Experts Guide On- How to play Sniper in DOTA 2 like a Pro

Experts Guide On- How to play Sniper in DOTA 2 like a Pro


Kardel Sharpeye or Sniper is a very long-ranged carry type character in DOTA 2. Sniper is designed is a way to destroy enemies from distance and from the backline of the attacks. Sniper can scout ahead with his Shrapnel attacks, Sniper also can pick off enemy targets from a long-distances, and even can launch a deadly attack upon them called “Assassinate”. In the late game situations, if you manage to farm Sniper how he supposed to be farmed, then he can destroy almost any enemy of any level, even before the enemy get a chance to get close and retaliate. Also, Sniper is also one of the most fragile and defenceless heroes in DOTA 2 by design, and it is quite easier to get killed very quickly, especially at the early stages of the game, or if got in a close fight.


  • The attack range is the longest among all other characters.
  • Equipped with a very high single target damage capability.
  • Excellent harassment abilities, which makes sniper a good support player within a team.
  • Easy for beginners to understand and learn, but really hard to master.


  • Very week escape mechanism.
  • The mobility speed is very low hence, Sniper becomes more fragile.
  • Defenceless in close range and easily ganked by any other enemy.
  • Requires to maintain good early game collections and requires a good firming.

Ability Build

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Hero Talents

+6 Shrapnel Charges 25 +125 Attack Range
+30 Shrapnel DPS 20 +35 Knockback Distance at Headshot
+20% Shrapnel Slow 15 +40 Attacking Speed
+20 Damage 10 25% Cooldown Reduction


General Tips and Tactics

  • Sniper is good to be played on either in the safe lane with good support or as a solo player in the mid lane.
  • Due to Sniper’s extreme vulnerability, and fragileness, positioning is the key to playing Sniper.
  • Ask any pro player, Sniper is easy to play, but really hard to master character in DOTA 2.
  • Map reading, positioning awareness, enemy situations, teammate positioning are very important players with Sniper, to avoid getting killed or disabled, the player has to keep all the aspects in mind all the time.
  • Sniper players must learn how to do the stutter step, how to move small distances between two different attack animations so that the player can stay mobile and can more hit on the enemies. This movement tactics are very important at the early stages of the game because at that time the speed of Sniper tends to be quite lower.
  • Sniper players must avoid initiating fights with enemy heroes as initiative hit along with the follow-up combination likely to kill Sniper even before launching the ultimate attack. To avoid getting ganked like this, Sniper players should stay far behind your teammates, especially where and when you expecting a fight to break out.
  • Enemy Heroes with the ability to jump to the backline, like Riki or Phantom Assassin, are going to cause significant problems for Sniper, as they won’t let Sniper run away so easily. Hence if your enemy is using Sniper already, it is good for you to choosing Riki or Phantom Assassin as a counter of Sniper.
  • Also, on the other hand, due to the range and fast projectile speed of Sniper, he is able to outlast hit and out deny most of the lane opponents.
  • To build up Sniper decently, you are going to require a significant amount of farm and a very-good early start. So, you have to play very safely in the early stages of the game.

How to Use the Sniper’s Abilities


  • Shrapnel is a utility ability, Shrapnel is also a ranged attacking ability, which can prove to be quite helpful and supportive in a team fight.
  • Shrapnel grants vision long-range and blind spots. So, a skilled player does use it as a scouting ability. You can use Shrapnel over trees for finding the juking enemies.
  • Using Shrapnel, you not only can reveal a fleeing enemy at distance but you can also lock onto him with Assassinate.
  • While fleeing from enemies, you can use Shrapnel in order to slow them down. Likewise, you can use Shrapnel in front of you upon fleeing enemies to slow them down.
  • You can add the Shrapnel attack along with your other attack, to maximize the damage on the enemy.
  • You can also the Shrapnel over-friendly buildings to push away enemies from attacking them for some moments, also you can use Shrapnel on fighting creeps to gain some extra bit of gold as well.


  • The Headshot ability is a good choice for harassing in lane enemies, especially the melee heroes, who can not attack you at the range.
  • You can also use the slow and knockback from the Headshot ability, which would be helpful to stutter step closer to the enemy.
  • While chasing a fleeing enemy along with your team, a headshot can significantly damage him as well as can make slow, following an opportunity for your teammates to finish him off.
  • So, if you are at a safe distance you can launch the first attack in the form of headshot, which will damage the enemy and also grant you time to flee to the safe zone.

Take Aim

  • This ability is the unique ability of Sniper which takes Sniper to another level by allowing him to outrange almost all enemies.
  • If Sniper is taking continuous small damages or getting harassment attacks frequently by the enemy heroes, or even if Sniper is playing in any risky lane being solo, there Take Aim increases the ability of distance attacks, and it allows Sniper to hit the critical shots on creeks, which leads to more gold.
  • Take Aim let Sniper harass enemy laners from a safe distance, though do not divert your mind towards fighting with enemy heroes while playing Sniper, as Sniper should focus on farming, and prepare himself for the late game.
  • With the level Take Aim ability, Sniper can even outrange the towers, which let Sniper attacking the towers from a range where the tower neither can spot Sniper nor can hit him.
  • The ability of Take Aim may provoke you to initiate an attack on enemy laners but, do not do that. Keep your patience, move with the Carry heroes, or wait for team fights to be initiated, and wait for the perfect opportunity to launch a devastating attack on the enemy or you can keep helping your teammates from staying a far away from the fight.
  • Take Aim grants another ability to Sniper, which is Sniper can switch between the targets, which is a tactical advantage. You can pick your target cool headedly from far range and plan your move towards him.


  • Assassinate is the most powerful attack by Sniper, which is quite devastating at the early to mid-game, but at a late-game where most of the enemies are fully updated and farmed, there you can see the effect is not much to kill an enemy instantly, but a very powerful supporting strike though.
  • Always use Assassinate attack to hit a fleeing target. Keep that in mind, always use Assassinate on a fleeing enemy or you can use it on an enemy who is fighting someone else.
  • Assassinate attack is a very helpful supportive attack for your teammates who are playing as carry or gankers. You can even help your allies with Assassinate from a very far range from the fight, where you will save time as well you keep yourself in a safe distance from any harm.
  • Enemies will also be warned with a gun cocking sound Sniper have a lock on them to Assassinate for the first time. That will allow the enemies to time their attack, and disjoint the projectile coming.
  • Heroes like Puck, Slark, Storm Spirit, and Outworld Devourer can easily disjoint the projectile. So, Sniper should be aware of their movement so that the strike does not go in a vain.
  • The Enemies can disjoint the projectile by using Smoke of Deceit also. To ensure a hit on the enemy, Sniper should launch Assassinate on those targets who do not have a disjoint mechanism.
  • The Assassinate can also be used as a tactical counter as at the time of Assassinate Sniper grants the full vision of the enemy throughout the cast time. So, it can be used to counter an enemy who is attempting to juke or trying to go invisible. This extra few seconds of vision really count on an intense match.
  • Also, at the time of launching the Assassinate, you must put yourself in a safe position as Sniper is even more vulnerable at the time of launching the Assassinate, and Sniper also can be stopped easily with a small attack from launching Assassinate.
  • Wasting an Assassinate attack on a target which is certain to die, would be a very foolish thing to be done.
  • Assassinate also stuns the enemy for a short moment on impact, which can stop a player from teleporting or channelling enemies. To have this tactical advantage you can use Assassinate should be used at close range as well.
  • Assassinate can also be used to harass, degrade, also to intimidate enemies in a lane or just before a fight engagement. Especially effective on opponent players with low health or on Enemy’s hard support player.
  • In the late game, Sniper should opt for normal attacks over Assassinate, as at late game the normal attacks of Sniper are more powerful and fast and even long-ranged and can do more damage. At late game Assassinate only should be used at a range where Sniper cannot reach within time.
  • Always do a lot of damage with a normal attack first the launch the Assassinate to devastate the enemy, especially at the late game.
  • Do not fall for the greed of stealing kills, so do not waste your time or the Assassinate attack on low value or low health targets, as there are other dangers to deal with.
  • At late game due to the fast cooldown, while fleeing Sniper can turn around and launch Assassinate once more, which will not only damage the enemy but also stuns him, so that Sniper can run away, also good as supportive fire from a safe distance.

How to Use the Items for Sniper’s buildup

Starting Items:

  • Iron Branch to be used for improvement on Sniper’s early stats, and also can be used to build a Magic Wand later on.
  • Slippers of Agility are one of the most important starting items for sniper which helps Sniper with his chance to launch the last hit better.
  • Faerie Fire is there to help Sniper with the scoring the last hits, hence good for farming more gold.
  • Tango is used to keep Sniper in the lane.
  • Healing Salve is for replenishing health, but also it can be a lifesaver at the last moments.

Early game Items:

  • Magic Wand boosts the survivability of Sniper, which is a much-needed aspect at the early stages of the game.
  • Wraith Band helps to boost the early stats of Sniper, and also keep him viable at the early game when he is more vulnerable.
  • Wind Lace very useful for a sniper due to his low mobility speed.
  • Infused Raindrops are very helpful while resisting harassment from the enemy team and opponent gankers.
  • Power Treads enable the option for Sniper to choose among strength for survivability, agility for damage, and intelligence for extra mana, using which you can clutch an Assassinate attack at tight moments.

Mid game Items:

  • Desolator is for improving Sniper’s mid-game damage significantly.
  • Dragon Lance is for increasing Sniper’s attack range significantly up to 1215 max, which allows Sniper to shoot down the opponent creeks even before they can manage to close the gap.
  • Mask of Madness is for increasing Sniper’s attack speed and movement speed.
  • The above three, in turn, makes Sniper quite more powerful in terms of damage, speed, agility, and range. That is why the player needs to farm well at the early stages of the game so that Sniper can become a formidable hero for the mid-game & late-game.

Late game Items:

  • Hurricane Pike, which can be obtained via upgrading Dragon Lance, provides additional means escaping and repositioning.
  • Daedalus is there to provide a huge damage increase for Sniper for the late-game, Daedalus makes the Sniper’s attack so strong that sniper can kill a flock of creek with just a couple of shots, even Sniper is now quite strong to takedown many enemy heroes as well if positioned correctly.

Usage of Special Items:

  • Phase Boots is used to providing Sniper increased movement speed boost which helps him chase enemies and to flee from enemies.
  • Shadow Blade is good for new players which, grants Sniper a much-needed escape mechanism, so that he can reposition himself in team engagements. Shadow Blade also provides Sniper’s attack damage when Sniper is cloaked.
  • Silver Edge can be obtained by upgrading Shadow Blade, and it is useful more aggressive play.
  • Eye of Skadi also can be used by the player if he/she wishes to sacrifices some damage capability for a great boost to Sniper’s survivability.
  • Mjollnir is the upgraded version of Maelstrom, but most of the players do go for some other damage increasing items for late-game preparation.
  • Monkey King Bar is used by the players to increase the damage capability, But Monkey King Bar is very expensive and it does not provide any other tactical or defensive capabilities.
  • The butterfly is also another very expensive item, but helpful for situations where Sniper is facing problems dealing against physical carries.
  • Sange and Yasha is another special item to know about as it boosts the survivability of Sniper and increases the strength and resistance as well. Sange and Yasha also provide an increased speed boost which helps Sniper reposition himself or chase enemies quicker.

PRO TIPS to improve your Gameplay with Sniper


  • While you already upgraded to Level 2 of Take Aim, you can attack the towers from such a distance where the tower won’t be able to hit you. Use this for putting pressure on enemy teams’ movements as well to prove yourself to be a worthy hard-support player. This also helps you to farm quicker and better, which can prove to profitable in late games.
  • Using the Stop key, you can cancel the Assassinations, use the stop key so that any unwanted Assassination does not reveal your position, or waste your mana.
  • Launching successful Assassinate on enemy breaks enemy’s channels when the hit occurs, it also stuns him for a moment and also stops him from teleporting.
  • Assassinate provides true sight on the target for a short period of time. Assassinate also provides the shared vision around the target for all your teammates.
  • Sniper is the hero who needs to exploit enemy positioning in lane mainly. Sniper is mainly used for disturbing enemy, pissing them off, breaking their movements, running backwards and let the enemies lose focus on other teammates of yours, pretending to be the one who they do not need to kill or do not need to waste time on, and you hit them again when they try to retreat. And repeating this gameplay is Sniper signature gameplay style. You need to practice the game a lot so that you can predict the enemies’ movement even before the enemy does it, and that you can be a perfect Sniper player.

Counters Capabilities:

  • If you are getting Assassinated by Sniper, you will be having an icon on your buffs. Where a timer goes on, and the shot gets fired when the timer reaches the halfway. With good timing, the shot can be disjoined disjointed but not via traditional invisibility but only with Smoke of Deceit or Shadow Dance. If you are quick enough you can dodge the line of the projectile as well.
  • Infused Raindrop is very useful to save yourself from getting Assassinated by Sniper.
  • Break has a passive profit, where it disables Sniper’s passive bonus range of the Take Aim.
  • Sniper has a rate of visibility at the night time (1400). So, as an opponent, you should be aware of that if you are going for a kill.

Counter Items for Sniper

  • Blade Mail returns all the damages dealt by Sniper, and it makes Sniper so vulnerable that he becomes an easy to kill target for anyone.
  • Eul’s Scepter of Divinity can be used to disjoint the Assassinate if the timing is correct.
  • The smoke of Deceit disables Sniper’s True Sight ability from Assassinating a target.
  • Linken’s Sphere is used to block the Assassinate.
  • Blink Dagger helps the opponents to close the gap between that player and Sniper very-very fast and also can disjointing Assassinate.
  • Lotus Orb reflects Assassinate so gives an extra chance to dodge the Assassinate.

Counter Characters:

Sniper is a Bad Choice Against

  • Axe,
  • Bloodseeker,
  • Tusk,
  • Viper,
  • Bounty Hunter,
  • Pudge,
  • Invoker,
  • Centaur Warrunner,
  • Clockwerk,
  • Ember Spirit,
  • Lifestealer,
  • Omniknight,
  • Phantom Assassin,
  • Phantom Lancer,
  • Slardar, Slark,
  • Specter,
  • Spirit Breaker,
  • Storm Spirit,

Sniper is very good against

  • Drow Ranger
  • Earthshaker
  • Enigma
  • Medusa
  • Silencer
  • Shadow Fiend
  • Undying

Sniper is a Good Teammate and Support for

  • Drow Ranger
  • Ogre Magi
  • Lich
  • Bloodseeker
  • Others Facts


Sniper is a very good choice for new players to learn DOTA 2 in a cognitive manner, while Sniper is a very good choice for those players who are already familiar with the basics and do play DOTA 2 very enthusiastic. Moreover, Sniper is not a sole attacking player, Sniper is actually a Heavy Support Players and to play very good with Sniper you would be needing other rushers on the team. It proves a very good player if you choose to play in the Safe Lane as well. And yes, Sniper has that quality to be the game-changer even at the most delicate times.

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