He might seem like the bog-standard FPS warrior we’re all bored of, but Overwatch’s Soldier 76 actually packs a punch for those who like a little spray with their pray. His toolkit feels like getting back to basics, but that just means that Soldier 76 is almost always a solid pick.
Written by Steven Messner and James Busby
Soldier 76 Abilities
Heavy Pulse Rifle [LMB] – The Heavy Pulse Rifle is a generic automatic weapon with a great deal of versatility across all ranges. When enemies are close, you can basically hold down LMB and spray a full magazine into their face, but at greater distances you’ll want to show a bit of finesse. The rifle is most accurate for the first four shots, so opt for short bursts rather than continuous streams of fire when dealing with enemies who are further afield.
Helix Rockets [RMB] – These rockets explode out of your gun at a pretty decent speed but will still take a bit of practice to nail down leading your target. Landing a direct hit will deal more damage than the explosion itself, making them particularly lethal when fired into tight clusters of enemies.
Biotic Field [E] – Soldier 76 has great survivability thanks to his self-heal Biotic Field ability, which he deploys at his feet and will heal any friendly unit standing in the relatively small yellow circle. While it won’t replace a dedicated healer like Mercy, Biotic Field can make Soldier 76 a surprisingly useful when you need some field dressings for your allies and gives him some strong resilience for when you want to go it alone to flank an enemy. Place the Biotic Field on the Payload to give both yourself and your allies a healthy top up on the go.
Sprint [LSHIFT] – Sprint might seem like a rather boring move to have, but you’ll be incredibly grateful for it when rushing back to an objective after dying. While most heroes in Overwatch move pretty slow, Soldier 76’s ability to sprint means he can cover long distances in a fraction of the time, give chase to fleeing opponents, or get out of sticky situations.
Tactical Visor [Q] – Of all the low-effort ultimates in the game, this one is unparalleled. When using it, Soldier 76 triggers his visor, highlighting all nearby enemies and allowing you to shoot them without having to aim. As long as they’re in the open, your bullets will cut them to shreds. While you won’t need to place your crosshair directly on your foes, you can still influence where the auto aim is pointing, so be sure to make squishy targets your priority.
Soldier 76 Strategy Tips
In many ways, Soldier 76 is the most accessible hero in the game for those new to Overwatch. His relatively simple kit and familiar shooting style will make him effective without much practice, but that doesn’t mean he won’t shine when played by a real expert.
The biggest thing to remember when playing Soldier 76 is to always try and stay at a medium range against all your opponents. Biotic Field will give you a good measure of survivability, but too many mistake this for an excuse to run headfirst into a fight, something that Soldier 76 is really not equipped to do. Helix Rockets are also a core part of his damage output, and they recharge quickly enough that you’ll want to always be using them as soon as they’re available.
Tactical Visor can be powerful, but the telegraph given to the other team also gives them ample time to find some cover, meaning you’re going to need to be selective of when you use it. The best time is always during the total chaos of a fight, when most are preoccupied with explosions and aren’t listening to character callouts, but it can also be deadly when used with Mei’s Blizzard ultimate or Zarya’s Graviton Surge.
Soldier 76’s biggest weakness is that, at midrange, applying damage and maintaining distances can be really tricky. Against characters like Reinhardt with his shield, or Mei and her Icewall, Soldier 76 is really easy to shut down. And if you’re out of position and Reaper or Tracer manages to get in close, not even your Biotic Field will save you.