4.0 Class Guides 4.0 Sniper SWTOR

SWTOR 4.0 Marksmanship Sniper PvE Guide by Fuzzy

SWTOR 4.0 Marksmanship Sniper PvE Guide by Fuzzy of Ebon Hawk.[toc]


This guide will have been made solely because there has been no other guide, made or updated, since the sniper nerfs. A good many people see the dps that MM pulls after our crit nerf and are completely turned off from the spec, some even from the class because mercs/maras seem to consistently pull better numbers, although I can’t promise that with this guide you’ll be top dps you should at least be able to keep up if you weren’t already.

Keep in mind I will be keeping this updated and checking comments to see if anyone has pointers of their own, all advice/criticism is welcome and will be tested.


The reason I’m including this part of the guide is because most snipers have been following thrax, and his numbers haven’t been updated, this is just to get an general idea of where we stand since the nerf nothing big here you can skip this part completely if you have no interest as this is from personal experience nothing factual.

DPS : 6-7/10

The dps rating is a little tricky for the reason that MM’s rely heavily on staying still for casts so if you use this spec on a fight that forces mobility you will drop off a bit, but this guide tries to deal with that. But on fights you can remain stationary even after our crit nerf we pull great numbers.

Survivability 9/10

If you remember thrax guide you’ll remember he put them at 10/10 the reason I put them 1 lower is because this guide sacrifices a small amount of mitigation for extra mobility. But between your shield probe and utilities snipers should still take very little damage unless you’ve pulled aggro.

Spec Viability 6/10

Yes, as much as I hate to admit it and as much as I still like this spec, it is not as viable as it once was. That’s not to say you wouldn’t be able to make it work, but make no mistake virulence outshines this spec on many a fight. It depends a lot on the player but 9 times out of 10 an op team would be more successful with a virulence sniper. I personally started as a virulence sniper and changed to MM a bit after the nerf to see why everyone was so mad I then ended up sticking with it.

Rotation difficulty 1/10

Really it’s that simple. Not much else to say the rotation I will post later on will be very similar to Thrax’s with a slight change and even his rotation was easily 1/10 difficulty don’t know why he posted it at 5/10 xD. The problem is energy management more so than the actual rotation


This is where one of the bigger changes occurs, I’m sure many won’t like it, or think it would ever be useful but give it a try. I will only be listing the utilities that are used in the guide, not the lot of them as you have a sniper and can just as easily open your utilities and check them out. Following is a pic of all the utilities unused if for whatever reason that helps.



clip_image002Ballistic Dampers: Entering cover grants 3 charges of Ballistic Dampers. Each charge absorbs 30% of the damage dealt by an incoming attack. This effect cannot occur more than once every 1.5 seconds. Ballistic Dampers can only be gained once every 6 seconds.

clip_image004Snap Shot: Entering cover makes the next Snipe or Lethal Shot activate instantly. This effect cannot occur more than once every 6 seconds


image008Calculated Pursuit: You gain 4 charges of Calculated Pursuit upon exiting cover, which reduces the energy cost of Overload Shot by 100%. Each use of Overload Shot consumes 1 charge, and consumption of the first charge triggers a 20 second rate-limit on this skill. This effect lasts 15 seconds but is also removed by consuming all charges or reentering cover.

Special note for this one since it’s what many MM’s dislike taking, the only reason I can think of not taking this is if you’re someone who just wants to be stationary throughout the entire fight with no real means of keeping at least some dps on boss. When you need to move it does a good amount more than the damage of your auto attack and with the addition of costing 0 energy for 4 shots it can be a good way to manage energy if you’re running low. Run out of cover shoot your 4 shots ,back into cover instant snipe.

The Calculated Pursuit utility will be replacing Pulse screen which is a 20% damage reduction from tech/force abilities for 6 seconds every time you use cover pulse, I trust my healers enough to keep me through most everything especially with shield probe, not to mention cover pulse is a 30 second cd. IF there ever comes a fight when me the healers or I notice I take way too much damage it’s easy to switch the utility point.



Pillbox Sniper: Reduces the cooldown of Entrench by 15 seconds and Cover Pulse knocks targets back an additional 5 meters.


Augmented Shields: Increases the amount of damage absorbed by Shield Probe by 30%




Siege Bunker: Reduces all area effect damage taken by 60% while Entrench is active.



Deployed Shields: Reduces all damage taken while in cover by 5% and reduces the cooldown of Ballistic Shield by 30 seconds

As you may have noticed most of the utilities already focus on damage reduction so the loss of the mitigation utility from skillful shouldn’t effect you very much unless you like to stand in front of tanks or in red. Dots that are put on you are usually cleansed thus do minimal damage as is, and there is a good amount of aoe damage reduction that we already get.


For AoE intense fights instead of calculated pursuit you take Imperial Efficiency everything else stays the same.


There was nothing that needed changing here from the guide thrax had up so you should still be aiming for the same stats he has posted. I will post them here but all credit for the stats section goes to him : for his guide.

  • 5372 Mastery
  • 2931 Power
  • 1236 (2xAug) (2xCrystals) Critical
  • 869 (5xAug) Alacrity
  • 679 (7xAug & 1 Enhancement) Accuracy (99.95%)
  • 6/6 Field Tech’s Set Bonus (Now the only Sniper Set Bonus, only negative 4.0 Sniper change)
  • Relics: Serendipitous Assault & Focused Retribution.”

The above stats are with 224 gear.

The only difference with stats is I’ve noticed some people like to be under the %110 accuracy (684 accuracy stat) cap and take the new acc stim, It’s really just preference but I’d still cap my accuracy and go with the mastery/power stim.

As a side note, I cannot stress enough how amazing the 6 set bonus for MM is, that should be your priority if you don’t have it yet.



Here’s the fun part :


Just incase you can’t make it out the grayed out skill is Followthrough. The rest goes like this :

Laze Target+Orbital Strike – Ambush+Corrosive dart – Followthrough – Penetrating Blasts – Followthrough – Target Acquired+Sniper Volley – Penetrating Blasts – Followthrough – Corrosive Dart – Snipe – Snipe – Followthrough – Ambush – Main rotation.

If your tank has to move your target so far that it won’t be in the range of OS, then skip the OS unless you’re willing to wait until the target is in one place to start. Popping adrenals is up to you I prefer to use it after OS has been cast. Something to mind is your aggro, if you don’t have tanks you trust, either ask for a guard or use your Countermeasures to drop right after your first ambush. With a dedicated raid team I doubt you’ll need to, but with pug groups it’s a safe bet you’ll pull aggro with this opener.

Small change to the opener

You want to time it so that your ambush goes off at the same time as the first orbital strike, but if you miss it no harm done just a fun way to watch the numbers jump.The opener remains almost unchanged from the previous guide aside from the extra Corrosive dart that I throw out after the third Followthrough. The reason I send out the second dart earlier than thrax is because if you do that you have enough time before the debuff wears off of the target to switch into your main rotation and only reapply it when you finish the last Followthrough in the main rotation.



The auto attack is only there as a filler so don’t worry about that unless you’re under 50 energy and have no cd’s to bring you back up. Sniper volley is used on CD, and Corrosive dart will have to be refreshed when the “Marked Target” buff wears off.

Snipe – Snipe – Followthrough – Snipe – Ambush – Followthrough – Penetrating Blasts – Followthrough – If off of CD Sniper Volley + Penetrating Blasts otherwise go back to the start.

What should be done

  1. Remember you have a utility that allows your first snipe after entering cover to be instant always use that on the first snipe in your rotation, this can get energy intensive so I suggest getting comfortable with the rotation first.
  2. Again you must be reapplying your Corrosive dart whenever you see Marked Target fall off of the boss/target
  3. When the target is low enough start replacing unbuffed Followthrough and your basics with Takedown whenever it’s off of CD.
  4. Use Laze Target on cooldown, it should never be off of cd



Now with this rotation unlike with Thrax’s you WILL have energy issues if you don’t use your cooldowns correctly so here’s what you do

Below 50 energy? Adrenaline Probe This may happened very early in the rotation don’t be afraid to use the probe early on it’s fine.

Below 75 energy and feeling uneasy since AP is down? Use Target Acquired, if you still feel unsafe at 85 use 1 auto attack to get yourself back up to 90+

Below 50 and no CD’S? Get out of cover and use your 4 free overload shots, once you’re back in cover if you still feel unsafe about your energy use another 1-2 auto attacks if you feel safe then back to the rotation you go, But if you’re doing the rotation itself correctly AP should be coming up shortly after you re-enter cover. To be honest most fights force you to move out of cover before you get to this part so I doubt you’ll be this low on energy again before AP is up to use.

The goal is to stay above 50 with 30 being the lowest you can go without annihilating your dps.

The only other thing I can offer for energy is if you really don’t feel like you’re getting this rotation down don’t use a third snipe instead replace it with your auto or ambush if your alacrity is where it should be.

Fair warning, if you hit even a single extra snipe, you will end up with no energy VERY quickly.

Thanks for Reading

If there’s anything you feel I missed or could have explained any better, let me know and it will be fixed. If this guide ends up being good enough Ill post up a video for the rotation and dps otherwise it will remain all text good luck and hope for a buff to MM xD

By Dulfy

MMO guide writer and blogger. Currently playing and covering SWTOR, GW2, and TSW.

63 replies on “SWTOR 4.0 Marksmanship Sniper PvE Guide by Fuzzy”

Worst… Dude you clearly have no idea what are you talking about. Try play sorc or operative and then compare it to MM sniper. It’s smooth and strong class for endgame.

While you may say the class is smooth, which i do agree with, it is far from a strong class when compared to other classes on most fights. Both operatives and sorcs have better single target damage, with madness and lethality both dealing single target damage above the average for all classes.

Yes but madness and lethality are DoT specs. If u would compare Lightning and Concealment u will see how pittyfull their single target dps they have. For example mercs on Arsenal are able to hit over 7k. Not mention maras or juggs…

Even concealment and lightning do more sustained damage than MM, and both have burst comparable to MM (auto crit TB+chain lightning for lightning and volatile substance+backstab for concealment).

1. Agree that both do more sustained damage that MM
2. MM is still burstier than Lightning (there is no such thing as super/autocrit TB – thanks Bioware…..) And concealment might be on par with it in terms of burst.
3. Agree that it is overshadowed by even Viru or Engi for MOST fights, although on several fights it is better, even in NiM (e.g. Brontes, Calphayus, Draxus, and is on par with other sniper specs on some fights where there is lots of target swapping – Op IX – or lots of burst aoe needed – Thrasher, Corruptor 0)

Yes mercs are probably the best ranged class still, but I would argue that in general MM is the weakest of ALL the ranged specs (Arsenal, IO, Lightning, Madness, Viru, Engi, and MM).

I will grant you that concealment is worse, mostly because it is lack luster, lost all of it’s great burst, and is a 4m melee class. But Lightning is appreciably better at single target. Maybe if the target dies within 20 secs and you are able to pull off 2 auto crit ambushes you’ll barely out parse a lightning sorc, but any longer than that, it’s not going to happen.

And I’m talking about lightning as it is WITHOUT the cheesy bug with chained lightning procs.

Fair enough… BTW I hate those guys who’s using this bug on sorcs. But to be honest Lightning in 4.0+ is even worst with burst and sustain dmg than after whole nerfs in 3.0+ (ofc compared minmaxed gear 198 and 224). Maybe Lightning sorcs would be a bit better if BW finally be so generous and fix damn “supercrit” thing… But personally I don’t think it’s gonna happen…

Same. I dislike the bug and the sorcs/sages who are using it to top the parse charts. And I def agree that lightning is not in a great place, especially in sustained but also doesn’t have as much burst as other burst classes. And I sincerely wish they would let TB supercrit with Recklessness but I think you are right…. it’s not going to happen…… 🙁

I’ll give you the operative but sorc? Lol you clearly don’t know how to play sorc well, or don’t know any decent sorcs.

Any fight where there is lots of target swapping, small burst windows, adds that die quickly, lots of quick non sustained aoe, or dps checks aren’t really that important (i.e. most fights outside of NiM and a select few HM’s) is where MM can do fine. Snipers are still strong, but MM is definitely the weakest spec of them. Definitely not better than Madness or Lightning.

I think that there is a funny thing about dps classes in this game. The MM Sniper has awesome survivability and the ballistic shield can be so incredibly useful…but even though there are DPS classes with great utility value, the game does seem focused around pure DPS because of the enrage timers. I think it’s a shame but I would prefer the boss fights to have a bit longer enrage timers and more damage to mitigate overall. That’s a simplified explanation but it’s the direction that would be needed to make utility/support more useful and desired in the game. I know there are some fights where we just love to have a sniper along for its utility value but it’s often bypassed for the sake of straight dps numbers. A shame really, but then most DPS have no clue about things like stepping out of circles, using interrupts and kill orders, so I guess it’s a sort of dumbing down that is needed to make it work for more players. A shame really. But I disagree that MM is the worst at endgame because I do see the value beyond the dps numbers. At the same time I also feel the nerf was bigger than it needed to be but I guess in MMOs there is sort of a flavor of the month rotation to get people to player other classes as well.

Virulence gets almost the same utility as MM with the benefit of being the best ranged DPS spec and probably the 4th best parsing spec

– No Mention of AOE Rotation? You know the thing where MM still works out well.
– No Mention of taking the AOE talent for almost all fights where it is useful?
– No Parse?

yea really wondering what is the parse since this got nerfed “so bad”. playing my sniper was awesome but the jugg just has more power.

I see very little point in putting in the AoE rotation because in no way is it hard to figure out, MM’s have 3 AoE skills, hard to mess that up I also do mention to take imperial efficiency for AoE intensive fights. Unless you don’t watch your energy and you run out there’s nothing to be done. AoE talent is nearly useless unless you’re trying to bolster your parse, with the exception of very few fights. As for parse if you mean on dummies I see no reason to post that either, you will never pull the same numbers on a boss that you do on dummies if you mean a parse analysis that I can post if needed.. If you’re really interested in parses that MMs pull you can easily pull up starparses charts. On a side note I dont even think Thraxx’s older guide had the AoE rotation for the same reason as I mentioned.

Also I’d like to add if your team is hurting for AoE in a fight MM is not the right choice of spec engi or virulence pull much better numbers in an AoE environment meaning stacked adds, not spread out. Thats not to say MM isnt viable just nowhere near as good as the other two.

All that said if you really want me to I will post an AoE “rotation” if its requested. If any of this came off as rude, trust me I didn’t want it to just my 2cents.

Uhh, as far as I’m aware, MM only has 2 aoe options: orbital and suppressive fire. Grenade is now essentially single target.

Only to targets that are standard or weak. Even if the targets are standard (which doesn’t happen that often except during leveling) suppressive would still be prioritized over grenade. I completely agree with you though that MM’s AoE rotation is a no-brainer.

Yep, either way I was asked to put it into the guide. The aoe rotation will be up for those who want it soon.

Thank you my good man, I did indeed mix them up but only on the visual, whats written is still correct, will be fixed soon ty.

What is the point in taking Snap Shot? Doesn’t it just move the damage from a single snipe to the beginning of a GCD instead of the end?

Considering all the talk about mobility in this guide, that seems to be the likely reason. I am not entirely convinced on its use, but it does fit with the general message in the guide.

Personally I took it because 2 full casts of snipe at the rotations start drop you on dps charts harder than I thought it would, having even just 1 of them instant helped stabilize the numbers a bit. If you don’t believe me try to parse without the instant first snipe youll see a drop for sure. Maybe not huge but its there.

In addition to mobility, I think it also helps to get a quick snipe inside a relic pro, adrenal, or raid buff window that if you casted normally would not benefit from it. It’s been a while since I seriously played MM but this is the reason I would generally take it. On stationary fights especially since you can focus on timing a quick snipe inside those buffed windows.

I think the 5/10 rating for difficulty was fair. Though this is by no means a difficult class, its still got its difficulties, especially for those who are learning it, and it isn’t totally faceroll like other classes *cough* arsenal merc *cough*.

On paper I feel like this looks a lot harder than it is rotation wise in game, though I’d give it a max of 3/10 difficulty, its not face-roll easy but its still easy xD like I mentioned that first part of personal experience I’ve just gotten used to the rotation is all.

Fair point, i can see where you’re coming from. I suppose it is a little more difficult to truly grasp the simplicity myself as well, seeing as how i never play a sniper in hm/nim content 😛

Quick note for those that don’t know, Target Acquired only gives back energy with the set bonus, forgot to mention this just in case a newer player is reading.

I dont care if MM/SS is shit or not, its too fun not to play. It has the most classic Sniper gameplay. Coming from years back of running a MM Hunter in WoW, its so comfortable to play.

I’ve done most of this rotation and skill choices for a while now. Nice to know the theroy crafters and I on the same page

It is. Really fun. And to this day I think it’s unsurpassed as a target switching class. And remember: this is Bioware we’re talking about… Don’t give up on the class, it might just become THE reference in the advanced classes again. Just look at Saboteur/Engineering: There was a time it was not advisable to take it raiding… And I always stuck to my Eng Sniper…

I still find MM/SS still runs smooth on quite a few fights, like Styrak. It’s one of those specs that people scoff at for its dummy performance, but shouldn’t, because in a raid, there are fights where it shines.

If you are out parsing your lightning sorc with your MM sniper (in equivalent gear) then you are doing something wrong. And just because you’ve got 12 of them doesn’t mean you know how to play them correctly…… 😉

Are you doing NiM content with them? (or any content with them….RIP this game’s ops content)

But this is a forum for snipers. So TL;DR – MM sniper is lowest parsing on the dummy but has a few applications in real fights, even in NiM. But so do sorcs 🙂

If you’re precasting Orbital on a stationary target, why aren’t you also precasting Ambush? If you’re assuming that upon seeing the Orbital, the tank will pull immediately, thus the Corrosive Dart, then why still are you using Ambush immediately after it with a 2s cast time? In such an instance, wouldn’t Snipe (for the set bonus) > PB > SV + FT > PB > FT > Snipex2 > CD > FT > Ambush (only 1.5s cast) be better? In my mind, there are very few instances where casting a full-length Ambush after a fight starts is good or recommended (need a hard hitting ability with guaranteed crit for burst on a certain target).

In your opener, you’re also using your second Corrosive Dart 12s after your first usage, thereby wasting 3s of uptime. How is this more efficient or potent?

Regarding your utilities, I used to think the same way, taking Calculated Pursuit. Except that while you think it gives you more mobility, Marksmanship severely penalizes you for getting out of cover (-1 Energy regen/s). Besides, if you’re in a situation where you’re really out of cover that extensively, chances are you’re popping in and out of cover to take advantage of Snap Shot, which means you can’t reliably assume you’ll have your 4 free Overload Shots. I can’t think of any fight as Marksmanship where you’d spend 4 GCD’s out of cover hitting Overload Shot over other abilities. If you’re really out of cover that much/long, you’re better off playing Virulence for that fight anyway… or maybe even Engineering.

Ill start with the problem you have with overload first because I expected there to be a lot of people hating on this utility, there are plenty of fights that force a MM out of cover for 3-4 gcd’s unless your straight up standing in red with your shield probe and hoping your healers will heal past it, also I never said youd be using ALL of the charges, you just have 4, nothing is stopping you from only using 1 maybe 2 its better than auto attacks and costs no energy with the utility. As for your comment about just going virulence or engi…yeah but this is a guide for MM hence I don’t see the need of mentioning that because most people realize this is the underdog spec of snipers and are here specifically for MM…so not sure why you even mention this I never argue that MM is stronger than the other specs in fact I mention it isn’t.

As for the corrosive dart usage, I’m not sure I understood that part correctly, if you mean what I think you mean then I would much rather have “wasted” 3 seconds of up time instead of interrupting the main rotation to put it back up on the target now THAT costs an extra gcd and will 100% drop you on meters. Simply said I use it early as a stabilizer.

As for my opener there are a couple of reasons I’m 2 second casting ambush, 1 being energy issues, what your suggesting is basically starting the main rotation as soon as OS goes out, or if you cant hit OS just starting the main rotation without an opener, this would make it impossible to keep your energy at above 30 by the 3rd rotation 4th if you’re lucky unless you’re using you cd’s very early in which case you’ll make it to the 5th.

your example would work for trash pulls but not on any boss. On a side note

“In my mind, there are very few instances where casting a full-length
Ambush after a fight starts is good or recommended (need a hard hitting
ability with guaranteed crit for burst on a certain target).”

What? Laze target + Ambush makes ambush 100% crit and its already your hardest hitting ability…I’m confused about what the problem is.

I’ve tried your opener suggestion and mine in game multiple times, what I came up with :

Yours : 84k in 12 seconds on average

Mine ; 90k in 11 seconds on average

I’m willing to concede that they could both be used and will come with in +/- 3-5k of each other. Your opener in this rotation would cause extra energy problems so would be hard to fit in.

Also this:

“In my mind, there are very few instances where casting a full-length
Ambush after a fight starts is good or recommended (need a hard hitting
ability with guaranteed crit for burst on a certain target)”.

If I’m understanding this correctly you must not have understood that Laze Target + Ambush Followthrough combo, this is MM’s burst, ambush with LT makes it 100% crit and its already your hardest hitting ability.

Corrosive being used 3 seconds before fall off is done because otherwise you would need to interrupt the current main rotation to reapply, that would be a waste of a cd and a drop in dps, simply put I use it as a stabilizer, after this first early corrosive the rest should fall in place after the rotations end.

I knew there would be nay sayers to the calculated pursuit utility but let me break down what your gripes were

There are plenty of fights that force you out of cover for 3-4 gcd’s, that being said even if a fight only forces you out for 1 or 2 nothing is stopping you from using only 1 or 2 of the free overload shots instead of all 4 you are not forced to use 4 gcd’s you can use 1 if you only needed it and then go back to cover, it is also as a mentioned a nice way to regain a bit of energy even if you get -1 out of cover 4 gcd’s of free overload shot do more damage than 4 auto attacks. But I assure you there are fights where your forced out of cover for 4 gcd’s.

The opener is also very counter-intuitive for me.
You can literally save 2 seconds of time in your parse by pre-casting Ambush. You trade that for a 5% buffed Ambush with Corrosive Dart. For parsing that doesn’t matter, for a proper bossfight it’s closer but the 5% of Ambush translate to ~1000 damage and in the 2s you could have saved you could have done much more.

In addition every sniper on the parsely leaderboards opens with a pre-cast Ambush.

The leader-boards at parsley aside from a few use this opener the ones that don’t use the one Losh suggested, LT OS – Ambush, not seeing where you see them opening with straight ambush. I cant tell if you guys are just looking at the picture of the rotation and just not reading whats under it, the visual has corrosive-ambush but whats written is ambush followed by corrosive my ambush is pre cast lol. Please read carefully don’t just look at the pictures.

Also please link me top parses where you see ambush being used before any other ability I’ve looked and cant find a single MM that does that on dummy or boss and then pulls good numbers.

That clears it up then. I read the rotation underneath but together with the picture it wasn’t clear, I suggest you update that

If you read the beginning of this guide, the author acknowledges the other guide, but it was written at a time when MM was one of the top parsing specs. It has since been nerfed into the ground. So updated information is needed. It’s not a total repeat, but the basic rotations that this author puts forth are a little different and they explain why. “NO ONE REALIZES THAT” reading the guide you are commenting on first is actually a good idea 😉

Thrax has quit the game and is no longer updating his guide, like Shepard mentioned his guide was made pre MM nerf and as such some of his info wouldn’t be as effective. I’d like to mention that not only do I mention Thrax and his guide multiple times but I actually have a link to his guide in the stats section in case anyone wants to check it out.

It’s not bad if you can wade your way through the cancer that is bronze and silver ranked games.

If you mean you want me to translate this into pub version, I’m working on it now it will be up soon.

There’s a much better way to write this guide: open up the discipline tab, hit abandon discipline, and then spec into virulence.

A better way to write that comment, would have been to not write anything at all. But you know, to each their own 🙂

I’m returning to the game, have just joined a new guild on Shadowlands, and been asked to join a new progression raid team. I haven’t played in a while, but was thinking about bringing my new level 65 sniper. Under the circumstances, what discipline would be most effective for me to use with the intent of putting out some decent numbers? Bare in mind that I have never played dps as part of a main raid group before, let alone focused on the sniper (which I have little experience with).

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