Dying is an art – Tips and Advice for someone new to Overwatch
I started playing this game a couple of weeks ago now and I really got into it fast. Too my complete surprise I got over my fear of playing with random strangers on the internet and I’ve even had some really nice interactions online. I jumped right into Quickplay after the tutorial, went into a few AI matches after to get at least some basics for the characters I was playing right and went back into Quickplay about an hour later. For those who don’t know the game: Quickplay is where you play with 5 other players against another 6 player team mad out of people – not AI bots. It is the basic came mode if you are not playing competitive. (Competitive being a ranked mode where you try to play yourself up the ranks into semi serious gaming stardom.)
There is other games modes that are pretty new that you can find in the Arcade. Those being 1vs1 and 3vs3 games that are pretty self explanatory. “No Limits” is basically Quickplay rules wise but without the “only one of every hero on every team” rule QP has now. Meaning if you’ve always wanted to play a game where 6 healers form a team this is the one for you. And then there is the Brawl Mode. Brawls were the weekly special games that are now compiled into a sort of playlist. For each one the rules are a bit different and the balancing between the characters is deliberately off. There is a Justice from above Brawl where you can only play as Pharah or Mercy, a “We are all Soldiers now” Brawl where everyone plays Soldier 76, a “Show your Support” Brawl where you can only choose support characters and so on. Those are basically the most fun ever if you are not afraid of horribly failing all the time. Which is doubly funny because everyone else is usually horribly failing as well.
So, I jumped right in and I noticed one thing: I have an insanely high tolerance for failing and dying. It doesn’t bother me at all. I learn by doing more than anything else and even if I die a dozen times at the same spot there is absolutely no frustration. So my approach of “just die through the game until you get it right” may not be the most ideal for everyone. Because from what I sometimes see in the chat this is definitely not a common shared trait among team based shooter players… So here are a few tips if you want to save yourself at least SOME frustration.
Your aim sucks? Fear not!
If you are like me and have trouble aiming at basically anything when under pressure there are ways around that. First a small basic tip: Go into the game settings and put mouse sensisitiv waaaaay down. Believe me, it makes an enormous difference in actually hitting something. I put mine onto 8.
If that is still something that really bugs you there are characters where aiming is not such an issue. Junkrat, Roadhog, Zarya, Winston, D.Va and Mei for instance have a larger area that they cover – no pin point aiming required. Symmetra and Mercy don’t have to aim at all. So go for those characters first if you want to have it a bit easier in the beginning.
Help – The maps and the objectives are confusing
There are different kinds of maps. Control, Attack & Defence and Escort. On control maps you have to conquer a point and defend it long enough for the meter above you to reach 100%. Attack & Defence has you either attack or defend two points (after another) on a map. The game immediately ends when the second point is conquered or if the attacking team runs out of time. Escort is pretty self explanatory. You take the payload from the enemy team and make sure it reaches it’s destination. You can see if you are defending or attacking on the character selection team and should pick your character accordingly.
General tips for that:
- Don’t pick Widowmaker, Bastion, Symmetra, Torbjörn or Hanzo on attack – they are great at defending stuff but unless you are an absolutely brilliant player (and believe me, if you are reading this for tips you are probably not there yet) you will not help your team – on the contrary
- Unless you are a flanking damage dealer (Reaper, Tracer, Sombra & Genji) STAY ON THE PAYLOAD. Seriously. The thing stops moving when no one is around and even moves backwards if the enemy team pushes it back. The payload is your friend. It gives you some cover, it even heals you when you stay close. Love the payload, love yourself.
- Not the entire team needs to be on it – they payload reaches maximum velocity at 3 players – so don’t yell at your flankers to get on the payload.
- Take care of your healer – especially if you are a tank. They are squishy but they keep you alive – you want to return the favour.
- If you are a flanker (again Genji,Tracer, Reaper and Sombra) you are responsible for your own health. The healer should not go after a single player halfway across the map and leave the group alone. Learn where the med packs are and as Reaper you shouldn’t have trouble anyways.
- DON’T straight up run into a group of enemies as one of said flankers. You will die. Horribly. You are supposed to strike from behind and quickly get in and out. You have special abilities for that – you are not meant to run headfirst into danger. Flank and Gank – and then get out.
- If you want everyone to hate you instantly: Play Bastion 😉
- Alternatively: Play Torbjörn on Attack and watch how everyone slowly learns to loathe you. And prepare to spend most of the match watching yourself get killed in slow motion.
- Lucio is a group healer – he can’t instantly heal a single person. Also his healing is passive – you heal by simply being near him. So group up around him as much as possible. And if you are playing Lucio just have fun skating around your group, avoiding hits and pushing enemies off ledges into their disney villain death my falling.
- Symmetra – despite being in the support group is NOT a healer. She is more of a defensive kind of hero.
- If you want to heal there are different flavours: You want to fly around and single target heal? Pick Mercy. You want to stay back, as far away as possible from the action and use a sniper rifle: Ana is your woman. You like to be in the middle of it and go ‘can’t touch this!’ constantly Lucio is the one for you. And if you want sudden bouts of being invincible and debuff your enemies at the same time Zenyatta is the go to omnic.
- The only time you should ever play Hanzo is if your are actually super great and exact at aiming. If you aren’t you are about as useful to your team as a wet tissue since he is a Sniper without a Scope – meaning no zooming in. A really well played Hanzo is absolutely terrifying to go up against. Lucky for us about 90% of Hanzo players can not aim properly at all.
- Pharah can fly and attack from above which can be devastating – but while she is flying she is super exposed and squishy. Be aware of that when playing her or take advantage of it when playing against her.
- Ana’s sleep dart can interrupt and stop most ultimate abilities.
- Don’t ever buy any lootboxes – you get them for free for every level you make and every three matches you won in arcade mode on top of it. Everything in it is purely cosmetic so you don’t need to spend a single cent on micro transactions.
- Group up with a friend – it is way more fun. If that isn’t an option: Make friends with the enemy team. It is surprisingly easy and incredibly fun most times. Press C while in game to see your interaction menu
- Press F1 in game to see your abilities explained again. Press TAB to see who is on your team and who is on the enemy’s
- Custom Games are a great way to practice – you can build them entirely to your heart’s content.
- In general if you like to be as annoying to the enemy team as possible Mei, Tracer and Sombra are the go to heroes.
- Mei is the actual devil. Doom incarnated. She will headshot you with an ice pick while you are paralysed and her delighted giggle while you die will haunt you. It’s just the way it is.
- Play Mei – it’s super fun and annoys the enemy team to no end.
That would be it – my staring out tips. Almost everything in this game you easily learn by doing. Seeing yourself getting better and somewhat close to actually competent while just keeping on playing is very rewarding. And don’t forget to be nice to your healer. They are vindictive assholes and if you come at them they will throw entire games just to let you die repeatedly. So don’t do it! Just be a little nice to them and you might gain a pocket healer if you are lucky, trust me.