Overwatch Guide: Zarya Info and Tips

Learn to play the stalwart defender in Overwatch, Zarya, with this character guide!

Zarya is tank in Overwatch that can place barriers on herself and allies. She is also one of the most helpful teammates because of her ultimate that pulls enemies together in one area. If there is a Zarya playing, chances are you'll see her in the play of the game, just not the hero who got it.

If you want to be a selfless help to your team, and like particle beams, Zarya is the one for you. I'll go over some info so you can get to know her better, as well as some tips on playing her most effectively. 

This guide will cover everything about the hero Zarya in Overwatch including:

  • Zarya Basic Info - A little of Zarya's background and descriptions of her abilities.
  • Zarya Combat Tips - Tips for using Zarya effectively. 

Zarya Basic Info

Zarya's full name is Aleksandra Zaryanova, and she grew up in a Siberian village that was on the front lines of war during the Omnic Crisis. The Russians prevailed, but Zarya grew up in a war-torn area afterwards. Zarya decided as she began to get older that she would grow strong to help her village.

Zarya focused on weightlifting and bodybuilding, which caught the eye of her country's athletic program. She had become one of the strongest women in the world and was expected to set records and represent her country in the world championships.

This didn't happen, as conflict erupted in her home once again when the Siberian Omnium attacked. She immediately went home to enlist in the local defense force to protect others. Just like when you play as her in the game, she gave up her chance at fame so that others could prevail.

Overwatch Zarya abilities


  • Particle Cannon - Her main weapon shoots a short-range beam that you can hold down for a continuous stream.
    • Pressing the alternate fire button will launch a ball of energy that can hit multiple enemies.
  • Particle Barrier - Creates a shield around you that absorb enemy attacks.
    • Absorbing attacks will increase the damage and width of your Particle Cannon's beam.
  • Projected Barrier - Places a shield around 1 ally. It works the same as Particle Barrier and also increases your Particle Cannon's damage and beam width. 
  • (Ultimate Ability) Graviton Surge - Launches a gravity bomb that pulls in nearby enemies and deals damage.

Zarya Combat Tips

Zarya is a tank, which means her main job is to take damage, distract the enemy, and protect the team. 

  • Always use Barriers when available
    • The main part of Zarya's tanking is absorbing damage with her barriers. 
    • Since she also gets a big damage upgrade for absorbing, it has a dual purpose.

Overwatch Zarya combat

  • Use Barriers when you know attacks are incoming
    • It is true that you want to use Barriers when available, but don't use them randomly.
    • If you see someone who is about to take a bunch of damage, place a Barrier on them.
    • You can also place a Barrier on yourself, then jump in front of damage to purposely increase your particle cannon.
  • Graviton Surge does not have a huge range
    • Graviton Surge can completely destroy a team, but the range is not high, so keep that in mind.
    • Make sure you wait for the best moment to use it so you don't waste it.
    • Defending a point or on the payload are the best times to use it since that is when people are most likely to group up.
  • Don't forget the alternate fire
    • The burst of energy you can launch goes farther, hits multiple people, and deals a hug chunk of damage when you're powered up.
    • You can take people out much easier if you get used to using this.

That wraps up my Overwatch guide on Zarya. Let me know if you have any questions!

Guide Editor

After gaming for 25 years, Synzer leveraged his vast knowledge of RPGs and MMOs into a job as a games journalist, covering the games he loves. Five years later, he's still writing about Kingdom Hearts, Pokemon, and Knights of the Old Republic. Synzer has a bachelor's degree in English and creative writing. You can see him in action on his YouTube channel (https://bit.ly/2F97BrR) and Twitch (https://www.twitch.tv/synzergaming).

Published Jun. 1st 2016

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