Winston Playstyle

Last updated on Sep 10, 2018 at 09:57 by Mournflakes 8 comments

Table of Contents

On this page, you will find out how to properly play Winston. From general playstyle advice, to more specific advice like ultimate usage or combos, we tell you everything we think matters to master your hero.

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



Getting the most out of Winston means taking calculated risks to disrupt and pick enemy heroes. Although Winston is technically a main tank, his playstyle is more in line with that of a flanker. His high mobility, ability to harass and annoy low-health enemies, and his "all in" playstyle prove that Winston is no typical tank.


Winston's Offensive Combo

We are going to give you the combo first, then we will break down the reasoning behind the combo and when to utilize the combo situationally.

  1. Jump Pack Icon Jump Pack onto target.
  2. Throw down Barrier Projector Icon Barrier Projector.
  3. Tesla Cannon Icon Tesla Cannon until enemy is low or dead.
  4. Get out with Jump Pack Icon Jump Pack.

This bread-and-butter combo is practically how all offensive engagements are with Winston. The idea of this combo is to find a weak or vulnerable enemy who is split from the team, and to finish them off before the enemy team can react.

It should be noted that throwing down Barrier Projector Icon Barrier Projector at the beginning of your approach is not always the best idea. Most players have a hard time hitting Winston while he is in midair during Jump Pack Icon Jump Pack. Additionally, most players will not have a fast enough reaction time to start focusing Winston immediately after he dives the enemy team. Therefore, it may be better to wait to throw down Barrier Projector Icon Barrier Projector to give you a second of extra defense on the tail end of the engagement rather than having defense when no enemies are shooting you.

Essentially, Winston's offensive targets should always be in the damage or support category. While Winston can help take down an enemy tank, focusing tanks with the rest of your team is typically a waste of Winston's potential (unless your are purposefully using Barrier Projector Icon Barrier Projector to help other dive teammates stay alive in a fight).

Typically speaking, your approach needs to be coordinated with your team. Diving in without a plan can end in your untimely death. Therefore, it is always best to communicate your intentions with your team so they can either back you up or take advantage of your distraction.


Timing with Winston & Knowing When to Dive

When Winston is not coordinating attacks on enemy supports, he is probably with his team attempting to look for an entry into a fight. Understanding the right time for an engagement is crucial to Winston's success. Unfortunately, the "right time" for an engagement is highly situational, especially based on your team composition.

If your team is committed to a dive composition, the best time to go in is when all of your teammates are grouped up or in decent positions to flank. The goal is to overwhelm weaker enemies, which means you are likely going to jump in with your team before the enemy has a chance to retaliate. In this composition, the best time to go in is when a enemy support or DPS shows themselves. Once they peek out from a vulnerable position, your team needs to strike hard.

On the other hand, you may have a hybrid composition. While definitely not the best use of Winston, his kit should then be used to backup ally attacks. For example, if an ally McCree wounds an enemy support, you should be jumping onto that wounded enemy before he or she has a chance to get heals. With these kinds of compositions, waiting for intel from your team will be the predicator of your success.

All that to say, the best way to know when to dive is to communicate with your team. Timing is critical to Overwatch, but with dive compositions, perfectly timed attacks are the key to success.


Stalling with Winston

Although Winston's Primal Rage and kit can be lackluster in the damage department, Winston is arguably one of the best stall heroes in the game. His Barrier Projector Icon Barrier Projector forces enemies to engage with Winston up close, and when they get near his barrier, Winston can hop to the other side of the objective with Jump Pack Icon Jump Pack.

If Winston has Primal Rage Icon Primal Rage, he should be able to stall for a dramatically increased amount of time. Using the above mentioned method, once Winston gets low, he can use Primal Rage to instantly restore and boost his health. Jump Pack Icon Jump Pack is now on a two-second cooldown, which means Winston can constantly jump from one side of the objective to the other. If the enemy team fails to focus Winston, he can sometimes catch an enemy support unaware and push them into a corner of the objective for an easy kill. All that to stay, Winston with Primal Rage is an excellent stall character that can buy time for ally teammates to regroup and take back an objective.


How to Use Primal Rage

As previously mentioned, Primal Rage is arguably one of the best stall abilities in the game.

However, Primal Rage also has a number of other uses such as:

  • staying alive in key team fights over objectives;
  • pushing enemies into pits;
  • keeping enemies away from your team during their ultimates;
  • distracting or disrupting the enemy team from attacking an ally support;
  • quickly rejoining a key prolonged fight after your death;
  • killing enemy supports or DPS heroes;
  • blocking doorways and alleys from enemy entrance when your team is capturing/holding an objective.

Generally speaking, Primal Rage is not a great ultimate when paired with damage-dealing ultimates. Unless Winston can knock enemies into the line of fire of an ally McCree's Deadeye Icon Deadeye or an ally D.Va's Self-Destruct Icon Self-Destruct, this ultimate can end up pushing enemies away from friendly attacks. Therefore, communicate with your team to ensure that you do not use your ultimate when an ally wants to capitalize on the enemy's current position.

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.