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Overwatch: Widowmaker Abilities And Strategy Tips

Overwatch character guides

The classic sniper, Overwatch's Widowmaker proves that the ancient art of scoring headshots is still just as relevant today as it always was. Her abilities are all geared toward letting her do what she does best while giving her some options for getting out of sticky situations. If you pride yourself on a steady hand and good situational awareness, Widowmaker can be a killer addition to any team.

Widowmaker Abilities

Widow's Kiss [LMB/RMB] - Being a sniper, it's actually surprising that Widowmaker's rifle doubles as a surprisingly powerful fully automatic machine gun. It's effectiveness is limited at range thanks to poor accuracy, but anyone who thinks they can get up into your face without getting bit has another thing coming. Widowmaker's real potential comes from the alternate fire mode, which converts her weapon into a sniper rifle. While holding down RMB to use the scope, the rifle will quickly charge a shot to maximum damage, at which point you can press LMB to make a hole in someone's skull. Just always remember to let each shot charge before firing for the best results.

Venom Mine [E] - Widowmaker hurls a toxic mine that triggers when an enemy gets too close, unleashing a cloud of noxious gas that does damage over time. A great way to supplement the damage of her sniper rifle or punish clusters of enemies on objectives.

Grappling Hook [LSHIFT] - Crucial to Widowmaker's ability to score kills, her Grappling Hook lets her vault up to high ledges with grace and ease. Using it will take some skill since the range is long but not infinite and it's possible to launch yourself up to ledges that you can't stand on, effectively wasting the shot. The cooldown is also quite long so you'll want to use it sparingly and save it for a hasty retreat once you're in position.

Infra-Sight [Q] - A purely utilitarian ultimate that gives everyone on your team X-ray vision so they can see enemy heroes through walls. While it won't kill the enemy team for you like other ultimates, it does give skilled snipers the ability to better predict hero movement and score easy headshots as heroes come around corners or out of cover while also revealing any shady business that the enemy team might be up to.

Widowmaker Strategy Tips

If you're familiar with sniping from other first-person shooters, Widowmaker is going to be a comforting and familiar hero to play. Her entire strategy revolves around getting set up somewhere with a great view of the field and then killing any hero that has the unfortunate idea of stepping out into the open.

Still, Overwatch's maps are designed in such a way that any position you can get into as Widowmaker will have vulnerabilities that enemy heroes like Tracer will be all too excited to exploit. Fortunately, using Widowmaker's Venom Mine can give her a good measure of security as the mine is displayed on her heads up display as long as it hasn't been triggered, letting you see the moment someone tries to sneak up on you. If the gas doesn't scare them off, your machine gun should hopefully let you finish the job. And if you're not confident in your ability to duel one on one against heroes like Tracer, you can always use the Grappling Hook to escape the fight and find a new position.

When setting up as Widowmaker, try and avoid the obvious areas where a players are going to expect you to be. In many cases, giving up the wide view of a popular sniper spot for one that might hinder your sight but the enemy won't expect can really pay off. Especially if they're running past you and exposing their backs, which you can do on quite a few maps.

Of course, wielding the awesome power to wedge lead between the hemispheres of someone's brain also means knowing which targets to choose first. Most offensive heroes will die from a single charged headshot, but in some cases you'll want to focus on who represents the biggest threat to the rest of your team. If you take my advice above and manage to get behind a Reinhardt or D.Va, you can do a great deal of good for stalling the other team's momentum by taking down such tanky heroes with awesome forward-facing defense. You should always keep an eye out for ultimates that can be interrupted, like Pharah's Barrage.

Knowing when to trigger her ultimate can be tricky because its effects are so subtle. In many cases, using it whenever it's available and you're in a position to capitalize on the extra sight by sniping is always a good choice but it can also be effective when your team is about to push into an entrenched enemy position on Escort or Assault game modes where Bastions or Torbjorn turrets might be waiting to spring a deadly trap.

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

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Steven Messner