One of the most iconic Heroes of Overwatch, Hanzo is a well-known favorite among the playerbase. Despite not being able to scope and zoom in to make his shots, he’s still regarded as a sniper because of his one-shot-one-kill potential. What makes him especially unique is his mobility thanks to his two passives as well as the mechanics of his weapon, Storm Bow. Due to his arrows being projectiles, however, there’s a bit of a learning curve to mastering this combat archer.

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Our Hanzo Guide for 2021 shall help you steady your aim with this master assassin!

Hanzo Overview

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Because of the intricacies of his ability kit and weapon, Hanzo is considered a high skill cap Hero to learn. Utilizing his loadout takes patience and developing a solid aim, on top of being able to make fast decisions under pressure. It’s also essential to know his effective ranges well as how the accuracy of his arrows diminishes severely at long distances. Making the most out of his Ultimate also takes a fair bit of cunning as well as experience and map knowledge.

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  • His damage potential is quite high when fighting between short and mid ranges.
  • His Sonic Arrow can give his team a big advantage by revealing enemy positions.
  • His Storm Arrows is a powerful ability that can keep a lot of faster-moving Heroes at bay.
  • Despite being relatively defensive in nature, he can be quite powerful on offense.
  • His Ultimate, when used correctly, can turn the tide of battle by taking down multiple enemies in a single pass.
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  • He can have low damage output if he doesn’t have good aim and accuracy. It’s easier to shoot without aiming, after all!
  • He doesn’t have any abilities that allow him to survive critical situations.
  • He isn’t particularly strong at long range and needs some support to ensure he can deliver consistent damage.

Hanzo’s Abilities

In this section of our Overwatch Hanzo Guide for 2021, we’re going to take a deep dive into his abilities.

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Storm Bow

Like with most bows in games, Hanzo’s weapon, Storm Bow, needs to be charged before letting arrows fly. The longer you charge, the higher the damage each arrow deals, with max charge doing 125 HP to the body and double that when landing a headshot. You can use the reload button to undraw an arrow while charging.

One important aspect to keep in mind is that some Heroes, such as Tracer, have low HP pools, meaning you don’t need a fully charged shot to take them down. For these Heroes, a 70% charge headshot is more than enough.

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Because Storm Bow fires projectiles, there’s some travel time you need to take into account. Leading your targets instead of keeping the crosshair on them is the best way to ensure your arrows find their mark. You’ll need to practice a lot with predicting your opponents’ movements so be sure to get some time in with bots.

A trick you can use to help with your headshots is to focus on aiming around the left shoulder area when your target is moving left. Just before letting your arrow go, give your mouse a quick flick towards the head. Granted this might only work for mouse and keyboard players but it should help improve your headshot consistency.

Sonic Arrow

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Upon activation, the next arrow Hanzo fires will be a Sonic Arrow. Upon impact with a solid surface, enemy, or mobile structure, the arrow will reveal the location of enemy Heroes nearby. Opponents who get stuck with one of these arrows effectively become a walking beacon that betrays where their allies are. Some Heroes can remove the arrow by using mobility or defensive abilities.

Sonic Arrow is what makes Hanzo a powerful pick in Overwatch. You gain a big advantage by knowing where your enemies are. Knowing, therefore when and where to fire your Sonic Arrows can mean the difference between winning and losing. Common choke points and entry routes to objectives are prime targets for Sonic Arrows.

Big burly tank Heroes are also good targets for Sonic Arrows as they typically lack abilities to dislodge them, so they’re forced to consider their movements or risk betraying their teams’ positions. A good rule of thumb is to also use Sonic Arrow in paths that flankers like Genji might take, so that you can see them coming before they take out your supports and squishies.

Storm Arrows

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After activating Storm Arrows, the next 5 arrows Hanzo fires are shot instantly without needing to charge them, at the cost of reduced damage. This ability effectively allows you to trade damage for speed. From 125 damage at full charge, your Storm Arrows will deal 70 each but don’t let that fool you. In 2 seconds, you can deal up to 350 damage if all of your shots land, effectively making it a powerful burst ability. It’s even better when you pair it with a damage buff ability from Mercy and Ana.

A very common scenario to use this would be to take down enemy barriers and shields. Should you encounter an enemy Hero using their shielding abilities, activate Storm Arrows, and fire away! It can also help your team quickly take down Mei’s pesky Ice Walls as they have 500 HP each. You should also use this after gaining the high ground with your Wall Climb as it can greatly limit the enemy team’s movements.

The bane of Hanzo’s existence when using this ability are flankers, like Genji and Tracer. Because of their superior mobility, they’re hard targets to pin down, meaning that can force you to waste your Storm Arrows. The best way to counter them is by varying your fire rate and making it unpredictable.

Wall Climb & Lunge

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Wall Climb and Lunge are the two mobility abilities that make Hanzo unique among the Overwatch cast. By holding down the jump button, Hanzo can run up any surface as long as it’s flat. This enables him to get to high ground fast where he’s at his best, so you should always be climbing up whenever possible.

Lunge can also help Hanzo get to high places as well as throw off enemy aim. By pressing the jump button in the air, he’ll perform a quick air dash in any direction you want. In a pinch, Lunge can also be used to quickly escape a situation by giving Hanzo some space from whoever is attacking him.

Dragonstrike (Ultimate)

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Hanzo fires off a special arrow that summons two spirit dragons. These dragons travel in a straight line, dealing damage over time to any enemies caught in their path. The dragons pass through walls without hindrance or reduction to their damage output. The arrow itself does the standard 125 damage of normal arrows while the dragons themselves deal 150 damage per second per dragon. That can reach nearly 1000 damage to a stationary target that takes the full length of the attack! One thing to note is that the ability takes one second to activate after pressing the button.

When paired with Sonic Arrow, this ability can be extremely powerful. Knowing where your enemies are and where they are going can give you some quick and easy kills with Dragonstrike. The best way to use this Ultimate, however, is to deny positions and objectives. Because of the size of the attack, enemy Heroes will have to backpedal a significant distance if they don’t want to get clipped by it. You’ll also want to use this Ultimate when the enemy team is immobilized by Mei’s Blizzard or Reinhardt’s Earthshatter.

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Even if your Dragonstrike doesn’t net you any kills, you and your team should still follow them and press forward. The enemy team will be too busy getting out of the way, so it’s the best time to strike while they’re distracted.

Hanzo Strategies

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Now that we have a handle on Hanzo’s ability kit, it’s time to explore how to play him effectively.

Hanzo’s Gameplan & Role

As noted earlier in this guide, Hanzo is at his strongest when he’s at a vantage point. This will allow him to do what he does best, and that is to deal big damage to enemies that get too close. Getting to high ground with Wall Climb and Lunge will ensure that you have the advantage while your opponents struggle to land a hit on you.

Whether you’re on the offense or defense, you should be using Sonic Arrow to reveal enemy locations during key moments. A common situation is right before your team enters an objective. By revealing what’s ahead, your team can plan their attack more effectively.

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You’re also tasked with using Storm Arrows to take down enemy shields and barriers whenever possible. The burst potential of this ability, especially, when synergized with a damage buff can make quick work of any protective skills.

Ally Hero Synergies

Orisa is hands down one of Hanzo’s most powerful Hero synergies in Overwatch. Her Protective Barrier is a beefy 900 HP shield that allows Hanzo to comfortably fire arrows without worries or cares. On top of that, Orisa can also use Halt to immobilize targets long enough for Hanzo to headshot them into oblivion.

Brigitte is a close second thanks to her Shield Bash. The stun from this ability gives Hanzo plenty of time to take aim at enemy heads without needing to worry for Brigitte’s safety as she’s quite tanky.

As mentioned earlier, Ana and Mercy have damage buff abilities that can enhance Hanzo’s burst potential when he uses Storm Arrows.

Hanzo Counter Picks

As might be predicted, Widowmaker is the bane of every Hanzo’s existence. The range on her scoped shots is enough to ruin his day which means he has to be extra patient when fighting against her.

Despite being a good synergy pick, Brigitte is also a frustrating opponent for Hanzo to deal with. Her Barrier Shield is very competent at keeping his shots at bay and her armored health pool makes it hard for his headshots to take her down.

D.Va is also a frustrating opponent because of her mech’s Defense Matrix which essentially eradicates his arrows. This also includes his Dragonstrike arrow, making D.Va the perfect counter to dealing with Hanzo’s Ultimate.

Hanzo Tips & Tricks

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To close off our Overwatch Hanzo 2021 guide, we’ve got a few tips and tricks you can add to your sleeve:

  • Your Sonic Arrow doesn’t have to spot enemies in order to be effective. If nobody is there then the revealed area can be considered secure or be used as to fall back to.
  • The position of your supports is a prime target for flankers. Place Sonic Arrows near them to check for their approach.
  • Aim is everything with Hanzo. Practice leading your targets as much as possible as wasted arrows mean less damage output for your team.
  • Jumping enemies have the most predictable paths to follow. Place your crosshair at their landing spot and let fly just before they hit the ground.
  • You can maintain an arrow charge while wall climbing. Take advantage of this fact as much as possible as it means you’ll be ready to fire the moment you reach the top of your climb.
  • Be more confident when attacking enemies down narrow corridors. They don’t have much room to dodge so you’ll either drop bodies or push them back at worst. Or make them panic and think twice about approaching via that route (that there is yet another tactic!)

Alternate Heroes

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Should you feel you would want a more steady-on-the-go Hero whose aim wouldn’t have that severe of an impact in the battle, consider the queen of ice, Mei! We’ve got the lowdown on controlling and making the best of this Hero that stops enemies in their tracks!