Overwatch: best heroes for beginners
Overwatch demands a different approach to shooters. This isn’t run n’ gun, and you won’t win the match by going lone wolf.
But with 21 different heroes to choose from it can be difficult finding the right hero and abilities for your style of play. Ideally, you want to get out of your regular comfort zone and play roles and abilities you’re not used to, and start experiencing the different world of shooting that Overwatch offers.
But initially you need to learn the rules of the game, the maps, how teamwork and strategies work, and classes that will introduce you to the intricacies of the game. Here then are our favourite heroes that teach the game, are easy to pick up and play, get you used to an unfamiliar role or are just instantly fun to get behind.
Soldier 76 is the closest you’ll get to a regular first-person shooter character and for that reason you might want to ignore him. But he’s one of the fastest heroes in the game and his Pulse Rifle and Helix Rockets deliver high damage, so sometimes you’ve just got to rush your opponents and watch them scatter from their comfortable positions. Use him for a while, then ditch him for some of the more original heroes on this list.
Bastion isn’t a great hero and the novelty soon wears thin – you’ll probably move on from this robo-turret once you start playing the game at a deeper level. In fact, we’d expect Bastion to get a buff or two soon to make him more valuable.
But you absolutely cannot replicate the multikill thrill that comes from turning into a turret and absolutely nailing an entire team of enemies as they blunder around a corner into your fire. By the time they realise where you’re shooting from, they’re dead. Bastion is a quick buzzkill hero and you can always have fun with him and his little canary friend.
Loads of health and a damaging up-close hammer swing makes Reinhardt a simple and devastating tank choice. Everyone understands the massive shield he wields and no one wants to get too close to him.
Reinhardt is great when you want to start teaming with another player to deploy some tag-team tactics. Try experimenting with Reinhardt and Bastion or Torbjorn so he can protect valuable turrets with his shield.
Mercy is the hero you should pick if you want to learn to support your team mates successfully. There’s no frontline glory, but every team needs at least one support in every match. Play it and be the real hero of the game.
Mercy has a collection of great support abilities. The Caduceus Staff allows her to tether to a teammate and buff their health and damage. The guardian Angel ability lets her fly quickly to other heroes in need and the Resurrect ability brings buddies back from the dead. Everyone loves Mercy, and for good reason.
There’s a lot of reasons to pick Pharah. Her Jump Jet will boost you into the air, allowing you to get a birdseye view of the map and reach places other players just can’t. Reaching heights is limited to a handful of players, so it feels like a unique ability. Pharah is the hero that gets you thinking of how to approach maps differently instead of following designed paths.
And then there’s the rocket launcher. Don’t go for direct hits – make use of the splash damage to cripple your opponents. When your Ultimate Ability is ready, hit that Barrage at a group of defenders and laugh at the multikills.
Do you play like a bit of a bastard? Roadhog is for you! His best tactic is simple: use the Chain Hook to pull an enemy towards you, stunning them for a split second. Now unload the secondary fire straight into them. It’s devastating.
Roadhog also has his own little heal when things get tricky, but be warned: he’s an easy target on the battlefield.
McCree is harder to play than he looks, but he should be one of your first heroes once you’ve begun to feel comfortable and are ready to try trickier strategies.
It goes like this: use the flash bang grenade to stun a foe, combat roll to get nice and close, then fan all six shots from the Peacekeeper in one go. No one recovers from that. It takes practice to get it right, but the first time you pull it off you’ll feel like the best player on the team.