Be the Best Tracer That You Can Be

If you are an experienced player then jump down to the bottom of this article to the Tips and Tricks section for the really cool stuff.  If you are new, then welcome and start right here!


Tracer is Overwatch’s most iconic Hero and as it’s posterchild, is incredibly popular. With unrivalled speed and mobility she’s not only frustrating to fight against but more than capable of taking on a majority of enemy Heroes 1 on 1. With her ability to teleport forwards and recall backwards in time, her strength lies in the fact she can disorientate her enemy while repositioning herself to her own advantage. She’s exceptionally strong at bypassing enemy defence lines and can be particularly effective at uprooting a stubborn Torbjorn or Bastion. The biggest difficulty with Tracer is the fact she has a high skill ceiling. A bad Tracer can be a liability to your team while a good one can carry pretty hard. Unfortunately the road to becoming “good” with Tracer is one that takes time and a great deal of practice.


Pros

Cons

Incredible mobility and speed

Can be killed very quickly if she has no Recall or Blink charges

High single target damage

Offers little group support or utility

A headache for slow moving Heroes to deal with

Not able to hold the front lines. 

An invaluable means of escape through Recall

Can struggle against a well organised team

Story

Lena Oxton (call sign: "Tracer") was the youngest person ever inducted into Overwatch's experimental flight program. Known for her fearless piloting skills, she was handpicked to test the prototype of a teleporting fighter, the Slipstream. But during its first flight, the aircraft's teleportation matrix malfunctioned, and it disappeared. Lena was presumed dead.

Tracer, suffering from chronal disassociation

She reappeared months later, but her ordeal had greatly changed her: her molecules had been desynchronized from the flow of time. Suffering from "chronal disassociation," she was a living ghost, disappearing for hours and days at a time. Even for the brief moments she was present, she was unable to maintain physical form. Sometimes she had strange dreams about the past, including being a kitchen maid at a large house in the country.

Overwatch's doctors and scientists were stumped, and Tracer's case seemed hopeless until a scientist named Winston designed the chronal accelerator, a device capable of keeping Tracer anchored in the present. In addition, it gave Tracer the ability to control her own time, allowing her to speed it up and slow it down at will. With her newfound skills, she became one of Overwatch's most effective agents. At some point she was stationed at Watchpoint: Gibraltar.

Abilities

Pulse Pistols - Allowing Tracer to rapidly fire her pistols, these signature weapons are her primary source of damage. Without an alternative fire, Pulse Pistols offer Tracer rapid damage output but with a heavy fall-off. They’re only good at close range and with a clip that holds 40 ammo, it’s easy to quickly burn through her ammo. Unsurprisingly and due to the speed at which they fire, their damage per bullet is very low (1.5-6) but quickly adds up to the pace of delivery and short reload time (1 second).

Fun Fact - If you are able to get close enough (within 11 meters) and land all 40 bullets in your clip, this will deal 240 damage (assuming no headshots, which is unlikely). This alone will kill many heroes but a quick melee will finish off 250 health heroes.

Blink - With 3 charges Blink allows Tracer to teleport in any direction, horizontally. Taking 3 seconds to recharge one Blink, they form a large part of her kit and are the primary reason why she has so much mobility. The distance on the blink is fairly large and your direction is based on whichever way you’re currently traveling. I will add that at first, it’s a little tricky to get used to Blink, especially in terms of avoiding enemy attacks. Just be sure to always save one Blink charge so that if you need to, you can escape.

Recall - With a 12 second cooldown, Recall returns Tracer to where she was several seconds before. It’s effectively a “reset” that returns her health, ammo and positioning. It’s undoubtedly one of the strongest skills in the game and makes Tracer particularly formidable 1 on 1. If she’s about to die, she can Recall and be back to near full health ready to fight again. In regards to Recall and its “window” the period of time on the recall is only a few seconds and if you aren’t careful (or don’t remember where you previously were) you can quickly find yourself in trouble.

Pulse Bomb - Effectively a “sticky” mine that can attach itself to any surface or player, the Pulse Bomb will detonate after a short delay. Its damage is very high (400) and it’s more than enough to kill the vast majority of Heroes. If you can plant it on key targets such as healers, it’ll instantly kill them and buy your team a window of opportunity. I’ll also add that it’s particularly effective at instantly killing Symmetra’s teleporter - just throw it on it and Blink away.

Strategy

When it comes to playing Tracer, the main thing you need to remember is the fact that you’re a squishy target and your role is to constantly harass the low health Heroes on the opposing team. At times this will be particularly difficult, especially if the enemy team is coordinated, Tank heavy (Reinhardt/Roadhog/Winston) or on confined maps. Ilios, Nepal and Hanamura can be challenging for Tracer because they don’t have a huge amount of options when it comes to routes in and around the enemy: such bottlenecks can heavily restrict her role.

Countering these map issues can be done, but takes clever use of your Blink and Recall abilities. The opening section of Hanamura for example is a real headache, but you can skirt along the roof and around the back of the building towards the first Capture Point. You can also Blink quickly ahead the moment the spawn point opens before the enemy team gets established at front of the door.

If the opposing team is Tank heavy - with Support Heroes - you should try to work around the edges of fights, picking off players running from the spawn point to the front line. Tracer can comfortably win most 1 on 1’s so thinning out the enemy team, before they even make it into battle, can really help your team snowball. Diving into a heavy team fight, certainly over a Capture Point, can often result in Tracer quickly being killed. Part of her strength in skirting around the edges of a fight is because she relies on knowing what’s coming in order to Blink and Recall.  A stray bullet, some AOE or even a well placed Turret in a large scrum makes life difficult for her as you’ll have to predict multiple sources of damage and react to them. It’s far easier to handle small team fights (2’s and 3’s).

Finally, know your limitations. As previously stated Tracer excels in 1 on 1 encounters but can die incredibly easily in a team fight, or against a Hero who is well practiced against her. Even though Blink and Recall can get you out of most situations, she’s incredibly vulnerable without her full kit. Used all your Blink’s to reach the frontline and bump into Soldier 76? You’re going to die. Don’t have Recall and get Hooked by Roadhog? You’re going to die.  Ensuring you have a full kit ready before you go into a fight, so you aren’t in any way vulnerable, is key.

Matchups

Heroes listed here are particularly challenging for Tracer. While those listed can still be killed, they pose a particularly difficult challenge for her so be sure to take extra care. 

Hero

Threat 

Bastion: Bastion is a strange matchup for Tracer. On one hand, you can quickly zip past him using your Blink before dropping a Pulse Bomb on him. On the other, if you aren't sure where he is, he'll kill you instantly once you appear. If he's mobile, running and gunning, he can also deal high damage in a very short space of time. 

7/10

Reaper: Always a threat simply because of his burst damage potential, Reaper can kill you in just a couple of hits. His ability to avoid your damage and teleport allows him to play cat and mouse with you. 

8/10

Soldier 76: His ability to heal himself, turn on his aim-bot (Ultimate) and free-fire with his machine gun makes Solider 76 one of the greatest threats to Tracer. If you catch him unaware you can kill him, but if he has sight of you you're in trouble. 

9/10

 

McCree: One well timed stun combined with his alternative fire will kill you instantly. Thankfully you're much quicker than McCree and his rate of fire is fairly slow. Just make sure you have your Blink charges available and prepare for his stun. 

7/10

Torbjorn: Unless you've a full set of Blink charges available, as well as Recall, Torbjorn will cause you difficulty. His turret tracks amazingly well and he can fire away at you, forcing you to use your skills.  7/10
Roadhog: His Hook combined with his melee/primary fire combo can kill you instantly. The fact his Hook is a very fast projectile will ensure you're brought to him. Although you can Recall away, it's a fine line between escaping and instantly dying.  8/10
Zarya: Her shielding combined with a generous primary attack make Zarya a challenge. She's tough to take down and she can comfortably keep her beam in your general direction.  8/10

 

 

Tips

This list of tips and tricks are just a handful of things we think will help your Tracer play. We'll continue to add to the list as required and if you have any tips you'd like to share, let us know in the comments below and we'll place them here. 


An excellent guide to playing Tracer by OneAmongstMany

 


Another great guide, this time by Muselk

 


Ultimate Guide in Under a Minute

 


Tracer Role Guide

 


How To Improve Your Aim As Tracer

 


Tracer Flank Routes - Hanamura

 


Tracer Flank Routes - Volkskaya Industries

 


Tracer Flank Routes - Watchpoint: Gibraltar

 


Tracer Positioning in Under 5 Minutes

 


How to Attack With Tracer

 


Tracer Flank Routes - Temple of Anubis

 


Advanced Tracer Decision Making

 


How to Blink - Hanamura

 


1. Use of your Blink should be based on need. Don't just use all three to reach the front-line if it means you'll be without them when you actually get into a fight.

2. Although Tracer relies heavily on her Blink to disorientate enemy players, she doesn't need it. If one Blink will suffice, don't waste a second or third. 

3. Recall will return Tracer to several seconds in the past, including her original health. If you've taken damage, use Recall to regain your lost hit points. 

4. Tracer reloads quickly (1 second) so don't be afraid to constantly shoot. 

5. One of Tracer's strongest attack combo's is to shoot a full clip into an enemy, Blink to them, hit them with your melee attack and Recall back (to then carry on firing at them). Alternatively, you can Blink onto an enemy, drop your Pulse Bomb and Recall away. 

6. Pulse Bomb deals 400 damage and sticks to enemy players. Use this to instantly delete key targets. 

7. On Capture Point maps, Tracer is particularly effective. Her speed often allows her to race far ahead of an enemy team to cap early. 

8. If you have to participate in a large team fight, especially in a close quarter area, try to stay on the edges of the fight rather than in the middle of it. Alternatively, drop your Pulse Bomb in the middle of the group (Blink in) and then Recall out. This usually secures a few kills as a minimum. 

9. If Torbjorn is bunkered in and causing your team difficulty, using the same tactic above (8) just Blink onto his turret, drop your Pulse Bomb and Recall out. It'll instantly destroy it and allow your team to advance. Just be sure to have all your Blink charges or his turret will gun you down. 

10. If the enemy team has a Roadhog, take greater care. His Hook can cause you constant misery. Just be sure to have your Recall at the ready.    

11. Pick out stragglers and lone wolves as your targets.  Your too squishy to stand in the middle of a team fight.  

12. See (11), fight on the periphery of team fights.  A couple of stray shots will kill you.  Spend your time turning your enemies and being an annoyance. 

13. Zarya and Reaper can both nullify your ult if you stick it on them. 

14. You're great at finding and kiling teleporters.  Make that an every day job. 

15. You can blink in any horizontal direction; not just forwards. 

16. Mashing recall will sometimes save you from a Roadhog Hook / L-click combo. 

17. If you see the enemy Mercy die you can often head towards their spawn and permanently keep her from returning to battle until somebody comes to help her. 

18. Lucio's "Drop the Beat" and Zarya's shield will save any Hero from your Pulse Bomb.

19. If you get "stuck" by another Tracer, just recall.  It will remove the bomb from you.

20. The following Heroes will die straight up to a Stuck Pulse Bomb.     Genji, Pharah, Widowmaker, Junkrat, McCree, Symmetra, Mercy, Hanzo, Soldier: 76, Bastion.

21. Blinking sideways keeps you in your enemies view.   Try blinking on a 45 degree angle to break line of sight and put yourself in a position that your enemy doesn't expect. 

 

 


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Last Updated: May 17, 2017

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