Guide: One-shot sniper rifles (AKA how to get a top-tier pvp weapon before you hit lv10)
One-hit bodyshot killing sniper rifles have been gaining popularity in the Crucible. This guide is intended to help players thinking about using them understand their strengths and weaknesses, and also help acquire them if they don't have one already. It's a commonly asked for weapon by beginning snipers, but the truth is that with its limitations, one-shot sniper rifles are not good tools for dedicated snipers. They are ammo hogs, and have a terrible rate of fire, making it difficult to get better than a turtle's pace at killing, especially if that's your primary method. What one-shot snipers are good for is getting a devastating first strike in every fight at mid-range, and controlling avenues of approach when you or your team are defending an area. A good one-shot sniper user can lock down an entire direction by himself and deliver instant death to the first enemy to enter. Another application of this is covering your retreat when you are hurt. This weapon is best suited as a secondary weapon for mid-range fighters. It is also an excellent counter-sniping tool, if a sniper needs to hit you in the head, and you only need to hit him in the body, you can easily take him out first.
[b][u]How to get one[/u][/b]
The key to one-hit snipers is the Final Round perk. The highest impact class of sniper rifles (i.e. Gozen-C, Silvered Bouddica, Efrideet's Spear, etc.) all do almost enough damage to kill with a bodyshot. The Final Round perk boosts your damage by 33% on the last round in your clip, pushing that over the top. So all you need to do is find one with that perk (and preferably a low-range scope as well). Then, you can use it normally until you get to that last round, and then use that round knowing it will kill on a bodyhit. Or you can empty your clip intentionally up to that round, and pretend your rifle is a 1-bullet-clip slow-reloading railgun.
If that sounds like an extremely rare combination to get from a random drop, that's because it is. Count yourself super lucky if you do manage to get one that way. Fortunately, there is a way to get a green Gozen-C with that combination very reliably, although it'll take a couple days worth of watching the gun vendor. Here are the steps:
* Start a new character, and play up to the first mission on the moon.
* Get the Dead Ghost reward, and turn it into the Speaker for a Speaker's Writ.
* Check the gunsmith, the Speaker's Writ can be turned in for various rewards, including a Gozen-C.
* If the Gozen-C does not have Final Round, wait for the refresh every three hours, the perk will be re-randomized.
* If you keep checking eventually it will be Final Round. This usually takes a few days.
It's a green, but since level doesn't matter in the Crucible, it'll still do its job. If you want some extra perks on it, you'll have to hope to get a lucky drop on a blue or purple for now. However, in theory you can easily get one from Iron Banner once the IB sniper becomes available as well (currently untested)
* Save up as many Motes of Light in advance as possible.
* Get an Efrideet's Spear.
* Keep reforging the Efrideet's Spear until you get Final Round.
Since we never know when the Spear will become available, I suggest you save up those motes in advance and be ready. You will need the purple version if you want to one-shot level 30s in Iron Banner. It also gives you the benefit of extra perks. There's a limited selection of extra perks you can get while still having Final Round; in my opinion, the most desirable ones for this kind of sniper are Snapshot and Unflinching.
[b][u]What is it good for?[/u][/b]
As I mentioned in the intro, these are not good rifles for dedicated snipers. A good sniper with a fast, stable rifle can kill 2-3 people in a row if he finds them all out in the open. This weapon relies on high impact sniper rifles, which are notoriously slow and have high kick. And if you exclusively make use of the final round, you will have to reload further delaying you. This does however have many uses for people who can be accurate with it in close-mid range combat:
Any time you are out of combat and don't see anyone on your radar, you should "prime" your sniper rifle by emptying it down to its last shot. When you next run into a fight, you can immediately fire a killing shot, and then swap to your primary to clean up whoever's left. This is why I recommend low-zoom scopes for this weapon, with a little practice it is very possible to get killing shots at ranges far closer and faster than any sniper could dream of getting a headshot at. This is the most common use for this weapon, and can make handling 2v1s a lot easier.
If you are running with a team, you can watch one direction while scoped in, and deliver instant death to anyone who enters your view. This is immensely helpful when defending an area. To accomplish this, you should take some time to practice your snapshooting. Scope in on a neutral area, then pick a spot in your mind, and try to develop muscle memory to learn how much to flick the stick to shoot that spot. You should practice this until you have the confidence to simply know that if you move it this much, you WILL hit that spot, instead of having to visually watch as you move your reticle. Don't worry, this will be easier when you do it for real thanks to aim assist. For an example of snapshooting, check 2:54
The shooter sees his target run behind a box, so he knows he will come out one side or the other. So he scopes into the center and waits, ready to snap to either side and kill him the moment he does.
A good player doesn't push a fight that he's losing. If you find yourself hurt, having a one-shot primed can allow you to escape and recover. Simply turn and sprint (or Blink if you have it) down a different hallway, then turn around and scope in. You should be ready to kill your pursuer the instant he rounds the corner. If he knows what's good for him, he won't pursue and you can recover your health and rejoin the fight.
As I said, due to its high ammo consumption (all those lost shots for priming) and low rate of fire and stability, this is not a good weapon for dedicated snipers. However, if you're not a dedicated sniper, but happen to run into a good opportunity shot, this is a great tool for taking it. The time lost swapping out your sniper rifle is made back in not having to line up a headshot, and if you're not doing it often the ammo is not a concern. Remember also that aside from the last round, it is still a perfectly functional regular sniper rifle, albeit not the best type for this purpose. If you find yourself in a long-range fight, don't hesitate to use it as a regular sniper rifle.
It is also, ironically, a great weapon to use against snipers. It can be annoying when a sniper is pinning you down and preventing you from getting where you want to go. With this weapon, you can fight back at an advantage. Scope in from behind the corner, then come out and get the first shot since he has to take longer lining up a headshot, whereas you can have a killing bodyshot primed and ready to go.
Lol great, teaching people to shoot legs for a 1hko. Very skillful. This is what all people should use if they want to be good!
[spoiler]sike! If you want to actually be good with a sniper, watch true vanguard or Nova born gaming. [/spoiler]
Final round makes bad players, worse. You want to improve don't you?
Stuff like this is what makes most Crucible players cowards, and tactical dunces. DoT weapons, one-shot guarantee sniper rifles, shotguns that reach out to hand-cannon range with on-point lethality, and rocket launchers? It may look like skill, but it's not. It's just simply denial, and people think they're the Alpha wolf, because they hide behind a weapon that pulls the weight for them with no real effort of their own.
This search for the perfect crucible superweapon is shameful. A master with a decent weapon can be an unstoppable force, but an idiot with a superweapon is still a fool.
Do every singel sniper oneshot with the final round perk in pvp? I just got a Prudence II, which has really low impact, with Final Round. I also got better aim while under fire + perfect balance with it.. I think it will be a really good sniper ones i level it!
Nice critique! However, I disagree with you that it is not for good players. Maybe in larger game types this one shot strategy loses out, but in Skirmish, especially the new released team doubles, this strategy is OP. If all three guys on their team have a one shot potential just by emptying their clip, they can devestate and control the game. I have never lost as hard as I did today against two spears, each with final round. We got blasted across the map and sat helplessly watching the team unload their clip for the next firefight. It was stupid good.