Soldier 76 is one of Overwatch’s most player characters. You’re introduced to him in the tutorial as he guides you through the basic controls and after playing a few games with him it’s easy to see why. Although, every character is different, he’s as close to a ‘default character’ as there ever could be. His armament kitbag includes an assault rifle, explosive Helix Rockets, a visor and an area of effect healing Biotic Field.
Like with any of the other characters in Overwatch, the best way to get better is to keep practicing and honing your skills, but there are a few things you should know and use to your advantage when playing as Soldier 76.
For example, below is a video of myself not doing too bad a job of putting Soldier 76 through his paces. Imagine what an expert could do.
Heavy Pulse Fire
Soldier 76’s standard attack is using his Heavy Pulse Fire rifle, a semi-automatic mid-range rifle with a clip of 25 bullets and a firing rate of 10 per second. That’s pretty lethal right? Well, yes but it’s not without its drawbacks. The longer you fire the less accurate you become, so try and fire in short bursts only. Plus, the weapon is not the best for long range, so don’t get into pissing contests with Widowmaker or Hanzo.
His secondary attack is a quick burst of Helix Rockets, that are not only pretty devastating when you get a full load of them in the face, but they have a splash damage as well, so can deal some pretty good damage to anyone nearby, that even Genji’s deflect can’t stop. With a cooldown of 8 seconds you don’t need to be too stingy with them either.
As well as gunning down his opponents, Soldier 76 can also work as a rudimentary field medic by using his Biotic Field. The Biotic field is an area of effect healing device that heals 40 damage per second, for 5 seconds to anyone within the radius of the Biotic Field. Not too shabby, eh? Plus, because it’s a device you can pop it on a moving payload for some moving heals. It’s not as effective as a dedicated healer obviously, but don’t underestimate its utility especially with only a 15 sec cooldown.
When activated, Soldier: 76’s sprint ability gives him a speed boost. This prospectively makes this one of the longest acting speed skills in the game, as it is purely dependent on when you let go. This does mean you can’t reload, or use any other skills while you sprint or it will end.
Soldier: 76’s ultimate ability is his Tactical Advisor. When activated, you will hit any target within your reticule when you fire, for 6 seconds. This skill can devastate groups of squishies and anyone with low health. It’s important to note that the automatic shots will be shot at the chest (not the head) of the closest enemy within the reticule. Don’t let a tank closer to you, suck up the damage. Always aim for the squishies. Use of this skill also reloads your ammo, so before you activate empty your ammo clip to let the bullet carnage continue for longer.
More Hints and Help
- Helix Rockets are a fairly regular and ‘explosive’ source of damage, with a fairly short cooldown. Fire them at close range for high-impact and often fatal damage or at the feet or a group of enemies to really use that splash damage.
- Your Biotic Field can really give you that edge in one on one fight. Don’t be afraid to use it when you need to. You don’t have to wait for others, you can drop another one in fifteen seconds. Unlike Junkrat’s traps and mines, and Symmetra’s teleporter, Soldier: 76’s Biotic Field cannot be shot it and destroyed. So don’t worry about it being shot to pieces.
- Sprint means that Soldier 76 can be one of the first people back into a fight. If you’re killed, hit sprint and get back in there.
- The first three shots of your pulse rifle will hit right where the reticule is. Shots will drift after this, so for mid-long distance enemies try to stick to short direct bursts of 3 shots.