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.
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.
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?)
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.
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!