This is actually, despite common perception, the most important part of being a sniper. If you don't move, then you are a camper, not a sniper, and have therefore earned my contempt.
Deciding when and how to move
The trick to being a sniper is to know when and how to move, without this ability you are useless to your team and will not be able to put yourself in a situation where you are useful. There are varying grades of movement and stealth, and generally the faster you move the less stealthy you are. Something a sniper should always do is asses where he is going and then move in increments and then rest, plan their next movement and check their surroundings. When you are on the move you should be constantly considering a couple of things:
- Where are you the closer you are to base the less careful you have to be and the faster you can go
- What the light conditions are, as dark covers your movements, as does dawn and dusk (not as well but at these times enemies can't use night vision, this is normally only encountered in scenario's though)
- What can you hear, this is important because sound will definitely give you away, ruining all of your careful planning
- What cover you got where you are going and an the way
- Does anyone see you, as the best time to move is when any enemies are preoccupied, like in a firefight or talking tactics or any time they are not paying attention
Running, as a tactic, is somewhat limited. It doesn't lower your profile and it isn't silent. However, it does get you where your going fast. Therefore running is only useful for getting somewhere when you are 100% sure there are no enemies, or when there is an emergency, like 20 guys with fast markers, full hoppers, and lots of rage heading your way, the trick with retreating is to return fire whenever you can and get to the nearest safe place, like with teamates who can then set up an ambush.
Moving silently is one of the things you will have to get good at to snipe. To walk silently you must either:
1. put your heel down and then the rest of your foot, this is the best way to do it, but if it is not comfortable and causes you to stumble try the other two methods
2. put your toe down first then put the rest of your foot down
3. put the side of your foot down and then the rest of your foot, I seen this on a website about sniping, I personally think it would be uncomfortable, but it's theoretically possible
you should do whatever feels right for you, but in all cases you must do this gradually and feel what you are putting your foot on, if you feel something springy like a twig, then slowly lift your foot and place it somewhere else. Another habit you should get into is to check the ground in front of you, and avoid dry leaves, twigs and other noise making foliage, all of these can make noise and cause you to be noticed, and that will often lead to a shooting match. One thing that should be avoided at all times is walking in an area full of dry foliage, but if you every find yourself in this situation then don't panic, go extra slow and if possible then ease your foot under the twigs and such to prevent loud snaps. Another good thing to watch out for is thorns, poison ivy/oak and thistles, as these can be painful and cause major problems (yelling in pain and then getting lit up would suck).
Once you have figured out how to walk, then try it in a half crouch to reduce your profile, it will feel slightly unnatural but in this you don't have much of a choice, you have to avoid being seen and getting low is the best way to do it.
This is very important, as this is the only way you should move when you are close to enemies. This gives you the most concealment and makes little noise as long as you know what you are doing. Also, crawling allows you to drop flat on the ground and act inconspicous at the slightest hint of danger.
The "Baby Crawl" is done on hands and knees and allows you to move relatively fast with a low profile, but should be used sparingly as it tends to be loud
A normal crawl is achieved by getting down onto your chest and using your forearms and lower legs to propel you, you should also lift yourself slightly so that you do not drag the ground and cause unessecary exertion and sound.
The last way to crawl is to get as low as possible, lay your gun as flat as possible, and push yourself with your feet and pull with your hands, naturally this only works when you are looking to get a better shot as this method of movement is very slow
- stay behind cover whenever possible
- wait for a firefight or something to move
- get panicked after firing or after others fire
- make any sudden movements while in an enemy's sight
- walk on top of a hill/ridge, it creates a very nice target
Here's a good website to check out if you plan on sniping: