With a player base of over 35 million, Overwatch is among the fastest growing video games of all time. With a population this large (and still growing), there’s always going to be plenty of new players. Some Overwatch newcomers might be experienced with traditional first person shooters, and some might have never played a video game before.
While Overwatch might share characteristics with mainstream shooter games, your ability to rack up kills is far less important than your ability to coordinate with your allies and act as a cohesive team. Your value as a player is based entirely on how much you contribute towards claiming the objective, not how well you’ve maintained your kill/death ratio.
Without understanding this concept, many of the abilities in Overwatch can seem confusing, difficult, or even useless. If you’re new to the game, look no further– These are the easiest Overwatch heroes to learn.
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Any veteran of Halo or Call of Duty will be instantly familiar with Soldier: 76’s control scheme. If you’ve played a shooter on PC, it isn’t difficult to pick up 76’s assault rifle and snag a few kills.
76’s right-click, Helix Rockets, unleashes a barrage of missiles toward his hit marker. His sprint is intuitive and useful for getting him back to the front lines. The healing ability, Biotic Field, offers an easy way for you to bail yourself out of low health scenarios; however, you’ll quickly realize that your teammates can make excellent use out of it as well.
Blizzard were clearly trying to make this hero as approachable as possible, even building the tutorial around him. But even Soldier: 76’s more subtle attributes, like his “Everyone, heal up!” voice cue when you drop his healing ability, are meant to nudge players towards a teamwork-oriented style of play.
And of course, since Soldier’s ultimate Tactical Visor is a play on the old Call of Duty aimbot cheats, players won’t need much skill to make the most out of this ability.
Whenever I introduce new players to the game, there’s a moment of terrified indecision when they have to choose a hero. And, every time, I always tell them to pick Reinhardt.
Your job as a Reinhardt is to cover your team with your shield. It’s as simple as that. Reinhardt is a crucial pick in most situations, and I’ve never played a game where some unruly player told me to switch off Reinhardt.
Aside from keeping your team safe from incoming damage, Rein’s Fire Strike can pass through barriers, and his primary weapon requires zero aim. Using his charge makes you feel like a badass. Reinhardt’s ultimate, Earthshatter, requires good timing to make the most out of it, but you’ll grow into it as you get better at the game.
If there’s no healer on the team, newbies should pick Lucio every time. Brazil’s best DJ can be effective by just standing near his team. Lucio boasts the only ability in the game that can passively heal all allies in a large area without a cooldown. Lucio’s Speed Boost ability also makes him the only hero in the game that can help his entire team reach the point quickly.
Lucio’s weapon can be tricky to make deadly, but new players will have plenty of time to practice as they don’t have to continuously concentrate on healing the team.
Lucio’s ultimate ability Sound Barrier can also save the entire team from danger. A huge shield that decays over time lands on Lucio and his allies in an AoE around your main man.
Also, you can “boop” enemy players (or entire teams) off of edges with your alternate fire. How useful is that?
Players that are new to first person shooters and don’t quite have aiming mechanics down yet will enjoy Symmetra’s Photon Projector. A laser attack, her main weapon locks on to enemies near her hit marker and zaps away. No aim needed; as long as they’re in range, they’re going to feel your wrath.
Symmetra’s greatest asset during combat is her turrets. I’ve played entire games as Symmetra without getting a kill using my primary fire and still grabbed upwards of 33% of the kills. Learning sneaky places to hide turrets is immensely satisfying for new players, particularly if you’re familiar with tower defense games. They’re also incredibly useful in earning intel on where the other team might be flanking the objective!
Symmetra’s ultimates give you easy ways to help your team, as long as you’ve found a safe place to hide them. Her Shield Generator has a massive range and provides a huge buff to allies in the area, while Symmetra’s Teleporter is an indispensable tool for getting your team back to the fight.
There IS one caveat with Symmetra, though: she has a rework incoming. They will be lowering the number of turrets she can have active, which means strategic placement is even more important. Her Photon Projector will no longer lock on to enemies, but it will be wider and deal more damage. Lastly, her Photon Barrier will become a new ultimate while her Teleporter will become short-range and her “E” skill.
Practice Makes Perfect
There are many characters that new players should steer clear of for a while. Some choices include McCree and Widowmaker, which require precise aim to use optimally. Characters like Pharah, whose survivability requires a great amount of situational awareness, will also be tricky for newcomers.
That being said, Overwatch is all about learning to be a better player. You’ll never progress with those characters if you don’t practice with them. Get out there and have fun. The world needs more heroes.