Blizzard’s newest game is now finally out, and believe the hype, Overwatch is every bit as good as you might expect a game from the legendary developer to be. Blizzard’s new shooter is part Team Fortress (certainly, it keeps all of the charm and wit that one might find in Valve’s shooter), and part MOBA, putting in an emphasis on the character, the ‘Hero’ you play as. But where Gearbox’s play at this genre stumbled with their Battleborn released earlier this month, Blizzard’s attempt seems to have come through with flying colors.
Overwatch is a multiplayer only game- as such, it has a lot of depth and nuance. So much, that you may find yourself completely lost or overwhelmed, particularly if you sit down to play this game after its initial launch, after the initial community has already gotten a hang for things. But if you do find yourself wanting for help, there’s no shame- and that’s why we’re here to help. This guide is going to be your one stop for anything and everything Overwatch, and after spending some time with it, you should be able to master the game- everything from the characters, to the game’s mechanics and levelling systems, to unlocks, to the Achievements and Trophies, are covered in depth in this guide.
Are you ready? Let’s get started.
Of course, first, you probably want the basics of Overwatch– after all, this is a game that can be hard to wrap your head around, if console shooters like Call of Duty are all that you are used to. Overwatch may be set in the same genre, but it uses a completely different language- so it can be a bit hard to come to terms with it at first.
Thankfully, this playlist you see below is full of helpful videos that will walk you through the basics of Overwatch, from simple mechanics and beginners tips, to slightly more nuanced and advanced tips, such as an explanation of how maps and heroes work, You can check it out below.
CLASSES AND ROLES
Overwatch has four basic types of characters- familiarizing yourself with these is essential if you want to understand how to do well in this team based shooter Each character is of a specific ‘class,’ and each class has sharply defined roles. By choosing to play as a character, you are choosing to perform those roles for your team, and your team will expect you to perform those roles well.
Offense refers to characters with high damage output, high mobility, and just whole self sufficiency. They are the easiest and most traditional class to begin with for newcomers, although they do suffer from low health, or range problems.
Support characters aren’t used for dishing damage, but they are arguably the most important part of any team- they have abilites that are used to help allies and thwart enemies, and they also help keep Tanks safe, which can be necessary, because Tanks are often in the thick of things.
Defense refers to characters who can output a lot of damage, and can take a big beating too. They are best at protecting areas and objectives from attackers- their biggest weakness is their lack of mobility.
Tank characters have a massive amount of HP, which means they are best used to draw attention from other characters. Tanks should be used to push enemies back and clear a path to the objective- and they should always work in conjunction with their Support, because they can be found wrong footed otherwise.
CHARACTERS AND ABILITIES
Overwatch has a heck of a lot of characters- so no matter what your playstyle is, you should be able to find someone or the other who is right up your alley. With so many different characters to pick from, it can be hard to know exactly which one you should go for. Never fear, though! This section of the guide will help you pick the character who works best for you.
A defensive unit, capable of dishing out a lot of damage while stationary, which can leave him vulnerable to attacks. Best used as a later line of defense.
A Tank character, with powerful weaponry, and the capability to clear an entire room with her Ultimate. However, she is hindered by her poor mobility and her short range.
An offensive character specializing in melee attacks, he has devastating damage and even some good range thanks to his shruiken- what he doesn’t have, however, is a lot of health, making him a character best suited to a stealthy play style.
Hanzo is a defensive type character, who uses a bow and arrow to pick out enemies from a safe distance. However, up close, and in fast combat, he can quickly find himself out of his depth.
Another defensive character, Junkrat is best at holding a specific area against attackers. He uses various traps and bombs, with wide areas of effect, making him ideal for the job- but put him in a situation requiring 1v1 combat, and he suffers.
Lucio is a support character, marked by his area of effect capabilities, including healing, and boosting his entire team’s max HP temporarily. His weakness is his overall weakness in combat.
A powerfully offensive character, McCree dishes out an insane amount of damage and can clear entire areas of enemy combatants in a matter of seconds. His downfall is his slow movement speed, and his slow firing weapon.
A defensive hero who can slow enemies in their tracks, using her menagerie of snow and ice weapons. Her weakness is her own slow speed, and her lack of ability to dish out any meaningful damage.
Mercy is, as her name may suggest, a Support character. She has the ability to either heal characters, or to boost the damage that those characters can dish out. Her big problem is her low range for both of these attacks.
Pharah is a long range offensive character, who can dish out vast damage in attacks with an area of effect. Her problem is her slow firing weapon, as well as her abilities which constantly expose her position to the rest of the combatants on the map.
An offensive character with extremely powerful attacks at short to medium range. His weakness is his clack of range.
A tank character specializing in melee, he can be lethal up front- his obvious weakness being his complete lack of meaningful abilities in the mid to long range.
Another Tank character, Roadhog specializes in close range abilities- his unique ability is to pull enemies up close first, before dishing out massive damage to them. His greatness weakness is his lack of mobility and range 9though the latter is alleviated somewhat thanks to his hook).
An offensive character capable of dishing out massive damage at long ranges, his biggest weakness is his complete lack of abilities in the short ranges.
A support character who is great at locking down areas of maps, making her a must on maps with bottlenecks. Her weakness includes her obvious deficiencies in combat, and her inability to heal.
A defensive character, Torbjorn can protect areas of maps with his turret, as well as buff allies with armor. His weakness is the fact that without this turret, he really can’t do much on the battlefield- which means he lacks in mobility, and remains on a short length tether.
A fan favorite since before the game even launched, Tracer is an offensive character who can be lethal on the battlefield, thanks to her Blink skill, which lets her teleport around the map Her obvious weakness is her very low HP, which can make it very easy to take her out.
A long range defensive character, Widowmaker is a sniper, making her good at taking out enemies from a distance. Her weakness is her limited health, which makes her very easy to take out, and her poor mobility.
A tank character, he has a lot of health and a shield he can deploy to protect allies. He is great at wreaking a lot of damage in the close range, too- his weakness is his lack of range, meaning if you can get some distance from him, he’s a sitting duck for all purposes.
Another tank character, Zarya is marked by her heavily defensive capabilities, as well as her ability which lets her deploy shields that can surround her and/or her allies absorb all incoming damage, and make her weapoon stronger. Her downside is her lack of mobility.
Zenyatta is a support character, who uses orbs that are very accurate, and can either heal allies or up the damage done to enemies. They can also be used to attack allies, but they’re not very effective. That, plus his lack of mobility, can do him in.
Levelling is the backbone of your progress in Overwatch– and the good thing is that the game is actually fairly liberal with how you level up. It doesn’t matter if you win or lose, you get XP just for completing a game Similarly, all modes contribute to your XP. Levelling up can lead to some incredible benefits- benefits such as:
Competitive play, which can only be unlocked when you are Level 25
Loot Boxes, which give you loads of cosmetic items to customize your character’s look. You get a Loot Box upon levelling up.
So how much XP is needed to level up? Well, honestly, quite a lot:
Level 1 – 1500
Level 2 – 3000
Level 3 – 4500
Level 4 – 6000
Level 5 – 7500
Level 6 – 8500
Level 7 – 9500
Level 8 – 10500
Level 9 – 11500
Level 10 – 12500
Level 11 – 13500
Level 12 – 14500
Level 13 – 15500
Level 14 – 16500
Level 15 – 17500
Level 16 – 18500
Level 17 – 19000
Level 18 – 19500
Level 19 – 20000
Level 20 – 20500
Level 21 – 21000
Level 22 – 21500
Level 23 and up 22000 flat
It can take a while to level up- but here are some tips and tricks for you to keep in mind, should you decide that you want to focus on levelling up above all else for now (possibly since you are looking to unlock competitive play):
Play with friends. This gives you a 40% XP bonus at the end of the game
You are always earning XP by playing the game, at a rate of about 4 XP per second. And whether you win or lose, you always get 250 XP for staying to the end of a match. So just play the game- it doesn’t matter whether you are winning or getting your ass handed to you, simply playing the game gets you XP.
Gold Medals earn you 150 XP. You get Gold Medals for doing the most damage, most kills, or most heals. Silver Medals net you 100 XP, and even Bronze Medals get you 50 XP- so try to aim for the top.
You get 1500 XP for your first win every day.
Each consecutive matchgives you an additional 200 XP– so why stop playing?
Backfilling gives you another 400 XP– that’s Blizzard’s way of thanking you for helping the matchmaking.
There are multiple unlocks for your characters in Overwatch– a lot of these are cosmetic, which really don’t have any impact or influence on the gameplay (since how well or not you do in Overwatch ultimately always comes down to just how well you play)- but they are still fun to aim for, and try and procure. The videos below explain how to get these unlocks:
ACHIEVEMENTS AND TROPHIES
Reach Level 10
Reach Level 25
Reach Level 50
Win 100 games in Quick or Competitive Play
Die Die Die… Die Kill 4 enemies with a single use of Reaper’s Death Blossom in Quick or Competitive Play
The Friend Zone
Play Quick or Competitive Play with a friend
Slice and Dice
Kill 4 enemies with a single use of Genji’s Dragonblade in Quick or Competitive Play
Get a 20 player kill streak in Quick or Competitive Play
The Path Is Closed
Destroy 3 of Symmetra’s Teleporters in a single Quick or Competitive Play game
Use health packs to heal 900 health in a single life in Quick or Competitive Play
Earn 50 postgame medals in Quick or Competitive Play
Collect 50 unlocks for a single hero
Their Own Worst Enemy
Kill 2 enemies with a single use of Genji’s Deflection in Quick or Competitive Play
Waste Not, Want Not
Get 3 solo kills with a single clip of Reaper’s shotguns in Quick or Competitive Play
Interrupt an enemy ultimate ability with McCree’s Flashbang in Quick or Competitive Play
It’s High Noon
Get 4 killing blows with a single use of McCree’s Deadeye in Quick or Competitive Play
Death From Above
Kill 4 enemies in a row without touching the ground as Pharah in Quick or Competitive Play
Clearing The Area
Knock an enemy to their death using Pharah’s Concussive Blast in Quick or Competitive Play
Earn 21 postgame cards in Quick or Competitive Play
Get 2 killing blows with a single use of Soldier: 76’s Helix Rockets in Quick or Competitive Play
Target Rich Environment
Kill 4 enemies with a single use of Soldier: 76’s Tactical Visor in Quick or Competitive Play
Stick 4 of Tracer’s Pulse Bombs onto enemies in a single Quick or Competitive Play game
Keep Zarya’s particle cannon above 70 power for 60 seconds in Quick or Competitive Play
The Power of Attraction
Capture 5 enemies in a single use of Zarya’s Graviton Surge in Quick or Competitive Play
The Floor Is Lava
Get 3 killing blows while wall riding as Lúcio without dying in Quick or Competitive Play
Block 1000 damage with a single use of Lúcio’s Sound Barrier in Quick or Competitive Play
Group Health Plan
Restore 200 health for 5 players without dying as Mercy in Quick or Competitive Play
Resurrect 4 players at once with Mercy in Quick or Competitive Play
The Car Wash
Hit an enemy with 7 beams simultaneously as Symmetra in Quick or Competitive Play
Damage 6 enemies during a single use of Winston’s Primal Rage in Quick or Competitive Play
Teleport 20 players in a single Quick or Competitive Play game as Symmetra
The Iris Embraces You
Restore 1500 health with a single use of Zenyatta’s Transcendence in Quick or Competitive Play
Win a Capture map on defense without losing the first objective in Quick or Competitive Play
Capture both objectives on a Capture map without dying in Quick or Competitive Play
Push a payload 100 meters without leaving it in Quick or Competitive Play
Can’t Touch This
Prevent the attacking team from touching the payload for 1 minute in Quick or Competitive Play
Win a Control map without the enemy capturing an objective in Quick or Competitive Play
Win a Quick or Competitive Play game on 12 different maps
Get 4 kills or assists with Zenyatta’s Orb of Discord within 6 seconds in Quick or Competitive Play
Recover 400 health using Tracer’s Recall without dying in Quick or Competitive Play
Destroy 10 turrets or traps using Winston’s Tesla Cannon without dying in Quick or Competitive Play
Giving You The Hook
Interrupt an enemy ultimate ability with Roadhog’s Hook in Quick or Competitive Play.
Kill 2 enemies in each of Bastion’s configurations without dying in Quick or Competitive Play
Kill 4 enemies with a single use of Bastion’s Configuration: Tank in Quick or Competitive Play
Get 2 killing blows with a single use of Hanzo’s Scatter Arrow in Quick or Competitive Play
The Dragon Is Sated
Kill 4 enemies with one of Hanzo’s Spirit Dragons in Quick or Competitive Play
Mine Like A Steel Trap
Knock an enemy into your Steel Trap using Junkrat’s Concussion Mine in Quick or Competitive Play
Kill 4 enemies with a single use of Junkrat’s RIP-Tire in Quick or Competitive Play
Ice Blocked Block 1200 damage with a single use of Mei’s Ice Wall in Quick or Competitive Play
Knock 2 enemies to their deaths with one use of Roadhog’s Whole Hog in Quick or Competitive Play
Freeze 4 enemies at once with Mei in Quick or Competitive Play
Have one of Torbjörn’s Armor Packs on 5 allies at the same time in Quick or Competitive Play
Did That Sting?
Kill 4 enemies using Widowmaker’s Venom Mine during a single Quick or Competitive Play game
Smooth As Silk
Kill an enemy with a scoped headshot while airborne as Widowmaker in Quick or Competitive Play
Prevent 1500 damage with a single use of D.va’s Defense Matrix in Quick or Competitive Play
Kill 4 enemies with a single use of D.va’s Self Destruct in Quick or Competitive Play
I Am Your Shield
Block 8000 damage with Reinhardt’s Barrier Field without dying in Quick or Competitive Play
Storm, Earth, and Fire
Land Reinhardt’s Fire Strike and Charge after an Earthshatter stun in Quick or Competitive Play
Kill 4 enemies during a single use of Torbjörn’s Molten Core in Quick or Competitive Play