Top 5 Overwatch Mistakes


by in Overwatch | Mar, 7th 2019

Overwatch is, in a way, a highly unique game. It has multiple MOBA elements fused with a standard first-person shooter foundation. At its best, it is exciting, hectic, and brimming with chaotic fights.

At its worst, however, it is incredibly frustrating and vexing. If you’re playing just for fun, then you probably won’t be too furious at your allies regardless of the outcome, but if you’re looking to climb the ladder and improve in your rank, then things become a lot more difficult.

There are many Overwatch mistakes that people make, but fortunately, most of them are easily solvable.

Overwatch is the definition of a team game. Back when I first started playing over a year ago, I was blown away by just how team-centric it was. I didn’t even realize it at first, seeing how I was blaming people left and right for their individual blunders.

Soon enough, however, I realized that everyone was trying their best, but we just didn’t perform and function well as a team. There was no synergy (and building synergy over just a single map with complete strangers is exceptionally hard), and we were failing to utilize the strengths of our team comp and multiple wombo-combos that were at our disposal.

It didn’t matter if everyone got the pick they wanted — the fact that we couldn’t get on the same page meant that we would lose almost by default, and it wasn’t for a lack of trying. The moments when I did win, it was mostly because someone pulled off an insane play or because my team was a bit more cohesive than the one we played against.

How is this lack of synergy evident? You’ll see people getting caught out of position, going in solo trying to make a hero play, tanks not tanking, supports not healing and trying to get some of the spotlight, DPS players being far too back fearing for their lives — you name it.

So without any further ado, let’s go over my top 5 Overwatch mistakes, listed in no particular order!

Not Following the Team

When it comes to Overwatch, you’re either on an island by yourself, or you’re playing as a cohesive six-man unit. There really is no middle point.

You can try to solo carry and, to be fair, you might even get some success if you’re decimating the opposition, but once you clash against a team that is even remotely cohesive, you’ll feel powerless.

Cohesion in Overwatch trumps all. That’s a fact. You can be strong individually, but if you’re not playing well as a part of the team, then you’re doomed from the very get-go.

In fact, if you have even a single member making egregious errors, you’re going to feel those mistakes as a team. Their bad play will immediately affect your chances of winning.

That’s primarily the reason why so many people dislike playing competitive games by themselves — they don’t feel like the outcome is in their control, and it’s definitely one of the most frustrating feelings that you can have in-game.

That’s exactly the reason why you have to constantly follow your team — for better or worse.

Obviously, you shouldn’t be going in willy-nilly, but being on the same page, going for the same objectives, and setting things up as a six-man unit is of the utmost importance. If you’re defending, don’t go out of sight, and don’t try to make something happen by yourself that could easily backfire.

If you’re attacking, don’t try to make a hero play because that can often cost your team momentum and potentially the game.

In a game of inches, every single decision and misplay could become the difference between victory and defeat.

You’re literally fighting against time, regardless of if you’re on the offensive or defensive side. Follow your team and try to function as a part of a much larger unit because you won’t be able to do much by yourself if you’re up against a well-synergized team.

Heck, you could even lack mechanical skill but can still compensate through stellar teamwork and well-executed attacks/defenses.

Which brings us to another key mistake.

Not Communicating

Communication in team-based games is one of, if not the most important thing. Individual talent will only get you so far, but once the going gets rough, you seriously need to play as a part of a bigger unit in order to win.

If you have a premade team, then you’re all set seeing how you’re probably communicating on Discord or Skype.

But if you’re all by yourself or playing with just a single friend, then you’re going to run into some trouble. Not being on the same page when those hectic six-on-six team fights break out is one of the most frustrating feelings you can experience in the entire game.

You’re attacking, for example, and you’re getting picked off one by one without making any progress on the map. Likewise, if you’re not in sync when defending, you’ll be easy pickings for the opposing team.

Just a couple of calls in-game can be the difference between victory and defeat.

Thankfully, communicating with your allies is one of the easiest things in the world when it comes to Overwatch. You can ping, chat, but also plan things out using VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol). You can pick and choose how you want to share information, and the better (and sooner) you do it, the higher chance you’ll have of winning.

Communicating in Overwatch is pretty straightforward, and yet people still refuse to communicate more often than not. It’s in your best interest to win, after all, so make sure to do everything that is in your power to attain that goal.

You don’t have to talk if you’re uncomfortable, but then ping your abilities and ultimates whenever you can. Try to be proactive through simple pings and hero voice commands. It’s not that hard, and for just a little bit of extra effort, your chances of emerging victoriously will skyrocket almost immediately.

If you have one half (or third) of a killer wombo combo, make sure to let your allies know your ultimate/ability is ready so that you can sync up. There’s no guarantee that you’ll eventually pull it off, but at least you’ll have a chance, and there’s really no better feeling than when you do manage to execute a pre-planned play.

So to summarize, talk in any way you can with your teammates, because without ample communication, you won’t be able to get far on your own. Depending on the meta, the hero you’re playing, and the players you’re surrounded with, you can only do so much as an individual.

Not Drafting Intelligently

Much like with every other MOBA-esque game out there, knowing what to play and when plays an integral role in getting the win. Certain heroes work exceptionally well on certain maps but are relatively useless on others. Make sure to understand your win condition, be conscious of the map you’re playing on, and recognize what your opponents want to do.

It might sound a bit overwhelming, but it’s really far from rocket science. Being stubborn and trying to make something work when it simply cannot is the worst thing you can do.

Likewise, the meta exists for a reason. You should not adhere to it blindly, but it tells you the most optimal and best way to play the game. Running, say, Symmetra on a map where she’s not viable won’t yield any positive results, and that goes for any other hero that isn’t universally playable.

Conversely, a pick that works in professional play doesn’t have to work as well in competitive or quick play, depending on the rank.

Furthermore, just playing meta by default won’t give you an advantage per se. You need to understand why it’s meta and how to best utilize its strengths to attain an advantage.

So don’t just go for meta picks because you saw someone else do it. Sometimes playing an “easy” hero in lower ranks will work far better than trying to be a “meta slave.”

If a pick isn’t worth it, then you should, by all means, switch as soon as possible. If you already have a good chunk of your ultimate charged, you should try to use it before switching because it could, in theory, heavily impact the game.

A mistake many Overwatch players make is that they swap heroes without fully utilizing the one they first went for.

Once you do use your ultimate, immediately switch and try to counter what you’re playing against, or at the very least try to make life easier for your own teammates.

Not Playing Their Role

So, I’m a support player by nature. I’m not the one to take all the credit even when I do pull off a crazy play, and I value good teamwork above individual mechanical prowess. That said, I still do appreciate an immense display of skill when I see it.

After supporting for a while, I get the “DPS itch.” I want to have a bigger impact, and I want gratification — immediately. And so, as a result, I take up a DPS slot and enter the map, trying my best not to humiliate my heritage. Sometimes it works, but a lot of the time, it doesn’t. I just never put enough time into, say, McCree, in order to be a stand-out McCree player. That’s just a fact. I can pull off a solid play at best and call it a day.

Sometimes that does the trick, but when it doesn’t, I get demolished. Perhaps “humiliated” would be the better way to describe things, if I were completely honest.

Fortunately, I know my place in the game and immediately switch back to support (or tank) in order to allow someone else to shine and carry the burden of being a damage dealer. But in all of my time playing Overwatch, I rarely come across players like myself. There’s always a lot of ego involved — people get too stubborn which, in turn, decreases their chances of winning tenfold.

If you’re not doing what you’re supposed to (for whatever reason), if you’ve met your match in the game or are getting outclassed by your adversaries, then switch and let someone else have a try. Focus on what you do best and specialize in that one role. That will allow you to climb faster, and you’ll basically be playing what you’re best at non-stop.

Also, try not to be a one-trick pony, because having a versatile hero pool can come in handy more often than not.

Finally, if what you’re doing isn’t giving your team an advantage, think about how you can adapt (either in playstyle or by changing the hero you’re playing) accordingly.

Not Understanding the Basics

Overwatch is a beautifully complex game, but it’s also deceptively simple. You have heroes, each of them has a certain role, and there is a set number of goals with every map type.

One of the biggest Overwatch mistakes that people make is the fact that they don’t have a good enough grasp regarding what their role is in the game.

That’s perhaps best seen in support players who are looking to step into the spotlight and make plays. They’re looking to dish out damage and transcend their role, which ends up being detrimental to their team. That’s not a bad thing per se, but this willingness to step into the frontline disables them from healing and shielding their teammates.

You can’t have it both ways — unless you’re Bang “JJoNak” Sung-hyeon from the New York Excelsior.

Tank players not actually tanking is yet another frequent sight. Passively soaking in damage is the worst thing a player can do because he’s basically giving up free ultimate charge to his opponents. Knowing when to tank and when not to is exceptionally important. A tank player should protect, peel, and be the first in line when attacking or defending.

Furthermore, being a tank doesn’t mean you can’t make plays or create space for your team and dish out damage.

Tank players are among the most valuable ones in the Overwatch League, and with good reason. They create space and enable their teammates to shine. A good tank line can either make or break the game.

Final Thoughts

Every role has clear goals and responsibilities in-game, and you should never shy away from them. There are many Overwatch mistakes that beginners make, and while it’s easy to oversimplify things, they’re all intertwined. Working on these five elements of play, including target selection and positioning, will improve your play immensely.

Finally, you should watch as much professional play as possible. You can learn a ton from seeing the best Overwatch players in action, and fortunately, you have the luxury to do so every week seeing how the second season of the Overwatch League is in full swing. They’re at the top for a reason, and you should use every chance to improve you can get.

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