Overwatch Character Highlight: Tracer

Published: July 27, 2016 11:00 AM /



It's time to cover Overwatch's flagship hero, Tracer. Tracer is an incredibly unique offensive hero, with her ability to warp herself forward or rewind her own time backwards. Being the hero that Overwatch focused on the most in promotional material, many people wanted to play Tracer out the gate, and those players quickly learned just how difficult Tracer is to play.

Tracer cover


Tracer's Abilities Include:

  • Primary Fire
    • Tracer's main weapon is a pair of automatic pistols that fire in a wide-spread pattern. These guns fire very quickly and don't have much ammo, so it's best to use up your clip and reload every time you fire. You do not want to encounter and enemy with half a clip.
  • Blink
    • Tracer has two very unique abilities, the first of which is Blink. When you "Blink" you warp forward a short distance. When playing Tracer, you'll notice 3 "^" symbols in the center of the screen, which indicate how many Blinks you have and they will recharge over time. What I find that many people don't know is that Tracer can Blink in any direction. If you're moving forward, backwards, left or right, she will dash in the direction that you're holding, so it never has to be exclusively forward.
  • Recall
    • The second unique ability is Recall, the power to rewind yourself back in time three seconds. When you Recall, you go back to the exact point you were three seconds ago, and your health and ammunition are reset back to what they were at that point. This can be incredibly useful for escaping, saving yourself if you take too much damage, or getting yourself back on solid ground if you fall off the side of the map.
  • Ultimate Ability: Pulse Bomb
    • When you use the Pulse Bomb, Tracer will throw a sticky bomb a few feet in front of her and detonate shortly after. If this is thrown onto an enemy, it will stick to them and damage them and anyone nearby. Keep in mind that the Pulse Bomb only does 400 damage, so it likely won't kill any Tanks.

Tips and Tricks For Playing Tracer

  • Because of the speed and cluster-like spread of her guns, it's very easy to build up her Pulse Bomb Ability by hitting large targets. Roadhog, in particular, is a giant sponge for Tracer's guns.
  • The best way to play Tracer is to be unpredictable. Dash in random directions, don't let your opponent think they know where you're going because that will get you killed. Use your Recall to throw them off, but keep in mind that if you've been fighting the same enemy for a while, they can probably guess where you're going to respawn.
  • You can't use your Blink ability to go higher than you already are, but you can use it to cross gaps as long as you start slightly higher than you're going to land. Use a couple Blinks in a row to get the distance you need.
  • Tracer's ultimate ability is probably what I find to be the most difficult aspect to master. Tracer is a twitchy character, and taking too long to aim can get yourself killed. However, this also makes it very difficult to stick to enemies, and more often than not, if you just throw it on the ground, it won't kill anyone.

Your job as Tracer is to annoy the living shit out of the enemy team. Quickly get to the sides or behind the enemy lines and poke at them, dash, and poke again. You want to be a distraction, and you can actually do a lot of damage to unsuspecting enemies who haven't noticed you. You probably won't take down many enemies by yourself, so distract the ones at full health so your teammates can take them out, and finish off the already heavily damage enemies.


That being said, if more than 2 enemy heroes are on you at once, I would get out of there and regroup. They likely can't chase after you, especially if they need to work on the objective. Once you're healed up, work your way around the enemies again and start over.

Once you're good at playing Tracer, she's fairly universally good. There's not many maps or situations where a good Tracer isn't helpful. I would say that maps where you're either pushing a payload, or defending a point, are where Tracer is the weakest. Defending a payload or attacking a point is where I personally found Tracer to be the most strategically useful.

Tracer 2


Heroes Tracer Is Best Against

Like I said before, Roadhog is a big target for Tracer, and because his gun only has 4 shots per clip, he can't easily hit you. That being said, if he hooks you, you're not surviving that. Other heroes that are gonna have a hard time hitting you are McCree, Pharah, Reinhardt, or anyone who would have a hard time hitting a fast character.


I would also say that Mercy is a Tracer target. If Mercy is providing support to a single hero, and you can get a sneak attack on her without the hero she's helping to notice, then you can take her out pretty easily. Just be aware that Mercy usually heals Tanks, and if she gives a damage boost to her Tank, you should get out of there.

Counter-Heroes To Watch-Out For

Winston can easily keep up with you, and with his weapon, all he needs to do is stay close. That goes for Symmetra too, if you get caught in a sentry trap, and she's nearby, she can easily suck you dry with her laser tether.

Snipers are also going to be something you need to watch out for, and this goes for Widowmaker, Hanzo, and Ana. You would think that Tracer is too fast for Snipers, and sometimes she is, but you're not always going to have a Blink or Recall ready to use, and a good shot can take you out. Hanzo in particular is a Tracer killer because of his Scatter Arrow.

Lastly, Junkrat is going to be a nuisance. His Steel Trap is perfect for keeping Tracer in place, his grenades make it difficult to get close as Tracer, and his Explosive Mine will take Tracer out very easily. I myself have killed my fair share of Tracers as Junkrat using the Trap and Mine combo.


And with that, we have covered Overwatch's time-hopping lass, Tracer! As always, if there are any strategies I didn't include, feel free to leave a comment and let us know how you play Tracer!

Are there any heroes you want me to write about? Let me know in a comment and I'll write about them!

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