Zarya Talents

Last updated on Feb 25, 2021 at 10:00 by Elitesparkle 16 comments
General Information

Welcome to our Talents page for Zarya. Here, we give you an overview of how strong each of Zarya's talents is. Then, we present several viable builds, before analyzing each talent row separately, so that you can make informed decisions.


Zarya's Talent Build

Level Choices
1 Demolitions Expert ? Together We Are Strong Feel the Heat ? Maximum Charge ?
4 I Am the Strongest ? Give Me Twenty ? Speed Barrier Defensive Shielding ?
7 Pinpoint Accuracy Explosive Barrier ? To the Limit ✘︎ Hit Me ✘︎
10 Graviton Surge ? Expulsion Zone
13 Unstoppable Competitor ? Spell Barrier Endurance Training ✘︎ Pain is Temporary ?
16 Cleansing Shield ? Gain Train Born in Battle ?
20 Gravity Kills ? Clear Out ? Grenadier ? Unyielding Defender

Zarya's Talent Build Cheatsheet

Shield Ally Build

Level 7 Pinpoint Accuracy Icon
Level 10 Expulsion Zone Icon Graviton Surge Icon ?
Level 13 Spell Barrier Icon Unstoppable Competitor Icon ? Pain is Temporary Icon ?
Level 16 Gain Train Icon Cleansing Shield Icon ?

Zarya's Shield Ally Build is based on a variety of Talents that empower Shields for allied Heroes and for yourself. Some of them also increase your damage output a bit.

Level 1 will be chosen based on how much Energy Icon Energy you can generate, Level 4 is mostly about what kind of threat you expect from the enemy team, and Level 13 allows you to empower your own survivability in various ways.

Among the alternatives, you have two powerful Talents that can counter some enemy Abilities: Unstoppable Competitor Icon Unstoppable Competitor at Level 13 to make yourself Unstoppable and Cleansing Shield Icon Cleansing Shield at Level 16 to remove crowd control effects from allied Heroes. Do not hesitate to pick them when appropriate.


Level 1 Talents for Zarya

Zarya Demolitions Expert ?
Demolitions Expert (Level 1) Zarya

Quest: For every 5 enemy Heroes hit by Particle Grenade, its recharge rate lowers by 0.4375 seconds, up to 3.5 seconds.

Reward: Once Particle Grenade has hit 40 enemy Heroes, its radius is increased by 15%.

Demolitions Expert Icon Demolitions Expert is a good Talent that increases Zarya's damage output from the distance.

Considering that she has no mobility, Talents which improve Particle Grenade Icon Particle Grenade are great to increase the impact she can have during a team fight without fully committing with an aggressive position.

Demolitions Expert has good synergy with Pinpoint Accuracy Icon Pinpoint Accuracy at Level 7.

Zarya Together We Are Strong
Together We Are Strong (Level 1) Zarya

Every 5 (+4% per level) damage done by allies while under Shield Ally contributes 1 Energy, up to 40 Energy per Shield.

Together We Are Strong Icon Together We Are Strong is a strong Talent that converts part of the damage done by Heroes affected by Shield Ally Icon Shield Ally into Energy Icon Energy, something that may be useful to keep her Energy high when the enemy team does not have a lot of burst damage.

Zarya Feel the Heat ?
Feel the Heat (Level 1) Zarya

Zarya's Basic Attack deals 50% additional damage to enemies in melee range.

Feel the Heat Icon Feel the Heat is a good Talent that increases the damage that Zarya can deal with her ranged Basic Attacks to enemies in melee range, therefore it is worth picking only if the enemy team consists of many melee Heroes.

Zarya Maximum Charge ?
Maximum Charge (Level 1) Zarya

Regen Globes now instantly grant 20 Energy.

Quest: Spend 150 seconds at or above 50 Energy.

Reward: Gain an additional 20 maximum Energy.

Maximum Charge Icon Maximum Charge is a good Talent that makes Regeneration Globes restore 20 Energy Icon Energy and, after completing a Quest, increases the maximum Energy that Zarya can store by the same amount.

The higher maximum Energy will indirectly increase her maximum damage and help Energy-based Talents to come online. While it will be harder to top off the Energy bar, this weakness will be compensated by the Regeneration Globes effects mentioned above, unless you are fighting in a zone where there is a lack of them nearby.


Level 4 Talents for Zarya

Zarya I Am the Strongest ?
I Am the Strongest (Level 4) Zarya

Personal Barrier absorbs an additional 140 (+4% per level) damage.

I Am the Strongest Icon I Am the Strongest is a decent Talent that offers additional self-protection, useful when you expect to play more in melee range than usual or when you are scared of being focused down by the enemy team. That said, when playing Zarya, you should usually prefer Talents that increase the survivability of allied Heroes rather than your own.

Zarya Give Me Twenty ?
Give Me Twenty (Level 4) Zarya

Quest: Regeneration Globes increase Shield Ally absorb amount by 15, up to 300 permanently.

Reward: After collecting 20 Regen Globes, permanently reduce the cooldown of Shield Ally by 2 seconds.

Give Me Twenty Icon Give Me Twenty is a good Quest-based Talent that, once completed, makes Shield Ally Icon Shield Ally absorb more damage, provide more protection to your allies, and fill up your Energy Icon Energy a bit faster than usual.

Zarya Speed Barrier
Speed Barrier (Level 4) Zarya

Shield Ally increases the allied Hero's Movement Speed by 50% for the duration.

Speed Barrier Icon Speed Barrier is a strong Talent that causes the allied Hero affected by Shield Ally Icon Shield Ally to gain a high amount of Movement Speed for the duration.

The ability to give Movement Speed on demand has great defensive and offensive potential because it can be used to help an allied Hero with low mobility to either retreat or engage.

Zarya Defensive Shielding ?
Defensive Shielding (Level 4) Zarya

Upon expiration or breaking, Personal Barrier and Shield Ally grant 75 Physical Armor against the next 2 Hero Basic Attacks for 6 seconds, reducing the damage taken by 75%.

Defensive Shielding Icon Defensive Shielding is a situational Talent that helps against Heroes Heroes with slow but heavy-hitting Basic Attacks (such as The Butcher) but it is completely useless against Heroes with fast-hitting Basic Attacks (like Tracer).


Level 7 Talents for Zarya

Zarya Pinpoint Accuracy
Pinpoint Accuracy (Level 7) Zarya

Particle Grenade deals 30 (+4% per level) more damage and Slows Movement Speed by 25% for 2 seconds to enemies hit by the center of the blast.

Pinpoint Accuracy Icon Pinpoint Accuracy is a strong Talent that increases the damage done with Particle Grenade Icon Particle Grenade and makes it Slow enemies hit, but those effects will happen only when hitting the target with the center of the projectile.

Zarya Explosive Barrier ?
Explosive Barrier (Level 7) Zarya

Upon expiration or breaking, Personal Barrier explodes, dealing 110 (+4% per level) damage to nearby enemies.

Explosive Barrier Icon Explosive Barrier is a good Talent that provides a good amount of damage when focusing a melee Hero standing nearby, something that is certainly good when combined with Feel the Heat Icon Feel the Heat that shines in the same scenario.

Zarya To the Limit
To the Limit (Level 7) Zarya

While above 40 Energy, Zarya's Basic Attack size is increased by 35%.

To the Limit Icon To the Limit is a weak Talent because it does not increase the range of Zarya's Basic Attacks, but only the size. While it looks like it has synergy with Feel the Heat Icon Feel the Heat, actually it does not provide any additional value to that Talent.

Zarya Hit Me
Hit Me (Level 7) Zarya

Damage absorbed by Zarya's Shields contributes 20% more Energy.

Hit Me Icon Hit Me is a weak Talent because it provides no value once you reach full Energy but it helps you get there, something you do not really need because Zarya is already good enough at generating Energy without the help of any Talent, so you better pick something else to further increase her overall value instead.


Level 10 Talents for Zarya

In this section we discuss when and why to pick a given Heroic Ability. If you want to read how they work in detail and/or you are looking for some tips on how to use them, check them in the Abilities and Strategy page.

Zarya Graviton Surge ?
Graviton Surge (Level 10) Zarya
  • Cooldown: 60 seconds

Launch a gravity bomb that detonates after 1 second and draws enemy Heroes toward the center for 2.5 seconds.

Graviton Surge Icon Graviton Surge is a good Heroic Ability that provides a powerful area of effect crowd control that will magnetize towards its center any enemy Hero within its range, denying them from moving and nothing else.

Contrary to what you may expect when looking at its animation, the effect provided does not have a Knockback attached to it, therefore it will not deny enemy Heroes from casting Abilities for the duration and it will not interrupt any channeled Ability already in progress (such as Holy Word: Salvation Icon Holy Word: Salvation by Anduin).

Zarya Expulsion Zone
Expulsion Zone (Level 10) Zarya
  • Cooldown: 45 seconds

Launch a gravity bomb that deals 124 (+4% per level) damage and creates an expulsion zone for 3.5 seconds. Enemies who enter the affected area are knocked back and have their Movement Speed reduced by 50% for 1 second.

Expulsion Zone Icon Expulsion Zone is a strong Heroic Ability that can be used in several ways, both offensively and defensively. If used offensively, Expulsion Zone can trap enemy Heroes inside choke points or break the enemy team's formation by isolating primary targets from the rest of their allies. If used defensively, Expulsion Zone can cover your own or your allies' retreat by keeping pursuing enemies at bay. It can also block enemies from entering certain locations, which can buy your team precious seconds to secure a Map Objective.


Level 13 Talents for Zarya

Zarya Unstoppable Competitor ?
Unstoppable Competitor (Level 13) Zarya

Personal Barrier makes Zarya Unstoppable for up to 2 seconds.

Unstoppable Competitor Icon Unstoppable Competitor is a good Talent that can make Zarya Unstoppable when needed, however, the buff ends if the Shield gets destroyed by damage. Pick it when playing against Heroes with scary crowd control effects.

Zarya Spell Barrier
Spell Barrier (Level 13) Zarya

Upon expiration or breaking, Personal Barrier grants Zarya 75 Spell Armor for 3 Seconds, reducing the damage taken from Abilities by 75%.

Spell Barrier Icon Spell Barrier is a strong Talent that boosts Zarya's survivability against burst damage, even if you can usually get a similar result by going for Pain is Temporary Icon Pain is Temporary instead.

Pick it when you need protection from burst damage against a team that can break Shields (for example Varian with Shattering Throw Icon Shattering Throw at Level 13) and/or when you will need a better and more frequent protection from burst damage compared to what Pain is Temporary Icon Pain is Temporary gives you.

Zarya Endurance Training
Endurance Training (Level 13) Zarya

While at or above 75 Energy, Zarya gains 20 Armor, reducing all damage taken by 20%.

Endurance Training Icon Endurance Training is a weak Talent that provides a low but constant amount of Armor that can be useful when team fights take a lot of time to end. You will rarely need this Talent because it does not give enough value compared to the other options in the same Tier.

Zarya Pain is Temporary ?
Pain is Temporary (Level 13) Zarya
  • Mana: 1
  • Cooldown: 30 seconds

Activate to consume all Energy and gain a Shield that absorbs 0.5% of Zarya's maximum Health per Energy consumed and lasts for 3 seconds. Zarya may only have one personal Shield active on herself at a time.

Pain is Temporary Icon Pain is Temporary is a good Talent that can save Zarya's life if she finds herself in a dangerous situation. It is very important to mention that this Shield works like Personal Barrier Icon Personal Barrier, which means that any damage absorbed will contribute to Energy Icon Energy generation. Pick it when you are not scared of enemy crowd control effects but they can deal a lot of burst-damage of any kind.


Level 16 Talents for Zarya

Zarya Cleansing Shield ?
Cleansing Shield (Level 16) Zarya

Causes Shield Ally to remove all disabling effects and reduces its cooldown by 3 seconds.

Cleansing Shield Icon Cleansing Shield is a good Talent that allows Shield Ally Icon Shield Ally to remove any crowd control for its target.

Since it does not give Unstoppable (meaning that it does not work like Cleanse Icon Cleanse by Rehgar), it cannot be pre-emptively cast on an allied Hero in order to prevent the application of disabling effects that will hit them while the Shield is up.

Pick this Talent when the enemy team is counting on crowd control effects to take down Heroes.

Zarya Gain Train
Gain Train (Level 16) Zarya

Shield Ally now grants an untalented Shield to a nearby ally upon impact.

Gain Train Icon Gain Train is a strong Talent that makes Shield Ally Icon Shield Ally give an untalented Shield to one allied Hero who is nearby the main target. Pick this Talent when you do not need the powerful effect coming from Cleansing Shield Icon Cleansing Shield and you need more Shields to protect your team from damage spread on multiple targets.

Zarya Born in Battle ?
Born in Battle (Level 16) Zarya

While at or above 75 Energy, Zarya's cooldowns regenerate 25% faster.

Born in Battle Icon Born in Battle is a decent Talent that allows Zarya to use her Basic and Heroic Abilities more often when having high Energy. Pick this Talent if you do not need anything else from this Tier.


Level 20 Talents for Zarya

Zarya Gravity Kills ?
Gravity Kills (Level 20) Zarya

Increases Graviton Surge's duration by 1 second and it Silences Heroes caught in its area.

Gravity Kills Icon Gravity Kills is a good Talent that adds a Silence effect to Graviton Surge Icon Graviton Surge, something that can win games on its own. We definitely recommend this Talent when the corresponding Heroic Ability is picked.

Zarya Clear Out ?
Clear Out (Level 20) Zarya

Reduce Expulsion Zone's cooldown by 25 seconds and increase its duration by 1.5 seconds.

Clear Out Icon Clear Out is a good Talent that makes Expulsion Zone Icon Expulsion Zone last longer, increasing its duration from 3.5 to 5 seconds! You also get the opportunity to cast it more often thanks to the cooldown reduction.

Pick this Talent when you want more crowd control, especially if you are playing on Maps with narrow areas (such as Cursed Hollow) and/or your team's strategy revolves around aggressively contesting a Capture Point (for example a Boss).

Zarya Grenadier ?
Grenadier (Level 20) Zarya

All Particle Grenade charges are returned at once.

Grenadier Icon Grenadier is a good Talent that allows Zarya to cast Particle Grenade Icon Particle Grenade much more frequently than normal, an effect that is particularly powerful if you have Pinpoint Accuracy Icon Pinpoint Accuracy at Level 7.

Zarya Unyielding Defender
Unyielding Defender (Level 20) Zarya
  • Cooldown: 60 seconds

Activate to reset the cooldown of Personal Barrier and Shield Ally.

Unyielding Defender Icon Unyielding Defender is a strong Talent that allows Zarya to reset the cooldown of most of her Basic Abilities: Personal Barrier Icon Personal Barrier and Shield Ally Icon Shield Ally.

First of all, it adds great defensive value during late-game team fights, when every death can make the difference between victory and defeat because being able to apply a Shield to yourself and allied Heroes more frequently can really change the course of battle.

Secondly, by having two additional Shields, she is able to keep her Energy high, which significantly enhances her offensive capabilities as well.



  • 25 Feb. 2021: New layout.
  • 23 Feb. 2021: Builds and Talent Descriptions updated.
  • 16 Feb. 2021: Builds updated.
  • 12 Jul. 2020: Talent Descriptions modified to better describe when to pick them.
  • 16 Apr. 2020: Talent Build partially revised to match new standards.
    • Talent Build and Talent Build Cheatsheet modified to reflect the current metagame.
    • Talent Descriptions modified to better describe when to pick them.
  • 14 Feb. 2020: Updated Zarya's talents and revised the guide in accordance with the latest Balance Update.
  • 20 Nov. 2019: Applied minor changes to Zarya's talents and maps sections to keep it up to date.
  • 23 May 2019: Updated Zarya's talents and builds in accordance with the latest Balance Update.
  • 16 Apr. 2017: Added a new Anti Melee build, and updated some talent discussions to account for this build.
  • 31 Jan. 2017: Changed some talent recommendations for Level 4 and 7.
  • 24 Nov. 2016: Swapped Pain is Temporary and Unstoppable Competitor in talent recommendations.
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