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Master Overwatch With These 10 Essential Player Tips

With the Stage 2 of the Overwatch League finished, we're left in awe of the incredible clutch pro plays we got to witness in the past weeks. Their knowledge of the game continues to impress those of us that enjoy Overwatch as a fun hobby and to pass time, but if you're a true longtime fan of this game, then no doubt you have hopes of one day reaching that coveted Grand Master rank in Competitive mode. We're not going to lie: getting there won't be an easy road but with these ten essential tips you'll have a good foundation to work off of.

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10 Find Your Strength

The 30 heroes of Overwatch are divided into tanks, attackers, and supports. Each hero and category has a different play style, so find your strength. Some heroes must create space and be aggressive, like Zarya, and others hang behind in cover to pump powerful heals into their allies, like Ana.

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Find what works for you and stick with it, but make sure you know how to play one or two heroes from each category. Being flexible, but also having a narrow pool of heroes you're really good at, increases your team's chance of winning. Great basic heroes to master are D.Va, Soldier 76 and Lucio.

9 Understand The Enemy

Understanding your own hero is good, but it's important to also understand what the enemy is playing. Even if you've never played Genji, knowing what abilities he has and how he's usually played by people will allow you to better prepare yourself when facing him. Once you can predict your opponent's thoughts and behavior, you'll be going into the team fight with a lot more confidence and consequently win more often.

8 Talk To Your Team

Overwatch is a team game, which means communication is key. The in-game communication wheel offers a few basic calls for those without a microphone, but we recommend getting into voice chat.

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Communication allows you to ensure your team is on board with what to do next. It also lets people communicate where the enemy is positioned and possibly set up plays to punish enemies that are separated from their team. Good communication can win you tons of games, so don't be shy!

7 Combo Ultimates

Ultimates are the most powerful abilities in the game and can change the tide of a fight in a blink of an eye if executed properly. Most offensive ultimates work best when used in combination with another ultimate. One iconic ultimate combo is Genji's Dragon Blade and Ana's Nano Boost. Some ultimates also work as defensive counters, such as Zenyatta's Transcendence, which can negate tons of incoming damage if used at the right time. Next time, think about what ultimates your team has and communicate with your teammates to set up winning plays.

6 Focus Targets

With six enemies to choose from and all of them are attacking your team, losing focus in team fights is understandable. It's typically best to kill the enemy's healers first, which will cut off their sustain. Other times a better plan might be to kill a key attacker that's inputting a lot of damage, such as a Bastion mowing down your team. Always think about what the enemy needs in order to win: are their supports always healing them or is their Bastion making it impossible for your team to move forward? Once you know the answer, make sure everyone on the team focuses on the same target.

5 Position Well

A big part of winning more in Overwatch is to simply survive. To stay alive, make sure you position yourself in a way that makes it difficult for the enemy to kill you. Play by the walls and use natural cover to your advantage. Taking high ground is crucial, since the enemy cannot reach you and you have a great line of sight on them. If your team has shields or you're playing a shield tank, be aware of where your shield tank is and make sure as shield tank yourself, you communicate how long your shield will be up for.

4 Know The Map

There are 17 maps in Overwatch, with different kinds of objectives and layouts: assault (Hanamura), escort (Dorado), hybrid (Numbani) and control (Ilios). Playing more quick play and getting a hang of these maps and their different flank routes, choke points, sniper spots and health pack rooms is the best way to familiarize yourself with them.

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If you feel uncertain on a specific map, we recommend loading it up in a custom game and walking around to get a good feel for it. The better you know your environment, the bigger your advantage is when facing your enemy.

3 Track Cooldowns

With six heroes on the enemy team possessing powerful ultimates and abilities, it's vital you try to keep track of the enemy's ability cooldowns and when they've used their ultimates. This is impossible for one person, so ask your team to each track one person on the enemy team. Since Overwatch is a game where counter play can win the round, knowing whether or not Reinhardt has his Earth Shatter can make or break a match for you. Do your best in estimating these cooldowns and keep a close eye and ear on your enemy at all times while communicating with your team.

2 Track Time And Distance

No matter how mechanically good you are in Overwatch, if you don't capture the point or stay on the payload, you will still lose the game. Always keep an eye on the clock to see how much time you have left, since this will determine how many fights you can still engage in before the round is over.

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Once in overtime, respawn times are longer and both teams should be trying to stall the point in their favor. By being mindful of the time, how far you have to push a payload or walk to get to the point, you'll plan your fights better and emerge victorious.

1 Practice Aim

No matter which hero you play, we can't ignore the importance of practicing your aim. The training grounds in Overwatch are perfect for this if you're feeling shaky with your aim. Once this gets easy, load up a custom game with six enemy bots to amp up the difficulty. Quick play will still be the best place for you to practice, since nothing beats playing against real people. Be consistent and don't give up in your training. A little bit every day will help you a lot in the long run.

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