Whenever I'm on a killstreak as a Sniper, there's always one vengeful Pyro who comes my way and burns me within a couple of seconds. Obviously, when he comes behind me and sets fire to me, there's not much I can do, but what is a good strategy when I can see a Pyro coming at me from a medium distance away?

I know that scoping in and sniping him is incredibly risky and can't guarantee death (150 damage vs the Pyro's 175 max health). Also, the SMG is very weak, and takes a while to kill, but I only have a few seconds before he comes and kills me. I'm hesitant to use my melee weapon as these are best used when behind an opponent.

The situation in which I most often encounter this is when I'm in a corner, so I have to fight (or die). Which weapon is ideal for the situation, given this information?

Most Snipers, when cornered in this situation, crouch and accept their fate. Is there an alternative?

  • 3
    IMO the best thing to do is to get away from the pyro. TF2 is largely about counters and more counters. Leading a pyro to teammates that are more capable of taking him down is your best bet as a sniper.
    – user66184
    Commented Sep 20, 2014 at 22:37

3 Answers 3


If you're a sniper, and you're set on fire by a Pyro, you're going to get destroyed instantly.

That said, you need a weapon with huge burst DPS. And since the Sniper goes down easily whether or not he has the Bushwacka out, it's going to have to be that.

Since the Pyro is the king of CQC, alongside the Heavy, you'll want to do a quick Jarate, then bushwacka immediately.

Since running away is hard since both classes have the same movement speed, you could try quickscoping and headshotting the pyro, though this is already extremely hard if the Pyro is already in your face.

If the Pyro is at medium distance away from you, a good weapon to use is the Huntsman. Beware smart Pyros though. They'll see it coming and reflect it back into you, but dumb Pyros will walk straight and not strafe, allowing you to get a chance to instantly headshot them.

  • 1
    Good answer. Jarate + bushwacka is the only solution i can think of
    – imulsion
    Commented Sep 20, 2014 at 18:21
  • Thanks, but I'm referring specifically to a situation where I can see the Pyro coming towards me (at a medium range). What's the best thing to do in this situation, as a Sniper?
    – alexqwx
    Commented Sep 20, 2014 at 19:52
  • What I have to do if I use the Bazaar Bargain or a other rifle?
    – Gerret
    Commented Sep 20, 2014 at 20:08
  • @alexqwx I edited it to reflect that
    – childe
    Commented Sep 20, 2014 at 20:30

Most likely, as a Sniper, you are far away from the front line... so not many people would come barging their way towards you. However, in the case that they do, you have a few choices:

  1. Retreat. Backpeddle away as quickly as possible while dealing as much damage if you have any secondary damage dealing weapons like the SMG or the Cleaner's Carvine. Lead them to your team who can finish him off better than you. Do not use your Primary, because to use your primary deals very low DPS per second and without scope, it is very hard to land hits because of the low fire rate of any rifles.
  2. Throw your Jarate at him, then use your Bushwacka to hit him to deal full crits. One or two hits from a full crit bushwacka should take out most of the class in the game.
  3. If you are using Huntsman or the Fortified Compound, retreat first, and as you backpeddle, fire headshots at the enemy. A fully charged headshot from a Huntsman or Fortified Compound can kill all class except an overhealed heavy.

If you see Pyros charging at you, but has not yet reached you, do a quickscope to his face and another bodyshot will kill him. That will most probably take about a second, considering you don't miss.

If you are cornered, the weapon to have is the SMG and the Shahanshah. Use your SMG till you run below half your health, then use your Shahanshah to deal heavy blows and finish him off.

For Pyros, it is advisable that you do not use Huntsman or the Fortified Compound - they can easily air blast them away and send them back to you.

Hope I helped :)

  • 2
    +1 I forgot about backpedalling. The same thing applies to Pyro vs Pyro fights. If you backpedal while putting the flamethrower on the other Pyro, since you're running away you will take less damage, but since the Pyro is chasing you and thus walking into your flames, they'll take more damage and die faster
    – childe
    Commented Sep 21, 2014 at 16:25
  • 2
    Pyro vs Pyro battles mostly depend on who manages to put their crosshairs on the enemy the longest since they are not susceptible to afterburns also
    – Kim Minseo
    Commented Sep 22, 2014 at 14:22

The truth of the matter is that there's only one real way to counter this situation - avoid it entirley.

At medium-range, you can try to huntsman a pyro, you can try to get a shot off or jarate/bushwhacka him, you can even try your SMG if you're desperate, but the only surefire way to avoid getting cornered by a Pyro like this is to plan ahead, and keep yourself aware of your surroundings.

By this token, there are a few things you can do.

Do not stand in a corner, or anywhere where there's no possible escape route

Your first mistake was choosing a sniper location from which there was no escape. Always have a plan of retreat when sniping. Or for any class really.

Do not snipe from just one place

In keeping with the above, don't just snipe from one place and never move. The Killcam will ensure that you are hunted down and destroyed after one or two headshots. People love to take out a hard-scoped sniper, or just one that is always in the same spot. So switch up your positioning.

Stay behind your team

A sniper's best counter to a pyro is a class better-suited to countering pyros. You're terrible at taking on their short-range attacks, so stay behind everyone else in your team and in locations they'll be hard-pressed to reach. If your team is pressed back, be as pressed back as possible, and possibly consider switching from sniper (you aren't going to do your team a lot of good if the enemy is already up in your face).

Run! Run! Run!

There's no shame in beating a hasty retreat. Snipers are one of the weakest close-range classes out there. Only a few other classes are viable to take down at close-range with a quick Jarate/Bushwacka, and medium-range combat really isn't your forte either (Unless you're a Huntsman Sniper). Run, run, run away, and live to snipe another day.

  • Acutally, if you are using the Jarate / Bushwacka counter, it is actually possible to kill the Pyro at close range - use the bushwacka for some time, and when the situation goes dangerous, use Jarate to both put out the fire and to coat the pyro - then use Bushwacka again to kill the Pyro. Though after this, you will be very low on health...
    – Kim Minseo
    Commented Oct 2, 2014 at 7:16
  • 1
    @KimMinseo It is possible, and other answers have suggested as much, but it's also very risky. You're basically counting on your ability to hit the pyro and yourself at the exact right moment for it to work, then to make that Melee shot, AND for the Pyro to not be smart enough to just keep burning you instead of trying something fancy like an Axtinguisher kill. Whereas even if you don't have the skill to do all of this, you can very easily run away and avoid these situations entirely.
    – Zibbobz
    Commented Oct 2, 2014 at 13:23
  • Yup I agree with you, just saying that the option above is a possible option to explore.
    – Kim Minseo
    Commented Oct 3, 2014 at 7:10

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