Sharpshooter

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Icon of the Sharpshooter.

The Sharpshooter specialises in long-range weaponry and headshots. His role is to focus on the more dangerous threats to the front lines, and pick them off with his superior accuracy and damage. He is generally found at the back of a team.

The Sharpshooter is one of the hardest hitters in the game, and is capable of delivering a very large 'spike' of damage to big and powerful specimens such as the Scrake, Fleshpound, and even the Patriarch. His weapons of choice are the 9mm tactical pistol, Handcannon, Lever-action rifle, Crossbow, and the M14 EBR. All have their strengths and weaknesses, but the Sharpshooter is granted up to 140% more damage with each successful headshot from these weapons – with the exception of the 9mm pistol on Hell on Earth difficulty – and will also enjoy up to an extra 50% damage for successful headshots with any other weapon. This, coupled with the fast reload and low recoil of this perk's weapons, makes the Sharpshooter a very deadly perk in both open and enclosed areas.

Due to the extensive variety of weapons to pick from, the Sharpshooter is a rather flexible class. On the move, the M14, Handcannon and 9mm are great for scoring critical headshots, while the lever-action rifle and Crossbow can eliminate dangerous threats with great efficiency over mid to long-range distances. Accuracy with either pistol can be sacrificed for DPS by purchasing or finding another gun of the same type, allowing the player to dual-wield. While dual-wielding, the Sharpshooter will not gain any extra ammo and long-range targets will be harder to hit, due to the lack of being able to look down the sights properly; however, he will be able to fire much more rapidly and deal almost double the damage to nearby foes in a short time span.

As a rule of thumb, the Sharpshooter should watch out for larger threats to the team, while using a sidearm to deal with weaker specimens. Landing headshots can be a problem for the Sharpshooter (and most classes, really), as the head hitboxes are not very consistent. Unsuccessful shots waste expensive ammo without taking advantage of the Sharpshooter's damage bonus, and may cost vital seconds taking down a dangerous foe.

Although it may be tempting for the Sharpshooter to play much like the Commando and shoot at anything that moves with the faster weapons, it is generally ill-advised to do so. The Sharpshooter is most effective in eliminating any larger targets; however, his rather large ammo supply and decent damage output can lead players to simply shoot foes in the body until they die. On the early waves, the Sharpshooter may get away with this tactic; however, on later waves and harder difficulties, this may prove to be ineffective. The Sharpshooter receives no bonuses for body damage, and in later waves, headshots become far more important. Bullet-spamming can make players much less disciplined in aiming for headshots, and cause sloppy play against more dangerous specimens. A vigilant Sharpshooter who maximises the effectiveness of his perk bonuses by focusing on large targets may appear lower down on the scoreboard, but is actually far more valuable to the squad. However, when there are no large threats in sight, the Sharpshooter should still help the team by headshotting the weaker specimens.

The Sharpshooter has his own place in the Patriarch round, as his high damage with the Crossbow or M14 when it headshots can be enough to stun the Patriarch on lower difficulties. Sharpshooter can tear Patriarch's face off with accurate shots and in the end he will attract his attention and anger. The Sharpshooter doesn't have any special resistance or speed though for the Patriarch and also suffers due to the large smoke that emits from pipe bombs, so it may be suggested to chance to the Demolitions perk or try your hand at kiting and tanking as a Berserker or Field Medic for the last round; especially if you're planning to welcome him at an enclosed space.

Helping the Sharpshooter

Respect the fact that the Sharpshooter needs to aim with care, in order to rack up headshots. He’s likely to be standing still while doing this, so don’t walk in front of him. Of course, nobody wants a boring round, so there will always be a temptation to shoot at everything, but don’t spook Scrakes: while they’re not enraged, it’s much easier for the Sharpshooter to get a headshot - for the good of the whole group. Smoke screen and large specimen on lit, are problems that Sharpshooter may have to struggle to deal with in a team game. Demolition Expert and Firebug should think about his teammates and ignore some big targets unless they're enraged. For Firebug that includes both Scrake and Fleshpound, for Demolition Expert that is only limited to Scrake since his explosive damage may be still effective but too slow to kill a Scrake before he enrages and breaks his wrath onto party. Another way to help the Sharpshooter is to try to take out enemies that may attack him while he is scoped in with the Crossbow, especially if you see him focusing on headshotting a troublesome Scrake or even a Fleshpound.

Leveling Tactics

  • Stay behind the party and watch their back, keep in contact with voice chat. Warn the others via voice chat commands when a big target approaches.
  • Sharpshooter can be leveled while playing other low level (under lvl5) perks, as all of the players' standard gear includes 9mm; all the headshots you did with 9mm will be counted towards to the headshots you need for level up.
  • Sharpshooter requires skills to shot in species' head even without aiming action. That is because when surrounded by species, sharpshooter has no proper weapons to deal with except handguns or M14. Since sharpshooter has extra damage when he shot to head, it is highly required to blow up their head quickly. To exercise this, use flashlights on 9mm. the round flash effect indicates your hitpoint.
  • As a low level Sharpshooter, it is recommended to work your way to the Lever-action rifle first. Slower compared to the 9mm pistol but has a reliable single shot damage which will keep you alive for a long time. In case you're playing on hard and higher difficulties you can work up your way to the Hand Cannon before aiming for M14 or Crossbow.
  • Headshotting is generally easier for a beginning Sharpshooter when using only a single 9mm or Hand Cannon, so if levelling Sharpshooter; try using only one rather than dual-wielding to get more headshots.

Tactics

  • For the first wave, if you do not have a 5 or 6 ranked perk that would let you spawn in with a weapon, select the sharpshooter. You'll get the perk's damage and headshot damage bonuses with the 9mm pistol that you spawn with. After the end of the first wave you can change perks and spend the money you collected during the first wave, or if you're looking to save up for a tier II or tier III weapon for another perk, remain a sharpshooter and just spend the small amount of cash to resupply the 9mm's ammo. For the second and even third (on long) wave this is a viable option, if you have no trouble making headshots.
  • Aiming for headshots in Killing Floor requires some practice as the head's hitbox can change position when a specimen is on the move, or when the specimen is rooted or charging. The hitbox doesn't follow the model animations and may fall behind or may glide to side of the head. Leading the shots in a specimen's path by watching where they're currently facing when they're on the move, and aiming for throat when they are charging, is an efficient way to decapitate them easily. In case the specimen is in one spot, such as when they are stunned, pinned, (Stalkers, Scrakes and Husks) or plain turning around, the Sharpshooter should aim at the back of their neck, so as to shoot where their heads will be when they react and turn to him.
  • A good Sharpshooter should be aware of areas to hole up in on the map, and choose his weapons wisely. Most Sharpshooter weapons aren't made for close-combat purposes, so it's a good idea to carry a reliable sidearm. Even with high-tier gear, please remember that Sharpshooters still need others to wipe out larger groups of weak specimens, and a clear field of view to be effective.
  • Your target priority may change if there's a ranged threat like Husk or Siren. Both specimens will cause players' screens to shake and may make it hard to for them to aim - at higher difficulties especially, they can be deadly and swift. If you ever see one of them near a big target, focus on killing them first; bigger targets can then be handled safely by your teammates.
  • When you're in an open area, watch your back for specimens. Sharpshooters' stand-and-aim playstyle may cause bad surprises, like Bloats, Stalkers, and Crawlers, to sneak up on you while you're attention is focused elsewhere; on higher difficulties, this will shred through your armor in no time.
  • The erratic movement of specimens when they jump over obstacles, strafe, and walk backwards can be countered with a carefully thrown grenade; this will distract the specimens and provide a better opportunity for a headshot.
  • When you're at the Final Wave against the Patriarch, be sure you're fully outfitted to take him on. Handling the Patriarch requires the team to hole up, place pipe bombs, and assign damage sponges. If you're holed up, approaching him in an enclosed space will surely get you killed, so stay behind and let the Demolition or Support perk users do their jobs for his first attack. On the Patriarch's second and third attack, you may go outside with some escorts and take a chance at headshotting him, which will stun him if fired at the right moment.
  • A Level 6 Sharpshooter is one of the cheapest classes to manage, which goes against most player's ideas of the perk. On Hell on Earth difficulty, if a Sharpshooter dies and doesn't have enough money to to buy new gear for the next wave, he can simply sell his Crossbow for 600£ and gather 700£ total. That amount of money will be enough to buy a Lever-action Rifle, a Handcannon and kevlar. With the help of teammates he can gather more ammunition as well. Handcannons can be dual wielded on later waves if the Sharpshooter wants a quick firing weapon to retreat with.
  • Reloading the dual handcannons and 9mms require more time than a single gun; therefore, always check your surroundings before starting to reload them. Always remember not to use the entire magazine before reloading; it is common for beginners to die surrounded by specimens, unable to shoot because of the long reload time.
  • A high level Sharpshooter can stun Scrakes, even on Hell on Earth difficulty, with headshots from the LAR, with repeated headshots allowing you to keep it stunned until it dies. Crossbow bolts will also stun Scrakes if you headshot them, and will do more damage, but the reload time would make it easier to finish it off with the LAR. If the crossbow is fired as soon as you reload, it's capable of decapitating him just as the stun wears off.
  • Remember, when you stun a Scrake, it can go into one of two animations: one shows the Scrake standing still, looking from side to side; the other showing him slumping forward with his head down. During either one of these stances, the hitbox for his head remains at about his throat. On higher difficulty levels, the team will usually depend on the Sharpshooter to stun and/or kill Scrakes, and this will allow you to effectively kill them.

Perk ladder

Rank Headshot Kills † Weapon Bonuses † Headshot Damage Weapon Discounts * Spawn
Headshot Damage Recoil‡ Reload‡
10% 5% 10%
30 20% 25% 10% 10% 20%
★★ 100 38% 50% 20% 20% 30%
★★★ 700 56% 75% 30% 30% 40%
★★★★ 2,500 82% 40% 40% 50%
★★★★★ 5,500 125% 50% 50% 60% Lever-action
8,500 140% 60% 70% Crossbow
* With the handcannon, and M14 EBR.  † With the 9mm tactical pistol, handcannon, lever-action rifle, crossbow, and M14 EBR. ‡ 9mm not affected.
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