Sniping on Call of Duty is a very skilled and misunderstood pastime. The general consensus from most casual players is that it requires no technique and I often hear comments such as “it’s only auto aim, no skill required” whenever I’m in a lobby. This is something that needs addressing.
In this article I’m going to delve into the realms of sniping and hopefully shed some light onto the situation while putting to rest all the common misconceptions surrounding the subject.
Sniping (as in quick scoping) has no real start date, however, it began to gain significant recognition with its emergence into the community on Call of Duty 2. I remember watching the legend himself zzirGrizz and viewing his amazing montages. For me, a player who could barely string two shots together, he was one of the coolest guys on the internet, hitting astonishing streaks with his Kar98k.
Unfortunately, quick scoping kind of skipped CoD 3 and in my opinion this was a result of the scopes looking like they had been drawn on by a thick marker pen, making long distance shots so hard to hit that you would have been better of throwing your rifle at them.
After the ‘odd’ sniping in CoD 3, the next instalment of the series brought sniping into a whole new level. Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare had one of the ‘purest’ sniping experiences out of all the games within the iconic franchise, and as a result snipers who still play that classic title today are referred to as ‘purists’. These great snipers pioneered the play style, with bounce shots coming into montages (a bounce shot is basically when players would land from a jump and no scope, resulting in your player performing an animation which looked like you bounced) and triple collaterals cementing your status as ‘god like’
With the release of Call of Duty: World at War (one of my favourite titles, don’t judge me!) sniping once again took a back seat within the community. Although it had some great sniper rifles and maps, unfortunately the mechanics of the game made it incredibly difficult to snipe and as a result it felt quite clunky when one attempted to quick scope.
Moving swiftly along, we headed into the release of that game, yes that game, the one that changed everything. I speak of non-other than Modern Warfare 2. This game (although one of my least favourites) undoubtedly changed sniping for the better. With the auto aim slightly altered, quick scoping was once again made possible, however, it still required a lot of skill. In a nut shell it perfected the play style.
Competitive sniping swiftly became very popular and it seemed that many of those snipers eventually became quick scopers themselves when competitive sniping took a down turn. Trickshotting evolved on this game and a whole new community was born. This new form of sniping was a great and highly creative addition to the scene, providing fans with a much needed change of pace from quick scoping. It is within this period of time that we began to witness major clans being formed such as Faze Clan and consequently YouTube content boomed.
The next few games didn’t really add anything new, with Black Ops 1 essentially ruining sniping (in my opinion), however, clips hit on this game are equally, if not, more impressive than before, with one of my favourite snipers FaZe Spratt exemplifying this. After Black Ops 1 hardly anything changed, just a few simple refinements, and as a result Black Ops 2 is widely currently considered by many to be the greatest CoD for everything, including sniping. Next came Call of Duty: Ghosts, let’s not talk about the sniping on Ghosts.
Within Call of Duty, FaZe is a name everyone has heard of, whether you snipe or not. This massive organisation is owned by Thomas Oliveira aka FaZe Temperrr and began back on Modern Warfare 2 as a small trickshotting clan on YouTube with a few members who uploaded episodes and minitages. Now they have almost 3 million subscribers on YouTube.
Initially, FaZe began to upload the traditional no scope/quick scope kill cams, however, as their popularity increased, so did their standard of quality. Within a heartbeat the community began to witness all sorts of new forms of sniping, with wrist twists, 360’s, 720’s and loads more techniques introduced into the scene. Sniping quickly became an art form within a video game as FaZe took what the game had to offer and made it into something of their own.
In no time at all they had grown to gigantic proportions, recruiting some of the best snipers in the business. Don’t worry though! FaZe are not unfairly elitist, as every year they host the FaZe 5 challenge where five lucky community members are inaugurated into the organisation based on their talent. The contest doesn’t last very long and you have to submit 3 clips of a high standard, it’s open to feeders and trickshotters alike.
Although I’ve spoken mainly about FaZe, there are many other sniping organisations out there that also deserve a mention. SOAR, OBEY Alliance, DARE, NV Sniping, Darth, Synergy and eRa have all equally aided the growth of sniping within the Call of Duty community.
There are do’s and don’ts to feeding and trickshotting success.
- When feeding, always try and use a tactical insertion, this will help you stay in the action- Know where to place your tactical insertion! (somewhere hidden)- Learn how to spawn trap/work the spawns. This will make the enemy bunch up and be easier targets!- Always aim for centre mass and above the waist. This will ensure less hit markers and a lot less deaths!- If you see two or more people lining up always wait that millisecond longer to get that collateral, you’re potentially halfway to a quad feed!- Play with friends, if you’re on a 6 man (or 9 man if you’re playing ground war) team spawn trapping will be easier and if you go on a roll then your friends won’t split your feeds!- Use a good gun; look up which gun is used the most on that specific version of CoD and stick with it! (there’s a reason it’s preferred by a large majority)- Finally pick a sensitivity that works for you, however, typically, for sniping/quick scoping higher is usually better. I personally quick scope on 8 sensitivity for Black Ops 2! (which is fairly low)
- You can trickshot in any game mode but there are preferred modes!- These modes are: Search and Destroy and Free For All. Team Deathmatch is used when playing with a full team!- If you’re trickshotting in FFA you need to get to your 29th kill very fast. Some like to use a submachine gun or assault rifle to speed up the process!- If you’re playing Search and Destroy you’ll need great communication to be able to kill the entire enemy team, why not try and save your kill for the last man!- If you want to progress in trickshotting you should always practice on the highest sensitivity - when you want to go for more complex shots, the lower sensitivities will hamper you!- Don’t be put off by dying...a lot! It’s all part of the grind!- You’re probably going to want to get a Scuf controller! It can have 4 paddles on the back to replace the top 4 buttons. (this will help with hitting the many combos used)- Learn your specific shots! There are tonnes of shots to be hit all with unique buttons combos and different difficulties!- Appreciate the moment you hit a shot! Seriously, they’re hard to hit so savour the moment and the reactions you’ll get!
When you’re sniping, it is important not to tread on other snipers toes! This can happen in a few different ways. There is an unspoken code between snipers and when broken this can cause raging of the highest calibre. The reason this ‘code’ exists is because of the respect you should have for sniping and how difficult it can be.
I’ll start with the worst offense (in my opinion), that is pistol switching after one shot. Let me explain. If you get into a ‘battle’ (usually close range) with another sniper, you should both quick scope till the other is dead. If you’re good, this shouldn’t be long. The worst kind of person is someone who calls themselves a sniper and misses their first shot and then proceeds to switch to their pistol and gun you down. These people are not snipers. They are imposters to the name. Don’t be that guy!
‘Tac camping’ is another thing that is frowned upon highly. If you need to camp someone’s tactical insertion just to get a kill you should re-evaluate why you bought the game and put it in your disk tray. To clarify, there is no shame in seeing a tactical insertion at a distance and scoping in briefly to kill them. No, that’s fine. However, sitting behind it for minutes at a time, waiting just for that person to spawn is just silly. Be decent and cancel it! You even get points for doing it!
If you use C4 and by use I mean abuse! Then you won’t get on very well with other snipers. It’s seen as a cheap easy kill which requires no skill or accuracy and is just generally seen as an insult amongst snipers. One of the most dreaded sights to a snipers eyes is a lone C4 flying over your head, about to blow your socks off, just as you are seconds away from hitting a clip.
Never set up for trickshotters, if they’re decent they will hate set up clips and won’t use them in montages. Try and kill them and they will attempt to hit the shot on you. Simple process.
If you see in the kill feed your teammate going on a rampage and possibly about to hit a clip then leave enemies for them. Never split their feed with a kill of your own. They should return the favour!
Stand Out Snipers
If you’re looking for (in my opinion) the best feeder and all round sniper. Then look no further than Austin Pamaj. This guy is only 18 years old, is Canadian, has recently moved away from his parents and already has over one million subscribers on YouTube! And let me tell you this, they’re all deserved! He is (again in my opinion) the most prolific sniper in history and regularly hits clips that most would take weeks to perform. He’s been on the OpTic sniping team and a member of FaZe Clan. He’s a great guy and uploads daily to his channel. His most amazing works have to be the Catalyst and the Catalyst 2. They are breath taking examples of how a montage can be considered art.
zzirGrizz is one of the oldest snipers I know and for me is a massive inspiration and he most certainly will be to a lot of snipers. Grizz was one of the first people to put together well thought out montages. He invented the C4 shot (this is a particular shot where you throw a C4 into the air then quick scope it to make it explode and kill an enemy). He has mainly been a solo player but has played for teams such as NV and now FaZe, although he does not sport the FaZe gamertag. His most notable works are his Matrix videos, a series of brilliantly creative montages across multiple CoDs. Recently he hasn’t been uploading at a consistent level as he is a newlywed, congrats!
This will be a surprise to many. You may disagree but this section is for ‘stand out’ snipers. Jev is one of the best content producers on YouTube, he’s regular, funny and uploads varied content. He also possesses a mean shot when he is on his best game, proven by the silencing of his haters upon the release of his intoruction montage into FaZe. His YouTube growth is staggering and he sits at just over 400k subscribers. Ultimately, I think Jev deserves a spot on this list as he gives the community a good name and is very supportive of his fan base. Some snipers and YouTube creators sometimes forget they have reached their level of success as a result of their fans; Jev is not one of them. I do hope to see more montages from him in the future.
FaZe Rainn, what can I say about Rainn? He’s the most consistent trickshotter I can think of, with practically a new trickshot in his videos every day. As well as trickshotting he can also ‘feed’ with the best of them and overall he is an all-round beast. He recently hit one million subscribers at the time of writing this and will be claiming his gold plaque shortly. One thing I particularly like about him is his dedication to replying to his fans. Some of his best videos are just of him making a fans day with a message on Xbox Live.
Spratt is my final sniper in this list. He is unique. Remember earlier on I spoke about how sniping was ruined a bit by Black Ops 1? Well Spratty wasn’t having any of it. Whilst he hits clips on other CoDs, he is renowned for hitting the craziest clips on Black Ops 1. A notoriously difficult game to snipe on is no problem for Spratt, as he has clips which would put montages on Black Ops 2 and Mw3 to shame. On top of all that, he is a genuine and down to earth guy who cares about his audience. I just had to put him in here because of how amazing his content is.
Hopefully this article has entertained you and informed you on the art that is sniping. Next time a sniper might get on your nerves in game remember it’s all hard work and dedication that’s put them there.
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