Overwatch has 21 heroes, all with their own flavor, strengths, and weaknesses, as well as purpose. Widowmaker is one of two heroes, which could be classified as “snipers”, together with Hanzo. Even between these two, she’s unique, because she has a scope.
Widowmaker is not a noob-friendly champion. She requires precise aim and great twitch-shooting in order to be played most effectively. Seeing as the whole game is quite new, it doesn’t have a dedicated and well-formed community yet. With that said, the best Widowmakers will probably be the players who came from CS:GO or other shooters that have sniper rifles, demanding of perfection, like CS:GO’s AWP.
Like all Overwatch heroes except for Soldier 76 (because Sprint is NOT an ability), Widowmaker has 2 regular abilities and an ultimate that needs to be charged by hitting enemies. Her weapon also have two modes of shooting: fully automatic that doesn’t do much damage but can be good in close quarters, and scoped-in sniping, which can do a lot of damage, depending on how long you charge the shot.
Widowmaker’s “Left Shift” ability is called Grappling Hook. Like Batman, you launch a hook to a scalable location. Once it connects, you’re drawn to the surface. It’s a great way to reposition yourself while sniping, when you’re being flanked by that annoying Tracer, or the fight moves to an area you can’t overlook at present moment. One essential thing you should try to do when playing Widowmaker, is making sure that your elevation is higher than your opponent’s. It’s much easier to snipe effectively when you’re looking down upon your opponents than when you have to look up.
When you press “E”, Widowmaker will release a Venom Mine towards your crosshair. It travels in an arc, so if you want to throw it farther, aim higher than the location, where you want the mine to be placed. When the mine gets triggered by an enemy wandering in range of it, it will explode with poison, dealing damage over time. The Venom Mine is in Widowmaker’s kit to help you protect yourself from flankers. While sniping from a position, you should always keep a trap up to give you some warning about impending danger.
Infra-sight is Widowmaker’s ultimate ability, activated by pressing “Q”. Once you charge it up by shooting enemies and activating, your whole team will receive a map-wide wall hack for as long as the ability is active. Basically, it’s easier to snipe with perfect vision of where the enemies are and when they’re about to come out of cover. The same is true for the rest of the team, even though they might play offensive heroes, tanks, or supports.
One thing to know – when scoped in, you should allow Widowmaker’s shots to charge, as they will do much more damage at 100%. You should also avoid standing in place because that makes you an easy target against coordinated teams. If you just stand in place scoped in, waiting for enemies to appear, enemies will sniff you out and overwhelm you. Instead, scope in, shoot an enemy, scope out, move to a slightly different position, and repeat. If you were wondering, you need to scope out because movement speed is reduced while in scoped mode.
When playing, you should be mindful of where flankers, like Genji or Tracer are. Keep in mind that Tracer might not be able to reach you if you find a sneaky sneaky hidey-hole, while Genji will probably have no such problem due to his ability to scale walls. Also, you should reconsider playing Widowmaker when the enemy team has a D.Va or Winston, as those two can just jump on you. With low assault rifle damage, you will probably get rekt once they do.
While Widowmaker can be played on offense, it’s much better when defending, as enemies will come into your sights themselves, you won’t have to seek them out. One instance when a Widowmaker can be extremely good on offense is when the enemies have Bastion or Torbjorn, as she can kill them without taking too much damage.
Widowmaker is not an easy hero to play. Like all snipers, her shots are unforgiving for those, who can’t aim. Once you get good at it, however, you find that there’s a certain rhythm to Widowmaker gameplay. When you feel it, you get in the zone, start shooting, and enemies start dropping like flies with their wings cut off by your bullets.