The deadly talon assassin. Widowmaker is a high-risk/high-reward hero. She’s often most effective leaving the safety of her team to find different attack angles. This can put her in some dangerous situations, but if she’s successful in her sniping, her allies will have a far easier job taking control points.
The cold-blooded killer can wipe out enemies with headshots from far range, but she leaves herself exposed at close range. She requires smart positioning, precise aim, and helpful support. Because Windowmaker is one of the toughest characters in Overwatch to be good with, we decided to make a top ten tips and tricks for how to improve your plays with her.
10. Know your counters
Since Widowmaker has the advantage of verticality and long range, heroes who can get close to her are the biggest problem.
- Winston – He has the ability to leap anywhere Widowmaker can reach, and his Tesla Cannon’s electricity makes it hard to miss Widowmaker at close range.
- Genji – He’s simply too fast and mobile to snipe consistently. Additionally, he can climb any wall that Widowmaker is perched on.
- Doomfist – Similar to Genji, he’s too mobile and can reach the same areas. However, Doomfist has a larger hitbox, so Widowmaker will stand more of a chance fighting him.
- Reaper – His Shadow Step teleport ability enables him to get extremely close to Widowmaker; at close range, he’s too strong for her. However, he can be stopped before or while teleporting
- Wrecking Ball – This hamster just has way too much health for Widowmaker to handle, and he is the most mobile character in the game, making him the worst possible matchup for her.
9. Who Does Widowmaker Counter
Knowing which enemies are best to use Windowmaker against will enable you to use her most effectively.
- Mercy – Due to her fragility, Mercy tends to stay behind her team. Widowmaker can take the high ground and snipe her even if she’s behind her team.
- Cassidy – He has good range, but not as good as Widowmaker’s. She will easily out-snipe Cassidy, and his lack of mobility makes him an easy target.
- Torbjorn – He tends to hang back with his trusty turret. This makes him a prime target to snipe from afar.
- Junkrat – He destroys shields and has incredible close-range damage, but he’s more or less wasted at long range. He’s a key target for Widowmaker to take out, lightening the load for her close-range allies.
- Ana – She can also snipe, but she’ll need 3 shots to eliminate Widowmaker, whereas Widowmaker only needs one. This match-up might come down to the skill of the player, but Widowmaker has a huge advantage here.
- Zenyatta – Zenyatta doesn’t have much mobility, making him an easy target to eliminate with Widowmaker’s signature headshot.
8. Use That Venom Mine Wisely
When the venom mine is triggered, it does decent poison damage on its own. Still, there is a better use for it. Place the venom mine at a flanking point for your allies or Windowmaker herself. When it goes off, you’ll be alerted to the enemy’s position, helping you know where to aim.
The poison damage itself is small, but it offers constant damage. Regardless of who it hits, the poison will help eliminate the opponent, whether by a follow-up Widow’s Kiss or by one of her allies.
7. Stay High Up
One of the best ways to increase your survivability (and effectiveness) is by using her Grappling Hook to gain the high ground over the battlefield. Grappling to far-away rooftops, or even grappling to a high wall, allows you a chance to snipe–even if for only a brief moment while falling. Grapping for a quick fall/snipe is very hard move to pull off, but if staying on the rooftop is too dangerous, then it’s the next best option.
Wherever you choose to perch, be aware of the flanks and directions from which you could be attacked. With enough practice, you can learn to counter certain approaches. For example, Reaper will often use his Shadow Step ability to teleport nearby. Widowmaker can aim at where his head will end up after the teleport finishes its animation.
6. Help The Team Using Your Ultimate
Using Widowmaker’s Infra-Sight Ultimate can allow you and your entire team to see the enemy team through walls. This can be invaluable to counter potential flanks or assist your team in outflanking the enemy. This can be especially helpful for Widowmaker to line up headshots before the enemy rounds a corner, allowing for an easier killshot. Infra-Sight can also pair beautifully with other ally Ultimates, like Hanzo’s Dragonstrike. Since Dragonstrike can go through walls, Infra-Sight allows him to line up the perfect shot.
5. Charge Your Sniper
The reason Widowmaker is so dangerous is because of her ability to one-shot many heroes if she hits a headshot. Charging Widow’s Kiss is crucial for this. When charged to 100%, it inflicts 300 damage with a headshot.
This can allow Widowmaker to eliminate a pesky healer, the enemy’s top DPS, or even severely damage one of the enemy’s frontline tanks. Having the power to one-shot kill an opponent can instantly change the outcome of a battle, and it can make for an easier push with the rest of the team.
4. Use The Assault Rifle If Needed
Has an enemy gotten too close? Using the scope on Widow’s Kiss in can be detrimental in close-quarters combat. You’re much more likely to miss. The alternate fire of Widow’s Kiss is an assault rifle and can help deter an enemy who has gotten too close. Even at medium range, there are times when you’re better off using the assault rifle against a wounded enemy rather than risk missing shots with the sniper. The assault rifle isn’t too powerful, but in desperate situations, it might save Widowmaker’s life.
3. Keep Moving
When a Widowmaker get a few kills from the exact same spot, the enemy team will eventually decide she needs to be taken out. Even in a great spot, it becomes riskier the longer you remain. The enemy team will be pre-aiming at that point for Widowmaker, and they will most likely eliminate her considering she doesn’t have that much health.
Keep moving and changing up the spots where you snipe from in order to keep the enemy team on their toes. If anything, this can work to Widowmaker’s advantage. If the enemy team is expecting Widowmaker in the same spot, she can surprise them from another angle and get an easy kill.
2. Map Knowledge
Widowmaker can be quite situationally effective, and not all maps will suit her playstyle. For example, on a payload map like Hollywood, she’s great. She has loads of hiding spots and nice high vantage points from which to snipe. However, she tends to be less useful on control maps. This isn’t to say she’s unusable, but she has fewer spots where she can safely snipe, and there are few long-range positions on these maps. You might be better off using a different hero on most control maps as she will be countered much more easily.
1. Take Out The Healers
The Tanks might be the reason you win a push, but healers are the reason you win a game. As Widowmaker, it is crucial take out healers and destroy any chances of the enemy team recovering during fights. Regularly keeping your enemy’s support heroes out of commission can frustrate your enemies, ruin their defenses, and lead you and your allies to a crushing victory. Once the healers are dealt with, tanks should quickly follow since they have little chance of recovering.