Snipers play a highly specialized role in Apex Legends due to the game’s unique mechanics. Downing opponents from afar isn’t hard, but finishing them off – and then ransacking their loot coffin – involves getting up close and personal. For that reason, players who take on the role of sharpshooter need to be extremely familiar with their rifle and know its capabilities in all situations.
For those of you who like to hunt your prey from the shadows, Apex offers four distinct flavors of lethal long-range hardware. This guide focuses on the Longbow.
Introduction to snipers
Sniper rifles are low maintenance weapons and don’t require many attachments to perform well. They run on a single stack of ammo. Your only priority should be finding the right scope for your rifle. In the Longbow’s case, you will also want to find the Skullpiercer Rifling hop-up. Still, don’t hesitate to pick up and use the gun without it.
Like all weapons, with the exception of the Havoc‘s single-shot mode, snipers have projectile drop. That means their shots fall in an arc over long distances. This needs to be considered when firing on targets with your Longbow at extreme range. That, and projectile speed factors in how you place shots. Try to lead with your aim, shooting not where your enemy is but where they are going to be.
When able, make sure to fire from crouch. This increases your accuracy slightly, and in the case of Gibraltar also completely covers your front with your Gun Shield, protecting your legs.
Sniper rifles have a headshot range of 750 meters, which might as well be infinite considering the size of Apex Legends’ map. That means they practically always get their full headshot multiplier of 200 percent base damage.
Snipers like the Longbow have the additional advantage of dealing 90 percent damage when hitting enemies in the leg. All other weapon classes deal 75 percent damage with leg shots.
Who’s best with sniper rifles?
The legends most suited for sharpshooting are Pathfinder and Gibraltar. Pathfinder has excellent vertical mobility, allowing him to quickly find a good roost to fire from. When rushed, he also has the ability to reposition quickly to safety.
For his part, Gibraltar is the best at trading damage with enemy snipers due to the mechanics of his Gun Shield. The shield absorbs up to 75 points of damage, including any overkill damage from the shot that breaks it. That means that Gibraltar can take a couple of shots from any other sniper, or a single Kraber hit, and shrug it off without consequence.
Using a shield cell restores the Gun Shield to full 75 points capacity. Therefore, all Gibraltar needs to do when hit is to duck behind cover for two seconds to reset. Then he can continue the onslaught like nothing happened. Even when caught out in the open, Gibraltar can make his own cover by using his Dome of Protection tactical ability.
As a sniper, Gibraltar has no weaknesses other than how easily enemies can spot him at range. That ultimately works to his team’s advantage, though. Enemy snipers may be tempted to fire on the big orange target of Gibraltar’s Gun Shield, allowing his teammates to flank for the kill.
How to use snipers at close range
When cornered and forced to engage from up close with only a sniper rifle at your disposal, it’s important to stay calm and assess the situation. If your target is anywhere beyond 20 meters away (stand right next to the RE-45 at the range and look at the closest target – that close), it might be best to aim down sights and try to finish them off with a couple of quick headshots.
Anywhere closer than that, though, and aiming down sights will get you killed. Player movement is slowed to 36 percent of regular speed while aiming with a sniper, which is the slowest you can move in Apex Legends. That makes you an easy target against any other type of gun.
So in the above situation, you will have to fire from the hip, hoping for the best. And I do mean hoping. Sniper shots scatter heavily when hip-fired, and the direction is entirely random. If you are in melee range, aim for the head, but in all other cases, you would be better served by conservatively placing your shots at the upper chest.
In either scenario, if you empty your clip without securing a kill, you need to run. Sniper rifles are cumbersome weapons, and they handle and reload much slower than all other guns. Reloading needs to happen away from danger. Your best plan of action would be to try to reposition and gain some distance from your opponent. Even if they give you time to reload, continuing to engage at close range only asks for trouble.
The Longbow DMR
The best true sniper rifle besides the rare Kraber, the Longbow is a formidable weapon at any stage of the match. Its fast fire rate, large magazine, and exceptional headshot damage make its user an instant threat.
Because it has the best heavy ammo efficiency in the game, a Longbow can be comfortably used alongside any other heavy ammo gun without running dry. It doesn’t generally compete for attachments, as it only needs a sniper scope you find comfortable. Get one as soon as you can – it has one of the worst iron sights in Apex Legends.
The Skullpiercer Rifling hop-up is your second priority. It increases headshot damage by an additional 50 percent of base damage, upping it to 138. This bump effectively allows you to 2hko enemy players with headshots even if they have the best armor and helmet in the game. The Longbow benefits from this hop-up more than the Wingman, so it should get it first.
The Longbow is currently the strongest option you can go with for dedicated sniping. It may be slightly less accurate than the Triple Take at maximum range and not as flexible as the Scout at mid and close range. However, it beats them both in sheer stopping power.