Thinking about giving Overwatch a try? Here's a handy guide to help you pick the best character for you based on the games you played before.

How to Pick Your Character if You’re Switching to Overwatch

Thinking about giving Overwatch a try? Here's a handy guide to help you pick the best character for you based on the games you played before.
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The Overwatch hype train is pretty out of control, and with competitive mode now available, it’s likely to only get worse. If you haven’t already, you’re probably thinking about giving the game a shot, and you should, because it’s fun! More importantly though, in classic Blizzard fashion, Overwatch incorporates a lot of gameplay elements from other games in its varied roster of heroes — this means that it is pretty easy to find a character that matches your playstyle. Here’s a handy guide to get you started:

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If you played CS:GO…

Play Soldier:76 or Widowmaker

CS:GO is a lot grittier and more realistic than Overwatch, and it’s definitely more unforgiving — but if you’re a good shot in Counter-Strike, you have the potential to be a game changer in Overwatch. Not all of the heroes use projectile weapons that resemble CS:GO guns, but a couple do: Soldier:76 and Widowmaker.

Both of their weapons are “hitscan” weapons, which means that they have no travel time, and work much the same way as guns do in CS:GO. If you’re getting headshots and racking up the kills with AWPs and AKs, then you can definitely use Soldier:76 and Widowmaker to their full potential — just be aware that some characters are a lot beefier than anyone you’re going to encounter in CS:GO.

If you played Team Fortress 2…

Play Junkrat or Mercy (Honorable Mention: Torbjorn)

If you’re a TF2 player, then the transition to Overwatch will be easier for you than for just about anyone else, but there are enough differences to make it tricky. Obviously, Overwatch borrows a lot from from TF2, but not every character is an exact copy. The ones that will let you make the most of your TF2 skills are Junkrat, who plays a lot like the Demoman, and Mercy, who plays a lot like the Medic. The upside is that both characters are a lot more forgiving than their inspirations — Junkrat has an easy, damage-free jump, and Mercy can fly! The skills you acquired in Team Fortress 2 will easily allow you dominate in Overwatch (no hats though, sorry).

If you played Tribes…

Play Pharah

This is an easy one, because Pharah is basically a love letter to the Tribes playstyle. She has a jetpack, a hover ability, and a rocket launcher, and if you’re used to the high-flying, spinfusoring battles of Tribes, then this hero is going to feel very familiar to you.

She’s an offense hero with a lot of damage and utility and the ability to outmaneuver and outplay the enemy, so if you can land rockets, you’re going to be an asset to your team. Watch out though — she’s not as mobile in the air as most Tribes characters were, which means she’s vulnerable, especially to snipers. It’s also worth mentioning that her rockets don’t inherit momentum like spinfusors and other projectile weapons do in Tribes, but once you learn to adjust for that, you’ll be delivering the Overwatch equivalent of blue-plate specials in no time.

If you played MOBAs…

Play Bastion or Winston

This might not seem like an obvious transition, but a lot of players who are looking for something different are switching from MOBAs like League of Legends and SMITE to Overwatch. This actually isn’t as crazy as it sounds — even if you lack the twitch reflexes or the aiming skills of an FPS, there are plenty of heroes that you can contribute and even carry with.

Two heroes that reward good map awareness and objective-focus (skills that most MOBA players have) are Bastion (on defense) and Winston (on offense). Neither of them are particularly challenging to play, but the more you know about the maps and their objectives, the better you will do, making them great for people who are trying to improve and win without necessarily wanting to land 360noscopes all day.

Like what you read? Have something to add? Just want to say hi? Let us know in the comments, and good luck heroes!

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Robert Guthrie
Writer, freelancer, historian.