"Ancient pattern military sniper rifle. Bolt action. Long range, great accuracy and power."
The sniper rifle is a slightly heavier, single-shot firearm in RimWorld which deals a very high amount of damage per shot; a long time between shots; very long range and slightly higher accuracy.
It only takes a single shot to the torso to kill an unarmored human with a sniper rifle, or around 2 shots against a human with a normal armor vest. The sniper rifle can also instantly destroy digits and eyeballs, and will always cause lethal brain damage regardless of the victim's headgear and what quality it is. It only takes a single sniper rifle shot to an unprotected human limb to cripple it. Without factoring in any cover or shooter's accuracy, the sniper rifle has an average time to down of 12.9 seconds against unarmored people or 16.8 seconds against a human with an armor vest.
Since the sniper rifle has very poor close-quarters accuracy, is single-shot in nature and has a long time between shots, the sniper rifle is a skill-heavy weapon. A healthy level 11 traitless shooter, level 7 careful shooter or level 13 trigger-happy can somewhat efficiently use the sniper rifle up to 32 cells. However, a level 17 traitless shooter, level 14 careful shooter or level 18 trigger-happy is advisable to efficiently use the assault rifle up to its maximum range of 45 cells.
On average, the sniper rifle is best paired with a careful shooter up to level 13, then with a trigger-happy shooter beyond that point.
A sniper rifle has a weapon bulk of 200%, but weapon bulk doesn't seem to have any observable effect on actual gameplay.
All possible melee attacks with a sniper rifle:
|Tool||Attack||Damage Type||Power||Cooldown||Likelihood||Base DPS||Armored DPS|
Assault rifles can be purchased from outlander and orbital combat suppliers, or obtained from the following raider kinds:
- Pirate - 12.8% chance (normal quality on average, 40-150% health)
- Town Guard - 3.8% chance (poor quality on average, 20-200% health)
- Mercenary Gunner - 13.3% chance (normal quality on average, 70-230% health)
- Mercenary Sniper - 100% chance (normal quality on average, 70-230% health)
- Space Soldier - 8.2% chance (good quality on average, 100% health)
Conclusion & Comparison
The sniper rifle is an excellent weapon for dealing with siege attacks as it can reliably pick people off from a distance, so long as (as aforementioned) the shooter is also up to the task. Not only can your pawns attack enemies preemptively and potentially kill several before they get close enough to fight back, but you can also target their artillery shells and mortars in their camp; causing them to explode, damaging or killing anyone nearby, and potentially starting a wildfire. In the latter case, the fire alone can wipe out the whole camp if the raiders don't move and the weather is clear - although sieging raiders will generally attempt to extinguish fires within their camp.
Compared to its 'little cousin', the bolt-action rifle, the sniper rifle is a bit of a wildcard: you're trading speed and accuracy for significantly increased range and damage, but all changes overall favour the sniper rifle. It may be a better idea to stick with a combination of bolt-action rifles and assault rifles for close-mid range combat in the early-mid game though until you get enough people in your colony that are competent at violence, as the sniper rifle is somewhat of a niche weapon.
The below graphs assume an unmodified shooter using a Normal quality weapon.