The Laser's Laser Guide

Ello Fellow tribes 2 players :)

My name is The Laser, some of you may have seen me laser rifling it up in Goon Haven if not look for a red light hitting someone, trace it back to its source and there's a good chance we will now have met :). Ive played tribes since 2002, multiple mods, multiple servers, even multiple aliases which i will not be publishing here. Something common to every mod and server I've ever played is a hit-scan weapon usually held by a light armor, usually long or infinitely ranged, usually energy based. For some reason all these servers I've always gravitated towards the sniping side and i feel like all this has made me a pretty good user of the original hit-scan, the laser rifle.

im going to skip the basic properties of the laser rifle because for the few who don't already know them they can be found in the stickied noob guide above.

so with out further ado lets get to the first section: how to effectively and accurately aim and shoot the laser rifle.

There are two parts to aiming the Laser Rifle, one is knowing where to aim and the other is aiming at that spot and shooting. Very, very fortunately the right spot to aim isn't always simply the body or head of your enemy. Despite the fact that the speed of the laser is infinite it is still necessary to lead a moving target. Im sure almost all of you know this, and the reason for it, basically, is that there is lag between when you fire the shot and the time that the server realizes that you have done so. the instant you fire the shot your client sends the server a message to create the beam between you and whatever object may be in its path. while this message is being sent the target you were aiming at may have moved. for this reason it is necessary to shoot at the spot that your target will be when the server creates the beam, not your client. As i said half the battle of landing a shot is correctly predicting where your target will be when the server, not your client creates the beam. and when it comes to predicting the movements of a target there are again two parts. the speed of the target and the direction of the target's movement. AGAINST COMMON SENSE DISTANCE IS NOT A FACTOR. As I said earlier once the server receives the direction from your computer the laser shot is created and it exists instantly between you and the first object blocking it, the means that no matter how far away the target is you are still leading the same amount because the target will still have moved the same amount if it is going 50 kph 100 meters away or going 50 kph 1000 meters away. Also because of the hit-scan nature of the laser rifle all that matters is movement relative to you, this means when thinking of where the target will be when the server creates the beam you need only think in two dimensions. again this goes against common sense because you would think if the target was moving away from you as well as perpendicular to you, you would have to lead farther than if they were moving only perpendicularly, and vice versa when they are moving perpendicularly and towards you. but because the speed of the laser is infinite movement in the 3rd dimension of depth is irrelevant. All that matters is speed relative to you so any foray into the third dimension will cause the targets speed relative to you to decrease so that you need to give the target a smaller lead. If you didnt understand that block of text think about it like this: when sniping pretend like the game is a flat picture and as objects move across it don't think about their real speed, only their speed measured by how quickly they are moving across the 2D surface. so even if they were at 1000kph moving only in the 3rd dimension, directly towards or away from you they would be moving 0 kph relative to your view. From their all it is is looking at what direction they are moving and the spot that they will be in once the server creates the beam is a few pixels further in that direction, more or less pixels based on how high that 2D speed is.
As i said before the second half of the battle is actually taking a shot with your reticle aimed at that predicted location of your target. the best way to do this is not track that spot with your reticle but instead to take into account the current path of the predicted target and place your reticle into that pathway, once the predicted target is the lined up with your reticle, well you just click the ol' mouse button. the mouse tells the computer, and the computer tells the server and congratulations you just pulled off a VGCS :)

Ok now for the second and final section: sniping tactics, ill give a guide to defensive sniping and offensive sniping here.

the single most common use of the laser rifle is defensive sniping, this is simply using the sniper rifle to shoot any players attacking your base, its assets, or its flag. all too often the players doing this are afraid to do anything but stand in cement with nothing but their rifles out, taking potshots and any players they see. this is really inefficient. instead of this you should constantly be moving around to increase your view, give yourself easier shots, and also use other weapons, for me that's usually a spinfusor and shocklance. instead of standing still basically you should have a different routine for killing each armor type as well as a list of priorities when multiple targets present themselves. whenever you see a heavy armor you need to immediately begin to move toward him if he doesn't see you coming, keep moving toward him as sneakily as possible staying out of his line of sight, if he is focused and you are sneaky well... backlance. game over. if he sees you while you are still far away start conserving energy and sniping as you move toward him using alot of skiing and running, not jetting. if he starts trying to engage you then you've already effectively ended his run because a skilled scout with laser rifle and spinfusor can easily take down a jugger. the second he starts shooting at you stop using all energy and start sniping him over and over while avoiding his fire with easy side steps. there's nothing he can really do in this situation if he advances, retreat. If he retreats, advance, if he starts running the hell away as fast as he can pursue while using limited energy and continue sniping. Only chase so far as it is reasonable to do. if 5 other enemies are attacking your base you have better things to be doing but if he is about to die and no one is in sight of your base, sure finish off the kill. if the juggernaught in question has a shield pack however, he won't be as effective at asset destruction but he can absorb sniper fire indefinitely with proper activation and deactivation of the shield. again try for the backlance, but this time if he sees you start sniping and advancing but once your near you should switch to the disc/lance instead of the laser now just get closer and start discing. now you need to put alot of pressure on his shield, consecutive mine-discs can drain the shield quickly, you should be hitting every time because he can't jet then just start in with auto fire discs hopefully again hitting every time. make sure not to waste all your energy in the air above his head as he can just wait for you to touch down and grenade you and make sure not to get too close or he will just chew you in half with the chaingun. When fighting sheilded juggs i always try to only use the first half of my energy bar, saving the second half for emergencies when the choice is either to jet or to die. as long as you dont let up pressure, hitting very consistently and continuously keep a good distance while moving he shouldn't be too hard to kill.

now onto killing assaults.. this is easy :) only go for the backlance if you are very close to them or if they are giving the indication that they will be staying in a small area for a while if they see you or if you are far away from them when you see them then start advancing without much energy use sniping all the way. do as much damage as you can on the way there and then again if they engage you keep your distance and finish them off with a few more snipes. if he shields use the same method as with a juggernaught, again like with juggernaughts if he ignores you switch to the spin and lance and get fairly close and finish him off quickly if he runs just stand still and snipe him until he's out of sight hopefully you will finish him off before he can get out of your sight because full out chasing him (assaults are pretty fast to) will end up with you wasting alot of time for the tiny reward of killing an nonthreatening assault.

as for scouts.. considering they have the least health they are almost always the easiest and least time consuming to kill. scouts are rarely seen on offense, if they are offensing at all they are either going to be cloaked, shielded, or o sniping. killing a cloaker is easy, once you see the foot prints victory is only a mine disc away, if you miss or get a partial hit just use intuition, follow the footsteps, keep discing... not too hard. shielders are only useful if they get inside your base in which case either leave them to a HD or switch your armor to HD because you simply will NOT kill them while indoors in standard LD. outdoor shielders are basically decoys, they aren't effective against outdoor assets and if you know what to do they will lose in a duel to a normal LD. use only your discs and mines, keep your bar above one half except in emergencies, keep discing while avoiding fire they die easy when attacked correctly. as for the o snipers they come in two varieties, the laser turret who forgets that he is allowed to get attacked back or the asset attacking, defense killing, duel winning variety :| killing a laser turret is as easy as shooting a disc, switching and shooting a laser just before the disc makes contact or if your pretty close go for the mine disc. killing a good o sniper is going to either be a snipe fight, in which you both are keeping your distance and sniping at each other or a normal duel in which you are both using all your weapons staying pretty near each other, trying to kill each other. the basic strategy here is laser your target before he sees you to get a good lead on him then either advance or continue in the snipe fight, if you advance just use discs when your both in the air then if you can skii out of disc/nade range without using energy you can stop for potshots every once and a while. for any scouts who are moving but not engaging you stand still and snipe them out of existence (when i stay still i dont mean it literally, just move around enough between shots that you arent a still target but your still not trying to advance or retreat.)

when it comes to vehicles go for the shocklance if they are air based and you can fly into range or if they are out of range just help damage them with a couple laser shots. if there is someone spamming mortars out of a tank turret without a driver sneakily hop into the driver seat and drive away if it has driver then just keep discing and mine discing but you will definitely need help with a driven tank.

to kill flag cappers dont just go for the long distance lasering because even if you kill them someone else on their team could just pick up the flag when the first carrier dies. instead chase them down, using disc jumps if necessary and just go for discs and skiing snipes until they die.

also when multiple targets present themselves you have to weigh how much damage they are doing and how much time it will take to kill them. the perfect example of extreme high priority is a jugg with an inventory on his back with one snipe worth of health left entering the door of your base. this guy could singlehandedly destroy your base, turn it into his own base, even set up turrets so... not killing him would be terrible for your team. also he has almost no health left so the time it takes to kill him is close to none, just line up a shot and kill him. the opposite would be a jugger with full health and a shield mortar spamming your base at max mortar range. going all the way over there killing his shield damaging him maybe even dying in the process, is not worth the time that your base is unprotected unless no one else is around when it comes to prioritzing.. basically use common sense.

yes sniping on defense is alot more complicated than standing still with a rifle.

o-sniping: flip your shocklance for plasma. use plasma rifle to kill turrets, sensors even outdoor generators. when you see deployed invs landspikes, or outdoor regular inventories just use discs and lasers, save your plasma for stronger shields.

Tip: if you are alone with an inv damage it until its lights turn out and throw a mine on it. this will cause any eager beavers running onto the station to trip the mine exploding the inv, the combined explosions will kill the poor fool.

your other job is to snipe out anyone who either has one snipe or less of health or is a light defense, dont waste your shots on some heavy defense or a turret farmer who is on his way to a protected inventory anyway. snipe at light defenses only whenever there are no near-death players, or killable assets but if they see and attack you, certainly fight back.

whenever you are engaged by a defense duel him, draw him away from his base, waste his time and hopefully kill him. taking this time is worth it because a light defense could potentially be killing incoming base rapers, or asset destroyers with a single lance, finishing off incoming cappers with a quick laser, or otherwsise seriously impeding the offensive momentum of your team, basically getting rid of the other teams light d is definitely worth getting rid of yourself for a bit. even if you draw him away from his base for 30 seconds and die in the process the rape train may have started rolling and it could takes minutes to stop it.

Note: every time you see a standing scout just disc-laser or plasma-laser.

good luck sniping, try out both offensive and defensive sniping, try the techniques i talked about, whatever you do good luck and ill see you out there.

thanks for reading... i'm sure i made mistakes here and there and if anyone can inform me of them it would be appreciated - im not talking about grammar i'll handle that by myself.


  • Just a minor point, going back to the "Keep moving" thing...

    The best don't stand still unless they're lining up a shot.

    Raise your hand if you're guilty of "Taking Root Syndrome"

    *raises hand*
  • i think thats what i said you should do in my guide :D
  • Can you upload a sniper video?? "a picture is worth a thousand words" ;D
  • I find it helps to find cover to get behind such as terrain or game objects such as structures to snipe from. In this case being able to see the muzzle of the weapon is a good idea so you know when it clears obstructions. Then you also need to keep in mind that others (teh nme) may have seen you so moving a bit at least every two seconds should spoil any countersniper laser shots. Sometimes one is faced with a need for snapshooting, such as when you are not set up as well as you could be and perhaps there's not enough time available before the target gets behind cover to get zoomed in and lead the target - so you take the shot guestimating the lead, more or less reflex shooting. Often this works. You are usualy better off by getting into a decent position where you have some cover outside sensor range, and are lined up so most targets are coming directly toward or away from your position. Away is usualy best since they will have to guess where the shot came from instead of having it blind them and show them exactly where you are. Then all you have to do is lead moving targets and wait for them to intersect your aim point, depressing the mouse at that very instant. If your target is stationary you might have time to pull off a combination shot; aim carefully and launch a disk, just before it hits fire the laser at the same aim point. You want the laser to hit just before the disk as the disk will push the target from the aiming point, but you also don't want to laser the target too long before the disk hits as the target will move voluntarily after a laser hit, causing the disk to miss. Unless the target is almost dead, I always wait for a full charge before firing.
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