Overwatch 2: How To Play Widowmaker Effectively

best strategies, best tips, best guides
Widowmaker shows off her smooth, blue skin

Who Is Widowmaker?

One of the most popular heroes in modern Overwatch is Widowmaker. Her kit is simple but powerful when used right, making her one of the best DPS, even after her recent nerf. When she is in the game, it becomes a sniper battle, which often kills the fun for most players. On the other hand, she’s useful when the person playing her knows what they’re doing.


Widowmaker Intro

Widowmaker is a DPS hero and a sniper that is dominating the pick rates right now. She is known for her deadly one-shot and small kit. She has her sniper rifle, her venom mine, her grappling hook, and her infrasight ultimate.

Although her kit is simple, she makes up for it with her power. With the one-shot taking out stealthy heroes like Genji, Tracer, and Sombra, Widow is a useful pick. Along with that, she has a passive play style where she sits in the back and uses the high ground to her advantage.

As for combos, Widowmaker combos well with fellow marksman Hanzo. She also pairs well with long-range supports like Zenyatta, who can easily throw an orb at her when she’s in peril.

However, none of this matters if you don’t know how to play Widowmaker correctly. Here are fifteen tips to steer you in the right direction.


15. The Grappling Hook Horrors

As much as Widow is good, she has some flaws in her kit that need addressing. Her grappling hook is great for her, but it can be buggy. For example, sometimes it’s very specific, and you don’t have much room for error if you miss by a hair.

With your grappling hook, look for obvious ledges you can hook onto instead of taking your chances with flat surfaces and round objects. Yes, flat surfaces and round objects work, but you’re more likely to encounter a bug there where the hook won’t attach. If you’re in the heat of the moment, search for the nearest place where you are guaranteed to get a good hook.

The last thing you want is to hook onto a flat surface only for it to propel you a few feet away instead of over a dozen feet away. Try your best to get a clear shot on your grapple and work around the bugs it has.


14. Venom Mine Usage

Venom mine is a trap to alert you to someone trying to sneak up behind you. But what if you’re in a spot where that’s impossible? How do you make use of the mine?

What you can do is launch it into battle every once in a while. Although it’s likely to get destroyed, it’s better than not using it at all. If you don’t have anywhere to put it around you, feel free to set it somewhere an enemy will trigger it.

There’s no point in ignoring your venom mine. Use it when you can so you can get the most out of Widowmaker’s already limited kit.


13. The New Nerf

Widowmaker received a small nerf to her one-shot potential. After a certain distance, she can no longer one-shot. However, did you know there’s a way to bypass that? Although it only adds a bit more distance, you can use a Mercy damage boost to bypass the nerf. With the damage boost, you can now one-shot even further.

The new nerf lowered her pick rates, but she’s still a dominant force in the Overwatch world. Widow’s nerf only impacts her at long ranges, so if you play closer to your team, you’ll still get fair use out of Widow.

All this nerf means is that you have to play with either a Mercy damage boost or adjust your positioning so you continue to be useful to your team.


12. Targeting

You need to know who to target while playing Widow. You can’t target the tank all the time. Let your tank handle the enemy tank. You need to go after the squishy targets you can one-shot. As Widow, the most valuable part of your kit is the one-shot. You’re not capitalizing on that if you’re going for the enemy tank all the time.

Aim for the enemy supports so you can put your opponents at a disadvantage. Without support, the enemies will die thanks to your involvement.


11. Damage Or Kills

Stats don’t make up everything. If your second DPS is doing high damage, that doesn’t mean they’re contributing to the game. If your DPS has a lot of kills, that also doesn’t mean they’re contributing to the game. Moira gets high kills just from tickling an enemy, but that doesn’t mean she’s better than the DPS.

You need to contribute to your team as much as you can. Like I mentioned earlier, it’s not enough to aim for the tanks all the time. If you’re doing that, you’ll have high damage but no participation.

Make sure you are doing damage and getting kills, but also make sure you’re doing the small things, like throwing your venom mine and prioritizing targets. Widowmaker is not a point-and-shoot hero; you need to have good game sense to master her.


10. Her Rifle

Widowmaker’s rifle has two fire modes. Although the sniper format is more commonly used, make use of that secondary fire. Don’t be afraid to contest the point when your team is low on time. Contest the point and use your secondary fire to do some damage.

Also, don’t be afraid to use it when someone jumps on you. Although your primary fire is far more powerful, you can finish off Tracer or Genji by using your secondary fire. Yes, hitting a single shot with the primary fire is more ideal, but since Tracer and Genji are fast-moving targets, it may be wiser to use your secondary fire instead.


9. Working With Supports

Widowmaker players, please note that support players cannot see you most of the time. While you’re spamming “I need healing,” they’re working as hard as they can to get to you. That Mercy you’re complaining about? Yeah, she noticed you were low-health before you even said anything, but you didn’t bother peeking for her.

If you need healing, make sure you’re not behind a wall or too far back on a ledge for supports to see you. Call out that you need healing, where you are, and make sure you’re in their line of sight. None of what you do matters unless your healers can actually see you. Work with them to make both of your lives easier.


8. Working With Tanks

Tanks are easy to work with as snipers because you don’t have to worry about them too much. Your tank is going to do their thing while you do yours. However, tanks will appreciate it if you tell them if someone is flanking them.

Since you have a bird's-eye view of the map, you can alert your tank to incoming damage. You can also save them from a flanking DPS trying to get the jump on them. For example, if you have a Reinhardt and a Tracer is constantly jumping behind his shield, kill the Tracer to give your Reinhardt space to move.

As long as you do your job and help the tank out, the tank will do their job and create space and protection for the team.


7. Working With DPS

Like tanks, DPS are easy to work with because they do their own thing. This varies depending on which DPS you’re playing with, but be sure to monitor them and see what they are doing. If they’re focusing on one support, make it your goal to either finish off the target or focus on the other support. With both supports under fire, they’ll panic and put themselves out of position.

At the same time, it’s a good idea to target who your second DPS is targeting; that way, you’re more likely to secure a kill. This is where game sense comes in. You’ll need to make split-second decisions at the height of the game. It’s easy for me to say, choose one or the other, but you’ll need to choose depending on what situation you’re in.


6. High Ground

Widowmaker thrives on the high ground. The reason why is because she’s a long-range hero who needs space to plan her shots. Use the high ground to your advantage while playing Widow.

High ground is also frustrating for the enemy team since it forces them to plan ahead and, in some cases, change their composition. Sometimes they’ll have to change to dive heroes so they can get to you.

While sitting on high ground, you’re creating a safer space for yourself and also annoying the enemy team. Now they have to go out of their way to get you, which makes it inconvenient for them.


5. Infrasight

Widow’s ultimate is Infrasight, an ability that lets you see through walls. Depending on who you ask, they’re either going to say it’s a useless ultimate or an underrated one. I’m of the opinion that it's underrated because it’s a utility ultimate. Not every ultimate needs to do damage to be good.

You should use Infrasight before the start of a team fight. The reason why is because now it delays the enemy’s strike. They have to keep in mind that your team can see them, but they can’t see you. Infrasight is best when used during or right before team fights. Using it right after can be unnecessary because the enemy is respawning, so you won’t see anything anyway.


4. Following Up On Damage

Following up on damage already done by your teammates is the best way to play Widowmaker. In my opinion, Widowmaker works best when she’s finishing off fleeing enemies that think they’re safe. Widow has the range to finish off heroes, and with her nerf, that gives Widow players even more incentive to go for lower health targets instead.

For example, if you see your second DPS trying to kill a support, finish off the support so the action moves faster and you’re more likely to win. Your second DPS will thank you, and more kills will rack up on the board.

Part of being a good teammate is playing with your team. Many players forget that Overwatch is a team game. Widowmakers need to be more aware and work with their teammates to create the best results.


3. Helping Your Supports

With a bird's-eye view of the map, you can easily help your supports by monitoring them. A common trend going around on TikTok is the ‘most aware Widowmaker’ trend. Pretty much, it’s TikTokers making fun of Widowmakers for not having any awareness of their surroundings. Don’t follow this trend; help your supports.

As mentioned in the previous tip, don’t be afraid to look around and monitor the situation. You don’t need to be shooting at all times. Check on your supports, check on your tank, and check on your second DPS. By doing this, you’ll become more of a team player, and you’re going to get lots of thanks from the supports.

They might even pocket you.


2. Helping Yourself

As a sniper hiding in the back for most of the game, you’re going to get attacked while you’re isolated. How do you protect yourself when you don’t do as much damage from up close? I mentioned you can use your secondary fire, but you should also call for help.

At the end of the day, Widow 1v1ing at close range is not ideal. You should distance yourself as quickly as possible, set a trap to distract them, and ask for backup. All the previous tips apply: you should be in line of sight of your support, you should look for a good spot to grapple, and you should use your mine.


1. Positioning

The most crucial part of playing Widowmaker is knowing where to position yourself. With the one-shot nerf, you now need to position yourself closer to your team in order to be more effective. Either way, you need to know where to go and where not to go in a team fight.

Being in the middle of your team during a team fight isn’t a great idea unless it’s in Overtime. You should have high ground, or at the very least, you should be farther away from your team. You’re a sniper, not a ground troop.

Along with that, you need to know the best sniper nests on every map. Take your time to go into custom games and explore the empty maps. Explore them for a few minutes and locate good spots you can grapple to for an advantage.


You May Also Be Interested In:

More on this topic:

After battling monsters, Twitter, and toxic teammates, Raven now has to face her greatest opponent: the Sun.
Gamer Since: 2008
Favorite Genre: FPS
Currently Playing: Overwatch
Top 3 Favorite Games:Portal 2, Battlefield 4, The Walking Dead

More Top Stories