The Art of the Long Range Gun: Quake 2 Sniper CTF Tips

The Art of the Long Range Gun: Quake 2 Sniper CTF Tips

Quake 2 CTF Sniper tips


One of the most satisfying (albeit most frequently insulted) types of quake 2 CTF player is the SNIPER (Railgun addict). The problem is that most people are very bad at this most skilled of playing styles. The following short list is a guide to how to play the “waiting game” successfully and thereby help your team win more often. Interspersed with the advice are the sayings of Sun Tzu, the greatest general of all time and author of the masterwork “The Art Of War”.


The rail gunner is the team player that can really swing the balance between two otherwise similar teams. The character is known as the loan gun that stays away from the main attacks. This is not true, if played properly the railgunner can quell attacks, rescue flags, destroy defences, give intelligence, and finish first in the score table! However there are definite playing restrictions to this style, no mad rushing into danger, no enormous bullet, rocket, cell wastage. On the other hand, gibing the little buggers in the head from half a map away is great!

Before playing what you should have set-up:

Mouse Using keys is impossible.

Mouse wheel If you have one of these set it as follows:

Wheel press (button 3): Jump.

Wheel down: Use rocket launcher.

Wheel up: Use Railgun.

CTRL Crouch.

Autorun On always.

Return Use item.

Delete Scroll through inventories one way.

Insert Scroll the other way. 

What you should have (in order of importance), before you camp or snipe

Primary attack:

Railgun Obviously.

Slugs The more the better.

100 % Health Get it or don’t bother being a sniper.

Armour Top whack or yellow, Jacket is not enough.

Rocket launcher The next best snipe weapon.

Rockets At least two sets.

Power armour Essential, the only thing that will save you in a tricky situation.

Cells For above, and hyperblaster.

Secondary attack (i.e. defence):

Hyperblaster For forwards attacking.

Chaingun For retreating.

Machine gun For when ammo is low for above. The long fire time is great.

Grenade launcher For their troubles, diversions.

Go out of your way extras:

Bandoleers More ammunition: great stuff.

Tech upgrades In order: Speed up, Auto health, Power shooting, Defence shield.

Grenades For launcher.

Max health If you can find it.

Bullets Get around 150.

Stuff to leave for the others:

Shotguns Crap and ineffective, for girls and small boys only.

Super shotgun To long to reload, and hard to aim in close quarters.

Jacket armour Don’t bother.

Small heath Is it worth dying for these?

Small armours Ditto.

BFG Give me a break! If you want to use the big stuff sniping is not for you. It wastes your power armour.

The art of the rail

Shooting the railgun requires pinpoint timing so clean that mouse!

Firstly the best shot is NOT a head shot, unless you have the ability!

Following are the best places to be aiming for, try and get into the habit of finding geography that consistently puts your targets in these positions. You may not think it but also these are at the best distance to keep your hit rate up. Further away is fine, but close than these switch to secondary weaponry.


The rear shot! IDEAL! The front shot! Ok, but rears better . Straight shot


The above shot, tricky. The best shot is when they are already dead!


In front, while walking Running shots, the hardest. Aim well in front.

Basically think first, shoot second. When railing feel the target move, follow their movements. Don’t rush and flow the cursor in front of them. Shot them earlier than you want to, basically when you feel it is right to shoot, it’s too late. Shoot quicker! Also wait until they are in range, i.e. big enough to guarantee a kill. When shooting the bullet weapons crouch.


The second most important thing: placement. Remember that when you shoot, your visible, so always have a way of escaping the many rockets that are going to be heading your way 4 seconds after your pop one of them off! Crouch around corners, and “slice the pie” i.e. scroll around the corner smoothly keeping your aim as close to the corner as possible, this gives you more time to shoot and more chance of surviving a tricky situation. Use the grapple hook to access areas that you wouldn’t normally get to, and try and think of areas that the opponents won’t see. For example: above a doorway, from there all targets are heading away in a straight line: i.e. dead! Also pick your bait. Red armour is good, but a quad is the best, as is your flag. In order of importance the target areas are classed as follows:

Class ONE:

The opposing top scorer.

The Flag carrier running off with your flag!

Class TWO:

The opposing flag and surrounding area guards.

A tight enemy corridor.

Class THREE:

Open courtyards.

CTF however is a lot more than just target practice, follow the following wisdom from “SUNTZU’s art of War” and frag fruitful.

Hence, what is valued in war is victory, not prolonged operations.

When attacking from your hiding place strike swiftly, go for the closest kill first protecting your advantage of distance over the enemy. Above this is only the need to protect / kill the flag carrier. 

In order to make the soldiers courageous in overcoming the enemy, they must be roused to anger.

The Sniper is one of the few players with time to be typing, use that time to get your team mates organised, giving them information on where everyone is and what the other side are doing. 

He who knows when he can fight and when he cannot will be victorious.

Pick you moments, if the enemy is bearing down on you in force, change to your heavy weapon and fall back while laying down a barrage of suppressing fire. Remember rockets go into the ground to be most effective, so aim in front of the pack and let rip. If you have a Quad damage now is the time to use it. The railgun is very hard to use in close quarters where the target is constantly jumping around your head shooting a chaingun. In these situations switch to the next weapon up from his. So if he has a machinegun choose a chaingun, if he has a chaingun switch to hyperblaster. Do not switch to super shotgun because this is just as hard to aim in close quarters as the railgun. Try ducking! If you have the armour for it or are in possession of the health tech powerup try rocket jumping. Don’t try to use the BFG because the slow load time will mean that even if you survive this attack the next will kill you.

He who is well prepared and lies in wait for an enemy who is not well prepared will be victorious

This is the whole point of railgunning. Get the powerups you need. Find your spot. And be prepared. Don’t aim right at the corner, aim to lead, that way the opponent will dodge right into your sights. If you’re targeting a powerup or class two killing ground, height is not good, stay low. Let him get the rocket launcher (or whatever) and as he’s changing weapon: ZAP!

Therefore, I say: Know your enemy and know yourself; in a hundred battles, you will never be defeated.

After a few times having killed the same person, you will get the measure of him/her. Do they curse you and come now only for your head? Good! They are a weakness in their team. Do they type insults? Good! Typing takes ones attention from the fight, they will be destroyed by your troops attack. If they organise their attacks around your hiding place, fall back to your base and await them there. Do they gang up on you? Call for backup and switch to heavy weapons. Knowing the opponent’s mind is the key to victory. Try faking a flag run from the opposite entrance than your teams current attack, hide near the flag and if you team fail nip in and grab it the grapple the heal out of there!

The skilful warriors in ancient times first made themselves invincible and then waited the enemy’s moment of vulnerability.

When camping do you have 100% health? Do you have powerarmour? Do you have a tech upgrade? Where are you targeting, a hall? A courtyard? The enemy will not come to these places unarmoured, attack these places only when your team are attacking through there (assault cover) or running back to your base with the flag (covering fire). Most importantly do you have more than just the railgun? If not you are wasting your time and your teams. 

In tumult and uproar, the battle seems chaotic, but there must be no disorder in one’s own troops. The battlefield may seem in confusion and chaos, but one’s array must be in good order.

Don’t ever panic, When caught in a difficult situation try duck jumping, running backwards. Always cut down the amount of people able to shot at you to one, by withdrawing around a corner/box or jumping backwards of a ledge. If you know your doomed take em with you with a rocket to the floor, sometimes this action will kill them and somehow you will survive. Chase your targets around and into difficult places. Using hyperblaster the target will probably retreat, perhaps into larva or acid? If not change to rockets and blow them away. 

Generally, he who occupies the field of battle first and awaits his enemy is at ease, and he who comes later to the scene and rushes into the fight is weary.

Don’t dawdle when setting up, get the powerups fast and first. Getting into the killing ground first and take out any rival railgunner. Use rockets if they duck use chaingun if they fight back. Don’t swap rail shots, these are for more important targets. If the target uses autorun then aim even further in front. Shooting at them running away is easier than a side shot.

Appear at places that he is unable to rescue; move swiftly in a direction where you are least expected.

Jump out of windows, if you know there is water around the bottom. Use box’s. Drop from ceiling holes, and rocket jump from doorways. Use a grenade as a confusion tactic and then let rip with the slugs. When face to face, pull back and then to the left, effectively circling around for as rear shot. Use the grapple hook to get to unusual areas, such as above doorways, roofs, under bridges, etc.

How subtle and insubstantial, that the expert leaves no trace. How divinely mysterious, that he is inaudible. Thus, he is master of his enemy’s fate

When you force attacks back them up from a different entrance. In battle fierce the targets are not going to hear you coming so try and make sure they cannot see you either, i.e. attack from their rear. Use the waterways to scope around behind the attack. Most players don’t use tactics beyond high firepower, so use what they don’t, your mind. Underwater use the grapple hook. Move when no one watches, shoot when no one watches, attack from low and high directions. In a group battle at close Quarters grapple to the roof and shoot down. If you can wear black.

Therefore, analyse the enemy’s plans so that you will know his shortcomings as strong points.

How does the opposing team attack? Always the same way? Get them on the way BACK, lay in wait and pop the flag carrier or rocket the running group. Don’t get involved with the chase let them come to you, thereby your pursuing team mates can regain your flag and counter attack while the team is weak. If you attack while the opponents rush your base you will best be in a high or unassailable position or they will destroy you to get it. When they attack steal their flag! And then rehide, switch to quad and rockets, when the targets come into range with your flag nuke em, and get an easy point.

Weigh the situation before you move. He who knows the artifice of diversion will be victorious. Such is the art of manoeuvring.

Can you be seen? Are you going into an open area? Across a well defended bridge? Grenade the water and then fly across using the grapple. Rockets are the best diversion. Move as fast as you can. When you have the flag switch to chaingun or hyperblaster and just keep running, your team will defend you.

Good luck, be fruitful and frag a lot.




Carter Productions

  • Online Name : Carter.
  • Favourite Class : Sniper.
  • Record No of kills (Team Fortress Classic) : 57 in 27 minutes.
  • Real Name : James.
  • Personality type : INTj
  • Real Job : IT Support Analyst.
  • Email address :

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