Overwatch is proving extremely popular with gamers and critics, and it’s easy to see why. It’s fast-paced, expertly balanced and can change in an instant. Not to mention the fact there’s usually a swarm of enemies lurking around every corner.

Here are a few tips and tricks for getting started with Overwatch.

1. ALWAYS WORK AS A TEAM

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Working as a team is important on so many levels in Overwatch. Firstly, when you’re picking your characters you need to pay attention to those that have already been chosen. You won’t be able to function as a team unless you’ve got a healer, tank, a support and some offensive heroes. 

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Secondly, unless you work as a team you won’t be able to conquer any of the maps or modes you come across. Trying to go it alone will only slow you all down, so don’t waste precious time. Stick with your buddies and play to each character’s strengths.

2. MAKE SURE YOU HAVE A SUPPORT

If you’re struggling in a match it could be that your team lacks a Support character. You may overlook these four heroes because they’re not as good as others in the thick of it, but they’re crucial to your success. They’re powerful characters that will help heal and bulk out your firepower.

They tend to sit on the back lines, but they have unique skills. For example Zenyatta can deal some decent damage, debuff enemies and heal team mates simultaneously. Or you could go for Lucio, who’s good at moving swiftly and helping out up front in battles, while also speeding up and healing the team. 

3. AND ALWAYS AIM FOR THE OPPOSING SUPPORT

If you’ve played Team Fortress 2 you’ll know that the Support is important for both sides, so always aim for the Support on the opposing team. 

There’s a chance that continuously taking out the Support will allow you to have the upper-hand in every match, because without that character the rest of team won’t have a healer to help them out of a tight spot.

4. TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE PAYLOAD

And if you’re playing the Payload mode and someone takes out the Support, always remember that the Payload will actually heal you if you stay near it – at about the same strength as a Support class too. 

5. BUT IT’S BETTER IF YOU TEAM UP

When attempting to move the Payload, you’ll notice that it’ll only start to budge when the opposing team is near. So don’t try to move it on your own. 

If you and two other fellows partner up you’ll find that you can get the Payload moving at maximum speed. 

The enemies may be using the same tactics of course, so always work from the inside out when you’re looking at a gaggle of enemies, because then you’ll slow the Payload down and buy your team more time. 

6. BARGING IS OFTEN BETTER

If you like playing as a Tank such as Winston and Reinhardt, pay close attention to the map. Both of these characters have some pretty powerful rush abilities. So if you spot any enemies lurking near pits, ledges or cliffs, use those abilities to send them flying without having to spare a single bullet.

7. THE KILL FEED IS USEFUL IN A SILENT MATCH

Beneath the cartoonish, almost cutesy graphics of Overwatch lies a very tactical shooter and if you really want to get good at the game pay close attention to the Kill Feed in the bottom right hand corner. 

It’s a very useful tool for finding out what’s happening around the map, especially if you’re playing without a mic and can’t hear your teammates’ chatter.

Spotting that your Tank or Support has been taken out may well change your tactics, as will spotting an enemy break out on his own. It may allow you to break from the group temporarily to take out a straggler or two. 

8. WATCH OUT FOR HANZO AND WIDOWMAKER WHEN YOU SNEAK ATTACK

Hanzo and Widowmaker have “radars” available for their team. Don’t always assume that you’re sneaking up on opponents if you’re aware of the enemy team having those characters!

9. OVERTIME CAN CHANGE YOUR FATE

There’s nothing more frustrating than trying to capture a point and just running out of time. However, if you’re close enough to capture them the game will be pushed into Overtime. 

Make sure you keep one of your team near the objective as the timer nears zero as that will ensure the match won’t end. 

During this Overtime, throw everything you can at the objective and you never know, someone might just pull off an Ultimate and swing the game totally in your favour. Stranger things have happened!

10. WATCH THAT FLAME

Ever wondered what that little flame is under your health on the HUD? Well, that’s your On-fire meter and it fills up the more kills or assists you score. Clicking through to the Leaderboard, you’ll see some portraits engulfed in flames, signifying that they’re the biggest threat on the enemy team and might want taking out.

In terms of gameplay, it’s really just an indicator of how badass you are, but it’s definitely useful as a counter tool.

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