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Overwatch hero counters guide: Tips and tricks to (theoretically) counter every offensive hero

From Bastion to Zenyatta, each of Overwatch’s heroes have at least one hero that is a direct counter to them. Whether it be due to other heroes exploiting their natural weakness or a more brute force approach, no hero is so good that there is no way to counter them (at least in theory). Of course, you may run into a player or team that is good enough that they account for each other’s weaknesses, but at that point no amount of hero switching can save you.

Attackers

Generally speaking, every offensive hero in Overwatch falls into one of two categories: flankers, and frontline combatants. Flankers, such as Reaper, Tracer, and Genji, typically have more mobility options and higher damage potentials than any other character in the game, but at the cost of low range and health. Frontline combatants, like Soldier: 76, McCree, and Pharah, are good at most situations but fail to to excel at any situation in particular. Be sure to exploit such weaknesses as the opportunity presents itself.

Genji

A good Genji player can make life difficult for your team, but like all of Overwatch’s flankers, he cannot do much damage from long range. Even if you cannot kill him, you can make life difficult enough for him that his abilities are practically useless.

Directly countered by

Winston- Winston has more than enough health to negate most of Genji’s attacks, and Genji cannot deflect Winston’s energy based attacks. Even if Winston can’t chase him down, he can serve as a strong deterrent against Genji.

Mei- Genji can run as fast as he wants, but Mei can freeze him the moment he enters his optimal attack range. Needless to say, Genji cannot deflect Mei’s primary attacks.

McCree- McCree’s flashbang can shut down Genji long enough for Fan the Hammer to destroy him. You just have to be wary of Genji deflecting your own flashbang back at you.

At a disadvantage against

Zarya- Genji can’t deflect her primary attacks, though Zarya needs to have a fair amount of charge to be able to kill Genji if he chooses to disengage and run away.

Reinhardt- Genji can’t deflect giant hammers that can take away a third of his health on a hit, and he certainly can’t do much damage against such a giant, although he can run much faster than Reinhardt.

Pharah- Genji may be able to send Pharah’s rockets back at her, but a smart Pharah will simply fly above him and use her rocket’s splash damage to her advantage.

Symmetra- While Symmetra herself may not be able to kill Genji easily, her turrets can slow him down and melt his health faster than he can run away. Unfortunately, this relies upon you setting up your turrets in the right location.

Junkrat- Splash damage and bear traps are great against Genji, but Genji can simply close the gap or jump around.

Torbjorn- Torbjorn’s turrets are 100% accurate, have stupidly good tracking and range, fire indefinitely, and can be rebuilt in seconds. Genji doesn’t have such benefits.

Tracer

Even though Tracer is Overwatch’s most prolific hero, she still has her fair share of weaknesses that can render her useless, mostly on due to her lack of health. Fortunately for her, her ultimate ability can be incredibly useful if used in conjunction with a good team push.

Directly countered by

Torbjorn- Torbjorn’s turrets don’t care if Tracer can Blink or Recall, they will prevent her from doing much in a given area due to their persistence.

Mei- Although Tracer can Blink and Recall before she is frozen, being able to force her to use up her abilities will make her an easier target for everyone.

McCree- Tracer can’t use her abilities when stunned, and she certainly can’t withstand more than a couple of bullets from Fan the Hammer.

Winston- If Tracer can be compared to an annoying bug, then Winston is the ultimate bug zapper. After all, electricity doesn’t care if you are fast.

At a disadvantage against

Pharah- Once again, all Pharah has to do is take to the skies and blast away at Tracer, though the degree of difficulty associated with this varies depending on how agile Tracer is.

Roadhog- All Roadhog has to do is land one good hook to end Tracer, though a good Tracer will simply avoid attacking Roadhog in general.

Symmetra- If Symmetra can set up her turrets in a good position, she can effectively prevent Tracer from utilizing a map’s flanking routes to her advantage (or simply kill her).

Reaper

With his dual shotguns and relatively high health, Reaper is much more forgiving than Tracer and Genji, but he is also significantly slower. Once you catch him though, chances are that he’s not going to be able to run far enough away to save his life.

Directly countered by

McCree- While your standard Flashbang/Fan the Hammer combo might be enough to instantly kill Reaper, he might also live long enough to use his Wraith Form to run away. Too bad that he moves at roughly the same speed as McCree.

At a disadvantage against

Lucio- Lucio’s high speed and knockback attacks can serve to annoy Reaper much more than almost any other character, but he lacks the damage to outright kill a semi-competent Reaper.

Roadhog- Attacking Roadhog as Reaper is a risky proposition at best, given Reaper’s slow walking speed. One good hook is enough to force most Reapers to use their Wraith Form, which helps make hunting him down a fairly simple affair.

Pharah- Thanks to her knockback abilities and the fact that Reaper’s shotguns are woefully useless at range, Pharah can harass Reaper and chase him around the map if needed.

Soldier: 76

With the most generic (yet well rounded) abilities of all the characters in Overwatch, a good Soldier: 76 can do just about everything while possessing no obvious weaknesses. Unfortunately for him, this also means that he lacks any particular strengths.

Directly countered by

Widowmaker/Hanzo- Soldier: 76 isn’t particularly agile in combat, nor can he heal once he gets shot in the face. His ability to fight at long range does depend on the player though, so your mileage may vary.

At a disadvantage against

Reinhardt+Bastion combos- Although a full team of Soldier: 76s may seem like a powerful (and annoying) force, they simply lack any real ability to destroy Reinhardt’s shield. In a best case scenario, an individual Soldier: 76 can do about 500 damage (including his rockets) before having to reload; by comparison, a singular Reinhardt’s shield can absorb 2000 damage. Needless to say, a couple of Reinhardts and Bastions can rip apart any formation of multiple Soldier: 76s, or at least discourage them from advancing on a point.

Roadhog- Depending on whether or not Roadhog can land his hook, he can deal more than enough damage to instantly kill Soldier: 76. Of course, it also depends on whether or not Soldier: 76 is smart enough to keep his distance.

Pharah

Sporting a jet pack and a vast a array of rockets, Pharah can attack from locations that most Overwatch heroes will have a hard time getting to. Unfortunately for her, she doesn’t have any notable amount of health.

Directly countered by

Torbjorn- Although Pharah can obliterate Torbjorn’s turrets from relative safety while she is on the ground, when she is in the air, it is an entirely different story. The turrets simply won’t miss, and chances are that even if they don’t kill Pharah, they are certainly enough of a deterrent to keep her from attacking from the air.

Soldier: 76- Unless Pharah can land direct hits on Soldier: 76 multiple times in a row, chances are that Soldier: 76 will simply shoot her out of the sky. Plus he can heal himself, provided that the splash damage from Pharah’s rockets isn’t too great.

At a disadvantage against

Bastion- Though most Bastion players are more concerned with stopping a ground assault, there is nothing stopping them from filling the sky with bullets if needed. Given the lack of air-based cover, Pharah simply won’t survive long if she doesn’t kill Bastion first.

McCree

Contrary to popular belief, McCree is actually proficient at all ranges thanks to his revolver’s near perfect accuracy when not using Fan the Hammer. That being said, he was designed as a hard counter to Overwatch’s fast moving, close range characters, so his main weakness is (obviously) long range combat.

Directly countered by

Widowmaker/Hanzo- McCree (generally speaking) wears a big hat and a giant poncho across his chest; it would be impossible not to see him at long range. Plus he’s not that fast.

Pharah- McCree’s flashbang will automatically detonate somewhere between 5-10 from him. Use this to your advantage to stay far, far away from him. Plus he only has 6 shots, so unless the other McCree player is really good, chances are that he won’t be able to shoot you out of the sky before you blow him up.

At a disadvantage against

Soldier: 76- Assuming that McCree doesn’t roll at you and instantly flashbang you, chances are that you can kill McCree at mid-long range before he closes the gap.

Bastion- As powerful as McCree’s revolver is, it can only do so much at long range. At worst, Bastion can whittle away at McCree’s health and simply self-repair whenever McCree decides that he has had enough.

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