You picked Genji because you want to fulfill your childhood (or current) dream of being a badass cyber-ninja that runs on walls and kills 10 enemies in a single slice before they can blink. Wait, who’s that at the door? Oh it’s reality ): Genji has dick health and long cooldowns. He’s a short-range glass-cannon flanker and not much more. A lot of your matches will be spent harassing with shurikens, running around, hiding, flanking, and more running. “But Reiizm! What about those sick Genji montages I saw on YouTube!” You’ve watched those? Great! They give you a better idea of how to play Genji than anything I could write. Watch as many as you can. Anyway, here’s the thing: Those videos were the brief interactions with the enemy those players had between running and hiding and harassing and blah blah blah. Still wanna play Genji? Alright then buckle up and keep reading. I’ll try to make this guide as concise as I can so you can get back to instalocking Genji as soon as possible:
- Learn the appropriate times to use left-click and right-click. Long-range? Left-click. Short-range? Depends, If you’re trying to finish them off and can land at least 2 with right-click, spam it. It has a faster shoot rate than left-click. Honestly, I could go on and on about this but one is not objectively better than the other in specific situations, practice and use good judgement. Obviously don’t use right-click for long-range. That’s just silly.
- Your dash has two uses, damage and mobility. It comes off cooldown whenever you kill anyone with it, but I’m sure you already knew that. Use it during a fight, not only for the damage, but to jazz your opponents cause ~oh shit he moves so fast where did he go~. then follow up with some close-range shurikens or deflect if it’s off cooldown. You can use the reset as a follow up for another kill, or to get the heck out of dodge. Don’t be afraid to use it for the mobility if you know you’re safe until it comes off cooldown. It can go diagonally upwards or even straight up if you damn please because fuck all logic, you’re a ninja and this is a blizzard game.
- Deflect is powerful, but can be useless if used poorly. I can think of 3 main uses for it:
a) extra damage/protection for smaller fights
b) shielding yourself when traversing open fields
c) killing bastions/torb turrets (If you’re playing Genji this is like, your job)
Headshotting with deflected bullets is awesome, but impractical. Personally I feel it’s hard enough trying not to throw up from zipping all over the fucking place when in a fight as Genji, so I just aim at the enemy’s general body. Despite that, you can aim for the head if you want. You do you booboo.
- Your ult’s slash has a surprising amount of range. They can be a fair distance away for the attack to connect with no penalty to the damage. The best time to use it is when you’re out of sight and no one is currently pursuing you, but you’re still close to the enemy. Don’t try to be an hero and pop it only to die in the next few seconds. If you ult and the whole enemy team can see you, just commit seppuku already. Genji’s ult works best with the element of surprise. Optimally you’ll be somewhere behind the enemy when you use it.
- Use your fucking melee attack
I can only type so much about technical stuff but it’s up to you to provide the skill and mechanics. Again, watching people play Genji will always help way more than reading guides. So don’t come crying back here when you don’t get a 1v6 PotG by deflecting a Hanzo ult in your next match.
With all the technical stuff out of the way, let’s talk playstyle philosophy. These are arguably the three most important things to keep in mind that I think most noob Genji’s don’t realize:
a) You are squishy and both your abilities are on long cooldowns. This, of course, makes Genji high risk, high reward. So don’t spam them just cause you feel like it. If you don’t make every use of your abilities count, Don’t be surprised when your team tells you to switch to S:76. Knowing this in tandem with how skills should be used as mentioned above will drastically improve your gameplay.
b) Run and hide like the little rat you are. So you’ve found a clear route to the enemy backlines and are ready to do some mlg flanking. “Oh shit! I’ve been hit and am at half health.
it’s time to engage!” No. You’re supposed to catch them off guard. If it’s the other way around, fucking run. This is something that annoys me because I’ve seen too many Genji’s make this mistake. There’s no shame in running away as Genji, and you will be running away. A lot. Think of it this way- would you rather spend 5 second running and finding a health pack or 30 seconds running back to the action from spawn?
c) Patience. Dear god are you going to need a lot of it. The problem here folks is you want to play a character that does a lot of waiting for the right opportunity in a fast-paced game. Like I said, you’ll be spending a lot of your time harassing with shurikens because the enemy is so turtle’d you can see them slowly fusing into some freak abomination. You may reaaally want to run up to that bastion and deflect his bullets back into his turret-hole, but that Mercy-Reindhardt are still so close you’d have a hammer shaped hole in your head before you could press E. You may feel like you’re spending a lot of time doing nothing but it was your ass that wanted to play Genji in the first place. This is the way it has to be.
Welp, that’s my guide on Genji. If you really wanna git gud with him this shouldn’t be the only guide you read, I’m sure there’s stuff I left out that other bright Genji players have included in their guides. But again, I cannot stress how important personal skill and mechanics are. If you are truly struggling with Genji, watch some good gameplay, apply what I’ve said above, have patience, and your opponents will go from seeing you and going “lol it’s just Genji” to “oh fuck it’s Genji“.