Common Misconceptions About Each Overwatch Hero

Overwatch Basics

At its core, Overwatch is a competitive, team-based shooter that pits teams of 6 against each other in objective-focused combat. When it’s fun, it’s really fun. When it’s not, it’s absolutely terrible and extraordinarily rage-inducing.

I think I can help with making it fun more consistently!

There are many aspects of the game that improve your chances of getting a dub. You’ve got mechanics (ie. aiming), movement, team communication, game sense, and more.

One thing that is rarely talked about is making sure that you are doing your job on the team. In other words, as an individual contributor, are you performing the actions that maximize the value of your hero.

This guide will go through the common misconceptions about each hero so that you can avoid them and be a more effective member of the squad.

Supports

Many people believe Overwatch support characters are just heal bots. This is false. Supports are there to provide sustainability – ie. longevity and team-fight power – of the squad. Here are common misconceptions about each support hero in Overwatch.

Overwatch Support heroes from Vamers
Image Credit: Vamers

Ana

Common Misconception: Ana’s nades are just for boosting heal power.

The Truth: Ana’s biotic grenade increases healing to yourself and your allies by a massive 50%! This is great when you need a burst of healing to save critical teammates. However, the biotic grenade should be used aggressively to win fights as well. Her nade shuts down any healing to enemies for a full 4 seconds. If you can land this on a couple of opponents and call out the heroes to your team, you can easily take out multiple enemies in a matter of seconds.

Baptiste

Common Misconception: Baptiste’s lamp is just for saving teammates who are about to die.

The Truth: Immortality Field has the potential to prevent a team wipe due to many enemy ults, but it’s also a great engagement tool to start a fight. If you throw it behind natural cover, you give your team 5 whole seconds to focus on outputting damage without fear of death. Use the lamp aggressively, especially at the start of a game, to try to win an early team fight.

Brigitte

Common Misconception: Brig is a tank that can just run wild on the front lines.

The Truth: When Brigitte first entered the scenes, she was absolutely broken. In fact, you could absolutely run wild on the front lines as a tank. You could move forward, hold down your attack button, and carry your team to an easy victory while earning 5 gold medals. Since her entrance into Overwatch, Blizzard has nerfed her a dozen times, making her a much more fragile hero. When playing Brig, you now need to be significantly more strategic with your engagements and use her flail attack to maximize your uptime. Additionally, keep an eye out for enemies diving your other support hero so you can shield bash them into a stunned moment of sadness. If you’re too gung ho as Brigitte, you will die repeatedly and provide little to no value to your team.

Lucio

Common Misconception: Lucio is a primary healer.

The Truth: While Lucio has AOE healing that can slowly restore the HP of a grouped up team, but his primary utility comes from the speed boost. Lucio can increase the move speed of nearby heroes by 25% using Crossfade, with an additional 60% boost with Amp It Up. Not only is this increased speed ideal for pushing through choke points, but it’s also great for disengaging from a sticky situation. Ideally, Lucio spends more time increasing the speed of his team than he does staying in healing mode.

Mercy

Common Misconception: Mercy is the ultimate heal bot.

The Truth: Mercy is another hero who can output consistent heals. While she doesn’t have any burst healing, it does make her a strong healer. However, Mercy’s power boost is one of the strongest, constant buffs in the game, granting an additional 30% damage to her target! This makes DPS characters more deadly and effectively increases your chances of winning team fights. Make sure you are amplifying damage as much as possible as Mercy!

Moira

Common Misconception: Moira’s biotic orb is for doing poke damage on enemies.

The Truth: Moira’s biotic orb is for applying pressure to the opposing team and for confirming kills. The orbs are fairly easy to avoid, especially in open spaces. In most situations, the orb will only do 25-50 damage before the enemy moves out of range. This makes it a good tool for eliminating low-health enemies, but not a great item to try to bring down full health heroes.

Zenyatta

Common Misconception: Zen’s healing orb should stay on one teammate per fight.

The Truth: As Zen, you need to be constantly changing your orb targets, especially the orb of harmony. Zenyatta does some of the slowest heals per seconds out of all the supports. Ideally, you should be attaching the healing orb to critically low teammates, characters on the front line who you expect to take damage, and your other support hero whenever they are under pressure. Most importantly, you want your orb of harmony healing teammates as frequently as possible, so make sure to rotate it among your squad.

Tanks

Tanks need to make and take space in Overwatch. This means maintaining the team’s front line and allowing the squad to effectively move around the map. They also have a boatload of health and are ideal targets for support characters to build ult charge.

Overwatch Tank Heroes from Gamers Decide
Image Credit: Gamers Decide

D. Va

Common Misconception: D. Va is a ranged-damage dealer.

The Truth: While D. Va’s micro missiles don’t suffer from damage dropoff, her fusion cannons are absolutely a close-range weapon. Beyond mid-range, you’re really only doing tickle damage to enemies. D. Va’s kit is all about mobility, fast engagements, and doing damage in the face of the opposition. When playing with other dive heroes, make sure to coordinate your dives to confirm kills. D. Va’s defense matrix is great at protecting herself and teammates on aggressive dives. If you try to consistently play her from long range, you’ll have trouble getting any elims or building your ult charge.

Orisa

Common Misconception: Orisa is just a stationary shield provider.

The Truth: Protective Barrier is a key component of a bunker comp, providing a wide surface for your team to fire behind. However, with the constant nerfs to shields, you’re better off relying on natural cover than the barrier. Instead, Orisa players should make use of her Halt ability to bring the opposing heroes into a clump to set up focus fire. Environmental kills are cool too, but you need to be decent at halting multiple enemies at once to help your team get easy kills. Make sure to fire the graviton charge directly above a Reinhardt shield to pull opponents into the air!

Reinhardt

Common Misconception: Reinhardt is just a moving shield

The Truth: Rein’s Barrier Field has consistently been one of the best ways to coordinate team rotations around an Overwatch map. If you just hold up Reinhardt’s shield for the majority of the map, you’re missing out on a ton of value. A good Reinhardt will be sending out his Fire Strike on cooldown to quickly build up ult charge. A good, aggressive Reinhardt, will swing his rocket hammer at close targets to deal massive amounts of damage. With the recent buff from 75 to 85 damage per hit, he now takes down 200-HP heroes with only 3 swings of his hammer! Don’t be the Rein who ends the game with 20k damage blocked, 0 Earthshatter kills, and 3-digits worth of damage.

Roadhog

Common Misconception: Roadhog is an unkillable behemoth who should hook everything he sees.

The Truth: Roadhog’s Take a Breather ability reduces incoming damage and restores a good bit of health. He’s a high sustain character who is great at staying alive mid-fight. Let me be clear though – Roadhog can absolutely be punished for misuse of his abilities. Several characters can stun him out of Take a Breather and Ana can outright cancel its effects! Additionally, you need to be selective about Roadhog’s target prioritization when throwing out the Chain Hook. His scrap Secondary Fire + Hook + Primary Fire + Melee combo can deal upwards of 300 damage, so slow squishies are a great option. Be careful about using the hook on characters who can block it since you’ll end up wasting a valuable cooldown!

Sigma

Common Misconception: Sigma needs to constantly have his shield out in front of his team.

The Truth: Experimental Barrier is a low-HP shield that should primarily be used to block enemy abilities and cut off line of sight. The latter works especially well on off-angle snipers like Ashe, Widowmaker, and Ana. A good Sigma player will continuously be moving his shield to decrease the unnecessary poke damage it takes, stop key abilities and ults, and preserve its HP for key moments in the fight. There’s a delay in regenerating the shield’s health when it breaks so you want to avoid letting the Experimental Barrier go to 0 as often as possible. Even a 1 HP barrier will block all incoming damage from a D. Va bomb!

Winston

Common Misconception: Winston’s Jump Pack should be used as an engagement tool to close the gap between him and an opponent.

The Truth: This is a tricky one since there are actually times when you can use the jump pack to engage (ie. diving a lone squishy, jumping into multiple enemies that lack crowd control abilities when you dive with another character like D.va). However, many times it is better to use high ground to drop onto enemies, then save the Jump Pack as a disengage tool. In this way, you can output damage with the Tesla Cannon, then retreat to safety once you’ve taken too much damage. If you’re looking to main Winston, make sure to check out all the different types of jumps you can execute by browsing through YouTube.

Wrecking Ball

Common Misconception: Hammond is just a troll who rolls around and swings from things.

The Truth: When played correctly, Hammond is one of the most disruptive heroes in the game. Wrecking Ball has high mobility, high burst damage, high sustain, and an extraordinarily high learning curve. However, if you don’t know how to play Hammond, you will be absolutely useless and contribute nothing to the fight. Make sure to practice Hammond’s movement options in the training grounds and head into custom games to play around with map rollouts.

Zarya

Common Misconception: Zarya needs to trap the entire enemy team in her ult.

The Truth: Zarya’s ult is one of the slowest charging in the game. It’s also one of the most powerful ultimates in Overwatch, with the ability to hold opponents in place for several seconds. As such, many people believe they need to wait or the perfect opportunity to catch all 6 enemy heroes in the grav. This scenario is rare, and before you know it, you’ve ended the game without using your ult. Instead, look to secure 1-2 key kills with the grav or stop an ulting Genji/Winston/Rein/etc. from wiping out your entire team.

DPS Heroes

DPS is possibly the most controversial role in Overwatch. The majority of the Overwatch community wants to play DPS to rack up damage and kills. However, there are so many nuances that will make you either an effective DPS or the target of your team’s rage.

Overwatch DPS heroes from Game Rant
Image Credit: Game Rant

Ashe

Common Misconception: Ashe is just a weaker form of Widowmaker.

The Truth: Ashe is a sniper, but much of her ult charge comes from detonating dynamite on the opposing team. With a damage boost from mercy, Ashe actually becomes one of the deadliest long range players in the game! Her hit scan rifle can eliminate 200-HP heroes with two head shots, and this number goes down to a single shot when power-boosted. Ashe needs to maximize AOE damage with the dynamite, build ult charge quickly with critical hits, and send out B.O.B to help win team fights.

Bastion

Common Misconception: Bastion is just a stationary turret.

The Truth: Bastion is most powerful in sentry mode, but you need to regularly change your positioning to be effective as Bastion. This is particularly true on defense where the attacking team will often try to focus down the Bastion after losing the first team fight. Take angles that give you long sightlines and minimize the opposing team’s chances to flank by having them always guessing where you are.

Doomfist

Common Misconception: Doomfist is complicated.

The Truth: Doomfist is actually pretty straightforward. There are specific combos with his kit that can be used from close, mid, and long-range. Learn these combos and when to use them, and you’ll have some of the greatest pickoff potential in the game. Of course, this is easier said than done, but once you have the combos down, Doomfist is tough to stop.

Echo

Common Misconception: Echo should just clone anyone.

The Truth: Echo’s ult is ridiculous. Search the interwebz and you’ll see highlights of her getting three Earthshatters within one Duplicate session. The key to getting the most out of this powerful ult is cloning a high-impact opponent. Here’s a list of some of the best heroes to duplicate: Reinhardt, Zarya, D. Va, and Roadhog. Be selective in your Duplication choice and you will win more team fights as Echo.

Genji

Common Misconception: Genji, like Doomfist, is complicated.

The Truth: Genji is a high skill ceiling hero that is great at harassing the backlines. He also has one of the most powerful ults but requires good understanding of his movement abilities to get the most value out of Dragonblade. While Genji’s shurikens can output nice damage from mid- to long-range, they are tough to hit against small, moving targets. Instead, Genji should look to engage from close-range, and spam his alternate fire to maximize his DPS. Genji is actually pretty straightforward: do poke damage at the start of the fight with primary fire, identify an out of position squishy on the enemy team, punish that hero with alt fire, then use Swift Strike to either confirm the kill or retreat back to your team/a health pack. Remember that Swift Strike does 50 damage, so make sure you’ve done enough damage to your target before using this cooldown!

Hanzo

Common Misconception: Dragon Strike should only be used when you can kill 4+ enemies.

The Truth: Dragon Strike deals massive numbers on stationary targets, up to almost one thousand damage! When paired with an Earthshatter or Graviton Surge, you’re sure to be a candidate for play of the game. However, Dragon Strike can also be used as a zoning tool, forcing an enemy to retreat from an advantageous position. Even better, it can make the opposing team rotate to an area that lets your squad unload a bunch of cooldowns to get easy picks. As with most other heroes, don’t save Dragon Strike for “that perfect opportunity” which seldom arises!

Junkrat

Common Misconception: Junkrat’s mines are just for burst damage.

The Truth: Sure, Junkrat can put out crazy amounts of damage with properly place mines. However, especially since Blizzard gave him a second Concussion Mine, Junkrat’s mobility increased significantly! Mines are a great way to get to juicy positions on the high ground which make Junkrat great for spamming choke points. You’ll notice that the best Junkrat players use mines for a combination of movement and damage to increase their lethality.

McCree

Common Misconception: McCree’s Dead Eye ultimate is for taking out the entire enemy team in  a blaze of rapid head shots.

The Truth: McCree has the ability to kill opponents with pinpoint accuracy with his ult, but he’s terribly susceptible to being killed during “high noon”. Additionally, cautious enemies will hide behind cover once they hear the relevant audio cues. As an ulting McCree, your best bet is to 1) flank the enemy team, 2) get protection from one of your tanks, 3) ask for pocket heals from one of your healers, 4) combine with a movement-limiting ult like Earthshatter or 5) some combination of all of these. Other times, you can pop McCree’s Ult to force the opposing team to retreat. Don’t wait for that perfect moment where the entire team is standing in a group out in the open. This perfect moment rarely presents itself! Seeing a theme here?

Mei

Common Misconception: Mei’s walls are for blocking choke points.

The Truth: Mei’s ice wall has many uses: It’s actually rare that you’d want to block a choke to prevent an entire team from progressing. Instead, Mei should look to put up her wall after the frontline – typically Reinhardt, feels bad – move through. This way, you can quickly eliminate their main tank and effectively stall the enemy team’s push. Mei can also use ice wall to boost herself to high ground or block off enemy ults to protect her team. Just make sure you aren’t blocking off your own team’s ultimates!

Pharah

Common Misconception: Pharah needs a Mercy pocket to be effective.

The Truth: The Pharah – Mercy (affectionately named Pharmercy) combo has been around Overwatch for as long as I can remember. It effectively gives you boosted ranged damage for consistent pressure on the opposing squad. While this pair is a great match on many teams, it’s still possible for Pharah to get value without having Mercy by her side. You’ll need to play around cover and utilize more health packs, but the solo Pharah can still put out a ton of damage, especially when the enemies don’t have a hitscan hero on their team.

Reaper

Common Misconception: Reaper is an unkillable monster who can jump into the middle of the enemy team and doesn’t need to fear death. 

The Truth: Reaper is a close-range hero who relies on doing damage within arm’s reach of his opponents. As such, he’s highly susceptible to crowd control abilities (think McCree’s Flashbang, Brig’s Shield Bash, Junkrat Traps, etc.)

Soldier 76

Common Misconception: Soldier’s helix rockets are for spam damage.

The Truth: Soldier’s helix rockets do a crazy amount of damage on direct hit, but they are much more consistent at finishing off targets when you fire them at the foot of the enemy. The splash damage has decent range and you can win most matchups against 200-HP opponents if you have this ability available. Fire your helix rockets at the ground or nearby walls to increase your chance of doing damage to the opponent. If you want to get really fancy, learn how to rocket jump to get Soldier up to some nice high-ground spots!

Sombra

Common Misconception: Sombra should just hack anyone she can. 

The Truth: Sombra’s job is to disrupt the enemy team and make targets easier to kill. That said, some targets are much better to hack than others. Your primary heroes to hack will be Overwatch heroes who rely on movement or protective cooldowns to be effective. Think dive characters (Genji, Doomfist, Tracer, D. Va, Winston, Hammond) and any Reinhardt that you can get your hands on. It’s also critical that you call out which enemies are hacked so your team can focus fire before their abilities are back online.

Symmetra

Common Misconception: Symmetra’s teleporter is just for getting her team out of the spawn faster.

The Truth: Sure, cutting out 30 meters of walking time is great for getting your team into the battle a few seconds faster. But the real value of Symmetra’s teleporter is getting your team to high ground that they otherwise couldn’t reach AND bypassing tricky choke points. Have a strategy for how you can best position your team based on the map and coordinate with your team to gain a huge advantage. Check YouTube for some great Symmetra turret spots.

Torbjorn

Common Misconception: Torbjorn needs a shield to be effective.

The Truth: Torb’s turret has a decent amount of HP but still needs to be placed in a location where it’s tough to take out quickly. Torbjorn can still get value without a shield by dropping his turret on high ground or off angles. Certain Overwatch maps are more conducive to this than others, but don’t pressure your tanks into switching to Orisa just to protect your turret. Additionally, be sure to regularly reposition your turret after your team wins a fight to keep your enemies on their toes.

Tracer

Common Misconception: Tracer’s Recall ability restores her health.
The Truth: In many cases, this will be true. However, at the time of this writing, Tracer’s Recall restores her health to the highest that it’s been in the last 3 seconds. This means if you’ve been at the same level of health for more than 3 seconds, you won’t gain any additional health with your Recall. Good Tracer players will be acutely aware of when they are taking damage to make sure they are at least getting some health back with this ability. 

Widowmaker

Common Misconception: Widowmaker is a walking highlight reel in Overwatch.
The Truth: Some Widowmakers are mechanical wizards, with a critical hit rate that will make your eyes water. However, even the best Widowmakers are left neutralized if you take away their sightlines! Understand where the common sniping spots are, set yourself up with long sightlines, and use the grappling hook to rotate around the map as the fight develops. Understand that playing against double shield will make things much trickier for you as a Widow, but you can still get some value out of the sniper by holding off angles. 

Changing the Overwatch Narrative

There are tons of other misconceptions about Overwatch characters, but these are the most glaring I’ve seen from my hundreds of hours of gameplay. If you can unlearn some of these misconceptions, I can all but guarantee that you will win more of your Overwatch games!

What other misconceptions would you add to the list? Any tips and tricks for specific Overwatch heroes? Leave us a note in the comments section!

2 Comments
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Steve
Steve
3 years ago

So much good information! Didn’t realize how important Ashe’s dynamite was to charging her ult. Is there a general target prioritization for Roadhog that you recommend?

Two Average Gamers
Reply to  Steve
3 years ago

Thanks! Generally, squishy heroes with low escapability are good targets for Roadhog, especially if you can get the combo down. Look out for any enemies who get out of position or step in front of their tank’s shield!

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