It’s been over a week since Overwatch released and the game is by far the best FPS arena game I’ve played in a long time. It’s a game that feels very much like you’re playing a MOBA like League of Legends, SMITE, or Blizzard’s very own Heroes of the Storm. Like in any game, there will be those who excel and those who do “moderately” well, to put it nicely. And, from what I’ve been hearing everybody seemed to be excited and ready to play Overwatch. While a few “Noobs” are always to be expected in any game, to my surprise Overwatch has a lot of them. Clearly, there’s no way that there can be this many players are absolute noobs, can there? Well as it turns out, I’ve noticed that a lot of players both new and old really don’t know how to navigate an Objective Based FPS Arena. So today, I am going to, out of my own pretentious sense of noblesse oblige, give out a few tips so that you may improve both your skills and gaming experience. After all, the point of these games above all is to have fun and not to get your ass handed to you.
#1 Situational Awareness is key.
One thing I’ve noticed that has baffled some players is the lack of a mini map. Honestly, I think we’ve all been spoiled with modern shooters that give a plethora of tactical information displayed on a HUD. So how are you going to prevent the opposing team from busting a Miley Cyrus and coming in like a wrecking ball? Well, there are several ways to find out key information about the battlefield all without having to stare at the fun end of a gun. Unless you have an awesome home theatre system like the one that I don’t have, I suggest using a gaming headset. Or in my case, the headset that came with my cell phone. Really, any pair of quality headphones will do you a solid here. There are tons of audible cues that give important info in the arena. For instance, many of the heroes sound off whenever they run into a turrets or snipers in lieu of actual human chatter for those players who just so happen to be shy; combined with attention to team positions it will give you an approximation of enemy positions. Attention to your killfeed is also really important as it can often tell you when to hold positions or rush the objective. If you see that your team was wiped then, obviously you need to pull back and regroup. Inversely, you can use also the info to prioritize your targets. Checking every few minutes to see what heroes both teams are using is also a great way to increase your longevity. If you suddenly hear “Nerf This!” and no one in your team is running D.VA, that is your hint to run behind cover.
#2 Absolutely do not “main” any hero!
The idea of “maining” any hero in Overwatch is absolutely ridiculous. The entire game is built on the premise of changing heroes in order to defeat the current situation. This game works a lot like a complicated version of rock-paper-scissors. By running different heroes you learn how to use them and by doing so, you will naturally anticipate enemy stratagems. I had the unfortunate luck of being put in a team in which everyone “main-ed” Reaper. Don’t get me wrong, in the hands of a competent player a single Reaper will bulldoze an entire team. The thing is Reaper can only wreck in close quarters situations and without the support of mid range players to cover him he is easily defeated by Junkrat’s trap-mine combo; Pharah’s Concussive round and barrage, etc. An entire team of them is no different. What bothered me most about the team I had been put in wasn’t the fact that they all decided to run Reaper, it was that they refused to change even though they kept getting wiped. Naturally, there will be some heroes that you will perform better with simply because they align with your playstyle and that’s understandable. I’m an absolute beast with Mei, Torbjorn, Pharah, and Junkrat because the role I mainly choose to play is area denial. Having the adaptability to change roles will be key to completing the objective. Which by they, way brings me to…
#3 Play the damn objective.
So, you and team after a few rounds have completely mastered battle synergy and are tearing more assholes than a pornstar; all of a sudden you see the red banner of defeat flash across the screen. What the hell happened? While you and your team were busy gaping buttholes you’ve all forgotten that you’re on the attacking team and that you were supposed to escort the objective. Sure the defending team was getting wrecked but they did what they were supposed to. They kept you from advancing. You’re not supposed to play the matches like a standard COD deathmatch. Yeah, you managed to gain a lot of EXP during the match with that legendary killstreak but ultimately all you’ve managed to gain was a pyrrhic victory. Overconfidence can lead to plenty of mistakes and my next point.
#4 Don’t run a Leeroy Jenkins play.
Having a team member attempt to go Rambo can quickly lead to defeat. Under no circumstances should you or your team trickle in. Always group up and coordinate, this prevents getting singled out and taken out of the fight. While respawns are fairly quick, it’s usually a long walk back into the fight. Respawns are as short as ten seconds but you will lose another thirty just getting back. With almost a full minute spent in the penalty box that’s plenty of time to have your defensive positions overrun and lose the round. Shut out matches are no fun and with rising tensions between teammates it’s easy to spoil the game for everyone. Keeping a positive attitude is hard when you just got your ass handed back to you in ten different ways, but it is very important. If you let your rage take over team morale will drop and you can forget about winning the match.
Overwatch is an over the-top-shooter that is damn near impossible to predict making for some of the best clutch moments in gaming history. I don’t know about you, but I’m ready to see some MLG tournaments of Overwatch and with these tips you’ll be on your way. Or at the very least you won’t be a Noob.