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Roadhog Guide: Strategy & Gameplay “Sit down!”

Last updated on Jun 01, 2016 at 09:19 by Vlad 5 comments

Table of Contents

Roadhog Portrait
  • Roadhog Personal Details Real Name: Mako Rutledge, Age: 48
  • Roadhog Occupation Occupation: Enforcer (formerly), Bodyguard
  • Roadhog Geographical Origins Base of Operations: Junkertown, Australia (formerly)
  • Roadhog Affiliation Affiliation: Junkers (formerly)

This guide takes an in-depth look at how to play Roadhog 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 Defeat players in Europe, who now plays Overwatch for OWKings. He also writes for Gosu Gamers.

1. Strengths

  • Great single-target killing potential with Chain Hook Icon Chain Hook + primary fire + melee attack combo
  • Chain Hook is excellent for pulling enemies out of position (removing Bastion from his Configuration: Sentry Icon Configuration: Sentry) or interrupting their movement
  • Take a Breather Icon Take a Breather self-heal gives Roadhog great survivability
  • Viable on both Attack and Defense

2. Weaknesses

  • Unable to deal damage at high range
  • Has low mobility, no escape mechanisms, is slow, and has a very large model
  • Unlike the other tanks, has no means by which to protect teammates
  • Easy for enemies to charge their ultimates by damaging Roadhog, due to his large model and slow movement

3. Strategy

In this section, we will briefly go over the main strategies you should employ as Roadhog. We will begin with an Overview, and then we will go in depth more about each ability that Roadhog has.

3.1. Overview

Roadhog is an atypical tank. Unlike the other 4 tanks in Overwatch, Roadhog does not have the ability to block damage with shields or any similar abilities. The only way in which Roadhog can block damage is with his large model.

As such, Roadhog's role is not necessarily to stand around the rest of his team and protect them, and he can afford to roam around them, picking off enemies with Chain Hook Icon Chain Hook and killing them. Despite not having an escape mechanism, Roadhog's Take a Breather Icon Take a Breather self-heal gives him some freedom, allowing him to stay separate from the team for long amounts of time.

Despite this, Roadhog is not a backstabbing hero like Tracer or Genji, and should not be played this way. Indeed, Roadhog does very well when surrounded by his team. Any enemies he hooks with Chain Hook will be brought in the middle of Roadhog's team, ensuring that they will die even if Roadhog himself cannot kill them alone. His large model and ability to heal himself through damage mean that he will at least disrupt the other team's ability to damage his teammates.

Therefore, we feel that Roadhog should be played as a mix of the above-mentioned two strategies. As long as you keep in mind your vulnerabilities and limitations (McCree and Reaper consistently beat Roadhog in close range, and Widowmaker, Hanzo, and even Soldier: 76 can out-range him), you can adapt to the situation and be where your team needs you to be, whether pushing a Payload or defending a point, or pulling defending heroes out of position with Chain Hook, or defending the flanks of your team from offense heroes.

3.2. Abilities

3.2.1. Primary Fire

Roadhog Scrap Gun
Scrap Gun (LMB, RMB) Roadhog

LMB: Short range spread weapon. RMB: Medium range spread weapon.

Roadhog's primary fire shoots a ball of scrap, which explodes into a large spread of pellets. This explosion happens at the mouth of his gun's barrel, the result of which is that the pellets only deal damage at close and medium range. Since the spread is wide, it means that outside of close range, only very few pellets will hit their target, resulting in very low damage. As such, primary fire should only be used in close range.

3.2.2. Alternate Fire

Roadhog Scrap Gun
Scrap Gun (LMB, RMB) Roadhog

LMB: Short range spread weapon. RMB: Medium range spread weapon.

Alternate fire shoots the same kind of pellet as primary fire, but the scrap that Roadhog fires only explodes into the pellets at medium range. Here, the pellets have the same effect that primary fire pellets do at close range. Anyone hit by the scrap before it explodes (so, someone in close range of Roadhog) will only take a small amount of damage.

It will take a lot of practice to work out exactly at which range alternate fire should be used, and when it is instead better to use primary fire. Learning the difference is crucial to reaching your damage potential as Roadhog, however, so you are very encouraged to experiment.

3.2.3. Chain Hook

Roadhog Chain Hook
Chain Hook (LShift) Roadhog
  • Cooldown: 6 seconds

Drag a targeted enemy to you.

Chain Hook Icon Chain Hook is Roadhog's signature ability. Roadhog throws his chain hook where his crosshair is pointing. If it connects with an enemy, it will hook that enemy, dragging him into melee range in front of Roadhog, stunning them for a very short amount of time when they reach Roadhog, and dealing 30 damage to them.

Roadhog's Chain Hook has a limited range (though it is quite high), it is blocked by any objects it might hit before encountering an enemy, and it is blocked by barriers and shields (Winston's, Reinhardt's, and Zarya's). Genji's Deflect Icon Deflect also blocks the Chain Hook, but it does not shoot it back at you.

Using Chain Hook in practice is fairly easy, and the ability is very strong. The hook has some degree of "auto aim" associated with it, so hooking targets is possible by just aiming in their direction (as opposed to the surgical precision required to hook players as Pudge in DotA, for example). Players who are hooked are suddenly at a great disadvantage: they take damage, they are removed from their position, brought into Roadhog's dangerous close range, and they are stunned for a short amount of time.

Moreover, Chain Hook should not be looked at in isolation; its real strength lies in the combo that Roadhog can perform on hooked targets. As soon as the hooked target gets to you, you should hit them with your primary fire (which will do maximum or almost maximum damage given the target's proximity to you) and with your melee attack (default keybind V). This combination of Chain Hook + primary fire + melee does a very high amount of damage (300 damage is practically guaranteed, with more possible depending on how many of your Scrap Gun Icon Scrap Gun's pellets are headshots) that will kill most non-tank heroes (though they can survive if they have Symmetra shields or Torbjörn armor). Even if the target does survive the initial combo, they will be severely damaged and you can follow up with more shots from your gun.

You should use Chain Hook as often as possible, given its strength. Naturally, having high Chain Hook accuracy is desirable, but even if you miss some hooks, it is not a problem.

In general, anyone that you can manage to hook is worth hooking, but some targets are more important than others.

  • Hooking offensive heroes during dangerous ultimates is one of the most effective ways of stopping them. Good examples of this include Reaper during Death Blossom Icon Death Blossom, Pharah during Barrage Icon Barrage, or Genji during Dragonblade Icon Dragonblade.
  • Hooking an Bastion who is in Configuration: Sentry Icon Configuration: Sentry removes him from this mode, take away all the advantages associated with it. This makes it one of the most efficient ways of dealing with a Bastion.
  • Hooking Reinhardt during his charge will interrupt it.
  • In general, hooking any offensive heroes is likely to result in a kill.

At the same time, there are some targets whom you should be wary of hooking.

  • Tracer is very difficult to kill even if Chain Hooked successfully, since she can use Recall Icon Recall to escape.
  • Hooking another Roadhog is not guaranteed to result in a kill, so take your own health percentage into account first; if your health is low, hold off until you are healed.
  • Hooking an enemy Zarya who can use her Particle Barrier Icon Particle Barrier will fail to kill her and also buff her damage enough that she can kill you in return. Even hooking enemies that Zarya can cast Projected Barrier Icon Projected Barrier on is undesirable, since they will survive and this will only serve to increase her damage.

3.2.4. Take a Breather

Roadhog Take a Breather
Take a Breather (E) Roadhog
  • Cooldown: 8 seconds

Heal yourself over a short time.

Take a Breather Icon Take a Breather is Roadhog's self-heal. It heals him for 300 damage over 1 second, and in that time it can be interrupted by enemies to stop part of the heal.

While Take a Breather is being cast, you cannot perform any actions or move, which makes you fairly vulnerable. In principle, you should use Take a Breather as often as possible, but sometimes it is better to instead kill your enemy before they have a chance to escape or receive help, and then yourself up at the end.

If your health is low, it is best to take cover first before using Take a Breather, since enemies who see you casting it out in the open will take the opportunity to focus even more fire on you.

One useful trick you can perform is to do a running jump just as you cast Take a Breather. The ability will continue its effect while you are landing, and this makes you a bit more mobile during Take a Breather.

One note is important regarding the interaction between Roadhog and healers. If you have a healer on the team (Mercy, Lúcio, or Zenyatta, any healing you do to yourself with Take a Breather is healing that they cannot do to you. This is important because their healing done charges up their powerful ultimates. As such, if the healers are near you and you are not in immediate danger of dying, you should avoid using Take a Breather and instead letting them heal you up. Only use Take a Breather if your healers are not there, if you are critically low, or if there are multiple damaged heroes that could be healed instead.

3.2.5. Whole Hog

Roadhog Whole Hog
Whole Hog (Q) Roadhog
  • Ultimate

Damage and knockback enemies in front of you.

Whole Hog Icon Whole Hog is Roadhog's ultimate ability. For 6 seconds, Roadhog channels a barrage of pellets from his scrap gun. In addition to his normal pellets, players hit by Whole Hog are also knocked back slightly.

While Whole Hog is being cast, Roadhog's crosshair pulls upwards, so you will have to drag down to compensate for it. Also, while it is active, you cannot perform any actions whatsoever except to move.

Whole Hog has the potential of doing very high amounts of damage, but this requires close (or at best medium) range, and a way to prevent the target from escaping. It is extremely strong in confined spaces, where targets effectively get stuck due to the constant knockbacks of Whole Hog. A particularly strong interaction is having an allied Lúcio use Amp It Up Icon Amp It Up with Crossfade (Speed Boost) Icon Crossfade (Speed Boost) to allow Roadhog to get up close to the enemy team. This can allow Roadhog to completely destroy an enemy set-up and quickly cut down enemy shields.

In open spaces and at higher ranges, Whole Hog is not as effective, but it still has uses. Its knockbacks are very disruptive, even if they are associated with low damage (due to the higher range). Whole Hog has a number of uses, such as keeping enemies off the Payload or point, knocking players off the map (or just out of line of sight of the rest of your team), locking down choke points, and so on.

4. ChangeLog

  • 01 Jun. 2016: Added a tip about jumping just as you cast Take a Breather to improve mobility during this ability.
  • 22 May 2016: Updated the guide following michr's review.
    • Added Zarya to the list of heroes who can counter the Chain Hook combo, and removed McCree from the same list.
    • Reworked Whole Hog section to account for the fact that the ability is now actually very strong.
  • 29 Apr. 2016: Guide added.
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