How to Be an Airsoft Sniper

Nearly every Airsoft player wants to be a sniper at one point. Find out here if it's the right role for you. Once you've decided you're made to be a sniper, learn the ways of a difficult yet rewarding position.


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    Read your role first! No one can tell you how many times an airsoft sniper will go head over heels on his role, knowing nothing about it, and end up getting frustrated, and either leave airsoft entirely, or get a new weapon. Try using an AEG on semi auto only for a while, see how you like it, and if it suits your play style more, then maybe look into buying or making a ghillie suit, and switching to a rifle such as a Maruzen, Tokyo Marui, or Tanaka. Clones (UTG/WELL/BE/AWP) more than often are made in such mass produced numbers that quality will almost always lack, and the 470 FPS that you see with a .2 will wear down to around 410 FPS with a .2 after around 500 shots. Visit online forums for more information on upgrades.
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    Learn that side arms are very important to a sniper and do not cost much. They cost about 25-100 dollars. You might want to invest your money in a sidearm as they generally do not cost much and are very handy when you get into a cornered up situation. Nothing is worse than having your position recognized and get charged by the enemy with nothing to defend you but your rifle. A pistol and a holster are recommended. While spring is better for a sniper rifle a side arm needs to be at least semi-auto. If your side arm is a fully or semi automatic then you need to bring an adequate amount of ammunition (Usually 2-3 magazines depending on magazine capacity) with you and still have enough for your rifle. This is because it is embarrassing to have all of your side arms filled and ready, wait two hours, see your target and pull the trigger, then hear the always glorious sound of nothing but air come out of your rifle.
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    Buy a good sniper rifle and pistol
    • You should go with a spring rifle as they are more precise. FPS is not very important, as long as it is at least has 300 FPS. Its not bad to have a high FPS though. You should get airsoft bbs, depending on how many FPS your sniper rifle has. Normally heavier bbs are better than light bbs, due to the fact that heavier bbs will give you more accuracy in normal weather and windy weather.
    • A spring pistol with at least 275 FPS is good with .20 gram bbs since you'll use them at close range.
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    Know your rifle. Research your gun's statistics as much as possible. Spend a good amount of time getting to know your gun, and how the shots react under different conditions (wind, temperature etc). Fiddle with the hop up setting on your gun (if it has one) and find where you like it positioned most. Take a while to get to know your guns' unique shots and practice with them all the time. Learn your gun's maximum effective range; that is, the range it'll still be accurate at.
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    Know that airsoft sniping is not as much shooting as you think!! Usually all airsoft snipers think that they'll be getting more kills than anyone on the field, when in reality, they usually get the least. Also, sniping might sometimes even be boring. Often, you find yourself sitting under a pile of branches and waiting for an enemy to show up (depending on the game). Know that observation and sabotage are your main friends in the field, your rifle only serves as a tool to help you in your various roles needed on the field as directed by your commander or squad leader.
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    Modify your rifle to fit your needs. There are literally thousands of aftermarket parts for airsoft sniper rifles. Depending on your rifle there could be hundreds of upgrades you could do. Some upgrades can include getting a more powerful spring, getting a better scope (if you choose to have one), or even simply a paint job to help it better blend in to your surroundings.
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    Follow this list of upgrades for a rifle in order from most important to least:
    • High quality bb's are extremely important. The bb of choice should also have a heavier weight than most (such as a .43g bb). Brands such as Bioval, Maruzen, Madbull (heavies), and Goldenball are ideal.
    • Components that help improve your compression are next up. To start off, test your compression by placing your finger over the nozzle of the cylinder head. Fire the action and if the air leaks out, you need to improve compression. Start off fixing your compression by adding teflon tape to the threads of your cylinder head. Next, replacing your piston with one from a reputable brand will help. Other things to help compression is wrapping teflon tape between your bucking and inner barrel. There are also custom made rings that go over the bucking to provide 100% airseal. Contact Noobie and ASR for more information.
    • Replace your stock barrel with a precision inner barrel. This should be done before any fps mods or upgrades are done. Brands such as Laylax, EDGI, and PDI are regarded as the best. If available (as it is for the vsr-10), replace your hopup bucking.
    • Reinforcement. This should be done with major fps upgrades. Reinforcement parts include bolt handles, new cylinders, retaping screws, and new screws.
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    Buy a good scope for your gun. Leapers(c) make decent entry level airsoft scopes (Remember in airsoft you don't need and $1200 tactical scope). A 3-9x40scope is a classic choice at around $40. But, keep in mind that many actual snipers only use a 4x32 scope, and try to get a scope with adjustable parallax.The more you zoom with a scope, the less accuracy you will have. Bipods are extremely helpful in assisting with accuracy and also they are great for sustaining a stable shooting position for long amounts of time. You can also make field expedient bipods/rests from branches, sticks and other natural features.
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    Make a Ghillie Suit or some good camouflage. This will hide you from enemies and opposing snipers. Make sure it is comfortable because you will be wearing it for a while. A ghillie suit should be made of generic colours, brown, lighter brown, some green might help. The long strips are handy for tying in natural elements of your surroundings. For instance, if you are in the woods, pick up some sticks and leaves from the forest floor, and tie them on to your suit (the webtex concealment vest is perfect for natural camo). Use enough that you will blend in, but use variety. Also, try to stay in the same type of terrain from your start point to your objective ,otherwise, you must adapt your camo to your changing surroundings.
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    Buy some good ammunition. Only high-polish BBs will do, others will ruin high-performance sniper rifle barrels and internals. Biodegradable BB's are expensive, and are usually lower quality than normal BB's. Your ammo should weigh at least 0.25 grams, .30 gram or heavier is recommended for maximum accuracy. Remember: Higher weight equals higher accuracy and lower FPS, but heavier BB's carry more kinetic energy for longer distances.
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    Learn the art of stealth. We suggest practicing the art of stealth at night with your friends(teammates) by trying to sneak back to safe zone undetected. If you are caught you have been captured, therefore you are finished. Alternate between teams, once you are familiar with your guns. Move slow and be sure to watch the enemy. This is the most important step! You must take the time to study your environment. Instead of seeing things as trees or bushes, think of them as a good hiding place or a fallback point. Also, watch which way the wind is blowing. If you are in a grassy field and the wind is blowing south, move south. It will better camouflage your movements. If you are leading a large or maybe a even small group of snipers make the escape route known to all members of the group.
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    Remember that nobody gets left behind. You may not always get along with your comrades, but when you see one in trouble, help out unless you are in a key position and firing will reveal your location.
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    Become comfortable in all situations. You must know how to snipe in woods and open fields. When you are going to wait for a long period of time, make sure you are in a position that doesn't put much strain on individual muscles. It is not worth it to be detected just so you can stretch your arms or legs. Also, become familiar with changing your ghillie suit to adapt to terrain. This means it would help making your own ghillie suit and before you start grab some of the terrain from the field.
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    Explore the area you will play in if you get a chance before the game. Make mental notes of good sniping positions, good observation points, and well covered areas for a retreat, this is very important.
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    Know your opposition. Nothing is more frustrating then realizing you’re going to be overwhelmed because you had no idea how big the other team was. More than likely you will see them in the safe zone. Use this time to find out more about them.
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    Take it low and slow while airsofting. Be patient. You may only be able to move a couple feet a minute. Set up an ambush or pick off advancing enemies. The best position for a sniper is the prone position, which keeps you hidden the most. However crouching is an alternative in very dense areas. Standing up is when you are a more obvious target. Don't reveal your whole silhouette, profiles are harder to see.
    • Don't be afraid to get dirty! Lay on your belly under a bush or crouch on a low hanging branch with lots of leaves. Poke your gun out of the bush. It is better to have some cover rather than none.
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    Determine an escape route. If you are on a deep strike mission (picking off an enemy commander from behind their lines), always know your way out. If you don't, the enemies will hear your shot and hunt you down. (They might not, because this is airsoft). When you set up an area to shoot from, try to have at least two routes of escape. Make sure both have cover should your opposition catch up.
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    Keep on the move. Take one or two shots and then move on. NEVER STAY IN ONE POSITION FOR A LONG PERIOD OF TIME unless you are waiting to ambush or trap. But again, stay low on your belly. A sniper should only move when there is assurance of no hostile operatives in the area, and even when he moves, he should move avoiding any detectable changing of position. Crawl with your fingers and toes, not elbows and knees, or any way you see fit. Be patient this might be painfully slow. When you crawl, keep your heels together, and move your toes to go forward. This is known as the sniper low crawl. Never use a crawl higher than the infantry mans low crawl
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    Learn to memorize a landscape. When you see something that wasn't there before, get down, pull out your binoculars(if you have any), and take a closer look.
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    Realize that you have a limited number of shots you can take. Learn which shots to take. For instance try to take out high priority targets such as Commanders, VIPs, etc.
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    Clean your equipment to keep it in tip-top condition to get an edge on the enemy. Silicon spray is useful for a full on clean, don't just spray it down the barrel. After you finish spraying, use a cleaning rod and cloth to clean it off. Using rubbing alcohol will also clean out your inner barrel more effectively than silicon spray.
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    Know your team. Remember to know your teammates and what position they are. Nothing is more embarrassing than taking out your own teammate because you thought that you didn't have a support gunner.
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    Be aware at all times. Keep a close eye on your prey and remember the rule of the sniper is to spot them before they spot you.
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    Get them where they live. Few airsofters realize the importance of stealth when returning from a mission. In airsoft, there is no such thing as a safe zone. Everywhere is a hostile situation, and should be treated as thus. As a sniper, no shot is easier than enemy units returning to their home base (Note that this is two way. While you want to avoid being an easy target while returning home, try setting up near an enemy base, and shoot the patrols as they return).
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    Use the safe zone to your advantage. When in the safe zone, look for important targets and memorize what they are wearing, what gun they are using.
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    Explore The Battlefield
    • A good sniper always tries to find good spots to snipe, escape routes, hiding spots, cover, and the enemy base!
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    Find a place to snipe
    • A place with a good escape route, cover, and a good sight of the enemy is the best spot.
    • Be careful to not move because it is very easy to spot a moving sniper or walking bush. Remember you need patience.
    • If you need to move, move slowly. About a foot per minute.
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    • If you spot a group of targets, stop moving (if you are) and try to prioritize them by importance and shoot quick, a squad won't know what to do without a squad leader.
    • If you only spot one target, wait until you have a clear shot and take him down.
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    • After you have done your task you need to escape
    • Try to slowly crawl back to your base or to a different area.
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    • If you are spotted run as fast as you can and try to escape.
    • If they are more than 100 feet (30.5 m). away try to quick hide after going around a corner and take out your pistol.
    • If they are closer try to escape them by running around a lot of corners and going over obstacles to try to slow them down.
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    Repeat the process (unless there is no one left)
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    If you followed these steps and tips, and got all of the things you need, you are going to be a very good sniper!


  • Snipers can be game changers. You might not be racking up the kills but you can totally stop their team.The best sniper is the one who won't flinch when bullets come close or kick dirt up in their eyes.
  • Buy gloves! Knuckle-shots hurt!
  • When in the field, watch your step! Don't step on dry leaves or twigs. They break, making a crunching noise! Step on large rocks or packed dirt. When in the enemies F.O.V. try not to move. It's easy to spot movement.
  • Practice and be patient.
  • Video games and movies are no substitute for real training and experience.
  • The key to effective sniping is this: observe, calculate, shoot.
  • Work on different sniping positions that are good for you.
  • Recruit a spotter. Not only can he/or she help you in a firefight, he can also help you spot possible targets.
  • Good cover and an escape route is more important than field of vision. Some people will tell you that a good sniper never gets spotted. Well, a better sniper knows how not to get caught. That means high up in trees is a no-no.
  • Read Take Out an Airsoft Sniper. If you know the enemy's tactics, you're more likely to learn how to counter it. Try this: read an anti sniper tactic, and then contemplate how you could counter it in the real world (usually the best answer is to sneak away). Do this exercise on as many sites as possible, including military sites. Always remember that you can learn as much if not more from an enemy than you can from an ally.
  • Have different signs like a black cloth or whistle something to notify your team for coverage, or if there is an enemy lurking, or use safety work like snake or running rabbit, etc.
  • Buy extra magazines and a holster for your pistol.
  • If you're just playing with a few friends, try to avoid these tactics. A lot of people think these tactics are really unfair in a backyard shootout, or even a casual game in the woods. But remember, while you wouldn't want to use the tactics specifically, keep in mind the simpler tactics on which these are based: speed, stealth, patience, and most importantly, intelligence and the will to strive for excellence.
  • Have or be a good spotter. A spotter always has his sniper's back when you're in bad situations. You have to have good eyes and pay attention to details like an odd grass clump moving your way.
  • Study some real world sniper tricks, and use common sense to see what would work in airsoft. For example, if you have a hat, put it on a stick and raise it so it just barely pokes above some cover. The wind will make the hat move as if it were a person every so often. This is good for counter sniping, or taking down people who are trigger happy. It also works for luring out people behind cover.
  • Most high FPS guns don't have a high rate of fire.
  • Avoid sites that do not specialize in airsoft or sell other things unrelated to airsoft.
  • A second external link is recommended. All information comes from military manuals.
  • A good sniper rifle is a Tokyo Marui VSR, or a cheaper route would be the Jing Gong B.A.R-10. With simple modifications - such as cutting down the pistol and sealing the bucking with teflon tape - can give you more than 450fps.
  • This all sounds really extreme, but you don't need to do everything. Do most, and it'll make the difference between your being a good airsofter and an excellent "Splinter Cell/Call of Duty4".
  • A good airsoft sniper always carries a small base in their backpack. Like a tent, food, water, and backup assault rifle.
  • Get a green gas they will run you 150$-2,200$
  • Bolt action snipers are more accurate, but sometimes when laying prone in a ghillie suit you can't pull back the bolt without being spotted.
  • Always calculate wind. At 400 feet (121.9 m), even breathing while you take the shot will make the projectile go off-course. As for breathing, don't hold your breath at the top or bottom, hold it at the middle of an exhale.
  • Stay in prone for the whole match unless compromised. While you are not shooting, keep your sniper rifle in a case so the enemy can't see your rifle barrel sticking out. Move 1 foot (0.3 m) every 5-10 minutes to keep a low profile. It will help to play Modern Warfare 2 in Sec Ops to dissect the tactics. Play each level on hard to really get good.
  • If you are going to buy a high powered rifle (450fps+) be sure to observe Minimum Engagement Distances or MEDs, to avoid injuries to other players.
  • If everything is quiet when you get to a sniping spot, take a single shot at an object that is fairly distant. Watch where the BB pellet falls and mentally note the place to have a rough range idea of whether you should aim higher or lower.
  • All ways be aware of your surroundings, you never know if some one is watching you.


  • Check your whole body for ticks & other biting insects when you shower after the game. Lyme disease is bad for your airsofting ability.
  • Buy gloves and eye/ear protection. Shots to those areas are painful.
  • Make sure that you have a clear line of sight when shooting any airsoft replica.
  • Play it safe! Get a mask (but not if you are using a scope since you can't look through a scope with a mask) and have supervision if you are under 18 years old. You can buy face covers at a hunting/outdoors store that can camouflage a regular black mask.
  • A spotter might be a good idea. However, it could make you in a situation that is double the worse when you are alone.
  • Don't try to trickshot either.
  • You can't quickscope.
  • Even if you are a good sniper, taking down 15 people in a row won't reward you with a tactical nuke.
  • Never play in a public area. Playing airsoft in a public area could get you arrested, or worse, shot.

Things You'll Need

  • Sniper Rifle 300-550 fps. (depending on state or county law)
  • Sidearm- small automatic rifle, or pistol.
  • Ammo- high grade BBs for the sniper .30 or higher (high quality ammo is one of the most important parts) and .20-.25 BBs needed for the sidearm.
  • Goggles that are ANSI Z 87.1-2003 rated.
  • Camouflage- camouflaging clothes
  • A good pair of boots: remember, you'll be doing a lot of walking.
  • Face paint (Army Navy Stores sell pocket sized portable Olive Drab And Arabian Black in one container (double sided containers)).
  • A gun sling (for both your guns; holster for pistols).
  • Hydration pouch such as a camelback or a canteen.
  • Take a full-auto with you so if you get in a situation you can avoid getting hit.
  • Take a grenade or two with you, also take two or more smoke grenades for cover, distraction, or to get out of crazy situations.
  • If you don't have a ghillie suit, see How to Make a Ghillie Suit.

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Categories: Airsoft