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Overwatch: Winston Abilities And Strategy Tips

Overwatch character guides

Unlike Reinhardt, Overwatch's Winston is a tank that excels at rushing forward ahead of his team and slapping the enemy around to clear the way. He's aggressive on the battlefield and is best used by players who are able to handle being outnumbered while prioritizing targets on the fly. He might be listed as a tank, but you'll want to spend more time punishing weak defensive and support heroes rather than squaring off for epic duels against the other team's tank.

Winston Abilities

Tesla Cannon [LMB] - You know what's fun? Winston's Tesla Cannon. It's basically the kind of point-and-shoot weapon that lazy people dream of. Arcs of lightning will lance out of it, striking targets as long as you're vaguely aiming in the right direction, and the bolts will even pass through various shields and barriers. Plus, if two or more enemies clump together, the bolt will jump between them. With a weapon like this, I wasn't kidding when I said Winston was an offensive tank.

Barrier Projector [E] - Barrier Projector creates a bubble-like shield around Winston that protects friendlies from incoming fire while, like Reinhardt's shield, allowing them to fire back without penalty. It's a great way to lock down an objective and can absorb a good deal of damage before breaking.

Jump Pack [LSHIFT] - Winston's Jump Pack is a big reason of why he can be such a threat to squishy heroes on the enemy team. When used, it launches him forward and does a small amount of damage to anyone caught underneath him when he lands. While it can be used to get out of unfavorable situations, Jump Pack is most effective to spring forward onto contested objectives so the Tesla Cannon can start wreaking havoc.

Primal Rage [Q] - Winston's ultimate turns a tough character into an unstoppable one, and it even restores him to full-health to boot. The Jump Pack cooldown is shortened considerably, giving him even more dangerous mobility, and Winston forgoes his Tesla Cannon for his bare hands, dishing out decent damage with powerful knockback. When you need someone to clear out enemies around a capture point, Primal Rage is all you need.

Winston Strategy Tips

Winston is technically a tank, but he really shines by bringing the fight to the enemy and using his considerable health points to soak damage while he shocks back-line enemies to death. His aggressive nature will pull everyone's attention to him, giving your team a good amount of time to set up their own offensive strategy and capitalize on the chaos. Knowing how to push deep into enemy formations and stay alive is crucial.

Fortunately, the Tesla Cannon takes a lot of thought out of attacking because of its generous auto-aim and tendency to electrocute multiple targets at once. It has short range though, so you're really going to have to take a deep breath and push in deep to be most effective.

Timing these deep-dives into enemy lines with Winston's ultimate can lead to some serious devastation thanks to Primal Rage fully healing him. Just as you're about to die, pop the ultimate and double down on your offensive. This will most likely clear out capture points, but coordinated foes will try and take you down from a distance. This is where Winston's Barrier Projector becomes crucial, as it creates a safe space in the middle of a fight for your allies to get onto capture points or behind the payload to push hard without the risk of overwhelming losses.

When playing as Winston, you need to be careful around heroes who excel in shutting you down like Roadhog or Reaper, both of whom deal out exceptional burst damage from up close—making your Barrier Projector worthless if they step inside it. Mei can also be a challenge to a raging Winston because she can freeze you, ruining all of that momentum and giving the other team the time they need to whittle you down.

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

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Steven Messner