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Yes or No – M98B Bolt-Action Sniper Rifle Review – Battlefield 4 (BF4)


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. I wanted to break out of the Assault Rifles and Carbines for a little bit and go to back
to the Bolt-Action rifles with the M98B. The M98 Bravo was the most requested bolt action
in my list, so I did quite a bit of playing with it over the last two weeks. But what about you, should you pick up and
play with the M98B? Yes or No? No. This one I wrestled with quite a bit, because
there are benefits to this weapon. I almost went with a Yes, No, or Maybe on the M98B.
Here’s my reasoning. The M98B is very good at one thing: standing off and sniping from
an unthreatened position. On normal, the moment you try to do anything else with it, the weapon
falls apart entirely. And I can’t recommend a weapon that has no utility in an objective-based
game. Unless, of course, your objective is to not play the objectives. But first, let’s
talk about the benefits, and why I almost recommended it under this very narrow circumstance. The M98B has more than enough bullets at 11
when it’s fully loaded. With 10 in the magazine, I can pretty much guarantee that you’re
never going to run this weapon out of ammunition while shooting a single target. It’s not
that useful though, as the slow rate of fire, combined with the relatively fast reload time
pretty much guarantees you’ll reload or be dead before hitting the end of the magazine.
At 650-meters-per-second, the M98B places third among the bolt-action rifles for speed
of individual rounds. It has the best velocity of the other 150-meter drop-off magnums, though
not by a huge margin. This gives it a niche value on hardcore where you’re more likely
to kill a target, and have to lead it less, at longer ranges.
With a minimum damage value of 59, and tied for the longest drop-off values in the game
at 150 meters for the final drop-off, the M98B has a lot of potential. At any range,
a headshot will kill a target, even if they’re wearing armor. On hardcore, this gives it
a particularly nasty lethality. But it shares this in common with the other 150 meter bolt-action
magnums. At 3250 meters, the M98B has the third-longest
range in the game. You’re not really going to get much use out of this unless you’re
miles back from the objectives, perhaps on the carrier on Paracel attempting to snipe
into the enemy spawn on the other side of the map. Needless-to-say, not a stat you’ll
get use out of, but it’s worth knowing that your bullets are not going to vanish into
thin air, no matter how far away your target is. And that’s really the benefit the M98B brings.
It has a range superiority over most other weapons in the game. The only other bolt-action
that comes close is the SRR-61, which has less drop-off. So if you’re looking for
the best long-range bolt-action rifle in the game, the M98B is probably the best you can
do. Now, if Battlefield 4 was a game all about shooting at each other from 2000 meters, I
think we’d stop here with a Yes vote. But unfortunately there’s a cascade of lethal
detractions on the M98B that I’ll cover now. Perhaps the feature that most drags the M98B
down is the slow time to rechamber a round. Even with the straight pull bolt, the M98B
can only fire 36 rounds per minute. It’s tied for the slowest rechamber in the game
with the SRR-61. It fires big bullets, but takes ages to reload. This is really costly
in the close-to-midrange game, and misses are hugely punished, particularly against
other bolt-actions. That’s the one stand-out detraction of this
specific weapon. But it really doesn’t stop there and I want to talk specifically about
bolt-action deficiencies that particularly punish the M98B in Battlefield 4. And I had
to go back to Battlefield 3 to figure out what happened to weapons that were at least
serviceable in that game. In Battlefield 3, the M98B was a guaranteed
kill out to 17 meters as long as you got a chest-shot or headshot. In Battlefield 4,
this range got slashed to 12.5 meters as the maximum “guaranteed” kill range on normal.
That guarantee is in quotes, because roughly half of all players in Battlefield 4 run the
defensive field upgrade. On normal, this means that any shot to the chest will be laughed
off by the target, and only do 93 damage. Because of the slow rate of fire of the M98B,
this means that there will not be a follow-up shot. This is a problem for all bolts on normal,
as the meta becomes swapping immediately to the secondary whenever you don’t kill a
target in the first shot, miss or not. The problem here, is that because the bolt is
so unreliable, I found myself almost constantly running my secondary in close quarters situations.
Which begs the question, why even bother with bolt-actions on normal? The only solution
I could find was to bend my playstyle to the M98B, which I’ll talk more about later in
this video. On the other hand, on Hardcore this problem
disappears. But the low rate-of-fire bolts like the M98B are completely displaced by
the higher rate-of-fire bolts like the M40A5. As I mentioned in my review of that weapon,
there needs to be a middle ground between the two modes (normal and hardcore) where
bolt actions matter on objective based games. Bolts are top-tier in hardcore, and have almost
no place in normalcore. Usually I talk about weapon recoil in this
part of Yes or No. But the bolt-actions are simply shoot, shoot, and repeat. The recoil
completely resets between shots. What I’ll talk about instead is a couple of take-away
lessons about using higher-power scopes. I’m pretty accustomed to using the 3.4x
and 4x scopes on sniper rifles, and I found that these were not particularly suitable
for the M98B. What I also found is that my preternaturally high sensitivity was not at
all conducive to sniping for headshots. So I ended up setting my sensitivity for long
range and very long range scopes to about half my normal setting. You can do this by
accessing your Options, Controls, and then selecting Advanced Options. From here you
can modify the sliders to whatever you like, and it will take that and multiply it against
your usual sensitivity settings. I found that this was actually pretty crucial
for the high power scopes, and in general I would recommend using lower sensitivities
the higher power you go. There are a couple of major lessons I had
to learn when using the M98B. First off, you adapt your playstyle to the M98B, not the
other way around. The M98B is good at one thing: range. You need to take advantage of
this if you want to use the M98B. If you’re going to play with the M98B on normal, I’d
recommend finding a cozy spot to stay somewhat safe, or push objectives only with a squad. If you try to go “lone wolf” on objectives
with the M98B, you’re going to find that it gets extremely underwhelming inside of
30 meters. The M98B becomes a much more viable option
on Rush Defense, as you can simply pick away at enemies as they come to you. Alternatively,
play on Hardcore and simply don’t miss your first shot. But that’s the one thing you need to be
ready for on both hardcore and normal: if you do not kill a target with the first shot.
If that enemy is within a distance that they could kill you on a reprisal volley, you need
to be already switching to your secondary. This is really the meta for any bolt-action
on normal, but particularly important for the M98B as it has no ability for a follow-up
shot. Ideally your secondary is something that fires a lot of little damage very fast.
Like the G18. I found it particularly useful with the M98B
to keep sensors up near me, and to put myself in places where enemies did not easily reach
me for reprisals. On normal, you’ll need to make a point of hitting headshots, and
that requires that you aren’t being disturbed for the time to bring your aim to bear. Ultimately
in CQB, barring a lucky shot, you’re probably already dead if the enemy starts shooting
at you first. The M98B has another strength, and that’s
against opposing snipers at long-to-very long range. Assuming your aim is true, you’re
going to hit them before they hit you, and have an easier time of adjusting for drop.
Of which the M98B has very little. Leading targets on the move is still going to be a
bit tricky at more than a hundred meters. Especially when you need to land headshots. Other than that, you’ll pretty much find
the M98B to be exceptionally disappointing if you’re a player that likes to play the
objective. I found the M98B to be a shackle, and one that required a very specific playstyle
to “enjoy.” This has got to be one of the easiest loadout
segments I’ve ever done. The community consensus was nearly universal on this weapon, and though
I tried a number of other setups, this is really the best you can do with the M98B.
I called this setup the “eight and straight.” For the sight, I would recommend the 8x Scope.
I ended up using the 6x for a very long time, but switched to the 8x as it gives better
magnification at very long ranges. Ranges at which the M98B is a more viable gun. The
8x also made it quite a bit easier to land headshots at these ranges, which is quite
necessary on normal mode. Less so on hardcore, so you can vary it up somewhat if you’re
a hardcore player. For my accessory, I ran the laser. I was originally
running with the red laser, but swapped to the green. Now, I don’t run this for the
hip-fire, as it’s laughably bad on the M98B. Instead, I find it to be an easier center-point
for the scope. Simply put the green dot over the enemy’s head and usually it comes flying
off. Metaphorically. Now you can choose to run a barrel attachment
if you like. For science, I ran with the muzzle break, but I found it doesn’t do much of
anything. The flash hider actually negatively impacts the spread of the M98B in a very minor
way, so I wouldn’t recommend running that either. If you put the silencer on the M98B,
and reduce that sexy 650 meters-per-second velocity to just 360 meters-per-second, you
get what you deserve. Finally, for the auxiliary attachment, I went
with the straight pull bolt. Honestly, there is no other viable choice for any bolt-action
rifle. Bipods are just terrible in BF4, and they’re only going to crutch your aim with
an otherwise exceptionally accurate rifle. Instead of a bipod, run the sniper field upgrade,
hold shift when you mean to shoot, and take your shot. With the straight pull bolt, you’ll
get the best rechamber speed on an otherwise slow weapon. I didn’t find my time with the M98B completely
unenjoyable. Instead, it was a great learning experience. I’ve got a new appreciation
of mouse sensitivity, and the overall deficiencies of the bolt-action weapons. I did have fun
with the weapon as a challenge to be overcome, and it’s definitely a lot of fun when you
hit a headshot. Though I have to wonder, as a normal player, if I’m going to give any
of the bolt-actions a yes vote. I still hold out hope for a couple of them to have competitive
potential. That being said, it’s really unfortunate
that the developers of Battlefield decided to include bolt-actions rifles while at the
same time relegating them to second-tier or third-tier weapons because of their limiting
design choices. Between nerfing the minimum range and adding the defensive perk, it’s
clear that they didn’t want ranged weapons to be top-tier in Battlefield 4. If I had to choose a bolt-action weapon other
than the M98B, I’d probably go with the JNG-90. The bullet velocity is just a hair
faster than the M98B, and I feel like its general performance is slightly better at
objective-based ranges. If I were playing hardcore, I’d probably pick up the M40A5.
Keep in mind that I gave the M40A5 a No vote in an earlier episode because it has similar
bolt-action problems on normal. But on Hardcore, it’s beast mode. That’s it for this episode of Yes or No.
I’m sure there are some unhappy bolt-action users out there that love the M98B. If there’s
something you think I missed, or if you have a particularly different take on the M98B,
please let me know in the comments below. If there’s a weapon you’d like to see
reviewed on this series, leave a comment indicating which weapon. I’ll eventually get to them
all. As always, thanks for watching, and I’ll see you next time, YouTube.

100 thoughts on “Yes or No – M98B Bolt-Action Sniper Rifle Review – Battlefield 4 (BF4)

  1. Have you tried running universal soldier aiming? It worked wonders for me, but seems to be a pretty polarizing thing based on what I've seen online.

  2. Good review Darth I agree with a lot of your assessments of the M98B,, however it was very strong for the first 6-8 months of the games release. I don't know what patch it was but it seemed to introduce a strange visual recoil kick to the 8x optic which caused the scope to kick and rotate slightly to the right when re-chambering a round, this began to effect my aim on follow up shots too much so I stopped using it and went for the JNG, never looked back.

  3. The GOL is sweet for being mid-range aggressive, but it lacks magazine capacity. The L115 is a current favourite.

  4. M98B is a great gun in BF3, in BF4 it is quite overshadowed by SRR-61. And the GOL Magnum is superior to M98B in .338 rifle family. (GOL>M98B>L115>338-Recon>SR338) But that does not mean M98B sucks, I found a lot of people in game prefer it over SRR-61. Personally its my third favorite SR in the game, behind SRR-61 and GOL Magnum.

    It is decent when used for 300 meter+ sniping, but for aggressive recon gameplay its depends on the operator. Some people use 3.4x or just red dot and still extremely deadly at close quarters; while people like me, can't hit the board side of the barn within 10 meters, especially the enemy is like a bunny that hops around left and right. I will give M98B "yes" rating, just because there are still many inferior sniper rifles out there.

    You still can play the objective with M98B; be a terrifying sniper in TDM, cover flag in conquest and mode like that, be a defender in Rush, even as attacker you can pick off enemy sniper for your teammate to get in (not recommended but this sometimes works). But snipers in general, they don't really PTFO, you may see a truly good recon player in about every 50 rounds maybe? So I agreed with "no" if you are not interested in sniping and not actually playing the game; if that's the case, grab a carbine or DMR and get closer…

  5. Bolt actions are nearly totally nonviable on console normal mode, getting a headshot on a small target moving, just not an option 90% of the time.

  6. Do the SR-338. I honestly love this rifle and it's my favorite sniper rifle and I'm curious to hear what reasons you have to not use this, objectively, hunk of garbage.

  7. How could you not love the little brother of the Barrett M82? Like all bolt-actions the M98B is very situational, as in only long range. You can't complain about close range issues for a bolt action, IMO. Thats something lvlcap would do. I find the difference between the low ROF, high damage (like the JNG & SRR) so minimal that you could use them interchangeably and not notice. I only use BOs on Rush defense and usually run a revolver for CQC and variable-zoom scope

  8. Hmmm I'm assuming you don't snipe a great deal? You state that in normal mode you don't see the point in running BA,s as they're not conducive to objective gameplay, this isn't strictly true , I only tend to play normal and regularly dominate with any Bolt action, you just have to play to the weapon types strength, for instance if you want to cap points choose one of the faster firing rifles and always make sure you have a tugs and are behind cover, if your firing in close quarters automatically switch to your side arm after your first shot and if you want to use a 98b for instance position yourself slightly off a flag but so that you can defend it ( your position on Pearl Market was perfect) easily. Snipers can and still do dominate most maps if they know how to use their weapon!( but not by sitting a 1000m away, I don't do or condone that )

  9. the guy who in every video i have watched so far has referred to snipers as ""camping cowards"" reviews one of the top sniper rifles in the game,, and what is this strange totally unexpected result??he doesn't like the fact that the long range weapon is…. you guest it a long range weapon im so surprised!!!!

  10. Darth just one thing I have to say:

    I really really hope DICE has learned from their lessons with Bolt Actions, Defensive Spec perks and whatever else is not viable anymore.

    Cuz as you said, the Meta is the fact that you'll need to swap to your secondary in other to counter def. spec, always go for headshots(making so so body shots irrelevant) or moving to Hardcore which over there doesn't matter if you run def spec or not.

    The balance over there is catered to play styles that don't work or only work half of the time on Normal i.e. Shotguns with dart, grenades, Bolt Actions/DMRs with crap bullet velocity, drop off, rechamber times and several other weapons like the UMP-9.

    I don't mind Hardcore or normal, but we need a middle ground for setups like these. Yeah Aggressive Recon isn't anything new but neither is sitting back though you'll be doing that anyways on Defense game modes(PTFOing when your team is ahead by 500 and the enemy team is down by 100 tickets doesn't make this justifiable so I'll snipe to pleasure)

  11. basically a YES to BF bandwagon riders who want a 1000m headshot and dont want to play the objective and a NO to true aggressive recon

  12. basically a YES to BF bandwagon riders who want a 1000m headshot and dont want to play the objective and a NO to true aggressive recon

  13. basically a YES to BF bandwagon riders who want a 1000m headshot and dont want to play the objective and a NO to true aggressive recon

  14. I know this is late but… it's a Sniper Rifle, of course it's going to do bad up close. All Sniper Rifles do bad up close.

    I personally find the M98B to be the best Bolt action, for actual Sniper's.

  15. who said that your running and enemy's with a sniper the point of a sniper is to camp in real life that's pretty much impossible going in combat with a sniper

  16. On normal you can demolish single players trying to peek you on straight lanes. Works great on propaganda and lockers. You have to get them scared of you first, so they wont just rush you down the lane. When they peek just snap em in the face and youll be golden.

  17. please don't snipe because it looks like you don't know how to…..u have to use a long range scope for sniping..at the range you were playing I would just go with a assault rifle

  18. Well, they're sniper rifles, they are supposed to be good at long ranges, and not for aggressive recon😕😕. Your review is still good, but u reviewed how it is good for play the objective, snipers are not supposed to GO to the objective

  19. Not play the objectives? Those enemies that I kill could kill my teammates but they don't. Snipers support the team by eliminating enemies.

  20. Looks like someone is talking alot of shit the mtar no don't use it was youre opinion But its Just The Best gun in the game

  21. alright it is a sniper rifle shooting a high powered round not an smg or shotgun. that is like reviewing the spas 12 and giving it a 'no' cuz it is only good at one thing:close range and you can't use it at long range.

  22. With my 98, I like to use x20-40, I use a bipod to place the head shots and I use a side sight for close combat.

  23. i havent played normal mode since the first week i had this game. hardcore is the way to go for the true BF experience.

  24. Bipod, the power needed to beat a dumb idle sniper with straight pull. If your first shot is not headshot, then you simply fire again and he's dead. He hits you once, then have to struggle to shoot at the exact same spot again, because he can't stablize… I prefer bipod because straight pull is for people that can't headshot or go 200m minus with a rifle

  25. The defensive perk should not stop a 338 round or anything else around that size. Then the game wouldn't punish you for playing aggressive recon. As the game is now you can still do well with a bold action rifle at close range if your sidearm is decent and your teammates are good. You still have to potential to one shot anyone if you hit them in the head at any range which in this game is really nice to have but if you hit them in the chest then a couple rounds from a pistol will get you the kill or a teammate can mop up the kill. The game modes are not about killing everyone on the other team. If you soften someone up then that almost guarantees their death if you are close enough to the objective.

  26. I play milsim a lot. We use the M98B a good amount of time for a sniper rifle. It is perfect because we play on one shot one kill servers. Snipers are supposed to pick people off fron a distance. This makes the M98B really rewarding.

  27. Lol I came on this video Cuz I use this sniper and so I watched some of your videos and you usually say yes to the guns and I was thinking you would say it to this and I was like "aaalllrigt tell me what's so good about this one." then you said no😂

  28. What about the SV98. I have a soft spot for it as it was my first sniper rifle I was good with in bf3 and continued to do the same in bad company. I really won't care if you get around to making a video but I would like someone else opinion on it.

  29. Why use this gun at such a close range. It should be used at a minimum distance of 50m away from your enemies. Your pistol is your close range defense.

  30. yea I don't do the objectives I got the game for the snipeing I'm good at snipeing at very very long range but up close I'm trash I have to use my 44 magnum

  31. Well I’m not a sweaty tryhard and actually wanna be accurate when sniping from a distance so m98b is a yes for me.

  32. I like darth’s vids, but he is so close-minded about snipers being complete cowards and are useless.

  33. Good reasoning, I always felt I couldnt perform at all while under pressure with this gun, even without pressure it doesn't come close to the GOL Magnum, the probably best sniper rifle imo.

  34. This isn't a very good review of yes or no.
    All snipers won't work at close ranges, they're not made to. They're made for defense of objectives you have, not for run and gun.

  35. My favorite bolt action sniper rifle in Battlefield 4 is the L115A3 because it fire alot quicker than the M98B. L115A3 can reload alot quicker than most bolt action sniper rifles.

  36. This is my highest scoring sniper rifle. I have others which have higher accuracy scores but this has the most kills. You can play the objectives as a sniper by holding off any flanking. Anyone who understands what a snipers job is cannot say so arrogantly the sniper is useless for helping in the objective. Very often it is the sniper who wins the game by making the enemy afraid to follow a certain route or to stop them in their tracks while our men go after the sniper. So to say this gun fails in all aspects is arbitrary and completely wrong. Learn the proper job of a sniper – hint, it is not playing assault like you are doing in this video.

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