One Shot One Kill: A Widowmaker Guide



Thu 2nd Jun 2016 - 10:31am

Widowmaker is a defensive hero in Overwatch, her sniping rifle lets you one shot enemies and your ultimate is basically a wallhack. She requires a decent amount of aim and is recommended to play if you are good in sniping. But how do you play her in a game and what are her strengths?

Animated Short of Widowmaker


With Widowmaker's sniper rifle, she is the only "true" sniper in game. Her rifle can fire fast with a huge recoil. Use it in close combat when you haven't got time to scope in. If you scope in she is almost deadly when you hit the head and also body shots deal a huge amount of damage. Nevertheless you can't spam shots if you want to deal huge damage. When you scope in a percent display will appear starting at 0% and increasing up to 100%. At 100% you will deal around 150 damage and 250 if you hit the head. Firing a shot after 50% deals up to 90 damage and is useful to harass the enemies. Her rifle contains 30 ammunition, normal shooting costs 1 per shot, but sniping will cost you 3 ammunition per shot. Besides her sniper rifle Widowmaker has a Grappling Hook which can get you to higher ground and give you a better position to kill enemies. You can also shoot while in the air which makes your shots become unpredictable. With her Venom Mine you can protect your back and envenom enemies when they are close to the mine. Her ultimate is called Infra-Sight and gives your whole team vision through walls, making it easy to know where enemies are and when they peek.

Ability showcase from Blizzard


While Widowmaker is a defensive hero, she is also very strong on attacking.If you play her on attack, your job is to pick out the supports and sniper of the enemy team, as well as traps and turrets. As an attacker you almost fill a supportive role in the game as you won't kill the whole enemy team and carry with your ultimate. Dealing some damage to the enemies and constantly harass them will help your carries to easily finish enemies off and secure the objective.

Widowmaker is insanely strong for one shotting enemy healers and also deal some damage to barriers and tanks. While you probably won't one shot the enemy tank, dealing damage to him gives your team the chance to kill someone else while their healer is busy with healing the tank. You will often find yourself standing behind while your team tries to push a point, this is a mistake you shouldn't do. Of course you don't want to stay in the front line, but try to position yourself as close as you can to your team to assist them while they push an objective. In combination with Rheinhardt you can easily stay with your team and deal damage to the enemies with your scoping shots, even if you don't wait until your shot is 100% charged. Sometimes it is better to shoot two 40-50% shots instead of waiting for a 100% shot. Widowmaker's ultimate allows you and your team to know exactly where the enemies are and gives you the opportunity to break their defense or to go around a Bastion or Torbjörn turret.

Try to use your ultimate as often as you can to get yourself an advantage over the enemy sniper, Bastion or Torbjörn. While you have a really wide range you can easily pick out enemies turrets and Bastions while they can't reach you with their attacks. Her Grappling Hook can be used to get yourself into higher ground to snipe enemies, but also to just push you quickly into the air and shoot while you're in flight to surprise the enemies. You won't deal 100% damage while you do those jumping shots, but you will always get the advantage, because enemies won't expect to get sniped out of the air.


Widowmaker is a defensive character which makes it easy to defend points from higher ground while enemies try to push through a tight gaps. Her sniper rifle is really effective against enemy healer and ultimates like Pharrah's Rocket Barrage or McCree's High Noon. Use your position to get an overview over the enemy team and try to take out enemy damage dealers with your headshots.

While you are on the defending site you have time to wait until your weapon is 100% charged to get most damage out of your shots. The most important thing as Widowmaker on defense is to know the position of your enemies.

Your ultimate makes it easy to know when enemies peek and you can almost prefire. Take care of flanking enemies like Tracer or Reaper. Your Venom Mine can be used as an motion sensor to track enemies when they push behind you. Take care of the point or payload when enemies are close to capture a checkpoint. Don't play too greedy and learn to fall back when the enemy team is taking a point to get yourself a better position for the next checkpoint. In this situation you have to use your rifle to deal damage in close combat. If you see the enemy Reinhardt with his Shield or Winston's Barrier feel free to fire some shots into them to break it and give your team the opportunity to kill the tank.


Some maps heavily favor Widowmaker's playstyle, some don't. That's why I want to give you some tips about when and how to use Widowmaker on the different maps. Widowmaker is strong on almost every point capture map as well as an attacker as a defender. You can use the higher ground above the points to give yourself an advantage as a defender. In offense you should try to stay close with your team and pick out enemy healer to make it easy to capture the point.

Payload maps are usually harder for attacking because you have to move with the payload. As a defender payload maps are easy to abuse, because the enemy team has to push the payload which gives you the opportunity to snipe them off around the payload. Your most significant weakness is, when enemies are close to a checkpoint. Try to communicate with your team if you can hold it. If your team doesn't have the ability to hold the checkpoint, fall back to get a better position to defend the next checkpoint. This is also useful for the hybrid maps Hollywood, Numbani and King's Row. When enemies are close to capture the point get yourself into position to defend the payload and don't try to defend the point.

Ingame screenshot of Watchpoint: Gibraltar

The three control maps Ilios, Lijiang Tower and Nepal are Widowmaker's hardest maps. You have to try stand close to the points to discourage enemies from capturing the point, while you self stand behind and snipe the enemies. This is almost impossible and the positions of the capture points make it even harder to kill enemies. I won't recommend you to play Widowmaker on those maps, but on some of those capture points you can also do good work for your team. Also your ultimate on those maps isn't that useful, because most enemies are close around the capture point.

Conclusion and final thoughts

Widowmaker is a huge thread if you have good aim. Her ultimate gives your team a wallhack and your one shots gives you a lead over the enemies. If you pick out the enemy healer while your team is pushing in, you end the defense before it even began. As an attacker you will fill a supportive role and pick out Torbjörn's turrets, enemy Bastions and harass the healer. Defending with Widowmaker often gives your team a better position for teamfights as well as at least one or two men advantage if you can pick out enemies before they can push in. Up to two Widowmaker in a team on defending are really good, but you shouldn't pick her more than once while your team is in offense.

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