Be the Best Winston That You Can Be!

Peanut Butter!  Err... sorry.

Our only goal with this guide is to help you be a better Winston player.  Please share your tips, tricks and comments with the community. Together we can all be better!

If you are an experienced player then jump down to the Tips and Tricks section for the cool stuff that you can do with Winston.  If you are new then let us be the first to welcome you to this great community.  We suggest that you start your journey right here!


Winston is a powerful Tank Hero that is strong but unfortunately does not fit in the current meta. His combination of shielding, mobility and a weapon that makes aiming a breeze, has allowed him to deal with pesky Widowmakers and other squishy annoyances in the past. Currently, these annoying heroes are seldom picked, leaving no room for Winston. He is a unique hero and will hopefully return as the meta changes.

Where his weapon is concerned, it's incredibly forgiving and automatically targets enemies near your crosshair, allowing you to deal damage incredibly easily without too much thought. Unfortunately, his low damage output coupled with the fact that two healers per team is a very popular concept, means that Winston can rarely even deal more damage than is being healed. A hero like Winston has difficulty disrupting enemies if he is no threat. Nevertheless, He will always have a place in our hearts.

Pros

Cons

His ability to leap gives him an amazing ability to escape or engage in any fight 

His primary requires close proximity

Great at clearing out squishies and snipers.  

He has no alternative fire

A primary weapon that requires little aiming ability

His Shield Barrier is immobile

His Ultimate ability clears points and payloads

He can still be killed very quickly once his Barrier is down and if he doesn't have his Ultimate

Story

The Horizon Lunar Colony was established as a first step for humanity's renewed exploration of space. Among its residents was a group of genetically enhanced gorillas that were intended to test the effects of prolonged habitation in space.

One gorilla displayed such rapid brain development from the gene therapy that he was taken under the wing of Dr. Harold Winston, who taught him science and inspired him with tales of human ingenuity. The young gorilla passed his days assisting with the scientists' experiments, watching the distant blue world outside his habitat window, dreaming of the endless possibilities that awaited him there.

But his life was thrown into chaos when the other gorillas led an uprising, killed the mission scientists, and claimed the colony for their own. Taking on the name of his beloved human caretaker, Winston built a makeshift rocket and escaped to Earth. There he found a new home with Overwatch, an organization that represented everything he had come to admire about humanity. Winston was finally able to live up to the heroic ideal that had been instilled in him.

Abilities

Tesla Cannon - With no alternative fire, Tesla Cannon is a one-trick pony. Fortunately for Winston it not only allows him to deal continuous stream of damage but it also tracks enemies within its radius. As long as Winston holds down the left mouse button, the electric barrage will continually strike out at all enemies in a large cone in front of him. Against low health Heroes such as Zenyatta, Mei or Widowmaker you can cut them down in seconds. Considering the aim requirements on Tesla Cannon are so forgiving, it's often incredibly easy to leap into a fight and clean up a group of low health Heroes. Better yet, on maps that require Point Capture, he excels due to the number of players you'll often find grouped together. As a side note, Tesla Cannon can shoot through your Barrier allowing you to deflect projectiles while still hurting those on the inside or outside of your bubble. 

As a side note for the math enthusiasts (I just know there are so many of you) Since Winston's Tesla Cannon does ~54 dps, Lucio's passive healing heals 12.5 hp/s, and Zenyatta's Orb of Harmony heals 30 hp/s, It will take Winston ~17.4 seconds to kill a 200 hp target who is near lucio and has Orb of Harmony. That is assuming that Lucio never uses Amp It Up, where if he uses Amp It Up as often as possible, it will take Winston ~133.3 seconds to kill his target. Impressive damage Winston.

Jump Pack - Providing Winston with a huge leap in any direction, Jump Pack offers an unrivalled amount of instant mobility. Whether you're rushing to a Capture Point or trying to escape, it significantly reduces not only your map travel time but your ability to survive. On maps where you need to hold points for as long as possible and if you have no Symmetra/Teleporter available, this skill alone can win you matches. You'll quickly be able to leap straight back into a fight (or get 70% of the way there) in a single jump. Better still, use Lucio until his super speed runs out and then use your Jump Pack. It's the quickest method to any team fight outside of Teleporting.

Barrier Projector - Although it isn't as strong as it once was, Winston's Barrier is still invaluable. Projecting a bubble-shaped field that absorbs damage until it's destroyed, allies (and himself) can stand inside it until the Barrier breaks. When inside they'll avoid all damage as long as the Barrier lasts. Unsurprisingly this skill is incredible for defending a point or even escorting a Payload (place it on the vehicle!). The only major downside to it is that concentrated fire from Heroes that can attack quickly (Solider 76, Tracer, Bastion, Torbjorn's Turret) will quickly rip it to pieces. Finally, enemies can walk through your barrier but can still take damage from your teams projectiles (even if your team is firing from the outside in). 

Primal Rage - Winston grows in size, gaining health, significantly improving his melee attack and reducing the cooldown of his Jump Pack to 2 seconds (from 6 seconds). It's a little strange to melee from this perspective using your fists as they aren't visible so I'd recommend you take his Ultimate for a test-drive in practice mode. Besides that, try to always land on enemies after using your Jump Pack as it deals high damage and ensures players have to move. This ultimate is greta for disrupting enemies, pushing them around.

Strategy

Winston is an aggressive tank, focused on diving into fights and disrupting the enemy team. Skirting around the edges of combat isn't his thing, in fact it is quite the opposite. At all times you want to be in jumping range of the enemy team so that you can lead the charge when your allies are ready to engage.

What's important to remember with Winston is that he's there to displace the enemy team by immediately landing in the middle of them. He can quickly cut down low health enemy players with his Tesla Cannon before placing his Barrier Projector. Often Winston players dive into a fight and instantly place down their Barrier Projector, even if they aren't under immediate fire or have players inside their Barrier. Although it is sometimes necessary to place it immediately, thinking about when to use it is important. If those you're fighting are melee based, there's no need to use it. If you do see enemy players incoming, or if the opposing team is particularly ranged heavy, just be ready to drop it down. 

Although I'd say Winston is easy to play, the depth to his gameplay comes from knowing when to not only use your Barrier Projector but also when to Jump Pack into a fight or when to leave. As previously noted, he's amazing at harassing squishy targets and there are few who can actually escape him. Even against Heroes such as Junkrat he can quickly and easily cut them down. Despite that, if his Barrier is on cooldown the size of Winston makes him a prime target. He can be easily damaged by every Hero and is easily burst down if his Ultimate isn't available. You always have to be aware of this and due to that, it's a balancing act between aggressive and defensive play. In simple terms, just be sure to have your Jump Pack available if you're low health or at the very least, find time by using line of sight for it to come off cooldown. 

Finally and unsurprisingly, Winston is at his strongest when he is protecting a single point. If you're on a map that requires tons of movement he is, arguably, weaker. However, he can still be potent on escort maps simply because of his ability to get quickly back to the front line. If you're on any of the below maps, Winston is a very strong choice:

Matchups

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

Hero

Threat 

Bastion: His ability to Fortify allows him to rip through you and your Barrier. If you're busy fighting others and don't notice him, you're going to die incredibly quickly. Although you can kill him 1 on 1, it's still a challenging fight simply due to his rate of fire. 

7/10

Reaper: A couple of well-timed shots to the face and Winston dies quickly to Reaper. A clever Reaper will also wait out your Barrier. Although you can Ultimate to survive (if it's available) I'm not sure in a 1 on 1 situation it's worth the worse: just leap out instead.  

8/10

Soldier 76: Your Barrier can only hold for so long against Solider 76. He'll eventually break it and then you're left completely exposed. If he uses his alternative fire, he'll break through it even quicker. Although you can leap onto him, his healing combined with his damage will cut you down very quickly. 

9/10

 

McCree: A much slower rate of fire than Soldier 76, McCree can be a headache for Winston. If he runs into your Barrier, stuns you and follows up with his alternative fire you're going to be near death. Although it'll take him some time to break your Barrier from the outside, diving onto him isn't always the best option.

8/10

Pharah: Her ranged poke combined with powerful attacks make life difficult for Winston. You can't reach her and she'll never be in range to allow her to come to any harm.  8/10
Roadhog: His Hook combined with his melee/primary fire combo can kill you incredibly quickly. A good Roadhog can also ensure you can't escape by Hooking you just before you leap. His Ultimate can also obliterate your Barrier.  8/10

 

 

Tips

This list of tips and tricks are just a handful of things we think will help your Winston 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. 


How Winston's leap resets when you use your ultimate ability. 

 


Tips and Advice from Great British Gaming

 


Winston Buttjumping To Avoid Headshots

 


1. Try to balance your use of Jump Pack between engaging and retreating. It's your best tool at entering and escaping from any fight. Learning when to use it takes practice. 

2. Enemies inside your Barrier Projector can harm you - it only defends you and your team if enemies must shoot through it. 

3. Tesla Cannon is incredibly forgiving when it comes to aiming. Just point in an enemies general direction and fire - it'll track them. 

4. Winston is amazing at harassing low health Heroes such as Mei, Zenyatta and Widowmaker. Just constantly leap after them while using your primary fire. 

5. Winston is strongest on control point maps as it allows him to remain in one location, maximizing his Barrier and its defensive potential. 

6. Heroes such as Roadhog and Bastion are real threats to Winston due to their ability to burn through your Barrier incredibly quickly. Be sure that your team focuses them.

7. Make use of Winston's mobility on escort maps. You can quite easily leap ahead of your team and rush to the escort point for a quick cap, especially if joined by Lucio. 

8. Unsurprisingly Winston pairs amazing with Lucio for the shielding and speed, allowing him to quickly zip about the battlefield while using his primary attack. If you can use the speed to constantly harass the enemies high value targets. 

9. Only leap to engage if you are sure you can escape without dying.  

10. You are godly when Zarya drops her ult.  Work with her to maximize your potential damage. 

11. Harass your opponent's healers and light DPS.   You usually aren't needed on the point or Payload.   If their tanks don't have heals then you win. 

12. Tell your team when you are diving in.  A count of going in 3!  1....2....3.....  usually gets everyone onboard and provides great results. 

13. Don't ult if you are nano-boosted.   Ana's Nano-Boost is better used with your Tesla Cannon.   You can then use your ultimate as a "2nd life" to continue the onslaught when Nano-Boost wears off. 


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Last Updated: Mar 22, 2017

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