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What is Axis Invasion in Sniper Elite 5?

Everything you need to know about invading, and defending yourself against invaders in Sniper Elite 5's Axis Invasion mode.

Souls-style Invasions have come to Sniper Elite 5. The system may fly under the radar for many, but it’s one you should definitely check out at least once. The game doesn’t do a good enough job of explaining Axis Invasions or how the various mechanics therein work - which is why we created this guide.

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What is Sniper Elite 5 Axis Invasion?

Axis Invasion is a mode that simply allows you to invade other players’ games as an elite Jager sniper. You don’t choose who to invade, and the game matches you with other players seamlessly.

You’ve probably seen a similar system in Dark Souls games, Elden Ring, and even non-FromSoft games like Deathloop. The major difference here is that you’re not highlighted in any particular way to the defender.

When you join, you assume the nothing-special appearance of a German soldier and walk among the troops to boost morale and survey the area. While you can customise the look of your character before invading to blend in better, the nature of the mode (coupled with Sniper Elite 5’s massive maps) make the way you dress a little meaningless.

Can you turn off Axis Invasions in Sniper Elite 5?

Yes, Axis Invasions are entirely optional. When you start a new game in Sniper Elite 5, the option to turn off invasions or leave them on is clearly marked. If you change your mind later, you can simply change your selection anytime you resume a campaign mission, or start a new one.

Turning on invasions doesn’t guarantee that someone will invade you, of course, but it adds to the tension because it could happen at any time. As Sniper Elite 5 just came out, and launched into Game Pass, you’re probably going to get invaded very quickly thanks to the sheer number of people trying out the game.

How to invade other players in Sniper Elite 5

If you’re simply looking to invade another player’s game in Sniper Elite 5, there’s a dedicated option in the menu that kicks off matchmaking and gets you into a game. Under Play, you’ll see a tile marked Axis Invasion.

Simply click it and you’ll quickly find yourself in another player’s game.

How to defend your game against Axis Invaders in Sniper Elite 5

If you left the option for Axis Invasions on, expect another player to show up in your game as an invader shortly after the mission starts. You don’t know where the invader is going to spawn, but the game typically spawns them far away from you.

You’ll get a clear notification once you’re invaded, and you should get your guard up immediately. Though many players will likely rush into combat, a more patient invader could simply walk around and wait for their opportunity to strike.

Keep in mind that German soldiers in the level will aid the enemy invader, so if you find yourself in a bind, you won’t be able to fend them off and keep an eye out for the invader simultaneously.

What to do when you get invaded in Sniper Elite 5

Before killing the invader, your immediate goal is to actually locate them. Though it may be tempting to wait it out and let them come to you, Sniper Elite 5 has a couple of mechanics in place that prevent camping.

First, if you stay in one place for too long, your location will be revealed to the invader. If you continue to camp, or hide for too long without moving, the game will kill you. Yes, Sniper Elite 5 has an anti-camping mechanic that will outright kill you for staying put.

Of course, if that happens, the invader gets credit for a job well done, and you lose the encounter.

Avoid doing objectives the loud way while an invader is in your game. If you get caught while working through an objective, try to instead look for the quiet way of doing things. Sniper Elite 5 objectives typically offer multiple approaches. The more bombastic a solution, the more likely it will reveal your location to the invader.

You should definitely switch to quieter weapons or ammo types, too, if you have the option.

What to do as an invader in Sniper Elite 5

Though you may be the outsider, the same general gameplay tactics of Sniper Elite 5 apply. Tagging enemies is crucial as an invader, because it allows you to more easily learn the location of the defending player.

By tagging your fellow German soldiers, they’re going to report the defender’s last known position if they spot them – a crucial piece of intel. Keeping an eye on the state of German soldiers (alerted, hunting etc.) can also be helpful, which you can only find out by tagging them.

We recommend trying to walk around rather than run. In general, imitating the behaviour of the AI as much as possible can go a long way in making it harder for the defender to detect you.

As an invader, you have access to a suite of skills that also give you a bit of an edge. All of them are unlocked from the start, and it’s well worth reading their descriptions to understand the abilities at your disposal.

For instance, Stay Sharp lets you raise the morale of nearby soldiers, which in turn expands their awareness range. Sixth Sense alerts you whenever the defending player tags you with their binoculars or through a scope.

It’s worth studying the map before invading to familiarise yourself with where the objectives are. That way, you can narrow down the search radius, not to mention know roughly where the defender is when you get the notification that an objective has been completed.

Keep in mind that the games you’re invading could contain more than one defending sniper, meaning you may be walking into a trap laid out by one as the other hunts for you, so don’t immediately go running towards the noise.

What are Invasion Phones and what do you do with them in Sniper Elite 5?

Invasion Phones are part of Sniper Elite 5’s unique take on invasions. They’re useless if you have Axis Invasion turned off, but quite helpful when you’re invading/being invaded. Invasion Phones become available for use five minutes after the invasion starts, and go on three-minute cooldowns once used.

As a defender, you always have the option to slowly comb through the level for the invader, but you can also utilise said Invasion Phones. Using one reveals the general location of the invader on your map.

But don’t rely on them too much, as using Invasion Phones repeatedly will expose your position to the enemy invader.

As an invader, Invasion Phones can also be used to locate the defender. You can even be extra sneaky and booby trap them with a grenade. If the defender uses a trapped phone, they’re going to take damage, and the explosion will make it easier to locate them.

Finally, it’s worth keeping in mind that the information you get is of the other sniper’s last known location, not their real-time position. In other words, they may well have moved on by the time you get there. Or, they could be intentionally leading you into a trap.

What you get for playing Axis Invasion in Sniper Elite 5

There are two reward tracks available to invaders as well as defenders in Sniper Elite 5. They each contain cosmetic rewards like character customisation options and weapon skins.

Each track is unique to encourage you to play both roles, and it’s worth looking over at what awaits you and their requirements if you’re only playing to get some extra stuff.

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