How to Play Genji in Overwatch
Genji is one of the most difficult champions to learn in Overwatch, requiring mastery of various offensive and defensive tactics. But if you can get the hang of this all-around hero, you’ll become a serious threat on the battlefield. You’ll also be one of the most critical assets on your team, paving the way to victory.
In this article, we’ll give you a bunch of tips on playing Genji in Overwatch. Look for strategies to maximize his strengths and what to avoid if you main this Shuriken-wielding hero.
How to Play Genji in Overwatch
Genji boasts two formidable weapons in his arsenal: the sword and the Shuriken. The former is used in melee combat, whereas the latter can be fired side by side or clusters of three in straight lines. The champion can also deflect incoming attacks using the sword and deal devastating, swift strikes. On top of that, his convenient passive ability features double jumps and allows him to traverse challenging terrain.
Now let’s see how you can make the most of Genji’s abilities.
Choose Your Targets Wisely
Even Diamond and Master Genji players tend to focus their attacks on tanks since they’re the easiest target. But in most situations, this offensive tactic doesn’t mesh with Genji’s design to take down low-health damage dealers and healers.
Funneling all your efforts into obliterating a tank often wastes a lot of time and opportunities, limiting the effectiveness of your fights. Dashing into your enemy’s backline during combat and eliminating their healers typically has a more significant impact on the outcome of the battle.
You should also remember that chasing glory and appearing on the kill feed isn’t necessarily essential to winning a match. Instead, consider jumping into the opponent’s backline and engage them with your shurikens. If three people focus on you, they won’t pay attention to the rest of your allies and will be less likely to lose the team fight. As you’re distracting the enemy, your team can also defend and push more effectively.
Excel in Melee Encounters
Genji thrives in short close-range combat encounters. To utilize his capabilities to the fullest, you’ll need to master his melee combat style.
The key here is to learn the most effective battle techniques, depending on Genji’s strengths and weaknesses. Engaging in quick melee fights is your best bet since the champion isn’t well-suited for intense and lengthy battles. Therefore, mash your melee button and try to avoid enemy attacks at all costs. If the situation doesn’t look safe, look for another opportunity to get involved.
Trust Your Dragonblade
Most Genji kill montages online feature his Dragonblade. It deals considerable damage per swing, features a big radius, and boasts an extra-long slashing range. Furthermore, it resets the cooldown of your Swift Strike the moment you unleash it. Hence, this ultimate ability provides the hero an additional pathway to his prey.
When your Dragonblade is ready, try to flank the opponents. Sneak around them and determine the ideal target to obliterate. As previously discussed, aim for damage dealers and healers first since they shouldn’t take more than one or two slashes to kill.
You should also use one of the following combos:
- Q, Dash, slash
- Dash, Q, kill, Dash
- Dash skywards, Q, Dash toward the enemy, kill
All these combos are situational and depend on how well-positioned you are compared to the enemy. But keep in mind Genji’s highly vulnerable when his ultimate is activated. To avoid takedowns, use a series of dashes to evade enemy attacks and simultaneously damage a handful of people.
Maximize Your Swift Strike Potential
Genji’s Swift Strike allows the champion to get close to his targets, escape various perils, and deal massive damage. The cooldown resets if he eliminates an enemy after a dash and good players take advantage of this by combining several kills in quick successions.
However, try not to dash toward the enemy you want to pursue immediately. This move can put you in a dangerous position since you’ll have no way to evade just in case you fumble when eliminating your target.
Remember that Genji’s Swift Strike is a sacred ability. The cooldown is quite lengthy if a kill does not accompany it. So, only use it to kill low-health enemy champions wherein you’re virtually guaranteed a kill.
Also, dash into the opponents’ backline but make sure to establish your target before starting the fight. Take the enemy out as fast as possible, allowing you to reset your cooldown and escape the combat nearly unscathed.
Use the Shurikens Appropriately
Genji’s Shurikens are a steady source of damage when used effectively. The champion’s primary Shuriken attack involves him flinging three of them outward in straight lines. On the other hand, his secondary fire lets him flick them, fanning the projectiles in wide arcs. Polishing this attack mostly comes down to understanding when one method is more practical than the other.
As a rule of thumb, you should save primary fire for long-to-medium range combat because they’ll remain accurate regardless of the distance. In other cases, using the secondary fire method can make your short-range fights more effective. Keep in mind that the longer they stay in the air, the wider apart they’ll unfurl. Consequently, you should get within touching range of your opponent and ensure the Shurikens hit their target with each trigger pull.
Surprise Your Enemies
Genji is a unique character, and you need to understand his particular fighting style to contribute to your team’s success. In addition to his melee prowess, he’s also an excellent pick for surprise attacks.
During calm moments, take your time examining the map, finding shortcuts, and catching the opponent off guard while they’re handling other team members. Don’t forget to fall back before taking too much damage and prepare your weapons for the next assault.
Deflect Like the Best of Them
Although attacks are a crucial gameplay element, deflecting and blocking also play a pivotal role in getting comfortable with Genji. You might be an expert offensive player, but if you lack the necessary defensive skills, you’ll quickly fall under the right circumstances. To help avoid this scenario, practice Genji’s deflect ability as often as possible.
In most cases, you’ll need to use this ability predictively. For instance, when you’re anticipating McCree’s Flashbang, use the deflect to send it flying back into the champion’s face. Moreover, you can rush headlong into your opponents with the deflect activated to shield your teammates and redirect any damage toward the enemies.
Generally, you want to save deflect for the later stages of combat, as it usually surprises your opponents and enables your cooldowns to recharge. This way, you can escape or engage rapidly if necessary.
Don’t Enter Battles Without a Plan
While the deflect ability provides some protection when rushing into combat, this is generally unwise when playing Genji. Again, he’s not designed to thrive in lengthy and intense periods of battle. As a result, you should use the champion strategically rather than impulsively.
Always have a plan when engaging in enemy encounters. Otherwise, you’ll most likely be a sitting duck and a liability for your teammates. Learn to strategize your moves, dash into action, and retreat before sustaining too much harm. Remember Genji’s strengths and drawbacks and devise your plan according to them.
Another huge part of playing into Genji’s strengths and adapting to weaknesses is avoiding 1v1s. The character isn’t meant for solo takedowns. This job is better left to other well-equipped teammates for these interactions, such as Roadhog, Tracer, and Mei.
If you have no other choice, try to kill the opponent as soon as possible and steer clear of characters who deal tons of damage. Also, try to avoid encounters with the following heroes, as they counter Genji’s fighting kit:
- Winston/Zarya – These heroes may be Genji’s worst opponents. Their health and shields enable them to soak up Genji’s Shurikens, and you can’t deflect their primary fire. What is more, Winston can turn into an absolute nightmare since he can use his leap to stay within range of you.
- Mei – Genji can’t deflect her Endothermic Blaster. This ability also freezes you, leaving you defenseless.
- Symmetra – Symmetra uses Sentry Turrets to slow you down and utilizes her primary weapons to track you around the map. Admittedly, this might not be as deadly as some other attacks, but properly-placed Turrets can be your downfall.
One of the most common problems newbies have when learning to play Genji is heavy reliance on his Dash. Certain moments require you to dash, whereas some situations don’t necessitate the ability.
Essentially, you want to use Dash only if necessary. Analyze the enemy team and try to anticipate the next move. If the coast is clear, activate the ability to increase your chances of a rapid takedown. If not, avoid using it; using Dash at the wrong time risks exposing yourself and compromising your team’s position.
The Path to Victory Is Crystal-Clear
Even though Genji is one of the trickiest champions in the game, you can achieve impressive results if you stay within his comfort zone. To sum up, the hero is at his best when invading the enemy’s backline and taking out low-HP units with his Swift Strike. Use his Dash to eliminate enemies before they realize what’s happening and escape dangerous situations before getting hurt too badly. Additionally, don’t focus on tanks and 1v1 encounters to avoid ill-advised extended fights.
Do you find Genji fun to play or too complicated to learn? Is he one of your favorite champions in the game? Have you considered maintaining Genji? Let us know in the comments section below.