Healers are a key part of a good Overwatch team. Providing sustain, armor, and defensive ultimates where needed to keep their teammates alive, and essentially enable their aggressive plays, without a proper healer a team can't even dream of winning a round. However, simply keeping your team alive isn't enough when playing support. What separates a great healer from an average one is a wide range of skill sets that can serve the team in multiple ways, from planning the fights ahead to reading what the enemy is likely to do next. Let's look at 10 tips that will turn you into the healer that everybody needs but only a few deserve.
10 Healing, First And Foremost
This might be an obvious statement, but as a healer your first priority should always be healing your teammates. We understand sometimes the games might get frustrating when your attackers are not securing kills. However, rather than trying to do damage yourself, try to enable your teammates better and think about what you could be doing differently. Never get hungry for the kill as a healer, because your team relies on you to keep them alive and if you waste time shooting at the enemy, chances are it will cost the lives of your allies.
9 Pick The Right Healer
The healers in Overwatch are roughly divided into two: main healers, who can churn out a lot of healing for the team and off healers who provide much less healing but who have great secondary utility and a defensive ultimate.
Generally, you'll want to have a main and an off healer. Great combinations are Ana and Zenyatta, Ana and Lucio, and Mercy and Zenyatta. Always consider what kind of abilities your team needs, and which healer best suits those needs.
"Peeling" means to look after a teammate when they get harassed or take damage. Usually, the team is meant to peel for their healers, but that might not always be possible. For that reason supports should be trying to peel for each other as much as possible, by keeping each other topped off. While some supports have passive healing that will regenerate their health, it's never a waste to keep your second support alive. Think about it: they're there to help you with your job and make sure you stay alive so you can help them with theirs.
7 Position In Safety
Most supports are highly vulnerable on their own, especially against flankers and long-range snipers. Keep a note on health packs around you, as well as any natural cover that you can hide behind while still having line of sight on your team. You never want to stand out in the open or be separated from your teammates, so be mindful of where you're healing from and who's around to help you if somebody does attack you.
6 Call Flankers
Communication is an important part of Overwatch, and as a healer, you should be talking to your team a lot. Since your main focus is healing, it allows you to keep tabs on the enemy's movements on the side.
If you see someone trying to sneak up behind your team, immediately call it out so that your attackers and tanks can protect you and secure the kill. Calling out flankers can easily win a push or secure the next team fight if the enemy is in possession of a powerful ultimate, so never neglect this duty.
5 Protect Yourself
Although your priority is healing, that priority does have its limits. You should never compromise your own safety if your teammate is found in a bad position. The longer you stay alive, the more you'll be able to heal your team and the less ultimate charge you'll feed the enemy team. So, even if an attacker or tank on your team is across the map and needs your assistance, it's usually best not to risk your own life but play with the rest of your team instead. You'll do much better in the long run by making it hard for the enemy to kill you.
4 Counter Big Enemy Ultimates
If you're playing off healer in particular, like Lucio or Zenyatta, with a powerful defensive ultimate, your main concern should be to counter any important high damage or stun ultimates from the enemy team (Earth Shatter, EMP and Graviton Surge to name a few).
Sometimes it might be best to play back or even hide so you don't get caught in an enemy ultimate or die early, and instead can jump in when your team is in a bad spot and pop your Sound Barrier or Transcendence.
3 Rotate Support Ultimates
If your team is playing a triple tank and triple healer GOATS composition, make sure that all the supports on your team do not use their ultimates at the same time. For instance, a Zenyatta and Lucio should rotate their ultimates each fight to avoid overlapping. By having a strong ultimate economy among healers you'll ensure that your team will always have something to counter incoming damage and won't be caught off-guard. Communicate closely with your fellow healers to decide which ultimate the use in the next fight.
2 Prioritize Healing Targets
In the heat of the battle when every second counts, you need to know who exactly to keep alive to keep the fight going. As a support, it will often be impossible for you to save everyone, so you need to identify which member on your team is the condition to your victory. If you can, communicate with your second support to decide who heals which teammate. This will cut your job in half and make it much easier for you to focus on a few targets while also making sure you're peeling for your fellow support player.
1 Track Enemy Cooldowns
While tanks and attackers are usually focused on which targets to kill and hitting their shots, supports should take on a more strategic approach to the game. Track the enemy's ability cooldowns, such as Roadhog's Hook or Genji's Deflect. Most importantly, try to keep track of the enemy's ultimate usage and let your team know which ultimates you believe the enemy might have next. This is by far the most valuable asset you can bring in as a support, aside from healing, and if you can successfully predict ultimates you will save your team every team fight by helping them better prepare for battle.