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Tips For Using Each Character in Overwatch

 Overwatch is a popular game, and has even been awarded Game of the Year for 2016 from a number of publications. Beyond just being a fun game, Overwatch also has a strong eSports community. There’s also the competitive mode that allows for a more serious level of gameplay for those who wish to stay with the game in the long-term.

But how do you know when you’re ready to take it up a notch? Well that usually comes once you understand the capabilities of each character and how to utilize them in in situations. With that in mind, I’ve decided to compile this list Overwatch tips for every character.

Since Overwatch is a game that is prone to character buffs and Nerfs, these can change tactics over time; therefore these tips will constantly be updated as things are updated in the game. We will also continue to add new characters shortly after they release. Feel free to also suggest tips or call out outdated tactics in the comments.

On top of these character tips, its also important to follow a few basic rules when playing. Number one is understanding that it’s not always going to be appropriate to use your favorite character. Examine your team composition and consider whether things would be better if you used a different character. Your teammates will no doubt help to point you in the right direction here.

Common terms & acronyms used in this guide:
Ult = Ultimate, referring to a characters Ultimate ability.
DPS = Damage Per Second. The term DPS is used heavily in the Overwatch community to refer to characters whose main objective is to deal continuous damage.
Hit-Scan means that your shot will instantly hit whatever is at the receiving end of your cross-hair without having to travel.
Hit Box refers to the area on a character where it’s possible to register a hit on them.

REAPER

Role: Offense
Summary: A deadly assassin that is able to drain life from enemy corpses and disappear from enemy reach with his wraith form. Reaper is a useful offense character whether attacking or defending and he excels at flanking.

Reaper Tips

  • When you’re about to use your Ult, you can let a free shot off first if somebody is within your sights
  • Always make sure you have reloaded before going into wraith form. The last thing you need is to be caught by an enemy when the wraith ability ends because you had to reload your weapons
  • Try to pounce the enemy team from behind as much as possible. Your aim should always be to take enemies off guard. Avoid taking on groups of enemies head on as this makes Reaper vulnerable. Flank around and try to catch them either from the side or from behind
  • To utilize the full spread of Reaper’s shotguns, you’ll need to get right up to the enemy and line up their head in the center of your crosshair. This will one-shot squishy characters; stronger characters may need two bursts.
  • Always flank an enemy McCree as he counters reaper easily in a head-on bout using his Flashbang and hit-scan revolver
  • While most players will focus kill the enemy healers, Reaper may be better used for focusing damage dealers like Junkrat, Hanzo, Mcree, Genji and Roadhog

REINHARDT

Role: Tank
Summary: Reinhardt is an aged warrior who conducts himself based on the knightly codes of valor, justice, and courage. His Barrier Field is considered one of the most useful abilities in the game.

Reinhardt Tips

  • Using Earthshatter on a clump of enemies and following up with a Charge is a nice combo to break up a group
  • When possible, keep your team updated on your Ultimate status because Reinhardt’s Earthshatter can be chained with other Ults
  • When playing with a headset, be sure to warn your team when your Barrier Field is about to break
  • When waiting for your Barrier to regenerate it’s okay to wait until the bar fills to maximum if the situation allows it
  • When there is no immediate threat, let your Barrier Field charge up to full usability
  • A 100 charge level on your Barrier Field is enough to eat a Self-Destruct D.va bomb, so try to keep your Barrier Field above that level as much as possible

Defense

  • Over-extending will leave both you and your team more vulnerable. Stay close to your team’s defense point.
  • Only Charge if you know you’ll pin someone
  • When facing another Reinhardt you should be preparing for him to either hit you with a Flame Strike, or Charge you as soon as his Barrier Field breaks. Eat his Flame Strike and Charge him right after to allow your team to shoot down his allies
  • When playing defense, try not to use the Charge ability as you will leave your defending team behind you vulnerable (only use if you are already fighting on point)

Offense

  • Winning a pin against an enemy Reinhardt will create the perfect opening for your team. Wait for his Barrier to go down and Charge him if you know you’ll pin him
  • Never Charge into a turret. Let your allies take it down with the help of your Barrier Field

WIDOWMAKER

Role: Defense / Sniper
Summary: Widowmaker is the perfect assassin, she kills with no emotion or remorse. She uses her grappling hook to get to vantage points, her Venom Mines to catch enemies of guard and her Widow’s Kiss sniper rifle to pick off targets at a distance. The rifle also comes equipped with mid range automatic fire for when enemies get too close.

Widowmaker Tips

  • Prioritize healers and offense characters over tanks because taking them down will win you the match easier
  • Practice your aim in training mode to really get the best out of Widowmaker
  • Use your Ultimate as often as possible. There’s no reason to save it because it will help both you and your allies identify enemy positions
  • Switch up your position often, because if you kill a good number of enemies then they’ll know where to look for you
  • Try to interrupt all enemy Ultimates that are able to be interrupted with your shots; for example, Pharah’s Barrage, Soldier 76’s Tactical Visor or McCree’s Deadeye
  • Widowmaker is best used when defending since the enemy has to play into your hands. On attack she becomes more situational. You may love using Widowmaker, she’s only useful if you are getting a significant amount of kills. Don’t hesitate to switch to a different hero if the situation isn’t working in your favor.

ZENYATTA

Role: Healer
Summary: Zenyatta is an omnic monk who wanders the world in search of spiritual enlightenment. In battle, he calls upon his orbs of harmony to heal his teammates and orbs of discord to weaken enemies. He is also capable of delivering offense with his orbs of destruction.

Zenyatta Tips

Healing

  • Keep an eye on your allies and give a Harmony Orb to whoever needs it every few seconds
  • If your team has another healer – let’s say Mercy – then focus on healing allies that are at a longer distance because you can heal them faster than Mercy can get to them
  • You don’t always need to give your Harmony Orb to the person with the lowest health. Give it to who is at greater risk given their situation.
  • Zen’s Transcendence Ult doesn’t just make himself invisible, it also heals allies around him. Only use it at crucial moments when the enemy is about to make a push, or when an enemy Ult is coming that may wipe your team.

Offense

  • Yes, Zenyatta is a healer. But when playing Zen you should almost always be shooting at the enemy
  • When possible, always shoot from behind an ally Reinhardt’s Barrier Field
  • In a two Reinhardt vs Reinhardt face off, don’t hesitate to unload your orbs at the enemy Reinhardt’s Barrier to make it go down faster
  • Communicate with your team so they know which enemy you have placed the Discord Orb on. This will help them take down enemies faster

Mercy

Role: Support / Healer
Summary: Mercy’s real name is Dr. Angela Ziegler. She is a peerless healer, a scientist, and an advocate for peace. On the battlefield she is the superior healer and also possesses the abilities to buff allies and resurrect the fallen.

Mercy Tips

  • Under no circumstances should you proceed to the objective ahead of your team. Always stay behind someone if possible.
  • Try not to voluntarily use Mercy’s Caduceus Blaster. You should only need to use this if you’re ambushed with no support or if you are alone with an enemy who has low health. If you’re shooting you’re not healing and healing is your priority
  • When buffing allies, pay close attention to their health so you’ll know when to switch to healing
  • If your team is getting hammered then focus on just healing and hold off on buffing allies until your team has things under control
  • If you have Bastion and Reinhardt on your team, ask Reinhardt to guard Bastion and then give Bastion your buffs
  • Keep your Tanks alive as much as possible so that they can continue to sponge damage for both you and your attackers

Using Resurrect

  • Using Resurrect is based highly on your own judgement; but as a general rule I only use it if I can resurrect two or more allies. The only time I may break this rule is if we’re in Overtime and only one other ally is on the point and they’re suddenly killed
  • It’s important to remember that positioning matters when using Resurrect. You’ll only be able to Res allies within range, so if multiple allies are dead you may need to Guardian Angel yourself somewhere between them all before triggering the ability
  • The aim should always be to waste the enemy’s Ults so save your Res if you feel an enemy Ult is coming and may devastate your team

D.va

Role: Tank
Summary: D.Va is a former professional gamer who now uses her skills to pilot a mech in defense of her homeland. In game she is a versatile Tank who can fill many roles on the battlefield.

D.va Tips

  • Don’t be afraid to rush a Reinhardt that is holding your team back with his Barrier Field
  • Remember that Defense Matrix only negates damage from projectiles. Any damage that is channeled (such as Zarya’s Particle Cannon or Symetra’s Photon Projector) can’t be blocked
  • Combine D.va’s Self Destruct with her Boosters for maximum effect
  • When you lose D.va’s mech, get out of close range and try to shoot from a distance. If you are being fired at then run from side to side while shooting back to make D.va harder to hit
  • When you lose your mech, never run and hide to wait for your mech to be ready again. Doing so will keep you out of the action for too long and your team will suffer. Hitting targets with the Light Gun will build your mech-meter faster
  • An enemy Mercy can undo your Self-Destruct kills with her Resurrection. So when possible, try to reserve your Self-Destruct until right after she uses Resurrection.

Pharah

Role: Offense
Summary: Pharah is a former Egyptian Army veteran who dreams of following in her mother’s footsteps. Her flight capabilities and Rocket Launcher makes her one of the most versatile heroes in the game. She’s perfect for both attacking and defending.

Pharah Tips

  • When aiming at moving targets, try to predict their movement and shoot where you think they will be instead of where they are at the moment
  • When firing on groups of enemies, you should prioritize turrets then start aiming for supports and heavy damage dealers
  • Since Concussive Blast also affects Pharah, you can use it as a means to separate yourself from an enemy who is a threat to you at a close range
  • When playing on the Volskaya Industries map there is a secret path to the point that Pharah, D.Va, Reaper and Genji can take. When attacking, exit the spawn area and walk along the path to the left. You will see a health pack right at the edge of the map by some trees. You can fly over the lake and around the side of the building and it will take you right to the back side of Objective A.
  • Pharah’s biggest threat are enemies with hit-scan weapons, so use your Jump Jets cautiously as it will give them a clear shot at you