Overwatch champion guide - Tracer (how to play in-depth)
TRACER GUIDE - In depth analysis on how and when to play her (Bombs away!)
2. Strengths and Weaknesses
3. Skills and Abilities
4. Auto attacking
5. How to use your abilities + combos
6. How to play Tracer strategically (in-depth)
7. How to improve your mechanics
8. Picks and counterpicks
9. How to play against a good Tracer
- Role - Offense
- Difficulty – Mid-high
- What is she good at – Tracer is the poster girl of Overwatch for a reason. She is the type of champion that can turn the course of the game around and demolish enemy teams if played properly. She has an unique skillset that make her the most slippery and annoying hero in the game. If you know how to move, when to go in and out Tracer is a perfect choice for you. She is a versatile pick and can fit almost any team composition and can fight against almost all enemies. A bit better as attacker than defender, but can be useful as both. The British girl deserves her place in our Overwatch champion tier list with her capability to solo carry games! After all there is a reason why she is a Tier one champion at our Overwatch boosting site!
- When to pick/not pick brief - Picking Tracer usually means that you will be the solo mission guy on your team. If the enemies have a well defended fortress it is best to have a hero that can go and split them up. Some will go chasing her, some will stay, but their defense lines will be significantly weaker. Another pick that certainly resembles the things that Tracer does is Genji. However there are significant differences between them. For example if you want to kill a well protected Bastion, Tracer will not be your best choice, while Genji can certainly do the job. If you think that your team can brute force their way to victory consider switching Tracer to something more traditional and straight forward.
2.Strengths and Weaknesses (in-depth Tracer analysis)
- Strengths - Overwatch is filled with unique heroes, each of them with it's own flavour and powers. Tracer is probably the most innovative hero that the game has released so far. Permanent teleportation and time traveling is what we call a fun hero to play. She is not only entertaining though. In the hands of a good player she can be one of the most devastating and disruptive champions. Her ability to flank is unmatched. Killing the enemy squishies is a thing that she does with style. Her ultimate ability is also a great tool to use. The charge time is not long so if you are dealing enough damage you can use your Pulse bomb pretty much every 2 minutes, maybe less. She synergises with a lot of champions, but the most entertaining combo is with Zarya ult. Watching people explode is a sight to see.
Contrary to what some people think - a good Tracer needs to stay close to the enemies. Her auto attacks are deadly if shot from close distance because they are not the most accurate ones. You will also need to use your teleportation to go in and out multiple times for maximum effect.
Tracer is a solo mission type of character. You don’t really rely on your team as much as with other champs. However coordination with your team is required. If you hit at the same time from multiple directions you will increase the chance of success by a lot.
- Weaknesses – Tracer is really easy to get nuked. 1 headshot by most heroes will destroy her and her Rewind ability wont be of any use. The constant use of her teleportation can actually confuse even the one that is playing her. Aiming while constantly blinking is not an easy thing to do. Tracer has good damage output, but she usually needs more than 1 magazine to kill a person and that might be really difficult in many situations. In these cases the best thing you can do is time your attack with your teammates. If you hit at once the enemies will need to think who to focus first which can make the difference in the teamfight.
Pulse Pistols Ability - Tracer rapid-fires both of her pistols.
Blink Ability - Tracer zips horizontally through space in the direction she’s moving, and reappears several yards away. She stores up to three charges of the blink ability and generates more every few seconds.
Recall Ability - Tracer bounce's backward in time, returning her health, ammo and position on the map to precisely where they were a few seconds before.
Pulse Bomb (Ultimate ability) - Tracer lobs a large bomb that adheres to any surface or unfortunate opponent it lands on. After a brief delay, the bomb explodes, dealing high damage to all enemies within its blast radius.
Tracer’s auto attacks are one of the trickier things to master. Think of her as a more mobile Reaper. The closer you are the more bullets will hit the target. If you are shooting from mid/high range you are likely to do very little damage with close to none result. What is really important to master when playing tracer is to always dash with your teleport skill and quickly adjust your mouse on the target after that. Sometimes you might get even disoriented, but if you don’t start doing that properly you will never become a great Tracer player – practice is the keyword here.
The magazine of this champ is 40 bullets, but when shooting it feels like less. The reload time is not long so you can spam shots around 60% of the time. Combining that with good movement can make you the most annoying enemy to play against.
5.How to use your abilities + combos
First of all you need to always be on the move. Staying at one place without using your blink and recall ability will make you an easy target to kill. The cooldown of your blink charging is quite low, but if you misuse it you might end up with no escape mechanisms at all. It’s really important to know how to use Tracer’s abilities to put out maximum damage while staying as safe as possible.
Constant use of Blink and a well timed Recall differ the great Tracers from the rest. Remember that your main focus should be the squishier backline, although you can outplay almost every tank hero also. You don’t want to be in the middle of the fire since you can get bursted easily. Tracer is the so called “flanking” hero and being able to use unpredictable paths is key. With your triple blink you can pass large spaces that other champions can’t and surprise the enemies from the back.
Blink in – do the damage and blink sideways or back. That’s the best way to do things with Tracer. If you get damaged or you see that the place you are at isn’t your comfort zone rewind and repeat the above combo. You will end up in poor situations quite often when playing this hero but there is an escape path almost always if you use your abilities properly .
Your ULT – Pulse bomb is high damage ability that sticks to the first thing it hits (including champions). Use that when you want to nuke a priority target and preferably save your Recall ability after you throw out the bomb. This will guarantee you safety, since the Ult can also kill you if you don’t get out of it’s range. The Area of effect of the Pulse bomb is not that large, but in small spaces it can kill multiple targets. Combining it with Zarya’s Graviton usually takes the play of the game highlight.
6. How to play Tracer strategically (in-depth)
- Payload maps (attack & defense) & Capture maps (attack & defense)
Attack – Tracer is built to be an offensive hero. She can flank and surprise the enemies, destruct their attention and even get a kill or two on her own while her team advances towards the objective. Payload maps are favourable for a good Tracer on the attack. They provide constantly changing environment where you can always stay creative and figure out new ways to flank and attack. Tracer can stay undetected in many cases which can also give a huge edge when you start your attack. She is also a great champion to have in your team when you are playing against a massive tank frontline that protects the paths (reinhard, roadhog, zarya etc.). That is due to the fact that she can just go around these heroes and make the backline target her. If the frontline doesn’t have the damage output coming from their backs your team will have a much easier time to break the defenses. Timing your attacks is another thing you want to keep track of. You want to always annoy people with your presence, but you don’t want to commit if you don’t have the support of your team approaching the desired location.
Maps like King’s Row, Hollywood, Numbani, Dorado on the attack are great for this champion and with this Tracer champion guide we encourage you to test it and see for yourself.
Defense – in many cases we wouldn’t recommend picking her as a defending champion. As we previously said her main focus is to flank and disrupt. The fact that you need to defend an ongoing payload (spot on the map) makes it harder for her to execute what she is made for. Your team mates will focus on building a fortress that can not be breached while you will be on a solo mission. Doing so, your fortress will have one man less defending it which will weaken it.
However Tracer can still prove to be a good choice in some games (like 20-30% as defender). You will focus on what you are built for and if it’s working then you shouldn’t change your champion.
- Control maps - Control maps are full of action and literary non-stop fighting. Tracer is one of the best offensive heroes on that game mode. She flourishes in skirmishes and her extreme mobility always bring chaos into the enemy lines. You can control the areas around the objective, you can go deep into the map and start your harassment really early. You can also stay around the objective and strengthen your brute team force. A double Tracer team comp was often seen at the last big tournaments on Control maps. Coordination is key here. If you are trying to capture the point start from outside and clean up the area from enemies, after that focus on going onto the objective. Providing cross-fire is a thing that usually overwhelms the opposing team and gets you the control back.
7.How to improve your mechanics
o Basic mechanics you need to know / master
As said before - Autoattacking is a tricky thing to do because of your constant blinking. Try to predict how your mouse should move before even using the Blink ability – your damage output will be increased dramatically that way.
o Advanced mechanics you need to know / master
Blinks are a bit harder to master. You have so many options all the time regarding the movement of your hero. Picking the right one is vital for your success. Sometimes you will go forward through the enemy team and sometimes you will need to back off. Estimating when and how to dash can be practiced in many ways. What is most important though is finding the proper location you want to be putting damage from and thinking of your escape after that. Avoid heroes that can 1-shot you (Mccree, Soldier, sometimes Hanzo). Torbjorn and Bastion are also good counters and being extra creative is required when playing against them.
Recall should be timed properly. Use it too early and you will miss out on a huge damage opportunity, use it too late and … you wont use it at all. Plan your rushes in mostly when you have this ability available for use. That doesn’t mean you should afk while you wait for it though. You just need to be extra careful while doing so. If you don’t have the recall ability and you are very low on HP, travel to the nearest HP pack. In fact with your blink ability you can constantly roam around areas collecting these HP packs and stay healthy.
Always stay on the move! Charge your Ultimate and try to maximize the damage it can provide. The hardest thing to learn when playing a Tracer is your timing. Deciding when to go in and out is crucial.
Different maps - different locations you want to focus on and different path you can take. If you feel confident playing Tracer you need to be creative. Knowing where the enemies that are most threatening for you are located is a huge edge. You want to decide either to attack and nuke them or to avoid completely and focus your attacks onto others.
8.Picks and counterpicks
Pick Tracer when you need a reliable flanker. You bring chaos with yourself.
Consider switching to someone else everytime you feel like your movement is being predictable and you can not flank efficiently.
Tracer is countered by different champions on different maps, but in general she struggles mostly against Mccree, Soldier, Torbjorn, Symethra and Bastion. A good Roadhog hitting his hooks and oneshotting you is also quite painful.
Example team composition where Tracer will fit looks like that, but can be good in a thousand different ways:
Zarya, Winston, Tracer, Lucio, Pharah, Widowmaker – Here you have so many diverse ways to control areas. The enemy team should literary split their focus into 3-4 different locations in order to counter your composition. (this is more of an attacking composition)
9. Playing against a good Tracer
We've all had that bitter taste when an enemy Tracer destroys your team. That is due mostly to experience and following the advises above. If you meet such a player in your games, you can outplay him in a few ways. There are heroes that are fit to stop her - Winston/Roadhog/Genji/Mccree can outplay a Tracer and kill her easily. A safe pick against her is Pharah, since you will be outside of her damage range most of the time. If you get one of these and you already know that Tracer is good - focus on getting to her first and destroy. You will see how much easier the game flow will be after that. Also consider Hanzo, Widowmaker and Mei as potential counterpicks!
The key when playing against a good Tracer is to find out a way to either nuke her (Hanzo, Soldier, Mccree) or to be able to track her movement and chase her (Winston,Genji).
This Tracer guide gives a well rounded information about how to play the hero. A million situations can arise that are not described here, but if you get experienced with the champion you will instantly know how to act. Tracer is one of the harder heroes to master, so playing her more and more will definitely improve your performance. Knowing how to use her is even more important though, so following the advices above will give you an easier time with the British girl!
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