For those of you living under a rock, Overwatch launched on Monday May 23rd.
If this is your first class-based or hero-based shooter, or you are in need of a refresher — we’ve put together some helpful tips for you to get started.
Familiarize Yourself With All the Heroes
Oftentimes people who are new to MOBAs or class-based shooters see a hero or class they immediately like and start obsessively playing it. While this is certainly an excellent way to become a better player at that specific hero, it will undoubtedly cause you to take longer to master the game and become a good all-around player.
Take the time to utilize the tutorial’s test facility (practice range) to learn the ins and outs of each hero’s abilities and weapons. By doing this, you’ll have a better understanding of how to read situations and better prepare yourself when it’s time to play against other humans.
Being Trigger Happy is a Good Thing
Ammunition is something you’ll never have to worry about in this game. It’s an interesting concept considering most — if not all — shooters have a finite amount of ammo before the need to restock becomes imperative.
Overwatch does things a bit differently. Your ammunition is unlimited, however your clip size is still a set amount, meaning you’ll be required to reload your weapon when it’s magazine/energy source runs dry.
While it’s not always encouraged to keep firing your gun non-stop as you might stumble upon an enemy or two with a low or empty clip, it’s a smart tactic to shoot often from a safe distance or in a situation where you can afford the time to reload.
Frags Are Not the Reason You’re Playing Overwatch
Objectives are the reason you’re playing this game — don’t ignore the grand scheme of things by just chasing down other players and padding your kill count. In fact, kills are just one of the many stats considered at the end of the round to determine who was the most effective member of the team. There are a lot more helpful things you can do to win other than kill.
While there are different types of maps and targets, the idea is the same: Take the objective at all costs.
You’ll need to pay attention to your team’s movements and the current state of the battlefield to determine if it is an appropriate time to get on that capture point or push that payload — but once you play a few matches, you’ll start to understand the rhythm and pace of matches and what it takes to get on beat.
Pay Attention to the Maps
Since this will probably be your first time playing Overwatch, it should be apparent that the maps are huge and the pathways numerous. Most maps designed for the game feature multiple, large choke points where a large number of players congregate because it’s the most obvious and spacious place to be. While these areas are important, often the flanking pathways are what win games. If there happens to be a stalemate at the big battle that’s been taking place for multiple minutes, change things up and try to gather a small squad to go on a flanking mission to take down buildings or kill off some support heroes. The distraction will most often result in confusion amongst the enemy team and those at the main choke point can press the attack, resulting in the enemy team having to fight on multiple fronts.
There are also important points of interest that need to be remembered: health pack spawns, vantage points for snipers (Widowmaker), and common sentry locations.
Learning the best points of attack and where players like to group can lead to a higher level of play and take your teamwork to another level.
Compliment Your Ultimates
Many times during a match you’ll find yourself in a stalemate for a checkpoint or the payload may not have moved anywhere in the last few minutes. To break this pattern, you’ll need to communicate a plan of attack to your teammates.
It’s no coincidence that pairing some ultimates together can have devastating results if executed properly. Many ultimates have large AOE abilities that offer damage, slows, stuns or utility.
By using voice communication or the canned responses the game provides, you can hatch an improvised attack that can result in you or a teammate being serenaded with praise from other players for being selected for “play of the game” at the end of the match.
Play a Hero That Your Team Needs
Is your team struggling to stay alive? It might take an objective examination of your current team’s makeup to see what the problem is. Oftentimes people will select a hero without thinking too much about how it’s going to compliment a map or other heroes selected. While it might not be the choice you want to make, you should select a hero because it’s what the team is in need of.
Of course, after awhile you’ll want to play a hero that you enjoy rather than one you need to win, but if winning is your objective, then being selfless as much as possible will be the ultimate attribute to a team. Also, remember that you are not in this alone. Overwatch should be a game that is rewarding because of your team’s effort, not just your own.
Above all else — have fun!