Overwatch for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One is live!
While our character guide is meant to help you determine which characters you should be playing and give you the best strategies to master those characters, this guide is intended to let you know a few things that everyone new player should keep in mind.
Don’t be afraid to switch Heroes
I’d recommend learning one character from each of the roles, because Overwatch is all about hero-switching. This means adapting to the composition of your team, your opponents, and the current match situation. If you’re defending a point against heavy opposition, you may want to switch to Defense and Support characters. Is it the final push to the match? If your team is low on Offense and Tank characters, maybe you should fill that hole. If the team is taking heavy damage, a character like Reinhardt or Mercy is the difference between a win and a loss.
Don’t be afraid to take a second and look up your hero’s abilities! That’s F1 on PC, and Right on the D-Pad for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.
Objectives are more important than kills
Overwatch is a team game that’s all about completing objectives in different game modes. Each game mode has a set number of maps Those modes and maps are:
Assault: Capture a series of three areas in succession. Attackers try to take each area, while defenders hold them back.
- Temple of Anubis
- Volskaya Industries
Escort: The attacking team escorts a moving object towards a final delivery point in the defense team’s territory. The payload moves forward faster if there are more attack team members present.
- Watchpoint: Gibraltar
- Route 66
Control: Both teams attempt to hold a specific region of the map at the same time.
- Lijiang Tower
Assault/Escort: A combination of the Assault and Escort modes. Attackers first take control of the objective area, which then turns into a moving payload.
- King’s Row
The objectives are what your team should be focusing on. Killing your opponents can be very helpful in preventing them from completing their focus on the current map, but it’s not the overall point of the game. If you dominate the defending team in Escort, but never moved the payload, you failed. You may have the Play of the Game and a Commendation, but you still lost. It’s sometimes not worth chasing a weakened opponent if you’re trying to capture a point in Assault. Keep the objective in mind, no matter what you’re doing.
Overwatch is a team game
Unless you’re really good, wait for your team when you attack or defend. When you’re attacking, don’t move into the area you’re trying to capture one at a time. That just means the defending team can pick you off one by one. You want to present a unified front, with your Offense, Defense, Support, and Tank heroes working together. There are some heroes that work better alone, harrying the opposing team behind enemy lines, but for the most part, you need to work together.
It’s worth noting that in the later stages of Assault or Escort mode, it takes a while to get back into the action, so dying one by one can set up a situation where you’re not fighting together. Don’t trickle into an objective point, as that just leads to a conga line of death. Take a quick knee and wait for your team to back you up.
Use your Ultimate ability at the right time, but don’t hold onto it forever
Your Ultimate ability is the circle in the center of your screen. (Activated with Q on PC, Y on Xbox One, and Triangle on PlayStation 4.) It fills up over time, but also charges when you damage/kill enemies or fulfill your role. Ultimate abilities can turn the tide of battle when used right. Activating Mercy’s Resurrect after your entire team died capturing or defending an objective means everyone comes back to life to ruin the enemy’s day. McCree’s Deadeye can destroy a team standing in one place.
But don’t hold onto a charged Ultimate forever. Matches in Overwatch aren’t that long and your Ultimate is meant to be be used multiple times. Save it for the right moment, but learn when to use it.
Also, learn the audio cues for each Ultimate. That will give you a chance to avoid your opponent’s’ Ultimates and know when your team are using their Ultimates. Oddly enough, for the Overwatch heroes from foreign countries, you’ll hear their Ultimate audio cue in their native language, while it’ll be English on the ally side.
If you’re attacking a unified force of enemies, focus on their supports: Mercy, Lucio, Zenyatta, and Symmetra. These characters heal and buff their team, so you want them dead to weaken your opposition. Why are you aiming at Reinhardt and not the Mercy behind him? Reinhardt’s shield has HP. It can be destroyed, but you want to finish off that Mercy first. I’d also place Torbjorn high on the list of characters you need to kill on sight. His turrets do great damage, have awesome range, and can become stronger if you leave him alone.
Be aware of your crosshairs and clip size
Every hero has different crosshairs and clip size. This determines how accurate you have to be with your attack. Smaller crosshairs means you need to be accurate to hit; Genji’s Shuriken have to be dead on, whereas Reaper’s Hellfire Shotguns have some spread to them.
Watching your clip size is important in 1v1 combat, because clip size determines damage output before you have to reload. Tracer is not built for sustained fire, for example. Her Pulse Pistols have a rapid fire burst, then she has to reload again. This means it’s best for her to unload an entire clip and then Blink away from combat. That’s different from a character like Reaper, who can chase an enemy with strong, successive Shotgun blasts.
Ammo in Overwatch is unlimited, so there’s no reason to not be shooting if you see an enemy. If you’re not hiding in wait, shooting keeps the pressure on your opponent and any damage you do charges your Ultimate ability.
Melee, melee, melee
Every character is Overwatch has a melee attack. That’s the V key on PC or clicking the Right Analog stick on Xbox One or PlayStation 4. This is 50 damage and comes out lightning fast, so it can mean the difference between a live foe or a confirmed kill. Use melee in combos after other abilities, use it while you’re reloading in a 1v1 duel. It’s great finisher and it costs you nothing. Many people don’t melee, so this is one of those tools that will put you above the rest.
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