No matter how important your mission is, be it disabling a base, eliminating lancer nests or farming the peasants at a base, the infiltrator must always prioritize his target. Other classes will enter an area and try to kill everything they see – we infiltrators are often allowed choices, due to increased range and coverage of the battlefield. I teach a class to my outfit members on how to be an effective sniper, and one of the first things we cover is target prioritization. Guess what makes the top of the list? Infiltrators.
Infiltrators are your own worst nightmare, able to quickly and effectively remove you from the battlefield, from a distance. If you are sitting stationary as you take aim or try to line up a shot on a target, you become highly vulnerable to sniper fire. I teach all my Reapers to aggressively and meticulously root out hostile infiltrators so you can have control over the area of operations (AO). How do you effectively take out this threat? And how do you remain a threat to your enemy? There is no special formula for success as an infiltrator, however several key concepts can give you an edge over the others who are trying to hunt you down.
1. Stay mobile. A simple concept, and one that applies to all infantry with regards to infiltrators. If you don’t learn how to shoot and scoot, you will get countersniped. With practice, you can transition from running to stand-still, scope – breath hold – fire – and go back to running. The time it takes for someone else to zero in on your head during that short transition is longer than you will stay still. More broadly, staying mobile means that you rotate sniping perches and move from cover to cover. My general rule is 3 kills or 5 shots. Once you hit that point, get moving. Exceptions are made all the time, but the bottom line is that good infantry (and especially infiltrators) will identify the source of hostile sniper fire and move in on your position. You need to stay mobile
2. Find and flank. The best defense is a good offense, right? Want to avoid getting counter-sniped? Find the enemy infiltrators and sneak up on them. All it takes is a decent flanking position and you can place your crosshairs right over some poor soul and eliminate the threat. I do this all the time, both intentionally and inadvertently – part of this is due to my playstyle, running into firefights with a suppressed SR-7, I often end up behind the enemy line and staring at the backs of a bunch of infiltrators perched somewhere.
3. Situational awareness. Recon darts are your friend. The best reason I can give you to drop the final 1000 certs into recon dart is for this sort of defensive use. If you are in a hostile environment, use darts to keep an eye on your position as you advance, or hold ground. Some good infiltrators will time out their cloak just right and sneak up on you, but for the vast majority of enemies, your recon dart will give you a clue to enemy presence.
In addition to darts, listening for enemy faction cloaking noises, watching for distorted cloak effects moving nearby and listening for enemy sniper fire are all great ways to detect enemy infiltrators.
4. Finish the job:
Once you determine the enemy location and effectively position yourself for attack, the final step is finishing the job. Sometimes this is extremely easy, walking up behind a clueless infiltrator standing still and putting a round through the back of the skull. Sometimes all it takes is a well placed commissioner round to the head, or two to the chest. Against a good infiltrator, you will have to earn that kill. Expect to be noticed as you move in close and be prepared to chase your enemy. Maintain visual contact as it is easy to become the prey if you can’t find the infiltrator anymore. I personally use a pistol + knife combination to kill most infiltrators I come across unless they present themselves nicely for a bolt action. If you end up going on a chase, remember the recon dart!
When you are purely countersniping, it’s often a matter of using the cloak well, and timing your decloaking and firing to minimize the opportunity the other sniper has to kill you. When fighting a skilled infiltrator, you often need to move in close because they will not stand still long enough to give you a chance with the bolt action. I recently had a wonderful duel with one of the best infiltrators in the game, Torokokill. He had this ability to keep finding me and hunting me down near scarred mesa one night, and we had a great couple of engagements, which I narrowly edged him out on. We chatted afterwards and both agreed it was some of the most fun we’ve had in a while. Notice that neither of us was able to take each other down with the bolt action very easily and most of the kills were at close range using sidearms and knives. I really wish I had been recording but alas…
This post isn’t going to make you immune to other infiltrators, or allow you to win all of those engagements. I hope that it does raise your awareness of one of the more important threats on the battlefield, and allow you to take a systematic approach to eliminating hostile infiltrators from your area of operations. When I pull down my stats on which classes I have killed the most, infiltrator edges out heavy assault by a narrow margin, even though most people consider infiltrator to be one of the least played classes. Part of that is farming low skilled players standing still with sniper rifles, but part of that is a reflection of how important it is to remove them from the battlefield before continuing to function.
Sorry for the delay between posts. I’ve had a lot going on in-game and in real life, and it took me about 3 attempts to sit down and finish this one. I appreciate all the new readers I have gotten lately as a result of some videos I worked on, and I plan to do more to integrate this blog with some of my video work. Feel free to comment, ask questions and discuss this post more with me, I try to be responsive!