Overwatch has an overwhelming number of playable heroes unlocked from the get go. This guide will help you decide which fighters are the best for learning the ropes of the first-person-shooter.
Much like Heroes of the Storm, Hearthstone, and just about any Blizzard game, Overwatch offers a fantastic mix between casual gaming and competitive skill-based strategies. The first-person shooter will fill a different void for different types of gamers, but regardless of how serious they decide to take it, Overwatch can be a little overwhelming at first. Knowing which heroes to start with should help lower the barrier for entry.
Overwatch may be completely different from Heroes of the Storm in terms of gameplay mechanics, but it’s similar in that players jump in with a very short tutorial and over 20 characters with unique abilities to master. After clocking lots of hours in the beta and pulling an all-nighter after the servers officially opened, we’ve got some tips on where to get started in Overwatch.
Much like a role-playing game, Overwatch’s characters break down into DPS, tank, healer, and support. Many characters straddle the line between two roles, but in general everyone has a specialty. The best way to learn the game is to start out with a ranged DPS character while you get a feel for the maps, speed, and game types. Veteran gamers can probably jump straight to tanking or maybe even healing, but for the smoothest first week, we recommend leveling with these offense-based heroes…
Duh, right? Although Tracer is kind of the face of Overwatch, Soldier 76 is the offensive hero that players use to walk through the basic tutorial (he’s also featured in the launch short) and his abilities leave room for a healthy margin of error. Of all the heroes in the game, Solider 76 operates the most like a typical FPS space marine. His abilities include a sprint that make it easy to escape from bad spots and his ultimate ability is an easy-to-use target locking system that basically guarantees a few kills if there are any enemies standing in front of the player.
Despite his simplicities, Solider 76 is a valuable team member that will allow players to learn the maps, get a feel for what the other heroes are up to, and lay down some Helix Rockets (grenades) to clear the way for their teammates. His heal ability is a great way to recover from early mistakes, as well.
The western inspired hero is sure to be a favorite for fans of running and gunning. Although he doesn’t pack an automatic weapon, the combination of McCree’s stun grenade and powerful six-shooter make it very simple to land head shots on stunned enemies. If the stun wears off before players can land the killing blow, the roll ability is great for getting out of dodge and reloading in a hurry.
McCree’s Deadeye ultimate isn’t quite as much a sure thing as Solider 76’s Tactical Visor, but it can lead to a flurry of eliminations if players properly flank the enemy team and give McCree a few seconds to line up the fish in a barrel.
Reaper comes equipped with the one thing that every new player wants most: A shotgun with a wide blast radius. The weapon does require players to get right up into the thick of things, but the powerful gun doesn’t require very much accuracy at all. The real strength of Reaper for new characters is that he comes with two movement abilities as well, which are great for stealthing into a fight, but even better for getting the hell out when the odds are against you.
Reaper’s Death Blossom ultimate leaves the player open to take damage, but is another power that is guaranteed to rack up a few kills if there are enemies in range.
After taking these three heroes for a ride and learning the basics of the each map and game type, we recommend moving on to Bastion and Reinhardt to start to explore the other classes. Get out there and cause some chaos!
Overwatch is now available on PC, PS4, and Xbox One.