Tracer Guide “... and she's back in the game!”
Table of Contents
- +Abilities and Strategy
- +Synergies and Matchups
1. Tracer Overview
Tracer is a highly mobile offense hero. Her signature abilities, Blink and Recall, allow Tracer to constantly dash in and out of combat. Along with Genji, Tracer is suited for flanking and ambushing the enemy team. Her high mobility allows her to infiltrate the enemy backline, focus heroes with her Pulse Pistols, and get out again before anyone can respond to her movements; thus, she is excellent killing at out-of-position enemy snipers and supports. Additionally, Tracer thrives on harassing enemy teams, keeping them occupied while her squad secures objectives or wins fights on a different front.
While Tracer is powerful in the right hands, she is also vulnerable to burst damage and crowd control. One stun ability (such as McCree's Flashbang) can spell disaster for an overconfident Tracer. Aside from the limited range of her Pulse Pistols, Tracer also suffers from a shallow health pool. Her low health, coupled with her tendency to be in the middle of the action, makes her a feast or famine kind of hero. Therefore, when utilizing Tracer, players need to be willing to go all in. Tracers cannot afford to be indecisive about their next move, and need to constantly think about their engagements or escape routes. Tracers need to make a plan, and adapt to their surroundings while executing premeditated attacks.
This type of aggressive decision-making will be utilized by Tracer players no matter what the situation. Whether on attack, on defense, on escort maps, or on control maps, Tracer needs to make an impact. Picking Tracer and playing her slowly is not an option, and if her style is to fast-paced for someone, her allies may feel like they are playing with a man down. She does not have the survivability or damage output to fight from the front lines, so she must always look for ways to surprise her enemies, hit them hard, and get out before she is ever in danger. Even in close range engagements, Tracer is extremely vulnerable, and practically any hero in the game can easily kill Tracer if she is not careful. This is why developing the instinct of when to go all in and when to harass is so important, because Tracer has no middle ground.
Lastly, Tracer's Pulse Bomb stands as her pièce de résistance. When Tracer places her bomb on the right target at the right time, it can make a devastating impact on the game. However, connecting her bomb to a player can be difficult, and it is important that Tracers trust themselves to get the job done. Just like her playstyle, one false move and Tracer can end up bombing a piece of scenery rather than the enemy.
2. Tracer's Strengths
- Excellent mobility from Blink and Recall
- Fantastic duelist
- Straightforward and simple mechanics
- Viability that scales with skill level
- Devastating flanker
3. Tracer's Weaknesses
- Fragile health pool (lowest health in game besides out-of-mech D.Va
- Lacks efficient medium and long range damage
- Can be heavily team dependent
4. Tracer SynergiesZarya is a great ally due to her Projected Barrier, which can help Tracer secure a kill on an enemy support. Additionally, Zarya's Graviton Surge used with Tracer's Pulse Bomb is the go-to example of ultimate synergy. Another tank who helps Tracer's play style is Winston, who can follow up Tracer's dives with his Jump Pack and can protect Tracer with his Barrier Projector. Last but not least, Tracer's fellow flanker, Genji, can use his Swift Strike and close-range Shurikens to cleanup any enemies that Tracer leaves low.
5. Tracer CountersMcCree is one of the heroes that makes Tracer think twice about her approach, as his Flashbang can take out any Tracer who gets too close to his position. Tracers who know that he has the ability available will be slowed down until he uses it or they are caught out. Moira's small hitbox and ability to self sustain makes her a difficult target for Tracer to duel. The queen of Crowd Control and the anti-Dive sensation, Brigitte is a support who has little to fear from Tracer's Kit. Her Inspire heals her as Tracer tries to dance around her. If Tracer gets too close, Brigitte can combo her with a hit from Rocket Flail, then Shield Bash, and finally Whip Shot to kill a full-health Tracer. Additionally, Brigitte's 250 health consisting of 50 armor ensures that Tracer cannot one-clip the support.
6. Tracer Is Strong AgainstConfiguration: Sentry due to her Pulse Bomb. A more traditional counter, Tracer can completely shutdown Zenyatta due to his slow movements and lack of self-heals. Her Pulse Bomb can counter Zenyatta in a number of ways, most notably when he tries to save teammates from large ultimates like Zarya's Graviton Surge.
7. Tracer TL;DR Tips
- Tracer is a Flanker, which means she needs to stay alive while maximizing damage output. Do not chase if you cannot Secure Kills.
- If Tracer has a few enemies trying to kill her while her team moves on an objective, Tracer is doing her job!
- Harassing is just as important as getting kills.
- Use Pulse Bomb when you have it! Waiting for the perfect opportunity will often lead you to waste your time (unless you are coordinating ultimates with a teammate.)
- Be confident in your decisions when you play Tracer. You may not always make the right choice, but as Tracer, it is better to play confidently rather than constantly worry about getting killed. Think about what you did wrong when you die, not while your still alive.
- Learn to use Blink at the proper times.
- Sometimes, it is better to hold off on shooting your Pulse Pistols until you get right behind an enemy. Warning an enemy of your presence to secure minimal damage is rarely worth it, and you will have less shots when you
- Engage up close.
About our Author
Mournflakes is a flex Grandmaster Overwatch player who boasts a career high SR rating of 4433. His favorite heroes are Roadhog, Soldier: 76, and Ana. He has played Overwatch since its initial release, and has put over 700 hours into competitive play. When not writing guides, you can catch Mournflakes streaming on his Twitch channel.
8. Reading Further for Tracer
To take things further, we have 4 more pages that you can read:
- Abilities and Strategy: an overview of your hero's abilities and how to use them;
- Playstyle: a detailed explanation on how to play your hero;
- Maps: how to make the best use of your hero on each map;
- Synergies and Matchups: where we detail your synergies, your counters, and the heroes you work well against.
- 22 Oct. 2018 (matchup page): Removed Torbjorn from Counters following his rework.
- 20 May 2018 (this page): Pulse Bomb damage updated.
- 27 Feb. 2018 (playstyle page): Added a section about Ultimate usage.
- 19 Feb. 2018 (this page): Guide updated and moved to new format.
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