-GB Hey what’s going on guys, Kris here checking out more Overwatch characters, and in this one, I’ll be focusing on the tank hero Zarya, giving you a whole bunch of useful tips and tactics, for using those abilities as effectively as you can. Zarya is generally best working alongside teammates, using them to help you both gain more power and protect them in the process. Zarya also has the lowest amount of HP when compared with other tanks, which is just 200 health, and 200 shields, though being 50% shield, half of this can be restored back overtime on its own. Because of the way in which you use those abilities, and because both the timing and aiming of your weapons are so important for doing well, Zaryas been given the difficulty rank of 3 stars, though with that said, she does have the smallest hit-box of all of the tanks, meaning she’s slightly harder to land shots on, along with having the ability, to protect herself and teammates temporarily with barriers.
She’s a pretty good pick for attacking purposes, plus for taking over objectives, but because of her lack of protective qualities for her entire team, she might be best used alongside other tank heroes, as they’ll generally be able to protect your team from incoming fire better, using barriers that stay up for longer, that can help to save more allies more-so from incoming attacks. But anyway, Zarya was born in a remote Siberian village, surrounded by post-war chaos and conflict, caused by the omnic crisis.
Gaining strength and motivation over time, Zarya grew into an athlete, champion weightlifter, and bodybuilder, focusing on being the strongest woman in the world, and becoming international star to represent her country. Though just before a world tournament, a huge attack from a thought-to-be shutdown omnium, put the region back into war with the omnics once again. Zarya withdrew from the competition, and enlisted to be part of the local defence force, putting that strength and power to good use, sacrificing the fame and personal glory, to help her people, and protect friends, family and her country from the omnic threat. So, first up, is that main damage dealing weapon, the particle cannon. This is a heavy weapon that has 2 main firing modes, the particle beam, and explosive charge. The particle beam emits a constant short-ranged energy beam, that damages enemies that it makes contact with. Although its classified as a closer ranged attack, it does have a 16 meter range, so it’s not exactly short, making it useable on anyone within this distance. Its power however, is heavily dependent on how much damage is absorbed via Zaryas projective barriers.
I’ll go over the barriers in more detail later on, but as a basic understanding for now, the more energy you gain from the barriers being damaged, the more powerful the particle cannon will become. There’s a few ways to see how charged up the gun is, as the particle beam and crosshair will get thicker, the sound of the beam will be louder, a number indicated under the crosshair displays the current charge level, and lastly, the energy ball sat at the back of the gun will grow larger too. It’s pretty important to know how charged up you are, as you’ll be able to be more aggressive with the cannon, diving ahead and take out opponents much more easily, on higher energy levels. The beam is still a very dangerous attack, even with low or no energy at all, as you’ll be able to inflict round about 80 damage per second, on a 0% charge.
Though this can be amped right up to 150 damage per second, when that charge is maxed out to 100%, though one thing to point out, is that you won’t deal any extra damage for aiming at the head, so don’t bother doing this, as its gonna be harder to stay on target, and you’re gonna be much better off aiming for the largest part of an enemy, usually the body, to deal consistent damage easier. Each second spent channelling the beam will consume 20 ammo, and you’ll have 100 per reload. So this basically means that you can fire away for 5 seconds, until you’ll have to spend another seconds reloading. Because of that range, it’s not always gonna be the best way to cause the damage, but most of the time, the particle beam does a pretty good job at lowering HP overtime up-close, and is best used against lone targets, working to kill one opponent at a time, before moving onto the next.
You will have to be quite accurate, as the beam’s gonna have to directly land on an opponent, and stay on said opponent to continuously deal damage, and although it’s an energy based attack, it still won’t bypass enemy shields and barriers, though on lone targets, it’s got the potential to deal devastating amounts of damage quickly, especially when you can get that energy level to reach those higher values. As for the particle cannons secondary fire mode, this lets you launch out explosive charges, that deal damage over an area of effect. Its capable of affecting several enemies at once, and is best used against clusters of opponents, and targets outside of the particle beams range. Even though the explosive charges are capable of dealing splash damage, they generally deal less damage than the beam, and so for this reason, the beam is usually the better option, to use against individuals at closer-medium distances.
It’s better to use the explosive charges against opponents further away, and then switch over to your beam as soon as you enter its effective range. An explosive charges damage is also affected by your overall energy level too, just like with the particle beam, and with 0% energy, you’re only gonna be able to dish out about 45 damage per explosive shot, as opposed to 95 damage at 100%. It’s not quite as punishing as the beam, though because you can effect several opponents at once, its generally better used against groups of enemies that are contesting objectives, and pushing payloads, as each blast will likely affect more than one player. But on individuals, unless they’re quite far away, most of the time the beam mode, will be the better pick for taking them on. The explosive charges also deal up to 50 self-damage too, so there’s another reason why you shouldn’t go crazy with them in CQC.
Unlike the beam that fires in a straight line, the charges arch through the air, and have a bit of travel time too, and so it might take some practice, to master the trajectory of those bombs, and you might have to aim above your targets in the air, to land successful hits at longer ranges. Not only will the explosive charges deal damage, but they’ll also push nearby enemies back too, which can be handy to score a few sneaky environmental kills, by forcing opponents over ledges, and into bottomless pits.
Just aim at the floor in-front of an enemy standing right next to one of these ledges, fire an explosive charge in their direction, and then let gravity do the rest. The charges share the same ammo pool with beam, and you’ll be able to fire off 4 of them, with full ammo in your gun, as each shot takes up 25 ammo. Though it’s worth pointing out that you can still fire an explosive charge, even if your ammo drops below 25 in your gun, and its often a good tactic to fire an explosive charge instead of the beam, just before you need to reload the weapon, to take advantage of an extra shot, to deal some additional last second damage. Now, to gain all of that extra power to amp up the damage, caused by the particle cannon, you’re gonna have to use barriers, and the main one is used on yourself, to both temporarily block incoming fire for 2 seconds, and to help increase your damage output. It’s your very own personal shield, that can block up to 200 damage before being destroyed, though you’re gonna want to take as much flak as you can whilst the barrier is active, within that 2 second window.
As every 4 points of damage taken by the shield will convert into about 3% energy, so the more damage the shield takes in, the more deadly your cannon is gonna be. Although the barrier only has 200HP, damage values can still exceed this, from singular attacks, so in other words, even though Tracers pulse bomb or D.vas self destruct are both capable of dealing much more than 200 damage, the barrier will absorb the maximum it can, and redirect that energy to your weapon, but none of the damage from the ultimate will reach you, as it’ll all be countered by that barrier, so whenever you notice an explosive based ultimate that just about to go off, activate the barrier, to both protect yourself from all of the blast’s damage, and gain a load of energy of it too.
You’ll benefit from using the barrier against most damage dealing ultimates to feed your energy level, and gain full charge much more easily, and if you can time a barrier, just as an enemy has activated a dangerous ultimate, such as Pharahs barrage or solder 76s tactical visor, then you’ll be able to boost your weapon charge up, and become more powerful even quicker, all whilst saving yourself from that enemy ultimate too. The particle barriers have a cooldown time of 10 seconds, and because they’re the only way of Zarya really being able to protect herself, you’ll have to time them right, as spamming them constantly throughout a match at random times, or as soon as they regenerate, is gonna leave you much more vulnerable, with no way to protect yourself, along with having less power for your weapon.
It’s usually best activating them, as soon as you start to take damage, or whenever you’re running into an area, with lot’s of enemies. This way, you’re more likely to take hits on the barrier, and timing it with some hard hitting attacks will often give you the best results. If a reaper walks up to you and attempts to mow you down with those shotguns, pop up that barrier, and absorb tons of damage, though if you’re simply just moving through a room, where you ‘think’ you might take damage, wait until you actually are, to activate that barrier, as any lost heath beforehand can be regained, with 200 of your HP being a regenerating shield anyway, so don’t worry too much about taking a couple of hits, as that health will come back on its own, and it’s usually better to ‘know’ that you’re being attacked, to truly benefit from that barrier. Whenever moving with teammates, if you have a barrier ready, it’s usually best to jump ahead of them, and become the main target for your enemies to shoot at, whilst they do so, pop the barrier up and take the brunt of the oncoming fire, both feeding your weapon with energy, and generally becoming a distraction, allowing your teammates to return fire more safely.
Energy gained from the barriers will slowly be lost over the course of time, so it’s best to keep using the barriers, whenever taking damage, to achieve a high energy level for as long as you can. Other than being able to emit your own personal barrier, you can also project barriers on allies within 30 meters too. These are pretty much identical to the ones you’ll use on yourself, only they can be created for teammates, plus they have a slightly quicker cooldown time too. Because you can use projected barriers more often, its best to use them as much as you can, whenever you notice an ally being attacked, or whenever you see them advancing through a dangerous area, as a lot of the time, you’ll be able to benefit from the damage they take, charging your weapon up more, plus they’ll be able to survive longer, as that barrier absorbs damage they would’ve taken.
Its best to keep an eye out for allies being ganged up on, running around in the middle of all the action, having a duel with another player, or on someone who’s just about to feel the wrath of an opposing team members ultimate ability, as these are the allies that are gonna benefit more-so, and it might even be worth jumping into the settings, and tuning on allied health meters, as this might give you a better reading on who’s taking damage, and who needs a barrier the most. Another way to help out other players, is by using a barrier on a teammate, who is activating an ultimate ability, as providing protection for vulnerable heroes like reaper, pharah, Mccree and genji will allow them to stay alive, and survive their ultimates duration. Though to do this effectively, it’d probably be best communicating with your team to let them know, and plan attacks beforehand, as you’ll only have a 2 second window to help out, and you’ll have to be ready to provide that barrier, as soon as your teammate needs it.
So last of all, is Zaryas Graviton surge, which lets you fling a gravity bomb into the battlefield, that draws in, and traps all nearby hostiles close together, for 4 seconds. Although it’ll only deal about 22 damage to each person caught within the trap, it’s probably one of the most powerful team abilities in the whole game, and when combined with other ultimates and good timing, allies will be able to swiftly take out anyone caught within the surge, much quicker and easier.
Along with helping out heroes such as pharah, Mccree, Dva, tracer, Hanzo, and most other heroes with high damage ultimates, opponents will be much more vulnerable to Reinhardt’s hammer swings, symmetras photon orbs, Junkrat’s grenades, Pharahs rockets and even your own explosive charges too, with that area of effect splash damage, and the graviton surge will give your entire team a brief opportunity to kill multiple targets easier. It definitely best to communicate with your team and plan attacks, combining the surge with other heavy attacks and ultimate abilities, as this’ll let your team take advantage of it, whilst its taking effect. Though the graviton surge isn’t completely overpowered, as if can be countered outright, if Zenyatta uses transcendence, or if Lucio uses sound barrier, which will save your trapped victims from any taking damage. So, It might be best waiting for these characters to use their ultimates, before activating your own, if you notice that these heroes are on the opposing team.
Also Dva, Reinhardt, Winston and other Zarya players, can all block incoming damage with their barriers and defence matrixes, Mei can cryo-freeze to stay alive, Genji can deflect incoming damage, and Reaper can wraith form too. Plus some characters can even escape, such as tracer, genji and D.Va with some of their abilities, so keep this in mind, and remember that the graviton surge can be countered by quite a lot of heroes, if they’re quick enough to do so.
Other than using if for offensive purposes, you can use the surge to pull enemies away from contested objectives, such as at the end of a round, to allow you team to win the match. Firing a graviton surge at a popular spawn point or in a corner away from the objective, will force opponents backwards, and keep them off the point for enough time for your team to achieve victory. But, as for one last tip with the graviton surge, if you really want to make sure your targets are gonna go down, quite literally, you can even do something that’s just downright evil, fire a graviton surge ball at a wall, over a bottomless pit.
It’ll often drag your opponents over the pit, and drop them into it as soon as the ultimate ends. It can be a tricky, and often situational tactic to perform, but in the right scenario on the right map, it’s totally possible to take out multiple enemies this way, and makes barriers and other defensive abilities useless, as they all plummet down to their deaths below. So in conclusion, Zarya boasts potentially high damage outputs, providing those other abilities are used in conjunction with her main weapon, and used at the right time. You will need to be aware of your surrounding most of the time, and be ready to pop shields up to protect yourself and team members whenever necessary. She’s quite durable, and is a great hero for rushing players, and taking lots of flak, though without any ways to escape attacks, or manoeuvre around enemies quickly, you’ll have to be careful, and ready to use those barriers at the most crucial times, to both save yourself, your team, and gain a much more powerful weapon, to take on the opposition more effectively.
So that’s all for this one guys, hope you enjoyed the guide, be sure to gimme a thumbs up if you did, and of course, subscribe for loads more, take it easy, and I’ll see you, in the next one!.
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