Getting into a popular video game can feel a little overwhelming. Getting into a popular multiplayer video game can feel pretty overwhelming. Getting into a popular multiplayer FPS video game with a high-stakes pro league, metas, strategies, jargon, and a whole mess of playable characters who all have distinctive abilities and playstyles? That’s a lot overwhelming.
This guide, and the guides to come, are designed with Overwatch beginners in mind. It’s also written with console players in mind as well as PC players.
Once you’ve ground out some hours on the more mechanically simple Overwatch supports, you might be feeling ready to move on to some more difficult heroes. At this point, you’ve probably developed a feel for how the game works. Hopefully you’ve figured out that your main job is to stick to the payload!
If you feel that your strategic mind for Overwatch hasn’t fully developed yet, don’t worry—that all comes later. What we’re focusing on now is improving your mechanical skills and building your hero pool so that you can help your team deal with whatever comes your way!
That being said, let’s move on to the support who’s slightly more advanced than Brigitte…
Healing mechanics don’t get much simpler than Lucio’s. His abilities provide passivehealing for any allies nearby. That means you don’t have to do more than click a single button to provide your Genji with the heals he apparently desperatelyneeds. As with Brigitte, Lucio becomes a more complicated hero the more you start to think of Overwatch as a test of strategy rather than mechanical skill. That being said, he’s a good one to cut your teeth on as you work on your mad healing skills.
Sonic Amplifier.This is one of the more bizarre projectile weapons in the game. Like Pharah’s rockets or Mei’s secondary fire (that mean icicle you’ve probably gotten headshot by at this point), Lucio’s primary fire travels in a linear path and makes contact after you’ve pulled the trigger. This is what differentiates a projectile weapon from a hitscan weapon (like Soldier’s rifle, or Tracer’s pistols), which make contact asyou fire.
The Sonic Amplifier’s primary fire releases a stream of sonic projectiles that will deal damage. Its secondary fire creates a blast of sound that will knock enemies back. You might hear this referred to as a “boop,” i.e., “That Lucio booped me off the map.”
Lucio’s primary fire doesn’t deal an exceptional amount of damage, but it can be pretty painful if you can track down low-health enemies or line up headshots. The boop is excellent for giving yourself space to escape from enemies, or for maneuvering enemies into position so your team can punish them. You can also boop enemies off of environmental hazards, such as the cliffside in the first point of Route 66, or the well in Ilios. You can even use the secondary fire to alter the path of a charging Reinhardt, which might be a game-saving bit of interference.
It’s important to not use Lucio’s boop in a panic. As much as you can, hold onto that ability and use it only at opportune moments. The last thing you want is to be trapped with an enemy and find you can’t boop them away—especially when that enemy is a Reinhardt swinging his hammer.
Crossfade.When you’re playing as or around Lucio, you’ll hear a faint synth beat. That’s Lucio’s Crossfade ability at work. Lucio’s mobile speakers play two songs: one that provides passive healing, and one that provides a speed boost. These abilities only affect allies within Lucio’s radius, which is pretty generous. His area of effect is visible as a large circle of light (gold for healing, green for speed), with Lucio at its center. Lucio also benefits from his Crossfade ability, so use it when you need healing, as well!
Deciding when to heal and when to speed boost is one of those things that comes with practice. Generally speaking, you’ll want to speed boost to get your team to the point faster. This is super helpful for King of the Hill maps, which sometimes get decided by which team gets to the point first. You might also want to use speed boost to run back to the spawn and help a staggered teammate rejoin the fight quicker. (A player is “staggered” if they are eliminated long before or after the majority of their team.) This is especially helpful with slow-moving heroes like tanks—there’s nothing worse than waiting for your Roadhog to hustle back to the point. Lucio can help mitigate that pain.
Personally, if my team is on the point or payload, I make sure to keep Lucio’s Crossfade set to healing. (And no, Lucio’s speed boost doesn’t affect the speed of the payload. I checked.)
Amp It Up. This ability boosts the effects of whichever Crossfade song you’ve selected. Set to healing? Mad heals! Set to speed boost? Even speedier now! Pretty simple. Amp It Up to rush onto the point before the opposing team, or pour out extra healing in the aftermath of a rough enemy ultimate. Like Lucio’s secondary fire, you’ll want to use this ability carefully. Don’t spam it in a panic—wait until the moment is right.
By holding the jump button while looking at a wall from the correct angle (150 degrees or so), Lucio will leap onto the wall and ride along it until the jump button is released. You can also leap from wall to wall if you’ve got enough height. Curved walls will allow for endless riding!
This ability is mechanically more useful on the PC, where you’ll see Lucio players achieving heights to rival Pharah’s. If you’re on console, achieving that kind of mobility is trickier with the joysticks. In that case, focus on using Lucio’s wallride to maneuver into good positions and escape from dangerous encounters.
Sound Barrier. Lucio’s ultimate provides nearby allies with literally hundreds of points worth of extra shields. These shields will decay over time, but this ultimate is strong enough to help your team survive a blow like D.Va, Hanzo, and Reaper’s ults. That’s huge. Be warned, utilizing Lucio’s ult triggers a fairly long animation. Lucio will jump up into the air and then drop down, and you’re vulnerable for this duration. If you’re going to get it in there to protect against a Death Blossom, you’ll have to be quick. Sound Barrier can also all but nullify Soldier’s Tactical Visor.
When to play Lucio:
Lucio is definitely good for a specific subset of maps and game modes. He’s nearly always a good pick on King of the Hill maps, especially on Ilios and Nepal, which have major environmental hazards. Boop away! When you’re defending on payload maps, his speed boost can help your team return to the payload faster after lost fights. This is super important at the beginning of a payload map, when the defenders’ spawn room is much further away than the attackers’. Lucio’s abilities will help mitigate the attackers’ advantage in these cases.
Like Moira, Lucio is also helpful when your team’s other healer(s) can only heal one player at a time. His area of effect healing will help keep everyone else healthy while Mercy is busy attending to D.Va. Or Genji. We all know how it goes.
Bapiste is fresh enough that he isn’t even available in competitive play at the time of this writing. Having spent a good chunk of time with him, however, I think I have a good sense of what his play might feel like for beginners.
Biotic Launcher. Baptiste’s primary fire is hard. No doubt about it. His gun fires in three-round bursts that require a lot of accuracy and recoil control to get any real value. If you can get hits, you’ll deal a good chunk of damage. However, shots can be so hard to land that I’ve taken to firing with Baptiste only when I’ve got a good sightline on a low-health enemy, or when I get trapped in a one-on-one. You can also feel free to open up fire when your enemies are bunched and you won’t be punished for low accuracy. Be patient with yourself when it comes to Baptiste’s secondary fire. Getting proficient will take a lot of practice.
Regenerative Burst. This ability is primarily about healing Baptiste, who doesn’t benefit from his own healing grenades. Better yet, nearby allies will also get a healing boost from this ability, but only if they’re pretty close. Its radius is definitely less than that of Lucio’s passive healing. Regenerative Burst will get you pretty much back to full health over a few seconds, but has a long cooldown. Be sparing in how you use it.
Immortality Field. This is by far Baptiste’s most hyped and controversial ability. Upon using it, Baptiste drops a device that prevents allies from dying. Now, it won’t prevent them from taking damage, but as long as they’re within its radius, they won’t drop below a certain percentage of their health. The device itself can be destroyed, but while your enemies are busy trying to bust it down, you’ll have ample opportunity to pour out damage.
Exo Boots. Crouch as Baptiste, and you’ll see a golden meter beneath your reticle fill over a few seconds. Hit your jump button, and Baptiste will jump a height proportionate to the meter’s fill. Get that mad air and rain down justice—uh, healing—from above!
Amplification Matrix. Baptiste’s ult is looking like one of the trickiest to utilize of all the support ultimates. This matrix—which is slightly smaller than Reinhardt’s shield—doubles the damage and healing of any ally projectiles that pass through it. It’s helpful, of course, just for getting around tough corners with the payload, or for making your Bastion an even bigger threat. But it gets really wild when used in combination with an ult like Soldier’s, where you can guarantee double damage as well as perfect accuracy. If you drop the Matrix alongside Orisa’s ultimate, now we’re talking about an absurd amount of damage. (I personally recommend you stagger your ult with Orisa’s, but hey, go wild.)
When to play Baptiste:
The answer to this question will become more clear as Baptiste gets more play time and enters competitive play. For now, I can say with confidence that he pours out enough healing to be your team’s main healer. If you’ve already got an Ana or Zenyatta, you can feel safe jumping onto Baptiste. As with Moira, compositions that keep your team clustered together will make good use of Baptiste’s healing. Once you get good with that projectile fire, though, you’ll be able to swoop in to save teammates who aren’t in your immediate area while your other healing abilities top up allies nearby.
I also recommend that you only start working on Baptiste once you’ve got some experience on a DPS hero. As I’ve mentioned, his primary fire is pretty tricky. Having some experience on someone like Soldier or McCree will make Baptiste a little easier.
Now, soldier, get to work on Lucio and Baptiste, and return when you’re ready to tackle the toughest support heroes in the game!