I really like to play with sniper rifles in shooters and since these are also present in Borderlands, I'm really looking for a character whose skill tree synergizes with this kind of weapon.

I have a lot of experience in RPGs with similar skill-trees and stats but unfortunately I'm not really familiar with all the stats and bonuses in borderlands so I don't really know what to pick or look for. My main questions:

  • Which character is played best as a Sniper based on Skill-Tree synergy?
  • Is there some sort of stat priority?
  • Nisha probably? Aimbot ftw?
    – Lyrion
    Oct 24, 2014 at 7:35
  • 2
    @Lyrion - Nisha's skill is not the best when used with sniper rifles, because it only works with them if you don't aim down the scope. Rapid shots in succession with a sniper rifle from the hip get inaccurate very fast.
    – 5pike
    Oct 24, 2014 at 7:41
  • 4
    As stupid and simple it sound, the key by using in borderlands is getting headshots criticals. Headshot in borderlands are very strong and important. The class doesnt really matter either, but I would go with athena for various reasons ( shild is useful if you need time to switch weaopns from your sniper to someting else,,.. ). Also, always keep the snipers with the most damage, fire rate is important but since you should always aim at the head its less valuable than damage
    – Jubatus
    Oct 24, 2014 at 7:51
  • Jubatus is right , athena would be the assassin class if i'm not mistaken then she has the skill affecting sniper rifles and she can use them with higher damage than other classes i guess
    – Hitman2847
    Oct 25, 2014 at 9:37

3 Answers 3


Wilhelm the Enforcer is a good choice for us cowards—er, I mean "snipers".

When sniping, it's useful to have a buddy who can occupy distant enemies while you take them out. The longer you keep them far away, the longer you can stay scoped in. Also, since scoping in interferes with situational awareness, it's nice to have a buddy to protect you from attackers who run up without your noticing.

Wilhelm's Wolf drone helps with both of those needs, while Saint keeps you alive if someone does sneak up on you while you're scoped in. That's most valuable in solo play since humans will watch your back in co-op, but even in co-op Wolf and Saint can help in the same ways. (In Borderlands 2, Gaige the Mechromancer's Deathtrap robot was great for the same reasons.)

The other classes can work perfectly well as snipers:

  • No class has a skill that specifically buffs sniping or sniper rifles.
  • All classes have have buffs that are useful for snipers in general (increase damage, reload, shield, etc.).
  • Nisha's auto-aim in Showdown is powerful, with auto-lock on critical spots when you aim down the sites. This makes her a good sniping class, though sniper rifles are unfortunately excluded from the damage bonus part of her perk. Nisha starts the game with a sniper rifle and pistol, suggesting that Gearbox thinks of her as a sniper class. Even so, I prefer Wilhelm's bots overall since for me sniping is about staying as far from the bad guys as possible (cowardice).
  • Athena's aspis (shield) is great, but you can't aim with the scope while it's active. That said, I'm currently playing her in a sniper-heavy role and it's working fine. I switch to shield when things get too close.
  • Claptrap: lots of exploding, friend buffing, and randomness, but again nothing specifically targeted at sniping.

With the DLC, Aurelia (the Baroness) has "The Huntress" skill tree that has a lot of sniper-related goodies.

Tier 1: Only The Best gives you +20% bullet speed and +1 magazine size for sniper rifles (per level).

Tier 2: There's a one-point skill called Long-Range Killer that gives bonus damage based on your distance to the target (farther away = more damage). Then there's also Warning Shot (when you miss with a Sniper, you get a few seconds of bonus to Fire Rate, Accuracy, Critical Hit Damage, and Weapon Swap Speed).

Tier 3: A one-pointer called Silver Lining (kill with a critical hit, add a bullet to your magazine).

Tier 4: Magic Bullet is a one-pointer that regens health for you when you crit with a Sniper Rifle (closer = more), plus it also creates a healing nova at the location of the sap you killed, healing your allies (including second winds!), and that one scales opposite (further away = more). Then you get a choice of either I Never Miss (Each hit with a Sniper Rifle adds a stack, two if you crit, each stack adds crit damage with sniper rifles, but you lose the stack if you miss) or Wait For It (adds a stack each time you miss, when you hit the stacks convert to extra damage).

Tier 5: Nothing specifically sniper-related here.

Tier 6: Custom Loads is the end of the tree, and it adds the ability to add any elemental type to your sniper rifle when zoomed in (there's a scrolling wheel mini-game type thing involved).

If you're playing Co-op, the Contractual Aristocracy tree has some nice bennies, but nothing specific to sniper rifles, so it's probably best to pick these up after you've maxed out the other tree. (Duchess is probably the best "splash" - it's Tier 1 and gives stacks of Accuracy bonuses)


Nisha, as the gunslinger class, is similar to Mordecai and Zer0. They all have increased accuracy bonus, making them optimal for sniping. It is possible to play as sniper in all classes since they all have their own bonuses. Playing as Wilhelm gives more durability and backup/protection from enemy fire with Wolf and Saint. CL4P-TP (who I play as) may be the worst to snipe though (I know, bad decision), but Vaulthunter.exe has its pros as well (giving full health each use).

  • Worth noting: Nisha's specifically accuracy-buffing skill (Snap Shot) only applies to firing from the hip. Her base skill Showdown does buff accuracy for both hip and scoped fire, though it buffs everything else too (damage, rate, etc.). Wilhelm's accuracy buff (Targeting Shot) seems well oriented toward sniping. Dec 17, 2014 at 21:55

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