Making it Happen: A Beginner’s Guide to Overwatch
Every new game or new IP gets hyped before the release, but many of them end up down the drain a few months after launch. It’s something we’ve all grown to expect in the gaming industry. From time to time, there’s this one gem of a game that breaks the pattern like Overwatch, and the hype hasn’t even died down. In fact, more players are getting into Overwatch as time passes, so there’s always fresh meat shooting face and not getting on payloads. Luckily, we have A Beginner’s Guide to Overwatch for you folks.
Overwatch, however, is not a regular shooter like Call of Duty or Battlefield. It’s more related to the class-based shooter Team Fortress 2, and frantic gunplay similar to Doom and Quake. Combined with Blizzard’s flair for extremely attractive aesthetics, all these things produced one of the biggest team games in gaming.
You, the regular gamer, may be hard pressed to figure out where to begin in Overwatch. We’ve set up a three part guide to explain how Overwatch’s expansive heroes list works right down below for newbies or folks just generally interested in the game. Similar to World of Warcraft, Blizzard’s flagship game, Overwatch maintains a role system within its class of heroes.
Keep in mind that to help things get more sorted out in your head, every hero has only 1 weapon, 2-3 offensive or defensive skills, a mobility skill, and an ultimate. Without further ado, here’s the first part of our Hero Newbie Guide to Overwatch!
DPS! Damage Dealers! DDs! Yes, that’s some terminology used to describe Overwatch’s Offense Heroes! We start off our guide with this because, naturally, almost everyone wants to be the one doing the damage. From dead-accurate shots to melee bashings, Overwatch has a set of offense characters that is sure to fit most people’s play style.
Well, this hero was specifically made to ease in fans of the genre into Overwatch without having to get their minds blown by how frantically different every other hero is. 76’s gameplay is straightforward: shoot at things until they die and stay alive. Serving as the gateway character, Soldier: 76 is the hero for folks that are new to Overwatch and want to get the hang of things first.
- Weapon Heavy Pulse Rifle: 76’s main mode of dealing damage. Acting like the common automatic rifle in most shooters, the Pulse Rifle is a weapon to be feared as anybody with skilled tracking can make a beast out of 76 easily since this gun deals lots of damage. The rifle is accurate with little to no recoil, making it one of the easiest forms of damage in the game.
- Helix Rockets: a cool down-based skill rather than ammo, every few seconds, 76 can launch a trio of rockets out of his rifle that deals huge amounts of damage on a direct hit. In fact, it’s capable of taking down the squishier characters, including Sombra, Tracer, and Zero-suit D.Va.
- Biotic Field: a small healing circle that heals a good amount of health, though it’s hardly noticeable with characters like Reinhardt or Orisa.
- Sprint: mobility option where 76 can run faster than every other class. In the right hands, it’s the simplest and most effective chase-down or escape tool you’ll ever need.
- Ultimate: Tactical Visor, 76’s ultimate skill! He wears a tactical visor that gives all his attacks aimbot qualities. As your target is in your line of sight, it’s going to get shot, no matter where you’re aiming your rifle.
Tracer is the official mascot of Overwatch, who wields two assault pistols, effective only at short range. Don’t worry because her stick is built primarily on the idea of being extremely mobile. In fact, her stick is so mobile that, combined with her small frame and survival skills, she’s difficult to take out. Her disadvantage is the small HP, which is in one-shot range. Tracer’s Archetype is the Assassin because she’s able to move in quick and deal massive damage or even kill an enemy and disappear back into the safety of her team.
- Weapon: she has Pulse Pistols, which are two fast, high-capacity automatic pistols that deal massive damage from close to melee range. Even though it’s not as effective at farther distances, the handicap of this weapon is greatly offset by Tracer’s mobility.
- Blink: Tracer’s staple skill and mobility option gives her three charges in which she can blink in any horizontal direction. When 1 charge is used up, it starts a cooldown but she’ll gain another charge of it. This is her greatest asset that helps her zip around the battlefield to pick off supports and other squishy targets, such as Zenyatta and Widowmaker.
- Recall: Tracer’s main survivability option; she recalls a few seconds back in time to regain the HP she had at that moment. Plus, she can effectively be reckless in her dive into the enemy team, get scratched up a bit, take out a target, and Recall back to safety. Creative players are even able to use this for eluding a target with less than stellar mobility, using it to juke them off high platforms or by luring them to their team.
- Ultimate: Tracer has the ability to throw out a sticky bomb that explodes after a few seconds it is thrown (i.e., Pulse Bomb). Nothing special about it other than the AoE explosion, while relatively small, it deals heavy damage to nearby enemies and the initial target. In a clumped up enemy team, Tracer can simply Blink into the middle, throw a Pulse Bomb, and Recall back out immediately.
The Robot Ninja! Genji, similar to Tracer, is an Assassin Type character that focuses on mobility and burst damage to take out targets. Although Tracer has the advantage of horizontal superiority with Blinks, Genji has the domain of verticality. His main mode of dealing burst damage isn’t as simple as Tracer’s, but he has the distinct ability to chain his abilities and unleash his skills in quick succession.
- Weapon: a Shurikem (projectile) weapon, Genji’s first attack variation is to throw three shurikens in rapid succession in a straight line. Yes, it’s difficult to accurately hit, but these three shurikens, when all hit, can bring the pain even to tanky heroes. The second variation is used primarily in close to melee range where he throws out three shurikens in a 180 degree angle in front of him, dealing damage similar to the first variation as long as all three hit.
- Cyber Agility: thanks to his cybernetics, Genji can scale walls and double jump. This is where his vertical superiority begins. He can come from any direction from the air, able to skillfully elude attackers and chase down targets over walls or high ground.
- Swift Strike: Genji quickly dashes forward, damaging everything in his path for a medium amount of damage. If he kills anything with this skill, the cooldown is bypassed and he can use it again immediately. Other than a tool for a burst damage combo, a skilled Genji can use this as a mobility option to take him in whichever direction he wants, in whatever angle, as long as it is in front of him.
- Deflect: it literally deflects everything firing at him back to whatever his crosshair is aiming toward. Crazy Bastion needs killing? Send Genji in there! Soldier: 76 running amock? Get him to aimbot Genji! This is a powerful skill that serves as the backbone of Genji’s survivability. The only things that he can’t deflect naturally are explosions.
- Ultimate: Genji unleashes his Dragonblade where, for a few seconds, he can only use melee. Each swing of his Dragonblade is AoE and deals strong damage, able to clear out whole teams in a blink of an eye. True to his ninja assassin thematic, the Dragonblade is something that every Overwatch player has learned to fear. So, when you hear someone screaming in angry Japanese, it’s high time for you to start running.
The modern strange cowboy, McCree is the premier hip-fire marksman of Overwatch. Accurate and strong in a deadly manner, this cowboy can fight both in close and long range combat with no problems. An incredible asset to have on a team, McCree is the hero you want to use if you’ve got what it takes to hit impossible shots that can save your team on the brink of defeat.
- Peacekeepe: six revolver shots of pure awesome. The Peacekeeper is a precise revolver capable to taking the fight from a distance or up close and personal.
- Fan the Hammer: McCree’s real asset at point-blank range, he unloads all of his remaining ammo in quick succession, able to melt medium HP enemies in a blink of an eye.
- Combat Roll: McCree rolls forward by default or in the direction the player chooses. While rolling, McCree instantly reloads his Peacekeeper.
- Flashbang: McCree throws a small flash grenade forward, blinding enemies in a small radius. This is how McCree gets his instant headshot kills or Fan the Hammer kills. You can stun an enemy long enough to line up a head shot or just go all out.
- Ultimate: he uses, Deadeye, a powerful zoning tool. McCree lines up a shot to all opponents on screen. The longer he charges it up, the stronger the damage, up until a skull icon appears on his targets indicating that it will be a one shot kill. Most people are used to this and they tend to hide when they hear “High Noon” is coming! On the other hand, it’s easy enough to find targets with a distracted enemy team and can serve as a means for your unit to move in on territory due to the fact that everybody hid.
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Aerial superiority! Phara flies up into the sky, able to maintain some sustained flight and bombard enemies with her rocket launcher. Every good player knows the advantage of maintaining the high ground and you certainly can’t go any higher than Pharah.
- Weapon: the Rocket Launcher stick goes boom! Insane direct and splash damage.
- Jump Jet: Pharah shoots upward with her jetpack, gaining a cooldown where she won’t be able to jump again until it’s done.
- Hover Jets: paired with the use of Jump Jet, Pharah is able to maintain some time in the sky by using her fuel meter the longer Hover Jets is held. While Hover Jets regenerate quickly, it’s impossible to keep her floating just by pressing down on Hover Jets ad infinitum. Skilled players manage to keep her up by using Hover Jets in spurts, maintaining themselves in the air, and then using Jump Jet once more to be able to get more air time, and to let their fuel recover!
- Concussive Blast: a wrist rocket that knocks back enemies around the point of impact. Perfect for throwing that annoying Lucio off a pillar and into a hole!
- Ultimate: with her rocket salvor (Barrage), she unleashes fiery death from above to targets in front of her.
The third assassin on the list, Reaper, who’s not as mobile as Genji or Tracer, is a sneaky cat that can get anywhere without you noticing. His uniqueness as an Assassin hero is illustrated in how tough he can be, but Reaper is still able to deal simple and intense damage.
- Hellfire Shotguns: dual wielding two of the edgiest shotguns, Reaper can deal devastating damage on anything at melee range.
- The Reaping: for every burst of damage he does, Reaper gains back 20% of that damage as health, effectively giving him life. He’s difficult to deal with.
- Wraithform: one of Reaper’s movement options where he turns into a wraith and cannot be killed. He can pass through enemies to escape or he can use it as a breather and to reload his shotguns immediately as the form ends so that he can continue a fight.
- Shadowstep: the second of Reaper’s mobility arsenal, Shadowstep lets Reaper physically transport himself to a target location, able to bypass almost anything in his path. Also, it enables him to perch himself atop locations where he can prepare to use his ultimate ability.
- Ultimate: Death Blossom spins around with a forward momentum, shooting everything around him. Anything that gets into this range will die, which makes it a great ultimate to get team kills. Other than that, it’s the easiest offensive ultimate in the game!
All right, there are two more Offense Characters (Sombra and Doomifst) that were not mentioned. It’s best to separate the vanilla characters and the new additions as Overwatch grew. Watch out for the next installment where we’ll be focusing on Overwatch’s Defense Heroes!