Soldier 76 is the Overwatch character that most resembles a standard FPS feel, and our hero guide will give you all the tips you need to capitalize on this familiarity. If you’re just starting with Overwatch and you hail from a Call of Duty or Halo background, Soldier 76 is probably going to be the easiest character for you to pick up and play. In fact, he’s the character you go through Training Mode with, a solid pick no matter what your team composition looks like, and he packs quite a punch in the right hands.
Heavy Pulse Rifle
If you’ve played a lot of Call of Duty or Halo, this is basically your generic automatic rifle. At close range you can lay into an opponent, inflicting heavy damage. However, from a distance you want to fire in bursts so you can better manage the recoil and make sure your accuracy doesn’t falter. There really isn’t much more to say about this ability because it’s about as traditional as it gets in an FPS.
The Helix Rockets fire a barrage of projectiles toward an unsuspecting enemy. While the rockets fire rather quickly, it’s not as fast as your Heavy Pulse Rifle. At close range you can just launch a barrage into an opponent watch them melt, but from a distance you’re going to need to lead an opposing player if you want to connect for maximum damage. To make this easier, there’s a bit of splash damage so you can still inflict damage on an opponent if you miss, but hit a nearby surface.
While you can take down most heroes with the Helix Rockets and maybe an extra clip from the Heavy Pulse Rifle, this ability works especially well when firing into a group of enemies. If the opposing team is clumped together trying to secure an objective, launch some Helix Rockets toward the center of the group and watch their health bars quickly diminish.
Soldier 76 even comes with his own healing ability. The Biotic Field creates a small area of healing that will slowly replenish health for any teammate in the area of effect. It’s not enough healing to replace a dedicated healer like Mercy or Zenyatta, but it’s a good substitute if Soldier 76 is trying to go one-on-one when an enemy, or if your healer was just killed and you’re waiting for them to respawn.
Don’t wait until your health is low before you use Biotic Field. The healing element isn’t enough to keep you up like a support hero would, but it’s good enough to sustain you while you finish off an opponent. As soon as you start taking damage, pop the Biotic Field so you can start replenishing your health as quickly as possible.
Any Call of Duty or Halo player knows that sprinting is just a basic mobility tool. However, in Overwatch most characters don’t have the ability to sprint. Mobility options are limited and the characters who have additional mobility greatly benefit from it. Soldier 76 is no exception as his Sprint ability allows him to get to locations faster and move from the spawn point to his teammates as quickly as possible. If you don’t have a teleport you can use, this is the next best thing.
Aim bots have been a concern for any PC first-person shooter, so Blizzard went the extra step and made Soldier 76’s ultimate ability an aim bot. When you activate the Tactical Visor, Soldier 76 automatically targets the enemy closest to your reticle without the need to properly aim. You still want to move the reticle closest to the enemies who will die fastest (support heroes), but this makes it easy to take down enemies. It’s best to use this when you have at least three or four enemies in your line of sight so you can make the most of the ability.