‘Overwatch’ Arena Mode: Top 10 Tips and Tricks for Elimination and Duel

Overwatch Reaper, overwatch

(Activision Blizzard)

Overwatch just got new modes for its 3v3 elimination mode and 1v1 duel mode with its anniversary event. Lockout Elimination takes away heroes from the roster if they were used to win a match. Limited Duel forces players to choose one of three random heroes each round.

Here’s everything you need to know about how to survive in the arena, both in the anniversary event and beyond. You’ll be racking up wins and loot boxes in no time.

1. Know How to Use a Variety of Heroes


(Activision Blizzard)

The arena often forces you to use specific heroes for each match. That means that you may not be able to play as your favorite all the time, especially when playing in duels. You also need to learn different heroes so you can respond to the different requirements of your team composition.

Learn how to play at least one hero from all four classes. For Instance, my favorites are D.va and Symmetra but I also know how to play as Lucio if my team needs a healer, Soldier 76 if my team needs an offense hero, and Junkrat if my team needs a defense hero.

2. Know the Map

Overwatch Anniversary

(Activision Blizzard)

Since every map has a distinct and easy to follow design, it shouldn’t be too hard to just naturally remember the layout after a couple of matches. And you should know the map so you know what buildings to duck into when you’re being chased by a Pharah, what vantage areas there are for sniping, and where the bottomless pits are (such as the one in the middle of Necropolis) so you don’t dash forward as Genji and fall off like an idiot.

Knowing where the bottomless pits are is especially useful when you’re feeling salty and what to end the match prematurely.

3. Sneak Up on Opponents

[Game Mechanics] Using Audio Cues as Map Hacks (part 1) – OverwatchToday we go over how you can tell what hero is coming, how close they are, and what direction they are in just by listening to their footsteps! Crouching affects this as well. These audio cues are extremely important in Overwatch! Suggestions, criticisms, advice, and debate MORE than welcome! Let me know what you're thinking!…2015-11-01T18:45:27.000Z

Arena maps are made up of both wide open areas and narrow corridors. You also start off somewhat far from your opponent. You should use that to your advantage to sneak up on the opponent and take them by surprise.

Stay in the narrow corridors of the map and keep an eye out for your opponent who may be doing the same. Avoid wide open areas. Make sure you also don’t use any skills or fire your weapon until you get close or can line up a headshot. All this will of course be easier in duels as it’s just you and your opponent.

Also keep your ears open for the footsteps of your opponent. Each hero has a distinct footstep sound and they get louder as you get nearer. If you crouch, you can make your own footsteps quieter. Also, Zenyatta’s footsteps are completely silent making him great for sneak attacks. Watch the video above from YouTube Channel Learn Overwatch for a demonstration.

4. Group Up

Overwatch Lucio, overwatch tips, overwatch tricks

(Activision Blizzard)

What’s scarier? One Mercy, or a Mercy, Reinhardt, and Reaper?

Grouping up is integral to elimination matches as you can support other teammates, attack opponents together, and draw fire from opponents. Nothing’s worse than being caught by three different heroes so group up early.

5. Pick Heroes that Complement Other Heroes

Overwatch Lucio

(Activision Blizzard)

It’s not enough to be together; you also have to work together.

Teams are at their best when their skills complement one another. As Mercy, you can heal D.va while she focuses on getting eliminations. You can blast opponents away as Junkrat so they stop shooting your teammate or trap them so teammates can take them down. Hanzo can snipe opponents while Reinhardt shields him and smacks opponents who get too close. There are thousands of combinations waiting to be tapped.

6. Focus on Offensive Heroes


(Activision Blizzard)

You should have at least one offense hero in your team during elimination matches and should pick offence heroes in duels whenever you get the chance. Offense heroes are built from the ground up to take on opponents, making them perfect for the arena. Just keep in mind their relatively low defenses.

Of course, you shouldn’t always pick an offense hero even though they’re great for arena matches. Make decisions based on the team composition or what you are comfortable with. Two offense heroes backed by a support one is often more threatening than three offense heroes. There are 24 different heroes at the time of writing so don’t limit yourself to just offense ones.

7. Save Support Heroes for Elimination

Overwatch Mercy

(Activision Blizzard)

You should have at least one support hero for elimination matches. Supports can turn the tide of battle by providing healing, buffs, and more.

While characters like Mercy are nice, you should focus on support heroes that have some sort of offensive option so you can help teammates pile on damage or in case you’re the only one on your team left in a match. Lucio can heal multiple teammates and boost their speed for a better offensive presence while also healing himself and boosting his own speed. He also has a good gun that can deal damage and push opponents into pits and away from teammates with the alt-fire. Zenyatta not only has a surprisingly strong weapon but can both heal teammates and reduce the defense of opponents by half with his discord orb, making him a viable offense player as well as support.

Don’t use support heroes for duels if you can avoid it. Their job is to support other heroes. They just aren’t built for offense like other heroes are as their attack and health stats are generally low. Do you really want to take on a Bastion with Mercy’s peashooter of a gun? If you do have to pick a support hero, pick Zenyatta as his discord orb and weapon are powerful when used in tandem.

8. Take Advantage of Weaknesses

Overwatch Zenyatta

(Activision Blizzard)

You won’t know who you’re fighting against when you pick heroes and you can’t switch out in the middle of the fight. So you have to be a bit proactive when taking advantage of opponents’ weaknesses as you can’t just pick a counter and take them on that way.

Tanks are generally better fighters at closer ranges (with the exception of Orisa), so stay distant to avoid their fire. Defense fighters aren’t as mobile as offense (with the exception of Hanzo and Widowmaker) so you can circle around them to attack. And offense heroes don’t have high defenses so try to sneak up on them and pick them off.

PC Gamer has a handy list of each hero and how they can be countered.

9. Don’t Use Up Mobility Skills

Overwatch Review

(Activision Blizzard)

It may be tempting to use up mobility skills right when you leave the gate but you should save them for later. You’ll need them to get to more optimal positions on the map and escape from opponents. Just imagine the humiliation when your bumped off the map as D.va and can’t fly yet because of the cooldown.

It’s also useful to hold off on mobility skills when sneaking up on enemies so you don’t make noise and tip them off. Use them when you’re far away from the opponent so you can get a tactical edge without alerting them.

10. Get Inside the Opponent’s Head


(Activision Blizzard)

As with any competitive game, the best tactic is to get inside the opponent’s head.

You should have knowledge of how every hero is played so you can predict their movements and take advantage of weaknesses. For instance, you know that a Widowmaker will try to get to a high perch to snipe you, so duck into a corridor to lure her out or fly up to high areas to shoot her back. You know that a Roadhog is going to try to hook you so don’t stay in narrow spaces and keep moving to break his line of sight. You know that a Genji will try to get close so lay a trap near your feet to catch him.

This even extends to choosing a hero. Say you’re playing in a limited duel and your options are Pharah, Junkrat, and Ana. You know your opponent isn’t going to pick Ana because she’s a support. It’s likely that your opponent will take Pharah because she’s an offense hero. So don’t pick Junkrat because his grenade launcher won’t be able to hit Pharah easily in the air. That’s why you should also pick Pharah so you can properly attack your opponent on even terms. If you get lucky, maybe they’ll pick Junkrat or Ana so you can take advantage of their weaknesses.

That’s everything you need to know about scuffling in the arenas of Overwatch. Be sure to leave your own tips in the comment section down below. En garde!

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