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It’s Overwatch time. Needless to say, everyone has be salivating at the chance to play the game again, and to say that the hype train has been chugging along for the game would be an understatement. The open beta was wildly successful, and it may be one of the first team-based first person shooters to really get people excited in a long, long time. Because of that, it would be stupid for us at TechRaptor not to provide our reader base with some tips to help make them the best on the battlefield. Now several people may believe that the following tips may be too “basic” in certain cases and that any veteran of the genre should know several of the points I’m about to make. Considering what I saw during the beta, I would argue that several people may need a refresher course in those basics. But enough of this intro: let’s get into the tips.

Protect your healers, and they will pay you back in kind.

A good healer is a gift from god. And protect it with all your might.

A good healer is a gift from god. And protect it with all your might.

Being a Team Fortress 2 medic for several seasons and pubbing in servers for a long while: let me just say this: supports have a tendency to heal a player who’s helping them stay alive. I mean, survival instinct is a powerful thing, and when you’re constantly healing people and not getting any love, you’ll find your frustration going through the roof. People who main support classes are usually there for the benefit of others, and they know they can count on someone if you end up saving their life a couple of times. This isn’t just Tanks or being powerful guys: even Tracers and McCrees who may not be with the medic for long periods of time can benefit from helping them out in a pinch from a flanking class. Keeping your supports alive will help you stay alive.

Don’t just use the in-game hints to know what class to go. Choose it based on the team make-up

While the in-game hint system can do a reasonable job of reminding your team that it doesn’t need 3 Widowmakers, it doesn’t do the greatest of jobs of really benefiting or recommending some elements that your team is missing. For example, It doesn’t do a reasonable job of indicating that you have no flanking protection with heroes like Torbjorn and Symmetra, or even flankers themselves in Genji/Tracer. The best Overwatch teams have a variety of skills to deal with all situations, so be aware of each heroes strengths, and match your hero choice to it.

But seriously, your team doesn’t need 3 Widowmakers

I could expand on this for any class and all, but you don’t need 3 snipers. Ever. 

Use Ultimates to start a heavy push, or to counter a heavy push

If your team's Zenyatta is using Transcendence, PUSH PUSH PUSH

If your team’s Zenyatta is using Transcendence, PUSH PUSH PUSH

The ultimates in the game are sorta like Ubers in Team Fortress 2: they are good indications to start pushing. If you see a Zenyatta pop his ultimate, charge in there, as you’ll be protected and can help take back the battlefield. If you have a mic or use the in-game indicating system, tell your team that you’re ready with your ultimate, so that flanking classes can chase down those running from the battle, or the tank can help take the brunt of the damage in question. While yes, it may be insane for me to suggest to try to coordinate with randoms on the internet: communication in this game goes a long, long way. 

A little bit of paranoia in Overwatch goes a long way

Overwatch has a deadly trio of flankers that can take down low and medium health heroes rather easily. Between Tracer, Reaper, and Genji, you can find yourself dead faster then Batttleborn‘s player base. Taking from my Team Fortress 2 days, staying paranoid and looking behind you despite being sure that there’s nothing there: is a very very good thing. Obviously there’s certain characters that this applies to more: support and low health classes. But glancing every 8 seconds or so behind you to see if there’s someone about to launch a surprise party of bullets to your face is what a smart player does: Because battlefield awareness is absolutely key in Overwatch.

There are headshots, but don’t kill yourself in getting them.

Several of the Overwatch guns have the ability to headshot, but the thing is, they aren’t necessarily a good idea. Sure, when you get skilled, being able to get more damage is great. And focusing on the slower moving classes to actually hit them in the head is a smart idea. But I’ve seen a lot of players attempts to line up for headshots or the perfect shot, and get torn apart by body shots while doing it. Quantity over quality can mean a lot here, and only those who’ve mastered their class should even be attempting to go for it. Also, make sure to know if your weapon can do a headshot if you plan on trying for one as some characters don’t have it as an option at all or only on some fire modes. 

Don’t underestimate using your abilities for things other than combat

There’s a prime example that I want to point out here: Junkrat’s mine. While a lot of Junkrat’s I’ve seen use it strictly for damage, that’s a bad idea. One of it’s best functions is to allow Junkrat to be highly mobile, as positioning in Overwatch is really key. Getting the high ground by mine-jumping to a high spot means you get the advantage, and is really overlooked. Hanzo’s sonic arrow can be launched behind a team to help see flankers for example. Just because they have cooldowns, don’t be afraid to use your abilities for non-direct combat purposes. It can really make the difference.

Position, Position, Position

Tracer's one at the best at flanking, but that's only one option in terms of a better position.

Tracer’s one at the best at flanking, but that’s only one option in terms of a better position.

Doing damage is great and all, but what’s rather important in Overwatch is getting the environment advantage on your opponents. Use passive abilities to run up walls to get new flanking angles, and use skills such as Junkrat’s mine jump to get to new position. It’s not just flanking either: staying mobile in a firefight is important to, as characters like D.Va can really mess up a team by putting herself between the enemy support and tank. Knowing where everyone is at all times helps tell you where you need to be in a fight, and don’t be afraid to take a second or two from the battle to actually reposition yourself. 

Don’t be afraid to die, but don’t be stupid

Overwatch has shorter respawn timers, so dying isn’t necessarily the worst thing you can do, especially if you can take out a key enemy while doing it (most of the time, this will be a Mercy). So even if you’re pretty sure you’re going to die, taking a risk to take out a Mercy can be a good one: but always watch your team composition while doing it. If you’ve only got 3 players up against the enemies full team: it’s probably not a good time to go in and risk, due to the focused damage that you’ll be facing. But 5v6 or 6v6? Yeah, it may be worth the risk, especially if you can guarantee a hurt player in the process. 

The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, and expecting different results.

The base Overwatch maps are well designed in a lot of cases, as many of the maps have multiple angles of attack and don’t have a lot of forced choke points. What I saw during the beta however was a little bit troubling: as several teams would try to go down the “main” path over and over again despite the enemy team being ready for them to assault that point again. Taking the longer path for flanking purposes is vital to a team’s success: even if it means that you won’t be in the fight a couple of seconds earlier. Be unpredictable, and use the maps to your advantage.

Bastion isn’t that hard to deal with. No seriously, he isn’t. 

Bastion has plenty of counters, and he's not that bad people.

I’ve seen a lot of people complain about how overpowered Bastion is, and a person who plays a lot of Junkrat: that makes me laugh. Junkrat is a very hard counter to Bastion, because of his grenade launcher. Bastion likes to stay in his turret form, and any clue of where he is, and you can let the spam begin with Junkrat. This is helped by the fact that Bastion will usually set up in corner or against walls to try to limit characters like Genji or Tracer to flank him, and that works well with your grenades. Even if you die once, you’ll know the Bastion’s position, and guess what: he’s ripe for spam. Spam wins this battle 9 times out of 10, because you can just keep it going.  Bastion is not that hard to take down. He really isn’t. 

Want more? Well, we’ve also got a guide for you regarding specific characters and counters over later today over here

More About This Game

Shaun Joy

Staff Writer

YouTuber Dragnix who plays way too many games, and has a degree in Software Engineering. A Focus on disclosure on Youtubers, and gaming coverage in general.