Even though Blizzard was against ever having the bloody-free-for-all, they gave in to their fans’ cries for the simple days of taking down your enemies without the need of objectives and released deathmatch into the Overwatch Arcade on August 29th. However, the Overwatch hero-style gameplay still favors certain characters over others, and while some players jump into deathmatch for fun, others are still after that sweet loot box. For those players in the latter half, hero choice is important. Every character has its pros and cons and can even give you a stronger chance at winning based on certain maps. The below characters are arguably the best for getting into the top 4, in no specific order.
Tracer’s speedy “Blink” ability gives the player the upper-hand when combating other players, even other Tracers. Players will be forced to keep up with Tracer, which can be difficult in any game mode. In deathmatch, Tracer can make her way into the top 4 with ease. Unfortunately, due to Tracer’s teleporting, you will need to be cautious on maps where you can fall off and die, like the newly implemented Château Guillard. It’s safer to use a well-timed “Recall” instead of trying to escape an enemy with Blink.
Pharah is, of course, one of the best heroes you can choose on any map. Specifically, however, Eichenwald, Hollywood, and Château Guillard - all of which have nice open areas where Pharah can really shine and get some easy kills with her rockets. If that isn’t enough, Pharah’s Concussive Blast ability can be incredibly useful for knocking enemies off of the map. Players who aren’t used to Pharah should always be cautious about how much time they spend in the air and their surroundings. Mistakenly falling off of the map can be common, and you can go into negative points in deathmatch.
Soldier:76 was perhaps made for deathmatch. Being the most “Call of Duty” character there is so far, Soldier:76’s well-rounded and casual combat style, makes it a little easy to place in the top 4. Players who make the rounds on different FPS games should feel familiar with Soldier:76’s weapons, and his Sprint ability. Players should be especially careful when fighting Genji, as his Deflect ability could cost you your place in the top. Soldier:76 excels on maps like King’s Row or Hollywood, where there is no chance of falling and some open areas.
Surprisingly, you can get quite far with Hanzo. Admittedly, he isn’t ideal, but his mobility and long-range attacks make Hanzo formidable. Equally so, Hanzo’s Scatter Arrow can be used on maps with lots of tight corners, in order to make it easier for those kills you just have to get. Hanzo, however, has a very difficult time handling multiple enemies. It might be best to run from a fight, should a player find themselves sandwiched between two enemy players.
Perhaps the most dangerous character to face, and one of the most common, Junkrat can really climb up the ladder to the top 2 in deathmatch. His bombs, which ricochet off of walls, make him scary to face head-to-head, especially in tight corners. For many maps which feature high vantage points, Junkrat’s Concussion Mine’s mobility can turn a battle against a sniper into a sticky situation for them. Similarly, Steel Trap can make for a difficult battle for heroes such as Tracer as it stops them in their tracks. Junkrat has few flaws in deathmatch, but can still get taken down by the simplest of tricks, like a well-placed sniper shot, or even just Mei’s frost stream, so be careful, Junkrat players.
Genji players will have no problem reaching the top 4. On most maps, his agile movements make him a very difficult target, as does his Deflect ability. Additionally, his ultimate, Dragonblade, will take down most enemies during its duration. Genji players also have a habit of “kill stealing”. They have this uncanny ability, whether on purpose or just by chance, to take attack an enemy when they are already short on health from another player. Though, this always come to the Genji-player’s advantage, as he can then quickly focus on another enemy. His short burst shuriken throws might make it harder for players who aren’t used to Genji to get quick kills.
Ice Walls and Blizzards are your way up the ladder if you play Mei. Mei’s short-to-mid-range attacks make her a challenge to enemy players, a good thing for players who main Mei. She excels in tight corners where it is difficult to escape from her short-range frost stream. Similarly, Mei can easily charge up her ultimate, making Blizzard fairly common. Unfortunately, though Mei is short, she has a larger hitbox which can make her an easy target.
Widowmaker’s ultimate, Infra-sight can come in handy in free-for-all deathmatch. Knowing where your enemies are can make for easier headshots and a quick climb up the ladder. Speaking of climbing, Widowmaker can make great use of her Grappling Hook in just about every map, making her great for mobility and getting away from enemies in a pinch.
Most tanks are great in deathmatch, simply for their extended health and ability to take damage. However, without a proper team to focus fire on him, Winston certain excels and can easily handle most head-on encounters, possibly excluding another Winston. His Jump Pack makes it easy for him to both deal damage, get within range to take down his enemy, and then move on to the next one. His weakness is likely in his barrier, which is easily penetrated.
In this latest update, Roadhog gains the ability to move while using Take A Breather, making him perhaps the most dangerous tank, simply because he is able to heal near instantly. In a free-for-all match, this means that Roadhog can restore his health without being focused down by more than one player. In team deathmatch, this may not be as easy, since the team may focus down Roadhog even during his Take A Breather ability.
Perhaps to no one’s surprise, Lucio is perhaps the best support characters to play in solo matches. With the ability to heal himself over time, and with his movement speed increase with wall rides, Lucio can be incredibly difficult to hit. His alternate attack can knock players off of the map, which is how most Lucio players tend to get their kills. It may take some time, but reaching at least the top 4 as Lucio isn’t too difficult. You may also get the play of the game if you play your cards right.
It is important to remember that every character has strengths and weaknesses, as do the players controlling them. Have fun learning these characters, or your main if it is not listed here. Once you get a grasp of the character, there is no reason that you shouldn’t see your weekly loot boxes rolling in.