Since every-so-often Overwatch is free to play some weekends, I am sure there are some of you that are on the fence about wanting to play Overwatch. So to make the best impression in a game that you might think about buying, check out the tips below.
What kind of game is Overwatch?
Overwatch is an FPS multiplayer game that is a lot like many MOBAs. You have a set amount of abilities with cool-downs where it is one team of six against another team of six. Where it differs is mainly the FPS aspect even though games like Smite might seem similar since you are closer to the hero and not looking from the top down. The game is available on PC and also on Playstation 4 and Xbox One. Overwatch spawned from Blizzard's Titan project where they recognized the play-ability of team based FPS games like Team Fortress and they recognized the insane growth rate of MOBAs like League of Legends, so they went all in and created Overwatch.
With so many heroes, which one should you choose?
This is one of four roles in Overwatch listed at the bottom of the screen when you begin a match. There are some hard heroes, but also some beginner friendly heroes for the offense like Pharrah, Reaper and Soldier 76. You'll notice that these heroes don't have much life to start with but end up doing a large amount of damage.
This is the second role that is listed below when you start a match. These heroes are not as beginner friendly due to the fact that a lot of the time you will need to know the map for instance. They are great heroes for defending choke points and control points and are usually considered the most flexible role. Out of all of them, Bastion is the most beginner friendly. With the majority of the heroes taking a medium amount of experience and time to master.
This is the third role you will see at the bottom of the screen when a match starts. These champions provide a lot of protection for an attacking team, but also for the defending team. You cannot get by without a tank since they tend to soak up the majority of damage coming from the other team. If you want to start tanking first, then I would recommend starting with Reinhardt or Roadhog.
This is the last role you will see at the bottom of the screen when a match starts. Support is maybe the most essential to a team composition in Overwatch. Most maps have a point where the defending team digs in with a shield and deals out a large amount of damage in defense. If you are not careful and take that damage you will have to either run back to your spawn or find a health pack to heal up if there is no healer. So having that healing done as you advance or defend is crucial to your team's success. If support is your first decision, then you might want to try out Brigitte or Mercy first.
What are other heroes that are beginner friendly?
If you are familiar with FPS games like CS:GO, for example, then you might transfer from that game to Overwatch easily with Soldier 76. His abilities are very standard with having a machine gun that has a grenade launcher, the ability to sprint across the map and a very helpful self-heal ability.
Bastion is a very simple hero that can deal out a very large amount of damage in his sentry form. He may still be the most hated hero in the game since he is very easy to play and can be very difficult to deal with.
Reinhardt, Mercy, Symmetra, and Winston
These heroes are my favorite to play since my background is in RTS games like Starcraft. I didn't grow up playing FPS games, so these champs are perfect. Reinhardt doesn't have a gun, but instead, a large hammer he swings. Mercy has a pistol but is usually just locking on to heal her teammates which requires only a little bit of aim. Symmetra and Winston also have lock-on guns, where their laser-powered weapons latch on to the enemy not requiring precision aiming. So if you are new to FPS games, these heroes might be good to look at.
What is important to know for each map type?
On this map, you will see right away a payload that needs to have at least one hero next to it for it to move but moves the fastest when three heroes are next to it. The advancing team has a limited amount of time to push the payload to its destination, while the defending team tries to kill off the advancing team so the payload never reaches its destination.
On this type of map, there will be usually two points for the attacking team to take and the other team to defend. The spawn points start out at the first location and if the first point is taken, then the spawn points change to where the second point of capture is.
On this type of map, there is a capture point like on Assault maps, but after that first point is taken, it turns into an Escort map where the attacking team must escort a payload to a final destination.
On this type of map, there is one capture point per round. The map format is a best of three where there are three different versions of the same map. A popular map like this is Ilios, where you will start out fighting for a point at 'the well' and whoever wins gets a point and then the second round would be at the 'ruins' with a third point being at the 'lighthouse'.
Create a custom game and explore the map
If you are absolutely loving Overwatch I would recommend taking a next step in exploring all the maps used in Quickplay and Comp. You could also check out the special maps from the arcade, but the point is to get familiar with the maps. To know where the choke points are, and to memorize all the health pack locations.
Should you join team chat?
If you are new it might be too much to join the in-game voice chat, but if you are a veteran gamer you might learn a lot by just listening to what the comms are like first. Later on, if you want to play ranked Overwatch it would be best to be familiar with voice chatting as team communication is absolutely necessary for success.
I keep dying, what should I do?
If it seems that every time you queue up you are getting killed very easily there are a few things you can try to do to prevent that. Your hero might be countered at the moment. Try to find out who is killing you most often at the top right of the screen, and then on your free time, you can check out some guides to see if they were your counter and how you can best counter them next time. If you are in voice chat you could also just ask a quick, “Who counters such-and-such hero”. This is important to know, and never be afraid to change your hero, that should be happening if your team isn't making progress. If you keep dying to the other team's ultimate abilities, just know that every hero yells out when they are using their ultimate ability, so just listen and run!
Where should you go from here?
If you are feeling like you are past that beginner phase, then start checking out some of your favorite hero guides on Google and YouTube. There are a lot of guides out there, so make sure you are looking at one that has a recent date. This game changes a lot and it would be a bummer to study a guide for Hanzo, for example, and find out that it was before they got rid of his infamous ability scattershot.
I hope you found this beginner guide useful, and just know that GLHF is the most important part of playing Overwatch.