Soldier 76 is a character essentially dedicated to attack. His main weapon is a heavy pulse rifle. This also allows him to shoot several small rockets at once, inflicting damage over an area of effect. Soldier 76 can also heal himself and his team using his biotic field.
This is a formidable hero, one that can work alone and fight solo thanks to his extreme versatility. Soldier 76 plays virtually like a classic first person shooter character, so if you’re an experienced FPS player, Soldier 76’s playing style will feel very natural to you.
This character has a very good base damage, but if you excel at head-shots, you will be even more of an asset to your team, and a constant threat to your enemy. This article will tell you everything you need to know about how to play this superb offensive character.
Soldier 76 is a vigilante on a personal vendetta to discover the true causes behind the fall of Overwatch. He first became known to the public through a series of attacks around the world that targeted major financial institutions and obscure organizations, as well as Overwatch centers that were thought to be secure. While many remain uncertain about his intentions, there are rumors that he is actually a former agent of Overwatch, determined to unearth the global conspiracy that destroyed the organization.
His physical capabilities far exceed those of the average soldier
He also has other capabilities that make him an outstanding fighter. In addition to this, he uses a state of the art arsenal, largely stolen during his attacks on Overwatch premises. Soldier 76 is ready to go to any extent to bring those responsible for the fall of Overwatch to justice.
With a powerful weapon with auto-targetting capabilities that allow it to take out agile heroes, a heavy-damage capability with his helix rockets, and the ability to heal himself, Soldier 76 is one of the most versatile and balanced characters in Overwatch, and also one of the easiest to play.
He is also an extremely mobile and fast hero, thanks to his sprint ability. Soldier 76’s well rounded skills allow him to be effective in almost every situation, and in almost every map.
As you can see, Soldier 76 is the ultimate attack hero because he combines several advantages. We have a character who can move quickly, who plays like a first person shooter, and whose abilities are very versatile.
Heavy Pulse Rifle
Soldier 76’s heavy pulse rifle works on the left click and provides for extremely stable shooting. Do note that the rifle targets much more accurately when you use it in burst-fire. That is to say, the first three shots that exit the rifle are far more accurate than shots fired on automatic. So bear this in mind when shooting with the rifle for best effect. The Pulse Rifle has very reasonable DPS, and in conjunction with Soldier 76’s other abilities, can be used to mete out punishing damage to an enemy team.
The helix rockets create a small bursts of rockets that cause damage in an area of effect. This ability needs practice to be effective. However, in experienced hands, the helix rockets are very efficient, and, with a cool-down of just eight seconds, can be used repeatedly in combat. The area affected by the rockets is quite small, which makes this pretty much an “all or nothing” ability. If you touch your opponent with just a few of the rockets, the damage is hardly likely to be game changing. However, if you can manage to hit a target with the full force of this ability, you can probably put most heroes down. You must therefore practice aiming the rockets to a considerable extent to master this ability. The helix rockets work on the right click, which pretty much make them the pulse rifle’s alternate fire.
By default, you have to just hold shift down to use this ability. Soldier 76 can move extremely fast over the map when using this ability, but cannot use his weapons while using it. You can only sprint in the forward direction or sideways, but the sprint ability is still a very important tactical advantage, in that it allows you to effortlessly navigate the map and approach your opponents from unexpected angles. The sprint can be used either to attack an opponent, or to retreat rapidly if facing overwhelming fire.
The Biotic Field
Soldier 76 places a biotic transmitter on the ground. The projected energy field will not only heal Soldier 76, but also any of his allies or teammates who are in the area of effect. While this can be quite useful in certain situations, it is actually a rather minor healing capability, compared to the more powerful healers in Overwatch. Soldier 76 is not truly a healer, but rather an attack specialist, and even his biotic field is only designed to allow him to keep fighting until a healer can assist him.
However, the biotic field can still be very useful in certain situations. It can, for example, be very powerful on point capture maps. Also, if you are preparing to fight an enemy face to face, run around a corner, place your biotic field there, and surprise your opponent. The damage of your rifle, combined with the healing capabilities of your biotic field, should mean the difference between life and death, both for you… and your opponent. The ability has a fifteen second cool-down, and is deployed by pressing E by default.
The Tactical Visor
Soldier 76’s tactical visor locks on to the closest threat to its view finder for five seconds. If the opponent happens to move out of his field of vision, Soldier 76 can effortlessly change targets. In other word, the tactical visor work as a sort of automatic sight for your weaponry. While the tactical visor is a favorite of novice players, it is used by pro players to counter very agile enemy heroes. Another advantage of the tactical visor is that the reload speed of the pulse rifle is massively increased. While the tactical visor is pretty much a legal aim-bot targeting an opponent, it still requires skill to use, and correct timing as well. With practice and experience, this is a potent ability indeed.
The best and worst maps for Soldier 76
Soldier 76 is an extremely complete and versatile character – rather like the ‘Swiss army knife’ of Overwatch. He will usually carry extremely well, in most situations, and on most maps. However, Soldier 76 has one important weakness, that being that he has little or no vertical mobility. Relatively flat maps, such as Nepal, Lijiang Tower, Volskaya Factory, Dorado and Route 76 therefore greatly favor him. In the same way, maps like the Temple of Anubis, Numbani, and Hollywood can be difficult for Soldier 76 to play.
With his biotic field and other capabilities Soldier 76 can play more or less independently of other characters. Nevertheless, Mercy, Lucio and Ana are obvious allies for him. Mercy is a good support for Soldier 76, with her healing capabilities, while Lucio can improve his effectiveness in a number of ways. Ana can also considerably boost his capabilities with her Nano boost that will increase the amount of damage he deals out, while reducing the amount of damage that Soldier 76’s opponents can do him.
Reinhardt is another good ally, since Soldier 76 has a large DPS, and with Reinhardt by his side, he is virtually invincible.
Zenyatta’s orb of discord, that increases damage received from an enemy, makes Zenyatta a natural ally for Soldier 76. Zenyatta’s orb of discord can allow Soldier 76 to quickly destroy a target.
Soldier 76 is strong against…
Soldier 76 is strong against certain characters, and most especially Pharah. He is effective against Pharah even at long range. In addition, Soldier 76’s helix rocket barrage can pose serious problems for Pharah.
Roadhog has a relatively large hitbox, which makes him easy to target. This means that both Soldier 76’s pulse rifle and his helix rockets will hit Roadhog most of the time. Soldier 76 has to be wary of Roadhog’s chain hook, though, and if he tries to use it on you, you must sprint away or be destroyed.
While Tracer is very mobile, and can be difficult for Soldier 76 to handle, the tactical visor can take out Tracer relatively effortlessly.
Zenyatta’s lack of life and low mobility makes it an easy target for Soldier 76’s shotgun or his helix rockets.
Counters to Soldier 76
Winston’s capabilities make him a natural counter to Soldier 76, since his jump can allow him to reach a Soldier 76 placed within cover, or behind defensive allies. Winston weapon also does not require aiming.
Like Winston, D.Va’s mobility, shield and health points make her a tough opponent for Soldier 76, who will not usually be able to destroy both D.Va’s mech, and then its occupant, before he is himself destroyed.
Reinhardt’s shield is a real counter to Soldier 76, and he can usually not do much against him. If you get too close, Reinhardt’s powerful hammer blows will effortlessly destroy you. When facing an opposing team covered by Reinhardt’s shield, retreat is often the only option for Soldier 76, unless he has an ally like Bastion who can destroy the shield.
Zarya is poison to Soldier 76, and you must be extremely careful not to launch your helix rockets against her particle barrier, or the damage can be reflected back at you.
McCree and Widowmaker
While Soldier 76 is the only attack hero with a healing capability, he still prefers to shoot his way out of encounters. McCree’s flash grenade and six shot combo can be lethal to him, as well as Widowmaker’s sniping capability.
Soldier 76 and Bastion – The ultimate combination
Soldier 76 is rather a lonely hero. While his healing capability is static, it can still be of considerable benefit to allies with little mobility, such as Bastion. This means that Soldier 76 actually has the ultimate synergy with Bastion. Remember that Bastion is a defensive hero who can deploy a turret. While the turret’s damage is devastating, it has the disadvantage of being vulnerable and not very mobile. Soldier 76’s mobility, his close combat capability, and his biotic field heal make him the perfect ally for Bastion. These heroes in combination can hold positions to a massive extent, especially if they are playing defensively.
Tricks with Soldier 76
Soldier 76 is a balanced and worthy hero in many circumstances, both in offense and defense. Here are some tricks that you can use to optimize his skills, and use them to the best effect.
The rocket jump
Soldier 76 can use his helix rockets to enhance his jump. All you have to do is hit the rocket fire and your jump button at exactly the same time. Since the rockets have a slight travel time, what will actually happen is that Soldier 76 will begin to jump, and will then use the explosion from the rockets to propel himself higher. You can reach considerable heights like this, and if you hit the sprint button in midair you can actually cover a considerable distance, or go much higher. This can allow Soldier 76 reach high platforms and other higher areas of the map that would otherwise be inaccessible to him.
Soldier 76 in combat…
In a face to face duel with another hero, always deploy your biotic field, which will automatically heal you and give you a considerable advantage in the fight. Try not to use your impulse rifle on automatic using its primary fire, because the more you fire without releasing the left click, the more inaccurate the impulse rifle becomes. It is best to use the impulse rifle in three shot bursts, which maximizes its accuracy. To know how much your bullets are dispersing, it is best to activate the circle type crosshair in the menu.
Do remember that Soldier 76 is essentially a DPS character, and is actually relatively fragile
The fact that he has the sprint capability and can heal himself does give him some level of resiliency and make him difficult to kill, but he is not a character that can be left alone behind enemy lines, as he will become a target of choice without the protection of a tank. Like many DPS heroes, Soldier 76 has a base of devastating damage. As long as you can hold your weapon on target and empty your weaponry into an opponent, you can put most enemies with a reasonable health base down. Remember that Soldier 76 can also deliver headshots.
In his own way, Soldier 76 is as capable as McCree of destroying opponents, but whereas McCree delivers a burst of damage, Soldier 76 tends to slowly but surely erode the health of his opponents. Soldier 76 requires a lot of practice, since how effective this hero is directly depends upon how accurately you can use his weaponry. Soldier 76’s enhanced mobility is actually an advantage over McCree.
Nevertheless, Soldier 76 has to fight from cover
There is absolutely no reason for Soldier 76 get in front of the tanks or to attack targets that flanking heroes can easily destroy. You must stay behind the shield of an Orisa or a Reinhardt, or else try to take the high ground if the opposing team is not using elite snipers.
Don’t underestimate the helix rockets
They do a net damage of 120 if the rockets are perfectly on target. That is quite as bad as Pharah’s barrage, but Soldier 76’s rockets move faster, moving at fifty metres per second, as opposed to thirty five metres per second for Pharah’s barrage. The helix rockets are also an excellent way to protect your flanks, and can quickly ward off a Tracer or a Sombra. Soldier 76’s rockets splash damage is also more interesting than Pharah’s, since Pharah’s AOE varies between twenty to eighty, while Soldier 76’s AOE varies between forty to eighty.
Not many people use it this way, but the helix rockets are a great way to finish off a wounded opponent. Rockets are also extremely useful against tanks that have armor. For example, if a tank can negate five damage from each attack, the cumulative force of many rockets attacking the tank will ensure that a great deal of damage gets through despite the armor. This is a powerful initial attack which then you can follow up with your pulse rifle.
The tactical visor can be a real game changer if used at exactly the right time
It must also be used against exactly the right opponent. It can be a massive benefit in eliminating and destroying isolated enemies, or enemies that are moving fast, or in the air. For example, Soldier 76 is the perfect counter to a Mercy who is about to take to the air. Don’t forget to empty your weapon before using the tactical visor, so that you can empty an entire clip into an opponent once you begin using it. You must also not forget that your helix rockets can also be guided by your tactical visor.
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