Overwatch Hero Guide – How to Play Widowmaker

The resident sniper of Overwatch doesn’t have a lot of utility but she can snipe enemies from afar.

Widowmaker is the go-to sniper in Overwatch, and this hero guide will give you all the tips needed to play her well. If you’re looking for a sniper who has a bit more utility in addition to sniping enemies, you should probably check out how to play Hanzo. However, if you like to camp and snipe enemies from afar, keep reading because Widowmaker should be right up your alley.

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Widow’s Kiss

The Widow’s Kiss has two basic abilities. If someone is in your face you can use the machine gun variant to make them think twice about approaching you. The accuracy isn’t that great, but the power of the weapon should be more than enough to keep foes from closing in on you. This is especially useful if a member of the opposing team tries to close in on your from behind, thinking you won’t have much in the way of firepower at close range.

Of course the best use of the Widow’s Kiss is as a sniper rifle. You can quickly charge a shot which increases the damage and gives you a better chance of taking someone out in a single shot. Once the shot is fully charged, aim for the head and take out an unsuspecting foe from a great distance. You need good aim, but that’s the same if you’re playing a sniper in any game.

Venom Mine

If you’re worried about an enemy sneaking up behind you, place the Venom Mine so that it catches anyone who tries to flank you. It unleashes a cloud of poison that will inflict damage over time. When used in conjunction with the machine gun variant of the Widow’s Kiss, it can be very deadly to anyone trying to close in on Widowmaker.

In addition, if the opposing team is grouped together, you can drop a Venom Mine in the middle and poison all of them at once. You can then follow up with the machine gun, or quickly move up to a sniping position to finish them off once the poison has done its job. Either way, the damage over time adds up, and if you can hit multiple enemies with it you can devastate the opposing team.

Grappling Hook

Widowmaker’s Grappling Hook is an interesting ability. It has a lengthy cooldown, so you can’t use it whenever you want. In addition, while it has considerable range, there is a limit on how far you can go. It’s also possible to grapple up to an area that you can’t stand on, effectively wasting the ability and forcing you to wait out the long cooldown again.

The Grappling Hook allows Widowmaker to reach out of the way sniping positions that could be otherwise difficult to get to. You need to have a good understanding of the map in order to use it to maximum effectiveness. The long cooldown means that every shot with the Grappling Hook counts, so know exactly which rooftops and platforms you can stand on. It also works well to get Widowmaker out of a sticky situation. Drop a Venom Mine and use the Grappling Hook to make a quick escape.


Widowmaker’s ultimate ability is more for utility than anything else. It gives everyone on your team the ability to see enemies through walls and structures. This makes it much easier to predict where an opponent is going and score headshots just as they come around a corner. It also allows your teammates to use similar strategies and even setup their own ultimate attacks if they see the enemy team is grouping together around a corner preparing to take an objective. It doesn’t guarantee any kills, but it can setup ambushes and other attack strategies.

Be sure to check out some of our other Overwatch hero guides, including Mercy and Winston.

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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.