Sharpshooter Plus for Xbox Manual/FAQ

This is the Sharpshooter Plus electronic manual.
Buy and download the game here:

Version History

2.1.1 - Released 12/12/2023.
- Initial release.


Begin/Join/Skip intros/Pause = Menu
Aim = Left analog stick (can be switched in Options)
Fire = A, or the left or right trigger

Choose menu option = aim at it and fire
Go back = B

Quick FAQ/Known Issues

Q: What's this about a free trial?
A: The Microsoft Store allows this, so I decided for this release to honor the legacy of XBLIG and let you try the game for free! You get to play the first 6 rounds; once things start to ramp up, you'll need to buy the game to proceed further. Also, the harder difficulties and Vs. Mode are not available. But unlike XBLIG, there is no time limit on the free trial.

Q: Um...I bought the game from within the free trial, but it's acting like I didn't buy it.
A: Restart the game for your purchase to take effect; a pop-up menu will offer to do this for you.

Q: Hey, wait a second! My high scores and option settings aren't saving! What gives?
A: I have literally been trying on and off for years to get the sign-in/loading process to work correctly, and to date I still haven't gotten it to work; on my latest attempt, the game was freezing completely when it tried to access the file, especially when one did not exist (first run). I am hoping to address this with an update in the future.
For now: you can still keep track of most high scores using the Leaderboards, which the original XBLIG version did not have =)

Q: Are any further updates planned?
A: Apart from the above issues: this version is pretty complete, so further updates will likely only fix problems.

Q: Is Sharpshooter Plus a Play Anywhere title?
A: No, it isn't. It only plays on Xbox. I apologize if you would have taken advantage of this, but as Sharpshooter Plus is already available on PC, and the player base is very small, I did not want to split the audience between Steam and Microsoft clients, nor did I want to have to maintain two different PC versions. Also, I was not able to figure out how to do certain things within the UWP architecture, such as control whether the game launched in fullscreen mode, or what resolution it used in windowed mode. I would rather not offer two versions of the same game when one of them is inferior to the other.

Q: Hold up, why is the Steam version more expensive than the Xbox version? I noticed that Falling Plus costs the same on both.
A: Falling Plus is, more or less, the same game on both platforms, with the same gameplay features. But the Steam version of Sharpshooter Plus can be played 3 different ways: controller, mouse, and touchscreen, and the experience is quite different across those 3 input methods. On Xbox, you only get 1 of those. So I didn't feel that it was fair to charge the same price. Hence, the discount.

Q: Wait, a massage app is included?
A: Yes. You can find it in Extras, off of the main menu. I originally included it with the XBLIG version as a joke, under the name "The Best of Xbox Live Indie Games, Vol. 1." If you paid attention to XBLIG back in 2009-2010, you'll remember that massage apps were a really big deal for a hot minute, so I threw "Super Awesome Massage" together and tossed it in there.

Q: I found a bug. What do I do?
A: Use the contact form on, or e-mail me at, and let me know about it. Thanks!

What is this?

Sharpshooter Plus is the enhanced version of yyrGames' XBLIG classic Sharpshooter, which was released in 2010. It packs a bunch of new features, but retains the fast-paced action!

Here are the biggest changes made in Sharpshooter Plus, compared to the original XBLIG version:

- Now on modern Xbox: Sharpshooter returns for the first time since its delisting in late 2017!
- Higher resolution: Even 4K is supported!
- Leaderboards: Enjoy not having to type a code into a Web site to post your scores!
- Bug fixes: Some of the original game's bugs were fixed, for a more satisfying experience!
- Gameplay balance: Tweaks were made to allow for more satisfying score competition!
- Bonus modes added: Test your skills under tough conditions!

How do I play?

Goal: Achieve the highest grade possible by quickly and accurately shooting targets across 20 unique minigames!

Begin by choosing "Play Game" from the main menu, then "Start Game." Choose a mode from the selection menu:
SHARPSHOOTER: The main game mode. 1 or 2 players. (2 gamepads required for 2 players.)
VS. MODE: Play as many best-of-5 matches against an opponent as you like! (2 gamepads required.)
TRAINING: A training course. Use this to get the hang of the controls, or if you want something a bit easier. (Gameplay begins immediately.)
PRACTICE: The Practice mode allows you to freely play any of the 20 minigames, and freely customize their difficulty levels.

After choosing the main game mode, you'll be asked to select one of the 5 difficulties:

EASIEST: Meant for children, and those who just want the easiest difficulty possible. (If you do really well on the first few rounds, you'll be asked if you want to restart on a harder difficulty.)
CASUAL: Meant for those players who like action games, but don't like a big challenge.
SERIOUS: Choose this if you're a bit more serious about your action games.
EXPERT*: Pick this if you've mastered the easier difficulties and are ready for a challenge.
MASTER*: The highest level of difficulty! It'll be tough, but it'll feel really rewarding when you master it!
* Not available in the free Trial Mode. You'll need to purchase the game to try these.

Choosing a difficulty will bring up the minigame selection screen for Round 1. You'll be presented with a choice of 3 minigames. Minigames will appear in different orders each time you play. Shoot a minigame to select it.

The minigame introduction screen will appear and explain the rules of this particular minigame. Here are some things you'll want to pay attention to:
QUOTA: You'll need to shoot a certain number of targets--or more--to win (clear) the game. Occasionally, you'll have to hit ALL of the targets in order to win.
TIME: The time limit is displayed at the bottom of the screen. All minigames have a time limit, so try to complete the quota before time expires! You'll get a time bonus for working quickly.
AMMO: Most minigames feature unlimited ammo, but some limit your number of shots. Sometimes, you only get a single shot!
PENALTY: Some minigames feature targets marked with an X. If these are present, the intro screen will mention them. Shooting these will incur a scoring penalty, so try not to hit them!
OTHER: A few minigames have special rules, like "If you miss, the round ends." or "Score exactly x points." Watch out for these!

The minigame will begin automatically after a few moments, but you can also skip the intro screen if desired to get to the action faster. Once the action begins, shoot quickly and accurately to achieve the quota before your time or ammo run out.

After the minigame ends, you'll see a result screen. If you complete the quota ("Cleared!") you will score a 10,000-point bonus. If you don't ("Failed!"), you will not receive any bonus, and you don't get to try again, so do your best! You'll also receive points for each target hit, and small bonuses for speed and accuracy. Finally, you'll once again see the minigame selection screen, unless there's just one more round left, in which case the final minigame will appear.

The game lasts between 12 and 20 rounds, depending on what difficulty you selected. At the end, you'll receive a grade from AAA (highest) to F (lowest) based on your difficulty level and score. Try to achieve the highest grade possible! Your score will also be added to Leaderboards, so go for it!

Specifically, what has changed between Sharpshooter and Sharpshooter Plus?

Oh, you want nitty-gritty gameplay changes? Well, you know I enjoy rambling, so if you were familiar with the original XBLIG version, here are most of those:

- In the original, on each frame, the game would advance targets first, then process input. This would effectively create a one-frame lag, because your shots would not be processed until after the targets moved from their current position. Sharpshooter Plus processes input before advancing targets, making gameplay feel more snappy and responsive!
- "Hardcore Mode" is a newly-added optional mode. (See below for explanation.)
- Collision detection in the original game was based on a rectangular area. Since all of the targets in this game are circular, that was...not ideal. Collision detection is now circular!
- Added optional "classic" aiming method when using a gamepad. It allows you to freely move the cursor using the thumbstick, rather than the cursor's position being tied to the thumbstick's position. You can toggle the aiming method in Options, if desired. The game was not designed to be played this way, and the higher difficulties have not been tested using this aiming method, so it is not recommended. However, it was implemented anyway for players who may prefer it.
- If you choose to fire using the triggers: you no longer have to let go of BOTH triggers before EITHER will fire again.
- Sound effects now pan appropriately. For example, if you're shooting a target on the left edge of the screen, the sound will mostly come from the left speaker. In the original, all of the sound effects played in the center.
- The score requirement for the "AA" grade was lowered slightly. (The requirement for the "AAA" grade has remained the same.)
- The names of the three easiest difficulty levels ("Easiest," "Casual," and "Serious") were changed (originally "Easy," "Medium," and "Difficult").
- In the original, neither Insane Mode nor the "Invert Y" setting worked properly when playing Double Mode. Now, it all works as expected.
- The awful vocal track was removed from Insane Mode. There is still a small chance of hearing alternate music when playing this mode, but your ears won't bleed anymore.
- Targets now explode into particles that are smaller and more numerous than before.
- Added a setting to disable the screen flash effect when firing.
- Several tweaks were made to the difficulty of individual minigames.
- A lot of menu-related bugs were fixed.

What are the alternate gameplay modes?

Hardcore Mode and Insane Mode are optional gameplay modifiers that you can turn on or off before beginning a game. You can use neither, one, or both of them at once!

When Hardcore Mode is OFF, targets are worth the same number of points, whether you hit the outer edge or the bullseye. In other words, accuracy doesn't matter as much; you either hit the target, or you don't.
When Hardcore Mode is ON, you will score the maximum number of points only when hitting the bullseye. You will score less if you're not as accurate. When you shoot a target, a percentage will appear, showing you how accurate you were.
At 100% accuracy, you will score 50% more than you would have if Hardcore Mode was OFF.
At 0% accuracy, you will score 50% less than you would have if Hardcore Mode was OFF. (This means that bullseye shots are worth approximately 3x more than outer edge shots.)

When Insane Mode is ON, any miss ends the current minigame immediately! (You will still keep whatever points you had earned before missing; if you already met the quota, the round will still be cleared.) How well can you do under these tough conditions?

There are separate Leaderboards for each combination of input method and optional mode, so do your best!

Any tips?

- The names of the minigames sometimes contain clues.
- On any difficulty level below Master: if you do well on a minigame, the next one will be a bit more difficult. Doing poorly, on the other hand, will make the next minigame easier. And, the base score value of each target shot increases along with higher difficulty. Generally, this means that minigames played later are more difficult, and are worth more points. Keep that in mind when you're making your selections! (On Master difficulty, all minigames are always played at their maximum possible difficulty.)
- On any difficulty level below Master: sometimes, minigames you don't choose are replaced by others. This happens more frequently on easier difficulties. Sorry, but on Master difficulty, you'll be forced to play all 20 unique minigames!
- The time bonus is awarded based on the moment you cleared the stage (reached the quota).
- Grading is not absolute based on total score; it is determined by "par" scores for the specific minigames you played, and the difficulty you played them on. So the score required for a particular grade can vary, based on how you played the game.