Sniper rifles are enormously powerful weapons in Warzone Season 3. The new map, like the old map, features a lot of wide-open spaces and rooftops that make the perfect perch from which snipers can hunt their prey. Over the past few months there has been some movement in the sniper meta, and even a whole new rifle added partway through Season 2. Here is our tier ranking every sniper rifle in Warzone Season 3 from best to worst!
In Warzone Season 3, The HDR remains the most reliable and effective sniper rifle in the game for long-range encounters. This weapon is capable of downing a fully armored opponent in a single shot if you hit the head, an ability that is only shared by a few other rifles on this list. This one-shot kill machine is great for long-range duels, or for opening up encounters with a quick kill.
What truly sets this gun apart is its extremely high bullet velocity, which can be further enhanced by equipping the 26.9” HDR Pro barrel. Faster bullet velocity means you don’t have to lead your target as much, which takes a lot of the guesswork out of long-range sniping. This rifle may be the biggest and the slowest, but it’s the most reliable for very long-range fights.
The Kar98k is one of the most interesting sniper rifles in the game. This weapon is capable of one-shotting fully armored players at close and medium ranges, however, its damage drop off, low bullet velocity, and significant bullet drop severely limit this gun at longer ranges. In the lead up to season 3, the gun became a rising star because highly skilled Warzone players can just dominate with it.
While the Kar98k won’t win super long-range sniper duels, it makes up for it by being perhaps the most mobile and deadly medium-range gun in the game, if you can land your headshots consistently.
The AX-50 has the same damage model as the HDR, so it is also capable of downing fully armored targets in a single lethal blow. It also has a faster fire rate, reload time, and aim-down-sights speed, which makes it a superior weapon for those who want to play at a faster pace with their sniper rifle.
The big drawback for the AX-50, when compared to the HDR, is the bullet velocity difference. With the AX-50 you have a decent bullet velocity, but you will have to lead your target significantly more than with the HDR. Beyond that though, the AX-50 brings a lot of its own unique advantages for the mobility-minded sniper and is more effective in medium ranges than the slower firing HDR.
- ZRG 20mm
- SP-R 208
The ZRG 20 mm sniper rifle was added to Warzone earlier in April and is one of the best sniper rifles available in Warzone Season 3. This weapon excels at extreme long-range encounters due to having the highest bullet velocity of any sniper rifle and the largest kill zone in all warzone. As a tradeoff this rifle also has the slowest fire rate of any rifle in the game, so this isn't the best sniper to choose in closer ranged fights. It is, however, the best at its niche distance.
The SP-R 208 was a strong contender at the start of Season 2, and as we head into Warzone Season 3 it remains at the top. This marksman rifle is very similar to the Kar98k in use and function. It can down enemies in a single shot to the head or chest, but it has significant damage drop off that makes it unideal for very long-range engagements.
The reason to select the SP-R 208 over the Kar98k is its bullet velocity. While it has a slower ADS time than the Kar98k, the bullet velocity makes up for the lost time and also makes this weapon effective at slightly longer ranges than the Kar98k since you won’t have to lead targets as much. If you are looking for a marksmen rifle that can also win an odd long-range duel here or there, the SP-R 208 is a great rifle to play with.
- Pellington 703
- LW3 Tundra
- Rytec AMR
The Pelinton 703 has never quite reached the upper echelons of the sniper meta, but its fortunes have been steadily rising in recent months, as it has found its place as a long-range sniper duelist weapon. There are some sniping practitioners that swear by this gun.
The Pellington is a highly effective standard bolt-action rifle that can help you get the drop on your enemy with its fast ADS time and fast bullet velocity. The Pellington 703 has the advantage of shooting first and faster due to its rapid ADS time. So if you are hunting other snipers, the Pellington 703 is a surprisingly good option to choose, especially when equipped with attachments to further increase its bullet velocity and ADS time.
The LW3 Tundra is a bolt-action sniper rifle that is very easy to use at long ranges. Unfortunately for the LW3 Tundra, the ZRG 20mm kind of stole its thunder and made it obsolete. The Tundra is still good, but its biggest advantage was it best-in-class bullet velocity, a title that now goes to the ZRG 20mm. The LW3 Tundra didn't get worse in Season 3, but it does feel redundant with better weapons these days.
The Ryztec AMR is a very strange weapon that defies categorization completely. On one hand, it has a high damage model with a slow ADS time and is one of the four weapons that can down a fully armored opponent in one shot. On the other hand, it is a semi-automatic rifle with a high fire rate that is best used as an assault rifle.
This gun can be built out for short to medium-range encounters, or you can invest in it as a long-range sniper rifle. Unfortunately, no matter which direction you choose, there is probably going to be a gun that is more capable. For longer range, the HDR, AX-50, and the Pellington 703 are a better way to go. For shorter-range fights, the SP-R 208 and Kar98k are going to outperform it, assuming you have decent aim.
So while this gun is totally viable, it ends up in the middle of the pack because it lacks a strong role in the Warzone Season 2 meta.
The M82 is a semi-automatic rifle that is designed to be used at longer ranges, so this weapon fills a weird role in the meta in a similar fashion to the Rytec AMR. The M82 really only makes sense for players who are fans of long-range sniping but don’t want to rack a bolt between every shot. For everyone else, it makes more sense to go with one of the many superior bolt-action rifles listed higher up on this list.
The SKS is more similar to a slow-fire-rate assault rifle than a traditional sniper rifle. So you probably won’t be winning many long-range engagements with this gun. Unfortunately, this weapon at its ideal range is outclassed by tactical rifles like the M16 or the AUG. While it can be fun to run around with an SKS, this weapon is not anywhere near the top of the Warzone Season 3 meta.
- MK2 Carbine
The EBR-14 suffers from the same issues as the SKS, but it’s even worse. This semi-automatic rifle is designed to be fired quickly and is best used at medium ranges. It is next to useless at longer ranges and will be outclassed by most ARs, tactical rifles, and the SKS itself at medium ranges. In Season 3, there won't be much of a reason to pick up the EBR-14, unless you just like the way it looks (like me).
The MK2 Carbine is the only lever-action rifle in the game. It comes with a magazine size of 6 rounds which are reloaded one by one. In Warzone Season 3, this weapon is more of a novelty than anything. It can be fun to pick up a lever-action rifle every now and again, but that doesn't make this weapon viable. With only six bullets, a slow reload, and significant damage drop-off, there is rarely a situation where a player would want this gun.
The Dragunov used to be the only semi-automatic sniper in the game when Warzone first released. Since then, it has only continued to slide downward in the meta. While this gun is capable of winning some mid-range fights, it is worse than all of its other sniper counter-parts, including the EBR-14 which is also a low-tier gun.
The crossbow feels more like a meme weapon than anything. While it is still a weapon that kills people, it is so limited that it doesn’t feel like it’s worth using in Warzone Season 3.
The big selling point of the Crossbow is that it is capable of one-shot kills to the body. It can also be outfitted with a variety of arrow types like explosive tips or thermite tips. However, this weapon also has massive drawbacks. It has the slowest fire rate of any weapon in the sniper category and it has a high rate of bullet drop. This makes it challenging and even dangerous to try to deploy this weapon effectively.
The crossbow can be a fun weapon to mess around with, but it is not a serious contender in Season 3.
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Aaron is an esports reporter with a background in media, technology, and communication education.