Fallout 4: Best Sniper Rifle – Weapon Tier List

Master the Wasteland of Fallout 4 with the best Sniper Rifle weapon Tier List guide, equipping your build with early and end-game choices.

Fallout 4 Best Sniper Rifle Weapon Tier List

In Fallout 4, Sniper Rifles are a type of weapon that focuses on the long-range with significant damage, slow rates of fire, and deadly accuracy. Rifles, Pistols, and other weapons can be used as a “sniper rifle” through modification with stock, barrel, and receiver. The Sniper perk, along with Riflemen, can add considerable damage to your build, making snipers some of the most lethal in the wasteland. In this best sniper rifle guide, we walk through a tier list and weapon progression path for anyone wanting to use sniper rifles or sniper build in Fallout 4.

The Best Sniper Rifle in Fallout – Tier List

Fallout 4 Sniper Build Gameplay Preview

Gauss Rifle is the best sniper rifle in Fallout 4 because of its base damage, modification potential, range, and trigger mechanic. Unlike other sniper rifles, the Gauss trigger can be held down and charged for the highest damage in the game without using VATS. However, the Combat Rifle and Plasma Gun almost make exceptional sniper rifles due to their modification options later in Fallout 4. We suggest beginners pick up a Pipe Bolt and modify it, which can help throughout the early game when ammunition is spare. Once the stock is converted to Marksmen with the Gun Nut perk, you change the functionality, making it a deadly early-game sniper rifle.

Here are the best Sniper Rifle weapons tier list in Fallout 4:

  • S Tier – Gauss Rifle, Combat Rifle
  • A Tier – Plasma Gun, Railway Rifle
  • B Tier – Hunting Rifle, Laser Gun
  • C Tier – Pipe Bolt-Action Rifle, Assault Rifle
  • D Tier – Laser Musket  

Laser Musket (D Tier)

Fallout 4 Laser Musket Weapon

Laser Musket Stats and Effects in Fallout 4:

  • Weapon Type: Energy weapon
  • Effect(s): None
  • Base Damage: 30
  • Ammo: Fusion cell
  • Magazine Size: 1
  • Fire Rate: 6
  • Range: 71
  • Accuracy: 70
  • Value: 40
  • Weight: 8

The earliest Sniper Rifle in Fallout 4 is the Laser Musket, found outside the Museum of Freedom in Concord. We rated this as D Tier due to its terrible reload and one-shot magazine. This is the same rifle Preston Garvey’s companion uses and is a bolt-action energy weapon. The weakness of the Laser Musket is its one-shot magazine size, requiring reloading after every shot. However, through weapon upgrades, you can increase the magazine size and crank up to 6 times outside of combat.

We recommend finding the Laser Musket during the initial parts of Fallout 4. Use it and the fusion cell ammunition when you can sneak attack for extra damage. Look to collect and modify the Pipe Pistol, which can be made into a sniper rifle with many ammunition options. Be careful to use the Laser Musket when you can guarantee a headshot, and have a spare weapon that can be drawn when enemies survive the initial encounter.

Assault Rifle (C Tier)

Fallout 4 Assault Rifle Weapon

Assault Rifle Stats and Effects in Fallout 4:

  • Weapon Type: Rifle
  • Effect(s): None
  • Base Damage: 30
  • Ammo: 5.56 rounds
  • Magazine Size: 30
  • Fire Rate: 40
  • Range: 119
  • Accuracy: 72
  • Value: 182
  • Weight: 13.4

The Assault Rifle is ranked C Tier because of weak modification selections and limited upgrades like other weapons on our Sniper Rifle List. The Assault Rifle can be made to be automatic or semi-automatic. The rate of fire determines your perks, like Rifleman or Commando, so make sure to equip the correct receiver and not convert to automatic. Moreover, the Assault Rifle uses 5.56 rounds, which can be brutal to obtain, especially early. However, the base damage is excellent, and the range can be over 200 with barrel modification.

We suggest modifying the Assault Rifle with a Marksman Stock, Suppressor for sneak builds, but to keep other weapons avalibile with higher upside.

Pipe Bolt-Action Rifle (C+ Tier)

Fallout 4 Pipe Bolt-Action Rifle Weapon

Pipe Bolt-Action Rifle Stats and Effects in Fallout 4:

  • Weapon Type: Pistol
  • Effect(s): None
  • Base Damage: 34
  • Ammo: .308 round
  • Magazine Size: 6
  • Fire Rate: 2
  • Range: 95
  • Accuracy: 63
  • Value: 30
  • Weight: 3.2

The Pipe Bolt-Action Rifle, modified from a Pipe Pistol, comes in at C+ tier on our Sniper tier list in Fallout 4. The strength of the Pipe Rifle is its modification flexibility. Pipe weapons are common among the wasteland, but you can upgrade them with .50 caliber bullets for incredible damage. Even a .308 round will pack a punch, and Marksman Stock, Scopes, and Suppressor are all options on this weapon. The major downside is investing in the Gun Nut perk to use the Pipe Rifle. Gun Nut requires three intelligences; some builds may forgo this, especially early on.

Therefore, we suggest obtaining bobbleheads early to increase your overall stats to get Gun Nut early in Fallout 4. Moreover, keep the receiver and ammunition type one you have plentiful of. You can also revert to this rifle once upgraded as an “ammo dump” gun for weaker enemies that do not require precious ammunition.

Laser Gun (B Tier)

Fallout 4 Righteous Authority Laser Rifle

Laser Gun Stats and Effects in Fallout 4:

  • Weapon Type: Energy weapon
  • Effect(s): none
  • Base Damage: 24
  • Ammo: Fusion cell
  • Magazine Size: 30
  • Fire Rate: 50
  • Range: 71
  • Accuracy: 71
  • Value: 66
  • Weight: 3.9

The Laser Gun is an energy weapon that can be converted to a rifle with the Marksman’s Stock, making it rank B Tier on this list. The Laser Gun (rifle) has great range, a big magazine, and can have a sniper barrel. Moreover, you often have plenty of Fusion cell ammunition, so it pairs well with a Pipe Rifle, depending on your ammunition situation. The downside of the Laser Gun is the need to obtain a Science perk to take advantage of its potential. Likely, you will have to split perks and increase your intelligence over time. Thankfully, Fallout 4 doesn’t have a level cap so that you can get a gun nut, science, and powerful rifleman perk over time.

We suggest collecting the Righteous Authority unique Laser Gun. This is given to you by Paladin Danse after completing the Call to Arms quest within the Brotherhood of Steel quest line. Righteous Authority has a unique effect. Critical shots do double damage, and the critical meter fills 15% faster. Combine this weapon with a high-luck build like our Gunslinger, who uses critical banker, and you have a powerful build on your hands.

Hunting Rifle (B+ Tier)

Fallout 4 Tinker Tom Special Weapon
Fallout 4 Tinker Tom Special Location Railroad HQ

Hunting Rifle Stats and Effects in Fallout 4:

  • Weapon Type: Rifle
  • Effect(s): none
  • Base Damage: 37
  • Ammo: .308 round
  • Magazine Size: 5
  • Fire Rate: 3
  • Range: 131
  • Accuracy: 71
  • Value: 55
  • Weight: 9.6 

Throughout most of Fallout 4, plan on using the Hunting Rifle because of its damage, ease of obtaining, and upgrade potential. Thus, we rank the Hunting Rifle B+ tier on our Sniper Rifle Tier list. Coming equipped with .308 rounds and base damage of 37, Hunting Rifles have great range, accuracy, and exactly what you need out of the box. Moreover, you can use gun nuts to upgrade to .50 caliber rounds for even more damage, Marskman Stock, Scope, and Suppressor. Lastly, you can make the Hunting Rifle sem-automatic vs. one shot, removing its major downside. We didn’t rank it higher on this list due to other weapons’ overall damage potential, but it is a great weapon to obtain and upgrade over a Pipe Rifle.

Consider purchasing the Tinker Tom Special unique Hunting Rifle in the Railroad HQ. You will unlock the Railroad through the main story quest, and Tinker Tom Special comes with the bonus. If you are not yet in combat, it increases VATS accuracy but costs more AP.

Railway Rifle (A Tier)

Fallout 4 Railway Rifle Weapon

Railway Rifle Stats and Effects in Fallout 4:

  • Weapon Type: Rifle
  • Effect(s): none
  • Base Damage: 100
  • Ammo: Railway spike
  • Magazine Size: 10
  • Fire Rate: 10
  • Range: 119
  • Accuracy: 69
  • Value: 290
  • Weight: 14.4

The Railway Rifle comes with a massive base damage of 100, firing spikes at enemies, and we rank it as A Tier on our sniper rifles list. The upside of the Railway Rifle is it doesn’t require mods, science, gun nut, etc., for massive damage straight away. You can increase some of the base mods, but don’t expect this to be an advanced weapon, its purpose ise pure damage.

The downside of the Railway Rifle is that its ammunition type is spiked. Thus, you can buy them from limited stores like Proctor Teagan on the Prydwen or Percy at Diamond City. Don’t expect to use this Rifle in survival mode because it’s the heaviest in the game. However, it makes a great intermediary until you get all mighty Gauss.

Plasma Gun (A+ Tier)

Fallout 4 Experiment 18-A Plasma Weapon

Plasma Gun Stats and Effects in Fallout 4:

  • Weapon Type: Energy weapon
  • Effect(s): none
  • Base Damage: 24+24
  • Ammo: Plasma cartridge
  • Magazine Size: 30
  • Fire Rate: 33
  • Range: 119
  • Accuracy: 142
  • Value: 123
  • Weight: 3.9

The Plasma Gun is an upgraded version of the Laser Gun with multiple damage types and highly advanced upgrades. Thus, we rank it A+ tier on our sniper rifle list. You will need to add the Marksman’s Stock to make it a “rifle” or count for the Rifleman perk, and you can also add Sniper Barrel and a scope. You gain two damage types using a Plasma cartridge, making it perfect for enemies vulnerable or resistant to one of your damage sources. Moreover, you can craft advanced mods with science perk, which has flexibility in wave emitter and effect. The downside is that the ammunition type is difficult and requires many perks to use properly.

Consider obtaining Experiment 18-A from the Synth Requisition Officer in the Institution. This unique rifle will add a 25% faster fire rate and a 15% faster reload. Moreover, make the barrel sniper semi-automatic to take advantage of various rifle perks.

Combat Rifle (S Tier)

Fallout 4 OVERSEER'S GUARDIAN Sniper Rifle
Fallout 4 Medicine Bobblehead Location

Combat Rifle Stats and Effects in Fallout 4:

  • Weapon Type: Rifle
  • Effect(s): none
  • Base Damage: 33
  • Ammo: .45 rounds
  • Magazine Size: 20
  • Fire Rate: 33
  • Range: 119
  • Accuracy: 70
  • Value: 117
  • Weight: 11.1

The second-best Sniper Rifle in Fallout 4 is the Combat Rifle due to its ease of use, modification, and unique Overseer’s Guardian weapon. We rank the Combat Rifle as S Tier, one of the best all-around guns for anyone with Sniper Rifle perks and builds. You can purchase the Combat Rifle early at Diamon City Market, and at later levels will find the rifle automatically enhanced with .308 rounds.

What makes the Combat Rifle shine is the weapon modifications, requiring the gun nut perk. You can increase damage, change ammunition type, add a suppressor, increase night vision scope, and more. It’s only outshined by the Gauss Rifle, but it has a much easier ammunition source and is easier to upgrade without Science perks.

Consider obtaining the Overseer’s Guardian Sniper Rifle found in Vault 81. You must purchase this rifle for a high price, but it can be worth it as the gun adds explosive rounds! Even my level 75 character still uses this weapon because the ammunition is plentiful, and the damage is high.

Gauss Rifle (S+ Tier)

Fallout 4 The Last Minute Gauss Rifle
Fallout 4 The Last Minute Location

Gauss Rifle Stats and Effects in Fallout 4:

  • Weapon Type: Rifle
  • Effect(s): none
  • Base Damage: 110
  • Ammo: 2mm EC
  • Magazine Size: 7
  • Fire Rate: 66
  • Range: 191
  • Accuracy: 69
  • Value: 228
  • Weight: 15.7

The best sniper rifle in Fallout 4 is the Gauss Rifle, ranking at the S+ tier on our list. What makes the Gauss the best is the highest base damage, highest range, and charging mechanism. You can hold the trigger down outside of VATs and watch the number on the rifle increase, thus increasing your power. Carefully aim, let a 100% charge off, and destroy nearly any enemy in Fallout 4. Moreover, you can use the Sniper perk in the Perception tree, which can stun or knock down enemies. You end up having an ultra-powerful ranged sniper capable of one-shooting any enemy or knocking them down for a repeat attack.

The modifications for the Gauss Rifle are spectacular, though they require a heavy investment in intelligence stats to unlock Science and fully upgrade it. Consider the Gauss, the most have end-game sniper rifle. If you are a person who plays with mods, seek the Anti-material Rifle included in the Creation Club. We’ve decided to keep this base game, but that is another excellent Sniper Rifle.

The Last Resort is a unique Gauss Rifle sold by Ronnie Shaw at the Castle after completing the quest Old Guns. This weapon has 50% limb damage and is worth progressing the Minutemen story simply for the chance to buy it!

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