7 Essential Ways to Improve Your Overwatch Game

The web is swarming with Overwatch beginner tutorials, hero guides, and useful tips and tricks. Here on MMOGames, we’ve recently covered how to play the different Overwatch tanks and taken a closer look at the game’s four support classes. But what if things are still not going so well and you feel like you’re dying way too much? It might be that you don’t require in-depth strategy guides for your favorite heroes, but instead need a few very basic tips on how you can improve on the core mechanics that will dramatically change your effectiveness in combat.

Are you sure you’ve got all your PvP basics down? Let’s have a look!

7 Existential Ways to Improve your Overwatch Game

1. Movement is Everything!

This is the number one rule of all PvP and applies to every Overwatch character you may favor playing. There should never be a time when you are not in motion – not as a tank, support or primary damage dealer! Standing still makes it easy for opponents to aim their special attacks and for snipers to take you down from afar. It also lets everyone know where you’re likely standing when they come back from death, which is why every Bastion, Widowmaker and Hanzo must also switch locations frequently to keep their element of surprise.

This is also a special reminder for “healers:” standing still or hugging a tank too obviously means certain death sooner than later. Make use of your special movement abilities whenever you can. If you’re playing Mercy, then sticking to walls, cutting corners for line-of-sight and using Guardian Angel frequently is your bread and butter. Lucio should be played like a maniac bumblebee on wheels, wall riding, knock-backing and infuriating enemies every chance he gets, which may even result in capping points early. And Zenyatta with his low health pool and mobility can never afford to stay in the same place for long unless he wants to discover Nirvana early.

7 Existential Ways to Improve your Overwatch Game

Channel your inner quicksilver no matter whom you play in Overwatch! Strafe left and right instead of running in straight lines. You will be surprised how much harder it becomes for opponents to take you down, once you got a hang of your movement abilities. Moving more frequently equals less dying, which in return results in more winning and fun for yourself and the rest of your team!


2. Always Mind your Six!

Almost every Overwatch map offers attackers and defenders several routes to break through or ambush the enemy at some point. It is not only crucial to know what’s going on ahead of you and your team but also what’s happening behind you and overhead. Several Overwatch heroes are able to backtrack with ease and sneak up on you unnoticed. This includes: snipers, Tracer, Genji, D.Va, Winston, Pharah and Reaper.

Even without these characters among the opponent’s lineup, you have to expect some bothersome action to come from behind or above, which means checking over your shoulder frequently as well as scanning the air for Pharah and listening to audio cues of nearby players. Needless to say, learning maps and character abilities will greatly benefit you in all this, so give it time.


3. Push the Payload and Help Capture Points!

This point deserves double and triple exclamation marks. It is the most frustrating thing to lose payload games because your team is spread all over the place and nowhere near the payload, which results in the cart either going much slower or stopping entirely. The proximity mechanic is progressive up to three players: the more are nearby “pushing,” the faster it will go and reach safe points. It also works the other way around, so never miss the opportunity to push a payload back while your enemy is returning to the fight!

7 Existential Ways to Improve your Overwatch Game

In very much the same way, base capping relies on several players standing on the capture point. While there is no need for all six players to be there, it is vital to have at least three people capping and contesting while being supported from outside. If time is running low and you’re facing your last chance to cap, or alternatively you’re about to lose the base to your enemy’s last desperate efforts, there is no excuse for anyone not to stand on the cap point. If there are five to six opponents inside, you should be meeting them in equal numbers to make up for potential losses.

Snipers especially like to rely on others for base capture, which is crippling your chances considerably the moment you are not dominating the other team. If it means suicide versus certain loss, you should always rush the base in order to give your  teammates those extra 2-3 seconds!


4. Know Thy Enemy: Heed The Audio Cues!

Throughout an Overwatch match, you will hear your teammates and opponents announce their presence. Listen for footsteps in your vicinity and don’t ignore sounds that aren’t easily explained. Hero ultimates are especially vital to recognize and react to pro-actively. Hear Hanzo’s Dragonstrike unleashed? Check where it’s coming from and side-step! Hear Widowmaker say “No one can hide from my sight”? Then don’t leave cover unless you want to end up head-shot because she can see you! Hear McCree announcing High Noon or Junkrat’s tire? Get out of the way!

7 Existential Ways to Improve your Overwatch Game

The majority of ultimates can be avoided if you keep your wits together, look around you and listen closely to what’s happening. This is also the time to save your teammates with counters, such as Mei’s ice wall for blocking an exploding mecha or absorbing and deflecting ultimates if you’re playing Genji or D.Va. Alternatively, you can boost someone on your team doing an ultimate, for example, with Mercy. It is highly recommended you try out all the heroes for yourself sometime to learn their skill sets and ultimate mechanics if nothing else!


5. Remember your ‘R’ and ‘V’!

You can lose many kill opportunities and 1 vs 1 challenges because your ammo was only half full. Maybe you were just missing one more bullet in your revolver or rocket in your launcher but the outcome is always the same. Always reload your weapon when you get a chance, before engaging enemies and certainly before ultimates that make use of your main weapon, such as Torbjörn’s speed boost!  Get used to spamming that ‘R’ button when you’re not doing anything else.

Furthermore, every Overwatch hero has a melee ability accessed by pressing ‘V.’ Weak as this may seem on its own, a well-aimed punch can finish off opponents when your ammo runs out and abilities are on cooldown. Melee hits are also great in combination with a series of other moves, such as hooking the enemy on Roadhog and then shooting/punching them in the face in close succession. Don’t lose this chance to deal extra damage just because you forgot all about the melee button; change the keybind if necessary and try include it whenever it makes sense!

7 Existential Ways to Improve your Overwatch Game

6. Make Use of Detours and Consumables!

In time you will come to know the nooks and crannies of all the different Overwatch maps, which includes various healthpack locations. It is recommended to explore new and unknown maps whenever you get the chance; find out which buildings connect, where stairs will allow for safe retreat and where to best fall back to for recovering your health pool.

Running around with low health is risky business. More often than not, you’ll be sorry you didn’t take the extra time to go heal yourself up when there wasn’t a healer in sight or your self-healing was on cooldown. While it’s sometimes tempting to push your position, the time spent looking for a health pack is often better than spending it dead. Choose wisely but don’t take unnecessary risks with your health!


7 Existential Ways to Improve your Overwatch Game

7. It Ain’t Over until it’s Over!

Team morale is a powerful thing and so is individual morale. Too often do players proclaim a lost cause after spending too much time attacking and capturing the first of two bases or losing the payload too swiftly on maps like Hollywood, Hamamura and King’s Row. Yet I’ve experienced the most dramatic comebacks in pick-up groups after failing the first half of the objective; it is completely possible to hold the second part of a map for an extended period of time despite earlier failure. Quite often, the maps are designed to allow for this type of encore.

It may include adapting to team setups and choosing a different hero for phase two, but turnarounds are very doable and happen frequently when your overconfident opponent isn’t looking. Therefore, never give up and don’t lose hope before those 99% tick over or that payload is parked safely on its final destination! Instead, fall back, adapt and be as annoying as humanly possible!


PvP Basics Remain Relevant

Some or all of these points may sound trivial to seasoned players, but they require both constant vigilance and manage to get the best of us every now and again. There will always be the human factor: adrenaline rush blanking out our better judgement or a demoralizing start undermining our personal performance. That’s why PvP is first and foremost also a mind game, which all competitive sportsmen will confirm.

Always mind your core game before starting to employ more advanced techniques and strategies. Make PvP ground rules your second skin and see your survival and performance improve considerably.

Oh and stick’em with the pointy end, preferably in the head – but you knew that already!

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