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Sniper Guide Header.png


Sniper minimap icon.png Sniper is a very long ranged carry, designed to decimate enemies from the backline. He is able to scout ahead with his Shrapnel, and pick off targets from extreme distances with Assassinate. In the late game, a well-farmed Sniper can destroy almost any enemy before they have a chance to get close or do much in a team fight. However, Sniper is also one of the most defenseless heroes in the game, and can be easily killed if caught alone.
Pros Cons
  • Extreme attack range.
  • High single target damage.
  • Excellent harassment abilities.
  • Easy for beginners.
  • No escape mechanism.
  • Low mobility.
  • Fragile and easily ganked.
  • Requires a good early game.

Ability Builds[edit]

Generic Sniper
Headshot icon.pngShrapnel icon.pngShrapnel icon.pngTake Aim icon.pngShrapnel icon.pngAssassinate icon.pngShrapnel icon.pngHeadshot icon.pngHeadshot icon.pngTalent icon.pngHeadshot icon.pngAssassinate icon.pngTake Aim icon.pngTake Aim icon.pngTalent icon.pngTake Aim icon.pngUnknown icon.pngAssassinate icon.pngTalent icon.pngTalent icon.png


Hero Talents
+5 Shrapnel Charges25+100 Attack Range
+24 Shrapnel DPS20+28 Knockback Distance Headshot
-14% Shrapnel Slow15+30 Attack Speed
+15 Damage1015% Cooldown Reduction
  • This attack damage talent is added as raw attack damage, so it does not benefit illusions, and is not affected by most percentage-based damage increasing or reducing effects.

Tips & Tactics[edit]


Stutter stepping between attack animations allows Sniper to land more hits on a moving target.
  • Sniper can be played either in the safe lane with a support or as a solo mid.
  • Sniper's purpose in fights is mostly to right click and attack enemies without being disabled or killed first.
  • Due to his extreme vulnerability, positioning is the most important part of playing Sniper.
    • Because of this, Sniper is easy to play, but hard to master.
    • Map awareness is very important for Sniper players, who should always mentally keep track of enemy positions in order to avoid being ganked.
    • Sniper players must know how to stutter step, moving small distances between attack animations in order to be mobile and land as many hits as possible. This is more important in the early game when Sniper's attack speed is slower.
    • Sniper must avoid being initiated on because an initiation and followup combination usually kills him before he can do anything.
      • To avoid this, stay far behind your team when you suspect a fight will soon break out.
    • Heroes that can jump to the backline, such as Riki minimap icon.png Riki or Phantom Assassin minimap icon.png Phantom Assassin, will cause significant problems for Sniper.
  • Because of his range and fast projectile speed, Sniper should be able to out last-hit and out deny most lane opponents.
  • Sniper requires significant farm and a good early game in order to be effective. It is best to play safe early on and not risk being shut down by the other team.



  • Shrapnel is mostly a utility ability, but one should not underestimate the damage it can do in a team fight.
  • Shrapnel gives vision. Use it as a scouting ability, such as over high ground or the Roshan Pit.
    • Shrapnel over trees is useful for finding juking enemies.
    • Shrapnel over choke points is useful for revealing enemies before they get too close.
    • Shrapnel can reveal a distant fleeing enemy and allow Sniper to lock onto him with Assassinate.
  • Use Shrapnel in front of Sniper when running away in order to slow the pursuing enemy.
  • Use Shrapnel in front of the enemy to slow them down while chasing.
  • Use Shrapnel on top of Sniper when fighting a melee ganker in order to deal as much damage as possible.
  • Use Shrapnel in combination with a teammate's AoE ability, such as Enigma minimap icon.png Enigma's Black Hole.
  • Use Shrapnel over friendly buildings to deter enemies from attacking them.
  • Use Shrapnel over a group of fighting creeps before retreating to gain a bit of extra gold.


  • Headshot is good for harassing enemies in lane, especially against melee heroes.
  • Use the slow and knockback from Headshot to stutter step closer to the enemy.
  • When chasing an enemy with your team, landing a single Headshot may be enough to slow the target down sufficiently.
    • This means that Sniper can stop and take a chance on a single attack if it appears that he will not be able to catch up over a long distance.

Take Aim[edit]

  • One level of Take Aim is typically enough for the laning phase since it allows Sniper to outrange almost all enemies.
  • If Sniper is taking heavy harassment, or playing in the dangerous solo lane, invest more points in Take Aim in order to score last hits.
  • Take Aim will also allow Sniper to harass enemy laners, but his focus should be primarily on farming.
  • With level 2 or higher, Sniper will outrange towers, allowing him to attack them without being hit.
  • With his long range, it can be tempting to instantly attack the enemy initiator in team fights, but it is nearly always better to retrain Sniper's attacks on a carry or backline support.
  • Take Aim gives Sniper the luxury of easily switching targets in team fights. Analyze situations with a cool head and use this to your advantage.


Shrapnel gives vision through the fog of war, allowing Sniper to lock onto distant enemies with Assassinate.
  • Assassinate is quite powerful in the early to mid game but less so in the late game.
  • Use Assassinate to pick off fleeing targets.
  • If Sniper is too far away to join a fight, use Assassinate to help allies kill a target. The extra damage is especially helpful for gankers on your team.
  • Enemies will hear the sound of Sniper's gun cocking (▶️) when they are first targeted by Assassinate or see its status debuff on their HUD.
    • This will give them a chance to time the attack, and disjoint the projectile.
    • Heroes that can easily disjoint the projectile include Puck minimap icon.png Puck, Slark minimap icon.png Slark, Storm Spirit minimap icon.png Storm Spirit, and Outworld Devourer minimap icon.png Outworld Devourer.
    • It is also possible to disjoint the projectile using Smoke of Deceit icon.png Smoke of Deceit.
    • To ensure a hit, use Assassinate on heroes that do not have disjoint mechanisms or heroes that have already expended them.
  • Since Assassinate grants full vision of an enemy during the cast time, it can be used to counter an enemy attempting to juke or go invisible. The few extra seconds of vision often makes the difference.
  • Try to use Assassinate from a safe position, as Sniper is vulnerable and can be easily killed or interrupted during its cast animation.
  • Do not waste Assassinate on a target that is certain to die, such as a low health enemy who has little chance of escaping your team.
  • Assassinate mini-stuns on impact, and can be used to interrupt teleporting or channeling enemies. This is one of few times when Assassinate should be used at close range.
  • Assassinate can be used to harass, degrade, and intimidate enemies in a lane or before an engagement. This is especially effective on supports with low health.
  • In the late game, Assassinate should only be used when Sniper cannot reach the target, as his attacks will do more damage.
  • Try to deal as much damage as possible with attacks first, reserving Assassinate as a final blow when enemies move out of range.
  • During a team fight, do not waste time trying to Assassinate a low-value target if there are more dangerous, higher value targets attacking your team.
    • For example, Sniper should focus attacks on a carry Juggernaut minimap icon.png Juggernaut instead of spending several seconds trying to Assassinate a dying Rubick minimap icon.png Rubick.
  • Due to its low cooldown, a retreating Sniper can often turn around and use Assassinate again, even after he has disengaged from the team fight.


Starting items:

  • Iron Branch icon.png Iron Branch improves Sniper's early stats, and can be built into a Magic Wand icon.png Magic Wand later on.
  • Slippers of Agility icon.png Slippers of Agility helps with Sniper's naturally low base damage, allowing him to last hit better.
  • Faerie Fire icon.png Faerie Fire helps Sniper score last hits.
  • Tango icon.png Tango helps Sniper stay in lane.
  • Healing Salve icon.png Healing Salve not only rejuvenates Sniper, using it at the last second can save also save him from a gank.

Early game:

  • Magic Wand icon.png Magic Wand is useful in emergencies and gives Sniper some much-needed survivability.
  • Wraith Band icon.png Wraith Band boosts Sniper's early stats, keeping him viable in his vulnerable early game stage.
  • Wind Lace icon.png Wind Lace is usually picked up by supports but can be useful on Sniper to help offset his low mobility.
  • Infused Raindrops icon.png Infused Raindrops helps Sniper resist harassment and gankers.
  • Power Treads icon.png Power Treads gives Sniper the ability to switch between strength for survivability, agility for damage, and even intelligence for extra mana to use a clutch Assassinate.

Mid game:

  • Desolator icon.png Desolator greatly improves Sniper's mid-game damage, and its debuff can be safely applied from long range on multiple enemies.
  • Dragon Lance icon.png Dragon Lance increases Sniper's attack range to a maximum of 1190, allowing him to shoot down opponents before they can close the gap.
  • Mask of Madness icon.png Mask of Madness greatly increases Sniper's attack speed and provides a moderate boost to his movement speed. The lifesteal is good for farming and can save Sniper in a head-to-head fight, while Silence doesn't hurt him so much. Another good choice can be Satanic icon.png Satanic for damage and survivability boost.
  • Maelstrom icon.png Maelstrom is excellent against groups of enemies, or heroes with numerous summoned units like Phantom Lancer minimap icon.png Phantom Lancer. Combined with more attack speed items, the lightning damage will trigger continuously.

Late game:

  • Hurricane Pike icon.png Hurricane Pike, upgraded from Dragon Lance, provides additional means of escape and/or positioning.
  • Daedalus icon.png Daedalus gives Sniper massive damage in the late game, and lets him tear through enemies in just a few shots.

Situational items:

  • Phase Boots icon.png Phase Boots give Sniper movement speed boost to chase enemies.
  • Shadow Blade icon.png Shadow Blade is often picked up by beginners, as it gives Sniper a much-needed escape mechanism, as well as enabling him to position himself in team engagements. It also gives a damage boost to Sniper's first attack when cloaked.
  • Silver Edge icon.png Silver Edge is a decent upgrade to Shadow Blade icon.png Shadow Blade, and can be useful on more offense-oriented Snipers.
  • Eye of Skadi icon.png Eye of Skadi sacrifices damage for a great boost to Sniper's survivability, as well as adding a slow debuff that helps keep enemies within Sniper's range.
  • Mjollnir icon.png Mjollnir is a natural progression from Maelstrom icon.png Maelstrom, but is sometimes skipped in favor of other direct damage boosting items.
  • Monkey King Bar icon.png Monkey King Bar grants a great increase in damage, and is usually necessary to deal with evasion. However, it provides no defensive boosts and can be quite expensive.
  • Butterfly icon.png Butterfly is a costly but useful item if Sniper is struggling against physical carries. The attack speed and damage boosts Sniper's combat capabilities a little, while the evasion and armor give him considerably more survivability against opposing carries.
  • Sange and Yasha icon.png Sange and Yasha boosts survivability with bonuses to strength and status resistance. It also provides more movement speed to help in chasing or kiting enemies.