Reinhardt Abilities and Strategy

Last updated on Sep 09, 2017 at 03:31 by Blainie 11 comments

Table of Contents

On this page, you will find a detailed overview of the abilities that Reinhardt has access to. We also explain how to best use these abilities.

The other pages of our Reinhardt guide can be accessed from the table of contents on the right.


Reinhardt TL;DR Tips

  • You are the driving force of your team. Make sure you are on the front lines, directing your team's focus and push.
  • Be vocal about your barrier health. If it is about to break (below 750 HP), let your team know so that they can move out of the way and are not taken by surprise.
  • Make sure you know the positions of the enemy before using your Charge Icon Charge. It can easily end up killing you and allowing your enemy to push the choke point without you there.
  • When swinging your hammer, turn your camera from side to side to ensure that you hit people as soon as possible.
  • Position yourself in front of your damage dealers on high ground so that they can take full advantage of it. Only drop down to fight when necessary to save the point.
  • Pay close attention to enemy abilities and their cooldowns, such as Roadhog's Chain Hook Icon Chain Hook. Never drop your shield to Fire Strike Icon Fire Strike if you might endanger your teammates.

General Playstyle

Reinhardt is an incredibly strong tank and a great addition to a variety of hero combinations. You essentially dictate the pace of the game and it is important to ensure that you play aggressively when possible. This does not mean to dive into the enemy team and die alone, but to communicate with your team to push effectively. One of the biggest issues in most games is the standstill that often occurs at choke points. The attacking team does not play aggressively enough and the defense team is happy to let that happen.

Reset your Barrier Field Icon Barrier Field, tell your team you are pushing and move forward through the choke. Capitalise on any error that enemy team makes, whether by allowing one of their team to die or by using a high impact ability, such as Roadhog's Chain Hook Icon Chain Hook or Mei's Ice Wall Icon Ice Wall, wastefully.

The aggressive playstyle is even more important when both teams have a Reinhardt. Force the enemy Reinhardt back and charge your Earthshatter Icon Earthshatter on him by swinging your hammer into him. Ensure that you are dictating the flow of the game rather than simply sitting on the back foot waiting for them to push and wipe your team.


Rocket Hammer

Reinhardt Rocket Hammer
Rocket Hammer (LMB) Reinhardt

Devastating melee weapon.

Reinhardt's auto attack deals 75 damage with each swing and can hit multiple enemies with one swing. In order to maximise the damage dealt, you can rotate your camera while swinging to speed up the rate at which people are hit.

His auto attack is excellent at dealing with any flankers, since they can very rarely do enough damage to kill you in close quarters before you kill them. Reinhardt can kill Genji using Dragonblade Icon Dragonblade faster than Genji will kill him.


Barrier Field

Reinhardt Barrier Field
Barrier Field (RMB) Reinhardt

Hold to deploy a frontal energy barrier.

This is Reinhardt's most impactful ability and is often why he is chosen as a tank. His shield has 2000 HP and, upon reaching 0 HP or if Reinhardt deactivates the shield, it will take 2 seconds to begin recharging. It will recharge at a rate of 195 HP per second as long as it is not activated again. If the shield does reach 0 HP, it will be on cooldown for 5 seconds, but it will still regenerate HP as it would normally.

The most important part of this ability is, unsurprisingly, communication. Your team will depend on the shield to protect them, so you need to let them know as soon as it is close to breaking.

It is worth noting that, in a Reinhardt vs. Reinhardt matchup, your shield can block the enemy's ultimate.



Reinhardt Charge
Charge (LShift) Reinhardt
  • Cooldown: 10 seconds

Charge forward and smash an enemy against a wall.

Charge is Reinhardt's highest damage ability, but is also his most difficult to use correctly. It deals 300 damage and stuns an enemy for 1 second if they are pinned against a wall. With a short cooldown of only 10 seconds, it can be used to initiate constantly, but there is a huge risk factor to be considered.

Charge completely displaces you from your team and, given the nature of the ability, will often put you in the back of the enemy team. If you are going to use Charge, it is incredibly important that you communicate with your team and let them know you are going to initiate. Without the proper followup, you will often find yourself dying and leaving your team open to attack.

Your best targets when using Charge are often the enemy's front line heroes, such as tanks. By landing a Charge on the enemy Reinhardt, you can bring him low enough that your team should be able to finish him off quickly.

It is important to time your Charge according to the enemies' cooldowns. Never Charge in when you know that an enemy team has Zarya's Projected Barrier Icon Projected Barrier or Roadhog's Chain Hook Icon Chain Hook available. Doing so will inevitably end in you not only killing nobody, but dying as well.


Fire Strike

Reinhardt Fire Strike
Fire Strike (E) Reinhardt
  • Cooldown: 6 seconds

Launch a fiery projectile.

Fire Strike is Reinhardt's only "ranged" ability, dealing 100 damage with a 6 second cooldown. It can very effective at shutting down or finishing off enemies that your team have not been able to, given that it travels through all shields.

Fire Strike should be used when possible to build your ultimate charge, but keep in mind that your team are still relying on your shield. There are few things worse to do as a Reinhardt than to drop your shield mid-push to throw a Fire Strike. Keep an eye on who is behind you and what the enemy could do in the 1-1.5 seconds it takes you to throw that Fire Strike. This is especially true in a Reinhardt mirror matchup, since his ultimate, Earthshatter Icon Earthshatter casts faster than his Fire Strike.



Reinhardt Earthshatter
Earthshatter (Q) Reinhardt
  • Ultimate

Knock down all enemies in front of you.

Earthshatter is undoubtedly one of the stronger ultimates in the game, provided it is used correctly. The ability will deal 50 damage to all enemies in a 20 meter frontal cone, as well as stunning them for 2.5 seconds.

The key to using Earthshatter properly is to play aggressively. It is pointless to use the ultimate after a fight has already ended, since you are unlikely to finish a team off alone. You are to act as the initiator for the fight, asking for a speed boost from Lúcio if you have one, and simply pushing in with your ultimate.

If you are facing an enemy Reinhardt, you should keep in mind that his barrier can stop your ultimate from reaching those behind him. To avoid this, alternate between jumping forward and raising your barrier to maintain a faster pace than him while still keeping your shield up. Once you reach where the enemy Reinhardt is, run through his barrier and use your ultimate. This will not only stun him, but everyone behind him as well if executed properly.

It iss worth noting that you can also use your ultimate to prevent a push from the enemy team by locking out an enemy's ult usage. A good example would be using Earthshatter after an enemy Graviton Surge Icon Graviton Surge in order to stop the enemy's Roadhog using Whole Hog Icon Whole Hog. Keep in mind that this is only worth it in some situations. If you had a defensive ult prepared, such as Zenyatta's, your ult would have been wasted.

About our Author

Blainie is a Grand Master Support and Tank player, with a focus on analysis of gameplay and the meta surrounding Overwatch. He regularly streams his ranked games on Twitch, where he can answer any questions you may have about the game or guides.