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Sniper (Payday 2)

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Enemy Type Sniper
Health 40 (Normal)
40 (Hard)
80 (Very Hard)
120 (Overkill)
240 (Mayhem/Death Wish)
360 (One Down)
Headshot Multiplier 2 (Normal)
2 (Hard)
4 (Very Hard)
6 (Overkill)
3 (Mayhem/Death Wish)
3 (One Down)
Achievement(s) Bullet Dodger I'm Not a Crook! Let Them Watch A Taste of Their Own Medicine Clay Pigeon Shooting Keep Clear of the Windows Nothing Personal Let Them Fly

The Sniper is a special enemy in PAYDAY 2. They tend to appear on rooftops or in windows with a good vantage point (although, in Goat Simulator, they can be seen inside hovering helicopters). The Sniper can be easily identified by his bright red laser and the loud report of his rifle. Sometimes in certain missions before Bain announces their arrival, they can be seen running to a building or being dropped off by a police chopper.


"Police snipers often deploy at a distance and high up. They pack a serious long-range punch with their special Gewehr 3 tactical laser sight sharpshooter rifles. They’re lightly armored, but their high vantage points can often make them hard to target.

My Notes: Surrounding an area with well-positioned snipers is a well-tested tactic, but we’re losing too damn many. The Payday gang sure know how to shoot, and our snipers are vulnerable. Hell, if the field reports are to be believed, these guys have been taken out at 300 yards with a sidearm! Update: At least now they have begun to use better rifles. This should help.
—FBI Files Description.

Similar to Shields, Snipers have 2 different models, the SWAT variation and FBI variation. FBI Snipers seem more likely to hit their target, however there is usually only one brought in at a time, and they are only employed in certain heists, such as on a rooftop of Rats Day 2, above the van in Garage Escape, and Election Day (Both day 1 and day 2 plan B). However, it is observable for FBI snipers to appear later in heists, such as Nightclub, if the heist last long enough. Otherwise, SWAT Snipers are employed, most often in groups of two, although more can be brought in at once, as shown in The Big Bank if the C4 tunneling escape has been chosen. Their attributes besides that are identical.

Damage OutputEdit

The following table details the damage outputs of snipers on all difficulties over range. Note that on all difficulties besides Death Wish, snipers deal only half their usual damage if their target is more than 30 meters away from them. Whilst this is usually the case, a few jobs have close-range sniper spawns, most notably Hoxton Breakout Day 2.

Sniper Damage Output
Difficulty 0-1m 1-5m 5-10m 10-20m 20-30m 30m+
Normal 100 100 100 100 100 50
Hard 140 140 140 140 140 70
Very Hard 160 160 160 160 160 80
Overkill 200 200 200 200 200 100
Death Wish 240 240 240 240 240 240

It is especially important to keep in mind that, unlike every other enemy, the Sniper's damage spills over to health if it exceeds the player's current armour - if a player has 20 armour and is hit by a sniper that is 10 meters away on Hard, their armour is obliterated and they take 120 points of health damage. As base player health is only 230, snipers can very easily incapacitate unsuspecting heisters who are already wounded and have low armour.



A SWAT Sniper (left) and an FBI Sniper (right)

Snipers have the simplest behavior of the special enemies. Each Sniper will spawn and move to a specific position, staying there and firing at any player within their line of sight. Their shots deal moderately high damage (depending on difficulty). Snipers are the only enemy capable of piercing the player's armor, meaning any excess damage done after a player's armor is broken is carried over as health damage. When this happens, a loud metallic "clang" is heard. They are especially dangerous when the crew is transporting heavy loot across an open area, and so it is advised to either clear any Snipers overlooking the area before moving loot, or take it through a less open area, if possible.

Snipers have the same health as gang members and will always use pre-designated spots around the map. It is thus possible and useful to memorize common sniper perches.

Snipers tend to miss their first shot if the players are moving, giving ample time to locate and shoot them. Players should be very cautious of Snipers when they are within their view. The first shot they land will nearly always take down a player's armor only, regardless of what type they are wearing. Follow-up hits will translate into health damage, with critical hits capable of taking off approximately a third of the player's full health bar.

They also have a very fast reaction rate to heisters and thus, should not be underestimated. As such, they are incredibly dangerous if an incapacitated or electrocuted player is in their view.

One thing to keep in mind is that Snipers can shoot whilst moving to their perch, and their distinctive red beam sight does not activate until they are in position. This is most often observable on Day 1 of Rats, as Snipers moving to their perches on the road across from the house can have ample time to snap off shots at players moving in the upper floor of the house.

Snipers dislike and are incapable of close range combat; If a player gets too close, the Sniper will slowly back away while firing his rifle at point-blank range. They will never melee the player, even though this would contribute to the Sniper's efforts to get away from them.


Always remember the Snipers' locations, as well as where you have cover from them. Once Bain reports Snipers to the players, either kill them quickly, avoid them, or shoot from cover. There are only a few possible Sniper perches in each heist, so if players can memorize these locations then Snipers can be taken out quickly.

Snipers can be taken out quickly with any accurate weapon, ideally one powerful enough to kill in a single body hit, and ideally all players in a crew should come equipped with such a weapon for any heist where they can expect to encounter Snipers.

Many of the assault rifles make strong counter-sniping weapons, offering sufficient damage along with high accuracy and the ability to rapidly fire a second shot if the first misses. Certain pistols and SMGs can be modified to reach the power and accuracy required to rapidly eliminate Snipers too.

If counter-sniping using a sniper rifle, the Theia Magnified Scope's ability to automatically highlight special enemies may prove useful over longer distances and in dark conditions where the sniper may otherwise be hard to see, such as in Day 1 of Rats and certain spots in the Train heist.

Long-range counter-sniping with shotguns is typically ill-advised; even with flechette munitions they are largely incapable of hitting snipers beyond 20-30m. Despite their low accuracy, light machine guns, especially the Buzzsaw 42 and KSP, can be an excellent choice when taking down mid-range Snipers, as the fast fire rate allows you to hold down the trigger and get enough hits in to kill a Sniper before it has a chance to shoot you.

If taking out a Sniper seems impossible because of your current situation, suppressing them can work just as well. Continually firing at a Sniper's position will cause them to duck and cover, preventing them from shooting back, and a stray shot may get lucky enough to kill. Even a non-fatal hit may be enough to force them to stay down for some time, as their low health means they are easily knocked down.

If a Sniper has you pinned down but you know where they are, moving into sight and then back to cover quickly can cause them to waste a shot trying to hit you. You can then jump out of cover and fire at them before they can fire another shot.

By far, Snipers are the most deadly when the heist area is expansive but lacks adequate cover. Maps with little to no cover or with multiple objectives for the crew to undertake out in the open are especially frustrating as they often come with a hefty complement of these units, perched on top of the many surrounding buildings/cliffs. Examples of such maps include Hotline Miami (Day 1 and near the end of Day 2), Transport: Crossroads and the Transport: Train Heist.

Unusually, Snipers are at their most dangerous when up close - as noted above, Snipers deal half their normal damage if their target is over 30 meters away from them (unless playing on Death Wish difficulty). This means that Snipers that appear on indoor/close-quarters maps such as Mallcrasher, Nightclub, Day 2 of the Hotline Miami job, Day 2 of the Hoxton Breakout, and The Alesso Heist are by far the most dangerous and should be treated accordingly. Conversely, Snipers that appear a very long way away (such as those on Day 1 of Rats and The Bomb: Dockyard) can be given slightly lower priority.


Bullet Dodger Bullet Dodger
In the Street escape, complete the escape without killing any enemy snipers.
I'm Not a Crook! I'm Not a Crook!
While wearing the "37th" mask, destroy 69 snipers using the Commando 553 rifle.
Let Them Watch Let Them Watch
Finish the Train heist without killing any snipers.
A Taste of Their Own Medicine A Taste of Their Own Medicine
Kill 25 Snipers using only the Rattlesnake sniper rifle. Completing this achievement will unlock the Tactical Aluminium Body for the Rattlesnake sniper rifle.
Clay Pigeon Shooting Clay Pigeon Shooting
Kill 10 snipers using any shotgun and flechette ammo. Unlocks the Long Barrel for the Raven shotgun, "Clint" mask, "Leaf" material and "Monkey Skull" pattern.
Making a Statement Making a Statement
Finish the Slaughterhouse job on the OVERKILL difficulty or above without anyone killing a single sniper.
Keep Clear of the Windows Keep Clear of the Windows
Complete the Undercover job without killing any Snipers. Unlocks the "Hans" mask, "Red White" material and "Luse" pattern.
Nothing Personal Nothing Personal
Kill 30 snipers with the Desertfox sniper rifle on the OVERKILL difficulty or above. Unlocks the "Mustang" mask, "Tire" material and "One Shot" pattern.
Let Them Fly Let Them Fly
Kill 50 Snipers with the Arbiter Grenade Launcher while using the standard ammo type.


  • Like Shields, Snipers never speak, this can be observed by getting close to one on Day 2 of the Hoxton Breakout heist.
    • However, they will still scream in agony after being engulfed in flames.
  • Despite the distinctly high-caliber gunshot sound, the Sniper does not appear to use a sniper rifle or designated marksman rifle. Instead, he uses the same ultra-short CAR-4 often used by other law enforcers which, with such a short barrel and small caliber, would not qualify as a marksman's or sniper's weapon. This is similar to the sniper unit in PAYDAY: The Heist, who wields an AMCAR-4.
    • This is presumably due to the fact that sniper rifles hadn't been developed in game at the time, the developers had little to work on.
      • An oddity, considering how the developers have gone out of their way to give the special unit his own unique character models unlike in the first game, but not a proper weapon model, though seeing how the unit is often situated at a great distance from the player, and how the unit model is still perfectly visible at range while the weapon is not, it was probably meant to go unnoticed.
      • According to the FBI Files, the Snipers are in fact, equipped with modified CAR-4s. Their rifles have been tuned up to fire high-caliber ammunition semi-automatically instead of rapidly like other law enforcement units. This could mean that the real-world equivalent of these rifles are Mk 12 SPRs.
        • They could also be using some sort of DMR kit (caliber, barrel, and internal mechanism change for long-range use) on their weapons, similar to the ones shown in-game.
      • A Sniper stunned with the Electrical Brass Knuckles or Buzzer will fire his rifle automatically.
    • Though the "A Taste of Their Own Medicine" achievement requires a player to use a sniper rifle (Rattlesnake) to kill them, they don't ever wield a weapon of such type in-game, despite the moniker. This is likely, however, a nod to the fact that the player has killed a Sniper with a sniper rifle, the very weapon that gave the enemy its traditional name and reputation.
    • As of the Housewarming Party Event update, Snipers now carry Gewehr 3s in DMR config with Theia Magnified Scopes attached instead of the CAR-4.
  • Like the SWAT Van Turret, the Sniper's Tactical Laser Module emits a red laser sight instead of the players' green. This was done to avoid confusion.
  • As noted by Commissioner Garrett, the mortality rate of Snipers in Washington is at an all-time high, mostly due to the units' wafer-thin armor and habit of remaining stationary during combat.
  • 2015-02-23 00003

    A dead Sniper found on the second floor of the FBI HQ in Hoxton Breakout Day 2. Note how he's on the second floor instead of where he should be.

    The Sniper is one of the only two types of special units to not have an April Fools "joke" upgrade alongside the Taser and the then-undeveloped SWAT Van Turret.
  • There have been rare reports of Snipers spawning outside of their pre-designated perches. This is probably because of a glitch, or a new behavior set implemented by Overkill.
  • Although they can be marked like special enemies, killing them will not count towards the special body count.
  • Snipers seem to be incapable of dealing damage to AI teammates or gangsters.
  • Jacket is the only playable character to exclusively refer to snipers as "marksmen".
  • The Goat Simulator heist is the first heist to feature snipers on helicopters.
Gameplay • Heists • Skills • Weapons & Equipment • DLC

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