Overwatch: Tracer Abilities And Strategy Tips

Ah Tracer, the heroine who is the equivalent of drinking a Redbull after a few lines of cocaine and then going for a jog. She’s fast—really fast—but with great speed comes great responsibility. Her ability to harass the enemy in Overwatch from every angle comes with the large caveat that players are going to need incredibly twitchy reflexes and exceptional aim. But when you’re up against a team with a good Tracer, there are few things more frustrating.

Written by Steven Messner and James Busby

Tracer Abilities

Pulse Pistols [LMB] – Tracer’s Pulse Pistols are where almost all your damage is going to be coming from, but they’re unwieldy weapons that will require a lot of practice to use effectively. The biggest challenge is that they fire so fast you can empty your entire clip in about a second, which means if half of those shots are misses you’re severely limiting her effectiveness. Being able to match Tracer’s extreme speed with a steady aim makes her a real challenge to play.

Recall [E] – Recall transports Tracer back to the physical location she was in three seconds ago while also restoring the health and ammo she had at the time. The unique nature of this ability makes it a difficult to use effectively since you’ll need to be aware of what kind of position and state this will place Tracer in. Obvious uses are to retreat from bad situations, spring traps, or save yourself from accidentally getting knocked off the map.

Blink [LSHIFT] – Much of Tracer’s power comes from this single ability which teleports her a short distance in whatever direction you’re moving at the time, allowing you to blink-strafe or blink backwards too. You can use Blink up to three times in a row and each use takes three seconds to recharge. As Blink’s cooldown is exactly three seconds, you are able to use the cooldown timer to pinpoint exactly when you would need to activate Recall, making it easier to combo the two abilities together. Using Blink allows you to quickly flank enemy positions, clear certain gaps, and avoid lethal situations.

Pulse Bomb [Q] – Tracer’s ultimate ability is the only disappointing part of her skillset because of how underwhelming it can be. Tracer will lob a sticky bomb a few feet in front of her that will explode about a second later. Pulse Bomb can kill Tracer if she’s not careful and the damage radius itself is quite small, so it’s only viable for taking out single targets in most cases. However, if Tracer manages to throw a Pulse Bomb into a cluster of enemies it will prove lethal, especially to static defenses like Torbjörn’s turret. Use Blink to get in close, throw the bomb on a target, and then Recall to get back out of danger.

Tracer Strategy Tips

Tracer’s whole reason for existing is to be a giant troll for the enemy team. With her ability to Blink and Recall, she can dictate fights on her own terms. When playing her, imagine that your only mission is to confuse the enemy and disrupt them from focusing on the objective. Killing people is great, but you’re real goal is to sow chaos and piss people off.

Doing this is quite a challenge however thanks to Tracer’s Pulse Pistols, which unload so quickly that you’re going to need some quick reflexes to make sure you’re not wasting shots. The best strategy is to use Blink to get behind enemy lines and kill any squishy heroes before they have a chance to respond. Once you’ve taken care of your targets use Blink and Recall to retreat back to the safety of your team. Tracer can only deal good damage when close to her enemies, so avoid fights with other offensive heroes like McCree and Soldier 76, as they can outrange and easily shut her down.

When things get hairy, use Recall to pull yourself out of action. There’s a great deal of synergy with Tracer’s skillset if you can time their uses and know the layout of the map you’re on. When your ultimate, Pulse Bomb, is ready, use Blink to rush behind enemy lines, plant the bomb on a crucial character like Reinhardt or Bastion, and Recall back to safety.

Step back up to our complete Overwatch character guide. Or find out how to counter Tracer with our Overwatch counter guide.

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4 Comments

  1. Premium User Badge

    Kemuel says:

    One of the coolest Tracer things I’ve seen online that didn’t immediately occur to me is that if you’re quick you can use recall to save yourself from lethal falls. Reinhardt charges you over the edge? Recall just after the CC ends and you might make it back up!

  2. Kala says:

    ” Killing people is great, but you’re real goal is to sow chaos and piss people off.”

    I…I think I’ve found my niche :o

  3. Foosnark says:

    I’m not great with reflexes or aiming, but I still find myself almost as effective with Tracer as I am with 76. Situationally, though — flanking when there’s a big obvious frontal attack going on, for instance.

  4. Amake says:

    I have thought Hanzo may be the character with the highest skill ceiling, but on second thoughts it might be Tracer. Ideally, you’re constantly whittling at the opposition and dividing their attentions as you switch positions every second or less in an unpredictable pattern until you’re basically attacking whilst unstuck from space, and on top of that with Recall you also have to strategize sligthtly four-dimensionally, with constant awareness of your surroundings three seconds ago as well as in your present to instantly judge when you should be.

    It’s probably well that her ultimate is underwhelming or another dimension of complexity added to this mess could make peoples’ heads explode.

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