'I have gold damage, so I'm not the problem.' I've heard this a lot, and a lot of times it's really not true. While a DPS who is doing great at their job will likely have a gold in damage, the gold in damage itself doesn't mean you're doing a good job. Overwatch Guide is a knowledge base of Overwatch chracters' stats, map breakdowns, and strategy! Learn each Hero's counters and synergies, detailed ability tips.

Table of Contents

  • +3. Strategy
    • 3.2. Abilities
  • Real Name: Unknown, Age: Unknown
  • Occupation: Vigilante
  • Base of Operations: Unknown
  • Affiliation: Overwatch (formerly)

This guide takes an in-depth look at how to play Soldier: 76 in Overwatch. We look at the strengths and weaknesses of the hero, and we go over mechanics, recommended strategies, and things to beware of.

The guide has been written based on our extensive experience playing the game since before the Closed Beta began, and it relies on our decades-long FPS experience. That said, our aim is to keep the guide relatively brief and easy to understand, making it accessible to veterans and new players alike.

If you have any comment on the guide's content or structure, please let us know in the comments! :)


Stamp of Approval

This guide has been reviewed and approved by michr, formerly one of the best Day of Defeatplayers in Europe, who now plays Overwatch for OWKings. He also writes forGosu Gamers.

  • Provides good, sustained damage at almost all ranges (weakest at verylong range)
  • Can heal himself and allies with Biotic Field, grantingsustainability
  • Sprint allows him to run back quickly after dying and also to repositionand sometimes escape during combat
  • Easy-to-use ultimate that is very effective against fragile(non-tank) heroes
  • Viable both on Attack and Defense


  • High skill cap
  • Ultimate ability has a prominent audio warning making it easy forenemies to avoid it

In this section, we will briefly go over the main strategies you shouldemploy as Soldier: 76. We will begin with an Overview, and then we will go indepth more about each ability that Soldier: 76 has.



Soldier: 76 is an offense hero that is at his finest doing constantdamage from his team's front line. Any seconds spent trying to maneuver aroundthe enemy team are wasted, with some situational exceptions (such as movingaround to get a great angle for your ultimate).

Soldier Not Doing Dmg Overwatch 3

Soldier: 76's entire kit is built around this idea. His rifle's flexibilityallows him to have high uptime on dealing damage (as opposed to heroes such asReaper or Widowmaker, who will often spend long amounts of timenot attacking), and his damage is actually viable at most ranges. This meansthat you should make use of the advantage your rifle offers, and put downnear-constant fire towards the enemy team.

His Biotic Field heal helps him stay in the fight longer (healinghimself and allies as needed, ideally under some form of cover), while hisSprint is often used to get back into the action as quickly as possible afterdying or retreating; it also helps with getting to cover quicker, or dashingfor a health pack.

That said, while Soldier: 76 can effectively deal damage at most ranges, hereally excels at medium range. In close range, he will practically always loseagainst McCree (chiefly due to the McCree's Flashbang), and atbest he has no real advantage over heroes like Tracer, Genji,or Reaper. At long range, Solider: 76 is also at a disadvantage againstsnipers (Widowmaker/Hanzo) and Bastion.


Heavy Pulse Rifle (Weapon)

While not strictly an ability, we feel that it is important to talk aboutSoldier: 76's rifle. That is because it is practically the only weapon in thegame which has complex usage (simply holding down the fire button is notoptimal), and it is also core to Soldier: 76's gameplay.

Soldier: 76 uses a rifle with a 25-bullet clip size, which is effective atmost ranges. Spraying at close and medium range (provided that the playercan aim the crosshair correctly) is extremely efficient and will result intremendous amounts of damage. At longer ranges, firing in bursts of a fewbullets or tapping (firing shots in quick succession as with apistol) is recommended as the first bullets of a burst always have pinpointaccuracy.

The importance of good aim with Soldier: 76 cannot be understated. Youwill have to practice and attempt to land as many headshots as possible.

While the rifle deal quite high damage, the damage value does drop off asrange increases, meaning that he is at a significant disadvantage trying toduel against a distant Widowmaker. This does not mean, however, that itis necessarily useless to engage in such a duel. Widowmakers tend to changeposition when they have been exposed (especially when taking fire), so theremay be a benefit to simply firing off a few shots in her direction (and givenSoldier: 76's perfect accuracy when firing one shot at a time, hitting her isnot difficult).

There is no disadvantage to moving or strafing while firing, as Soldier: 76,and doing so will make you a harder target to hit. While this is not at alluncommon for Overwatch, players who are used to other shooters (such asCounter-Strike) should keep this in mind, especially with a hero such asSolder: 76.

Soldier: 76's alternate fire shoots a volley of rockets, which has an8-second cooldown. The rockets deal high damage (120), and have no damagedrop-off at range. Moreover, as rockets typically do, they deals splash damage.The rockets are projectiles that have travel time; they can thereforetheoretically be dodged, but they move quickly, making this quite a rareoccurrence. Finally, unlike projectiles such as Hanzo's arrows orTorbjörn's bullets, the rockets will always fly in a straight line,never dropping off, no matter the distance.

Helix Rockets is an outstanding source of damage for Soldier: 76, andyou should look to use it as often as possible. There is rarely a reason not todo so.

While you are in the middle of a spray with with your rifle, firing HelixRockets will pause your primary fire for a short amount of time; that said,since the rockets deal far higher damage than your bullets do, this istypically not a problem (it only hurts you if the rockets miss where thebullets would have hit).

Helix Rockets is obviously strongest when its splash damage can hit multipletargets, so these situations make it ideal to use. It is also very strongagainst stationary targets who have no chance of avoiding them, like Torbjorn'sTurret or Bastion.

We would also like to mention that against Genji's Deflectability, you should fire the Helix Rockets at the ground/Genji's feet asopposed to trying to target him directly. The splash damage will hit him, andhe cannot Deflect the rockets (potentially back at you).



Sprint is Soldier: 76's only movement ability/escape mechanism.While it does not allow him to move unpredictably or get out ofmovement-impairing abilities (like traps or Zarya'sGraviton Surge), it can still be a very valuable tool for repositioningduring combat and avoiding damage.

Indeed, as far as combat maneuverability, Sprint can be great to quicklydash to cover when faced with abilities such as the ultimates ofMcCree, Hanzo, Mei, or even another Soldier: 76. Itallows you to make a dash towards a much-needed health pack, towards yourhealer, or behind your team's shields.

Outside of combat, as stated above, Sprint is extremely useful in gettingback into the action right away after dying or falling back to recoverhealth.

Note that while Sprint is activated, all you can do is run forward ordiagonally (as soon as you let go of your forward key, Sprint is toggled offand must be re-enabled) and jump. You cannot shoot or reload, you cannot stop,and you cannot go backwards.

Biotic Field is an AoE heal that lasts for 5 seconds (with a15-second cooldown). Soldier: 76 places a marker on the ground, and any allies(including Soldier: 76) who are in line of sight of it and within a certainradius of it gain 35 health per second. While this may not sound like much whencompared to the sort of sustained healing that Lúcio, Mercy, orZenyatta can do, it can often make the difference between your teambeing able to hold the line long enough to capture an objective or bereinforced and dying or having to fall back.

You should not use this ability on cooldown, and instead wait for the righttime and place. It does not last very long, so using it preemptively is rarelya good idea (the exception being if you know for sure that damage will come,such as if Mei's Blizzard has just been cast and you cannotescape it); you have to make sure that its healing will count.

As far as positioning is concerned, it is best to place your field somewherewhere you and your allies can be healed and still take cover at the same time.A classic example of this is placing it at corners, so that players can chooseto take cover around the corner and heal up, or peek around the corner whilestill benefiting from the Biotic Field.

It is also worth noting that Biotic Field places a small object the ground,which is what creates the field in a radius around it. This is placed at thelocation of your character in the moment when you use the ability, which isuseful to know when Payloads are involved; you want to place the fieldon the Payload, so that the radius moves with it, instead of on theground so that it gets left behind.


Tactical Visor

Tactical Visor grants Soldier: 76 auto-aim for 6 seconds. He willland every shot with perfect accuracy on the target that is closest to hiscrosshair while this ability is active. As far as its acquisition range isconcerned, it covers the entire area of your screen, meaning that if the onlytarget is on the far end of your screen compared to your crosshair, you willstill hit it. Also, activating Tactical Visor instantly reloads your weapon,and your reload time during Tactical Visor is reduced to 0.5 seconds (for 1second).

Tactical Visor is the reason why most players learn to fear Soldier: 76early on. Despite seeming like a very easy and straightforward ability to use,things are not quite as simple.

To begin with, the enemy team hears an audio warning when you cast thisability ('I've got you in my sights'), which serves to alert everyone that youhave activated your ultimate. Moreover, for the entire duration of TacticalVisor, the enemy team hears a very distinctive sound that indicates that theability is still active. This means that it is very unlikely that anyone whohas had a chance to get to cover will make the mistake of coming out againbefore your ability has ended.

Additionally, despite having auto-aim, you can only shoot at one target ata given time, meaning that it is possible to effectively have your ultimate'wasted' by focusing fire on a tank as opposed on the fragile offense heroesthat you could actually kill. Moreover, all your shots are still blockable bythings like shields and barriers. Finally, keep in mind that Tactical Visoronly acquires heroes, and will not automatically hit Torbjörn orSymmetra'sSentry Turrets, Widowmaker's Venom Mine, orJunkrat's traps.

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With all of this in mind, here are our suggestions and tips for usingTactical Visor.

  • Do not expect to be able to activate Tactical Visor and simply face theentire enemy team successfully. If you do not die immediately, the enemyteam will likely take cover, or block your shots using Reinhardt's orWinston's shields.
  • Try to make use of Tactical Visor when the enemy team is already distractedby your teammates' abilities. It is ideally paired with other strong ultimatessuch as Reinhardt's Earthshatter or Zarya'sGraviton Surge, but any major distraction will work.
  • Choose your angle of attack carefully. You should try to flank the enemyteam in such a way as to reduce their opportunities to take cover to aminimum, while not putting yourself in grave danger.
  • While Tactical Visor is active, do not simply give up on positioning yourcrosshair due to the auto-aiming element. Instead, moving it close to or on topof your priority targets (low-health offense or support heroes) and away fromtanks or shields. Also, watch out for Genji's Deflect, whichcan easily get you killed at this time.
  • 22 May 2016: Updated the guide following michr's review.
    • Removed a Weakness that stated Soldier: 76 is outmatched at various ranges by individual heroes.
    • Emphasised the importance of good aim with the Heavy Pulse Rifle.
    • Added mention that Biotic Field also requires line of sight.
  • 29 Apr. 2016: Guide added.
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  • +3. Strategy
    • 3.2. Abilities

Jack Morrison was the commander of Overwatch in its glory days. Steadfast, by the book, and patriotic, Morrison sometimes went beyond to do what was necessary for the greater good.

Soldier Not Doing Dmg Overwatch Free

But then, one day after the dissolution of Overwatch, he came to blows with former comrade and friend Gabriel Reyes at Overwatch’s Swiss headquarters. An explosion left nothing in its wake, leading the world to believe that Morrison and Reyes were both deceased.

Five years later, mysterious attacks began happening on shadowy corporations and former Overwatch facilities, with equipment being stolen in numerous occasions. That equipment came into possession by the attacker, a masked vigilante known as Soldier: 76, who was actually Morrison in disguise.

Using his new moniker and the tools at his disposal, Soldier: 76 began a personal war to expose the truth behind the end of Overwatch and bring those responsible to justice.

Soldier Not Doing Dmg Overwatch 3

“Old soldiers never die, and they don’t fade away”

Soldier: 76 is one of Overwatch’s most basic and easy to learn heroes, giving many who have played an FPS a familiar playstyle to ease them into the ability-slinging and ultimate-using battleground. Unfortunately, Soldier: 76 has fallen out of the meta despite occasional buffs, but that doesn’t mean he can’t help a team achieve victory in certain scenarios.

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He’s about as basic as you can find in this game when it comes to his abilities. He’s a man with a gun who can sprint and heal. He’s not a talking gorilla or a robot. He’s just a man who believes in justice.

Soldier: 76’s main tool of justice is his Heavy Pulse Rifle, an automatic rifle that deals up to 20 damage per bullet. It has damage drop-off, but as a hitscan hero, he’s integral for helping in taking down slippery foes like Tracer, Hammond, or Pharah.

The magazine of the rifle has 25 shots and his reload time is super short at 1.5 seconds, allowing him to constantly deal damage to anyone and anything on the battlefield. The main thing to keep in mind when trying to master his primary fire is that the spread increases the longer you hold down the trigger. This means that Soldier is only pinpoint-accurate in short bursts of three bullets, and will become most inaccurate at nine shots and onward.

Learning the cadence of Soldier: 76’s hitscan accuracy, on top of landing headshots, is the key to maximizing his damage potential. Most importantly, however, is positioning. A Soldier player who masters the high ground or keeps his distance while chipping away at his foes can turn a game around very quickly. The reason high ground is so important is that it gives Soldier: 76 a two-fold advantage. First, he’ll be able to land headshots easier because the head hitbox will be the most exposed part of his enemies. Second, many heroes in Overwatch don’t have vertical mobility, and that means Soldier: 76 can rain bullets down with relative safety.

“Smells like victory”

While the Heavy Pulse Rifle is Soldier: 76’s bread and butter, the entirety of his kit is what makes him such a threat in a variety of situations.

Soldier’s alternate fire is his Helix Rockets, a linear splash projectile that launches three tiny rockets out of his rifle in a single burst. The attack has a three-meter area of effect, and it does 40 damage on a direct hit with 80 damage from the splash, for a potential of 120 total damage.

Helix Rockets are perfect for dealing out a lot of damage in a short amount of time, and it’s great for finishing off weak targets or firing into a crowd. Learning to become accurate with this ability will take your Soldier game to a whole new level since it can be devastating when used efficiently.

The first of Soldier: 76’s abilities is a Sprint, which ups his movement speed by 50 percent and sends him running. The effect is infinite, but it can be canceled by doing any other action besides continuing the Sprint. This ability is great for escaping from harm’s way, running back to an objective to contest it, or chasing down a weak enemy who’s trying to get away. A useful combination for accessing difficult-to-reach high ground is by combining the Sprint and Helix Rockets to propel Soldier: 76 to otherwise inaccessible locations. Sprint toward where you want to go, look down while continuing to run, jump, and quickly use the Helix Rockets at your feet to launch yourself. Be careful, however. It will damage yourself for 40 damage, so be sure you have enough health to use this tech.

Soldier’s other ability is Biotic Field, which places down a healing station on the ground that gives health to him and his teammates. The ability restores 40 health per second, and 204 health over its entire 5.1 second duration. This ability is good for supporting teammates, but works best when placing it down at your feet before or during a firefight. It can easily help give the extra boost of health you need to survive the encounter. It has a 15 second cooldown, though, so use it only if your healers are occupied or a health pack is not available.

“I can do this with my eyes closed”

Soldier: 76’s Ultimate is Tactical Visor, which grants him a special crosshair that automatically hits the target closest to its center. The reload time of the Heavy Pulse Rifle is nearly instant during its duration, which lasts for six seconds. This is just enough time to use two full magazines, so use it wisely.

This ability is deceptively powerful, and it takes some practice to get used to. It may seem like it’s just an aimbot that hits targets, but target acquisition and prioritization are both important when it comes to Tactical Visor.

Using this Ultimate can just as easily clear the field of enemy combatants as it can do next to nothing. It’s important to use the ability to focus down squishy, hard to hit enemies like Genji and Tracer, or Support heroes like Mercy and Zenyatta.

Damage falloff still happens with Tactical Visor, so the closer you are to your target, the better. Don’t waste the bulk of your six seconds firing away at an enemy who’s across the map when you could be doing a lot more damage to someone who’s closer to you.

Combining this ability with damage boosts from Ana or Mercy will make it a true force to be reckoned with, but it’s also quite easy to avoid. Soldier telegraphs the move very loudly as he yells “I’ve got you in my sights,” giving enemies time to seek cover behind a shield or a wall, or just bail altogether. D.Va’s Defense Matrix can also be a nightmare as it can eat a bunch of the bullets coming from his gun. If there’s a Reinhardt or a Winston on the enemy team, be sure to keep track of their shield health or cooldown, and find the perfect time to strike.

The matchups

Strong against


Soldier: 76 is one of Tracer’s strongest counters since he combines hitscan firepower with the ability to one-shot kill her with well-placed Helix Rockets. Plus, his Biotic Field can keep him alive while she does her blinking thing.


If an enemy Pharah is giving your team trouble, consider switching to Soldier: 76 to use his hitscan bullets to take her down from the skies. Accuracy is key.

Torbjorn and Bastion

If either one of these heroes are giving you trouble, Soldier can help out in a big way due to his range of DPS. An accurate set of Helix Rockets can do massive damage to both.


Weak against


While Soldier can be helpful against Genji, a good cyborg ninja will time his Reflect ability well and be able to turn the tide against Soldier: 76 by closing the gap quickly.


Soldier will have a difficult time escaping Mei’s slowing abilities, and she’ll be able to kill him quickly with one freeze and a well-placed icicle headshot. Keep distance and bait out her Iceblock before committing to a full fight.

Widowmaker and Hanzo

Soldier’s only chance against an accurate sniper is to hit them with some Helix Rockets. If not, his head can be taken off just as quickly.


Soldier Not Doing Dmg Overwatch 2

The three-tank, three-healer composition was the bane of DPS’ existence for quite some time. But with nerfs to both tanks and supports in the composition and healthy buffs to some DPS heroes, Soldier: 76 may be back. In a triple or quadruple DPS composition, Soldier: 76 is a solid choice as a self-preserving and damage-dealing character that a healer can leave in good conscience to focus on other heroes that can’t self-heal.

Soldier Not Doing Dmg Overwatch 1

Soldier: 76 is a hero that anyone who plays Overwatch should get familiar with since he teaches the basics of the game purely by his kit and playstyle. Although he’s not viable in all situations, Soldier: 76 can be terrifying in the right hands. He’s a consistent damage dealer, a supplemental healer, and a nightmare from the high ground.