Landing a one-tap headshot with a bolt action rifle is one of the most satisfying feelings in Escape from Tarkov. The precision, timing, and confidence required to consistently hit these gratifying shots is what separates the elite snipers from the rest. In this post, we’ll explore the key tactics and gear needed to become an aggressively lethal sniper in Tarkov.
Many wish they had the raw aiming ability and nerve to play as aggressively as the top Tarkov snipers. But the truth is, with the right gameplay fundamentals, anyone can hit crisp shots and pop heads like a pro. This isn’t based on luck or reflexes, but proper positioning, equipment selection, and core sniping tactics modeled on real-world principles.
Join me as I share what I’ve learned on how to effectively push fights and maneuver as a sniper, while still emphasizing stealth and precision. You’ll see that aggression in Tarkov doesn’t always mean running directly at enemies, but rather finding the optimal balance between positioning safely and remaining a constant danger to your foes. Let’s begin.
First, you don’t need the fanciest meta weapons and gear to excel as a sniper in Tarkov. A basic Mosin infantry rifle or VPO-215 setup costing around only 20K roubles with decent ammunition is plenty sufficient. The keys are picking a reliable bolt action, loading it with quality rounds, and using a fixed power optic.
For scopes, I recommend a fixed 2.5x optic like the BelOMO PK-06. Compared to variable zoom scopes, fixed power options provide quicker target acquisition in close and medium range engagements. The added versatility means you can aggressively push fights when needed, without being limited to longer ranges. This saved me crucial seconds when fast target switching and follow up shots were required.
The ability to quickly sight in on heads and fire is far more important than magnification for an aggressive play style. Don’t write off fixed power scopes before trying them extensively yourself. They may transform your sniping.
Now, let’s get into the three core gameplay tactics that will elevate your sniping to the next level:
This fundamental principle from real-world sniping applies directly to Tarkov. When approaching any new area, make it a habit to stop and fully survey the scene first. Listen for audio cues that can reveal enemy movements and positions. Take occasional “sales breaks” when moving to hear what’s around you. Clearing areas hastily will get you killed. Never rush in blindly.
Only take shots from covered positions when you can avoid it. Firing through vegetation, shadows, windows and other concealment means you control engagements. Remaining unseen also enables repositioning to confuse enemies. The more exceptions you make to this rule, the worse off you’ll be. Patience from concealment truly pays off.
When you must traverse open areas, quickly move from cover point to cover point. Never crawl across large open spaces! This allows enemies easy shots on you. Sprint until you can take concealment again. For example, rapidly reposition by sprinting over open train tracks or roads when compromised.
To demonstrate these principles in action, I’ll summarize two full raids where I focused on integrating fundamental sniper tactics into aggressive gameplay:
On Woods, patience and firing from concealed spots consistently rewarded me with kills. Stopping to listen prevented stumbling into enemies at Emercom camp. At the Sawmill, I crept into bushes for a hidden angle to ambush targets crossing the road.
On Customs, sprinting quickly across streets helped me safely relocate when pinned down. At Dorms, I halted to listen for clues before investigating gunshots further. Taking concealed positions atop hills granted sightlines to catch enemies off guard as they looted.
In both matches, adhering to the core concepts of stopping to gather intel, shooting from cover, and repositioning rapidly allowed me to aggressively control the map and get the drop on other players.
To supplement the key basics, here are some additional tips that enabled my aggressive sniper play:
Don’t camp bodies. Be ready to reposition quickly after kills so enemies can’t pin you down. Keep them guessing.
Bring a suppressed pistol as a backup weapon. This enables quiet flanking and escapes when compromised. A pistol is better than going full potato.
Play the objective. Don’t just sit still for minutes hardscoping. Be annoying and keep pressure on the enemy. You can be aggressive while being smart.
With the right aim fundamentals, gear selection, and tactical knowledge, any Tarkov player can adopt an aggressive, lethal sniping playstyle. Positioning intelligently is more important than raw reflexes. By integrating the core concepts like stopping to gather information, firing from concealment, and relocating rapidly, you’ll find yourself hitting more satisfying one taps than ever before.
Try implementing these real-world sniping principles during your next raid. Patience, concealment, and quick movement when applied properly will take your sniping ability to the next level. See you in Tarkov!