When completing missions in Sniper Elite 5, a good strategy is to avoid notifying opponents of your presence. Our guide lists tips on the basics of sneaking and stealth kills. They'll be useful in completing the main and side quests.
- Recon - binoculars or a rifle scope
- Focus and radar
- Crouching, tall grass, and other methods for avoiding detection
- Loud area and shot masking
- Enemy alarm levels
- Stealth takedowns
- Towers and other viewpoints on the map
Recon - binoculars or a rifle scope
Carrying out recon in Sniper Elite 5 lets you sneak around much more effectively. It reduces the likelihood of encountering enemies out of nowhere who would be difficult to eliminate without raising the alarm. During recon, the following are useful:
- binoculars - this is the better option out of the two, because you can freely adjust the zoom level and permanently mark enemies to track them easier;
- rifle scope - unfortunately, some scopes do not have adjustable zoom levels and they only tag enemies temporarily.
Focus and radar
There are also other techniques that help detect opponents, but these become unavailable on the highest realistic difficulty level. These are:
- Focus - allows you to "X-ray" the area, which is useful for determining enemy positioning, among other things. What makes it simple is that you can activate the focus for a longer period of time without exhausting any energy bars.
- Radar - the circles on it indicate the approximate locations of nearby enemies. This information isn't fully accurate, but it helps you prepare to fight the enemy or to bypass a guarded area.
Crouching, tall grass, and other methods for avoiding detection
There are several universal techniques in the game that will help you avoid being noticed by your opponents. The most important ones are:
- Moving while crouching - this should be your default strategy, as it also generates less noise. Note - some weapon attachments can slow down your movement while crouching.
- Lying down on the ground and crawling - in most cases (e.g., high risk of detection, open space with no places to hide), this should be the last resort because it is impossible to move around the map efficiently this way.
- Hiding in tall grass - this won't provide complete protection, but it will let you avoid being spotted by enemies standing further away. If necessary, you can also stop moving or lie down in the grass.
- Using cover - try to choose cover that lets you continue shooting while keeping you hidden. These include, for example, various types of walls and trenches.
Loud area and shot masking
When sneaking, keep in mind that enemies can not only see you, but also hear you. This includes the sound of the character's footsteps and, most notably, the sound of gunshots.
Each weapon in the game has an audible range which is listed on the equipment selection window. You can change a weapon's default range by installing silencers, and each gun has several available options. Each silencer has its advantages and disadvantages. For example, some can drastically reduce audible range, but also make it more difficult to shoot accurately. Choose attachments based on what you currently need and your preferred playstyle.
Masking the sounds of shots within a loud area indicated by the sound wave at the top of the screen also plays a critical role. The main ways of creating a loud area are:
- Tampering with the generator or engine of a vehicle that will then start making noise. Find machines in the game world, damage them, and shoot at the same time as the malfunctioning engine makes noise.
- Loud ambient noises. These include, for example, the sound of artillery gunfire or planes flying over the map. Take advantage of such "free" opportunities.
Enemy alarm levels
There are 3 levels of enemy alertness, and correctly identifying them reduces the risk of triggering an alarm:
- The calm state (white circles on the radar) is the default for each enemy. They are unaware of Karl's presence and are preoccupied with their own activities (standing still, patrolling, talking, etc.).
- The yellow alert level is triggered when something grabs the opponent's attention. It could be the main character's silhouette, discovering a corpse, or hearing a sound. If this happens, quickly hide, eliminate the person, or leave the opponent's line of sight.
- The red level is full alarm - Karl will be attacked and reinforcements might be on their way. When this occurs, it's best to flee and lose the pursuit because direct combat is dangerous. You can sabotage alarm stations in advance and prevent enemies from calling for reinforcements.
The game also lets you deliberately distract enemies by whistling or throwing bottles. This allows you to lure them to secluded areas or, for example, lead them to strategically placed traps. It's worth experimenting with similar methods.
While sneaking, you can not only avoid enemies, but also look for opportunities to sneak up behind them and perform takedowns. You can either kill your opponent with a stun attack or simply knock them out. The main advantage of takedowns is that they don't make any noise, so you can use them in places where even using a silenced weapon would be risky.
The game gives you the option to hide enemy bodies, but it's not required. If discovered, bodies can raise an enemy's alertness level to yellow, but not to full alarm. The fact that the corpse may eventually disappear on its own makes things easier (usually after leaving a given location).
Towers and other viewpoints on the map
Long-range attacks are an effective way to eliminate enemies without raising the alarm, provided that shots are fired from locations where no one is present.
During missions, seek out towers and other tall structures. The same applies to all kinds of viewpoints, e.g. larger hills. They can provide a wide field of view and allow for "safe shots" even at long distances.
Note - Some towers and hideouts in buildings may be occupied by enemy snipers. In order to take over a given location and shoot from there, you need to avoid being detected by them while also eliminating them.