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OverWednesdays: Advanced Gameplay Tips

Advanced Gameplay Tips

Today’s OverWednesday focuses on improving your gameplay in ways other than mechanical skill. While mechanical skill is important, here are some advanced tips for improving the quality of your play.

Game Sense

When you have good game sense you have the ability to keep the bigger picture in mind the whole time. Game sense is knowing when you’ve lost the team fight and being able to tell your team to fall back to mitigate damage. When you have good game sense you can tell who on the enemy team is a major threat and make appropriate calls. You also develop a good idea of who on the enemy team has an ultimate available at any given time.

How to improve: Game sense is a skill that is developed over time. If you want to get better, you need to play a lot of games. This is why you don’t want to jump into competitive play right at 25 if you’re new. Game sense is something that comes with a lot of practice. Play as many games as you can and listen to veteran players make call-outs and explanations. You’ll start to pick up on things you might not have noticed before. I would also recommend watching some pro streamers of your preferred hero. This skill takes the longest to develop but it is well worth it when you do.

Situational Awareness

ow advanced tips situational

“I will shape order from chaos.”

Situational awareness is a bit more specific. When you have good situational awareness you are able to help your team make informed decisions based on more finite criteria. It’s knowing that you shouldn’t push left because the enemy team’s Pharah will try to concussion blast everyone off a cliff. It’s knowing that if you’re going to push through the tight choke you will need to pick the Junkrat or his damage will be catastrophic. Situational awareness keeps you and your teammates alive.

How to improve: First and foremost, watch your kill-feed. You can learn all sorts of valuable information by glancing up at the top right corner of your screen. Second, frequently hit tab (back on xb1, view on ps4.) This screen lets you know what the enemy team comp is and who on your team has an ult available. This is useful information for any situation. Finally, the best thing you can do for your situational awareness is play support. When you play support you don’t get as much tunnel-vision as you would as dps. And you definitely definitely know when things are about to kill you.

Ult Economy

ow advanced tips ult econ

I’m sorry, Mr. Roadhog, it appears your assets are frozen.

Ultimate Economy is about checks and balances. When you have good ult economy you know which ults will counter which. You also know when to tell your teammates to hold their ultimates when fights are already decided. In general the idea of ult economy is to make sure that in the grand scheme of things your team has more ultimates to use to win team fights than the enemy team. Someone with good ult economy makes an excellent shot-caller.

How to improve: Game sense comes into play with ult economy. If you improve one you will improve the other. For quick tips though, just think for a moment before you pop your ult. Is the team fight already won? Lost? It might be better to hold your ult for the next push and turn the tide right away. Try not to overlap more than 2 ults at a time. Grav obviously combines with other burst damage ults very well, but popping 3 or more will leave your team vulnerable during the next team fight.

Communication

ow advanced tips communication

“Hello! My ultimate is charging 0%.” … Thanks bvddy, good to know.

Communication is huge. This is the single most important skill for you to develop. Providing information for your teammates to make appropriate decisions is paramount. The more you communicate, the more likely it is you get that precious W.

How to improve: Assuming that you already have a mic and are in teamchat on the regular, here are some things that can help you out. Say hello to your team at the start and be friendly. This helps prevent toxicity. Even if you hardly say anything else the whole time it helps to know that someone is listening and on mic. Practice being succinct with your communication so you don’t jam up the comms with unnecessary words. Instead of “Hey, this Tracer is flanking us,” say “Tracer, backline.” Instead of “Watch out for that Genji above us,” say “Genji, top left.” The faster you can communicate important information the more time your team has to react.

Also, congratulate people when you see them make a good play. Did your kill-feed just light up with a 4-man D.Va bomb? Let her know how kick-ass that was. This boosts morale. When morale is high the team is cohesive and your teammates are more willing to speak up.

Positioning

Your positioning can make or break games. Positioning is knowing to take the high ground with soldier. It’s knowing that you want to block line of sight when you go in for the resurrect. It’s standing behind the barrier when you’re fighting alongside Rein or Orisa. Better positioning can beat out players more mechanically skilled than you.

How to improve: Familiarize yourself with the maps as well as you possibly can. The more familiar you are with the terrain, the better your survivability. If you have a tank, your chances of survival increase if you stay with or at the very least pay attention to them. Learn to peek around corners and payloads to block line of sight from incoming fire. This is especially important when you either have no shield tank or when their barriers go down. Lastly, don’t overextend. Overwatch is a team game. Think of each hero as a lynch-pin in the walls of a single-celled organism. The walls are stronger when the heroes are closer together. Overextending risks one of those lynch-pins being taken out of place, and when that happens the structure of the cell threatens collapse. You’re a six-sided amoeba. Act like it.

Good luck on your games, amoebas.

Justin Rhodes
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