A sniper rifle is a type of long rifle which is designed to engage targets at extreme distances. Most sniper rifles make use of high-caliber ammunition, although this is not necessarily the case, and are typically designed to allow the user to make high-precision shots. Before the advent of assault rifles, sniper rifles were typically no more than common bolt-action or semi-automatic battle rifles with an attached scope and other minor modifications.
A bolt-action sniper rifle is a sniper rifle that utilizes bolts that are operated manually by the opening and closing of the action with a small handle, most commonly placed on the right-hand side of the weapon. In the series, they are immensely powerful and capable of killing an enemy in one shot. Despite this, they tend to have a slower rate-of-fire due to their bolt-action design.
A semi-automatic sniper rifle is a rifle which makes use of an automatic rechambering system. These tend to be more common in Battlefield games set in the modern-day, often termed Designated Marksman Rifles. In game terms, the semi-automatic rifles tend to be designed for shorter ranges than the bolt-action ones, and are also niched into less-damaging groups.
A fully automatic sniper rifle is one in which the weapon fires and recharges several times without removing the user's finger from the trigger. For sniper rifles, this is a much less common firemode than either bolt-action or semi-automatic, and is only represented by the VSS in a few games, and the SVU-A in Battlefield Play4Free.
The vast majority of sniper rifles quietly fall into this role. While early sniper rifles merely continued the tradition of bolt-action rifles that were once standard issue, modern sniper rifles may now be conversions made more accurate than their fully-automatic counterparts, or specialty weapons purpose-built for accuracy. Modern sniper rifles also need to account for the increasing effectiveness of infantry body armor, higher levels of which are now capable of stopping conventional full-power cartridges.
Anti-tank rifles are nearly as old as tanks themselves, though many are preceded by large-caliber guns such as those intended for big-game hunting. These weapons typically rely on brute strength to penetrate the relatively thin armor of early tank designs. Some others relied on rounds with unusual geometry to punch through, with parts of the torn armor becoming harmful spall. Anti-tank rifles are no longer common, as modern armor technology can now reliably defeat all conventional ball rounds.
Anti-materiel rifles are an advancement of older anti-tank rifles, now relying on cartridge features such as dense materials (e.g. tungsten, depleted uranium), explosives, or other pyrotechnics. Such improvements allow these rifles to damage or destroy materiel—vehicles, weapon caches, fuel stores, unexploded ordnance. While they may remain unable to deal significant damage to heavy-armored vehicles, their use is certain to deny the enemy many of the tools for waging war.
Sniper rifles in Battlefield 1 are better described as single-action rifles used by the Scout class that can deal high damage at long range. However, not all single-action rifles have variants that come with high-powered sniper scopes, though most will still have alternative variants with medium-powered scopes. Basic variants of these rifles may serve as a faction's standard-issue rifle in custom game modes.