So you say that you want to be a Marksman, The Division’s sniper class? Have you asked yourself, what is the best sniper in The Division? Well this article: The Division Best Sniper Rifle, will attempt to answer this question for you. Perhaps you’re like many other people and you find spraying countless rounds into the general direction of an enemy sniper in The Division to be a bit inefficient and you want the best weapon for the job. To start right off, we will assume that you are level 30 and we will not be discussing how to obtain these weapons as that will be detailed another time. With that said you’ve got a few options as far as sniper rifles are concerned, the Mk17, M1A, M44 as well as others however they don’t quite stack up to the three we have mentioned here.
UPDATE: Since the April 12th update, a Gold M1A blueprint was available for those with Dark Zone Rank 75. It has since rotated out of availability but once BubbleSlayer gets our hands on it we will update this article, although its not hard to assume that its better than the superior version.
Here is a list of Sniper rifles:
1891/59 CarbineClassic M1AClassic M44 CarbineCovert SRSCustom M44DTA SRS CovertFirst wave M1AHunting M44M110M14M82Military SCAR-HMk 20 SSRPolice MK17PSLRammington 700SOCOM M1A 16SOCOM MK20 SSRSRS A1SRS A1 Cover
The Police Mk17 which is obtained as a blueprint from the Special Weapons Vendor in the Tech Wing for 168 Phoenix Credits, is for many people the first High End sniper rifle they may have the option of equipping. This may have you thinking that this is the best option for your sniping needs. That may actually be true but only if you don’t have access to the Custom M44 sold in the DZ06 safehouse or been lucky enough to get a Superior or High End M1A world drop. No, that isn’t a typo, even a Superior grade M1A can be better than the High End Mk17 and not in just situational encounters, but in overall DPS as well as practical usability.
Lets take a closer look. The Mk17 is a semi-automatic sniper rifle which comes with a stock magazine size of 20. The good thing is because its crafted through a blueprint, you can craft it multiple times to obtain an optimal roll through the three random talents. The downside is that the damage isn’t very high per shot, although you can fire a lot. If you aren’t a very good aim or you just want to provide near constant cover fire on enemy snipers or you want to pick off a lot of small trash mobs and prefer to not take cover often, then this is the Sniper for you. Because it fires quickly, you can also hip fire it directly into close up enemies and do pretty good damage by pulling the trigger rapidly.
We could stop here because the Mk17 does a fine job, however there is another weapon called the M1A which you should consider. The M1A was on sale at the Advanced weapons vendor in Superior form with a very good roll of Stability and Accuracy, however its since been removed as the stock refreshes. Different variations of the M1A have came back up for sale, however since its not a blueprint, its roll is at the mercy of the vendor RNG. Assuming you can get your hands on a good one, you’ve got the same semi-automatic action type, but the clip is half the size at 10 rounds. Due to the way DPS is calculated and because you can’t possibly do any damage while you’re reloading, this impacts its net DPS value. But even though you’d be reloading presumably twice as often, with an extended magazine this sniper is still doing more damage than the Mk17 with the same extended magazine upgrade.
How is that possible? Its because the damage scaling on the M1A is far superior to that of the Mk17 and each M1A bullet is hitting harder from day one. In other words, as your Firearm stat goes up, the M1A will do more and more damage than the Mk17. In fact, at 535 Firearms which is the base at level 30, the M1A has the highest DPS of all the snipers in this comparison when an extended magazine is used. So will you be missing the extra magazine size the Mk17 provides? Not really. Trying to think of a situation where you NEED more than 20 sniper rounds is difficult to say the least. The Division is a cover fire game, specifically when it comes to sniping so you’ll have plenty of opportunities to replenish your magazine and if you can get your hands on an item level 30 or 31 High End M1A, the M1A should only become an even clearer first choice. You get the same semi-automatic firing action and more damage. You do get a smaller magazine size which is mostly irrelevant with an extended magazine. The only real downside is the weapon is not available for purchase at a vendor on any given day, the High End version is only available currently as a world drop and there is no blueprint to help you get a good roll. But since this article assumes you can get your hands on one, the M1A is the clear winner here.
But what about the M44 you say? The M44 actually has the highest Firearms scaling out of all three weapons and can be the path to hitting huge headshots like the one pictured to the right. The only issue is that the weapon is bolt action and has a base magazine size of only 5 rounds. So while this sniper can do the highest one bullet damage of all snipers in the game currently, unless you are a perfect aim, this weapon takes the back burner in overall usage scenarios compared to the M1A. If you want to go into the Dark Zone and one shot other agents however, the M44 is one weapon with the chance to put them away without any chance of rebuttal, so its definitely a weapon to have in the arsenal. Here is a good video by BreezyPeazy which covers the Firearms scaling in detail:
Verdict: Get an M1A and have an M44 situationally in the Dark Zone.
So which sniper do you use? Let us know in the comments below.