6 Helpful Tips for Playing Soldier 76
Wed 12th Apr 2017 - 12:12pm
You may think that Soldier 76 is a fairly easy hero to play, and you are right, but just like every other hero, he is extraordinarily hard to master. Becoming better with Soldier 76 can help you advance through the ranks because he is such a crucial hero in a team composition. In fact, most teams have a Soldier because he is such a reliable source of consistent damage, which eventually carries them to victory. The followings tips have helped me become a better Soldier 76 player, and I think they will help you as well.
Taking the High Ground:
I can't stress enough how much players underestimate the importance of the high ground. I'm sure that you've seen this tip before and you still may think that it doesn't seem like a big difference, but it makes it extremely difficult for enemies to hit you, while it makes it easier for you to hit them. You have the tactical advantage and can make a game changing difference in the team fight. The next time you launch the game, jump into Quick Play and take the high ground and see for yourself how much of an advantage it is. Holding the high ground makes the enemies nervous about pushing, as not only does the enemy team have to worry about your teammates on the ground, but they also have to worry about you raining down bullets on them. A good example of the usefulness of the high ground is in the map Hanamura. There are plenty of spots to take the high ground, and the first point in Hanamura is a perfect spot to show you why I am stressing how important high ground is as Soldier.
As you can see from the screenshot above, the enemies are running in and don't have time to worry about me. They try to just rush straight onto the point so I am able to pick off their healers, which is a huge disadvantage for them. Plus, if they had a Pharah and she tried to come in from the window to the right, she would end up getting picked off too. See how important high ground is? Not only do you get to take out their healers, but you're taking out their DPS too! What makes it even better is that most low ranked players don't know how to deal with people on the high ground, so if you're in a lower rank and are trying to get out, take the high ground and it can increase your chance of winning dramatically. Going to the high ground is an essential part of playing Soldier 76 because only having 200 HP makes you vulnerable and being on the high ground gives you the ability to deal massive amounts of damage while being able to fall off and let your teammates heal you. There are lots of ways to get to more unpredictable places on the high ground, so use your Helix Rockets and rocket jump right up onto them.
Utilizing your Biotic Field:
Most likely you already know that your Biotic Field is used to heal you AND your teammates. What I mean by utilizing your Biotic Field is to not use it selfishly. If your teammates are very low on health and your healers have been eliminated, place it down immediately, even if you have full HP! Help your teammates out by giving them some extra health. Just by setting down your Biotic Field, you might give your teammates enough health to pull off a game winning ultimate combo. Another mini tip for your Biotic Field is that when you are in a 1v1 against another Soldier you should place down your field as soon as you engage with your counterpart so that you will end up with more health and gain an edge in the fight, hopefully winning the duel.
You may be thinking to yourself "I already know how to shoot, you just hold left click and let the magic happen!" Unfortunately, this is not always how it works. In some cases, just holding left click is perfectly fine, such as when you are shooting at someone like Winston, because his headshot hitbox is so huge that it's not going to take a whole lot of effort to hit it. However, when in a duel with a DPS hero such as McCree or Tracer, you must burst fire. Burst firing is simply firing in bursts of three or five. Pretty self-explanatory, right? The reason you should burst fire is that some heroes have smaller hitboxes so you won't be able to hit them as easily unless you burst.
Another situation where burst firing is most favorable is when you're shooting near the falloff range. The falloff range is basically how far you have to be until your damage starts decreasing, which is 30 to 50 meters. You will have to use a little intuition in order to guess where the fall off range occurs. Basically, you have to predict where the range is to know whether you should burst or not and that comes with practice. Not only does your damage decrease, but the spread of your bullets get larger so it results in a lower chance of hitting your enemies. Accuracy is another good reason to burst fire, which in turn results in more damage to the enemy. A good combo to use when dueling with squishy hero's is to inflict some damage with your primary fire and then finish them off with your Helix Rockets. Careful though, when you use your Helix Rockets don't shoot at their body. Instead shoot your Helix Rockets at their feet. This will make it easier to land your Rockets which will deal a lethal 150 points of damage to your target.
Adjusting your Crosshair:
You obviously know what the crosshair is and how you can customize it. However, the feature that I'd like to focus on is the bloom option. By default the normal crosshair and bloom is equipped, which is very beneficial for players who do not know the purpose of this feature. If you are not familiar with the different kinds of crosshairs, they are: crosshair, short crosshair, circle, and dot (-Note: Bloom doesn't have any effect on the dot crosshair). I recommend that you use whichever crosshair you are most comfortable with. The bloom feature enables the spreading effect of your crosshair when you shoot for certain heroes, but we'll focus on how this applies to Soldier. Interestingly enough, it can actually help you with bursting and spraying because when the crosshair spreads, you can tell how accurate your shots will be by looking at how much it spreads. If you are bursting effectively there should be very little spread. However, if your crosshair is spread to the max then you are shooting normally and not bursting correctly.
Remember though, it's fine to spray if it's at a tank or someone with a big player model, but if you are simply hoping that your shots hit their healers, that’s where the phrase "spray and pray" comes in. Personally, I have the bloom feature enabled because it helps me burst at longer ranges so that I will know whether my shots will land or not. If you prefer bloom turned off that is fine, but if you don't pay attention to when you should full-ledge spray or burst fire then I strongly recommend that you enable it because it will get you familiar with these options. You should always use whatever is most comfortable for you, but I always urge new players to turn the bloom option on.
Using your Ultimate:
Soldier's ultimate is his Tactical Visor and it is pretty basic to learn. It simply locks onto the enemy targets and all of your shots will land as long as the player is in your field of view. It is pretty straight-forward, and it can be extremely devastating if used correctly. This applies to every hero, but when you use your ult, try to eliminate their healers so once you get a triple kill it doesn't get ruined by Mercy's Resurrect. If you are going to use your Tactical Visor, try to get Ana to Nano Boost you, because it will unleash even more destruction. Besides knowing what to do with your ultimate, knowing what not to do with your ultimate may also be helpful. Try not to use your Tactical Visor if the enemy Reinhardt or any hero that has the potential to block your shots is still alive because you will end wasting your ultimate. Also, don't panic ult. This means don't use your ult in a situation where you know you are probably not going to get more than one or two kills. This can be a huge mistake that could potentially cost you the game.
This specific piece of advice applies to any first person: please do not copy a professional player's settings! I see countless times players copying a pro's settings such as their sensitivity, video settings, etc. An example of this would be someone thinking that using "Seagull's" sensitivity will make them a "Pro Genji", but just ends up making them looking silly. Sure, it sounds reasonable, but it will actually stunt your growth in terms of skill and your own playstyle. Using someone else's settings will not make you a better player, it will just keep you from improving. On the other hand, there are benefits to mimicking pros. Obviously, copying a pro's settings will not give you god-like aim, but by watching a pro player's stream or watching pro games and mimicking them will give you a better idea of how to play a certain hero, such as Soldier 76. Don't go on Twitch just to watch Overwatch and be non-productive. Make use of your time and try to study their game play and you might even learn something!
Thank you for taking the time to read this, and I hope you have found these tips helpful! Remember, studying strategy will give you an idea of things to improve on. Of course, the only real way to improve is to practice, practice, and practice!
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