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Until recently, Zenyatta was one of the most underutilized support heroes in Overwatch. Zenyatta can heal more than Lucio to an individual target, but doesn’t have to stay on a teammate to keep the health flowing like Mercy. Zenyatta also has very high damage output—his primary fire and alternate fire can cause a lot of damage, and from a good distance. But Zenyatta’s measly 150 health made him a lightweight; for a long time, he couldn’t even take a shot from Widowmaker. Thankfully, he recently got 50 more points of health and a speed boost when performing his ultimate, which has made a world of difference.


Zenyatta’s Abilities Include

  • Primary Fire
    • Zenyatta shoots out orbs that float around his neck. The orbs themselves deal 40 points of damage each and have a straight trajectory when fired. Zenyatta can fire 20 orbs before he has to reload, so he can keep the pressure up without worrying about reloading.
  • Alternate Fire
    • By holding down the alternate fire, you can charge up 5 orbs at once, and then unleash them in a forward motion. While this can deal devastating damage (as much as 200 at once), it’s hard to time properly. I often start charging it when going around a corner, ready to launch it on anyone who I might run into, or I save it for a group of enemies who don’t see me at a distance.
  • Orb of Harmony
    • Zenyatta’s only form of healing (aside from his ultimate) comes from his Orb of Harmony. You place the orb on a teammate, and as long as they’re in eyesight, the orb will heal them for 30 points of damage per second. In contrast, Mercy heals 50 points of damage per second but also has to stay connected to a teammate. Zenyatta can place the orb on a teammate and continue to fight. However there are two negatives to this ability to keep in mind:
      •  You cannot heal more than one teammate at a time. If you move the orb to another teammate, it will stop healing the previous one.
      • If the teammate being healed is not in your line of sight for 3 seconds, the orb will return to you automatically.
  • Orb of Discord
    • Zenyatta is one of the only heroes in the game with a “Debuff” ability. When an enemy is in sight, Zenyatta can attach the Orb of Discord to them. While the orb is active, the afflicted enemy will take more damage than they normally would. Having the orb attached also lets you see where the enemy is if they go out of sight. This can be devastating to Tanks or Offensive heroes; however, the same rules as the Orb of Harmony apply: only one target at a time, and not having them in your line of sight will return the orb.
  • Ultimate: Transcendence
    • Zenyatta’s ultimate skill allows him to enter an enlightened state and heal everyone within the Area of Effect circle for 300 points of health per second. While in this state, Zenyatta cannot be damaged, and he moves twice as fast. However, he cannot use any other abilities while using his ultimate.

zenyatta 2

Tips and Tricks For Playing Zenyatta

Despite his recent buff, Zenyatta is still very fragile. In a one on one fight, Zenyatta likely won’t be able to hold his own. My advice for playing Zenyatta: stay behind your teammates, heal those who need it, and fire from the backlines so you don’t take as much damage yourself. While you can only heal one person at a time, your Orb of Harmony heals so quickly that you can heal someone for a little bit, and then throw the orb onto someone else, and both teammates will get a substantial dose of health.

In a last resort scenario, if you need to rush to your team to help them, pop your ultimate, and rush over to your teammates. You’ll waste some of the time that your ult would be used for healing, but you’ll move twice as fast so you can catch up to the group faster.

Heroes Zenyatta Is Best Against

It’s hard to gauge what heroes a support character is best against, because they really aren’t designed to take enemies out. That being said, Tanks could have a hard time going up against Zenyatta. Throwing the Orb of Discord on them takes away their natural defenses, and it’s hard to miss your damaging orbs on such huge targets. Offensive heroes are also great targets for the Orb of Discord, since most of them are already made of glass as it is. The debuff will let your team shred through them like paper, even if you yourself can’t easily hit the speedier characters.

Counter-Heroes To Watch Out For

While Tanks are great targets for your Orb of Discord, by no means should you try and fight a Tank by yourself. Reinhardt in particular can destroy you with his hammer, as can Roadhog’s Hook and D.Va’s infinite fire.

Zenyatta himself is rather slow, which makes him sniper bait. Even if he now has enough health to survive a shot from Widowmaker, he’s not gonna survive two. The orbs from his Primary and Alternate fire can reach snipers from afar, but unless you get the jump on them, they’re still going to take you out.

I’m so glad that Zenyatta got a boost so that I could write a proper guide for him. Zenyatta is easily one of my favorite characters aesthetically, and I love playing him now.

How did you like Zenyatta? Have any tips for how to play him that I didn’t include? Leave your thoughts in a comment below and if there’s a specific hero you want me to write about feel free to ask!

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Jack Jacobs

Staff Writer

My name is Jack, I've been playing games my whole life, mostly Nintendo and Playstation. My all time favorite game series are Pokemon, Infamous, Golden Sun and Persona