Be the best Zenyatta that you can be!

If you are new, start from the top of the guide and work your way through.  If you are an experienced player then jump right down to the Tips and Tricks for more advanced help. 

Zenyatta was once one of Overwatch’s strongest Support Heroes. Unfortunately and due to his strength, he has continued to see adjustment to his kit. As an offensive Support Hero, Zenyatta relies on distributing offensive and defensive Orbs to heal her allies and harm foes.

Zenyatta has seen more changes than any other support, going from being over powered to essentially useless. He is currently a solid choice most of the time.



Good healing if he can retain visual contact with his team

Super squishy

Orb of Discord is invaluable at bursting an enemy player 

Prone to dying very quickly 

His Ultimate heals for 300 health per second 

Has to have sight of enemies and allies for his Orbs to work

Capable of dealing solid damage from afar

No mobility or “escapes”

His shielding makes him less reliant on finding health packs His primary and alternative fire take some getting used to


A former member of the Shambali, Zenyatta disagreed with the group's approach. He believed that the way to repair the problems between humans and omnics was not through dogmatic teaching but through interpersonal connection and engagement. Ultimately, Zenyatta followed his own path. He chose to leave the monastery and wander the world, helping those he meets to overcome their personal struggles and find inner peace. 

At some point either before or after leaving the monastery, he encountered Genji, who had left Overwatch and was conflicted with his nature as a cyborg. Though Genji initially rejected Zenyatta's wisdom, the benevolent omnic would not be deterred. In time, Zenyatta became his mentor, and under the monk's tutelage, Genji reconciled his dual existence as both man and machine. Zenyatta would later consider Genji to be one of his brightest pupils.


Orb of Destruction - As Zenyatta’s main attack, Orb of Destruction allows him to fire Orbs at the enemy. His primary fire allows them to fire forwards one by one while his alternative fire allows Zenyatta to prime multiple (up to 5) and release them all at once. Considering each Orb deals 40 damage and they fire rapidly, if you can accurately land your shots Zenyatta can quickly kill enemies. Similarly to any projectile, though, they do have a lead time meaning you should always aim slightly in front of your target.

Tip - Your alternative fire is amazing against stationary targets such as Torbjorn’s sentry turret or Bastion. You can arm it and release it before they can even react (175 instant damage).

Orb of Harmony - Zenyatta’s heal and the first of two abilities that requires almost constant line of sight. Providing 30 health per second on a single target. With no cooldown it is possible to ping-pong your Orb of Harmony between targets but based on the fact it provides healing over time, you need to have it active for long enough that the heal is even worthwhile. Utilising it on a Tank such as Roadhog or Winston will help them mitigate a large amount of incoming damage, although it cannot sustain them as well as Mercy is capable of. It should be noted and this is particularly important with all Zenyatta’s Orbs, that if he loses line of sight with a Hero who has an Orb active, it will only last for 3 seconds. If he retains line of sight, it will stay on forever.  

Tip - Heroes that you can constantly see, such as Pharah or Reinhardt are good targets for Orb of Harmony

Orb of Discord - Providing Zenyatta with a debuff that she can cast on enemy Heroes, Orb of Discord increases all damage against them by 50%. It’s a huge amount and instantly makes his own attacks deal 67.5 per Orb (instead of 45). Similarly to Harmony, Orb of Discord will also drop from a target after three seconds if you lose sight of them.

Fun Math Fact - Placing Orb of Discord and landing five Orbs of Destruction on Bastion in Sentry Configuration will only kill him if you land at least one headshot. Landing 5 Orbs of Destruction deals 200 damage, multiplied to 300 against a target with Orb of Discord. Bastion has 300 health in Sentry Configuration, but don't forget that 100 of it is armor. Armor reduces the damage of each orb hitting the armor by 5. Since each orb does 55 damage after Orb of Discord and armor are calculated (armor is calculated last). a total of 10 damage will be negated, leaving the total burst of 5 Orbs of Destruction + Orb of Discord to 290 damage against Bastion in Sentry Configuration. One headshot (on either the front headshot zone or back damage multiplier zone) will increase the damage enough to land the killing blow in one burst.

Tip - Orb of Discord automatically targets an enemy when fired so it’s a great tool for locating enemy Heroes that might not be fully visible.  

Transcendence (Ultimate) - Making Zenyatta immune from all damage for 6 seconds, healing all allies within his radius for 300 health per second, and doubling his movement speed. Transcendence is strong enough to heal his team to full while ensuring his own survival. When used, you will also be able to move around the map and during this time it’s important that you ensure your team (or as many of them as possible) are within its radius. Finally, although immune to damage during its cast Zenyatta can still be knocked back by other players. Avoid Heroes such as Lucio and Pharah or at least be aware of where they are.


Zenyatta was the most difficult Support Hero to play before Ana. He’s paper thin, can die to almost anyone near instantly, needs constant vision on his enemies and allies in order for his Orbs to function and he has no mobility. To top it all off his Orb of Destruction can be difficult to aim against fast moving targets. At this point you’re probably wondering why you should even play Zenyatta. Zenyatta may have these weaknesses, and may not excel at anything, but he does do a little of everything. He has a decent heal, decent damage, and a good damage multiplier on enemies. He does really well when he has another healer to pick up the slack, allowing him to focus on choosing a target for his team to burst down.

Key to playing him well is in your positioning and understanding your team and its composition. You should always be behind your front line and if possible, try to use cover to regularly poke at the enemy with your primary fire. Ensuring you can always see your main Tank (who should have Orb of Harmony) is difficult, but if he’s doing his job properly he and the team will be protecting you.

Tip - Despite temptation, you aren't designed to 1 on 1 anyone. Though possible, you should always be near your team not soloing to secure kills. 

On Capture Point maps things do tend to go a little awry as you and your team cannot cover all routes and you’re particularly vulnerable when on the point. That said, you can play around this by hanging back slightly, keeping your Orb of Harmony rotating while flanking to drop Orb of Discord. Just be conscious of the fact that you’re weakest on Capture Points due to your inability to be in amongst it. However, it doesn’t mean you’re useless - any amount of healing or damage multiplication is invaluable during this period and your range, if playing properly, ensures at the very least you can tend to your team from afar.

Finally, always try to use your Ultimate ability when surrounded by your entire team. It takes too long to charge to waste it on yourself or just one or two allies. Probably the only time Zenyatta can really get in the thick of things is when he has his Ultimate available so don’t be afraid to push onto a Capture Point during its use.


Heroes listed here are particularly challenging for Zenyatta. While those listed can still be killed, they pose a particularly difficult challenge for him so be sure to take extra care. Many of these threats can be avoided by sticking with your team and handling them together.



Bastion: He can kill you near instantly if he shoots at you before you know his location, but if you know his you can use Orb of Discord followed by your alternative fire to blow him up. 


Reaper: He'll kill you in only a couple of hits and there's absolutely nothing you can do about it. The spread on his pistols ensures he really can't miss and you can't deal damage fast enough to kill him. 


Soldier 76: His aim-bot Ultimate will kill you instantly and his machine gun deals enough damage to cut you down in seconds. When you hear him trigger his Ultimate, just hide.  8/10

McCree: A single stun and his alternative fire and you're dead. Fortunately your range is much longer than his although a few of his primary fire shots are more than capable of killing you. 


Pharah: Probably one of the toughest matchups for Zenyatta, her aerial ability combined with splash damage from her rockets pretty much guarantees your death 1 on 1. 


Tracer: She's far too fast to hit reliably with your Orb of Destruction and her damage output is high enough to cut you down in a little over a magazine. There's absolutely nothing you can do against a skilled Tracer.  10/10
Genji: He's fast, can quite comfortably cut you down the moment he's next to you and if you do manage to charge your alternative fire a good Genji will deflect it.  8/10
Winston: He'll leap onto you, start up his Tesla Cannon and you're dead in seconds. Absolutely nothing you can do to prevent it besides pray that your team peel for you.  8/10
Roadhog: One Hook, primary fire and melee attack later and you're dead. Half a second of action and unavoidable death. Just hope he misses his Hook.  9/10




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

2k Healing + Quad Kill 


Zenyatta Aiming Tutorial


Staying Alive as Zenyatta


1. Always try to apply Ord of Discord onto high priority targets that need to be killed quickly.

2. You can apply Orb of Harmony to only one target, but as there’s no cooldown can switch targets when you see fit.

3. You have to keep vision on enemies and allies affected by your Orbs otherwise they only last 3 seconds.

4. Orb of Discord followed by your alternative fire, fired against a Widowmaker will kill her instantly.

5. Pairing with Symmetra or Torbjorn works exceptionally well as it allows you to gain additional shielding and armor.

6. Always try to keep your Orb of Harmony on your Tank if they’re on the front-line. It will allow them to survive for much longer.

7. Zenyatta is 80% shielding with only a small amount of health. Use this to recover quickly but be aware that you die incredibly easily.

8. If you're being attacked at close range, there's very little point in running away. You've no mobility and you won't survive trying to run. 

9. Only ever use your Ultimate when your team will gain maximum benefit from it. On a Capture Point or escorting a Payload is ideal.

10. When your Healing Orb is working there is a "filling sound".  When that stops throw the orb on someone else if you don't expect your current target to keep taking damage.   This is especially useful when your orb is on a flanker and you want to get it back on the tank as soon as he/she is healed up. 

11. Zen is an excellent pick versus tank heavy teams. 

12.  Communicate which targets has your Orb of Discord, so that your team will focus them. 

13. Your footsteps have no sound.  You can use this advantage to queue up your orbs before floating around a corner to destroy an enemy. 


To read the latest guides, news, and features you can visit our Overwatch Game Page.

Last Updated: Mar 20, 2017