which can require changes to your playstyle to get the most out of them, especially amongst bolt-action rifles. Generally, as a sniper, you want to kill enemies in one shot. Bolt-actions are the only weapons capable of one hit kills in the game, though their efffective range differs - some can kill enemies out to 300m, others are only effective within 50m. Semi-automatics are more difficult to use, and generally less rewarding at long range, but can be used as impromptu battle rifles, especially the short range KSR-35. If you play a more aggressive style, the semi rifles may be preferable, or even the scout rifles. ======================== 1.1 - Bolt Actions [bOLT] Bolt-actions come in four different varieties for the Terran Republic - none of them are unlocked by default, though players with the Alpha Squad package start with the handy SR-7 bolt-action. It is highly encouraged that, if you want to snipe, acquiring the SR-7, or better yet the RAMS, should be your first weapon purchase as an Infiltrator. M77-B The M77-B is, well. Meh, at best. It is essentially only around for a completionist to Auraxium. While it has the fastest reload speed of the three long-range bolt-actions, it sacrifices muzzle velocity and has to deal with a significantly higher bullet drop. You'll generally want to keep the stock scope, and while you can headshot enemies out to 250m with it, you should trend towards picking targets within the 100-150m range (from one Tower landing pad to the other) in order to hit them reliably. 10x+ scopes are overkill. SR-7 The SR-7 is, again, 'Infiltrator's First Bolt-Action'. It's well-balanced, and only gives up a tenth of a second in reload speed over the M77-B for a significantly higher effective range. Like other sniper rifles, it comes with a high power scope by default, and the scope can not be removed. This particular rifle can one-hit any enemy within 250m. Generally, in heated engagements (24-48v24-48) you will be able to kill anyone that renders around you. The main drawback to the SR-7 over the RAMS is a slower muzzle velocity, making those long-range kills a bit harder. For attachments, because of the average velocity, 12x scopes are not exactly useful - you'll have to arc up to the fourth or fifth dot in order to make the kill at those ranges, which is NOT very convenient or easy to get a hang of! RAMS .50 The big daddy of TR sniper rifles, and definitely the marksman's choice. Boasting the highest muzzle velocity and the longest effective range, the RAMS also has the fastest chambering time of the three rifles. The only drawback is that the RAMS has the longest reload of the three, clocking in at a whopping 5.6 seconds when reloading an empty magazine. While using the RAMS, if you see an infantry unit, you can kill it - it is a one hit kill to the head out to render range! As a result, you can hang back significantly farther then most other Infiltrators, and can use that valuable 50m gap difference between other bolt-actions to snipe with impunity. As a result, the RAMS gets the most out of high power scopes - you can generally decide which one based on your preference, or the situation around you. It is, however, important that you bring a suitable sidearm when using the RAMS - you will not be able to defend yourself if you are ambushed using the RAMS. The Repeater is a good sidearm just for that kind of situation. TSAR-42 The only bolt-action rifle available to TR that can use regular 'assault rifle' optics. This is for the cocky, and supremely skilled to use. The most important thing to take note of is that the rifle has terrible spread while firing on the move, even ADS'd, so it is not like the DMRs available to Engineers and Heavy Assaults. Another thing to note is that it has no scope sway, and can headshot out to 200m - you can comfortably use a 4x scope and engage enemies at mid-long range with lethal effectiveness. However, being a bolt-action rifle, getting into any kind of major gunfight with it is discouraged, and it is best used to pick off stragglers and loners attempting to flank a friendly position. The TL;DR M77-B is alright for beginners, but upgrade to the SR-7 or RAMS ASAP unless you want the Auraxium. Effective out to 250m. SR-7 is a good starting point for Infiltrators, but the slow chambering speed encourages careful aim. Effective out to 250m. RAMS is the preferred marksman rifle, with the highest muzzle velocity and fast chambering speed, but the worst for mid to close range engagements. Effective out to render range. TSAR-42 is an oddball, and effective in mid-long range engagements only, due to a lack of high power scopes. Effective out to 200m. ======================== 1.2 - Semi-Automatic [sEMI] Semi-autos are the bastard children of the Infiltrator class. They're essentially accurate versions of the DMR used by the Engineer and Heavy Assault - as a result, they do very poor damage, and are not capable of OHKOs like the bolt-actions. I am really only covering them because TR Infiltrators start with one. 99SV The standard issue sniper rifle for TR Infiltrators. Much like the M-77, drop it like a hot potato the moment you have the ability to purchase the SR-7 or RAMS .50. The main pro to the 99SV is that it has decent muzzle velocity and a large magazine. That's really about it. It's generally only effective in fights where you would be using DMRs with your Engineer or Heavy Assault, and the lack of versatility hurts it severely. Only if you are a completionist should you give this any more time then the absolute minimum needed to get an upgrade. KSR-35 This is slightly better, essentially behaving like a 99SV without the drawback of unnecessarily high zoom optics and scope sway. It can be used similarly to a TSAR-42 as a high power battle rifle, but can't get one-hit headshots. It is, however, a slight upgrade from the HSR Heavy Scout Rifle. Generally, you can use this at any time, but it is highly preferable to use a decent 2x - 3.4x scope so that you can engage targets at a safer distance. ======================== 1.3 - Scout Rifles [sCOU] HSR-1 The HSR-1 is essentially an Infil-only DMR, with similar performance to the AMR-66 available to the Engineer and Heavy Assault class. Aside from slightly higher move-accuracy and better hip-accuracy, however, you may as well stick with the semi automatic sniper rifles. Really just... redundant, and not worth the investment unless you are a hardcore completionist. SOAS-20 Do you like the T5 AMC? You doooo? Good. The SOAS-20 is essentially a carbon copy of the T5 AMC, but with even less horizontal recoil to worry about. The only drawback is the lower magazine capacity and no Advanced Foregrip unlock, but it's a fantastic choice for an Infiltrator that likes to get their hands dirty but don't want to use our crappy SMGs. Definitely preferable to the N7 PDW for short-mid range engagements. The Compensator / Suppressor choice is important, however. Suppressors have a very negative impact on ASRs like the SOAS-20, so do be careful - you're cutting your effective range by almost a third and losing a ton of damage. The Compensator is the better choice, provided you know where your next move will be. ======================== 1.4 - Submachine Guns [sMGs] Armistice The only real redeeming weapon in this field is the Armistice. With a blistering high rate of fire, the Armistice boasts the highest DPS in the game. However due to the inaccuracy and recoil, you will need to use the entire magazine to kill your opponent. It has terrible ammo economy, and has a razor thin margin of error compared to the other first-gen SMGs. With the laser nerfs, extended magazines are almost a necessity on this gun, and it doesn't gain much benefit from any of the muzzle attachments. Hailstorm At the other end of the DPS spectrum is the Hailstorm. The weakest of the six Empire SMGs, the Hailstorm barely even outguns the NS PDWs. The high magazine capacity is, frankly, not worth giving up a huge chunk of DPS. A beginner's SMG at best. Avoid. NS-7 PDW The PDW seems like a dream gun for the Infiltrators, but really, it's redundant and more or less a 'meh' gun. The only SMG weaker then the Hailstorm, its main advantage is the damage fall off and virtually lack of recoil - it packs a decent punch against other SMGs outside of close quarters, but it's easily trounced by the automatic scout rifle in almost the same range bracket due to the gap in DPS and accuracy. It has a niche role, but a good Infiltrator will not really plan to be in that niche - you're not going to be engaging every target from behind at precisely 32m away. MKV-S This weapon looks on paper to be pretty terrible, but it is an upgrade from the NS-7 if you prefer to keep your weapon suppressed - its muzzle velocity and damage fall off are both superior to all of its predecessors after suppressors are factored into the equation. It can even outpunch a suppressed ASR at most ranges to boot, and the higher RPM puts it just a smidge under the Hailstorm for damage output. If you prefer using a suppressor or liked the NS-7, in short, the MKV is perfect. ======================== 1.4 - Grenades [GRND] Decoy Grenades are generally useless. If you're being stealthy, it alerts everyone. If it's a gunfight, no one is going to even notice. Save the 150 certs. EMP Grenades on the other hand are incredibly valuable in a teamwork aspect, and especially for Saboteur types, however it requires coordination. EMP Grenades essentially strip all shields off of enemies and friendlies alike, shut down any active abilities - namely Heavies' NMGs - and are generally very unpleasant to be hit with. A Saboteur throwing one in the backdoor while the squad pushes in through the front can make a meat grinder into a one-sided demolition derby. If you cert into them, just take care in throwing them around, and make sure you or someone else can take advantage of the enemy's vulnerability, otherwise it's a waste of infantry resources. ======================== 2.0 - Positioning [POSI] It should be obvious at this point that Infiltrator weapons are not suited for fair engagements. The entire point of playing Infiltrator is to play dirty. Shoot enemies in the back, engage them from ranges they can only harmlessly pepper you with bb pellets at. Never give them the chance to set the terms for engagement. There are some basic key guidelines to remember for both snipers and saboteurs. 1. Engage at Range - Remember the effective range of your primary, and stick to it. Don't go into a building with a RAMS, and don't try engaging in close quarters with a TSAR. Don't try to pepper them ineffectually with a SOAS or PDW either. If enemies are barely within render range, odds are your M-77 and SR7 will not be effective either. 2. Flank - Never engage head-on if you can. Rookie infiltrators will always keep their focus on the front line, which leaves them more likely to be attacked by other rookies, or becoming collateral damage to the copious amounts of high explosives and rapid fire weapons. Try to position yourself so that you are at least 90 degrees away from the enemy, and preferably engaging them from behind if at all possible. 3. Silhouettes - Never run along the crests of hills or stand on top of large, exposed open areas - namely, stay off the damn Tower landing pads!. The moment an Infiltrator breaks the horizon line, every other Infiltrator can see them, and most of the hapless schmucks engaging in close combat will see you as well, and adjust their own positions accordingly (if an enemy Infiltrator doesn't just pop your head off). Use ravines, trenches, and ditches to move from position to position. If you need to crest a hill or ramp, turn on your cloak before you do. When you're settling into snipe, make sure you have a background behind you to help blend in against. 4. Blend In - Not with the enemy, but with the terrain. Use shadows and obstacles in the terrain to blend in. The cloak is not 100% effective, but if the area behind you is varied and detail-heavy, you will be much more difficult to pick out then a cloaker running across a plain road or wall. 5. Know where to go - Before you even take your first shot, familiarize yourself with potential escape routes. Know which ways lead away from the enemy, and which leads to a new vantage point. If you get caught and don't know where to go, you're as good as dead. ======================== 3.0 - Targetting [TRGT] The most important thing about Infiltrators is accuracy. If you don't have good accuracy, you're going to die, a lot, and you are not going to have fun. Patience is key to this as well. Generally, it is important that you kill your target as quickly as possible. Hit indicators and the sound of missed bullets are very easy ways to give your position away. 1. Use the VR - Familiarize yourself with the effective range of your weapon, as well as how much you need to adjust your scope vertically. Those dots on the high power scopes are there for a reason! Familiarize yourself with how big the target is, and roughly where it aligns with the scope in order to score a headshot. 2. Start Simple - Go for those oblivious, prone characters just standing in position while they tunnel vision in on someone else. Start with them, then once you're in the rhythm of things, start aiming for the more mobile types. 3. Avoid Weavers - Weavers are the guys who KNOW you are around, and/or obsessively change angle abruptly and randomly. Wait until they calm down or become more predictable before engaging them. The last thing you need is an aware player to know of your existence and possibly position - they are the bane of Infiltrators. If you are using a bolt-action, they are generally the least appealling targets due to the difficulty involved in headshotting them from range. 4. Prioritize - Aim for medics, engineers, Infiltrators. Light assaults are generally highly mobile and not very appealling targets because of that. Heavy assaults may have their NMGs on, and can lay one hell of a hurt on you if you miss. Medics are the lifeblood of an infantry force, and if you see one vulnerable, take advantage of it. Engineers are also important - if you can kill a MAX's pocket-engi, that MAX is effectively out of commission and increasingly vulnerable the longer he goes without one. That said - never engage MAXs. Even a RAMS headshot is just tickling them. 5. Terminals - Nothing incurs as much rage as sniping people idle at a terminal of any kind, and nothing is quite as effective when your outfit is engaged in a vehicle fight! Just be prepared for the kind of furious wrath normally reserved for hackers and aimbotters if you decide to target them. ======================== 4.0 - Behind Enemy Lines [bHND] Or "What do when team pushed back?" 1. Ammo Replenishment - Ammo Bandolier is vital for any kind of prolonged flanking and sniping. The first three tiers are cheap, and give you three magazines total for both weapons. Unless you're going the 'saboteur' route and using an ASR or PDW, you should have Ammo Bandolier on at all times. You can use enemy ammo packs to reload as well, but this can be risky at the best of times. 2. Hacking - Avoid hacking terminals in major facilities unless preparing it for a major assault. It will be noticed, and at higher population areas, the risk is not worth the reward which will be quickly undone and just serve to alert the enemy that you are around. Turrets, on the other hand, are a-ok. Most people don't even pay attention to the color, but if you plan on being stealthy, avoid hacking manned turrets. 3. Running Man - aka. Pick off all the stragglers. Don't hesitate to dump ammo into the guys hiding behind vehicles or running at the back of a foot zerg. No one will mourn their loss, and if they do turn around to revive them or root you out, you just bought your friends valuable time to prepare for their arrival. If they don't, you'll be in a prime position to flank them and pick them off at will once they run into your teammates.