The Sniper Rifle is UT´s Railgun, there simply is no better weapon for long distant fights. But unlike the Railgun in Quake 2/3 it doesn´t have the disadvantage of a long reload time. That´s why it´s even a strong weapon for mid range, and if you are good with it, even for low range fights.
Especially open areas are easy to dominate with the sniper rifle, there isn´t much you can do against a good sniper in Deck16 for example.
There are basically 2 styles to aim with the sniper rifle. The 1st style is self-explaining, it is reflex aiming. You just move your mouse at your opponents position and shoot as soon as you "hit" him with the crosshair. This requires lots of practice, but always works.
The 2nd style is easier to perform, but has it´s disadvantages. I would call it fixed aiming. You have to think of your gun as some sort of self firing system. As soon as someone enters your crosshair you shoot without moving your mouse hand. You should aim at bottlenecks, positions where he has to go through or at items he will be going for. You can also use this method during a fight. If he strafes left you keep your cross to his right, because he will strafe back to the right sooner or later. As soon as he does that and enters your crosshair, you shoot his head off.
One more thing you should learn when using the rifle is to shoot only when you are sure to hit. There are many players who just keep their finger on the attack button instead of waiting for the right moment. The high shot frequency of course invites to do so, but you usually have much more hits and of course a lower ammo consumption if you are waiting for the right time to shoot.
Like with the Ripper you get a headshot if you hit your opponent`s player model in the upper third. With a good aiming this makes the Rifle one of the most important weapons in the game.
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