|Art By: EuFr1K|
Who are the authors?
AIMER7 is a former player of arena FPS like quakeworld or half-life deathmatch, who switched to Overwatch since its release. He has been top 500 EU consistently with top 30 peaks since first season.
ZorroSeveN is a Norwegian player, former Challenger in League of Legends before switching to Overwatch since its release. Currently playing for ESPORATI, he has been consistently top 500 EU since season two, with a top 10 peak in season four.
What is this guide for?
The purpose of this guide is to help people improve their Tracer understanding and game play. To be fair, our first motivation was to fight the big miscon- ceptions spread on forums or streams. As the title indicates, we tried to be as exhaustive as we could, but some subjects you may find important are probably omitted (don’t hesitate to tell us, we might edit this guide in the future to complete it). Some of them are treated rather quickly: we only have one very small paragraph on blink management because it is honestly hard to say more. We also didn’t try to be too directive in the way to play Tracer on particular maps or gamemodes (there are many working ways to play her), because we want people to keep their freedom and find their own style. Of course, not every ways are as effective as the others, but depending on your play-style, your mechanics, and the ones of your mates and of the enemy team, the most effective style to adopt to win a game certainly fluctuates. This is particularly true for ladder games, where some styles which are definitely not morally the best ones to adopt in real games, are actually able to make you win more games that they should be.
Who can learn from this guide, and where?
Anyone, from bronze skill level to top 500. The first part is about the mechanics of Tracer. We first present some very basic stuff (skills, cool-down, how they work in details), which is mostly aimed at beginners but for her pulse bomb mechanics. We then present a way to improve your blink dexterity, and explain what are tracking skills and how they relate to other type of aiming skills. This part is simple, but its purpose is important to eventually understand what dodging is. The latter is aimed at GM+/top 500 players in our advanced mechanics section, a part mostly devoted to people above master with not too horrible mechanics, but people under this skill level should definitely read it too in order to start understanding this complicated stuff as soon as possible. Our second part is devoted to Tracer’s job.
We tried to be as exhaustive and structured as we could. As we already said previously, we didn’t try to weight the different jobs: they are very dependent on your mechanics and your skill level so it wouldn’t make any sense. Some jobs (mostly dragging skills or finisher role) are definitely hopeless to adopt at a too low skill level, where teams coordination is so poor that they are neither needed, nor possible to capitalize on in order to win a game. Still, we encourage everyone to take a look at what good Tracers do, even top 500 players that could easily improve their conscious understanding of their own gamestyle. A subsection is then devoted to specific gamemodes. We conclude this second part by some very pragmatic remark about the effect of (bad) luck on a 150 HP Hero. The third and final part of our guide can be seen as a big appendix of the dueler role described in section 2. This is a very important part containing lots of details omitted in the previous parts (like bomb-shield interaction), and we therefore encourage everyone to read it. The following table, which you shouldn’t take as a super rigid theorem, can help as a reminder of Tracer’s match-ups:
|Genji||Not Your Job, Depends On Mechanics||McCree||Not Too Hard|
|Pharah||Not Too Hard||Reaper||Not Too Hard|
|Soldier 76||Hard||Sombra||Better Avoid Her|
|Tracer||Not Your Job, Depends On Gamesense||Bastion||Not Too Hard|
|Hanzo||Your Hard Counter, Avoid||Junkrat||Not Too Hard|
|Mei||Can One-Shot You, Not Too Hard||Torbjorn||Easy Without Armors, Hard Otherwise|
|Orisa||Easy||Reinhardt||Line 1 Col 3|
|Roadhog||Line 1 Col 2||Winston||Easy|
|Zarya||Easy If Low Charge, Hard Otherwise||Ana||Not Too Hard|
|Lucio||Not Too Hard||Mercy||Not Too Hard|
|Symmetra||Easy||Zenyatta||Player Dependent, Easy To Hard|
TABLE 1. Summary of Tracer’s Match-Ups
1. Tracer’s mechanics
The first part of this section presents Tracer as a hero (skills, cool-down, tricks), while the second emphasizes the mechanics required to play her properly, from rudimentary to quite advanced ones.
1.1. The hero and her skills
Tracer is a 150 HP Hero with 6.0 m/s base movement speed instead of 5.5 m/s for every other ones but Genji. We list her following skills and refers to gamepedia for more details about the basic stuff.
• Pulse Pistols: 2 × 20 ammo hitscan clips with RNG spread doing 6 base damage per bullet. Rate of fire is 40 bullets per second, with a reload time of 1 second, which make her burst DPS with non HS(recall that HS multiplier is ×2 for Tracer ) to be 240 up to 480 if every shots is an HS (which never happens due to spread). Her effective DPS (taking reload into account) is 160. Falloff damage starts at 10 meters and makes her damage per bullet quickly drops from 6 to 1.5. You know when falloff damage starts by looking at the size of the hit indicator. The latter is directly related to your maximum DPS: big when you deal full damage, smaller and smaller the more you’re subjected to falloff damage. You might want to look at it in real games to fight people at the correct range, that is, not too close nor too far. Note, however, that even in the non falloff zone, the spread of Tracer’s guns might not cover entirely the hitbox of some squishes (Mercy, Ana, mini D.Va, Widowmaker, …). You therefore want to engage the latter heroes from an even closer range than 10 meters.
• Blink: teleports you in the direction of your motion up to 7 meters. You have 3 such blinks at your disposal, each of which takes 3 seconds to reload once used, but only one blink at once can be recharged. You have 8 directions of motion (forward, backward, left, right, forward left, forward right, backward left, backward right), so you have 8 different ways to blink. Note that the teleportation is not instantaneous and the distance depends slightly on your movement during it’s execution (you might want to keep moving in the direction of the blink to maximize the distance traveled). If you blink without any directional key, the result is a forward blink. Blink allows you to climb on places you would not be able to go otherwise, and to even climb higher than jump (jump, wait to be at the maximum height and blink). Blink does not remove conditions like anti-heal or discord orb. Blinking does not break pulse pistols shots and can go through enemy and friendly heroes but does not go through walls. If an healthpack is between you and your blink destination, it will heal you. Blink produces a sound that is easily heard by everyone.
• Recall: 12 seconds cool-down skill that teleports yourself at the position you were 3 seconds in the past. Recall is not instantaneous and has a very quick cast time where Tracer is still vulnerable to threats, followed by an 1.25 second rewind animation. During the rewind, Tracer is invisible and invulnerable to any kind of damage or conditions, which can be used to avoid some ults like D.Va bomb or dodge threats like Roadhog’s hook, see section 3 for more details. Her pulse pistols are also reloaded for free, and her final health is the maximum health between her health just before casting recall or the one she had 3 seconds ago. You therefore want to use recall just after taking an healthpack or just before dying to optimize the self-heal. If the rewind position is on a moving platform, then Tracer ends up at the new position of the platform. Recall can be used to remove any kind of harming conditions like anti-heal or orb of discord and even allied orb of healing, but it does not remove Zarya’s shield. Note that recalling with a friendly Zarya shield reveals your end position before your model becomes visible, so be cautious. Recall ignores Mei wall even if the latter is placed on her past route. After recalling, Tracer is using a voice-line that is easily identified by everyone, so enemy team can know your skill is on cool-down. Blinks are reloading normally during the rewind animation.
• Pulse Bomb: Ultimate of Tracer consisting of a bomb doing 400 splash damage in a 3 meters radius. It does not HS, and can stick to people. Bomb does not ignore armor but considers shield as standard HP. Let us explain very precisely how her ultimate works:
(1) the throw: after pressing the ultimate key, Tracer is preparing to launch the bomb. During this throw phase, you cannot recall but you can blink or look around freely. The bomb is released in the final direction of your crosshair once the throw is completed.
(2) the free fall: once the bomb is thrown in air, it starts free falling in a parabola trajectory until it intersects either an enemy model, an enemy structure (like a turret, a teleporter, or a barrier), or the ground (note that it can stick to walls to).
(3) the stick: if during the free fall the bomb intersects an enemy, a structure, or a map element (ground, walls, …) it sticks to it and explodes 1 second after the attachment. Enemies and structures both take 5 damage when stuck. The timer of the bomb therefore starts exactly after it sticks onto something, not at the very beginning of the free fall phase. Note that the radius of explosion is slightly bigger if the bomb falls on the ground without sticking. Also, once the bomb is stuck, its timer before explosion won’t be reset even if the enemy dies or its structures (like a barrier) is destroyed in the meantime. The bomb will simply free fall to the ground until it explodes when it should have been. We refer to section 3 and more precisely to 3.16 and 3.19 for more in-depth explanations of bomb-shield interactions. Notice that all of the three above steps take time before pulse bomb actually explodes. The time of the throw cannot be reduced, nor can the stick phase up to the explosion. The free fall phase can be minimized or even completely suppressed by throwing a bomb very close from an enemy model so it instantly sticks. This can be abused as we’ll see in the next section.
Playing Tracer relies a lot on your mechanics. Of course, decision making is also very important to use these mechanics properly and will be treated in section 2. We divide this part on mechanics in three subparts: basic movements, aiming skills, and advanced mechanics. The subdivision is a bit arbitrary, but we hope that it’ll help people along all skill level.
1.2.1. Basic movements.
We just saw that Tracer can blink in 8 different directions. Let us introduce some terminology to speak about those. We call F-blink a forward blink, B-blink a backward blink. We call sw-blink (for sideway blink) a blink that is either a left or a right blink. We call hsw-blink (for half-sideway blink) the 4 other blinks (for example, a blink with forward+left or backward+right).
The first thing you want as a Tracer player is to be able to do all of them with ease. You might want to think of proper key-binds so that none of these 8 blinks are too hard for you. Once you’re able to do all of them with ease separately, you want to be able to switch from one blink to another with ease too. There are some exercises you can do to build these movement skills. Launch a custom game on a big map, with 0 blink cool-down and try to do as smooth as you can the following ones:
• back and forth blinks: F-B-blinks, sw-blinks, hsw-blinks, all back and forth,
• zigzag-blinks: both forward and backward,
• sw-zigzag-blinks: both left and right,
• triangle-like blinks: both direct and indirect, forward and backward,
• square-like blinks: both direct and indirect,
• sw-square-like blinks: both direct and indirect,
• figure-eight blinks: direct and indirect,
Don’t hesitate to change the starting point of the above exercises in order to train your mechanics. You don’t need to execute those too quickly so don’t waste too much times on them, but try to be a bit at ease so you don’t mix your keys in real games. We consider those exercises basics because they are not involving the mouse at all. All they are made for is to train your dexterity with your key-binds. Something that can help is to have two different blink keys. Be cautious that in real games, you also want to be able to shoot (and aim) just after the blinks, so don’t use a second blink key that forbids you to do so or it would be effectively useless.
A very important and elementary move with Tracer is the T-blink (T like going through): it consists of F-blinking through an enemy and doing a 180. Being able to do 180s with ease is important with Tracer: you don’t want to have a too low sensitivity(for arm players, anything above 30cm/360 might be too low, while for wrist players, anything above 15 cm/360 would definitely be too low).
Let us say one word on blink management: at spawn, you want to use your first blink as soon as possible so as to start the blink-reloading. You’re not forced to use the two other blinks just after the first one, but you surely don’t want to wait for your first blink to be reloaded entirely before using another one. There is no need to be full (see section 3) of blinks if you have no reason to. If you judge that it is needed to be full before engaging, then be patient: hide in a corner or in some safe place, and just wait for your blinks to reload completely.
To conclude this part, you’ll often see people mostly use F-blink when they play to move around: it isn’t the most efficient way to play Tracer, but it is the easiest and most consistent one because you see where you go. Of course, knowing the map geometry and having a very good blink intuition is much better, because it allows you to uncouple your blinks with your orientation. In particular, pre-aiming before blink is very useful to win some reactivity, allowing you to aim properly just after a blink without having to reposition your mouse or having it in a very awkward position. In any cases, back and forth blinks, forward and backward zigzag-blinks are very useful in lots of situations (to engage and disengage), so you better perform them properly.
1.2.2. Aiming skills.
Tracer relies heavily on aiming skills, and aiming properly with her is hard. To explain why, let us be very rudimentary and a bit tautological first. What do we mean by aim? Aiming is the repeated act of placing your crosshair from some initial positions to final ones (say, an enemy model or some spam-spot), each of which during a certain time interval, the frequency of repetition being more or less fast. More simply, you want to move your crosshair from some place to another more or less quickly, and repeat the process between each of your shots. Recall now that aiming skills can be decomposed into two big categories: projectile and hitscan (modulo spread). Tracer’s pulse pistols are obviously hitscan (with lots of spread and tons of damage falloff though). Hitscan aim can itself be decomposed into three more or less independent categories:
(1) flick aim: the space interval between the initial and the final position is big and the time interval is very short. This kind of aiming is essentially intuitive because you have no time to be aware of where your crosshair ends before you shot. You therefore can’t correct small mistakes by lack of time. Flick aim requires precision and intuitive motor skills. Moreover, in this kind of aim, the frequency of repetition (that is, the average time between one shot and the next) is low.
This is why very low sensitivity is good for this kind of aim: arm aiming is more precise than wrist aiming for big flicks, and you’re not going to exhaust yourself because of how low the frequency between each flick is.
(2) tracking: the space interval between the initial and the final position is small and the time interval is short, but the frequency of repetition is high. In this kind of aiming, you’re essentially looking to correct small mistakes between each of your shots, that is, you actually want to be aware as much as you can of where your crosshair is with respect to the enemy model.
This awareness requires that you focus on your crosshair:
If you can’t do that, your sensitivity might be too low you have to read the game properly, as in, to be able to discriminate your own crosshair from the enemies you’re aiming at. At the very extreme of it, you could perfectly shot only when you’re certain that your crosshair is effectively at the position you wanted it to be, thus ensuring 100% accuracy. Thing is, this awareness takes times and the frequency at which it has to happen is high. You therefore want to be as reactive as you can to allow yourself more focus time and less mouse movement time: this is optimized by high sensitivity and wrist aiming(it is much harder to reach good aiming skills through wrist aim, but you’ll reach higher aiming skills if you’re devoted enough. There are however some drawbacks to wrist aim: you’re forced to play consistently at least 1 hour every day to keep your skill, and are very sensitive to change of mouse-pad or fatigue. Not surprisingly, trying to track if your arm (or wrist) is exhausted is hard. You can’t track properly after working-out. You have to be a big nerd to aim consistently, really,) the latter being much better than arm aiming for the micro-movements involved in tracking, especially at close range. Of course, one does not necessarily need to wrist aim to have decent tracking skills, but the limitations of arm aiming are real when it comes to track a dodger (see next subsection).
In any case, if you’re a Tracer player, I can only recommend that you increase your sensitivity to be more reactive, even if you’re an arm player. (3) McCree type aim: this kind of aim falls in between flicking and tracking. It can be very efficient to track and focus your shots with McCree when you have time to, in order to ensure a high accuracy and to eliminate someone with certainty. Thing is, you don’t always have time to and are sometimes forced to aim mostly intuitively or even to flick. Of course, most hitscan Heroes in Overwatch involve aiming skills in all of the above categories: focusing your shots as Widowmaker is very important when you have time to, while flicking to correct your aim after a blink is also necessary with Tracer. One can still easily identify which of the category is the dominating one for these two heroes. As we saw, tracking skills requires some reading skills.
You therefore want to:
(1) remove all useless effects that are blurring your vision: play in all low settings, and
(2) put a crosshair color that you easily distinguish from enemy models: green, yellow, white, but certainly not red or pink(you don’t want to have difficulty in reading them because of red outlines. However, if you’re accustomed to play with these colors for years, it can still be better than starting with a new one), (3) put a crosshair you can easily see and focus on in fights: dot crosshair is the most precise one (at long range especially) because it minimizes the overlap between the crosshair and the enemy model(if overlap is big, it can easily become misleading because only the center of the crosshair matters for hitscan aim like soldier, not its sides!), but it is harder to see at close range. Cross is easier to see, but it is bigger and can have misleading overlap at mid range or on squishes. Tracer is hitscan with spread: due to the RNG nature of her spread, the most efficient way to aim with her is to track continuously. Try to put your crosshair on the enemy model at every instant and don’t jitter, which would be completely useless and harmful. However, Tracer’s spread has some significant width: it is sometimes more efficient to aim at the neck or the upper chest of the enemy model than at the head to hit more shots. Learn that in custom games against bots or in real games.
We can now define the most used and basic Tracer move during fights. We call it, Blink- reloading: we have seen that reload time of her pulse guns is 1s (which is pretty long), that blinks are not exactly instantaneous, and that Tracer can use the latter to go through people or on their side thanks to T-blink and hsw-blink. These blinks have the advantage of disorienting people you engage, which makes them waste time to actually look for you and adjust their shots. Blink-reloading is as simple as using blinks consistently after your clips, giving you some safe time to reload.
Finally, let us point that in real life, aiming skills are naturally intertwined with moves. People have a natural habits of moving in the direction that allows them to aim without having to move their mouse consistently. This is pretty bad because it does not build your aiming skills separately from your movements and makes you predictable, easy to be hit, and easy to dominate (see next subsection to see what we mean by that). In particular, in a 1v1, bad players have the tendency of mirroring the moves of their opponents, which allows them to hit their shots without having to move their mouse. Thing is, this situation is entirely symmetric: your opponent doesn’t need to move his mouse either to hit you.
You want to avoid that as much as you can. Some very elementary ways exists to force yourself to aim properly:
• anti-mirroring: you simply move in the opposite direction of your opponent. If he strafes left (so goes in the right direction), you strafe left too, etc. You’re basically forcing your opponent to use his mouse to aim, and expect to have better tracking skills than he has,
• hsw anti-mirroring: you anti-mirror the moves by adding a forward or backward direction to your strafes when the enemy is only strafing, and you only use strafe without any forward or backward direction when your opponent is using them. The relative speed difference between you and your opponent will force him to actually move his mouse too,
• hsw mirroring: you mirror the moves by adding a forward or backward direction to your strafes when the enemy is only strafing, and you only strafe without any forward or backward direction when your opponent is using them. The relative speed difference between you and your opponent is non natural in this case. This is hard to actually do smoothly for a beginner. Train yourself with bots. To train that, find a friend of your and do some 1v1 Soldier vs Soldier at close range, mid range, or long range on big map with big space. Don’t neglect vertical angles, that you can also train like that. Note however, that this kind of training is not exactly how aim happens in real games(in real games, people are abusing corner peaks, you have more pressure, and you don’t have infinite room to dodge), but it’s still a very good elementary training.
1.2.3. Advanced mechanics.
The first very important advanced mechanics is the instant stick bomb trick, which we later refer to as instant stick. As we saw earlier, when Tracer is using her ultimate, there are 3 phases involved. We saw that Tracer is able to use her blinks during the throw phase, and that the free-fall phase can be completely suppressed as soon as Tracer is close enough to the enemy model when the throw phase ends. The thing is, during the throw phase, Tracer is vulnerable to any form of CC skills (sleep darts, McCree’s stun, Roadhog Hook) because it takes time for her to throw her bomb. The idea of instant stick is to blink very close to someone just before the throw phase ends. To perform it, place yourself at a one F-blink distance (distance of 2 works too but its very hard to achieve. Other blinks work too and are completely useless in real games ) of your opponent, press your ult key, wait for the throw phase to be almost over, then F-blink as close as you can to him. Your opponent will have no time to react. The fact that you’re blinking at the very end of the throw phase allows you to be safe from close range CC skills that you’re usually vulnerable to while throwing a bomb, especially in gravitons+bomb combo. Note that instant stick on squishes is hard if they are in open spaces and are moving, but that it is relatively easy to do on tanks or Zarya’s shield (see 3.19), so don’t hesitate to use and abuse that. You can also melee then blink to hit people after blink. The second advanced mechanics that is very important but very hard to do in practice is the blink-shot. We saw that it is possible to shoot while blinking. Blink-shot is simply to start shooting at someone and blink before your clip is over.
This can be used in many situations:
(1) to chase someone who is running away from you (typically a Lucio or a Soldier) with simple F-blink-shots, or to be closer from someone who is in your falloff damage range, which can surprise him,
(2) to chase someone after they hide behind a corner thanks to F-blink-shots or hsw- blink-shots (typically support players trying to hide from your aggression). This is hard, (3) during 1v1 against tanks like Roadhog (easy but you need good reactivity) or Tracer (hard but very useful in practice).
In order to train your hsw-blinks, you need good angle perception: even though it is relatively simple to understand that (forward) hsw-blinks are blinks at 45 degree of where you look at, you need to be precise with them to blink-shot. A way to gain some intuition is simply to move with them in custom games. Again, you don’t need to be super precise as hsw-surfers are in CS:S, but it helps to train them a bit.
Other forms of advanced mechanics that are useful in real games (but expensive) are any double-blinks like the back and forth blinks we saw earlier or the TT-blink.
There exists some very useful tricks to enhance your survivability. We have seen that blinks are reloading normally during the rewind animation. This can be used to temporize a situation: if you’re out of blinks but have your recall at your disposal, you can use the latter (as late as possible) to win some free blink reload-time, allowing you to run away then. Now, you know that a blink takes 3 seconds to reload entirely, such that two continuously reloaded blinks takes 6, while 3 takes 9 seconds. You might want to count the number of blinks that reloaded during a fight to improve your enemy’s skills cool-down awareness.
Indeed, suppose you’re fighting a Roadhog. Of course, you know that Roadhog’s hook is a 8 second cool-down skill. Once he tried to hook you, you might have dodged it with a blink so start counting the number of blinks that reloads post-hook. If the fight lasts more than 2 blink reload-time, you should start fearing a new hook soon. This works for Ana’s grenade (a bit more than 3 blink reload-time), Reinhardt’s firestrike (2 blink-reload time), Zarya’s self-shield (a bit more than 3 blink reload-time), Genji’s deflect (more than 2 blink reload-time) and many other skills. Another important thing to keep in mind to improve your survivability when dragging (see section 2) is to be aware of the size of Tracer’s model: her guns are fairly extended in front of her. You might want to look at walls directly when hiding so they aren’t visible.
We now arrive at the hardest advanced mechanics to understand and master, that most high rank players lack (most of them have poor 1v1 fighting skills because they never played arena FPS where those really matters): dodging skills. We’ll mostly try to explain this in a typical Soldier vs Soldier 1v1, where these mechanics are the most visible and impactful, but they of course translate in a Tracer vs McCree case. Overwatch being a game where the acceleration after changing directions is infinite, dodging skills are actually very efficient in 1v1 situations, especially with Lucio’s speed aura or speed boost. Still, it can seem counter- intuitive, at first, to say that one can dodge hitscan aim. The thing is, as we saw earlier, tracking requires some awareness of where your crosshair is with respect to your opponent to apply the good corrections, and this takes time.
The idea of dodge is to move in such a way that it makes you very hard to track by keep reacting to your opponent’s corrections. You therefore want to move in a non intuitive way that makes your opponent in difficulty. The thing to remember absolutely is that dodging will inevitably lower your own tracking skills. In this respect, what is a good dodge? A good dodge is a dodge that decreases the accuracy of your opponent more than your own (this is hard). If there is no reason to dodge, just focus on your tracking skills and don’t dodge. Of course, you also want to avoid very predictable movement in a 1v1, like jumping or crouching.
Now, recall that you have 8 movement directions: you want to use all of them when you dodge, not just left and right. It might, again, seem counter-intuitive to say that you can use forward or backward only in a dodging pattern, but they allow you to:
• reposition yourself: by putting forward pressure on your opponent in order to get closer to him (and to therefore reduce damage falloff or width of spread too as a Tracer player), by running away behind a corner to cover yourself,
• create unsmooth transitions in your movement: your opponent might predict that you’ll keep going left and move his crosshair accordingly. Forward (or backward) direction is the best way to create a big difference of relative speed between you and him, and is hard to mirror because of how fast you’re going to press it. The same is true for hsw directions. You can for example have very hard to hit triangle-like or rectangle-like dodge patterns.
Let us insist, however, that being good at dodge is mostly intuitive and is very hard to teach or explain. Indeed, a good dodger will feel where the position of his opponent’s crosshair is with respect to his model (even by taking into account ping and antilag!), and will therefore move accordingly. For example, if you’re moving to the left and your opponent is late at aiming at you, it is a bad decision to now start moving to the right direction: all it does is putting yourself in the crosshair of your opponent that is now hitting you without having to correct his aim. You’ll therefore keep moving left, or fake that you’re going to move right to make his correction difficult, all of this modulated by your will to go forward or backward.
Of course, the time scales at which this kind of situations happen are very fast, and they often swap during a fight: if you’re the one tracking well and dodging well at one very moment, your opponent might react in such a way that you’re now the one in difficulty that has to react fast too to not die. This is the concept of domination. In a 1v1 (think of Soldier vs Soldier), at one precise moment, there is always one guy that dominates the fight: he is the one who is hitting most of his shots and who is the least in difficulty.
When you dominate, the tracking of your opponent is in big difficulties, so he’ll naturally try to use his moves to correct it instead of his mouse: he’ll have the tendency to follow you(remember that dodging lower your accuracy, so if your accuracy is in difficulty, you’ll be forced to dodge less to hit more. People with very good fighting skills can actually feel when someone is aimboting against them, by how cheaters manage to consistently hit their shots when they shouldn’t because they are dominated hard. Indeed, aimbotters having a poor understanding of these mechanics, also have the tendency to move in ways where they get dominated hard (who would do that?) while still hitting most of their shots (how?).
You can therefore force your opponent to follow you, which makes your tracking even easier. This is why a good dodge is a dodge that tries to move globally in one direction (modulated by local change of directions) for a relatively long time-scale(notice the global motion of the opponent, while the pov is static and does not try to react to this global motion. Knowing how to dodge while moving globally allows you to take initiatives, or to reposition yourself properly with respect to teams, to healthpacks, or to the map geometry). This is also why adad spam, while effective when you’re mini D.Va or Mercy, is the poorest dodge you can do.
If your dodge is not moving globally in one direction, you’re also very vulnerable to pro- jectiles: all that people needs to do is to aim at the center of your dodge pattern and abuse projectiles’ hitbox. Note that you can also use walls to dodge, especially when you’re stuck in corridors. As a Tracer player, you have very small model and can therefore abuse your dodg- ing skills to go in and survive. Be aware of your surrounding even when you engage someone in a 1v1. You have to think of dodging people around you, especially the ones who are on your sides: if you only move left and right, then it is as if you were not moving for someone on your side which makes you easy to hit. This is one more good reason to use forward and backward directions in your dodge patterns. There is, however, no secret to become a good dodger than to do tons of 1v1 to gain experience, and to think about it. Overwatch is overall not a game where dodging skills are effectively that important because of the lack of 1v1, but it can make a significant difference at high rank, especially for a Tracer player.
2. Tracer’s job
2.1. Generalities.The mobility and the DPS of Tracer allow her to fulfill many tasks at once. Of course, depending on the gamemode, the maps, or the team compositions, some of them might be relegated from dominant to neglectable. It is however very important to understand all of them and to be able to perform them properly when needed. We list them in what follows, the order at which they appear is irrelevant:
• Dueler role: Tracer is the best 1v1 Hero of the game. She should be able to win more likely than not almost any 1v1 (see section 3 for more details), and this is why she should always try to look for them. Don’t hesitate to engage an isolated target, as soon as it is not another flanker. Of course, depending on how strong your mechanics are, you might want to give more or less weight to this aspect.
• Tank killer role: It is definitely Tracer’s job to both charge her ultimate on tanks and to try to eliminate them with it. As an example, it is often a very good decision to kill Reinhardt’s through one clip + bomb combo when you can. More generally, Tracer should kill who ever she can kill, and tanks are easy targets for her pulse-bomb.
• Finisher role: Tracer has the required mobility to go in and to finish targets. Don’t be scared to go in for just 1 clip and then recall, Tracer’s hitbox are small and if you have good dodge and surrounding awareness, you can easily survive for that long. Engaging anti-healed target is also very important to kill them or to put pressure.
• Disruptive role: This is a big task of Tracer’s job that can be decomposed in more or less three independent categories, from the most aggressive one to the most defensive one:
(1) Creating pressure: Creating pressure is very important because it makes peo- ple take bad decisions, which can eventually be exploited by your team. Using Tracer’s mobility, you can easily attack tanks from behind their shields, or engage the back-line of the enemy team. You don’t necessarily need to kill people in this process, as soon as you are harassing them and are as annoying as you can be. Pressure will make people waste some important skills in order to counter you. For example, engaging Ana might force her to waste her grenade to self-heal, and forbid her to heal her team in the meantime. Engaging Reinhardt by blinking behind his shield might force him to turn to protect himself, exposing some of his mates in the process, or even make him start swinging his hammer which can easily be punished by your mates. Attacking, safely, a different target than the one focused by the spam of your team can also flood the enemy supports: they will eventually make a mistake in healing priority, leading to the collapse of their team. If you get ignored, you’ll deal a huge amount of damage and will even be able to eliminate people on your own in the middle of the enemy team. Yet, Tracer can easily be denied in this pressure job if the enemy team is playing well (for example, if they play in a packed formation) or if her team is not making enough pressure.
(2) Releasing pressure: When Tracer is denied in her previous job, she can swap from this aggressive role to a more disruptive one where her goal is to release pressure from her mates. To do so, Tracer has to incarnate the attention whore she’s always been: the more opponents looking at her, the better. Quite simply, if two or more guys are looking at you to kill you, then they are clearly not looking at your five other mates, which makes the rest of the game a 5v4 in the favor of your team. To release pressure properly, you therefore want to create attention at a different angle than where your team is. You want to survive in the process and to be the center of attention for as long as you can. For example, if one DPS and one tank of the enemy team are trying to kill you instead of hitting the shield of your team, your team will eventually win the shield war and be able to engage. If you die, your team might lose the fight. If you survive, it is very unlikely that your team is going to lose, unless there is a big ult disadvantage.
(3) Dragging: There are situations where the enemy team becomes very aggressive toward the very existence of Tracer, and where she becomes a privileged target by two or more enemies. When this happens as a Tracer player, you would be forced to play even more defensively and enter into a survival mode. Of course, you could easily retreat to your team quickly but that would be a poor choice: you have two or more people chasing you, and giving them hope that they can actually kill you will release pressure for your team and create space for them to engage. That’s the concept of dragging, which is the act of making people chasing you far from the places they should be (high ground, a choke-point next to their team, or fighting in front of the rest of your team). You therefore want to bait people as far as you can from good positions. A typical example is on the first point of 2 CP maps or hybrid maps, where an attacking Tracer can easily go on the point to force some of the defenders to retreat there, thus creating space for her team to push the choke point. Another very simple example would be on the second point of Hanamura: going on the point will force people to drop from the high ground, creating space for your team to engage there. Of course, this kind of dragging is poor, because you’re not baiting people that far from the rest of their team. A good dragging is when you’re able to actually make people follow you relatively far from the rest of their team, in the direction of their spawn (say). This requires very good blink-management, very good maps knowledge, and good temporization and repositioning skills with recall. When you drag, you really want to abuse blinking into corners and healthpack to cover yourself, but you don’t want to go too far to not discourage people from chasing you. If you successfully drag two to three people very far from their team for a relatively long time-scale (say, 10 to 12 seconds), it isn’t even bad to die because of the enormous amount of space you’ve created. Of course, if you’re playing with a very passive team and are not babysitting them through voice-chat, it can be very disturbing to do a godlike dragging of 3 people for 15 real seconds to eventually notice that nothing happened at the choke in a 5v3. It seems like barriers like Reinhardt’s one are also psychological for some people, acting like impassable walls, don’t ask me why. Note that it is very important to disrupt when your team is actually ready to use the space you’ve created. You might want to look at the little arrows indicating the position of your mates behind walls to know when they are ready before you engage. Don’t go in alone and then whine that nobody was here to support you.
•Spawn-camp: the word speaks for itself, but let us give a typical example. Suppose that you’re attacking a first point of some map but your first push failed miserably and your team only managed to kill one guy. You’re Tracer, you managed to not die, and you know that you’ll win more likely than not any 1v1. Instead of going back to your spawn or wait for your mates for the next push, you can simply go near the enemy spawn to kill the respawned hero by surprise. Note that you can perfectly go for a spawn-camp even if your team managed to kill two or three people with some delay. People will inevitably use their movement skills once they go out of spawn to get back to the their respective position, so you can easily take that into account to know when or who to engage. For example, if you killed Ana first and Soldier a bit later, you know that Soldier is going to sprint back to the point, letting Ana alone far behind once respawned. You’ll therefore try to kill Ana once Soldier is far enough from her. If Lucio is coming to taxi your target, try to disrupt them as long as you can so the enemy team has no healer. You can perfectly spawn-camp while playing a defending Tracer in a symmetric setting, when defending the last point of a map. Of course, spawn-camping as attacker can work in the last point too but it’s much harder to achieve, and reciprocally (Game was unfair, thanks to this amazing S5 match making, but this can still give some ideas). It is generally hard to spawn camp on KOTH but it can be perfectly viable depending on the maps. You can even spawn-camp in payload.
Maps to allow your team to push closer to the next point and drag some defender to enemy spawn.
• Stalling role: is there really something to explain there? Just contest as much as you can using your blink management and temporization skills.
2.2. Gamemode related decisions.In this short part, we try to give some insight about how to play Tracer on the different gamemodes: King of the Hill (KOTH), Payload maps, and 2CP. We’re not treating hybrid maps for obvious reasons.
To begin, let us give some generalities that aren’t proper to Tracer. Whether you’re attack- ing or defending, you can afford to die more than the enemy team if your spawn is closer from the objective than the enemy spawn is. For example in 2CP maps, you can afford to die more if you’re attacking the first point than if you’re defending it: your spawn being closer, you’ll get back to the fight quicker.
This is particularly true with trade kills. If you spawn closer from the objective than the enemy team does, playing aggressive to look for valuable trade kills is a very good decision. Of course, depending on who is the target and his ult status, trade kills can also be good in the opposite situation, but you generally can’t afford them. Tracer case is no different, but because of her stalling role, you also want to value your life in defense even when your spawn is closer to the objective than the one of the enemy team (say, when one of your mate got picked).
Generally, you don’t want to use your ultimates first in defense, so as to not waste them. Tracer is different here: bomb charges so fast that you should use it as soon as you have it unless there is an upcoming combo. Note that your can easily have 2 bombs per graviton, so don’t hesitate to use your first one without having to check for your allies’ ult status.
A current trend since season four is the dive composition. There are different ways to play Tracer in such settings: you can assist the target jumped by Winston consistently, or try to disrupt healers if they are free. You can also try to kill squishes DPS trying to defend their healers: they are not looking at you and are therefore not dodging your aim, which makes them easy targets. You can even engage tanks on your own to flood the healers and build bomb in one push.
2.2.1. King of the Hill.This is the gamemode where you can express your mechanics the most. Indeed, KOTH maps are big so you have lots of room to express your movement skills (blink and dodge), while fights are often a bit messy, which allows you to express your aiming skills more or less freely. The amount of space at your disposal allows you to create 1v1 situations consistently, that you should be able to win most likely than not if your mechanics follows. It also allows you to finish low HP targets easily, and to engage anti-healed ones. Try to value your life as much as you can the first fight: stalling the point for long enough might revert a badly engaged fight. For example, if some of your mates got killed early, they might have time to get back on point before it is capped.
Dragging can be very effective when you’re not holding the point, by either going there alone while your team engages at another place, or by spawn-camping. If your team is holding the point, don’t hesitate to be aggressive to build your ult, but try to not die stupidly. Trade kills on key heroes with low mobility is good when you hold the point, because of the symmetry of the maps and of your mobility, but not necessarily good if you have to attack it. Killing Widowmaker is often your job, so don’t ignore her, and of course, ignore the flankers. Don’t waste bomb mindlessly if you have a Zarya for graviton + bomb combo. If you have no combo with bomb, use it as soon as you can.
• Attack: For the first point, you want to flank to kill key targets or drag people to the point to create space. The priority list in decreasing order of priority and possibility is:
(1) destroying Symmetra’s turrets,
(2) killing Symmetra or armorless Torbjörn and destroying his turret,
(3) killing, disrupting supports or DPS,
(4) drag people to the point or even further to create space at the choke,
(5) bombing tanks.
Spawn-camping is very effective at first point. It eliminates one target and will prob- ably drag one or two more after the spawn-camp. If people are stupid enough to not try to defend the spawn-camped target, then you can just come back on point to 6v5. If push fails again and you survive, spawn-camp again.
For the second point, the above priority list is false because there is much less space. Symmetra and Torbjörn are rarely as isolated as they are at first point, and they often have armor or a shield generator. You still want to kill Symmetra’s turret in priority, her shield generator with bomb, or Torbjörn’s turret. If they have both a Symmetra and a Torbjörn, then switching Tracer might be a good idea once shield generator is destroyed. Otherwise, you can try to bomb squishes in corridors (Volskaya B top), tanks, or keep it for a combo. You generally don’t want to engage too early, especially on Anubis where it is suicidal (no space), so be very aware of your team position. On Hanamura, you can easily go on the point alone to drag people down.
• Defense: You generally don’t want to engage before enemy team does. Before they do so, you can easily be in front-line harassing tanks trying to build your ult. You can easily finish low HP targets by blinking through the choke, and recall to reposition yourself on the good side of the choke. Once they engage, you can either focus the tanks (charging Reinhardt, Roadhog, or jumping Winston) to defend your team or blink through the entire team to disrupt healers. You want to play a bit more cautiously at first point than at the second one. For the latter, going for trade kills is very good, so it’s no big deal if you die like that. Building your ult and trying to kill people by sticking it on tanks is also very useful. You can’t really drag people, but you can easily disrupt them or stall for long time. Creating 1v1 is possible at first point, but unlikely on the second.
2.2.3. Payload maps.Payload maps are pressure games: the team which is able to put the most pressure eventually wins the fight. In this respect, a main priority for Tracer in this gamemode is to release pressure from her mates, both while attacking and defending. To do so, you can harass the back-line of the enemy team to forbid the supports to fulfill their job, and try to drag people far from the payload. You can also go in and attack the enemy main tank so as to build your ult and disturb him. If it’s a Reinhardt, attacking him from weird angles or by blinking through his shield can force him to turn to protect himself from your aggression, or even start swinging his hammer. If he does so, he makes himself and his mates vulnerable to your team. If your bomb is ready, you probably want to eliminate the main tank with it. Don’t hesitate to combo it with a damage boost or an orb of discord to instant kill. If you manage to kill the main tank, the enemy team is forced to use their ults or to retreat very quickly to not collapse under your team pressure. In the first case, if you’re attacking, you should let them waste their ults and win the next fight thanks to your ults, while if you’re defending, you should obviously react with ults. In the second case, you’re either pushing or contesting for free and there’s no need to take too much risks chasing them: you don’t wanna die to make the fight a 5v5, but you surely want to punish them still.
Spawn-camping can work wonderfully on payload maps. Back-capping the payload when the defending team is not paying attention is also possible. The best way to do that is to wait for your team to engage the enemy team and to sneak behind the payload to push. You can abuse Tracer small model to push the payload close to a choke, even under enemy team pressure (the payload is most often than not a better healer than your supports).
A general thing to do in attack once you capped the first phase (this holds for hybrid maps after first point) is to punish the defenders with bad spawn. Don’t be afk on the payload, there is no rest to take when you can put pressure on the enemy team, forbidding them to contest the payload early. The closer to the defender spawn the pressure is, the more free push for your payload. Note that depending on the position of the payload at this second phase, you might spawn closer to it than the enemy team does, so the generalities for trade kills (and thus the amount of aggression you can afford) hold there.
In defense, you can easily contest the payload for a long time when your team is getting pushed by the attackers. Don’t hesitate to contest aggressively. Otherwise, wait for everyone, and don’t try to create 1v1: it’ll more likely than not fail because attackers are going to play around the payload. Yet, you can and should punish someone who is over extended or far from his team. Dragging people in defense is generally harder than in attack, but it’s certainly possible on some open maps like Route 66 or Numbani.
2.3. Don’t be fooled or discouraged by misfortune.This section is very short but nonetheless important. Tracer is a 150 HP Hero that can be instant killed by lots of random stuff in real games: from the most random Mei HS, Hanzo’s scatter arrows, Roadhog right- click, to shots aimed at someone else that are HS’ing you because you blinked in front of them and had no way to avoid them. Let’s be clear: (mis)fortune can play a huge role from times to times. You will certainly encounter games where all the most random shit is hitting you as if you were cursed. This is perfectly normal statistically, but some people are more unlucky than others. Don’t question yourself or your decisions if they were good, even if you keep dying. You don’t judge a decision by a particular outcome, but by the probability that it succeeds. Of course, you shouldn’t be delusional either, but be ready to feel what it is to do nothing because of bad luck.
3. Tracer vs Hero
The goal of this section is to explain how tracer performs against other heroes in 1v1. We only list what we consider to be good decisions rather than bad ones. By good decision, we mean a decision that is most likely than not to succeed (as in, it’ll work more than 50% of the times). A bad decision is a decision that will work less than it’ll fail. Of course, bad decisions can sometimes be game deciding: they are bad not because they don’t make you win a game if they succeed, but because the probability that they do is too small for you to have a play-style based around them. Let us however insist that in a 6v6 setting, a morally good decision can be effectively bad (as in failing more than it’ll succeed) if your team mates are too bad to actually take advantage of it. This is something that shouldn’t happen in 1v1, so this section is very easy to understand and apply.
We say that a hero is full whenever all of his skills are ready to be casted and not on cool-down. Obviously, we call a hero empty if all his skills are on cool-down. We say that a hero is locking on you if he is looking at you and shooting at you before you engage him.
3.1. Tracer vs Genji.
• Generalities: Keep in mind that you don’t necessarily want to engage a Genji in a 1v1 because it is not your goal to kill flankers, but it is sometimes necessary or a good decision to do it. Shot at Genji and reload as soon as you can while he starts deflecting. If Genji is empty, chase him and finish him. You don’t want to be too close from him to avoid being HS by his right click, but you don’t want to be too far either to avoid falloff damage. More generally, killing a Genji relies a lot on your mechanics (dodging skills and vertical tracking). You want to use sw-blinks and hsw- blinks against a Genji more than F-blink, B-blink, or T-blink, to avoid lucky shuriken hits.
• Advanced technics:
•Tracer vs Genji ult: When Genji is ulting, his movement speed is higher than your own. If Genji used his only dash after ult, you can bait him by engaging him and moving backward, then B-blink or T-blink if he comes too close. Be aware of Genji’s blade trick hitbox. Nano-blade oneshots you, so be very cautious of that.
• Tracer ult vs Genji: Genji is sometimes not moving when he deflects. Position yourself in such a way that you can instant-stick him once deflect is over, otherwise, don’t even try to stick a bomb on a Genji.
3.2. Tracer vs McCree
• Generalities: McCree is not a counter to tracer and is losing more likely than not against her. The idea to kill him is simple: bait flash, and use your dodging skills to avoid being hit. Keep in mind that McCree can HS + melee to instant kill you, so don’t stay too close from him. You don’t necessarily want to recall or leave the fight because you got hit once. You can afford to fight with the risk of being killed by a HS after being body-hit once, because McCree is under pressure and might have to panic shot instead of aiming carefully for the head. Don’t hesitate to count the bullets of McCree too, to judge of the amount of threat left. For example, suppose that McCree missed his first 5 bullets on you, then you know that you can easily tank one shot (even in HS) and it is therefore unnecessary for you to dodge, allowing you to track better and to kill him before he reloads.
• Advanced technics: We list here some basic to more advanced technics to survive flash.
(1) using F-blink to come near the flash range then any other kind of blink, most commonly B-blink or a hsw-blink. You can also T-blink McCree but it’s more dangerous,
(2) jumping when McCree is throwing flash so you get stunned in air, then recall: it is hard for McCree to HS you in air, so you will most likely survive. Ideally, you want to fall behind a corner or on a healthpack,
(3) standing on a healthpack when McCree is throwing flash: flash damage is 25, and HS 140, so you’ll survive that with 10 HP. This only works in a true 1v1 settings,
(4) jumping outside of the map and being stunned in air, then recall: you’ll fall stunned and it is very unlikely that McCree manages to HS you there.
(5) blink very close to him so he misses flash completely (only way for him to flash you is to aim at his own feet there).
• Tracer vs McCree ult: Tracer can easily force McCree to cancel or fire his ult by rushing him with blinks and shooting him. Recall when you feel it’s time to, or you might die in the process. You can also aggress him from sides or behind and one clip him when he ults.
• Tracer ult vs McCree: instant-stick in corridors (like Volskaya B top) or when McCree is ulting is doable, otherwise it’s hard.
3.3. Tracer vs Pharah.
• Generalities: Pharah’s hitboxes are big, so tracer can easily punish her. Don’t hesitate to go high ground and blink aggressively in her direction to engage her. Dodging rockets is easy with blinks, so wait for a Pharah to be on her descending flight and try to force her to engage you. In most maps, she can’t really abuse verticality and be too high in the sky, which makes her reachable by Tracer and vulnerable. Counting the number of rockets shot helps too, especially when Pharah is spamming and you’re waiting for her to stop to go in.
• Advanced technics: In team settings, be very cautious to not die to Pharah’s rocket splash in front of your Reinhardt or Winston’s shield. Same remark with Zarya’s shield.
• Tracer vs Pharah ult: Pharah’s ult is very powerful but it has a travel time: stay at mid distance from it, and shot at her. By the time she looks at you and the rockets reach you, you will have sw or hsw-blink, then repeat.
• Tracer ult vs Pharah: Forget it.
• Extra caution: Pharah + Mercy damage boost can one-shot you very easily, espe- cially through indirect splash on your mates or their shield.
3.4. Tracer vs Reaper.
• Generalities: Reaper can one-shot you, so stay far. More generally, you want to bait him to you by going backward. This will force him to move forward to you without any room to dodge your shots. Reaper stands no chance against you if he is stupid enough to engage you like that. If he isn’t, then you might want to abuse T-blink or hsw-blink, but it becomes risky.
• Advanced technics:
• Tracer vs Reaper ult: Tracer can easily punish an ulting Reaper. Stay at mid distance and aim for the center of its model: you’ll survive and deal tons of damage to him. In team settings, be aware that if some of your mates died to his ult, then he will certainly heal himself consuming their souls: you don’t want to be surprised that he didn’t die before you did because of that, so don’t be overly aggressive.
• Tracer ult vs Reaper: If Reaper is stuck by one of your bomb and goes into wraith form or is teleporting, the bomb is dropped on the ground. If you have to stick a bomb on a Reaper, don’t forget about that. Note that Reaper does not have time to teleport once you stuck bomb on him though.
3.5. Tracer vs Soldier.
• Generalities: you can’t engage a full Soldier without being full yourself, unless you surprise him. You have very few chances to kill a Soldier that is locking on you. If Soldier is full, be very cautious of rocket + melee combo that could instant kill you. You don’t want the fight to last too long because of the quick cool-down of helix rocket, and you generally want to engage Soldier with a surprising effect so you have some chances to actually kill him even if he stands on his own heal.
• Advanced technics: If Soldier lacks healing station, you can engage him even if he is locking on you through zigzag blinks, or even more aggressive F-blinks. T-blinks or TT-blinks can work very well if soldier is in some corridor. The less space, the better it is for you to abuse T-blinks or your dodging skills (very important against hitscans).
• Tracer vs Soldier ult: Tracer stands no chance against Soldier ult, but she can absorb it with recall. Don’t hesitate to make him locking on you while he is ulting and recall as late as possible, in order to make him waste some of his ult-time on you (thus potentially saving some of your mates). Don’t even try that against nano-visor.
• Tracer ult vs Soldier: instant-stick in corridors (like Volskaya B top) is doable, otherwise it’s hard.
3.6. Tracer vs Sombra.
• Generalities: Sombra can be considered as a semi-counter to Tracer. You don’t want to engage a full Sombra in a 1v1. You don’t want to engage an empty Sombra near a healthpack she hacked because it’ll respawn faster than you can kill her. Hack does break through recall if you’re quick enough, but if you’re slow it doesn’t and you’ll end up hacked if you recall in its range. If Sombra is not full and far from an hacked healthpack (no hack or no translocator), you can engage her and try to kill her but it’s not easy.
• Advanced technics: Don’t hesitate to spam shots randomly in places where Sombra might flank with invisibility to reveal her. Abuse angles and corridors for that.
• Tracer vs Sombra ult: You can’t do shit but try to recall or blink away when you feel a Sombra is going to ult.
• Tracer ult vs Sombra: If Sombra is stuck by one of your bomb and use her translo- cator, the bomb drops at the place she used it and does not go through teleportation. You can try to bomb a healthpack where Sombra is most likely to recall, but it’s generally a bad decision because it’s mostly based on a big guess.
3.7. Tracer vs Tracer.
• Generalities: You generally don’t want to engage a Tracer in a 1v1, because it ends up being a long fight where none of you is going to die. You might be forced to do it sometimes, either because there’s just a Tracer left to kill, or because the enemy Tracer is retarded enough to force you to take the fight. To win in a 1v1 against a Tracer is more about map knowledge, blink management, and dragging skills than aim or dodge. Hence why it is better to run away if you can when enemy Tracer is full and you’re not. Spread RNG can also have a big impact: skill might not save you. Still, the general idea is to drag the Tracer in a corridor or near a healthpack you’re going to take before her.
You don’t want to be the one chasing because the chaser is always in a worse position than the prey, making him easier to be hit. In order to drag the other Tracer, you want to react to her aggression, as in, not being the one who takes the initiative to engage her. For example, you can blink as soon as she starts shooting at you, so she’ll waste some of her ammo correcting her aim while you still have a full clip to aim at her. Of course, if enemy Tracer is good, she can always react back to your blink, but so can you. In general, people won’t use 3 blinks in such a short amount of time as one clip to react to reactions. You want to recall as late as you can too, in order to have the higher HP pool (but not too late otherwise your recall might not heal you entirely).
• Advanced technics: More advanced and subtle technics in a 1v1 against Tracer consists of double-blinks, blink-shots, or recall repositioning. Explaining these details would be long and of no use in real games, but you can still see some examples here, here, or here. Try to identify the different technics used, and notice that what makes you win or lose a fight is decision making (doing less mistakes than the other Tracer) but not mechanics. In particular, you’ll remark that if you allow healthpack (as in real games) the fight can last for long and use a big part of the map, which is a very bad thing because you’re not helping your team during this kind of 1v1. Hence why you don’t want to 1v1 a Tracer when you’re yourself one.
Still, we all know how Overwatch players can be a bit retarded from times to times(for the least I could say). It might happen that a very bad Tracer is trying to 1v1 you on KOTH games, thinking that what makes a better Tracer is to win such useless fights. In this case, try to drag her to your team and focus her with your mates. You can try to take the 1v1 far from everyone if you’re much better, but be aware that you might not be able to do your normal job with a Tracer on your ass all game long, so try to survive first.
• Tracer vs Tracer ult: If you get stuck, recalling will make the bomb drop at the place you used it, but not blinks. You can abuse that by blinking very close to the enemy Tracer and recall just before the bomb explodes so she gets killed by her own bomb. This is more lucky than something you can do consistently, but it’s a nice trick.
• Tracer ult vs Tracer: Don’t even try to stick a bomb on Tracer.
3.8. Tracer vs Bastion.
• Generalities: Bastion is never easy to kill because of armor and his high dps and self-heal. Generally, you want to engage a Bastion in non sentry mode rather than in sentry mode. His hitboxes are big, so you deal a lots of damage to him. The fight might last a bit because of his self-heal, so be cautious. If Bastion is in sentry mode and locking on you, don’t even try to engage him. You can only engage him if you surprise him. Disturbing him can be useful so your team can push.
• Advanced technics: Tanking some damage (as against Soldier ult) is something Tracer can do against sentry mode Bastion. You want to do that by forcing him to lock on you in a direction far from your team, otherwise it’s not of big use.
• Tracer vs Bastion ult: It is very easy to hit a tank Bastion, but his damage is big so use blink to avoid the shots and don’t hesitate to hide if you’re not full.
• Tracer ult vs Bastion: Bomb kills Bastion in sentry mode and can be very efficient. It also kills him in tank mode.
3.9. Tracer vs Hanzo.
• Generalities: Hanzo is the hard counter to Tracer thanks to scatter arrows. You should fear a Hanzo and better avoid a 1v1, especially if scatter arrows is not on cool-down and he is locking on you. Good Hanzo have a tendency to wait for people around corners with scatter thanks to their wallhack, so be very cautious of that too. If Hanzo has no scatter, then there’s less fear to have and you can engage him and abuse T-blinks. Be aware that a fully charged body shot + melee combo instant kill you. Also, remember that the hitbox of arrows is huge: you don’t want to be too close from Hanzo to avoid lucky HS or lucky hit caused by the size of the hitboxes.
• Advanced Technics: You can always try to jump or recall to avoid scatter but it’ll fail more likely than not. A good jump pattern to make you a bit less predictable is to jump in one direction while you gain height and switch the direction back when you start losing height. Naively, you can think that engaging Hanzo from above is good. It sure is, but its hard to aim while falling from above on squishes, and Hanzo has more verticality than you do, so this kind of situation rarely happens in practice.
• Tracer vs Hanzo ult: Only thing you have to be cautious of is to not recall inside the dragon.
• Tracer ult vs Hanzo: Bombing an ulting Hanzo is efficient and risk free. Otherwise, you probably don’t want to try to bomb him.
3.10. Tracer vs Junkrat.
• Generalities: Junkrat is not really a counter to you as tracer, but lack of awareness can easily cost your life. Don’t blink on a trap, and be cautious of his mine. Generally, you also want to be aware of the walls around you and behind you because bombs can bounce back at you, so have this awareness (T-blink being a good way to avoid being hit by these bouncing projectiles by the way). Abusing verticality against Junkrat is good, so he can hardly hit you or is forced to use his mine to jump above you, which makes him both easy to hit and waste an important skill. Counting the number of grenades helps too. Of course, once you kill Junkrat, don’t move over his bombs to avoid being killed stupidly.
• Advanced technics: In team settings, be very cautious to not die to Junkrat’s bombs splash on ally shields (Reinhardt, Winston, Zarya).
• Tracer vs Junkrat ult: When Junkrat is ulting he is very vulnerable to you. Don’t try to destroy the tire or try to avoid it, but look for him and kill him either in one clip or with bomb. You can always try to bait for the tire explosion with recall if needed to save your team or yourself.
• Tracer ult vs Junkrat: Bombing an ulting Junkrat is a safe way to kill him.
3.11. Tracer vs Mei.
• Generalities: Mei can one-shot you with right click HS, so you have to be cautious of that and work on your dodge and keep some distance(Mei has damage falloff on her right click, so don’t fear her too much at long range before you engage ). If Mei tries to freeze you, she can’t kill you thanks to blink and recall. You can try to bait for her wall too and blink away or recall so she wasted one important skill. To avoid one shot, try to hsw-blink or T-blink, but don’t engage a Mei that is locking on you with F-blinks.
• Advanced technics:
• Tracer vs Mei ult: You can always temporize freeze from Mei’s ult with recall, allowing you to stay on a capture point without being frozen. Going outside of her ult is also easy with blink, so there is no big threat.
• Tracer ult vs Mei: If Mei’s ice block is up, you don’t want to stick bomb on her: ice block nullifies the bomb damage. An advanced thing to do is to time for the end of her ice block and stick bomb inside it: quite often when people are trying to stale with Mei, they are not going to break ice block before it ends on its own to optimize the staling time. When this happens, stick the bomb inside the ice block so that it explodes exactly when it breaks. It’ll stick to Mei and instant kill her.
3.12. Tracer vs Torbjörn.
• Generalities: Torbjörn burst damage is high (70 for left click and 150 for right without HS), but his shots are hard to connect, especially if you have good dodge. Moreover, Torbjörn hitboxes are very big which makes him easily one-clipable if he has no armor. You should not hesitate to go in and try to one-clip + melee combo a Torbjörn, even if his turret is up, then recall. If Torbjörn has armor, you better try to destroy the turret first. To do so, you will need two clips, but you can always abuse the turn time of the turret with T-blinks (it might seems an overkill, but destroying turret is very important if you want to do something against armor).
• Advanced technics:
• Tracer vs Torbjörn ult: You stand no chance against a level 3 turret. You can try to 1v1 an ulting Torbjörn, but he has tons of armor and you’ll need 3 to 4 clips to actually kill him(even more if he has some armor stacks to heal himself during the fight). It is more or less easy to dodge his shots if you keep some distance, but it’s more of a coin flip to survive for that long.
• Tracer ult vs Torbjörn: Bombing the turret can be a very efficient way to destroy it before you engage in a fight. Bombing Torbjörn is also not too hard and very good, especially if he ults.
3.13. Tracer vs Widowmaker.
• Generalities: Widowmaker is not a real threat to you as soon as you approach her with hsw-blinks or zigzag-blinks. Don’t overly respect her: it’s very hard for a widowmaker to actually headshot you while you come at her close range. Her venom mine and full auto is more of a threat than a direct hit with her sniper rifle. Don’t hesitate to be very aggressive against her, even if she is locking on you. If you surprise her, you should be able to one-clip her.
• Advanced technics: On some maps like King’s Row or Gibraltar, there are very good camping spots for defending tracers against suspected attacking Widowmakers at first point. You can just camp there and wait for her to come to you, then one-clip her by surprise.
• Tracer vs Widowmaker ult: Wallhack is not a big threat against Widowmaker herself because you can always peak her with a sw or hsw-blink, which nullifies the advantage she has to see you before you see her. Of course, being revealed by a wallhack is a much bigger threat against other enemies like Roadhog or Soldier.
• Tracer ult vs Widowmaker: Easy to stick if you surprise her but of no use: better one-clip her.
3.14. Tracer vs D.Va.
• Generalities: D.Va is a very annoying hero to play against as Tracer. She has lots of armor, a defense matrix allowing her to absorb your ult and your shots, and her cool- down on defense matrix is exactly the same as the reload time of tracer. Thus, when facing a D.Va that is locking on you, you want to reload as soon as she uses defense matrix. A good way to damage her is to hsw-blink to one of her side or T-blink and damage her until she uses defense matrix again. Be cautious not to be too close from her (she does a lots of damage at very close range), and you want to avoid getting hit by her boop too. Killing mini D.Va can be very annoying and dangerous if you’re too close, so try to keep some distance to dodge her bullets.
• Advanced technics: A good way to eliminate D.Va mech is to bomb it, but one has to be cautious for the bomb not to be absorbed into defense matrix. A relatively simple way is to T-blink, 180, and stick bomb. It’s not necessarily easy in real games, but it works well. Another harder possibility is to F-blink right next to D.Va, press ult key, and then flick-turn your mouse 90 degree to her mech so bomb stick once it’s thrown. You can also try to time the end of the defense matrix gauge and bomb as soon as you feel it’s over, but this is hard to do. As said above, killing a mini D.Va is
sometimes very annoying, especially when people are stalling with her on 2CP maps. A good way to avoid that is to wait for the mech to be destroyed and as soon as it is, to bomb the destroyed mech: D.Va is going to jump out of her mech exactly when the bomb is exploding, thus killing her instantly.
• Tracer vs D.Va ult: D.Va ult is not a big threat against Tracer. Recalling being a way to make you invincible during its animation, it is often very good to try to kill mini D.Va once she throws her bomb, and to recall as close as possible to the bomb explosion. You will very often have time to finish her before she gets back into her new mech.
• Tracer ult vs D.Va: Be aware that when the bomb is considered as a projectile by the game, it can be absorbed by D.Va matrix. This means that even when you stick a bomb on someone (like a Tracer who then recalls) or something (like a shield that is going to be destroyed) but the bomb eventually drops, then D.Va matrix can still absorb it.
3.15. Tracer vs Orisa.
• Generalities: Orisa is not hard to kill as Tracer. She has giant head hitbox and it is very easy to blink between her and her shield to kill her. Note that even if her head is on the other side of the shield, it is likely that some part of her body is still on your side, so you should always be able to damage her. Be cautious of Halt, you can easily die to Orisa’s spam on her Halt if you’re not cautious.
• Advanced technics: instant stick + melee + recall combo is a good way to instant kill Orisa. Bomb alone is not enough because of armor.
• Tracer vs Orisa ult: Orisa ult is a real threat to tracer because it makes her vulnerable to being one-shot by a lot of stuff. It is yet very easy for Tracer to blink through everyone and destroy it, and is definitely her job to do it as soon as possible.
• Tracer ult vs Orisa: Fortify allows Orisa to survive Tracer’s bomb, but the latter still deals 200 damage. You better wait for Orisa to use Fortify before you stick bomb on her. Feel free to time the end of Fortify with your bomb as you would do with Zarya’s shield (see below). Be cautious of Halt when you stick bomb, it can make you fail. You also don’t want to stick bomb on her shield, so be cautious of that or stick it on the good side of the shield.
3.16. Tracer vs Reinhardt.
• Generalities: It is definitely your job as Tracer to harass Reinhardt as much as you can to make him turn around or drop his shield. You can easily F-blink behind his shield and damage him. A bad Reinhardt is going to drop his shield and to start swinging at you or turn around once you engage him, thus not protecting his team. Trying to finish an anti-healed Reinhardt or a low HP one is also something you should do with no fear as Tracer. It is often possible to go in, fire one entire clip and recall on a Rein. Note that a nano’d firestrike one-shots you, so be very cautious of that. If there is no other big threat, don’t hesitate to tank one swing of Reinhardt and wait for the second swing before you recall or T-blink, thus dealing tons of damage to him. You can T-blink a charging Reinhardt.
• Advanced technics: You can abuse Reinhardt big model and Tracer’s small one by blinking between his shield and him so that the enemy team has no vision on you. This allows you to deal lots of damage (HS is preferable even if you have to jump) to build your ult. Of course, don’t be too greedy: recalling after one full clip is generally the norm.
• Tracer vs Reinhardt ult: The best way to avoid Reinhardt’s ult is to recall. You can often try to blink behind him, but you have to be aware that his ult also stuns a bit behind himself, which is very inconvenient.
• Tracer ult vs Reinhardt: One of the most important role of Tracer is to actually build ult and use it to eliminate tanks like Reinhardt. Be aware that you can stick bomb on the two sides of Reinhardt’s shield, and that the explosion actually damages people on the same side as where the bomb was stuck, but not on the other side. Note that if you stick a bomb on a Rein’s shield, dropping shield will actually make the bomb drop on the ground, so you generally don’t want to do that. Otherwise, it is not too hard to instant stick a bomb on a Rein that is low HP. What you can do if there is no barrier or any form of strong healing ready to save a Rein is to go in, shot almost one entire clip on him and stick your bomb before recalling. Rein will not survive. On a graviton(it is generally better to actually drop the bomb on the ground because the explosion radius is bigger), it might be more interesting to stick bomb on the side of the shield where Reinhardt’s mates stand rather than on his model: he would have to turn around to save his mate, making him more vulnerable to your own team, and if he drops shield or charges away(you don’t want to stick a bomb on Rein’s model in a 5 man graviton because he can just charge and save his mates ) from the graviton, bomb will drop inside the graviton which is a good thing. Finally, note that bomb + discord or damage boosted bomb oneshots Reinhardt, which is very good to abuse.
3.17. Tracer vs Roadhog.
• Generalities: Roadhog is an ult charger, and he is easy to kill as soon as his hook is on cool-down. If you have very good dodge and reaction time, don’t hesitate to engage a full Roadhog to build your ult and kill him in a 1v1. When Roadhog starts healing, aim for the head and damage as much as you can before you hsw or T-blink just before his heal ends. Your dps is higher than his self-heal, so you can out damage him while he is healing himself. Don’t hesitate to bomb him if he is lower than 400 hp, and just go away with a simple blink (don’t waste recall on that and if you need to, please wait some time so you’re recalling while bomb explodes and not before). Be very cautious of not being too close from a Roadhog with active hook. The hitbox of the latter is so big that it might connect even if you’re on another side of where it was thrown. Note that you can also T-blink a Roadhog before every of its shots (using blink-shots or not depending of how your reload is synchronized with Roadhog shots), but you’ll quickly run out of blink so do that only if you’re certain that he has no hook.
• Advanced technics: Good Roadhogs are not going to try to hook you directly. They are going to wait for you to panic blinks or recall until you’re empty. As a result, staying calm and far enough from them while waiting for the hook is very important. Roadhog can’t afford to wait too long because of how strong your dps is. Some Roadhogs are trying to fake hook with melee: this is not a good decision from them because it does not forbid you to actually damage them hard, so don’t fear that. Also, melee animation is easily discriminated from hook animation. Note that the best way to dodge hook if you have good ping is to recall: just wait for the animation and press recall key, you won’t get hooked. At long range, you might even be able to just blink but depending on your ping, the hook might not break and follow you even through your blink. Of course, this can be abused if you blink outside of the LOS of Roadhog, so hook breaks. Abusing hook 2.0 hitbox by peaking corners, poles, tables, or any other map element that you know are going to break hook in your favor is also possible. Note that in a team setting, Roadhog is known to be an ult charger and is therefore quite often focused by healers. It isn’t a bad decision to charge your ult on a Roadhog pocketed by Ana, as soon as you leave him once your ult is charged. It is however a very bad decision to feed Mercy’s ult, especially if they have Mercy + Ana and Mercy is healing an Ana-grened Roadhog. In any case, if you need to charge your ult as soon as possible on Tracer, you might want to take some risks and build it on Roadhog. Note that the self-healing of Roadhog + Ana gren makes him almost invulnerable to you alone, so you certainly don’t want to waste bomb on that.
• Tracer vs Roadhog ult: Roadhog ult is very powerful at close range (up to 810 dps if all pellets hit, although it is almost never the case on a small hero such as Tracer), so you have to be cautious of that. You can easily kill him from sides or behind and hsw or T-blink as soon as he turns to you while ulting. It is however a very bad decision to come too close to an ulting nano-boosted Roadhog: his dps is way too strong for you to not die unless you have amazing reflexes.
• Tracer ult vs Roadhog: Bombing Roadhog is often a very good decision because it is easy (can be instant stuck relatively easily), can secure an elimination if he has under 400 hp, or kill people around him in a choke.
3.18. Tracer vs Winston.
• Generalities: Winston stands no chance against you as soon as you avoid leap dam- age and have recall on. You are very good at killing him because you can easily blink in and outside his barrier to constantly damage him, and recall to not die or reposition yourself. You should also try to break Winston’s bubble if you can’t reach him. Note that it is not rare that a Winston jumps at you shielded by Zarya. It is a very good decision to break Zarya’s barrier in order to start killing Winston as soon as possi- ble. Don’t ignore barriers: the sooner they break, the better. You can wait for a Winston to jump and focus him in order to protect your healers, this is a very good decision. Winston will fear you so don’t hesitate to attack him to make him retreat and not be too aggressive to your supports.
• Advanced technics: Although Winston’s weapon is auto-aimed, it is a very good decision to hws or T-blink him because it takes time for him to actually understands where you go, so don’t hesitate to disorientate him. Generally, you want to focus him to death because your dps is strong and you have the mobility to follow him, but you surely don’t want to die to him.
• Tracer vs Winston ult: If you’re full, Winston ulting stands no chance against you. It is very easy for you to bait him and T-blink and repeat. If you’re not full, you can very easily find yourself stuck in a corner. Winston’s ult is actually strong, especially with leap damage, so don’t underestimate it.
• Tracer ult vs Winston: Bombing Winston is a very good decision. It is easy when he has no barrier (you can instant stick him, or one-full clip + stick combo), it can either kill him, his mates, or make him having to use his ult prematurely to save himself. Special care has to be made when Winston has his barrier up. It seems that you have to be fully inside the bubble when you use your bomb for the game to consider that the bomb is thrown inside it and not on it(more precisely, your head has to be inside and not just your guns). Be very cautious of that, especially when you want to use bomb with a friendly graviton and there’s a Winston inside it that is popping his barrier up. Of course, sticking bomb on the good side of the barrier can still help and kill people, but it’s never as good as sticking it on Winston himself.
3.19. Tracer vs Zarya.
• Generalities: Zarya can be easy to kill to almost impossible in a 1v1 regarding the amount of energy she has. Generally, you don’t want to be too close from a Zarya, even low charged, because of her right click + melee combo that is very easy to perform. A Zarya with less than 40 charge is not a big threat. You can easily avoid her right clicks using your blinks (hsw or T-blink) or by jumping at the good moment to minimize splash damage. Depending on her health, you might consider breaking her barrier(if you’re alone to damage her barrier, it might not be a good decision because doing so lasts almost as long as one full clip of tracer. You can always break it with a bit less than one full clip and then melee Zarya to finish her, but you probably don’t want to give her too much energy either. In any case, start shooting the shield just before it ends, so you don’t lose time damaging Zarya once it’s gone) and finish her with what is left in your clip + melee combo, even if this charges Zarya to 70+ energy. If breaking her barrier is a bad decision because she has too much HP left, you can simply reload and B-blink out of range of both her left and right click. A high energy Zarya (60 to 70+) is a threat to you. Try to not be too close from a high charged Zarya. You can, of course, be aggressive and approach her between each right clicks and blink away before her next one, but you’ll quickly be out of blinks so you better hit your shots.
• Advanced Technics: In this part, we explain the subtle interactions between bomb and Zarya particle-barrier and projected-barrier that can be abused to eliminate peo- ple. We list the different properties right now:
(1) particle-barrier and projected-barrier make the receiver immune to any kind of damage until they break,
(2) particle-barrier and projected-barrier behave exactly like any other kind of shield for everyone who isn’t shielded by them (like a mini Winston bubble). In particuar, if splash damage hits the outside of the previous barriers, then anyone outside and close enough to it is subjected to splash damage. If splash damage hits the inside of the previous barriers (for example if a Pharah rocket manages to hit Zarya just after she shields herself), then anyone inside the barrier is subjected to splash damage. The latter situation can happen. Squishes heroes like Lucio can enter Zarya’s barrier almost entirely, while big enough ones will overlap on both sides of it, being potentially subjected to both types of splash damage.
(3) If bomb is stuck on particle-barrier or projected-barrier, then it starts falling and is considered a projectile (that can stick again!) as soon as they break. Keeping the previous things in mind, we now list the different interactions between Zarya particle-barrier and bomb. The interactions between projected-barrier and bomb is similar.
(1) If bomb is stuck on Zarya and Zarya shields herself right away, then she will be immune to splash damage if shield does not break before the explosion, but any hero inside her barrier or overlapping with its inside will be subjected to splash damage and potentially die.
(2) If bomb is stuck on the outside of Zarya particle-barrier and explodes before it breaks, then Zarya is immune to splash damage but anyone close enough to it on the outside of her shield is subject to splash damage and might die.
(3) If bomb is stuck on Zarya and Zarya shields herself right away, but her shield breaks before the bomb explodes, then the bomb is still stuck to Zarya and is going to kill her and anyone nearby.
(4) If bomb is stuck on the outside of Zarya particle-barrier and the shield breaks before the bomb explodes, then the bomb will fall vertically and explode. During this process, the bomb will stick to anyone crossing its trajectory. Hence, if Zarya is walking in the direction of the bomb while it falls, she’ll eventually get stuck. Note that this can be exploited easily by timing the moment at which you stick Tracer’s bomb on Zarya’s shield, so that it explodes right after the shield disappears, killing the (no more) shielded target in the process. Abusing this is very helpful in real games, especially on projected-barriers trying to save DPS or healers heroes, because it is much easier to stick a bomb on a Zarya shield than it is on squishes. It is now clear to know where to stick bomb on a friendly graviton.
For example, if Zarya is using her own shield and you have no time to break it, you can either stick it on the face of the shield near other enemies (they still get killed by splash damage), or drop it on the ground. You don’t want to stick it on someone else unless you know that projected-barrier is on cool-down. Other alternatives are clear.
• Tracer vs Zarya ult: Tracer can easily run away from graviton surge with 2 blinks. This is relatively expensive and it is not rare to get stuck into a graviton with at most 1 blink at your disposal. You can always recall temporize to either survive until the end of the graviton or to then blink away.
• Tracer ult vs Zarya: See above.
3.20. Tracer vs Ana.
• Generalities: In a real 1v1 without barriers or Lucio auras, killing Ana is not too complicated. The fight always follow a similar scheme: first, she tries to sleep you. If she succeeds, she’ll try to direct hit + grenade combo which can’t kill you, so all you have to do as Tracer is keep pressing your recall key until you wake up (modulo the end wake-up trick that might kill you if well executed). If Ana fails to sleep you, then she’ll try to grenade both herself and you (to inflict anti-heal) once her HP are under 50%. You can try to avoid that with blinks when Ana is starting to look down. If you didn’t, then you can simply recall instantly to not die from another direct hit or melee and finish her. In real games, Ana is rarely alone and there’s always a Lucio next to her trying to boop you and heal her. It is relatively hard to kill Ana in such 1v2 settings, but fighting Ana and forcing her to actually react to your aggression means she isn’t healing her mates, so all you have to do (if you fail to kill her) is to survive long enough for your mates to eventually take a first pick. Disruption is a very important part of Tracer’s job, especially on healers.
If Ana is scoped-in to heal her mates, you can always try to F-blink very close to her and one-clip + melee combo her. If Ana has bad reactions, she might not even have the time to self-heal with grenade.
• Advanced technics: When you get hit by biotic rifle, you hear a very special sound. During this sound, your life is dropping continuously but not instantly by 60 HP, which allows you to be very aggressive with recall: even with less than 60 HP, you can tank one more biotic rifle shot as long as your recall is up. Be aware that a grenade hit would kill you though.
• Tracer vs Ana ult: Nano-boost is a very strong ult. Keep in mind that what usually does not kill you might if the target is nano-boosted (like Genji blade, Soldier helix rocket, Reinhardt firestrike, HS from McCree, Pharah direct hit, and many other stuff).
• Tracer ult vs Ana: Bombing Ana is complicated if she locks on you or know where you are. Bombing her in corridors is not too hard. You might want to learn how to instant stick bombs precisely to instant stick a scoped-in Ana not paying attention to her surrounding. Also, let me recall that sticking a bomb does 5 HP, which would wake-up a slept target. Don’t bomb a slept Zarya, Mei, or Tracer.
3.21. Tracer vs Lucio
• Generalities: In a real 1v1, Lucio is not hard to kill if you’re full and have enough space. If you don’t have recall, be cautious of Lucio speed boosting to kill you: his damage is strong and he can be very annoying with good boops. In corridors, you have to be cautious of not getting HS’d 3 times in a row, which is easy to avoid if you’re full thanks to T-blinks.
In real games, it is easier to kill a Lucio wall riding than a dodging one locking on you. This is why you generally don’t want to engage Lucio as your first target because you have other things to do (disrupt healers, kill DPS or anti-healed targets, build ult on tanks, …) and easier targets to kill. Be aware of boops (not because of environmental death) that can easily forbid you to eliminate a low HP target.
Of course, if a Lucio is dumb enough to be over extended or wall rides next to you, don’t hesitate to punish him.
• Advanced Technics: In ladder matches, when you’re dragging people, some Lucio players are very aggressive with their team and will try to speed boost on you with 2 other people even when it’s not a morally good decision. Be aware of that and try to drag them even further in their spawn, even if you die. When you’re going to spawn camp, enemy Lucio might come back to spawn to taxi the respawned hero. Don’t engage them directly and wait for Lucio to use speed boost to get back to the point: there is no more amp to fear, and both will probably moves in a linear movement that is very easy to hit.
• Tracer vs Lucio ult: Don’t hesitate to hit a low HP target that just received the benefits of Lucio’s ult. You deal lots of damage and this will accelerate its decay. Bomb is also very good against Lucio’s ult. Sound barrier is a 500 HP shield that quickly decays while bomb is 400 damage. Often, sound barrier is used when enemy team is stuck into a graviton: if you can afford to wait for sound barrier to decay before sticking your bomb, don’t hesitate to so your bomb still eliminates squishes(granted your team still damage for 20 to 60 HP). If you can’t or if you stick it just before Lucio casts his sound barrier its no big deal because it’ll basically nullify it, allowing your team to kill people.
• Tracer ult vs Lucio: It is not rare to see Lucio engaging you when you’re not full, trying to 1v1. When this happens, don’t hesitate and try to stick a bomb on him to secure a kill. Otherwise, sticking a bomb on Lucio can be hard and is not necessarily a good decision.
3.22. Tracer vs Symmetra
• Generalities: In team settings, the most important things to do as Tracer when playing against a Symmetra is to destroy her turrets. You can easily pass a choke point thanks to your blinks and destroy them freely. Once it’s done, you might want to kill her first: she is often alone in some isolated place waiting for people to rush in. The idea to kill her is to bait her as you would do with Reaper. You just B-blink and move backward so as to make her move linearly into your direction, outside of her range. If she uses her photon barrier, then you can easily F-blink through it and damage her. In the case you didn’t finish her after such F-blink, be aware that the more her weapon locks into you, the more it’ll damage you. You’ll want to recall before her weapon is fully charged, and finish her with a second clip + melee combo. Note that the charge of her gun does not reset instantly after being used, so if she charged it by locking into someone else, don’t engage her or you’ll die very quickly.
• Advanced technics: If your bomb is up, then it’s relatively easy to instant stick Symmetra by blinking through her and her shield.
• Tracer vs Symmetra ult: Tracer can be considered a counter to both teleporter and shield generator. It is definitely your job to look for them and destroy them as soon as you can, especially shield generator. To do so, charge your bomb (on tanks for example) and stick it to them aggressively through blinks and recall, so as to avoid having to kill Symmetra and her turrets defending them. Note that teleporter has only 6 charges, and it is generally a bad decision to destroy it when only one or two charges are left: it can be hard to do without bomb, and if it happens that the push after you broke a teleporter with low charges fails, then all you’re doing is giving the ability to Symmetra to make a new fully charged one. As Tracer, you have to count for the charges left.
• Tracer ult vs Symmetra: See above.
3.23. Tracer vs Zenyatta
• Generalities: There is a big misconception that Tracer can easily one-clip Zenyatta and that it’s a free kill for her: this is completely false and probably comes from the times where Zenyatta had 150 HP, which is no more the case for months. First, Zenyatta can easily two shots a discorded Tracer with a direct hit and an HS (with huge projectiles’ hitbox). Second, a good Zenyatta is going to discord Tracer every time he can to know where she is (discord is like a mini-wallhack) and to put pressure on her (making lethal for her what usually isn’t). Third, Zenyatta having this knowledge can easily spam in her direction, or charge his shots behind corners and wait for her. All of this is forcing Tracer to be cautious when she engages Zenyatta, and to rely a lot on her dodging skills.Yet, the more you dodge, the worse your tracking. If enemy Zenyatta is also dodging (even simple adad spam), ensuring a kill on Zenyatta in a 1v1 is not something granted if he locked on you before you engage him, which would force you to fight him without being full. Hence why, the best way to kill a Zenyatta is to surprise him to have a fight where you’re full, similarly to Soldier. Of course, most Zenyatta players are still easier to kill than most Soldiers players, mostly because their mechanics are much worse.
You can still try to engage a Zenyatta that is locking on you as soon as he didn’t discord you through zigzag blinks. Still, keep in mind that the hitbox of his projectiles are huge so you want to avoid being too close from him to avoid lucky hits, similarly to Hanzo.
• Advanced technics: You can easily abuse blink-shots to chase a Zenyatta around corners. This is quite difficult, but rewarding.
• Tracer vs Zenyatta ult: When Zenyatta is ulting, you should hit tanks to charge your ult as soon as you can. Remember that bomb has a burst damage of 400 and can kill people even around Zenyatta ult. This is particularly true when you combo it with graviton against an ulting Zen. Also, note that bomb can stick to Zenyatta while he is ulting, which can be abused with good timing considering some players stop moving during their transcendence.
• Tracer ult vs Zenyatta: Sticking bomb on Zenyatta is not too hard because of his circular shape hitbox. Don’t hesitate to do it, either to eliminate him or to force him to use transcendence to survive while there is no other threat.
3.24. Tracer vs Mercy
• Generalities: Mercy is a very annoying hero to play against as Tracer because of her mobility, her passive heal, and her small hitbox. Don’t hesitate to engage her and hit her even when she is very far from you to break her self-heal thanks to Tracer’s spread. If Mercy is pocketing someone, you shouldn’t try to out-DPS her heal: you’ll probably fail if you’re alone and will give tons of ult charge to her. The general rule is that in order to counter 2 heroes, you need 2 heroes. That’s true, but thanks to Tracer’s mobility, you can sometimes go in and kill her more or less safely.
Be aware of how damage boost works and how it can easily make lethal a shot that you would usually survive: if mercy is damage boosting a Pharah (say), and she damages boost her just before impact of her rocket, then the rocket will deal 120*1.3 damage. You therefore cannot tank the shots of a pocketed hero with certainty, because you can’t predict when Mercy is going to switch from heal to damage boost. A good Mercy will also do this kind of switch on purpose to optimize her heal-time, so be cautious.
Let me add that trying to kill a Mercy and an Ana healing themselves is almost impossible, so all you can do is good disruption.
• Advanced technics: Every time Mercy flies in the direction of a mate, her movement becomes very predictable: try to blink-shot her from behind so all you have to do is to adjust vertical angle. It’s not easy, but its the easiest way to actually kill her.
• Tracer vs Mercy ult: Mercy ult is at the same time one of the quicker to charge and the most powerful ult in the entire game. You therefore have to be cautious when playing against her, and try to not damage tanks when all it does is giving her free ult- charge. Be aware of her ult status: if she has rez already, you’re free to put pressure on whoever you want and charge your ult on tanks without having to eliminate them. Note that killing someone before team fight might force her to do an early rez, but if the fight last and she doesn’t die, she might have another one before it ends. If on the contrary you suspect that she has no rez, try to assist your mate as much as you can to eliminate targets quickly.
A bad Mercy will often hide before team fight when she has rez: it is generally not too hard to guess where she is with some experience and intuition. Don’t hesitate to look for her, you have the required mobility and DPS to kill her. Be aware that Mercy can kill you in corridors because of the big hitbox of her blaster shots, so don’t hesitate to T-blinks. More often than not, Mercy players have very poor dodge that consists of badly executed adad spam (too fast): don’t even try to track that, aim at the center of mass and enjoy the free kill thanks to spread.
• Tracer ult vs Mercy: Sticking a bomb on Mercy can force her to use resurrection early to stay alive but it is generally hard to do. You can’t stick a target that just got rezzed, so be aware. We conclude our guide on this. We’ve tried to make it as self-contained and as linear as possible. Of course, what is easy to understand on paper can appear to be much harder to apply or to perform in real games.
This is why, one shouldn’t try to apply everything explained there at once, but rather see the advanced mechanics and Tracer’s job parts as a mid or long-term(you probably need two to three full years to become a top player if you’re completely new to FPS games ) goal to reach. Rome wasn’t built in a day. The same is true for mechanics, understanding of fighting skills in a FPS, or general decision making in a complicated team game such as Overwatch. Don’t be discouraged, be patient, and don’t hesitate to reread some parts you first found abstruse in the future. It is likely that you will understand them under a new light after digesting, identifying, and confronting them in real games. Good luck, and don’t waste too much time on a game, even though it definitely is rewarding to see one’s improvement.
Finally, we would like to thank everyone who has helped in completing the guide, by joining us in custom games or by correcting some of the biggest language mistakes.