Overwatch SoloQ games often feel like chaos.
AFKs, Hanzo mains that refuse to switch, 8-year olds screaming in chat about how OP Genji is… the list goes on. How is anyone supposed to climb the ranks in this environment? Join me as I attempt to brave the depths of Overwatch ELO hell and guide you towards the shining light of grandmaster.
Check out these 5 tips to help you climb ranked in Overwatch SoloQ!
Ranked Tip #1:
Focus on Yourself, Not Others
This is one of the simplest tips, but also one of the easiest to forget.
How many times have you heard a teammate say something like “I have 4 gold medals, what are the rest of you even doing?” Or maybe “Widow you’re completely useless, switch off.”
These types of comments are very common, but are extremely toxic for team morale. While it may feel like your teammates are useless, you should NEVER berate them or scold them for their play.
Instead, try to focus on how you can be playing better. Try to do this even when you feel like you are playing great. There is always a better play you could have made, a shot you could have hit, a better target you should have picked – etc. Basically, focus on improving yourself constantly, since that’s the only way you will become a better player.
Check out this clip of Seagull, one of the most popular and skilled Overwatch players out there. Seagull is doing pretty well in this game, and his team is struggling a bit – but pay attention to how he reacts.
Rather than criticizing his team for not dealing with the Winson, Seagull instead says “Shoot, I wasn’t paying attention!” He blames himself for the mistake. Keep in mind that this is a top 500 player in Overwatch – if anyone has the right to feel like his teammates are holding him down, it’s Seagull. But instead he is always looking to improve his own play, and this is a trait that you will see in many top Overwatch players.
In fact, Seagull even gives his teammates the benefit of the doubt, by saying “that’s ok, he can probably clean this up.” Putting some faith into your teammates, even when they are unpredictable, can often help your own mentality in games.
Focusing on your own play instead of critiquing others’ is THE fastest way to improve your rank.
Ranked Tip #2:
Think About Team Comp, But Don’t Freak About It
Team composition matters in Overwatch. No surprise there, right?
Well, while this seems simple, there are many players out there who either don’t think at all about team comp, or overthink it.
Let’s look at the first group. If you’ve been playing Overwatch for any length of time, you’ve probably come to understand that a team should be made up of a certain number of roles and characters. 2 damage-dealers, 2 supports, and 2 tanks is a solid lineup that is fairly common at all ranks.
However, some players are too dedicated to their favorite heroes, or the “meta picks.” If you love playing Hanzo, but you’re up against a a Reinhardt, Winston, and Widowmaker, you’re gonna have a bad time.
Knowing how to build a teamcomp and counterpick the enemy can be VERY helpful. Realize that if your team doesn’t have a healer, you are probably going to lose. When the enemy team has an annoying Torbjorn, consider picking something like a Pharah or Widowmaker to deal with him.
At the same time, it’s important not to OVERthink team composition and counterpicks.
You may have heard that McCree is the best counter to Tracer, because of his flashbang. That knowledge is useful. However, it does not mean that you should always pick McCree when the enemy has a problematic Tracer. If you’re not a good McCree player, picking him as a counter is only going to hurt your team. In this situation, picking a hero you are more comfortable with (for example, Roadhog or Winston) would be a better pick, even if it’s not considered “optimal.”
Similarly, try not to force your teammates to counterpick. If your Genji seems like he can’t kill the Tracer, telling him to pick McCree might do more harm then good. If he is not a McCree player, he will be even more useless on that hero then he has been so far on Genji.
Basically, as long as you consider your team composition, but don’t pull your hair out when it’s imperfect, you’ll be in a good spot.
Ranked Tip #3:
Communication is Key
Good teamwork is nearly impossible without good communication.
Have you ever been in one of those games where someone is constantly on voice comms, shotcalling for the team and leading you to victory? It feels almost too easy, as your team steamrolls the opposition.
Games like these are great examples of how communication can make all the difference. Chances are, the next game you got into without voice comms felt chaotic and hopeless.
I’m not saying you have to be shotcaller, especially if you aren’t a big fan of talking on a mic. If that’s not your thing, no worries. But you should put effort into communicating with your team.
The simplest way to do this is to use wheel commands. Pinging things like ultimate status, “I need healing,” and even typing in chat are easy ways to help the team coordinate strategy. Ultimate combos in particular are one of the most effective ways to win fights and games, so try to focus on that if nothing else.
If you’re up for it, talking via mic is simply the best way to communicate with your team. It’s a lot easier to say “get the mercy” via mic, than to try typing it in the middle of an intense teamfight. That said, you may run into trolls ragers when in voice comms – if that happens, MUTE THEM. Don’t be afraid to do it. Fighting with trolls is the worst thing you can do, as this will only cause you to tilt more. Muting them cuts off the problem completely.
The more effort you put into communication, the greater chance of winning your team has.
Ranked Tip #4:
Pick Some Mains
If you’re a Genji main, you’ve been waiting for this one.
Yes, I am actually telling you to pick main heroes in a game that is all about hero switching.
Why? Because as the famous Bruce Lee quote goes, “I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times.” Playing against someone who can play every hero is hard. But playing against someone who has played one hero 10,000 times is terrifying.
Ever had your entire team trapped in spawn by a godly Genji? Or had your face deleted by a definitely-cheating Widowmaker?
Players like these are testaments to why having a main can be so powerful. Having a flexible player is nice, but having a player who is amazing on few characters can often be more helpful.
Even on Pro Overwatch teams, many players are known for playing a few characters very well. Team positions are even set to accommodate this; for example, though most teams have two DPS positions, one usually specializes in “projectile DPS” (characters like Genji, Hanzo, and Pharah), while the other plays “hitscan DPS” (heroes like McCree, Soldier 76, and Widowmaker).
So, try to get really good on some heroes. Sometimes picking Hanzo makes no sense for your team composition. But if you’re a beast on him, you can still carry the game. Having pocket comfort picks like this to fall back on in tough situations can sometimes win you otherwise un-winnable games.
Ranked Tip #5:
Put In The Time (and DON’T TILT)
Those terrifying Genji mains didn’t get scary after just a few games.
Getting good at Overwatch takes time. Realize that if you want to climb, you are going to put hard work into learning the game, even if you have lots of experience with other shooters/MOBAs.
There’s a reason why most of the top 500 players in Overwatch are all at LEAST level 500. These players know the game so well because they have played so much of it.
So, you need to put a lot hours into the game. The flip side of this is not to put too much time into the game. Too many games (especially too many losses) can take a toll on your play, and cause you to get sloppy. Know when to take a break, even if it’s only for a couple of minutes.
If you put the time into slowly improving yourself, communicating, learning the game strategy, and playing every day, you will easily climb through the ranks.
Thanks for reading! If this helped you, and if you’re looking for a great community, please consider joining our Discord server. We have a LOT of Overwatch players who are more than happy to help.