Left 4 Dead Wiki

"I'm gonna try this sniper rifle."
"I'll be a sniper like in the movies."

The Sniper Rifle is a Hunting Rifle variant in Left 4 Dead 2. As a Tier 2 weapon, the Sniper Rifle deals high damage against Special Infected while still killing Common Infected in one hit. This weapon is extremely accurate at long ranges on account of the quality of its scope sight. It has a magazine capacity of 30 rounds, double that of the Hunting Rifle.

The Sniper Rifle is used by Zoey and Ellis (as well as Francis in the Xbox 360 version of Left 4 Dead 2).

Ellis wielding the Sniper Rifle

Official Description[]

A modified battle rifle, the Sniper Rifle is a dependable weapon when mobile and absolutely deadly when stationary. Use the scope for pinpoint accuracy, even from great distances.[1]


  • The Sniper Rifle is the second most accurate weapon in Left 4 Dead 2, the most accurate being the Hunting Rifle. Using the Sniper Rifle's scope while moving allows a player to cover the team without stopping (although they will be slowed). Activating the scope tightens the crosshairs faster than standing still.
  • When entering an area, try to clear out the Infected before they can react to your presence. Your weapon is highly effective at dispatching enemies at a range, and reducing the number of Infected attacking you will improve your chances of survival.
  • Outside of Realism mode, every hit is a guaranteed kill against Common Infected; headshots are unnecessary. Make use of the rifle's piercing ability by aiming chest-high to increase your chances of striking many Infected in a line.
    • The Sniper Rifle enjoys "infinite penetration"―so long as it doesn't hit a wall or a Special Infected it can't penetrate, the bullet will deal full damage and kill Infected. This allows you to either allow multiple Infected to move themselves into overlapping positions or to adjust one's shooting position to create target overlaps, and thereby drop multiple enemies with one shot.
  • In Realism mode, it takes two shots on Easy and Normal difficulties and three past that to kill a Common Infected. One headshot will suffice regardless.
  • It also has the power to knock back Riot Infected, unlike any other non-shotgun firearm.
  • Fire slowly. Although the Sniper Rifle has a good rate of fire, it is only necessary to utilize it against Tanks, Witches and Chargers, which are the strongest of the Special Infected.
  • Reload strategically. Be aware that the Sniper Rifle takes significantly longer to reload than an Assault Rifle. As this weapon relies on a magazine, you cannot stop the reloading apart from switching weapons (although this restarts the timer, which is not helpful; only interrupt the reload if you or a teammate are in significant immediate danger). Make use of all 30 bullets in your magazine before reloading during a Horde.
    • With a nearby Sniper Rifle weapon spawn, one can simply pick up a new, fully loaded rifle much faster than waiting the full-time necessary to reload the weapon normally. With a long range, high damage output, no damage drop-off for distance, and a significantly shortened reload speed (courtesy of this strategy), this weapon is limited only by the accuracy of the user and the positioning of the weapon spawn.
  • Pairing the Sniper Rifle with a melee weapon is highly advantageous, as it gives you something to rely on when surrounded by Common Infected who can and will throw off your aim, as well as making up for the rifle's poor close range crowd clearing abilities (because it is so accurate, it does not have the spread necessary to blanket a wide area with gunfire)
  • The Sniper Rifle is slightly less accurate than the Hunting Rifle; however, it compensates for this with having a 30-round magazine instead of a 15-round magazine, as well as a significantly higher ammunition reserve (210 compared to 165).
  • Due to the Sniper Rifle's effectiveness at long ranges, it is beneficial to kill Special Infected before they reach you or your teammates. High fire rate, damage, accuracy and magazine sizes allow for players to deal significant damage to the Tank and Witch before they become able to retaliate. Special Infected can be killed before their abilities become usable as well.
    • Keep in mind that the Sniper Rifle is one of the only two weapons that is not affected by damage drop-off due to range (the other being the Hunting Rifle), making it much more effective at killing ranged targets than other weapons.

Pros and Cons[]


The devastating head-shot effects of the Sniper Rifle

  • High damage from any distance, combined with its deadeye accuracy, it is a great threat to special infects.
    • The lack of damage drop-off over distance and the accuracy entitles the survivor the capability of pick off special infects on spot. 
  • One headshot is enough to kill Boomers, Spitters, Smokers, Hunters and Jockeys; Two is enough to kill Chargers, allow the sniper survivor to save a pinned teammate before they can take notable damage. 
  • It can kill a Common Infected in one shot at any part of the body on any difficulty (except in Realism Mode or in the Mutation "Headshot!"), and can penetrate infinite Common Infected in a straight line, making it highly useful for defeating Hordes.
  • It is more useful for attacking a distant Tank as it is closing in on the Survivors than any other weapon. It has higher accuracy and can inflict more damage than the assault rifles or shotguns whilst it possesses a larger magazine capacity than any other sniping weapon.
    • The lack of damage drop-off based on range also increases ranged effectiveness against distant Tanks and Witches.
  • It has the highest bullet penetration of any weapon in the game.
  • If you attach a Laser Sight, moving while crouching will no longer reduce accuracy.
  • It has a magazine capacity of 30 bullets, higher than any other non-automatic rifle weapon except the Submachine Gun variants.
  • It is still an effective weapon at close range due to high bullet penetration, damage, and fire rate.
  • Headshots stun a Witch temporarily on all difficulties as long as she is idle (sitting down and crying).


  • Jockeys and Hunters may be harder to hit because they are both quite small and agile.
  • It reloads slower (albeit marginally) than the Hunting Rifle.
    • It also relies on a magazine, meaning that the entire reload must be performed to regain use of the weapon.
  • When scoped in, you move slower and it is harder to see enemies flanking you.
  • Though highly effective against groups, the weapon is not well suited when surrounded by Common Infected.
  • Lower accuracy than the Hunting Rifle while moving.
  • Pinpoint accuracy requires a skillful player to utilize effectively. Unskilled players attempting to use the rifle will have at least some difficulty hitting enemies; its high accuracy and low spread means that only well placed shots will hit successfully.
  • Has the lowest Damage Per Second of any tier 2 weapon in the game (not including international weapons) (tied with the Hunting Rifle, both of which have 360 DPS), even lower than the tier 1 Silenced Submachine Gun.

Behind the Scenes[]

The early Sniper Rifle magazine and the current Sniper Rifle magazine

In the first footage released, the Sniper Rifle's magazine was shaped like the PSG-1's 5-round magazine, while later footage showed that the magazine is now shaped like the G3's 20-round magazine.

Early footage showed that the Sniper Rifle used the Hunting Rifle's animations. However, the Sniper Rifle was given new animations designed for it.


The Heckler & Koch G3SG/1

The Heckler & Koch MSG90A1

  • The Sniper Rifle is modeled after the Heckler & Koch G3SG/1, an accurized G3 with a wide forearm and bipod with a sniper stock and a scope. Automatic fire is retained.
    • The custom H&K G3SG/1 in game features some parts from the H&K MSG90A1 and has the AK-74 muzzle brake.
  • Despite being a weapon of German origin, the Sniper Rifle is depicted on a poster in Whitaker's gunshop on an American Flag background, possibly implying it's actually a PTR-91, a Heckler & Koch G3 clone produced in the United States.
  • The official description erroneously refers to this as a modified "assault" rifle. This is incorrect, since assault rifles fire an intermediate cartridge, which this weapon does not- it fires a full powered rifle cartridge which would instead designate this as a battle rifle.
  • By spectating someone who is firing a Sniper Rifle, the rifle will seem to have a lot less recoil.
  • The magazine of the in-game model is a 20-round type but in game the rifle holds 30 for gameplay reasons. A 30-round magazine exists for the HK-33 version, but it only fits 5.56mm rounds, which are incompatible with the MSG90A1.
  • Unlike the Hunting Rifle, in third-person, the Survivor will always use the Sniper Rifle from the hip when not using the scope.
    • Prior to the PC exclusive September 2020 update, the walking animations for the Sniper Rifle went unused resulting in the player playing running animation in third person instead. In fact the survivor lacked animation of walking while scoped in result the player shooting awkwardly running at inconsistent speed while firing from hip.
  • The Sniper Rifle features an unusable bipod.
  • When moving, the Sniper Rifle handle has a little part sinking under the gun which can be hard to spot and bothered players even in default FOV. This was later fixed in The Last Stand update.

External Links[]


Primary Weapons
Tier 1 Chrome invert.png Chrome Shotgun / Pump invert.png Pump Shotgun / MP5 Invert.png MP5 / Mac10 invert.png Silenced Submachine Gun / Uzi invert.png Submachine Gun
Tier 2 Ak invert.png AK-47 / Icon weapon rifle desert inverted.png Combat Rifle / M16 invert.png M-16 Assault Rifle / SIG Invert.png SG 552 / Auto invert.png Auto Shotgun / Spas12 invert.png Combat Shotgun / AWSM Invert.png AWP / Hunting invert.png Hunting Rifle / Steyr Invert.png Scout / G3 invert.png Sniper Rifle
Special Tier Grenade launcher inverted.png Grenade Launcher / M60Icon.png M60 Machine Gun
Secondary Weapons
Sidearms Pistol inverted.png M1911 Pistol / Deagle invert.png Magnum Pistol / Pistol inverted.png P220 Pistol
Melee Weapons Bat invert.png Baseball Bat / Cricket invert.png Cricket Bat / Crowbar invert.png Crowbar / Axe invert.png Fireaxe / Pan invert.png Frying Pan / GolfClubIcon.png Golf Club / Guitar invert.png Guitar / Katana invert.png Katana / Knife Invert.png Knife / Machete invert.png Machete / Baton invert.png Nightstick / Icon pitchfork inverted.png Pitchfork / Icon shovel inverted.png Shovel
Special Tier Chainsaw invert.png Chainsaw
Other Weapons
Grenades Bile invert.png Bile Bomb / Molotov inverted.png Molotov Cocktail / Pipebomb invert.png Pipe Bomb
Upgrades L4D2 ammo explosive.png Explosive Ammunition / L4D2 ammo incendiary.png Incendiary Ammunition / Laser sight HUD invert.PNG Laser Sight
Fixed Weapons MMG Icon.png Heavy Machine Gun / Minigun icon.png Minigun
Usable Items Explosive Barrel HUD invert.png Explosive barrel / Fireworks icon.png Fireworks / Gas canister HUD invert.png Gas can / Oxytank icon.png Oxygen tank / Propane tank icon.png Propane tank
Special Items Cola.png Cola / Gnome icon.png Gnome Chompski
Featured in both games / L4D1-exclusive / L4D2-exclusive (Counter-Strike weapons / PC-exclusive)