Welcome to our beginners guide to Overwatch where we will try to talk you through some of the basics, heroes and game types. Overwatch is a 6v6 FPS by Blizzard where two teams compete against each other in a variety of game modes to try and achieve certain objectives. The game is less like traditional FPS online shooters that we are used to seeing and instead focuses on teamwork and tactical choices. With a variety of heroes and play styles to choose from, let’s jump straight in with the game-play.
Overwatch consists of 4 different types of heroes to choose from which are: attack, defense, tank and support. The general idea for a team is to have at least one hero from each of these typing’s. This helps due to the heroes complimenting each other by aiding one another in certain ways. For example tanks who soak up a lot of damage will benefit from being healed, attack heroes who are quick and direct will benefit from a tank taking away some of the fire from them etc. The ideal set up for a team will consist of the following:
1-2 Attack Heroes
2 Defense Heroes
1 Tank Hero
1-2 Support Heroes
There are 3 main game types in Overwatch which are: control, payload and point capture. I’m going to start by explaining each of these.
This is a game with classic principles of attack and defend. If you are on the attacking team you will have two points on the map you must secure whilst the defending team has to defend these points from being taken. The attacking team must obtain the first point before the time runs out and once this is secure, they will be given additional time to secure the second point. The defending teams objective is simply a case of fending off the attacks and making sure they keep control.
Payload starts off very similar to control where there is a point on the map which the attacking team has to secure. However, in this game mode once the point is secured, a ‘vehicle’ (payload) will appear and you must transport it through the map to the eventual end. The payload will only move when the attackers are near to it, however the defending can bring it to a halt by also being close to it. Once the payload arrives at certain checkpoints, the time given will be extended for the attackers to escort the payload.
This game mode is similar to the typical domination you see in most modern FPS shooters now but instead of having multiple points on the map to capture, there is only 1 at a time. Both teams will fight over a single point for 3 rounds and the best out of these 3 rounds will win.
Here I will put together a quick overview of what each hero has to offer and a run down of their abilities.
A ninja assassin who can move around the map quickly with the ability to scale walls. Uses his blades to deflect damage and shurikens to fire back at the enemy.
Primary Weapon: Shuriken – Will fire 3 shuriken stars in quick succession
Secondary Weapon: Fan of blades – Throws 3 shurikens in a wider spread
Abilities: Deflect – Will deflect all projectiles back at the enemy from the direction that Genji is facing.
Swift Strike – Darts forward in the direction that the crosshair is facing, damaging all enemies passed through.
Ultimate Ability: Dragonblade – Gendry arms himself with his katana for a short time. During this time anything he strikes will take huge damage.
A gunslinger who wields duel revolvers and carries flash bangs to stun the enemies in place.
Primary Weapon: Peacekeeper – Fires one bullet at a time at the enemy. Has an alternate fire which fires all bullets in the clip but with less accuracy.
Abilities: Combat Roll – Can roll in any direction to avoid danger. The roll isn’t very far but can prove vital to staying alive.
Flashbang – Throws down a flashbang within a short distance which stuns the enemy in place for a short duration. Best used with peacekeepers alternate fire.
Ultimate Ability: Deadeye – Mcree will slow down time and aim at any targets in sight. The longer you wait the better the accuracy. Will kill any targets it locks in on.
A former member of the army, pharah is armed with a rocket launcher and jet pack which allow her to fly around.
Primary Weapon: Rocket Launcher – Shoots individual rockets which have high damage and a wide blast radius
Abilities: Jump Jet – Propelled by her boosters, it allows Pharah to shoot upwards into the air.
Concussive Blast – Uses a rocket attached to her wrist which knocks back any enemies hit.
Hover – Hold the jump button to hover into the air. Tapping jump allows you to remain at the same height
Ultimate Ability: Barrage – Launches multiple rockets down towards the area that Pharah is aiming. Remains stationary well triggered.
Reaper is an assassin who can move like a ghost through the battlefield to escape and infiltrate enemies.
Passive – Enemies that have been killed can drop orbs that reaper can pick up. These orbs replenish some of Reapers health.
Primary Weapon: Hellfire Shotguns – Duel wielded shotguns that do large damage from close range
Abilities: Wraith Form – Reaper enters into a shadow form where he cannot be attacked but also cannot harm the enemy player.
Shadow Step – The player picks a spot in front of reaper to teleport to. Whilst choosing the position and just before teleporting Reaper is vulnerable to attacks.
Ultimate Ability: Death Blossom – Reaper unleashes multiple shots from his shotguns dealing huge damage within a small area. No aiming is required.
A former army soldier who has deadly accuracy with his heavy pulse rifle and tactical visor.
Primary Weapon: Heavy Pulse Rifle – A fully automatic rifle that is very steady and great short to mid range.
Abilities: Helix Rockets – 3 small rockets fire from Soldier 76’s gun that explode on impact and deal damage to a small radius.
Sprint – Soldier 76 can sprint across the battlefield for an unlimited time giving him great maneuverability.
Biotic Field – Lays down a healing field with a short radius that will heal any ally who steps into it.
Ultimate Ability: Tactical Visor – Aims in on multiple targets automatically and quickens reload time for the duration of the ability.
Adventurer who can control the speed of her passage through time, by zipping and speeding through enemy defenses.
Primary Weapon: Pulse Pistols – Duel wielded rapid fire pistols
Abilities: Blink – Tracer can dart through space horizontally to quickly gain ground. Can be used up to three times in a row if stored.
Recall – Zips back to a previous location and time. Great for when in a near death confrontation, Tracer retreats to a few seconds before with the health she had.
Ultimate Ability: Pulse Bomb – Throws a sticky bomb which attaches to anything it touches and explodes after a short duration. Deals heavy damage within a small radius.
An automated combatant machine that uses different configurations to adapt to situations on the battlefield.
Primary Weapon: Configuration Recon – Allows Bastion to move freely around the battlefield with a sub machine gun that deals moderate damage.
Configuration Sentry – Bastion transforms into a fixed position powerhouse with a sentry gun dealing heavy damage to targets.
Abilities: Self Repair- Recovers Bastion’s health by self repairing. Whilst in use Bastion is not able to move
Ultimate Ability: Configuration Tank – Bastion transforms into a tank for several seconds. Its weapon is now a cannon that does large damage with a splash radius. Bastion also gains increased max health for the duration of the ability.
A lethal bowman assassin who can use arrows to see where the enemy hides or to deal heavy damage from distance.
Primary Weapon: Storm Bow – Hanzo fires an arrow from his bow at the target. Damage depends on how far the bow string has been pulled.
Abilities: Sonic Arrow – An arrow with a sonar tracking device attached to it. Highlights enemy locations within an area of where the arrow hits.
Scatter Arrow – A fragmenting arrow that will split into multiple arrows when it hits a wall or object and can strike multiple enemies at once.
Ultimate Ability: Dragonstrike – Hanzo calls upon a huge spirit dragon that travels in a straight line through walls and any enemy in its way causing huge damage.
An explosive obsessed outlaw, who uses his frag launcher to fire grenades at the enemy.
Passive: Total Mayhem – Drops several live grenades upon death.
Primary Weapon: Frag Launcher – Launches grenades at a significant distance that bounce off the ground and walls. They explode when they hit an enemy.
Abilities: Concussion Mine – Places a mine that can be triggered to damage enemies or to propel Junkrat into the air.
Steel Trap – If an enemy wanders too close to the trap they will be injured and immobile for a short time.
Ultimate Ability: RIP Tire – Revs up an remote controlled explosive tire that rolls across the battlefield over walls and obstacles. Can be triggered remotely or will explode on its own eventually for large damage.
Mei is a scientist who utilizes the power of ice to freeze enemies in place and block paths.
Primary Weapon: Endothermic Blaster – A short range weapon that damages and eventually freezes the enemy in place.
Abilities: Cryo Freeze – Encases herself in a impenetrable block of thick ice. She heals and ignores damage but cannot move or use abilities.
Ice Wall – Mei generates a huge ice wall which can be used to block enemy attacks and pathways. Can also be used to propel allies to higher ground.
Ultimate Ability: Blizzard – Release a weather modification drone that causes a blizzard in a large area. Enemies caught within the blizzard are slowed and damaged. Those who linger too long are also frozen in place.
A great engineer who can build and upgrade turrets within seconds and provide armor for allies.
Passive: Scrap Collector – Can collect scrap from fallen enemies which is used to provide allies with armor.
Primary Weapon: Rivet Gun – Torbjorn fires rivets at long range.
Secondary Fire: Rivet Gun – Fires molten metal out of his rivet gun with an almost shotgun-like blast.
Forge Hammer – Used to build, upgrade and repair turrets. Can also be used as a melee weapon.
Abilities: Build Turret – Can instantly build a turret at a chosen location that automatically targets enemies and can be upgraded.
Armour Pack – Throws out armor packs for allies to pick up.
Ultimate Ability: Molten Core – Any turret will be upgraded to level 3 for the duration, Torbjorn gains increased health, armor and attack speed.
A deadly assassin who uses a sniper rifle to pick off enemies from distance and a grappling hook to gain the high ground.
Primary Weapon: Widow’s Kiss Sniper – A typical long range, scoped sniper rifle. Increased damage with head shots.
Secondary Weapon: Widow’s Kiss Assault – Sniper rifle doubles up as a fully automatic assault rifle that is better for short to mid range encounters.
Abilities: Grappling Hook – Used to grapple to ledges and walls to gain the height advantage on the battlefield.
Venom Mine – A mine that sticks to almost all surfaces. When an enemy passes near the mine, it will explode releasing a poisonous gas to anyone in the vicinity.
Ultimate Ability: Infra-Sight – Allows Widowmaker, and all allies, to see heat signatures of her enemies through walls and objects for a moderate time.
D.va is a professional gamer who now uses her skills to control a state of the art mech.
Primary Weapon: Fusion Cannons – Twin rotating cannons that lay down continuous fire without the need to reload but slow down D.Va’s movement when active.
Light Gun – When D.Va is out of her mech she carries on the fight with this mid range automatic blaster.
Abilities: Boosters – Launches forwards damaging any enemies who she passes through. She can turn and change direction whilst boosting.
Defense Matrix – A forward facing targeting array which will shoot any incoming projectiles out of the air.
Ultimate Ability: Self-destruct – D.Va ejects from the mech and sets it off to explode causing huge damage to anyone caught in the vicinity.
Call Mech – If her mech suit is already destroyed, she can call down another one to carry on the fight.
A knight of old who carries a huge hammer for damage and shield for protection.
Primary Weapon: Rocket Hammer – Reinhardt swings his hammer in front of him damaging any enemies caught within the cone area.
Abilities: Barrier Field – Reinhardt produces a huge rectangular shield in front of him that soaks up damage. Enemies can’t fire through the shield but allies can. It has its own health that depletes when damage is taken and recovers when not used.
Charge – Propels himself forward at a significant speed grabbing the first enemy he passes through. If he charges into a wall with the enemy, they will suffer extreme damage.
Fire Strike – Hurls a flaming projectile at the target location dealing moderate damage to any enemy it passes through. Can penetrate shields but will stop when it hits a wall.
Ultimate Ability: Earth Shatter – Reinhardt slams his rocket hammer into the ground, knocking down and damaging all enemies in front of him.
A ruthless killer who uses his chain hook to reel enemies in and then, when close, unleashes his scrap metal firing gun.
Primary Weapon: Scrap gun – A shrapnel firing gun which can unleash a shotgun style close range blast or a longer distance ball of shrapnel that explodes on impact
Abilites: Chain Hook – Throws out a chain hook that, if accurate, grips the enemy and reels them in close, stunning them for a few seconds
Take a Breather – Momentarily drinks from his bottle, recovering health over a short duration.
Ultimate Ability: Whole Hog – Puts a top loader on his scrap gun that unleashes relentless fire on the enemy, knocking them back and causing damage.
A genetically modified super-intelligent ape who leaps around the battlefield with a Tesla cannon and a protective barrier.
Primary Weapon: Tesla Cannon – A short range weapon that fires an electric beam for as long as the trigger is held.
Abilites: Jump Pack – Using his energy pack, Winston leaps through the air causing damage and staggering opponents around where he lands.
Barrier Projector – A bubble shield which protects friendly allies inside of it. Cannot be penetrated but allies can shoot out from within.
Ultimate Ability: Primal Rage – Winston becomes enraged, gaining health and strength. He can only use melee attacks but his jump pack can be used more frequently enabling him to move around with ease.
One of the world’s strongest women. Zarya provides protection with her projected barriers and deals damage using her particle gun.
Passive: Energy – Any damage blocked from her shields increases the damage of her particle gun.
Primary Weapon: Particle Gun – Zaryas particle gun fires a short beam of energy at enemies. Alternatively, it can be used to fire an explosive charge that will strike multiple targets. Becomes more effective when powered from her shields.
Abilities: Particle Barrier – Zarya uses her particle gun to surround her with a personal shield for a short time blocking all incoming damage.
Projected Barrier – Provides an ally with a protective barrier that will absorb damage to increase the damage of Zarya’s particle cannon.
Ultimate Ability: Graviton Surge – Zarya fires a gravity bomb which activates when it hits a solid surface. Enemies are pulled in and take damage while they’re trapped.
Lucio is a rollerblading DJ who uses his music to speed up or heal his team mates. Dealing damage using his sonic amplifier.
Passive: Wall Ride – Lucio uses his roller blades to wall ride, providing access to otherwise unreachable places.
Primary Weapon: – Sonic Amplifier – Fires out 4 waves that damage enemies upon contact.
Soundwave: – Blasts out a soundwave which will knock back enemies within range.
Abilites: Crossfade – Lucio uses music to assist teammates. There are two ways of doing this, one by speeding them up and another is by healing them. Using crossfade, Lucio can alternate between the two depending on the situation. Any allies within a close enough proximity are automatically targeted. Amp it up – Increases the effectiveness of the music which Lucio is using at that time.
Ultimate Ability: Sound Barrier – Lucio blasts the ground with his sonic amplifier releasing protective waves. Any ally within the blast radius is temporarily provided with a personal shield.
AKA Dr Angela Ziegler, a scientist who provides healing to her allies. Using her staff she can buff and heal those targeted.
Passive: Angelic Descent – By holding the jump button, Mercy is able to reduce her falling speed from great heights. She also recovers health when she hasn’t taken damage for a short time
Primary Weapon: Caduceus Staff – Will target the closest ally and can be used to provide healing to that ally or boost their damage. Can only target one ally at a time.
Secondary Weapon: Caduceus Blaster – Mercy’s damage dealer. Fires a quick moving projectile with each shot. Best used for emergency personal defense.
Abilities: Guardian Angel – Mercy uses her wing suit to fly towards the targeted ally. Works on alive and fallen allies and can prove vital in the heat of battle.
Ultimate Ability: Resurrect – Brings back to life any nearby dead allies providing them with full health and invulnerability for a short time. Mercy cannot move whilst casting this ability.
Symmetra can manipulate reality by using her light bending photon projector to build teleportation pads, provide shields or deal damage.
Primary Weapon: Photon Projector – Fires a short range beam of energy that locks on to the nearest enemy. Damage is increased the longer the beam is locked on.
Energy Ball – The photon projector can also fire a ball of energy. The damage and size depends on how long the ball is charged for.
Abilities: Sentry Turret – Symmetra can place several small turrets on any indestructible surface. The turrets will slow down and damage the enemy when close. The slow down effect is stacked with multiple turrets.
Photon Shield – A shield that provides the targeted ally with increased health. As long as the ally hasn’t taken damage for three seconds, the shield will regenerate. Lasts until the ally dies.
Ultimate Ability: Teleporter – Symmetra can place a teleporter anywhere on the map that links with another teleporter that is automatically built at spawn.
A omnic robot monk who uses his orbs of harmony to provide healing to teammates and orbs of discord to deal damage.
Primary Weapon: Orb of destruction – Fires his orbs one at a time at enemies dealing moderate damage.
Orb Volley – Gathers power for a few seconds to increase the amount of orbs he fires simultaneously. (maximum of five).
Abilities: Orb of Harmony – Provides an ally with the orb that heals the target over time as long as they stay within Zenyatts line of sight. When the ally dies or is no longer in the line of sight the orb is returned to Zenyatta.
Orb of Discord – Fired at an enemy, as long as the enemy stays within Zenyattas line of sight, they will take increased damage from incoming attacks. Will return to Zenyatta if the enemy dies or goes out of the line of sight.
Ultimate Ability: Transcendence – Zenyatta becomes immune to all damage and heals all allies who are in the area around him.
We recommend you play around with each hero and see what they have to provide. You will eventually find a hero which suits your play style. This serves as a brief overlook of what each hero has to offer you before you dive in so you can get an idea of how the game plays. Good luck in your experimenting, hopefully this guide has provided you with some form of direction. Remember Overwatch works best as a team game so try to communicate with teammates and ultimately have fun because there is a lot to be had with this game.