Overwatch: 10 Things We Learned from the Beta

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Overwatch: 10 Things We Learned from the Beta

If you spent the weekend playing the open beta for Blizzard’s new arena shooter Overwatch on PS4, there might have been a few surprises thrown your way.

Here are a few things that really stood out for us here at PlayStation — plus a few hints, tips, and tricks learned ahead of the full launch on May 24. No doubt you’ll have plenty of your own, so let us know in the comments.

1.) It’s a little bit MOBA, a little bit FPS, and more…
Overwatch refuses to be pigeonholed by players expectations of first-person shooters. While all-out carnage is by no means off the agenda, there’s more to it than picking the most powerful hero and charging into battle. Each round will give your team an objective to complete within a time limit — like capturing an area or escorting a payload across the map — and an array of heroes with a huge variety of skills to pick from and learn.

2.) Squad Goals.
You’re all working towards the same objective and getting the sweet taste of victory is only going to come from a well-balanced team. During team selection you’ll be advised if your squad is unbalanced and lacking in certain areas — and it’s wise to heed this advice to make sure every base is covered when the match starts.

3.) Play to your strengths.
Heroes are roughly grouped together for their skills in offense, support, defense, or as a damage-absorbing tank. Don’t just learn your hero’s attack moves; the L1 and R1 buttons generally contain more interesting special abilities to get a tactical edge, like healing, laying down turrets and traps, moving to vantage points, and much more. Thinking that every character is there to deal damage can be a big mistake.

Overwatch on PS4Overwatch on PS4

4.) It’s not all about the kills.
At the end of each match, players are invited to vote on their teammates’ performance and select an MVP. But a player’s value isn’t just down to how many enemies they’ve dispatched — everything you do counts towards the common goal, from healing to building turrets to assisting your damage-dealers with essential buffs.

5.) You’re not tied to one hero.
If your team feels unbalanced — or you’re just getting pulverized as your currently selected character — you won’t have to suffer for the duration of the game. If you die, or trek back to your spawn room, you’re free to switch it up and select a new hero to carry on the fight with.

6.) Pay attention to the opposition.
It’s easy to be blinded by the opposing tanks and offensive players who are causing all the aggro up front and forget about the supporting cast. Take down the opposing team’s ability to heal or resurrect (if they have someone playing as Mercy) and your squad will see the difference.

Every character has weaknesses, and discovering what they are really helps. Which leads us on to…

Overwatch on PS4

7.) Learn how to contain Bastion.
Even if you only play a handful of games, chances are your early experiences of Overwatch will be peppered with takedowns at the robotic hands of Bastion. He can deal a whole heap of damage very quickly, especially in turret mode, but he has a critical weak spot too; watch out for corners and covered spots where he might set up as a sentry bot, and try to get an assassin behind him.

8.) I like the way you move.
Pick a hero with special movement abilities and a whole new tactical dimension opens up in attack and defence. Widowmaker’s grappling hook or Pharah’s jump jets are great for finding high, hidden nooks to snipe from, while characters like Tracer and McCree can quickly rush across short distances on the map. See a puff of smoke where Reaper is standing and chances are he’s about to teleport behind your lines and take you out at close quarters.

9.) There are a lot of maps.
Rounds in Overwatch can be relatively short — but there’s enough variation in the settings that even in lengthy gaming sessions, map fatigue didn’t set in. All of the locations are filled with cut-throughs, pinch points, and elevated sections, so you won’t feel like you’re being funnelled down a channel towards an objective.


10.) All heroes are created equal.
But what you do with them can set a good team apart from a bad one. There are no character upgrades or power progression, so everyone has the same skill sets to pick from — you won’t come up against players who have unlocked countless perks to unbalance the match.

What stood out more than anything though is just how much fun Overwatch can be once you get used to its gameplay style, characters, and maps — especially when teamwork takes over.

Overwatch will blast its way onto PS4 in a few weeks, and we can’t wait to see what else is in store.

Comments are closed.


  • Thx for the tip. I was having fun to play this. Can’t wait to play the full game. :)

  • I definitely enjoyed the beta. I’m still unsure if this game will keep me engaged for very long.

  • DesecratedFlame

    It was fun, but not enough to warrant a full price purchase. $60 is just too much for a multiplayer only game when its nearest competitor already has an established player base and is F2P. Multiplayer only games live or die by the number of people playing them after all.

    Plus, the PC version has a digital only option for $40. If we had that option on PS4, I would have been much more likely to pick up the game.

  • I use Genji’s reflect ability to take down Bastion in turret mode. Makes short work of that robot!

  • I played Overwatch this weekend because of the free beta – and I’m glad I did as I don’t know if I would have thought to play this game otherwise. It turns out I like it quite a bit! I don’t know if I would even associate this game with other MOBAs, as that tends to turn away folks like me who aren’t interested in that style of gameplay. I was glad to see it’s more Team Fortress than anything, and I really had a fun time with it.

  • “Thinking that every character is there to deal damage can be a big mistake.”

    This. This times ten. I can’t tell you how frustrating it is to play Mercy (my primary hero) and have the Reinhardt in front of you suddenly decide he’s going to go Rambo and stop protecting you and the others. Boom. Everyone dies because no more heals, and no more shield.

    The teams that win:
    1.) Work together, and
    2.) Kill the other team’s healers.

    If your team is running around spread out all over, they’re very likely to lose. The healer can’t heal you if s/he’s spending the whole match trying to chase you down (and getting shot to ribbons in the process).

    • Ugh I know your pain.

      I had so much fun playing as mercy though I don’t particularly know why, but there were some very frustrating moments. More than some.


      Mercy always go under appreciated though :)

    • @epic0narwhal

      Ha ha! Story of my life!

    • I honestly did pretty well (kill wise) as mercy protected or not I could usually take down none tank heroes unless they sucked at using the tanks then it was easy to kill them. I also was really good at healing generally healing over 40% of the teams total damage the only thing is people really seemed to under appreciate the medic

  • The Beta was down right awesome. Definitely a game I`m hoping to put in some good hours in. But I do hope they take away to ability to stack characters ( or to word I’m directly make it where can`t have 5 of the same character on map) to me that takes away my fun on personally. Besides that very fun game enjoyed the beta I’m going to enjoy it.

  • While the game is definitely a hero-shooter, other than that I don’t think it has much in common with MOBAs, but that’s just me (Battleborn definitely does of course). Anyways i really enjoyed it and will probably get it for some fun pick up and play action. Can I just say that Bastion is definitely the worst. My first ever game we were up against a team using a Bastion/Mercy combo and we had no idea what to do. As the weekend went on we got better at dealing with him, but man alive I hate him. I think it also has to do with match ends, and POTG is just a dumb Bastion sitting there and shooting down a choke point. At least that person never gets the epic vote at the end. Regardless, great game, will pick it up… after Uncharted of course.

  • I absolutely love this game!!

    Overwatch is everything I was hoping it could be: fun, addictive and with charismatic characters. I even learned to play with characters I thought I would never use, but surprisingly they are all awesome on their own way if you first understand not all of them are made for offensive and kills do not matter if your team loses.

    My Main character (Reaper)
    So freaking good!! I love teleporting behind enemy lines when they are attacking. Most of the time they do not expect that and being so sneaky allows me to concentrate on putting pressure to them while my team mates make sure they don’t go that far with Bastion or Widowmaker. I even love to teleport right behind their defense lines and use my ability to wipe them out (Only when Bastion is not full HP or no turrets in the area).

    But I pretty much play with at least 10 different characters. I love to also use Mercy and I can tell you without a doubt that this is my first time playing as healer on a Multiplayer game and her character is so intuitive that really makes me want to protect all my team mates….HEROES NEVER DIE!

  • i learned that this is not my type of game. Played for about an hour and that was enough for me. Especially since the couple matches I played got disconnected mid-game.

  • I live in a cave and didn’t even know there was a beta still going on WOW droped the ball on that one. Dang schooling

  • Sooo you’re not gonna talk about the heinous spawn camping. I’ve been on the receiving end and delt my fair share of spawn camping. It makes the games very boring, it’s too easy when you have a coordinative team.

    • Hmm; that just means one team is way stronger than the other that they push them back to their spawn. It’s not spawn camping rly. The spawn point is a major healing buff that makes it harder to defend at the spawn point than elsewhere where they can’t just run inside and heal to full in 2 seconds…

    • Amen L2C2! That was really frustrating and it will kill this game for a lot of potential users if they don’t get a buffer zone established. Grrrrr! I really don’t see how players who do choke out spawns think it’s fun. I’d rather take on players in the field. Basically spawn campers are brainless degenerates who have zero balls.

  • I was hooked all Saturday and Sunday. Logged a very fun 8 hours as Tracer! I just loved the speed to be able to make my enemies feel like I’m everywhere at once sometimes and always get behind them.

    I hunted mercy’s ruthlessly, always got behind Reinhardt shield, planted mines on turrets and groups of sucks, sneak up on everyone else by making the long flanking route take 3 seconds :D

    You don’t have a lot of hp and life can be rly short for tracer sometimes and you don’t necessarily have a lot fire power either unless you are pretty point blank but for me it was all about the play style’s hyper fast pace and ability to leave opponents dizzy that made it so fun. 8 hrs and I want more!

  • I was glad to see that Overwatch and Battleborn were not at all alike. Both are very fun and seemingly endless in their own way. One thing that needs to be addressed, in my humble opinion, is Bastion’s turret switching need to have like a 10 second cooldown. When that turret shows up in 95% of the end of match “play of the game” it’s obviously a bit too generous. And the Loot Boxes are kinda crappy, but overall very cool.

    • Don’t worry too much about bastion, almost everyone who has been playing the closed beta for months can tell you that it is actually one of the weakest characters once the players start understanding good team compositions and who counters who, to the point that it is one of the least used characters in competitive play.
      We’ll have to keep seeing it getting PotG for a little more after release but it’ll change :)

  • I don’t normally care for FPS, but it was quite fun. Though I did get bored after a couple days. For me to spend $80 on this, there would need to be some pretty big addons come release time. Or even some kind of story mode for the different heroes to give a bit of a back story.

  • The game is awesome it just need a Bastion nerf and Dva buff.

  • Definitely would like to see more people try out different heroes. Seemed like the mere act of having Lucio or Mercy on your team would up your chances to win significantly, lol. WHY WERE SO MANY NOT TANKING OR SUPPORTING!?! It’s baffling – and they complain about Bastion? Like, hello! Maybe get behind people getting shot and HEAL THEM constantly so they can get to Bastion and murder his dumb face. Or pick Reinhardt, throw up that shield, and walk right up to him so you can smash him with that hammer.

    It’s a beta though, so strategies are all super stupid and will likely be completely tossed out even just 3 weeks after launch or so. SUPER FUN, and incredibly polished already – there’s so much GOOD here! I definitely gotta pick the game up now, and uh, PS+ 30 Day card too. It’s awesome Sony lets people play online for betas for free, like with f2p games like Warframe. But now I’m gonna have to pay, dangit :P

    Apparently the world needs a good Lucio too, so who am I to deny future teams my contributions when too few bother to tank or support? XD

    • A lot of people only care about playing as an offensive character, which I can understand. My favourite is Mei, but I also highly enjoyed playing as Tracer. Many people were selfish and refused to use a hero that the team required. I guess that is going to happen when you’re playing with randoms. I hope it changes come release, but hoping random teammates will be team players is probably naive.

      I tried to pick what my team needed. Usually tank or support, so my usual picks were Zarya and Lucio in those teams.

  • What I learnt from the beta. Instantly leave if your team has a Genji, Tracer, Reaper, and Widowmaker already chosen. They’re going to get rekt and you want no part of that.

    I had no interest in the game before the ‘beta’ (it was a demo), but it definitely sold me on it. I was not sure about buying a multiplayer only game. I found the game to be very good and I will purchase day one. I’ve been pretty bored of FPS games, but this is great.

    • Missed out on trying the game at PAX East 2015. Got to try it at PAX East 2016. The game was awesome! The team and staff at the booth were super cool and made the game that more more exciting and enjoyable for me(shoutout to Steven!). Excited to play on the PS4 and try and be pro at the game but who knows if that will ever happen lol. Full support Mercy all the way! I don’t expect anything back when being support so I dont think aboit others not appreciating the help.

  • Thankfully someone higher up in the game chain brought up the Bastion problem. Hes really broken when it comes to turret for and can camp badly on a lot of maps. :/

  • This is hardly a things learned. This is definitely a “in case you weren’t aware of what our game is” with one or two real specific tips

  • Personally, I love playing as Symmetra. It almost makes her feel like a combo FPS/real time strategy game. You can set down 6 different turrets wherever you want, give shields to your teammates for support, set-up a teleporter to get your teammates back in the action quickly, and her gun even homes in on enemies. She isn’t tough, but I tend to get my most kills as her anyways, and still get appreciation from teammates for helping them.

  • 1st of all I’m glad Overwatch is as good as I thought it would be,actually it was even better…for an online-only game I was a bit afraid that it could be bad.Anyway I liked Overwatch since it was announced,was a bit sad that it was for PC only but gotta say I was really glad to see it coming to PS4,the beta was amazing and I’m definitely buying it…if I didn’t had so many games to finish I would get it on launch.

    Didn’t read all the post but I’m glad you guys mentioned Bastion…damn that bastard is overpowered as hell,Blizzard needs to do something about it,a nerf is needed ASAP his life needs to be dropped to 150.Its as simple as that.

    Although I could only play for a day I had tons of fun with it and if you have a good team its even more awesome to play…its a rare thing when I like a game that ain’t on PS but Overwatch always seemed cool,I’m just really glad that its releasing on PS4.

  • Oh yeah and quit calling Overwatch a moba cuz it ain’t a moba in any way.

  • I am tired of all the shooting games that are basically the same game. You can change the characters appearance, but it is the same thing.i didn’t waste my time with the beta version. I will not be buying this game either. I am finding it hard to get excited about any games lately. I don’t even believe the ratings left on psn, because usually the game sucks even if it has 4 and a half plus stars.

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