How to beat an Awp
Ahh, yes... the awp, nearly every game has its own "ultimate sniper rifle" equivalent and they usually have the same basic properties: deadly accurate, long range zoom, instant kills with nearly every bullet, and an explosive "boom" that shakes the walls of the battlefield and makes every opponent second guess exposing his body. Who wouldn't love it!? Oh, that's right... you... the dude on the other end of the scope who's brains are about to leave a nasty stain on the wall. Don't worry my friend, all is not lost; the awp can be beat, even in the hands of the most elite snipers, and we'll show you how!
The Awp's Weaknesses
Okay, so we've covered what makes the awp deadly... instant kills, check. But this comes with a price, the game is more balanced than the "n00b cannon" whiners would lead you to believe. The awp has many weaknesses...
- Awpers usually give away their position - That booming sound of raw power may make the awper feel powerful, but after 1 shot he just gave away his approximate position. The hunt is on...
- An awper is a sitting duck - The gun can't be fired with even the most remote accuracy while moving, and "no scoping" is an art very few can dream to master. This means he has to stop, flick the zoom, and then line up the next shot.
- 1 bullet at a time - The awp gives you 1 shot at a time, there's not panic spray and pray mode. If an awper misses his shot, you've got a couple of seconds to make a move before he's going to fire again... use them wisely because he may not miss again.
- You know where they are - This isn't desert storm. I hate to break the "get into the game" frame of mind, but the fact remains that once you've played a map a few times you probably know where the awpers like to camp.
- Field of view - This isn't quite as big a weakness for the good awpers that can quickly scan areas and/or use reduced zoom, but in general an awper is looking down their scope trying to line up a shot, if they're not cornered down a 1 entrance hallway you may have an opportunity to see them first with your wider field of view.
- You can buy one too - If an awper is pinning you down, and he's such a "n00b", then buy yourself one and duke it out!
How to hunt the hunter
Use the weaknesses above to your advantage... locate the awper, hunt him down and finish him off before he gets a chance. Here are some of the key tactics in your arsenal once you find him:
- Throw a Flash - If you know his location, you can flash him. Hit him hard and make your move... you've only got a few seconds though, so make them count.
- Rush him - If you are in relatively close quarters with an awper you can often dodge their scope and charge him. Scoped weapons are pretty tough to control in face-to-face combat, especially with a spray from an automatic weapon.
- Burst fire - 1 bullet in the head from an AK47 or M4 is really all it takes to kill someone... even long range, who needs an awp at all? You better be fast and have your aim well trained though.
- Stealth - Usually there is more than 1 way to reach an awper. You may have to take out all his teammates guarding the back entrance first, but it there is almost always a way to get in behind him. If you can do it he won't have a chance... his eyes are too focused down the narrow scope to see you coming.
- Bate the shot - You can often bate an awper to take his shot by quickly exposing a sliver of your body around a wall, or even taking a fake shot into the wall before you step out. Once you hear his shot, you have a small window of opportunity to make a move before he can fire again... take him out or use it move to new cover closer to the enemy.
- Enter the Matrix - Yes, I realize the bullet is instantaneous and you won't be dodging it quite like Neo, but this is a serious tip. If an awper takes his shot and misses, you have a huge timing advantage... you know when he'll fire again. Count the seconds, let him think he's got you lined up again, then quickly dodge the next shot. It only takes a slight movement, and with a little practice can be done (within reason).
Awp vs. Awp
Alright hotshot, so you think you have what it takes to duke it out on a level playing field? I'll save the specifics of awping in general for another article, but "bating the shot" as described above combined with tactics from our article on angles on how to use the map to your advantage are probably 2 of the keys to an awp war.
Thanks to levio91 on the forums for suggesting we write this article. If anyone else has questions, ask away... this is a community blog, that's why we're here!