Posted by Michael Mitchell @MitchFizzl
Gamer, writer, occasional pedant. Mitch lives up to all these adjectives and more by writing for Now Loading and Blizzard Watch. @Fizzl_CTR.
Michael Mitchell

[Head back to our Complete Guide To Overwatch]

Overwatch has officially arrived and with it, an entirely new batch of video game characters' names to curse. Fortunately, Overwatch encourages you to change heroes mid-match to counter the enemy team. Today, we're going over ways to counter some of those infuriating characters who continually manage to take you out or foil your plans before you know what happened.

Image via Reddit
Image via Reddit

Use Overwatch's sound effects to your advantage

The first thing you should know is that Overwatch is all about the audio cues. Almost all heroes have a distinct sound to their footsteps and enemy footsteps will always sound louder. If you hear footsteps around you (especially outside of line-of-sight), there's a good chance they don't belong to an ally.

Additionally, heroes will use different voice lines when activating their ultimates. If you hear a hero yell something in his/her native tongue, it's likely to be an enemy. Mercy, for example, will speak her lines in German if she's on the enemy team but English if she's on your team. Learning to know which lines are friendly and which lines are not will help identify when to hit your panic button.

How to Counter Bastion:

Show of hands, how many times have you seen a Bastion play-of-the-game that involves it turret-mode gunning down enemy after enemy with ease? A well-placed Bastion can be nearly unstoppable if you don't know the best way to counter it. That's where the Shimada brothers come in.

At least until Bastion players start to catch on, Genji is the perfect counter to Bastion. Using Genji's Deflect on a Bastion firing off rounds with reckless abandon will kill the Bastion in seconds. Sometimes, you may even get lucky and kill most of the enemy team. If you happen to be up against a Bastion who can predict your moves, Hanzo is a great counter as well. His arrows can snipe Bastion and, unlike Widowmaker, they don't leave a trail behind so the Bastion will have a harder time finding you.

What doesn't work? Trying to Shadow Step behind Bastion with Reaper. I learned that the hard way. Check out our guide for more info on countering Bastion.

How to counter Mei:

One of the other heroes players are having a hard time against is Mei. For many heroes, her basic attack will freeze them before they can take her out. For others, her Ice Wall will prevent that Ultimate you've been saving up for the whole match. Fortunately, there are a few heroes capable of melting through Mei.

While most heroes will have trouble against Mei, Reaper and Pharah have multiple ways to counter her. Both have incredibly strong basic attacks that will take Mei out quickly as well as abilities to help prevent her from freezing them. Whether it be Mei's freeze ray or her Blizzard ultimate, Reaper can use Wraith Form to break out while Pharah can use her hover jets to gain the high ground. Finally, both heroes' ultimates will even break through her Ice Wall should she try to stop you from using them.

Stay frosty.

How to counter McCree: It's Hiiiiigh — Nope

Few phrases from Overwatch have caught on quite as quickly as McCree's signature death call, "It's Hiiiiigh Noon." That, plus his combination stun-and-gun make him a frustrating hero to face. So what's the best way to counter this gunslinger?

Well, if you hear McCree tell you what time it is, there's not a whole lot to do but find the quickest way out of his line-of-sight. However, Genji once again has an often hilarious way to shut down McCree with Deflect. It can be dangerous but, if timed right, will take out McCree with his own bullet. (Note: this Deflect technique also works well if you can predict when McCree will unload his entire round of bullets.) If you can't get Deflect to work how you want it, you can always take a tip from #2 and Ice Wall right as McCree uses his ultimate to prevent him from shooting anyone.

If you're just up against McCree in regular combat, it's best to strafe and jump as frequently as you can. It might sound silly, but he's countered best when he can't get a clean shot. The safer solution, though, is to attack him from a distance. Without a small gap, he won't be able to stun you and he can easily be picked off.

Some Other Useful Tips

Those are just a few specific counters, but there are plenty more that will help you in the world of Overwatch. Here are a few more quick tips that are sure to come in handy:

  • Junkrat is completely vulnerable while using RIP Tire. If you can find him while he's controlling it, he'll have no defense.
  • Widowmaker is deadly but if her first shot doesn't kill you, it's easy to see the trail left by her bullet and follow it back to her position.
  • Hanzo can take out most heroes very easily by aiming his Scatter Arrow down at their feet so that all three arrows bounce up and hit them.
  • If it wasn't evident already, Genji's Deflect can counter almost anything except non-projectiles (Mei's ice, Winston's laser).
  • Torbjörn's turrets takes a second to target enemies. Shoot them while strafing in and out of line-of-sight to avoid taking damage.
  • Aim for the head. (No, really, it does more damage.)

Have your own tips? Be sure to share them in the comments or on Now Loading by becoming a Creator today!