If Tracer is the poster girl for Overwatch, then Winston is the game’s narrative center. Though Winston is used in every promo to contextualize where we are in the lore, he’s also one of the more effective heroes in the game.
Mastering Winston isn’t always easy, and PlayerAssist is here to help you brush up on your Harambe skills to make you the most effective monkey in your team. Here’s a guide on how to play Winston:
1. Use Him to Take Out Flankers
Winston is admittedly not a hero that deals the most damage (like Roadhog), but his mobility and weapon make him a problem for any flankers in the enemy team.
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Use Winston’s Tesla cannon to attack highly mobile heroes like Genji and Tracer, who zip and jump around the battlefield; it also helps that Genji can’t deflect Winston’s primary fire.
Also, use your mobility to get at far-away snipers like Widowmaker, Ana, and Hanzo. Winston has enough health, so snipers can’t one-shot him, and taking out snipers would be a huge help for your teammates.
2. Practice Winston’s 3-Point Combo
Winston may not be the hero with the most damage, but expert players have discovered a hack to give him some extra damage when he starts to engage the enemy team.
We know Winston deals damage when he lands, but Overwatch 1 players discovered they could melee enemies right before Winston lands to do extra damage and cancel the animation. With Overwatch 2, the new combo now has Winston charging up his secondary fire and firing it before he lands, followed swiftly by a quick melee.
Admittedly, the combo is tricky to master, but once muscle memory kicks in, the combo can take away almost half of the HP of the more squishy heroes in the game (i.e., Tracer). It’s a huge help for players figuring out how to play Winston.
3. Don’t Forget Your Alternate Fire
Overwatch 1 players may be familiar with how to play Winston. Still, it’s easy to forget that he has a secondary fire now that you can charge up and attack enemies from far away.
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Though Winston’s Tesla Cannon is most effective with nearby enemies, you can use your alternate fire to poke at enemies before they get melee distance. Don’t forget that the secondary fire is also relevant to the 3-point combo I discussed earlier.
4. Learn How to Use Your Bubble
Another One of Winston’s signature moves is his Barrier Projector which puts up a shield bubble for 8 seconds. While the immediate instinct is to stay inside the bubble for protection, expert Winston players know it’s best used to ‘trap’ nearby enemies.
Since enemy fire can’t get through it, having the enemy inside the bubble means that you can cause damage to them while they helplessly try to get out of the bubble. The point is just to ensure a shield between you and the enemy team.
On another note, Winston’s Tesla Cannon can go through some shields like Reinhardt and Sigma, so use that to your advantage.
5. Primal Rage is Not a Killing Move
Though the general idea for ultimates is to inflict massive damage on the enemy team, Primal Rage has a surprisingly low damage output, which leads some to believe that this move is more on self-preservation and distraction rather than elimination.
When Winston activates Primal Rage, he gains a massive amount of health, and he’s suddenly able to knock back enemies far away; when the ultimate ends, all your abilities are refreshed, so you can immediately escape if needed.
Use your Primal Rage to immediately gain health in the middle of a skirmish and quickly displace the enemy team. Some players use the ultimate to move any pesky enemy hero trying to perform their ultimate on their team. This should also effectively throw off heroes in places with holes and ledges, like Ilios.
While some heroes in the game may be difficult to use, Winston remains a good beginner tank, but he is one of the most tricky to master. He may not have the best damage output, but his mobility keeps him a big problem for the enemy team, especially for flankers and snipers. Keep moving and value your bubble when you’re learning to play Winston.
Play as Winston on Overwatch 2, now available for PC, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, PlayStation 4|5, and Nintendo Switch.