Please bare in mind that Spy play is very situational and there are no static rules. For all the tips there are plenty of situations where it is more feasible to do exactly the opposite.
Avoid the SniperEdit
Pay close attention to the laser at all times. Try to guess what the sniper is likely focusing on and take advantage of his lack of attention somewhere else. Does he guard the bug? Go for a quick time add! Does he stare down Toby and his tray? Transfer the microfilm!
The bait Experienced snipers often point the laser in one direction while looking at the other. They try to mislead the spy about their focus of attention, hoping to bait a confirmation tell from a highly suspicious guest who thinks he can take advantage of the lack of sniper presence. Identifying a bait is very tricky. Sometimes, the laser suddenly changes pace, or becomes very still, seemingly pointing at nothing.
Manage your competitionEdit
Hopefully, you're not the only suspect at the party, you have "competition" for the position of spy, and you want to keep it that way. Try to have a rough idea on the sniper's possible suspect list, and don't do his job for him by eliminating top suspects for him: Don't BB if your competition could not possibly BB, i.e. is out of CC. Giving the sniper a couple of easy LLs from formal neutral guests is not ideal but giving him LLs from previous HLs can be devastating and might reduce the suspect pool to only you.
But how do you know his suspects/HLs? Prime candidates are guest that carry out your dirty work (green swap and purloin). You should ALWAYS remember them and try to keep them in the race. If you notice that your sniper is predominantly HLing for a certain action, try keeping track of these too (usually, statue visitors is a good starting place)
Manage your own highlightEdit
Generally speaking, accomplishing missions when you're LL is a breeze, but when being HL even greens can easily get you killed and it's most difficult to get anything done. Getting a sniper to LL you is not trivial and often involves special moves such as a Banana split.
The other big thing is avoiding a HL or atleast delaying the time you get it.
Many snipers these days will automatically HL any guests who visit statues. There is a number of good reasons for this practice. For you as a spy this means that by picking up a statue you're basically Highlighting yourself.
I see many spies go for the inspect relatively early in a round because it appears risk free. But its not. Gaining a HL early is devastating and should be avoided if atall possible. Instead, wait with your statue visit until youve completed other hard tell missions.
Create Suspects / FramingEdit
Sometimes you cannot win by mission completion, sometimes you just dont want to. Some say, winning by civ death is not as rewarding than completing your missions, but prompting the sniper to shoot an innocent guest by actively framing them is a reward in its own right.
- Framing your ST: red flirt while he holds up a statue, reads a book or is mid-talk (not so strong) to force an abort from him/her that might set off the sniper. A good sniper might recognize the red flirt possibility and have it down to you and your ST after that trick though (especialy if youre joining)
- Framing anyone: Pretend someone has greened a swap and immediatly move in to white swap after the guest was at the same (risky, manage your competition!).
- Add time when someone looks at the watch (risky, as youll always be the second to check which can be a tell)
- Drop a (fake) BB while your framing victim is talking.
- Combo: BB while your ST is talking, then red flirt to make it look like a poorly executed BBsplit on your victims part.
All these methods also make you possibly suspicious, especially once snipers start to explicitly look for BBsplits. So consider the pros and cons. If you already have a HL yourself, it can severely backfire. On the other hand, if used early on a victim with a statue HL, it can prompt the sniper to completely tunnel on them, giving you an easy game.
Basically you want to look less like a spy and more like an innocent guest.
And let's face it: most guests are boring. They stand around pointlessly, they don't cuddle their CC partners like the flirt cannons we are.
The main problem with shedding suspicion is that you have to have the sniper notice your lack of spyiness. So don't rely on getting a LL for idling for 1-2 minutes or for a nice briefcase return. On the other hand, if you aroused soo much suspicion that every additional tell would likely kill you, it might be your best bet to salvage the game, lay back and hope for AI weirdness or a hail mary fake BB in the last 30 seconds.
Plead certifiably insaneEdit
If, for whatever reason, you've managed to secure the sniper's sole attention on you, you can try to convince him of your innocence by performing totally unproductive tasks such as visiting 3 statues in quick succession, running from window to window to window, pick up an already swapped statue, and so forth.
It is not guaranteed to work, but sometimes all you need is for the sniper to hold his trigger finger and rethink for a couple more seconds.
Dodge the bulletEdit
You've just white purloined, and the sniper has stared you down since your clumsy bug attempt in the beginning of the match. You know that he knows and you both know you're dead. This is the perfect time to take a graceful step forward and selflessly pass the bullet on to your innocent neighbor.
Luckily, Spyparty is not CallofDuty and it rarely ever saves your life. But if it does, it's hilarious and you feel a little bit like Neo. If, however, you were more convinced of your guiltiness than you should've, i.e. than the sniper was, then congratulations!, you've just stepped into the "no mans land" of a CC, begging your sniper to shoot you.
Mission specific tipsEdit
If its your last mission and you're body is rather bulky, walk as close to the statue and after you've swapped, run down the countdown without leaving the pad (deny direct look at the statue until its too late)
Bug in conversationEdit
wait with the bug attempt until in-between "idle"/"listening" animations, i.e. press the button when your arms have reached their initial position on your sides. This will reduce the animation irregularities. That being said, snipers don't let the ambassador unguarded for long, if at all, so timing the bug with the snipers absence is much more important than waiting for the animation sync.
In general, you want to have as many guests in your CC and as few guests in lowlightable positions such as statues, shelves, windows. Its the only mission that can actively and directly influence the sniper. Try to utilize this by comboing BB with other objectives such as framing and/or hard tells.
- Banana Split: BB and immediately bail from the CC after it went through. If you green the AT, you can leave right away. If you white test, wait until the BB came out (watch th progress bar in the upper left corner of the screen, beside the Contact mission string) and STOP talking. then you can leave. when? before a hard tell. when not? top AI suspects out of CC. why? Gain a LL and/or additional cover for a hard tell
- "Hail mary": If there is no way that you will complete your missions in time, you can fake a BB in the last 30 seconds of the game, to bait a panic shot from the sniper. Try to do it from a "bad" CC, with as little guests as possible (e.g. only amba on opposite CC side)
Seduce / FlirtEdit
Especially on large and obstructed maps like the CYs, panop and veranda, the seduce can be achieved swiftly by twitching in and out of CC to reset the flirt possibility quickly. In CC, the flirt progress is added as soon as the AT is completed. You can stop talking immediately afterwards. Can be useful especially on balcony to flirt superfast without the sniper realizing you talked (if the AT target area is in the front part, you start talking as soon as the AT starts)
Entering a CC and immediately talking can trip a watchful sniper, especially if you're HL before. Try to wait till the end of the idle cycle. This is not true when joining lonely Guests and one is supposed to break the otherwise awkward silence.
You can increase your chances of not getting shot by waiting for a string of rejects prior to your purloin attempt. If you green it, awesome, but if you white test, you still have a chance that the sniper didn't see the animation in flagranti and it might also be one of the rejectors (managing your competition after that is key!). Also, as of now, if you accept a drink while you still have a green purloin pending, the list does not disappear, which can be a very strong anti-tell. if you call Toby over and then move out of CC (or just twitch a little) the drink order is cancelled and Toby redirects. This can sometimes be exploited to artificially prolengthen the purloin pending period by continuously calling Toby over to different spots and then moving again. Maybe its not really an exploit because it can backfire, if its too obvious what you're doing. I just put it out there.
This is mostly common sense, but i caught some bullets for it: Avoid checking your watch for a while after you've added time, even if you greened the add. If the sniper didn't catch the first add, he might mistakenly take your second innocent watch check as the real deal.