Quick Start Guide: Overwatch

by Phirex

Overwatch is one of the most competitive team-based shooters in the world, and with the Overwatch League in the forefront, boasts one of the most lucrative eSports of all time.

Overwatch is a tactical first-person shooter developed by Activision Blizzard, the game is entirely online and is currently available to play on either PC, Mac, PS4, or Xbox. 

This title differs from traditional FPS games due to a heavy emphasis on team play over individual ability. Games often hinge on the use of each character’s unique abilities efficiently.

For desktop users, you can download the Battle.net app here, and when that is done you can buy and download Overwatch and other Blizzard games on the app. 

For Playstation and Xbox players, you will still use the traditional method of buying a physical copy or on the relevant online store. 

How does a game work? 

Overwatch role queue

Each Overwatch match consists of 6 players, and before each game, you select which role you would like to play. There are currently 3 roles available, Tank, DPS (Damage Per Second) & Support. 

Ranked Overwatch has four main game modes, it’s also important to know that each team takes turns defending and attacking, except on ‘control’ maps. The winner of the game is determined on who gets the most points from fulfilling each mode’s objective.

Assault

The attacking team has a set amount of time to capture 2 different points. Whilst the defending team tries to prevent them, if both teams capture both points then both teams get another shot at attacking but with a much reduced time till either 1 team wins or the game is a draw.

Control 

Both teams fight over a capture point. When a team has control of the point they then must defend it up until they reach 100%, this mode is a best of 3 points and is impossible to draw.    

Escort 

Teams take turns attacking and defending. And the objective of this mode is to escort a payload to a delivery point, each map has 2-3 checkpoints and you get a point for reaching each of these. 

Hybrid

This mode is a mix of assault and escort. Each hybrid map starts with an assault point and then finishes with an escort. The principle is the same, you get a point for winning each checkpoint and the team with the most points at the end of the game wins.

What is The Best Character to Start With?

Each character has their own set of unique abilities, which also includes an ultimate. Here we have a short guide on recommended heroes for first-time players. 

Tank

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Tank hero Reinhardt

Reinhardt

A sturdy tank, who boasts a high health total and a massive 1600 health barrier. Reinhardt uses this barrier to protect his teammates, though he also packs a punch with his hammer, making him deadly close range. Along with his ranged ability, you have a versatile hero that is difficult to kill. 

His ultimate (Earthshatter) is a powerful stun effect which knocks all enemies in its radius to the ground. Pro tip: Don’t use this ultimate against other shields! 

DPS 

DPS hero Soldier 76

Soldier: 76

Soldier: 76 is one of the easiest heroes to pick up and learn for new players. If you have any former experience with FPS games, this character will feel very familiar. He is a well-rounded character who can deal both sustained and burst damage at range with his rifle. 

He also has a healing ability, and sprint which offers both great survivability and mobility. Soldier:76’s ultimate automatically locks his rifle on to enemy players – ensuring aim is not going to be a problem for those few seconds.

Support

Support hero Mercy

Mercy 

For support, Mercy is easily one of the simplest characters to pick up in the game. She is a solid healer with high mobility, she carries a staff which has two functions, one is to heal and the other is to boost the damage dealt by one of your allies. 

One of her abilities allows Mercy to fully revive a dead ally, providing she gets to him or her quick enough. Mercy’s ultimate “Valkyrie” lets her fly for a duration, while also being able to heal or damage boost multiple allies at one time.

Tips For Getting Better at Overwatch

The first and most important rule for Overwatch is ensuring you have excellent communication with your teammates, whenever possible.  A vast majority of the time, the team with the better cohesion is going to win the match.

Making key call outs can go a long way, for example asking for help or healing can be the difference between killing an enemy, and being killed. 

Another piece of advice is to learn to be efficient with your abilities, especially when it comes to your ultimates. Certain abilities come with long cooldowns so you need to ensure you get value. 

As ultimates can take a long time to charge, the last thing you want to be doing is throwing them away on a single opponent. 

Overall, it’s important to understand how to use your abilities correctly, of course, you will gain proficiency as you play the game longer and get used to the characters you wish to learn. 

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