Overwatch is both simple and complicated, like recent Blizzard games are. It's possible to start playing and play a lot without using a lot of strategy or thinking too much about your character and how it functions optimally. You have to start somewhere, of course, and it's okay to jump in and explode when you first gain access.
That being said, building and maintaining a positive win ratetutTake Work As with any other competitive team game, it's easy to see success or failure as a matter of luck, something that depends on the quality of the players you're paired with. This is bad. There is always something you can do or improve upon in your own game to skew games in your team's favour. If you're struggling to improve your win rate, here are a few basic things to keep in mind.
Scores and tanks
Most new Overwatch players don't want to play tank, let alone play support. These heroes aren't typically in the game as Blizzard's algorithm still values kills and skillshots despite some tweaks over the course of the closed beta. However, Overwatch isn't a game about kills or skillshots: it's a game about goals. Supporters and tanks gain or lose objectives and games. You have to be extremely good at an offensive or sneaky character to contribute any decent support.
This is not a thankless task. These fun and dynamic characters are tasked with leading their entire team. Staying alive and staying in the right place on the frontlines as Mercy takes a lot of common sense and good judgment, and if you can pull it off you've earned all the positive votes that you'll hopefully end up receiving. Even if the game doesn't highlight your contribution, you can take comfort in the fact that your job allows for ultimatums and kills from your teammates.
Even if you're not a support, you have a job to do
...and chances are there's more to this job than just "hunting for the kill."WhichIt will kill you too. This varies from character to character, card to card, and whether you're attacking or defending, but often means maximizing your character's ability to counter your opponents' picks. If you're great at getting into the enemy's backline and dealing damage (e.g. Tracer or Reaper), you should be dealing with snipers that your support can't handle. If you're a sniper yourself, you should aim to sweep the enemy's plan under you by aiming for their support. Pharah is excellent at clearing static defenses and whatnot.
You can and should change characters.
Write it on the walls. Shout it from the rooftops. Hold it in your soul. Overwatch is a game about character switching. If your team is constantly being pushed back by defenders, Symmetra might be a bad idea. maybe you don't need itthreehanzos Perhaps in those final seconds of a game you're losing, a clutch switch to a purposeful hero like D.Va or Winston could turn defeat into victory. Just as the game requires you to make continuous moment-to-moment playstyle adjustments, you also need to think about your team's changing needs over the course of a game.
Shoot your gun a lot
That's the most obvious advice you can give a shooter, but shoot. Shoot a lot. Shoot Reinhardt's shield. Shoot Bastion in the distance even if he's able to recover. Shoot Torbjörn's tower. Shoot Symmetra's stuff. Shoot, shoot, shoot. There are three reasons why this is unusually important in Overwatch:
- You have infinite ammo, so there's no reason not to.
- Your ultimate charges when dealing damage.
- This is a game about area denial and people don't like bullets.
Obviously obviously who you play has something to do with it. "Shoot a lot" means something different for Widowmaker, Tracer, and Lucio. But there's a general principle to remember here: you need to maximize how many damage numbers go off of you and to the enemy team. That often means you have to adapt your playstyle from character to character.
Here's an example: Most Overwatch supports (with the exception of Mercy) have accurate primary weapons with a large amount of ammo in the clip. Their projectiles travel at different speeds - Symmetra's alternate fire is the slowest, then Lucio, and finally Zenyatta - but they all share a common accuracy. This makes them unusually good in corners where they fire "before they fire": they fire around parts of the map you suspect the enemy will appear or take a peek at. You won't get many kills this way, but you will deal a constant amount of damage (very annoying). This will make your ultimate charge faster, make pushing less attractive for your opponent and hopefully make life harder for their healers as well.
There's a loading screen tutorial for this effect, but it's worth repeating: In Overwatch, enemy sound effects play louder than your own team's. Also, each ultimate in the game has a very distinctive sound cue, which is often played just before the ultimate takes effect. Every time you hear this, you have to react.
When McCree yells "it's noon," it means "out of sight." Lucio breaks it? Drop your team battle plans. Hanzo's ultimate comes with a scream and a rising sound effect.ja dragon roar These are all signs to stray.
Sometimes these signs also offer opportunities. Like Lucio, you're really good at negating the effects of opponent's ultimates. Sound Barrier can absorb damage from most AoE Ultimates, and her healing aura lasts through crowd control like Zarya's Graviton Surge. Both D.Va and Reinhardt have good options against an Ultimate Soldier: 76, and Hanzo can ruin Pharah's day very quickly if he's quick and accurate enough. Overwatch is full of opportunities for such counterplay, and if you pay attention to audio cues, you can achieve them.
waste your time
Time is one of the most important resources in Overwatch. Just about everything you do, from kills to healing to charging up your ultimate power, results in seconds gained or lost. In most modes, attackers are the most obvious players working against the clock, but the same principles apply to defenders as well. You always benefit when your opponents cannot implement their plans as quickly as they would like.
There are many obvious in-game recognized ways to slow down your enemy: like shooting them in the face or healing the person you're about to kill. But there are also more subtle ways, things left out, that the game uses to earn you points. If you can force an enemy to pursue you instead of pushing for a target, you've gained a lot for your team even if you didn't deal "real" damage.
Mei is an example of a character who excels at this, as does Winston. In fact, I didn't really "get" what Winston was offering about D.Va or Reinhardt until I realized how annoying it really is. Winston is the time wasting space gorilla. You can afford to take an indirect approach. You can use your force field to block runners that your opponent is trying to take out. They can jump in, trace their backline for a while, and then jump back in, leaving them wondering what they did in the first place. His ultimate is essentially a giant "Watch me!" Button: Rarely very deadly, but you just can't ignore a huge, angry glowing red monkey pounding your shell.
To a certain extent, this also applies to everyone else. If you're behind enemy lines and you're going to die, let it last. If you are D.Va and lose your robot in a bad situation, be annoying. Let him chase you in a direction he doesn't want to go. Let that big Hanzo take care of you on his team. It may only last six or seven seconds, but then whenwinWithin six or seven seconds you will know that your decision to jump like an idiot has paid off.
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Chris joined in 2011 and started at PC Gamer turning beautiful trees into magazines, first as a writer and then as an assistant editor. Once a reluctant PCG MMO champion, his discovery of Dota 2 in 2012 took him to much darker and stranger places. In 2015 Chris became editor of PC Gamer Pro and oversaw our online coverage of competitive gaming and esports. He left the company in 2017 and can now be found creating games and recording the Crate & Crowbar Podcast.