WELCOME TO OVERWATCH
In Overwatch, you control one of several heroes in competitive 6-person team shooting matches. Battle over objectives, take down the other team, and achieve victory.
CHOOSING YOUR HEROES
Before you begin a game of Overwatch, you’ll need to choose a hero to play.
Maybe controlling a cannon-toting, genetically-engineered ape from the moon appeals to you. Or, you might prefer zipping around as a teleporting, time-traveling freedom fighter. Who do you want to be?
PLAYING YOUR ROLE
Offense heroes are the damage dealers on their team. Your goal: seek out, engage, and destroy the enemy.
Defense heroes control the battlefield, interrupting enemy attacks and fortifying locations. As a defense hero, your job is to stop the opposing team’s advance.
Tank heroes soak damage and break apart fortified positions, like closely-grouped enemies and narrow chokepoints. If you’re a tank, you lead the charge.
Support heroes empower their allies, healing and shielding them, boosting their damage, and providing vital utility. As support, you’re the backbone of your team’s survival.
In Overwatch, heroes do battle in diverse locations around the world. From the technological marvel of Numbani to the manufacturing powerhouse of Volskaya, each map has a unique layout and specific win conditions that your team must meet in order to secure victory.
PLAYING OVERWATCH: THE BASICS
Before you jump onto the battlefield, we recommend that you play the short tutorial. It’s a quick, fun introduction to the basics of Overwatch.
Abilities are the unique powers and gear Overwatch’s heroes use to defeat their opponents, protect their teammates and move around maps—they’re the key to winning a match.
You’ll fire your primary weapon (PC: Left-click; PS4: R2; XB1: RT) most commonly. Whether your weapon is short-range, long-range, enemy-freezing or projectile-firing, you don’t need to find ammo for it—just reload (PC: R; PS4: Square; XB1: X) and keep blasting away! Some weapons have secondary fire modes (PC: Right-click; PS4: L2; XB1: LT), variations on their primary weapon’s attack.
Different heroes also have diverse movement and support abilities, among them hard-light sentry turrets, sonic speed boosts, and short-range teleportation (just to name a few). Some abilities are limited by cooldowns—a short period of time before the ability can be used again.
Every hero can perform a melee attack (PC: V; PS4/XB1: Right thumbstick), a quick, close-range strike that doesn’t use any ammo. Use it to finish off weak opponents or when you need to reload.
Ultimates (PC: Q; PS4: Triangle; XB1: Y) are game-changers, powerful abilities that can turn the tide of battle. You automatically charge them over time, but you can gain charge faster when you deal damage. As long as you don't switch heroes, your ultimate's charge level will stick around even if you die.
PLAYING A MATCH
Before a match begins, you’ll need to pick a hero. Consider the map, talk with your teammates, and keep an eye on your team composition when choosing your hero. If your team is on defense and your first goal is to hold an objective, you may want more defense heroes like Junkrat and Bastion.
As the tactical situation changes during a match, you may find that you’d like to change the hero you’re playing. It’s easy; in your team’s starting area, press (PC: H; PS4/XB1: D-Pad left) and select your new hero. Just remember that your ultimate ability's charge level will be reset!
HEALTH AND DEATH
The amount of damage a hero can take before dying is represented by their Health . Health can be recovered by collecting health packs, found in fixed locations throughout each map, or by certain heroes’ abilities (especially Support heroes). When a hero’s Health is reduced to zero, they die, but they’ll return (“respawn”) shortly. While you wait for a dead teammate to respawn, your team is at a disadvantage. Try your best to keep them (and yourself) alive!
In addition to Health, heroes can receive boosts to their survivability in the form of shields and armor, which absorb damage before Health.
ENDING A MATCH
When one team fulfills a map’s victory conditions, the match is over, and that team’s won. All players will be able to see everyone’s contributions, vote on the most valuable players, give feedback on the match, and watch the Play of the Game. You can customize your Play of the Game pose with items from Loot Boxes.
As you play games of Overwatch, you’ll gain levels, unlocking new customization options to make your heroes look and sound unique! Customize your characters in the Hero Gallery (accessible from the main menu).
A random selection of customization options come packaged in Loot Boxes—you’ll unlock one box every time you level up, and can purchase more in the in-game Shop. Loot Boxes have a chance to contain credits that you can use to acquire many customization options. You’ll also receive a new Portrait Frame every 10 levels (until you’ve earned them all).
ACHIEVEMENTS AND TROPHIES
When you accomplish a feat of persistence or talent, you’ll unlock a commemorative badge of honor. You can view a detailed breakdown of your achievements and trophies (along with your experience level and play style) and share them with your friends from the Career Overview pane of the main menu (or the top menu of this website).
There are many ways to play Overwatch. We recommend starting with the tutorial to learn the fundamentals of play; once you’ve completed it, head to the Main Menu to try out:
- PRACTICE RANGE
Visit a training area and experiment with your abilities against practice bots. Use this mode to hone your skills or learn a new hero.
- PLAY/PRACTICE VS A.I.
Play against AI-controlled opponents on any map you choose. Use these modes to try out different maps and learn how multiple heroes work.
- QUICK PLAY
Square off against other players at your skill level.
- CUSTOM GAME
Change the rules of the game with custom modifiers (like disallowing heroes, increasing Ultimate ability charge rate, etc.).
- WEEKLY BRAWL
Take part in experimental matches with rulesets that change each week.
- COMPETITIVE PLAY
Compete against other players and work your way up the ranks.
PLAYING WITH FRIENDS
Joining up with random players or filling out a group with AI-controlled heroes can be an extremely fun way to experience Overwatch, but one of the most rewarding ways to play is by grouping up with your friends.
You can invite any of your friends (or add new friends) to a group from the social menu—accessible by pressing (PC: O; PS4/XB1: D-Pad Down). While in a group, you have your own voice and chat message channels, and can type a message or talk with your friends through a microphone.