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If you're looking for the mutator, you might want to check Sniper Rifles (mutator).

Unreal The subject of this article appeared in Unreal Tournament. The subject of this article appeared in Unreal Mission Pack: Return to Na Pali. The subject of this article appeared in Unreal II: The Awakening. The subject of this article appeared in Unreal Tournament 2004. The subject of this article appeared in Unreal Championship 2: The Liandri Conflict. The subject of this article appeared in Unreal Tournament 3. The subject of this article appeared in Unreal Tournament 4.

The Sniper Rifle is a weapon appearing in the Unreal series.


The Sniper Rifle is a hitscan weapon provided with a scope, intended for long-range offense. In every game it appears in, it has two main functions: a slow rate-of-fire bullet as the primary fire and a variable zoom as the alternate fire. Depending on the game, it may have other features such as smoke after firing in zoom mode, or a rapid-fire burst of bullets.

The Lightning Gun serves as somewhat of a successor to the Sniper Rifle.

Unreal and Unreal Mission Pack: Return to Na Pali[]

"Commonly referred to as the “Pocket Howitzer,” this five-foot-long blaster packs an incredible wallop. Formerly used as a hunting rifle in the farthest reaches of the galaxy, it was useful for taking down the biggest game.

Primary Fire: Long range, very powerful, accurate.
Secondary Fire: Triple burst of slugs, less accurate, best used in close quarters.[1]"
Unreal manual

Simply named the "Rifle" in Unreal, the Rifle is human-made (mind the two blades on the front, giving it the appearance of a cattle prod) and used as a main weapon by the survivors from the crashed ships. Skaarj Snipers make use of the weapon, guarding areas from sniper posts and other high buildings. Many players emphasize that on the level Bluff Eversmoking, the Rifle and the Flak Cannon would be your top weapons of choice because of the ranged enemies you may encounter.

Unreal Tournament[]

"Primary Fire: Normal rifle shot.
Secondary Fire: Zoom in on target.

The fact that its basic design has remained virtually unchanged for decades testifies to the Sniper Rifle’s timeless and universal functionality. The primary fire deals out an extremely robust rifle round capable of abruptly ending a competitor’s quest for the title of Grand Champion. The secondary fire zooms in on your target, allowing you to save time, effort and ammunition by terminating them with a single shot to the head. Press and hold the secondary fire to zoom; press secondary fire again to return to normal view."
Weapon description

Primary Fire
Fires a high powered bullet. Can kill instantly when applied to the cranium of opposing forces.
Secondary Fire
Zooms the rifle in, up to eight times normal vision. Allows for extreme precision from hundreds of yards away.
Disadvantage: Unaware of close opponent(s) in zoom.

With an ammo capacity of 50, the Sniper Rifle can deliver the deadliest shots at any range. Its lethal accuracy and powerful bullet are offset by a slow rate of fire; the Sniper Rifle is far from the ideal weapon to use when engaging enemies from anything but a significant distance.

The primary fire is simply firing the rifle, either by clicking each time or by holding down the trigger, while the secondary fire toggles the zoom mode up to 8.3x. The zoom mode cannot be fine tuned once it is set: the player will have to exit the zoom mode and enter it again to fire while zoomed in at a different setting. When a proper headshot is landed, the announcer will exclaim "Head shot!" while text appears on the screen.

Unreal II: The Awakening[]

"A beautiful, precision instrument with a variable zoom. It's got a computerized targeting system that compensates for wind and other variables to put a fifty caliber slug within an inch of where you aim it from 2 clicks away. Alt-fire toggles you in and out of zoom mode, and you can use the wheel control to zoom in further. Ammo is generally hard to come by, so don't waste it."

Primary Fire
Fires a single shot.
Secondary Fire
Toggles the scope on and off. The zoom, unlike the ones in other Unreal series games, is not controlled by the time you hold the trigger, but is controlled by the weapon scroll buttons. To zoom in, use the mouse wheel up, to zoom out, use the mouse wheel down. When out of ammo in clip and still using zoom, the view will automatically come out of zoom mode, play the reload animation and zoom in again (that's why it takes longer to reload while using secondary fire).

The Widowmaker Sniper Rifle of Unreal II is the best weapon for long range in the game. It is also capable of headshotting for extra damage. When the player is in the zoom mode, it is very difficult to see enemies coming from behind or the sides as they are blacked out. It is the most similar weapon to other Unreal series weapons from the Unreal II arsenal. The only changes are the clip usage and the zoom technology.

Unreal Tournament 2004[]

"This high-muzzle velocity sniper rifle with a 10x scope is a lethal weapon at any range, especially if you can land a headshot."
Weapon description

Primary Fire
Fires a high-velocity bullet.
Secondary Fire
Activates a scope allowing you to zoom in on your opponents.
  • A puff of smoke appears when firing this weapon, partially obscuring the player's vision.
  • The Lightning Gun is still present in the game; it is the mappers' choice to include one or both of the weapons (one of the official maps, CTF-January, does include both weapons). Players can use the Lightning Guns or Sniper Rifles mutators to force one weapon or the other.

As a "returning weapon" due to its absence in the game's predecessor UT2003, the sniper comes back with more rather annoying features. The most prominent "change" is the addition of smoke which, when fired, temporarily covers the scope lens, thus obstructing the player's view in zoom mode. Also, the rifle has lost the extent of accuracy, when compared to UT99 or Unreal II, thus making it less reliable than its electronic and UT2003 replacement counterpart, the Lightning Gun. The Sniper Rifle is one weapon that can earn players the "Head Hunter" award for making 15 headshots in a match.

Unreal Championship 2: The Liandri Conflict[]

"Though increasingly rare, the centuries-old Axon Research long-range target interdiction rifle is the weapon of choice for the discerning sniper. Its floating barrel and gas venting system minimize the massive recoil from its high-caliber projectile. The Tarydium bullet is uninspiringly conventional, but has proven its effectiveness in countless conflicts. Tournament management briefly switched to more efficient energy-based rifles in the late 24th century, but the angry response from both Tournament players and fans caused them to quickly overturn that decision."
Weapon description

Primary Fire
A burst of three deadly shots. It seems to be similar to the originally planned Unreal rifle's alternative fire. Headshots might or might not be enabled when using this mode.
Secondary Fire
Enables the sniper's scope and changes the type of fire. When zoomed, the rifle fires a more powerful round which is an instant kill on a headshot.

Unreal Tournament 3[]

"The venerable Axon Research long-range target interdiction rifle is the weapon of choice for the discerning sniper. Acquisition of a target at distance requires a steady hand, but the rewards merit the effort: the high-caliber round is lethal at any range. With a precise headshot, the target will be neutralized by the super-sonic bullet long before they hear the report. As they say in the N.E.G. Marines: 'any shot you hear is nothing to be worried about.'"
Weapon description

Primary Fire
Fire a high-velocity sniper round. Hitting players causes 70 points of damage; a hit to a player's head, even when in open vehicles (Manta, Viper, Hellbender/Leviathan turrets, Hoverboard), causes 140 points. Power nodes/cores and most vehicles receive only 28 points of damage, but lightly-armored vehicles, such as the Manta, the Scorpion and the Viper receive 42 points. When fired, the bullet leaves a tracer, so enemies can see the sniper's hiding spot.
Secondary Fire
User-controlled zoom mode. Press to start zooming in, release to freeze zoom level, press again to disable zoom.

Unreal Tournament 4[]

"The Sniper Rifle is primarily used for taking down targets that are out of reach or on the run. Its optical zoom can spot the ideal targets to eliminate at any range. Although it is deadly accurate at all ranges, its long reload time can leave you in some tight spots, so use it more for those medium to long situations."
Weapon description

Primary fire
Low rate-of-fire, instant-hit shot. Deals additional damage to the head.
Alternate fire
Variable zoom - tap to engage/disengage, hold to zoom in further.



  • In the original readme file for Unreal, the secondary fire lists a 3-round burst. This functionality is not present in the game, instead giving the zoom in scope. This was later corrected in the Prima site.
    • The 3-round burst feature would later be introduced in Unreal Championship 2: The Liandri Conflict.
    • There is an unused animation for the rifle's secondary zoom. When the zoom was active, a scope would pop out from the bottom and would arrange itself on top of the rifle. However, this animation was scrapped in the beta stages. The OldSkool modification for Unreal Tournament restores this animation.
  • In Unreal Tournament, the death text remains the same no matter where the shot is placed to kill the enemy.
    • Also, the Sniper Rifle strongly resembles a modified M16A2 rifle. The differences between it and the M16A2 all are in keeping with conversion of an assault rifle to a sniper rifle: semi-automatic fire only, a significantly lengthened barrel, and a long-range scope mounted atop the carrying handle. 2291, the Unreal Tournament takes place, is 327 years after the M16 was first produced by the United States of America in 1964, and some 305 years after the adoption of the M16A2 in the mid-to-late 1980s.
    • Despite only having what appears to be a 20 round magazine, the Sniper Rifle can somehow carry 50 rounds.
  • The Instagib Rifle in Unreal Championship 2: The Liandri Conflict is a superpowered version of the Sniper Rifle.

Preview notes[]

"(...) as well as the return of the Unreal Tournament sniper rifle. Though the sniper rifle continues to have a high rate of fire and very little kickback, just like in Unreal Tournament, in the new game, firing it kicks up a small cloud of dust that not only obscures your vision, but also reveals your position to other players."

External links and references[]

  1. The secondary fire actually enables the zoom mode. The manual has this error because it was decided at a last minute to change the Rifle's alternate fire.
  2. Brad Shoemaker, Andrew Park (September 11, 2003). "Unreal Tournament 2004 Hand-On Impressions". GameSpot. Archived from the original on February 19, 2004. Retrieved May 27, 2019.

See also[]

Game not specified.