Sniper Elite 5: Complete Controls Guide for PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, and Gameplay Tips for Beginners

Here's your complete controls guide for Sniper Elite 5 with gameplay tips.


The next installment of the Sniper Elite series is now available with Sniper Elite 5. You will reprise your role as Karl Fairburne, this time traveling to France. Your goal is to stop a secretive Nazi operation known as “Project Kraken,” traversing expansive levels throughout your journey in World War II France.

Below, you will find complete controls for Sniper Elite 5 for PS4, PS5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X|S using the default Classic layout (the game is also available on PC). Following the controls will be gameplay tips. These tips will be geared toward beginners of the series and third-person shooters in general, though the tips should still prove useful for veteran players.


Note that the standard version of the game was played; the Deluxe edition includes the season pass.

Sniper Elite 5 controls for PS4 and PS5

  • Move: L
  • Pan Camera: R
  • Sprint: L3
  • Use Binoculars and Zoom: R3; D-Pad↑ and D-Pad↓
  • Focus: R3 (hold)
  • Crouch and Prone: Circle; Circle (hold)
  • Vault and Climb: X (when prompted)
  • Interact: Triangle
  • Aim and Zoom: L2; D-Pad↑ and D-Pad↓ (requires scoped weapon)
  • Shoot: R2
  • Empty Lung: R1 or L3 (when scoped)
  • Reload: Square
  • Melee Kill: Triangle (when prompted)
  • Melee Pacify: Square (when prompted)
  • Swap Camera Side: Triangle (hold)
  • Radial Menu: L1 (hold); use L or D-Pad to cycle items
  • Use or Throw Selected Item: R1 (after selecting from Radial Menu)
  • Map: Touchpad
  • Pause Menu: Options
  • Select Rifle and Change Ammo (quick): D-Pad↑
  • Select Pistol and Change Ammo (quick): D-Pad←
  • Select Secondary and Change Ammo (quick): D-Pad→
  • Drop Item: D-Pad↑ (hold)
  • Location Tag: D-Pad↓
  • Quick Chat: D-Pad↓ (hold)

Sniper Elite 5 controls for Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S

The protagonist of Sniper Elite 5, Karl Fairburne.
  • Move: L
  • Pan Camera: R
  • Sprint: L3
  • Use Binoculars and Zoom: R3; D-Pad↑ and D-Pad↓
  • Focus: R3 (hold)
  • Crouch and Prone: B; B (hold)
  • Vault and Climb: A (when prompted)
  • Interact: Y
  • Aim and Zoom: LT; D-Pad↑ and D-Pad↓ (requires scoped weapon)
  • Shoot: RT
  • Empty Lung: RB or L3 (when scoped)
  • Reload: X
  • Melee Kill: Y (when prompted)
  • Melee Pacify: X (when prompted)
  • Swap Camera Side: Y (hold)
  • Radial Menu: LB (hold); use L or D-Pad to cycle items
  • Use or Throw Selected Item: RB (after selecting from Radial Menu)
  • Map: View
  • Pause Menu: Start
  • Select Rifle and Change Ammo (quick): D-Pad↑
  • Select Pistol and Change Ammo (quick): D-Pad←
  • Select Secondary and Change Ammo (quick): D-Pad→
  • Drop Item: D-Pad↑ (hold)
  • Location Tag: D-Pad↓
  • Quick Chat: D-Pad↓ (hold)

Note that the left and right analog sticks are denoted as L and R, respectively. Pressing on either is indicated with L3 and R3. Further, Sniper Elite 5 includes an Alternate and Reactive controller layout plus left-handed versions for all three layouts.

Below will be gameplay tips for Sniper Elite 5. While written for beginners, these should help you regardless of your skill level.

1. Peruse the Tutorials prior to playing

A note on Authentic difficulty (or mode).

The Tutorials section is large, consisting of eight separate categories. However, there is plenty of good knowledge to aid you in your sniping. To reach the Tutorials, first click on Service Record from the main page. From there, go to Tutorials and then click in whichever one to bring up a screen that looks like the above picture.


The nine sections of the Tutorials are:

  • Fundamentals
  • Combat
  • Progression
  • Items
  • Tactics
  • Adversaries
  • Environment
  • Multiplayer

For example, Authentic difficulty (pictured) informs you that you have no HUD, your health doesn’t regenerate, ammo is lost when reloading with ammo still in the gun, and you bleed a lot. This highest difficulty has at least one trophy dedicated to playing through the campaign on Authentic difficulty for the trophy hunters.

Read through all Tutorials to learn more about combat, progression, and even the weak spots of vehicles!


2. Check your loadout before playing

The available play modes in Sniper Elite 5 with four co-op options that require an internet connection.

Early on, it won’t matter as much, but as you unlock more weapons, ammo, and modifications, make sure to check your loadouts before playing, particularly multiplayer. On the loadout screen, you’ll see that there are four loadouts: Campaign, Survival, Multiplayer, and the unique Invasion. Invasion (if turned on) allows a gamer to enter your campaign as an enemy sniper to hunt you down!

You can change your weapons (including unlocked mods), your unlocked skills, and even your character. While you play as Karl Fairburne through the campaign, you can change your characters for the other game modes once unlocked.

In terms of skills, the only loadout that has all skills unlocked at game start is Invasion. While this may seem ideal, remember that you won’t be the only to have all skills unlocked should you have success invading someone’s campaign – and hope that it doesn’t happen to you.

3. Save often in Sniper Elite 5

You can save your game whenever you want to in Sniper Elite 5. Simply enter the menu with Options or Start and click Save Game. You can save over your recent file or create new save slots. Particularly if you’re playing on Authentic difficulty, developing a habit of saving often will help you immensely.

The game does have an autosave function. However, the autosave generally will save right as you enter an area, which can be frustrating if you were further into an area before dying. It’s best to develop a habit of saving your game every five minutes or so.

4. Consult the map often and complete all objectives

The layout of The Atlantic Wall with the various main and optional objectives.

To access the map, hit Touchpad or View. Then hit Square or X to show the objectives. While playing, don’t be surprised if you’re inundated with more objectives. Make sure to read the description of each objective on the bottom right, in this case “Destroy the Gun Battery.” Some objectives will have special conditions to accomplish. The last objective listed, “Kill List – Steffen Beckendorf,” asks you to kill Beckendorf with an explosion, probably by shooting a barrel or blowing up his vehicle, to gain an extra reward – in this case a firearm.

Main story objectives are listed in your objectives list in in yellow-orange. Optional objectives are listed in the color blue, while Kill List objectives are listed in red. Optional objectives do not have to be completed, but it’s recommended you do for more experience, which will help you gain skill points faster as well.

5. Use the binoculars to tag enemies, vehicles, and more

Tagging an enemy reveals a lot of info, including their distance, loadout, and the fact that Jordan Fischer steals from the mess hall.

To use your binoculars, hit R3 and the D-Pad to zoom in and out. From there, hold the binoculars on an enemy, vehicle, explosives (glows red), generators, and enemy structures (and more) for about two seconds to tag them. Tagging will result in a white arrow above each. You can then track them on your mini-map (lower left) or from a distance, using the arrows as your guide.

A tagged vehicle, which reveals its weak spots and status.

The main benefit to tagging (besides tracking) is that tagged enemies reveal info such as distance from player, loadout, and weaknesses (for vehicles). While some of the human tags are interesting and humorous, the vehicle tags prove their worth as they indicate where the weak spots are located.

Stuck in a glitch after causing an explosion and trying to hide!

If the enemy is searching for you, their arrows will turn yellow. If they see you, their arrows will turn red. It’s best to hit a melee pacify (Square or X) or melee kill (Triangle or Y) rather than shoot everyone you come across as the noise of the gunshot (and explosions) will draw enemies to the area.

6. Hide in the tall grass and lure enemies your way

Crouching everywhere is basically the best policy, and it’s the only way to use the tall grass as stealthy cover. While in the tall grass, the enemy will not see you, making it ideal to plan your attack and be stealthy.

You can lure enemies to your area in multiple ways, but the best way is to whistle from the grass. To whistle, bring up the Radials Menu with L1 and LB, then scroll to the whistle, two spots to the right of your main rifle. After selecting the whistle, use R1 to whistle and, depending how far away the enemy is, they’ll make their way to you. Stay hidden, then when they get close enough, hit Square or X (or X or A) to either melee kill (the former) or melee pacify (the latter). Since you’re already in tall grass, it’s unlikely the body would be found by Nazi soldiers.

When landing a headshot – in this case eyeshot – or shooting an explosive device, you’ll know you hit because a slow-mo animation will play, including x-ray vision.

Not all engagements can be done from the tall grass. There will be times when your stealth won’t be effective because of the lack of grass and you have to engage in a firefight. It’s best to maintain a distance and use your rifle as one, it’s best at distance and two, the rate of fire is going to be lower than your secondary and pistol – though the rifle packs more power.

A slow-mo kill by shooting an explosive barrel, which revealed massive damage to the innards of the enemy.

Always aim for headshots. If a slow-mo cutscene starts playing, you’ll know the shot is true as it will result in a x-ray vision scene. If you want to use the explosive devices to your advantage, then shoot the intermittently glowing red objects, like the pictured barrel. Of course, make sure an enemy(ies) is (are) close enough to be in the blast radius. Otherwise, the sound will alert them and you may have a group of hunters searching for you.

You can also plant explosives as sabotage on dead bodies (for soldiers who check on them), vehicles, and generators by holding R1 or RB when prompted. The trick is actually luring enemies to the sabotage, though.

7. Make use of every workbench you come across

Customizing the sniper at a workbench.

Workbenches are places to upgrade your weapons. The ability to safely upgrade your weapons before you proceed further into a map should give you an advantage. As you look at each mod, the four bars related to Power, Rate of Fire, Control, and Mobility will shift. You’ll also see the range, zoom, and ammo type listed and possibly altered before a pro and con list for the chosen upgrade(s).

The conditions for unlocking a locked upgrade is listed on the bottom right.

Some mods are unlocked by leveling up. However, some can only be unlocked by visiting a workbench during a certain mission. For example, the above Small Overpressure Magazine is unlocked by hitting the workbench during the sixth mission. Regardless, always stop at a workbench you come across!

Now you have complete controls and tips to be the best sniper during World War II France in Sniper Elite 5. Will you be a stealthy fighter like an assassin or use your firearm(s) to wreak havoc and trigger those x-ray vision scenes?


Bruce L

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