Top Tips for New Overwatch Players

Jun 3, 2016

Even for experienced first-person-shooter players, picking up a new game can be challenging – especially one as complex as Overwatch. There’s a huge amount of variety in terms of abilities, maps and different heroes, and tactics like switching to a different character mid-game requires a developed game-sense to master. Whilst everyone should improve rapidly after first picking up the game, if you’re looking to quickly catch up to the beta players or take things to the next level then there’s a few simple steps you can take.

Focus enemy supports


This is one of those things that even experienced players have to constantly remind themselves to do. They’re squishy and they die easily so why am I unloading all my shots into a tank? It’s easy to get tunnel vision when you’ve got a Winston leaping around in front of you but if there’s a Mercy tucked away behind him, buffing him up, then that’s where you should focus your attention first. It’s also worth remembering to kill off offensive heroes before tanks too whenever possible.

Take time to learn the maps


Complete knowledge of the maps is something that separates the top-tier players from the rest in almost all FPS games, and Overwatch is no different. It’s going to take a long time to get to know all the individual short-cuts and sniper positions so concentrate hard on remembering everything you can. There are plenty of map guides around to help you speed up this process, but it’s also worth just taking some time to run around them getting used to the different twists and turns.

Practise each character

How often do you hear it – “Reaper is my main hero” or “I play offense pls”? Truth is that it’s impossible to get genuinely good at any MOBA-style game unless you have a first-hand understanding of what each hero is capable of. Whilst some advanced players might even have all the cooldowns and ranges memorised exactly, playing all the different heroes will allow you to develop a general game-sense that’s going to be crucial to competing at a higher level. It’s fine to have favourites and even the best players in the world have specialties but you need to build a solid foundation first.

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Tweak the settings for every hero

All the characters in Overwatch work differently so it makes complete sense that you might want different set-ups for each one – and luckily the game gives you the option to customise individual settings. It might be a bit of a hastle and you might feel like you’re already used to your current keys, but in the long-run you’ll massively benefit from making use of this fantastic option. On the more mobile heroes for instance, such as Tracer, having her abilities on the most accessible keys possible could save your life countless times when a fraction of a second could make all the difference.

Get used to switching

Tactically switching heroes is one of those mechanics that beginners struggle to use effectively, whilst the pros rely upon it to win tough games. All heroes have different strengths, weaknesses, match-ups, and good and bad maps – so if you’re not regularly switching then you’re at a disadvantage. Use common sense to assist your decisions. They’ve got a good Tracer player? Swap over to McCree and try to lock her down with the grenade. Your team is dying too much? How about a Mercy or a tank with defensive shields? Just remember not to switch if your Ultimate is almost up.

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Alex Dyet
An English student and freelance writer from London, UK, Alex has spent far more time than he'd care to admit battling it out on FIFA's Ultimate Team mode, before moving on to the more competitive eSports out there, like Dota and Hearthstone. He's got big plans for Blizzard's upcoming shooter, Overwatch, and he's counting down the days until the game goes live in May. You can catch him on twitter @Alexcd13D.
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