The Sharpshooter specialises in long-range weaponry and headshots. This role focuses on the more dangerous threats to the front lines and picks them off with superior accuracy and damage. A sharpshooter can generally be 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, but requires arguably the most skill to use effectively. Weapons of choice include 9mm tactical pistol, .44 Magnum, handcannon, MK23, lever-action rifle, crossbow, M14 EBR and the M99 AMR. 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.
Dashes in cells separate the base statistic from the equivalent as a level 6 sharpshooter where the two differ; the absolute minimums and maximums.
|9mm||MK23||.44 Magnum||Handcannon||Lever-action||Crossbow||Single Piston Long Musket||M14 EBR||M99 AMR|
|Ammunition||15 15||12 12||6 21||8 11||10 80||1 36||10 8||20 8||1 25|
|Individual shot reload. Magazine reload.|
- ALL pistols have a 1.1x headshot multiplier.
- ALL pistols can be dual-wielded for double the Trader's price. Dual pistols weigh 4 blocks and take longer to reload than single pistols, but they double the pistol's fire rate and magazine capacity. While your damage output will be increased if you dual-wield, you may also miss a larger number of your shots, as it is impossible to aim down the sights while dual-wielding; instead, the guns simply move closer together, forcing the player to 'eyeball' their targets. This also makes it more difficult to ensure headshots, making them more useful for close-range firepower than medium-range precision.
9mm Tactical Pistol
Basic sidearm. This gun will reliably decapitate lesser specimens in one headshot, but may not kill them, depending on the difficulty. This has the largest magazine capacity for a pistol and ammo reserve and weighs nothing, but does the least damage and has no target penetration. The 9mm Tactical also comes with a flashlight, making it useful in dark places.
- Dual 9mms
Dual 9mms are easily affordable and provide a cheap and readily-available backup weapon for all perks at early waves. Extra 9mms can be found on the ground, either spawned randomly or collected from dead players, or purchased from the Trader. While dual-wielding provides a boost to the 9mm's damage and magazine capacity, the ability to use iron sights is lost. It also weighs 4 blocks rather than the 0 for the single 9mm. Dual 9mms keep the flashlight of the single weapon.
Basically a more powerful version of the 9mm, the Mk.23 does more damage and is capable of penetrating 3 enemies, but fires slower, has a longer reload, lacks a flashlight, and has a smaller magazine capacity and ammo reserve. Compared with the two magnums, this weapon lacks their damage and penetration, but has a larger magazine capacity, ammo reserve, and fire rate. The Mk.23 strikes an even balance between firepower and ammunition capacity.
- Dual Mk.23s
Dual Mk.23's combine a generous magazine size with a fast fire rate, but the reload speed is slowest of all the pistols.
The .44 Magnum is capable of penetrating 5 enemies, fires fastest of all pistols, and does more damage than the Mk.23 or 9mm. This is countered by the small 6-round cylinder. It has almost equal ammo reserves compared to the Mk.23, and the slowest reload of all the pistols. The .44 does less damage and has smaller magazine size compared to the Handcannon, but has a larger ammo reserve and fire rate.
- Dual .44 Magnums
The .44 Magnum arguably benefits the most from being dual-wielded. While dual-wielding increases the reload time even further, the amazing fire rate allows the dual .44s to fire extremely damaging short bursts, which are devastating at close range.
This beastly handgun does the most damage of all the pistols and is capable of penetrating up to 5 specimens. It has a mid-sized magazine capacity of 8 rounds, and is devastating when dual-wielded. It now weighs 2 blocks when used alone, and 4 blocks dual-wielded, as of the December 2013 update. It also has the smallest ammo reserve of all the pistols.
- Dual Handcannons
Dual Handcannons output more damage than any other pistol, but suffer from heavy recoil and burn through their already-limited ammo capacity even faster. However, dual Handcannons make for an effective secondary weapon for a Crossbow or M14 EBR for close range targets.
The Lever-Action Rifle is capable of killing any lesser or middle specimen at any difficulty and any player number with at most two headshots, and has very simple but effective iron-sights. This weapon is very cheap at only £200, has an interrupt-able reload, a moderate magazine size, very cheap ammo, moderate ammo capacity, and is able to rapidly chain-stun a Scrake with a rank-6 perk. This is countered by the fact that this weapon has a long reload time, weighs 6 blocks, lacks a scope, and is generally ineffective against Fleshpounds at low levels with slow reload and fire rates. The Lever-action Rifle has more damage per shot compared to the M14 EBR and possesses less recoil, but the M14's superior reload speed and fire rate outclasses the Lever-action Rifle in terms of damage-per-second.
The Crossbow is a very powerful weapon, capable of doing massive headshot damage due to the 4.0x headshot multiplier and the Sharpshooter's headshot damage bonuses. Only the strongest specimens can survive a headshot from this weapon and despite the Fleshpound's resistance to headshots by this weapon, a highly skilled Sharpshooter remains quite capable of decapitating or killing it, even on high difficulties. In addition, the Crossbow is also fitted with a scope, allowing the Sharpshooter to target very distant enemies and kill them before they can reach the Sharpshooter or their team. This is countered by fairly expensive per-shot ammo, costing £11~20 per shot, having to be reloaded after every shot, and being relatively wasteful when dealing with swarms of lesser specimens. Dual pistols make for effective sidearms at close range to preserve ammo.
Single-Piston Long Musket
The SP Musket is a magazine-fed bolt-action rifle, essentially an upgraded version of the Lever-action Rifle. It has a scope to make landing headshots easier. It deals more damage than LAR and reloads faster, but it is more expensive. In the hands of a level 5 sharpshooter it can stun a Scrake with headshots and with a level 6 Sharpshooter it can kill a Fleshpound on 6-man HoE with 5 headshots, 2 less than the LAR. It has same magazine size, weight and ammo capacity as the Lever-Action Rifle.
The M14 Enhanced Battle Rifle is very strong in the hands of a seasoned Sharpshooter. This weapon is capable of semi-automatic fire, and features a laser sight to help detect where close-range shots will land. It features a higher rate of fire compared to the Lever-Action Rifle, but unlike the LAR it has a 2.25x headshot multiplier, a 2x larger magazine capacity, and a large ammo reserve. This is countered by its very intrusive iron-sights, lack of scope, very high recoil and it does the least headshot damage of any of the Sharpshooter's main weapons. The M14 EBR needs dedicated hands to be effective, it recoils at a very rapid rate and shots need to be controlled between small bullet groups, but multiple rapid headshots can do serious damage to Scrakes, Fleshpounds, and hordes alike. While tricky to master, the M14 is effective against any opponent.
The M99 Anti-Materiel Rifle is absolutely devastating against any specimen. With its 2.25x headshot multiplier, this weapon is capable of killing any specimen in a single headshot, except Fleshpounds on the highest difficulty or the Patriarch. It can stun or kill any specimen, except the Fleshpound and Patriarch, with a body shot. It features a long-range scope, but the ammo capacity is fairly low, and extremely inefficient at clearing crowds. This is compounded mainly by it being tied for heaviest weapon of the game at 13 weight, allowing only a Machete or Pipebombs to be wielded with it, and its extremely expensive ammo, at a whopping £250 per shot and £6,250 to fill from empty. It also must be reloaded after every shot, and has a fairly long reload.
- An experienced Sharpshooter will know the general layout of the map, whether it's a close-range or a distant map, and will choose their gear appropriately. Due to the extensive variety of weapons to choose from, the Sharpshooter is a rather flexible class. When kiting; the M14, lever-action rifle, MK23, Handcannon, .44 Magnum, and/or 9mm are great for scoring critical headshots and feature a higher rate of fire. The M99, lever-action rifle and Crossbow can eliminate dangerous threats with great efficiency over mid- to long-range distances.
- Accuracy with any pistol can be sacrificed for DPS by purchasing or finding another gun of the same type, allowing one 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 or she will be able to fire much more rapidly and deal almost double the damage to nearby foes in a short time span compared to a single pistol. The accuracy penalty while dual wielding can be removed by getting a drywipe marker and marking on the crosshair of a weapon with one, this way when dual wielding all you have to do is aim for the black dot and you'll get headshots every time. NB Make sure the marker is dry-wipe and test on a corner of the screen first to make sure it will wipe off.
- Due to their programming, the Specimen will most likely attack the player closest to them. Sharpshooters can use this to their advantage. They should look for places above-and-behind the other players, places with extremely long sightlines and take up a sort of "overwatch" position, allowing the player to call out and take down more powerful specimen and assassinate lesser ones that tend to disregard far-off opponents. Notable locations that allow for overwatch include the overpass or the tunnel overlooking the road on Mountain Pass, or the higher levels of the Church or farmhouse on Farm.
- Sharpshooters should focus on killing Husks and Sirens at a distance. These can cause major problems for the team if they are not promptly dealt with, and the Sharpshooter's long-range attacks prove very useful for this task. At higher difficulties where multiple Husks and Sirens are present, a loner Sharpshooter may use some help from another Sharpshooter to work together to eliminate those threats, or a sneaky Commando or Firebug could cut through the crowd behind the big target and kill them.
- As a rule of thumb, the Sharpshooter should use their main weapon for larger threats to the team, while using a sidearm to eliminate weaker specimens. Landing headshots can be a problem because the head hitboxes are not very consistent. Unsuccessful shots waste sometimes 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 earlier waves, the Sharpshooter may get away with this tactic; however, on later waves and harder difficulties, this may prove to be ineffective. In later waves, and on harder difficulties, headshots become far more important. A vigilant Sharpshooter who maximizes 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 taking out weaker specimens with headshots.
- The Sharpshooter has his own place in the Patriarch round, as his high damage with the crossbow, M14 or M99 when it headshots can be enough to kill the Patriarch on lower difficulties. However, the Sharpshooter does not have any special resistance or speed, and also suffers from the large smoke effects from pipe bombs. If Patriarch is close, his retaliation against a Sharpshooter might be deadly.
- For the first wave, if you do not have a level 5 or 6 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 2 or tier 3 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 landing headshots.
- Aiming for headshots 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 does not 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. If specimen is too close and moving toward, it'd be wise to aim for their forehead and when they're distracted by another player leading the shot by aiming in front of their face is a nice trick.
- 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. On both occassions his head hitbox is only remain at one place; his neck. Sharpshooter should aim for back of its neck for decapitation.
- The Handcannon is an excellent companion to the Crossbow. This allows you to take either pipebombs or a melee weapon, and the handcannon is usually more than sufficient to wipe out Lesser and Middle Specimens. For Scrakes and Fleshpounds, you have your Crossbow.
- MK23 can decapitate a Scrake easily even at Hell on Earth difficulty when fired by a level 6 Sharpshooter. If user can keep a distance and reloads as soon as Scrake enrages a full magazine to the enraged Scrake's throat will decapitate him. That tactic is useful to combine MK23 with M14 or SPL Musket for Fleshpounds.
- 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, 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 or more 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 play-style may cause bad surprises, like Bloats, Stalkers, and Crawlers, to sneak up on you while your attention is focused elsewhere; on higher difficulties, this will shred through your armor or health 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 the pipe bombs 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, MK23s, .44 magnums 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 even outright 1-hit-kill Scrakes on lower difficulties. Even on Hell on Earth difficulty, a skilled Sharpshooter can stun a Scrake with headshots from the LAR or SPL Musket, 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 other weapons. If the crossbow is fired as soon as you reload, it's capable of decapitating him just as the stun wears off.
- 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, then attempt to take it out.
- Sharpshooter can be leveled while playing as another perk most of the time, as each player's standard gear includes the 9mm pistol.
- The flashlight mounted on the 9mm pistol can aid the Sharpshooter in landing headshots without the use of iron sights.
- As a low-level Sharpshooter when weapon discounts are not as high, it is recommended to purchase the Lever-action rifle before the M14, M99 or crossbow. Though slower than the 9mm pistol, the Lever-Action Rifle damage per shot is enough to decapitate any specimen with at most two headshots except for the Scrake, Fleshpound and Patriarch.
- Headshots are easier to land when wielding only a single pistol as opposed to dual-wielding pistols, as you're able to look down the sights with the single.
Helping the Sharpshooter
- Respect the fact that the Sharpshooter needs to aim with care in order to make headshots. They are likely to be standing still while doing this, so try not to walk in front of them.
- Do not enrage Scrakes or Fleshpounds, as it is much easier to land a headshot on them while they are not sprinting, and it's easier to line up a shot if the Sharpshooter has the enemy running towards them instead of trying to pull off a side shot while it's sprinting towards the one who raged it..
- Smoke, fire, and large specimens do not mix well for the Sharpshooter. Demolitions Experts and Firebugs should be cautious when attacking big enemies, as their actions may simply interfere with the Sharpshooter's vision, and possibly kill the one attacking the larger specimen.
- Try to take out enemies that may attack the Sharpshooter while they are scoped in, especially if you see them focusing on a troublesome Scrake or Fleshpound.
Note: The in-game perk description lists a general damage bonus with perk weapons; the bonus actually only applies to headshots.
Sharpshooters have a global headshot damage multiplier, and a second headshot damage multiplier that applies only to perk weapons. The table combines these in the perk weapon area (e.g. the on-perk multiplier is ×1.6 by itself, multiplying by the global ×1.5 to get a total of ×2.4).
|Headshot damage||Recoil2|| Reload
| Crossbow bolt
|Equipment by perk|
|Weapon damage table|