Battlefield 4 Sniping & Zeroing Tips


One of the most versatile classes in BF4 is the Recon class. You can choose from any type of weapon other than assault rifles or LMG’s, and your gadgets range from spotting tools to laser designators, and even C4 for taking on vehicles.

If your weapon of choice is a sniper rifle, there are a lot of gameplay features and attachments to learn about in order to help you hit your targets.

In this post I’ll go over bullet drop, zeroing, scopes, and more.

Bullet Drop and Muzzle Velocity

Each sniper rifle has a unique bullet drop rate that affects how far you’ll need to aim above your target over long distances (see for stats on each rifle). Using any of the suppressor attachments will increase bullet drop.

If you plan to aim for a long-distance targets, the SRR-61 and FY-JS have the least bullet drop; the SRR-61 has far higher damage so it’s the best choice.

Nearly all of the other sniper rifles have the same bullet drop. The exceptions are the Scout Elite and SV98, which have a very high bullet drop and so they’re best used for shorter ranges.

Muzzle velocity is the speed the bullet travels. The higher the bullet speed, the less you need to lead a moving target. The SRR-61 and M98B have the fastest muzzle velocity.


To deal with the challenges of compensating for bullet drop, Battlefield 4 has included a feature called zeroing. This adjusts your scope so that if you “zero” it to a certain range, the bullet will hit dead center on the crosshairs at that distance.

The available increments for zeroing are 0m, 200m, 300m, 400m, 500m, and 1000m.

Here are the default controls to scroll through the zeroing ranges:

PC: “V” key
Xbox 360 and Xbox One: Down on the D-pad
PS3/PS4: Down on the D-pad

When you get started, it may be helpful to visualize the different range increments. To make this easy, equip the PLD which is a default recon gadget. Aim it at an object and you’ll see the range below the crosshair when looking through the PLD.

Another useful tool for zeroing is the Range Finder. This sniper rifle attachment is unlocked after 140 kills with one of the rifles. It automatically finds and displays the range, then gives you the option to zero the scope. Here’s how to use it:

  1. Zoom in and find your target
  2. Aim the crosshair at the target or a nearby object and make note of the range to the right of the crosshair
  3. Press the zero key or button to zero in to the nearest 100m increment (for instance, at a 440m range it will zero in to 400m)
  4. Aim your shot. Aim directly at your target if the zeroed range is very close to the actual range (such as a 410m target zeroed to 400m) or above if the target is further (such as a 440m target).
  5. Be sure to use the hold breath button as explained below to steady your aim, then fire

Hold Breath

Another important gameplay mechanic to learn with sniper rifles (and DMR’s) is holding your breath. With any long-range rifle, your scope will sway around, simulating the movement caused from breathing in and out. There are two ways to negate this effect – one way is to use a bipod; the other is to use the Hold Breath button.

This uses the same button as sprint; here are the defaults:

PC: Shift key
Xbox 360 and Xbox One: Down on the D-pad
PS3/PS4: L3 button

Simply hold down this button and the scope with stop swaying for a couple of seconds. This duration is doubled if you use the “Sniper” field upgrade. The ability to use this effect recharges after a few seconds.

Scope Glint

Something to keep in mind when choosing a scope is glint. This is the effect of light being reflected from your scope and can be seen by other players. It’s visible only when you’re scoped in, and can be seen when you’re looking within about 10 degrees to any direction of a player.

Only long range scopes (6x, 7x, 8x, 14x, 20x and 40x) display scope glint. If you wish to remain hidden from enemies, the close range and medium range scopes will do this. Using a 4X scope is a good compromise in range while avoiding scope glint.

Now that we’ve covered the gameplay mechanics of sniping, let’s move on to additional useful tips for snipers.

Sniping tips:

  • Aim for the head. A headshot is a 1-hit kill with all sniper rifles. You’ll also get a marksman bonus for headshots 50m and beyond. If you hit your target somewhere other than the head and they survive, they’ll probably run off or find cover.
  • Keep moving. Unless you’re on a hardcore server, you can easily be spotted on the minimap for enemies. Staying in one place will make you an easy target for other snipers, mortars, and aircraft.
  • Spot your enemies as soon as you see them. This will make it easier to track them if you’re not scoped in.
  • Be on the lookout for scope glint from other snipers. If you see it, they probably have located you. Keep moving and either find cover or make the enemy sniper your own target.
  • Use the spotting button to check for enemies in common spots even when you don’t see anyone. This may help you find a target behind partial cover.
  • Unlock and equip the straight pull bolt rather than the bipod unless you’re aiming at extreme ranges. The straight pull bolt allows you to remain zoomed in while loading the next round to be fired, which helps you keep sight of your target.
  • The M40A5 and SV-98 are the best choices for medium range with their faster firing rate, while the 338-Recon, M98B, and SRR-61 are good long-range rifles. I recommend skipping the Scout Elite and FY-JS for anything but short range due to their low minimum damage of 36.6 hit points. I’d also pass on the CS-LR4 and JNG-90 due to their relatively slow firing rates.
  • In most cases, skip the suppressors since they reduce damage and slow the speed the bullet travels, which increases bullet drop.
  • Pay particular attention to your sidearm loadout. You’ll be best off switching to your pistol for short-range firefights.

Remember to stay focused on the objectives! Sniper rifles can be great for defending a control point or for clearing enemies off an MCOM or flag. Don’t let yourself get too distracted by enemies that aren’t as much of a threat.


  1. Great write up! Thanks!

  2. Great! Thanks for the tips.

  3. Zeroing and Hold Breath do not use the same button on Xbox 360/Xbox One. Hold breath is the left stick.

  4. A few corrections:

    1) Not all sniper rifle headshots are 1 hit kills across all ranges – you noted the minimum damage on the two rifles that have the lower 36.6 min, but there’s a secondary reason that this is bad: that number is below the magical 42.554 [ish – rounding up to save digits].

    Why 42.554? Because that is the minimum damage required to equal 100 [roughly – 100.0019] damage when divided by the sniper rifle headshot multiplier [HSM] of 2.35. Most sniper rifles have a minimum damage of 59, meaning that this is a non-issue for those weapons; however, some exceptions exist that have a minimum damage of 36.6: the Scout Elite and the FY-JS. These lose their 1 hit killing power at 101 [again, rounding up from 100.84] meters. My only suggestion on these would be to forgo long-range scopes [since their maximum 1 shot kill range is less than 200 meters], making them better suited to 4x scopes which conveniently don’t suffer from the scope glint. This does force you to use them at shorter ranges [in Core at least; in Hardcore, infantry have 60hp so any headshot will kill even with these rifles], but the Scout Elite has a relatively high RoF to compensate. The FY-JS… it’s just easier to compensate for drop – it really has no other redeeming qualities.

    2) Adding a suppressor doesn’t affect damage – suppressing a weapon decreases the muzzle velocity to around 320-330m/s, just below the speed of sound due to the implied use of sub-sonic rounds [depending on the gun – some dip substantially below this for no good reason]. As you correctly pointed out, this reduction in muzzle/bullet velocity [since there is no degradation, these are interchangeable] does increase flight time and thus, total bullet drop. However, the damage the round does to a target is dictated purely by the distance to the target, not the time required to reach the target.

    This being said, I agree with the conclusion: using a suppressor on sniper rifles is generally a waste of time – increasing the flight time makes hitting all but stationary targets more difficult as the drop compensation and lead distance required increase.

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