The Sniper Rifle is a weapon that has been featured in every Grand Theft Auto game since Grand Theft Auto III, with the exception of Grand Theft Auto Advance. It is often required in missions to shoot enemy gang members at a distance, especially when the goal is to protect an ally from far away. At long range, the sniper rifle usually provides a stealth kill, however it is not silenced, and should be fired far away from pedestrians and police. The rifle's magnifying scope is a valuable reconnaissance tool, and is also useful for viewing small game details like magazine covers and in-car objects.
Like in many computer games, the rifle's bullets fly straight to the targeted point (it is a 'hitscan' weapon) - real life variables like distance, wind, or target movement don't affect the bullet, but it is still unknown yet if this applies to GTA V as we did witness a wind speed indicator during the official gameplay video which is probably not there just for aesthetics. GTA IV however, did introduce one element of sniping, the shooter's heart rate and breathing affect the aim (this is displayed through the fact that the aiming "piper" will "dance" around in the scope). Holding down a button will slow Niko's heartbeat and stop his breathing for a bit, which steadies the aim.
The GTA IV's rifle is said to be twice as powerful as the Combat Sniper rifle; it is, however, a bolt action rifle, and thus can't fire nearly as fast. It provides a one-headshot kill in single player and multiplayer, unless the target is heavily armored.
The sniper rifle only appears in certain missions of Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars, where the player has to assemble the rifle using the touch screen. In the DS version, the whole top screen is then used to display the scoped view. In the iOS version, the top screen display moves into the single screen by showing up beside the rifle assembly. This also applies to the PSP version, although there is no touch screen functionality.
In most games, the sniper rifle is based on the Remington M40A1, although in San Andreas, the gun's HUD icon appears to resemble a PSG-1.
In Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories, the sniper rifle is based on the Springfield M21, reflecting the game's setting of 1984, but it functions incorrectly as a bolt-action rifle, the real M21 being semi-automatic.
Customizations (GTA V)
- Scope (mid-range zoom) - Equipped by default.
- Supressor (silences but slightly reduces damage and range) - $2300
- Advanced Scope (advanced-range zoom, increase a great amount of accuracy) - $2437
- Rounds (20 rounds) - $48
- Black (default) - Equipped by default
- Army Tint (Desert sand) - $100
- LSPD Tint (Metallic Blue) - $600
- Belleville Park, Staunton Island - On top of the building south of the Belleville Park Fire Station behind the MSX FM sign (and next to the body armor icon) (use the angled edge of the Shoreside Lift Bridge Loop to jump to it).
- Newport, Staunton Island - Available to buy from Ammu-Nation after completion of Last Requests ($10,000).
- Cochrane Dam, Shoreside Vale - In the trees along the path to the base of the Cochrane Dam from the main entrance (near Cedar Grove).
- Spawns at every safehouse once the player collects 80 Hidden Packages.
GTA Vice City
- North Point Mall - Available to buy from Ammu-Nation after completion of Phnom Penh '86 ($1,500).
- Starfish Island - In the hedge maze at the west part of the Mansion.
- Viceport - On the ledge on the south side of the base of the south bridge housing at the west end of the South Bridge that connects Ocean Beach and Little Havana.
GTA San Andreas
- Jefferson, Los Santos - On the roof of the County General Hospital. It is only accessible by jetpack, helicopter, Hydra, etc. Bailing out of a plane and parachuting down with low flying skill will most likely result in death.
- Vinewood, Los Santos - On the highest floor of a scaffolding at the back side of InterGlobal Studios, immediately next to a car park located within the studios premises; there are signs "INTERGLOBAL TELEVISION" and "STAGE 25" on the building.
- Mulholland, Los Santos - On a balcony of a house, near a body armor pickup.
- Unincorporated, San Fierro - At the end of a winding dirt road inside a small shack next to a cropduster; south east of Easter Tunnel , west of The Farm, and east of Foster Valley. It doesn't spawn when you wander around the map during Reuniting The Families, probably due to a bug.
- Downtown, San Fierro - Atop a building beside Otto's Autos.
- Doherty, San Fierro - In the exterior of the Doherty Garage after photographing all 50 Snapshots.
- Julius Thruway North, Las Venturas - On the roof of a little chapel near the Las Venturas Police Headquarters.
- The Clown's Pocket, Las Venturas - Somewhere on the Clown's Pocket Casino roof.
- The Four Dragons Casino, Las Venturas - On the lower roof of the casino.
- Can be bought from Ammu-Nation for $6000 after the completion of Pier 69.
- Given to the player (in one of large concrete pipes located in the construction site beside the Doherty Garage) during the mission "Snail Trail". One time only.
GTA Liberty City Stories
- Hepburn Heights, Portland Island - On top of the construction site roof (to get it use the ruins of the doll house as a ramp).
- Torrington, Staunton Island - On top of the large star monument.
- Francis International Airport, Shoreside Vale - Underneath a small wooden ramp/bridge leading to Wichita Gardens.
- Cochrane Dam, Shoreside Vale - In the large tunnel entrance (tunnel leading to Cedar Grove).
- Newport, Stauton Island - Can be bought in the Ammu-Nation for $6000 after the mission Driving Mr. Leone.
GTA Vice City Stories
- Starfish Island - Behind a mansion in the southern part of the island after completion of From Zero To Hero.
- Outside every safehouse after bursting 80 red balloons.
- Ocean Beach - Can be bought in the Ammu-Nation for $6000 ($4500 if the player completed Phil's Shooting Range) after the mission From Zero To Hero.
GTA IV + Episodes from Liberty City
The Sniper Rifle can be purchased from the back-alley gun shops for $6,000 and each additional magazine will cost $800. You cannot purchase the weapon from Little Jacob; however, you can purchase the Combat Sniper from him for less than the standard sniper rifle.
- East Hook - Can be found on a gantry crane at the docks where the Platypus is berthed, which is located on Mohanet Ave. Specifically, the gantry crane closest to the bow on the starboard side of the ship. Only found after Luck of the Irish.
- Steinway - Can be found atop a ferry terminal-type structure in Gantry Park, located off Dukes Drive. From the leftmost portion of the docks, the rifle is located atop the second structure. Again, only found after Luck of the Irish.
- Northwood - Can be found atop a crude oil refining tower at the intersection of Exeter Ave and Grummer Rd, near the water's edge. This is the only sniper you're able to get at the beginning of the game, but it's easy to get Busted or Wasted with a 6-star wanted level.
- Can be purchased from Ammunation for $5000
- On top of the more northern of the two red/white smokestacks inside Palmer-Taylor Power Station.
- Los Santos International Airport - on the top of the airport radar.
- Paleto Bay, Blaine County - on the top of the yellow water tower.
- Galileo Observatory, Vinewood Hills - on the observatory viewpoint, next to a telescope facing south.
- After Minor Turbulence, in the Alamo Sea almost directly north of Stab City.
- Can be purchased from Ammunation at Rank 20.
- A sniper rifle can be found and kept for free by attacking the gang hideout south of the Cypress Flats Ammunation. The gang attack only appears from 12:00 to 20:00. The sniper rifle isn't in the crates, but can be picked up from one of the enemies.
There is a glitch in GTA IV that if you keep crouching and shooting at the same time, the weapon will firing in automatic mode.
- In all GTA 3D Era games (excluding GTA Advance), shooting at the moon with the rifle will make it bigger and smaller.
- In Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars, the icon for the Sniper Rifle resembles the PSG-1 from Vice City and Liberty City Stories. However, while being assembled, the rifle resembles a cross between the Remington M40A1 of Grand Theft Auto IV and the M21 of Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories.
- In all the GTA 3D era games, the sniper rifle's cocking animation can either be seen in multiplayer (Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories and Vice City Stories) or when set on fire (Grand Theft Auto: III, Vice City and San Andreas only).
- A possible overlook, when you use the Poor Weapons cheat in GTA IV, instead of recieving this rifle, you instead get the Combat Sniper.
- Some games in the GTA III era, setting fire to yourself then using the sniper rifle would allow it to lock on to any opponent and fire without utilizing the scope.
- In GTA IV and its episodes, the sniper rifle's bolt is on the right but Niko/Johnny/Luis/multiplayer character will pull an invisible bolt on the left.
- In GTA IV, it is strange that the standard sniper rifle is more powerful than the combat sniper. This is an opposite of the 3D Universe games where the combat sniper is far more powerful and accurate compared to the regular one.
- From San Andreas up to the latest games, shooting the birds flying in the air causes them to disappear, with the exception of GTA V where shooting a bird will kill it.
- In GTA: San Andreas, crouching while using the scope in with the sniper rifle allows movement while the scope is zoomed in but standing up will stop movement.
- In GTA: San Andreas, using the rifle's scope while crouching will automatically cause CJ to stand up, although he can crouch again while aiming down the scope.
- The sniper rifle from GTA III, GTA Vice City, GTA San Andreas and Liberty City Stories uses the same GTA III AK-47 textures (Seen inside the .TXD file)
- The GTA III rendition has more realistic sound than other games' renditions in the 3D Universe
- In GTA Vice City and Vice City Stories, the rifle is silenced, as it has no echo noise after firing.
- In some games, discharging the sniper rifle in public will not cause pedestrians to panic neither attract police attention.
- In GTA V, the player can use a thermal scope to target enemies, but it so far is only allowed for use during specific missions.
- GTA V is the only Grand Theft Auto so far in which the sniper rifle can be fired while moving (although it seldom hits its mark like this). The sniper rifle also seems to be weakened like this as shooting a Pedestrian who would be kill by a shot to the torso seems to just walk up after the run and gun method.