October 05 , 2016

McCree GUIDE - In depth analysis on how and when to play him (It’s high noon!)

1. Introduction
2. Strengths and Weaknesses
3. Skills and Abilities
4. Shooting
5. How to use your abilities + combos
6. How to play McCree strategically (in-depth)
7. How to improve your mechanics
8. Picks and counterpicks
9. How to play against a good McCree
10. Conclusion

Overwatch champion guide - Mccree


- Role - Offense

- Difficulty - Mid-high

- What is he good at - McCree is one of the champions in Overwatch that are played on each level of the game. His set of abilities, mid-long range shooting and damage output make him one of the most highly contested champions. He doesn’t have hard counters and at the same time is a perfect pick against a lot of champs. He is a versatile pick that can battle literary everyone both at long and short range. All maps and team compositions fit this hero and due to that he is in Tier one in the Overwatch champion tier list. McCree is capable to solo carry games in the hands of a sharp shooter with good feel of positioning. Most team compositions revolve around him and depend on his performance in order to win.

2.Strengths and Weaknesses (in-depth McCree analysis)

- Strengths - Overwatch is filled with unique heroes, each of them with it's own flavour and powers. Mccree is a type of champion that requires good aim and positioning. His damage output is the highest on mid / short range but he can poke successfully from distance too. Hitting headshots constantly will cripple the enemies. One of his main strengths is that he can outplay pretty much every other hero in the game and has a very high skill-cap. He is versatile and deadly which make him the perfect pick in a majority of your games. His ultimate, if timed properly can singlehandedly stop an entire enemy team, but in many cases it might do nothing at all. He is great in teamfights, 1v1s and small skirmishes.

- Weaknesses - His long range shooting has falloff damage, so on really long distances he is not that deadly. Shooting for the head is often hard and hitting only the body can take way too much time to kill some champions. He is not that mobile with only one “dash” type of ability. Positioning and good aim are obligatory to have impact in the game. He is a pretty straight forward type of champion and surprising the enemies is quite rare. He is powerful, but in many situations he just doesn’t work (might need a flanker, or something to break the frontline… etc.). He doesn’t have self sustain, so he’s rather dependent on a healer. A good enemy tank line can negate Mccree’s impact by a lot. He is not the tank destroyer he used to be in the past ;)

3.Skills (Abilities)

Peacekeeper (LMB) - The Peacekeeper fires a single shot at a low rate of fire. Each shot has high damage and long damage falloff.

Fan the Hammer (RMB) - Shoots all remaining bullets in an extremely wide spread. Each bullet deals reduced damage. Most effective at close range.

Combat Roll (L Shift) - McCree dives in the direction he’s moving, effortlessly reloading his Peacekeeper in the process.

Flashbang (E) - McCree heaves a blinding grenade that explodes shortly after it leaves his hand. The blast staggers enemies in a small radius.

Deadeye (Ultimate - Q) - Focus. Mark. Draw. McCree takes a few precious moments to aim; when he’s ready to fire, he shoots every enemy in his line of sight. The weaker his targets are, the faster he’ll line up a killshot.


Your peacekeeper (LMB) fires a perfectly accurate bullet in the direction you are aiming. Your shots are fired with no delay, but require a little time to shoot the 2nd bullet. High damage on short/mid range and perfect accuracy make McCree an efficient killer. Long range shooting is a bit tricky and less impactful, but always useful both to charge your ult and to wear down the enemies. Use your LMB over your RMB anytime you are not in a really close combat. Even then a confident Mccree will prefer the single shot that can secure him a 1 bullet kill over the random and spread Fan of the hammer. Combined with the flashbang short range kills are quite easy for this hero.

Your damage falls off with distance. Mccree is best fit for short / mid and mid-long shooting. There are obviously champions that can outdamage him in the long distances (Hanzo, Widow etc.). However your real strength is the fact that you are useful at all ranges. Don’t be shy to poke from distance, get into the action by approaching slowly and dealing more and more damage on the way. Focus the squishies and preferably aim for the head. This will secure your advantage in any fight. … see more at point 7.

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5.How to use your abilities + combos

Your skillset is simple and easy to learn on a basic level. Your primary tool is always your LMB.

In close combats the biggest advantage you have is your flashbang, if you hit that you will most likely win the encounter vs most champions. Fan of the hammer can be useful when you are facing someone that is mobile (Tracer, Genji, Winston) and you want to make things happen quick, but you want to be at really close range otherwise you’ll miss most of your shots making its use unreasonable. A single shot to the head while an enemy is stunned can get the job done much more reliably and efficiently.

Your Roll is not the greatest in terms of movement advantage, but what it gives you is an instant reload of your barrel, which is much more important. Instead of 6 bullets you can have 12 if you use the L shift properly. In addition the Roll can get you out of slippery situations like a Winston chasing you, or a buffed Zarya in your face, champions you don’t have much chance against if you face in a 1v1 and you don’t have your Control Roll up.

Deadeye is one of the games most awesome abilities. It can turn a fight around or be completely useless depending on how the player times it. A lot of newcomers don’t really know what to do with it. Best case scenario is you are getting a highground or a good position at long range where you are not intimidated by enemies. The charge time is different depending on the current HP bar of the enemies, so it might take a second or two to get it properly timed. Never rush it at the start. Once it’s ready for use instead of a red dot on top of the enemies, you’ll see a red scull which indicates that this champion will die if you shoot at this precise moment. The charging time leaves you vulnerable to attacks, so using it in the middle of a fight is a high risk option. If the enemies are smart they will run and hide the second they hear the “It’s high noon” quote. So your perfect ult is dependent not only on your position, but also on the placement of the enemies you want to kill. If they have a nearby terrain they can use to hide this will minimize your chances to kill multiple people with your ult. A Reinhardt or Winston shield can also make your Deadeye useless so it’s really about outthinking your opponent and timing the shots just right. Be patient, but decisive and you will find success.

6. How to play McCree strategically (in-depth)

- Payload maps (attack & defense) - As previously said McCree is great on all game modes, both as attacker and defender. Payload maps are not an exception to the rule. The battles take place in a constantly changing environment, which is not something that McCree is afraid of. He can be a carry on all ranges, all places and all maps. The one big factor that can make your game harder is the difference between your tanks and the enemy tanks performance. If they overpower your team and get to you easily you are in trouble. Tanks like Winston, Zarya, Reinhardt, Roadhog, even a D.Va can be a factor you can not work around. Ofcourse your job is to deal damage as much and as often as you can, but that doesn’t mean you’ll always have enough time to wear down the beefy champs, and if the supports and carries are playing behind them, it’s quite unlikely you’ll be able to kill these too (if they are smart). So in terms of when Mccree is most efficient you really need to think first of the front lines of each teams. Personally I feel like a defending Mccree is stronger than an attacking one due to 2 main reasons:

- It’s much easier to properly position yourself and it’s much more likely that a fellow support will help you sustain when defending. High grounds are always a place that a good shooter will benefit from.

- The fact that you have virtually 0 flanking power as Mccree on offense can force you to go into things like Reinhardt shield which are just a pain to work around. With that the chances to snipe the back line when the enemy (defenders) have already built up their unbreakable fortress are significantly reduced.

- Capture maps (attack & defense) - Basically the same goes for that map mode. A thing that is worth mentioning as addition is that these maps usually have 1 or 2 choke points that are really hard to pass. Genji, Tracer and Reaper can do that without having to brute force their way in, while Mccree needs to work the whole way through. Pharah is also a good option if the enemies don’t have long range shooters that can snipe you in the air.

- Control maps - Control is all about fighting, small skirmishes massive teamfights and not stop action. Mccree is a great champion for that again due to the fact that he can work well at any distance and can 1v1 most champions. His one real disadvantage at these maps is the lack of mobility that can often be the factor that will determine who will prevail. Each game needs to be coordinated with your team composition to find balance. It’s advisable to have atleast one or two mobile champions on the control maps, also a Lucio speed boost is a thing to want.

7.How to improve your mechanics

o Basic mechanics you need to know / master

A good aim is the first thing you need to master when you are starting to play this champion. Practice mode or quick match - you need to check how accurate you are. Adjust your mouse sensitivity / dpi as comfortably as you can, it’s advisable to not be too fast or too slow, but it’s all up to what you are used to. What matters is that you wont need 3 seconds to make a 360 spin and you wont miss targets from long range coz your mouse sens is too fast.

Start shooting for the head.

Train your flashbang distance and always shoot in the head after that.

o Advanced mechanics you need to know / master

It’s very important to use your Left shift (Roll) properly. Think of it more as a double barrel on your gun instead of a movement utility. If a Winston rushes you, your best chance to win is to RMB roll back and try to LMB his head. Same goes to Zarya for example.

o Pro mechanics you need to know / master

The main things that differ an average player from a pro one when playing Mccree are : 1st - shooting, 2nd - positioning, 3rd - how to use his deadeye. Proper timing is everything and good positioning also. Charging your ult usually leaves you in a really vulnerable situation for a second or two when each enemy is going to either try to kill you or just run away from your vision. You want to predict and time the Deadeye exactly how it should be for maximum impact, this however is something that you need to feel, it’s not something that you can just learn.

8.Picks and counterpicks

Pick Mccree when your team composition needs a damage dealer that can work from all ranges and all places. It’s preferable your 2nd dps to be a flanker, so that you diversify your damage output, creating more locations for which the enemies need to be cautious about.

He is great on any game mode and map, but needs to have the right champions to support him. For example Mercy amplifies his attribution significantly, while a solid frontline can keep him safe in the back where no champion can contest his ground.

Mccree has no real counter, but is played harder when matched against: Winston, Zarya, Widow, Roadhog, Reinhardt, Mei.

Example teamcomp where Mccree will fit looks like that, but can be good in a thousand different ways:

Reinhardt, Roadhog, Tracer, Lucio, Zenyatta, Mccree - here you virtually have everything you need - massive frontline, healers on the back and enough damage to do the job!

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9. Playing against a good Mccree

A well rounded Mccree can carry a big portion of the games. It’s quite important to know how to deal with that champion in these situations.

It’s a terror if the enemy Mccree hits his headshots constantly. There are champions you can consider to minimize his impact. The usual case is a Mccree in the backline shooting non stop without much allies contesting his reign. Advise your team, or you switch to a Winston/Zarya and try to get in the face of the enemy Mccree. If that is not an option there are champions that can outplay him, but the match up is purely skillbased - Genji, Tracer, Widow are options that can cripple this champion if played properly. So if you are experienced with these it’s a good option to go for. What you need to mostly look out for is the Flashbang when getting close to him, if he hits your 1 v 1 is almost surely lost. So work from a little bit more range, dash in and out. The one thing that will win you the close encounter is the mobility advantage and the chaos a Tracer and Genji can create. Constantly move around and focus on getting down the enemies in the backline (if there is a support around the Mccree it’s probably best to first go for the healer and after that switch your focus). A 2 man dive is much more effective than you on a solo mission to kill the Mccree, so if you have a back up you can win these 1v2, 2v2s much more easier.


This champion has been in and out of the meta a few times, due to buffs and nerfs. At the current state he is balanced, but the skillset he has can be overwhelming for the enemies if used properly. Practice your aim, think about your position and focus. Work with your team and you can find great success exploring the limits of Mccree.

Hope you guys liked our Overwatch Mccree Guide! Please like / share on the social networks to help other players find their style.

Check out our Overwatch champion tier list regularly to stay up to date with what and when to play! You can find a hero guide for each character you like and improve significantly for your next games!

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