Overwatch Hero Guide – How to Play Hanzo

Learn how to play as one of the resident snipers in Overwatch!

Hanzo is a hero in Overwatch that requires a lot of precision to use correctly, and that’s where this Hanzo guide comes into play to give you tips to help learn the character better. Like Widowmaker, Hanzo is a sniper that works best from a distance and doesn’t last long if an opponent gets a bead on you. However, Hanzo takes far more effort to be as effective as Widowmaker, but comes with a bit more utility to help even him out.

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Storm Bow

Hanzo’s primary attack option is the Storm Bow. You can charge the attack so it’s more accurate and inflicts more damage, but slows your rate of attack. The normal Storm Bow shot requires that you compensate for the distance of the target by aiming higher to adjust for the arc of the arrow. The arrow also moves a bit slower when it’s not charged.

Ideally you want to use the charged shot as often as possible, but that’s not always an option. If you’re on the move and need to fire off a quick shot, aim for the head (compensating for the arc of the arrow) and fire without a charge. It won’t take much to bring down most heroes if you’re scoring head shots with each arrow, but your aim is extremely important here.

Scatter Arrow

While you need to worry about aim and compensating for numerous variables with the Storm Bow attack, Scatter Arrow is much easier to use. Hanzo fires off an arrow that breaks into a bevy of smaller arrows if it impacts a surface. If the opposing team is grouped together, fire a Scatter Arrow at a nearby surface and you can damage or potentially kill multiple targets at once.

Most sniper characters are designed to take down one target at a time. However, with Scatter Arrow Hanzo has the ability to finish off multiple targets all at once. It works even better when used in conjunction with the ultimate attacks of other heroes, or even while your team is on the front line inflicting damage. If the other team has low health, you can take them all out with a single Scatter Arrow from quite a distance.

Sonic Arrow

The Sonic Arrow is all about utility. When fired it creates a large sphere that marks any enemy target within the sphere. This works extremely well in maps with buildings or structures where the opposing team can hide. Shoot a Sonic Arrow into the middle of the area to determine exactly where the enemy heroes are hiding, then plan you attack accordingly.

While the utility of the attack is similar to Widowmaker’s ultimate attack, you can use Hanzo’s version much more frequently. In fact, you should be using it as often as possible to keep a close eye on the movements of the enemy team. It’s always easier to score kills if you know exactly where the enemy team is located.

Wall Climb

Hanzo’s Wall Climb is another great option for utility. It allows Hanzo to scale surfaces to reach high places that are perfect for sniping. Use this ability to find a great sniping point and make it difficult for the opposing team to locate you. There’s no cooldown on the ability so you can use it as often as you like with no penalty. Just make sure you climb to spots where it’s difficult for the enemy to target you, and spots that you can safely and easily escape from if you are spotted.


Dragonstrike is Hanzo’s ultimate ability, and while it inflicts considerable damage on any enemy it hits, it has a lot of uses beyond damage output. First and foremost you should be using Dragonstrike after a Sonic Arrow so you know exactly where the opposing team is located. Dragonstrike can go through walls and that’s primarily how it should be used. The attack moves somewhat slowly and isn’t overly difficult to avoid if you give the enemy enough time. However, if you’re attacking from behind a wall, it’s much harder for the enemy team to avoid.

You can also use Dragonstrike to move enemies and help make room for your team to advance. When the opposing team sees Dragonstrike coming they will move out of the way. If your team needs to get to a specific area that the enemy team is occupying or defending, shoot Dragonstrike at the other team and watch them scatter. This allows your team to move into the area immediately after Dragonstrike.

If you’re looking for a sniper, Widowmaker is a bit easier to play compared to Hanzo. However, if you want to do more than just snipe the opposing team, Hanzo offers more utility. Your play style should determine which hero you want to use, but if you enjoy sniping you should learn both so you have more options and flexibility in your play style.

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Bryan Dawson
Bryan Dawson has an extensive background in the gaming industry, having worked as a journalist for various publications for nearly 20 years and participating in a multitude of competitive fighting game events. He has authored over a dozen strategy guides for Prima Games, worked as a consultant on numerous gaming-related TV and web shows and was the Operations Manager for the fighting game division of the IGN Pro League.