Overwatch - How to Play Genji

Overwatch - How to Play Genji

Regain your lost humanity as the cyber ninja Genji. He's a hard hero to master, so here's some help!

Genji is a high-damage, high-mobility character in the right hands, but he's a hard character to master. A number of players will pick him because he's a cool cyber ninja, but the learning curve on this hero is high.

Genji might be the only cyber ninja in Overwatch, but there are plenty more heroes to learn and master throughout the game. If you'd like help on any more characters, head over to our Overwatch guides walkthrough hub.

Genji Move List

Primary: Shuriken

Genji has one of the smallest clip sizes with his Shuriken. These are low-damage, high precision weapons and Genji can throw three at a time, either in quick succession or all at once in a fan spread with his secondary fire. Primary fire is for medium to long range, while secondary is for close up attacks. Don't use these like other heroes primary weapons; it's not a gun, it's mostly used to soften up opponents for your bigger attacks. Clip size: 3.

Cyber Agility

This is not technically a move for Genji, it's actually his passive, but it's worth exploring. Genji can climb walls and do a double jump in mid-air. These abilities help Genji get around. The wall climb is vertical only, not horizontal like Lucio's wall run: just aim towards a wall and Genji will run up it. Use this to get height before jumping over a wall or barrier.


This is Genji's bread-and-butter move, deflect incoming projectiles in the direction of Genji's crosshair. For two seconds, most attacks are redirected elsewhere. If you're using Deflect, get use to keeping your crosshairs focused on an enemy. Deflect does not work on certain channeled weapons, including the primaries of Mei, Winston, Zarya, and Winston. It also blocks melee attacks.

Swift Strike

Genji dashes forward and slices with his katana. You can use this just as an attack, but it's also a rather good movement tool. It move forward in whatever direction you're facing, even up or down. That means you can use it to crossover certain barriers or get behind the enemy team. Swift Strike followed by a melee attack is your primary form of attack as Genji. The Shuriken weaken the target, Swift Strike closes the gap, and the melee attack hurts.

Killing an opponent resets the cooldown on Swift Strike. Use that to your advantage.

Genji's Ultimate: Dragonblade

Genji pulls his Dragonblade out of its sheath, becoming a pure melee character for 8 seconds. You can't throw Shuriken, as your primary fire slashes with the sword instead. Each sword slash does a great deal of damage, so it's a great move for cleaning out a cluster of opponents.

How to Play Genji

Genji is a flank attacker like Tracer and Reaper, but in the right hands, he ends up being more versatile than either. His high movement is mostly now cooldown based, Swift Strike can be used to ambush enemies or escape for combat, and Shuriken and Deflect means he's not completely dead at medium to long ranges. In 1v1 fights, Genji is most likely the king.

Players do need to get use to fight more at melee range and using their melee attacks. Trying to play him like any other hero will just get you killed. The trick with Genji is the learn to switch between distances at will depending on how you're up against and how much life they have left.

Which Characters Genji Works Well Against

Bastion: Shuriken can hurt Bastion from far away and bait them into using Sentry turret fire. Deflect can then redirect that fire back at Bastion for a quick kill.

Torbjörn: Likewise, Genji's Deflect can make short work of Torbjorn's turrets.

Widowmaker: If you're smart and flank a Widowmaker, most of your melee-range attacks will kill her. Deflect stops her from even trying to fight up close and Shuriken is a low-cost way to take care of her Venom Mines.

McCree: Deflect can counter McCree's primary weapon and his Flashbangs. A properly-played Genji strikes fear into the hearts of McCree's everywhere. Ninja beats cowboy.

Who to Watch Out For When Playing as Genji

Zarya/Winston: These heroes are probably Genji's worst comp. Their shields and HP mean they can soak up Genji's weak Shuriken and their primary fire can't be Deflected. Winston is double trouble because his leap can keep him in range of you.

Symmetra: Her sentry turrets slow you down. Her primary fire tracks you around the room. This is less deadly than it is annoying, but a properly-placed Sentry Turret trap can lead to your death.

Mei: Her Endothermic Blaster cannot be deflected and freezes you in place. Bad!

We've now passed on all our collective knowledge of playing as the cyber ninja, now all that's left is for you to head on into Overwatch with Genji.

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Mike Williams

Reviews Editor

M.H. Williams is new to the journalism game, but he's been a gamer since the NES first graced American shores. Third-person action-adventure games are his personal poison: Uncharted, Infamous, and Assassin's Creed just to name a few. If you see him around a convention, he's not hard to spot: Black guy, glasses, and a tie.

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