SNIPER ELITE 4 – Explaining the ranks and the skill tree (sort of)

Now, if you have been wondering what the ranks in SNIPER ELITE 4 are all about, this game introduces a skill tree that is pretty useful, especially in coop and maybe even multiplayer (which is not my thing, really). That skill tree, you might have guessed, will expand with a specific rank you obtain by gaining XP. These ranks are 5, 10, 15, 20, 25 and 30.

You start with the rank of Private (1) and gain XP with each kill. Some kills will be rewarded with more XP than others, of course, but all I can advise is: playing coop missions is your friend here, for that’s actually the easiest way of gaining XP.

Don’t be shy playing with team-mates way above your own rank either. I know some people who started playing coop only when they were way in their 30s, so to speak (that’s me, actually), but I, at least, feel pretty good whenever I see gamers with lower ranks gain two or three more throughout our coop mission.

Sniper Elite 4_20180212203228

That’s what my Skill Tree looks like in SNIPER ELITE 4.

Skill tree and ranks
The skill tree mentioned in the beginning offers you two choices to pick from with each specific rank mentioned above that you obtain. You will, of course, be able to modify those skills whenever you like from your Player Loadout-menu.

Here they are:

Rank 5: Max Heart Rate or Increased Heart-Rate Recovery (compound effect)
This will grant you the ability to control your heart rate better. Why is that so important? Well, since you will only be able to focus and gain a solid aim on a resting heart-beat, the faster you can get back to that resting heart beat, the faster you can start sniping again.

Max Heart Rate means you will be able to focus longer while Increased Heart-Rate Recovery means that you will be able to focus again at an increased rate, after having just beaten a fast retreat and relocated.

Rank 10: Target-focus Speed or Improved Search
Tagging enemies is important, since it is so easy losing track of them else, right? This skill helps you tag them faster.

Improved Search is useful for getting more loot out of searching dead bodies, which, admittedly, is also useful.

Once you are playing on Sniper Elite-difficulty, I’d recommend improving the search skill.

Rank 15: Reduced Fall Damage or Improved Bandage
Do you jump or fall off buildings a lot? Well, SNIPER ELITE 4 introduces more climbing opportunities and therefore more opportunities for falling off buildings too.

I’d nevertheless recommend the Improved Bandage, especially for higher difficulties.

Rank 20: Reduced Explosion Damage or Faster Trap Defusing Speed
This one is tricky. If you have yet to learn the maps by heart and therefore don’t know where a stray shot might be blowing you up instead of the enemy, I’d opt for the Reduced Explosion Damage-skill.

But once you are playing coop on Sniper Elite-difficulty, you’ll know which treacherous barrels to shoot and you’ll also know that mines will be harder to come by, so the Faster Trap Defusing Speed will come in way more handy.

Trust me.

Rank 25: Slow Heart-Rate Increase or Increased Heart-Rate Recovery
Yes, Increased Heart-Rate Recovery was already a thing at Rank 5, but on Rank 25 you might be considering playing coop or multiplayer, right? So, best come prepared.

Slow Heart-Rate Increase means that, again, you will be able to recover a little faster.

Rank 30: Extra Ammo or Extra Items
There’s one thing I need to tell you: On Authentic-difficulty, or worse, on Authentic Plus, loot will be scarce and, whenever you find some, never what you really need at that moment. So, you’ll have to decide: More ammo? (Absolutely yes!) or more items, like bandages, mines etc. (Actually, you can expand your Loadout to accomodate more items, did you know that?)

You decide.

Rank 50 and beyond
So, up to rank 50, playing coop to gain XP will get you to the next rank easily. But once you have obtained that rank and become an elite sniper (carrying Karl Fairburne’s code name “The Shadow”, no less) you will have to play a lot more to get to the next rank.

Sucks, right?

Which is why, after having accidentially deleted my profile on rank 52 back in Oktober 2017, I am now only back on rank 55.

That also sucks, but by now I know how to play, so…

Keep on playing!


8 thoughts on “SNIPER ELITE 4 – Explaining the ranks and the skill tree (sort of)

  1. Daniel Worden says:

    Hey Vanessa, great write up thanks.
    This is the only place I was even able to find this information, so thanks for writing it.
    I do have a question about a comment you made in the Rank 30 section, specifically in parenthesis you state you could expand your load out to accommodate more items?
    I mean the actual skill choice (not more ammo) actually does that so it seemed weird you’d mention it again in parenthesis, leading me to wonder if perhaps there was another way to increase the amount of items you could carry?
    Any response would be swell and thanks again.
    ps., great taste in games.

  2. Vanessa says:

    Hi, Daniel, thank you for your kind words! To answer your question concerning increasing the number of items you can carry, that is actually an inside joke, because I was not aware of that possibility until very late in the game 😎

  3. Daniel Worden says:

    Thanks for responding, I kind of answered my own question soon after posting, as usually happens in these situations, but appreciate the confirmation.

    And no problem on the kind words, I’ve since read more of your content and find it thoughtful and enlightened, so they’re well deserved.


  4. Mike says:

    You opened my eyes for sniper 4. At 50 I thought I’ll be a spotter, partial sniper. Doesn’t work I do so much and I’m not considered helpful (they wouldn’t have killed so many without me that fast). Done

  5. Vanessa says:

    Interesting. I am playing on PS4, and, as mentioned, the ranks do advance beyond The Shadow, though you will retain the name itself. But then, I have not played SE4 in quite a while, so there may have been some changes. I have also reached The Shadow in SE5, which equals campaign rank 40. But I have not played that much beyond that point to verify whether or not you can advance further in rank.

  6. Anonymous says:

    I’ve reached Shadow rank but it then stopped advancing rank. At the end of matches it stopped awarding points. The bar isn’t moving. What happened? I reached a rank beyond Shadow onc console I’m pretty sure. I’ve done a number of Google searches on this and came up empty. There’s not much on the web. Of course Google search engine is terrible these days. You can’t find anything. It’s a mess.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s