Hey there! This guide is about the art of switching in Overwatch. Counter-playing your opponents is a big part of the game, but some situations are hard to judge, including dropping ult charge or swapping a combo potential. By the end of this guide, you should be more confident in your character changes. Let’s get to it! Hello guys and welcome to the dojo! Understanding soft and hard counters should be natural for anyone if you play enough. However, if you are in doubt, you should really consider looking up the counters to your most played characters, as this information is vital for this guide. We are going to talk about general guidelines in connection with character switching and see some examples with different hero classes.
In case you have any specific questions that we did not cover, feel free to ask them in a comment below. Alright, before we begin, we want to talk about a few things. These come up a lot during games and waste a lot of time and potential. The first and the most common mistake is saying: “I will switch after using my ultimate.” In some situations, keeping the ultimate is vital, especially if you can combo it effectively with a teammate, and it has a team wipe potential, like Zarya and Hanzo. However, there are a lot of situations where your ult can be sacrificed to have a better team comp or counter a specific hero. If you have been keeping the ult for a more extended period, looking for the right time to use it, but failed to do so, don’t hug your ultimate. Just swap, using the guidelines we are going to provide in a second. The second most common thing we hear is “I can’t play that hero.” If everyone says that, the problem that your team is facing won’t be resolved.
If you are counter picking, for example, the hero’s presence can be threatening enough to allow your team to make plays instead of being stuck in the same position for minutes. Switching to a hero that you are not actively playing should be seen as an opportunity. The next one is saying “It’s too late to make a difference, I will stick with my hero.” If you are storming the enemy station again and again and failing miserably, there must be a problem somewhere. In a lot of cases, these can be resolved with an original pick. Don’t be hesitant to change a hero and try a different comp, it might just be the thing that turns the tides in your favor.
Alright, let’s get to the situations when you should consider trading heroes. Take these tips with a grain of salt, as we cannot cover all possible conditions here. These are the most common issues that can be resolved with a good change in the lineup. We are beginning with the most common cases, team-related issues. The first one is filling in the group. This should be obvious, but an incomplete team is a weak team. If you have single secondary support (without burst healing capabilities), you are going to have a tough time taking up longer team fights. Swapping to support is the proper call here. Now we know that this topic is sensitive, so it’s entirely your call what to do. Sometimes sticking with your main that you are performing well with is the right call.
Other times, filling for the team might be the best thing to do. The next one is countering an enemy hero. If the enemies run a lineup that has some kind of advantage, you are going to have a hard time as a team. The most common example is the presence of a Pharmercy or a hard carry Genji. Swapping to threaten the enemies or to counter-play them is one of the most overlooked things in all swapping related concepts. You can get some free kills with a good swap, then winning the team fight and the objective, snowballing your lead. When the team is stalled, it is usually a good idea to stop and see what could be done about it. A good example is 2 CP maps, like Hanamura and Volskaya, where sometimes the defenders can hold for ages. Changing the lineup is usually the answer in these situations. If you are the first one communicating this to your team and going ahead to swap to a better alternative, they will often follow your lead because the situation frustrates them enough to make team cooperative. Lastly, if the teammates are not cooperating at all, and you are missing combo opportunities with basic abilities and ultimates.
You could just change to a hero that could save your allies, it is often a good idea to swap. Getting a Zarya to bubble a braindead Doomfist will help him get kills and provides you with a ton of charge. Salvage what you can. Okay, the next category of swapping tips are role related tips and decisions. Often times there are better alternatives to your current hero choice. If you are having a hard time getting close to the enemies, you might be lacking shields, so let’s get a tank who can withstand punishment long enough to reach the enemies. If teammates go down too early in fights, it might be the lack of sustain.
If you play a sniper DPS, but you are facing unbreakable shields, it is a good idea to swap. Realizing that you are having a hard time doing your job because you are not running the best hero is hard but can be done if you pay attention to the kill feed and your surroundings. There are some rare situations where players get matched unevenly, for example, everyone maining supports. There are some fishy comps that you can get away with, but these usually need coordination. Playing four or more of the same role is often a lousy call, consider reorganizing the team structure and switching to another character if required.
The last topic we are covering is about yourself. Let’s see what can happen that indicates a good time to switch. The first one in this category is when someone or multiple opponents decide to make your life a living hell. An excellent duo can do this more efficiently, focusing the same target and not letting you breathe. However, sometimes a single player can make it really hard for you to stay alive, by outmaneuvering and generally out-playing you.
If this happens, switch as quickly as possible. Time spent dead is the worst thing that can happen to you, avoid it by getting a safe pick. Lastly, there is a thing that we need to mention. However, we know a lot of you don’t want to hear about it. Underperforming happens to everyone. Every once in a while, you don’t hit your shots with Widowmaker, fail to land the healing nades on your teammates or get stun-locked in the front line. These things happen, and if you feel like you are underperforming, switch to something else. Don’t mind the others, you and the team will be better off if you are playing something else. Thank you for your attention, we hope that we managed to give you a good idea about the different situations when you should consider switching your hero.
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