Hi YouTube, Darth Here: This is Yes or No, a weapon review series
where I give a clear and concise answer as to what weapons you should be using in Battlefield
4. Today I’m looking at the SKS Dedicated Marksman Rifle. This was probably one of my
favorite DMRs in Battlefield 3, and I haven’t given it much attention in Battlefield 4 until
now. So let’s get to the goods: should you be using the SKS, Yes or No?
Yes — and while this one of the best DMRs, it’s still a DMR in Battlefield 4. So this
is a very, very borderline recommendation. First I’m going to cover the positives of
this weapon, particularly with respect to other DMRs. The SKS has the highest rate of fire of any
of the DMRs. This is probably its number one standout feature. The SKS is the king of spam
fire and the SKS’ rate of fire helps it to offset some of its major deficits. At 333
rounds-per-minute, its raw time-to-kill is similar to the lower rate-of-fire assault
rifles. Much ado to its rate of fire, the SKS has
the fastest minimum time to kill among the DMRs at roughly 360 milliseconds plus travel
time. In very nearly every situation, the SKS is a 3-shot kill which is very consistent.
If you start hitting limbs and going up against armored targets, the bullets to kill go up
slightly to 4. The three shot kill is pretty typical for DMRs, but you can generally get
this out a few frames faster than the other DMRs with the SKS. Now, the SKS has a low spread-increase-per-shot,
and I saw low because the Spread Increase Per Shot here is tied for the lowest among
the all-class DMRs. The SR338 is actually better, but that is for recon only. Compared
to all the other weapons in the game, the SKS is actually pretty high still. Comparatively
it’s about 50% higher than even the worst LMG. So the magazine size of the SKS is pretty
typical for the DMRs at 20 rounds. This means a maximum capacity of 21 rounds with one in
the chamber. Even in the worst case for this weapon, this is enough to take down an entire
squad of enemies. This comes in pretty handy when you manage to pull off a flank or if
you’re facing multiple enemies. One final advantage the SKS has is in mobility.
The SKS is one of the more tolerant DMRs when it comes to moving while you’re hip-firing.
Now this isn’t a terribly huge advantage as the SKS in general doesn’t have great
hip-fire, at least in comparison to the rest of the weapons in the game. But when you’re
on the move and surprised at close range, it can definitely come in handy.
That’s pretty much the best features of this weapon among the DMRs — now let’s
take a look at what’s not so good. For being a rifle, the SKS actually has a
pretty miserable muzzle velocity of 490 meters-per-second. While not a crippling weakness, this makes
it the worst of the DMRs, and something you absolutely have to be aware of when using
this weapon. You’ll take shots and be surprised when you miss. Particularly at range. Next, the left/right deviation of the SKS
is the worst among the DMRs. The more you fire this weapon, the more unpredictable it
gets when combined with the DMR spread increase per shot. It’s not the worst in the game,
but when combined with a lot of footwork, it can leave you out in the cold.
That’s pretty much the worst of it for the SKS. But I wanted to talk about the general
weaknesses of the DMRs in Battlefield 4. While packing plenty of wallop and accuracy, the
speed at which the DMRs can put out that damage is not very significant. Even the best dps
of the all-class DMRs with the SKS is only slightly better than the slowest-killing assault
rifle. It’s on par with the worst of the carbines.
So what does that mean? Literally every automatic weapon in the game will beat the SKS in a
gun-to-gun mano-a-mano fight. This is not unique to the SKS, it’s a problem of all
the DMRs. The one possible equalizer is the headshot — which is still not enough for
the all-class marksman rifles. You’ll still have to follow up with at least one additional
shot. So the DMRs pay a price for accuracy, and they’ll need that accuracy. But the
SKS is not really about accuracy. I like to refer to the SKS as the “spam king.”
Controlling the SKS Being a DMR, the SKS is a semiautomatic weapon,
pull-trigger-and-fire, and the speed that the weapon lets out rounds will depend on
your trigger finger. The SKS has a recoil pattern of .7 up, .3 left, and .4 right. This
is going to pull your weapon up and very slightly to the right. To counter this, you have a
couple of options. You can pull down and to the left to counter it directly, or slow the
rate of fire to allow your weapon time to naturally reset. And honestly, you really
have to spam this weapon to feel any recoil at all.
With only two to three rounds per target, you’re really not going to feel the recoil
in that short amount of time. But what you are going to have to do is compensate for
the movement of your target, which is not going to stay still while you shave most of
its life away with each slow and repetitive shot. I think first and foremost, you have to recognize
what the SKS is good at and what it is not good at. The SKS is the spam king of DMRs.
You’re not going to be lining up headshots and carefully tapping enemies down. No, no,
no — you find a target, keep them in your sights, and let them have it. The further
your target is, the more time you’ll want to give your shots, but in general I like
to let loose with this weapon. Now let’s talk range. At medium ranges of
about 20 meters to 60 or so meters, the SKS quite good. I find the particular sweet spot
for this weapon is anywhere between 20 meters and 40 meters so it’s a consistent 3 shots
to kill. And for the most part, this is going to be where you want to keep your enemies.
A lot of times I had problems when I tried to get in close on enemies and use this weapon
in their face. Like I pointed out earlier, the SKS loses to just about every weapon in
the game heads-up. This was a learning experience for me as I’d try to use the rate of fire
to catch up at close range, but it’s really not enough. Instead, keep those enemies at
range, keep them unaware, and use the advantage of your accuracy to off them; and if that
doesn’t work, just more bullets will do. Looking at the relatively low scores-per-minute
of most SKS players, the standoff route seems to be popular. But I’m not about to just
sit back, as I have to press the enemy. So I have to offset that major disadvantage this
weapon has at close range. And for that, I think the G18 is a perfect complementary secondary.
Whenever enemies close to within 15 meters or less, if I know they’re near, I’ll
swap to the G18, which serves as a pocket AEK. It’s got the exact same time-to-kill
at minimum range as the AEK, and reloads twice as fast. So the G18 is perfect for the in-your-face
CQB action that the SKS is terrible at. If you find yourself at extreme close range
with the SKS, the hipfire is definitely serviceable, but won’t solve your problem if your enemy
is already shooting at you. In general, I find the SKS is best for defending
and posting up at a corner or cover and picking off enemies before advancing. You don’t
want to be away from cover if your enemy has a good shot on you — particularly because
your time-to-kill is not amazing. So I make an extra strong point of trying to stick to
cover whenever using the SKS — and in particular I find that this weapon is great on maps with
lots of hard cover and medium sight-lines like Propaganda and Zavod. Any time I do a Yes or No episode, I like
to look up on BF4stats.com what the community is using and start my assumptions around the
common thread. I cross reference the players with their attachments on Battlelog to form
a consensus. Well, I found out pretty quick that there is no strong consensus on the SKS
— but there was a most popular build for this weapon.
The majority of players (and keep in mind it wasn’t a strong majority) like to run
the SKS with the FLIR 2x sight, Target Detector, Heavy Barrel, and Angled Grip. And this would
make sense if this gun was all about being accurate at range. But it’s probably the
least reliably accurate of the DMRs. So doing some investigation at Symthic, and going with
my gut feelings from Battlefield 3 and how I liked to play this weapon a bit more aggressively,
this was my setup: For the optic, I recommend going with the
HD-33. This just barely beats out my second choice, a Kobra RDS. This has just the range
push I feel is right for this weapon, without removing the peripheral vision that the IRNV
and FLIR scopes would. Now I tried a huge number of different scopes for the SKS, and
none of them felt particular good for the SKS. So I settled in on the middle ground
for my recommendation with the HD-33. Next, a bit of a switch for me on the accessory.
Usually I recommend the laser, but in this case the target detector is just too good
to pass on. If you don’t have Final Stand, or if you’re playing on Hardcore, I’d
instead run the laser sight. But the ability that the TDD provides the player to pick out
targets without having to spot is just too good. It’s more reliable than actually spotting
and doesn’t suffer from the same “spam spotting” cooldown. Additionally, it helps
to keep your target highlighted while you’re trying to pick them off.
Now the next two attachments are going to be all about maximizing the advantages that
the SKS does possess: mobility and damage output.
First, I’m going to recommend using a heavy barrel with pretty much any DMR, and in particular
the SKS. It’s going to give you better minimum spread, less spread increase per-shot, and
less spread when moving. The cost is slightly more upwards recoil, and in reality, that’s
a pretty easy stat to control particularly on PC.
Next, I recommend the ergo grip. The ergo grip is going to give you half as much minimum
spread when moving at the cost of a bit more time to reset your spread after you stop shooting.
Big deal — three bullets are enough to kill just about any target. Remember, this weapon
isn’t all about precision like some other DMRs, and the first shot recoil multiplier
is not so atrocious that it can’t be compensated for, so I don’t see a reason to run the
angled grip on the SKS. The combination of the heavy barrel and the
ergo grip are going to give the SKS some nice mobility power. And remember, if the first
three bullets don’t take out your target, just keep shooting.
Ultimately, the SKS is actually pretty friendly to a lot of loadouts, and I had relative success
with a lot of setups. Even strange ones that incorporated magnifiers, silencers, and stubby
grips. But I found that the HD-33, TDD, Ergo, and Heavy Barrel was the setup that tended
to work best for my playstyle. So the SKS is probably not my favorite weapon,
and one I probably won’t use very often, and I probably wouldn’t bring it when a
suitable carbine or medium range assault rifle would be more reliable. But if you’re looking
for a DMR to pick up, the SKS is a definite yes. It’s not bad, but it’s not great.
It’s a solid rifle, particularly if you’re willing to take a little bit more care on
getting yourself to a target. Pair it with a great close-quarters secondary and you’ve
got a magnificent beast of a combo. If you find yourself liking the SKS, you may
wish to try the RFB which will give you slightly better accuracy for a little bit less rate
of fire. If you want something more akin to the DMRs from Battlefield 3, and you’re
playing recon, the SR338 is probably the best all-around DMR in the game.
That’s it for this episode of Yes or No. If there’s something you think I missed,
or if you have a different take on the SKS, please let me know. If there’s a particular
weapon you’d like to see reviewed on this series, leave a comment below indicating which
weapon. As always, thanks for watching, and I’ll see you next time, YouTube.