The Sniper doesn’t wear heavy armor like some of the other classes so they have to rely on their tech and abilities like cover to both mitigate and avoid damage. Abilities such as Shield Probe and Evasion are especially helpful when stuck in a high damage situation, and provide valuable seconds allowing you to get a heal off or sneak away. When on the Offensive the Sniper uses their long rang attacks to deal devastating damage while staying out of the enemy’s field of fire. If they do happen to get close Cover Pulse combined with a Tendon Shot will put them right back where they started.
The Sniper’s resource pool consists of energy. Starting at 100 this energy will be depleted every time an energy consuming ability is used and regenerates at a faster rate when more energy remains. For example having an energy level of 80-100 regenerates at a rate of 5 energy a second; while having 20-40 will have you regenerating at 2.5 energy per second. When in the thick of it the Sniper has two methods of speeding up the energy rejuvenating process. The first ability is Stim Boost which uses tactical advantage to speed up the recovery of energy by a small amount and should be kept up whenever possible. When you really need a shot of energy using Adrenaline Probe will dish out 50 energy over 3 seconds but has a longer cooldown, best saved for when you’re running on empty.
The Sniper advanced class is one of the few that is a pure damage role, no healing or tanking in the cards once you’ve made the choice. There is however three different trees to choose from that will alter your play style somewhat, and should each be tried to see what suits you best. For example, those wishing to improve their skills as long distance marksman should consider the Marksmanship tree. There you’ll find an abundance of skills that will not only improve the damage and reduce the cooldowns on many of your sniper attacks; you will receive a few new ones to complement your rotation.
Just as the Marksmanship tree is for those who want to focus in on a single target to bring them down quickly, the Engineer is for those looking to spread that around a bit in AoE attacks. Speccing into Engineer will grant you new grenade abilities like Plasma Probe that will affect not only the initial target, but five nearby enemies with a heavy damage burn. If doing large amounts of AoE damage (perfect for PVP) is for you then consider the Engineer tree.
The Lethality tree is shared between both Snipers and Operatives so it’s a bit of a mixed bag. Instead of burst damage it places an emphasis more on DoT Bleed Effects and poisons with abilities like Weakening Blast and Corrosive Grenade. Those who have played a Warlock in a certain other game will find some familiar ground here. Paired with the long distance of the Sniper it can make for a deadly build.
The PVP play style for the Sniper depends on which of the trees you’ve selected but there are some things that they all share. Use the Snipers long range to your advantage, most of the attacks come with a range of 30m and some even more. By keeping this distance between you and your target you eliminate any chance of you taking a hit and increase the number of shots you can get off. Secondly always use cover; after playing other classes it can be a hard habit to get into but remember to always go into cover just after getting in range. Not only is this required for some of your more powerful abilities but it also prevents any would be “force leapers” from getting the jump on you. Lastly use your environment; by pairing a high elevation (ie. Huttball Catwalk) with cover you not only get a bird’s eye view of the battlefield, you make it all but impossible for enemies to get to you. If they try they’re going to have to take the long open routes, by which time you can have them slowed, stunned, and downed before they get close.
Choose Your Destiny
It’s hard to deny that the Operative can seem like the better option for the Agent. The ability to go stealth and heal themselves definitely gives them an edge when it comes to survivability. That being said, let’s take a look at some of the strong points of the Sniper. The Sniper hits hard from far away. Employing a powerful Sniper Rifle to hit enemies with precision attacks from afar, the Sniper can make quick work of an opponent before they’re even close enough to return fire.
They have a lot of utility. You may not think a pure DPS class would bring a lot of utility abilities to a fight, but the Sniper definitely doesn’t lack in this department. Between cover, cover pulse, leg shot, and the Sniper’s CC there is no reason you shouldn’t be able to keep the bad guy locked down while you unload on them.
The choice between the Sniper and Operative is actually a lot easier than some other classes, as the two play very differently. During your quest from level 1-10 some things you should be considering are: Did you enjoy long range attacks, taking out the enemy before they know what hit them? Do you want to be able to use cover, to avoid incoming attacks altogether? Do you want to be a pure DPS spec? If you answered yes to the preceding questions then the Sniper will definitely be a good fit for you.
It’s not all tuxedos and black ties for the master of espionage they have actually upped the ante and are capable of wearing medium weight armor. The primary stat you will want to have on this armor is Cunning, which will provide an increase in Ranged damage/crit, Tech damage/crit.. Stacking up a good amount of Cunning will ensure you’re both dishing out the damage, and being all the Sniper you can be.
Secondary stats for the Sniper to consider are the same no matter the tree you choose to spec into. Power, Surge, Critical, and Accuracy in order to increase attack damage, critical chance, and critical damage respectively. If you find the channeling time of some of your abilities a little too long, look for some gear with alacrity (haste).Of course no matter what specification you will always want to up your endurance when possible to increase your health pool.
Taking part in PVP combat will definitely require you to pick up some PVP gear to reduce damage taken from other players and increase your own. Expertise is what you looking for here and for those in the healing profession it has the added bonus of increasing your healing power on other players. The basic recruit set is a good investment for players who have just reached 50 and comes in versions to make the stat needs of the various specs.
The Agent Sniper may seem like the lone wolf type but he actually does work better when part of a team. The healer, ranged tank, melee tank, ranged dps, and melee dps are all covered in your companions that you pick up on your travels. As a pure DPS only a few of these companions will prove useful, and it’s more than likely that the majority of them will end up on constant crew skill missions.
Below you will find a list of all five of the Sniper’s Companions along with a brief description, their strengths and weaknesses, and a link to their database entry.
The first companion you’ll run across is Kaliyo. She’s a great starting companion for the Sniper do to her decent proficiency as a tank. If you’re looking to take out the baddies a little faster she’s also quite good at dishing out the damage when switched in that mode. She’s capable of wearing medium armor and wielding blaster pistols and rifles.
Doctor Eckard Lokin
The good doctor can be found on Taris and serves dual purpose due to his… condition. When in human form Lokin will function as a healer, but when he transforms into his Rhakghoul alter ego he becomes a formidable melee DPS/Tank. For Snipers the Rhakghoul form is almost always more usefull as you wont be needing any heals if he’s keeping the enemies at bay.
Ensign Raina Temple
Another fellow agent and long range DPS to boot. Unless you’re looking to sacrifice survivability in the name of damage you’ll want to steer clear of Temple. You pick her up on Hoth around lvl 36.
Scorpio can be found on Belsavis at around lvl 40, which is unfortunate as she is one of the better suited companions for the Sniper. A melee tank, she carries an electrostaff and shield generator into battle. You’ll definitely want to have her along for your last ten levels as her threat generating abilities will keep you out of the Crosshairs during many a heated battle.
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