Overwatch - How to Play Widowmaker

Overwatch - How to Play Widowmaker

From across the battlefield, Widowmaker will punish the weak. Learn how to use this sniper.

French assassin Widowmaker is Overwatch's sniper. She set up shop far away from the enemy, dealing heavy damage with well-placed and well-timed shots.

If you instead need a hand with any other characters throughout the game of Overwatch, head on over to our Overwatch guides hub, featuring more character strategy guides just like this one, as well general tips and tricks for how to master the game.

Widowmaker Move List

Primary: Widow's Kiss

Widowmaker's sniper rifle can be used as a fairly weak battle rifle in close engagements, but its primary use is in its secondary fire mode. In this mode, the sniper scope comes alive, allow Widowmaker to hit far off targets. The trick is the sniper mode has a 1 second charge time before it does full damage. You generally want to wait until your shot is fully charged instead of spamming fire, unless you see a low-health target you can pick off. Clip Size: 30 (Sniper uses three bullets per shot)

Grappling Hook

The grappling hook allows Widowmaker to reach high sniping areas and generally get around the battlefield. It has a 12 second cooldown, so it's best to get into position or run away, because once you're used it, it's gone for a while. Without it, Widowmaker is fairly slow.

Venom Mine

This mine can be attached to any surface. When it detects an enemy in proximity, it explodes, dousing them in poison. The best use of the Venom Mine is to drop it at a spot where you believe a flanker would try to sneak up on you. Not directly behind you, but a decent distance away. That way you can use the trigger notification as an early warning alarm.

Ultimate: Infra-Sight

Widowmaker's Ultimate has no direct damage component, but allows for new tactical insight on the battlefield. Infra-Sight shows the heat signatures of the entire opposing team, allows you to make shots right as enemies pop from cover. That tactical view is also shared with every member of your team for the entire 15 second duration. This is super helpful for fellow heroes like Junkrat, who can use the new view to bounce grenades around walls with some accuracy or Hanzo, who can aim his Ultimate right at the other team.

How to Play Widowmaker

Widowmaker is a pure sniper; find a spot, take a few shots into the enemy lines and move to another spot. She's better on defense, but you can use her on offense to clean up opponents fighting with your team members on certain objectives. She's also good if you're going up against a Bastion of Torbjorn on defense.

Staying in scoped mode too long is tactically a poor idea because you can't see what's going on around. Battle awareness is important.

As an extra tip, Widowmaker is one of the few heroes with additional options. Head into the options menu, select Widowmaker in the drop-down and you can change her aim sensitivity while in Sniper Scope mode.

Who Widowmaker Plays Well Against

Zenyatta: Slow moving healer means easy pickings for Widowmaker. As an added bonus, you're unlikely to be in range of Zenyatta's Discord Orb.

Pharah: If Pharah is hovering in the air, that means that she's a perfect target. You'll likely get two shots before a good Pharah can drop into cover again, so use them wisely.

Bastion: If you find a good spot outside of Bastion's immediate field of vision, you have a chance to stop that pesky robot before they set up shop in Sentry mode. A few shots can force them to uproot and best case, you kill them before they can start.

Who to Watch Out For When Playing as Widowmaker

Pharah: Yeah, Pharah can flank a Widowmaker that's not paying attention, because Sniper mode has such a limited field of vision. Unlike other flankers, Venom Mine can't be used as an early warning signal.

Genji/Reaper/Tracer: You have to be worried about most of the flankers at one point or another. Genji is the worst because his movement abilities allow have to come at you from interesting angles. Reaper can teleport directly to your spot. Some tricky Tracer work can also ruin your day if you don't have a good spot, but in certain spots, she can't even touch you.

Winston/D.Va: Both of these tanks can approach Widowmaker directly while soaking up incoming fire. Winston can leap to your position and D.Va's Boosters allow her to charge directly at you, while Defense Matrix protects her.

If you've got a steady hand and some sharp reflexes, then Widowmaker might just be the most ideal hero for you in Overwatch. Dive into the game with the French assassin, and see if you can put to use all the tips and tricks we've highlighted here.

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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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