With Overwatch, the charming hero shooter from Blizzard, launching this week, we want to make sure that you’re as prepared as possible to help your team dominate. Overwatch’s main focus is clearly on the interplay between its dynamic characters, so in order to become competent, you’ll need to understand how every character works. Throughout the week, we’ll be publishing guides on each of the twenty-one launch heroes, three at a time, with the hopes that you’ll be able to recognize certain patterns on the battlefield.
Everyone’s favorite peanut butter-loving scientist gorilla also might be the greatest distraction in all of Overwatch. Winston is a great character for those looking to play objectives, but not due to high damage output from his main weapon or his abilities; simply put, the best Winston players will utilize his abilities to pull opponents off of the objective, freeing teammates to either attack or defend in peace. Despite his weapon, the Tesla Cannon, boasting fairly weak damage, it automatically and continuously connects with any foes who are in Winston’s immediate area. For this reason, it’s the single-greatest way to defeat Tracer, as her abilities can’t get her out of the way of this weapon (unless she leaves battle). This is also a fantastic weapon for capturing objectives, as you’ll be able to do damage to multiple enemies at one time.
Winston’s first ability, his Jump Pack, functions both as a way deal massive damage and a method for increasing mobility. This ability allows him to launch a large distance based on whichever direction the reticle is facing. Not only does this allow Winston to escape battle or get to an objective quickly, but it also gives him the power to harm any enemies in the immediate vicinity of his landing spot. While new players will often just launch forward, more experienced players know that vertical boosts will allow for localized damage.
Winston’s second ability, Barrier Projector, creates a bubble shield that absorbs a small amount of damage before cracking and breaking. This is best used as a way to temporarily slow down or distract enemies, rather than as a pure defensive ability like, say, Reinhardt’s shield. Finally, Winston’s ultimate, Primal Rage, not only fills his health bar up to 1000 hitpoints, but it allows him to punch enemies for massive damage and use his jump pack every three seconds. Simply put, Winston should be used as a distraction whenever possible, and then as a tool of destruction once his ultimate meter is totally full.
Yes, we know that it’s only ever high noon once a day, but that doesn’t stop McCree from uttering his catchphrase at all times of the day. Aside from the fact that McCree memes are the greatest thing known to man, this offensive hero has the potential to be one of the most lethal killers on the battlefield when used correctly (which is actually quite tough). His weapon, the Peacekeeper, is excellent at doing massive damage with both of its firing modes. The standard left click fires single-shot revolver bullets that are extremely accurate and eliminate a ton of its target’s health with every shot. However, if you’re more interested in getting up close and personal, McCree’s secondary fire allows him to rapidly empty the rest of his clip, though the massive upward recoil makes this extremely difficult to control at first.
McCree’s main ability, Combat Roll, is exactly what it sounds like: a forward tumble in whichever direction he’s facing. Aside from the fact that this can get McCree out of the way of a great deal of enemy fire, it also automatically reloads the Peacekeeper, which allows for a particularly devastating secondary fire-Combat Roll-secondary fire combo. His other ability, Flashbang, is a throwable stun grenade that locks foes in place. Not only is this wonderful at stopping quick characters like Tracer in their tracks, but they also make for particularly easy kills with McCree’s clip-emptying secondary fire. Finally, McCree’s ultimate, Deadeye, allows him to slowly lock onto the heads of enemies in the area, guaranteeing a kill during a full lock-on (basically, it’s a straight up mark-and-execute maneuver). This is best utilized from behind a skirmish when there are multiple enemies on the screen. It’s worth noting that McCree is one of the hardest characters to use effectively, so don’t be alarmed if it takes you a bit of practice before you become a cowboy master.
Weak Against: Genji, Widowmaker, Hanzo and Zarya
While it seems like an obvious statement that good players are lethal and weak players are easy to kill, this seems most applicable to Hanzo, Genji’s brother and the resident archer of the group. A sniper whose arrows do massive damage upon contact, Hanzo is the type of hero that needs a bit of practice time before one feels totally comfortable. Still, those who put in the required practice with Hanzo will find themselves mowing down enemies left and right.
Hanzo’s weapon, the Storm Bow, has a damage output that increases based on the amount of tension on its string, which can be controlled by holding down the fire button. Quick shots, while weak, are certainly great for short range encounters, though it should be noted that effective Hanzo players are going to want to stay behind allies who shoot a bit more rapidly. Where this sniper becomes absolutely fatal is through his fully charged shots, which can take massive chunks off of the health bars of every enemy they come in contact with. However, this power comes at a price, as Hanzo’s shots have an arc to them, so long range shots must be aimed above their targets in order to make contact.
Sonic Arrow, Hanzo’s first core ability, replaces his standard arrow with one that reveals all enemies in the surrounding area, essentially producing a smaller version of Widowmaker’s Infra-Sight ultimate. This should be used when you have a sinking feeling that your team is being flanked, or if you’re simply looking to get the lay of the land around a given objective. Hanzo’s second ability, Scatter Arrow, is fairly self-explanatory. A single arrow that divides into a host of smaller projectiles, Scatter Arrow does a fair amount of damage when in an enclosed area, as each of its smaller arrows will bounce off of any surface they come in contact with. One major point on this: direct contact with an enemy before the split will cause every arrow to hit that foe, causing a massive amount of damage. Finally, Hanzo’s ultimate is perhaps the most iconic out of every one of Overwatch’s unique special attacks. Dragonstrike allows his next arrow to split into two massive dragons that twist around each other, go through walls and do huge damage to anyone caught inside of its wake. Needless to say, this is an absolutely wonderful attack for clearing out an objective or payload destination, and perfect timing will often net players the coveted Play of the Game.
Great Against: Mei, Junkrat, McCree, Reinhardt
Weak Against: Zarya, Widowmaker, Pharah and Tracer