Sniper Elite 5 is the latest installment in the beloved sniper series developed by Rebellion. During World War II, in France, the events take place around D-Day. As the story progresses, you will follow the exploits of Karl Fairburne as he tries to stop a secret Nazi plot, the so-called Operation Kraken, before it is too much. Afternoon.
Anyone new to the series may need some time to get used to the game’s mechanics and pacing, so here are five helpful tips and tricks to start the Sniper Elite 5 campaign with ease.
These Sniper Elite 5 tips will help you with the latest installment in the shooter saga that features more guns, more stealth kills, and more explosive body parts than you can shake with an M1917 Enfield rifle. As you may have read in our Sniper Elite 5 review, the latest entry in Rebellion’s long-running tactical shooter series is the best, but it’s also the biggest and most complicated. This means there’s a lot to consider when searching for enemies, camping in the tall grass, uncovering vital WWII information, and hanging precariously from a third-story window sill of a Nazi-occupied castle in downtown France. Oh, and watch out for Sniper Elite 5’s new player invasions. They’re suitably wonderful and terrifying. Here are ten things we wish we knew before stepping back into Karl Fairburne’s shoes.
Explore the Map Carefully
Sniper Elite 5 maps are vast and can be explored far and wide. You will not have any fixed path to follow to complete each mission, so you can take your tame and look for items such as ammo, and bandages, find collectibles and unlock side missions. You are also equipped with a pair of binoculars, so secure yourself with a spot on the high ground and study the environment near you. You will learn enemies’ paths, locate interesting areas and plan your next attack ahead of time. You can use the domain to your advantage and look around for approaches that best fit your playstyle.
Don’t Rush Into Combat.
Even if you might be tempted to do so, you will survive more extended if you don’t rush into your enemies, especially at higher difficulty settings, because Nazis will quickly eliminate you. Sniper Elite 5 gives the best out of itself if played with a stealth approach, using grass to hide and catch the enemies by surprise, either killing or stunning them. If you take them down one by one, you will probably advance without rising alerts and have higher chances of completing the mission. Otherwise, you will be quickly surrounded by Nazis that will kill you, and you will have to restart the game from the last save. Remember to clean up and hide the bodies after each kill, or enemies will raise alarms.
Stay put and wait for invading players to come to you
When other players inevitably invade your campaign, it’s best to expect the unexpected. That’s terrible advice, right? But in our experience, player invasions through Sniper Elite 5’s new Axis Invasion mode are so unpredictable that it’s hard to offer definitive advice for success when on the receiving end. However, to give yourself the best chance of survival, we recommend that you stay still whenever you realize you are being invaded. If the invader is familiar with the mission order, pressing will make their location easier to identify; while his sole purpose here is to seek you out and kill you. Invading players are on the same side as enemy NPCs, so finding a quiet spot away from the action is preferable. Be sure to hide the bodies of dead NPCs as well, to throw off the invader, and consider booby-trapping any nearby pager phones used by the invader to track your movements. And, as mentioned above, be prepared to ditch the best-laid plans if it means saving your skin. Good luck.
Use the environment to your advantage
Sniper Elite 5 features the largest, most explorable, and most importantly, most traversable maps in the series, so use them to your advantage! In practice, that might mean simply using cover to evade a patrolling soldier. I could see you shooting the dazzling bulb of a watchtower spotlight. I could see you crawling like an army in a prone position through the tall grass of a wheat field. I could see you using the Nazi bunkers against them, as a means of staying low and inconspicuous. You might even see it scale a wall or elevated structure via vines, exposed drywall, and rainwater drainage pipes, among other less conventional means.
Prefer Suppressed Ammo
In Sniper Elite 5, even the slightest noise could get you in trouble. However, you will find suppressed ammo and silencers during the game: use them whenever possible because they will save your life countless times. Enemies will be less likely to hear your shots, but this will not make you invincible. You still have to choose carefully which weapon to use in each situation. For example, a rifle equipped with a silencer could be the best option to take the Nazis down on the outside, but the shoot will inevitably resonate indoors and be heard by enemies nearby. A gun with suppressed ammo would be a better option, or you could even use a melee approach.
Customize Your Weapons
During the Sniper Elite 5 Campaign, you will find many workbenches that can be used to choose the weapons you will have equipped and upgrade them with additional items, called Attachments. They will modify your weapons’ stats, enhancing the damage dealt, the fire rate, the recoil, and much more. Each time you find and use a new workbench throughout the game, you will unlock new Attachments. Be sure to upgrade your weapons’ stats with elements that best fit your playstyle. For example, if you want to deal with as much damage as possible, focus on the Power and Fire Rate stats. If you prefer using hardware that can be reliable even during the most challenging situations, you should enhance Control stats.
Use Empty Lung
Some veterans of the series prefer not to use it, but Empty Lung can save your life many different times during the story. This feature lets you hold your breath while aiming to secure better shots with the rifle. You can use it to kill enemies from long distances or target explosives placed near the Nazis. Empty Lung will slow down time and show you where your bullet will hit when activated. Keep your heart rate under control each time you use this skill, as it will inevitably increase. If the heart rate reaches 180bpm or more, you will be forced to stop your attack for some time until it goes back to normal. You will also need to adjust your aim to compensate for Bullet Drop and Wind on more significant difficulties.
Get familiar with traps and distractions to move enemies around
Like many stealth games, luring unsuspecting foes to their demise is not just a viable means of progression but can also be great fun. This tactic is beneficial when trying to circumvent patrolling enemy soldiers and often requires creativity and inventiveness on the player’s part. Protagonist Karl Fairburne comes equipped with a whistle as standard, which can be used for pulling foes out of position. Bottles do the same, with the obvious bonus of being throwable. The fused lure is, in essence, a bottle strapped with firecrackers which, once ignited, provides a sustained sound distraction, while pressure mines, TNT, and Schu-mines all have timed-explosive options, should you need to make yourself scarce in a hurry. Fold in environmental distractions – such as good masks, which can either be used to divert attention or mask the sound of noisy bullets – and there’s plenty to experiment with while leading enemies down the deadly garden path.
Use suppressed ammo whenever possible
This might seem like a no-brainer, but using silencers and suppressed ammo can be the difference between life and death. Pay close attention to pre-mission loadouts, significantly ahead of later game missions, as standard ammo can often be supplemented with quiet hardware or swapped out entirely. Moreover, be clever with the weapons you yield in any given situation. Too often found myself reaching for my rifle at close range when a pistol or semi-automatic machine gun equipped with a suppressor would have been the better option. Again, this may seem obvious, but firing a sniper rifle indoors will be invariably louder than doing so out in the open (I speak from unfortunate experience here), so be sure to pick the right tool for the job each time.
Plan your escape before you need to make it
This fundamentally ties into numbers 1 and 3 on this list and is something you should be mindful of. Sniper Elite 5’s sandbox maps are the biggest the series has seen, which means there are often several paths to whichever goal you’re chasing. More often than not, it’s possible to evade enemy onslaughts from multiple directions; thus, before you wade in too deep, having an idea of where you plan to flee to if things don’t work out makes sense. After uncovering top-secret intel deep within a Nazi-occupied mansion during one mission, I tried and failed several times to escape through the front door. Instead, I clambered into the building’s attic space, jumped out a skylight and slid down a drainpipe into the estate’s gardens.
Search off the beaten track for intel, collectibles, resources and more
With the series’ most enormous maps comes even more nooks and crannies worth exploring. In Sniper Elite 5, wandering off the beaten track can be a great way to uncover new intel about sidequests, collectables that’ll help you unlock end-of-mission achievements and trophies, and, most crucially, caches of ammo and health supplies to get you back up and running when the chips are down. Sniper Elite 5’s step up to new-gen hardware means each sunkissed or storm-swept battle zone is a joy to look at and a joy to probe and plunder.
Unlock shortcuts through exploring to make levels easier to traverse
The benefits of exploring Sniper Elite 5 are not limited to acquiring material goods. While you’ll always start each mission at a predetermined preset infiltration point, each map has two or more additional entrance gates that can only be unlocked by discovering them in the wild. These invariably bring you closer to the action. If you find yourself struggling during a given mission, opening them gives you the option to start over, with a full complement of ammo and supplies and fewer enemies between you and your target. In one mission, for example, doing so cuts through an exposed stretch of land that is ignored by literally dozens of snipers, putting you right behind the location of the mission’s first objective. You need to search for this entry point first, but then restarting makes the task much more accessible.
Invade other players’ games to explore levels unbothered by enemies
Sniper Elite 5’s crowning feature is its new Axis Invasion mode, which lets players drop into other folk’s single-player and co-op campaigns with a taste for blood. As outlined above, defending against these random assaults can be a fraught process, but launching them as the elusive elite German marksman, the Sniper Jager, is fun. Playing for the other side also means otherwise hostile NPCs now leave you alone, making exploration so much easier. Use your time as an invader to familiarise yourself with each map’s less trodden paths – or, should you get dropped into a later mission sandbox you’re yet to reach in your campaign, get familiar with an all-new level entirely. Conversely, if you’ve already completed the grade you get dropped into, use your knowledge of the setting, and the order of missions themselves, to get the drop on your target.
Leave invasions enabled
Trust me, and I understand the fear of facing an invasion PvP game mode; I had to deal with that in DEATH LOOP when Julianna started getting too friendly in my runs, and I met many invaders in my first DARK SOULS game with a friend. I understand how stressful an invasion PvP can be.
All that being said, I think trying Sniper Elite 5’s invasion PvP mode is something everyone who plays the game should do at least once. After facing my fears and struggling with it, I quickly learned that invasion PvP is probably one of my favourite modes, and I was excited to have it available in this title as well.
Learn your playstyle
I get it, Sniper Elite 5 is a sniping game, and you should play like that. But just because the game has “sniper” in its title doesn’t necessarily mean you have to play as one.
Although the game is greatly optimised for sniping, you can take down enemies through melee takedowns or use other guns that aren’t rifles to kill them. If you want to rush in head-first, it’s your call. If you’re going to play as a sniper, that’s your call too! Learn what you want to do and stick to it; it’s the best way to have fun!
Don’t loot everyone
This is a variable tip, as it heavily depends on which difficulty you’ll be tackling the game. Players in the Sharpshooter difficulty with moderately good aim should be able to keep a fully-reloaded weapon almost at any given point. Since I recommend playing in Sharpshooter difficulty, this tip applies to that setting; you won’t need to search everyone. Although enemies drop bandages, medkits, and grenades, you should be well-stocked with them soon enough, and looting them might be a waste of time. If you have the patience to do it, go for it! But otherwise, feel free to skip it and only do so when necessary.
Practice & learn how to snipe
I know you can disable the bullet interacting with gravity and wind, but I don’t recommend you do that, at least not right away. Try out the intended Sniper Elite 5 experience first, and if you decide you don’t like it, feel free to remove it afterwards. I think it’s essential to try out the sniping because it adds to the realism factor and makes it incredibly gratifying to land a kill shot from very far away. This gratification makes Sniper Elite 5 more enjoyable because succeeding in a picture is a phenomenal experience.
Sniper Elite 5 is the perfect title to have fun with. Play the campaign and set the NPC enemies weak for an easy Nazi genocide, or make the game extremely hard and see how much you advance; the options are there to experiment. Even if this is a “sniper” game, you should charge into battle if you prefer to. Games are meant to be fun, and very few games give as many opportunities to customise your experience as Sniper Elite 5 does. So take advantage of the option, and have as much fun as possible with the game! Disregard “sniper” supremacy and play your preferred way.