She’s getting quite a bit of game play, but time will tell on how she fares in the meta, or even if pro teams will start to favour her in team compositions.
But in the meantime, perhaps you’ll want to know how to play her yourself? There are some deft tips and tricks to pick up, and having put the time in ourselves, hopefully we can help you learn how to play Orisa like a pro.
By Blizzard’s own admission, Orisa is an “anchor tank”, which means she can only really offer advantages to her team when they focus their play around her. She’s a slow walking brute, but a coordinated attack with her can really offer up some important strategies.
Her key advantage is the deployable barrier, which can be used to block off significant routes into or out of an area, giving your team the necessary cover to take shot at any enemies.
Elsewhere, her Fortify ability makes it extremely difficult to deal significant damage to Orisa, which means you can worry less about using the barrier for your own safety (as so many do) and instead focus on your team.
Meanwhile the long range, high ammo clip of her rifle means that she can lay down some serious cover fire from longer range threats. If a sniper is harassing your team while defending an objective point but your barrier is needed elsewhere, just keep firing towards their position – if you’re lucky you’ll be able to take them out (there is no damage fall off over range) but even if you don’t it’ll force the sniper to reconsider the strategy and spend some time relocating.
But when should you pick Orisa? Well, mercifully she’s quite adaptable. She might not be mobile, but her defensive abilities are, so she’s as handy following a payload as she is knuckling down in an objective.
Truth be told she’s a little more suited to defence than attack, but a coordinated team can still use her well on offence if needed.
She’s especially valuable on maps like King’s Row, Temple Of Anubis or Dorado, where there are a lot of narrow corridors that can be blocked off by her barrier.
Using her barrier properly
Unlike most shields in Overwatch, Orisa’s barrier is a deployable device that – when fired – arcs slightly until it hits the ground and activates (ricocheting off an object and bouncing back if it hits something before landing).
It’s got a wide protective field and even curves at the edges slightly, making those who stand within even still somewhat protected from the flanks and above.
It’s a strong barrier and lasts for a long time, but that doesn’t mean it can’t quickly be brought down with a coordinated attack.
You should be looking to use the barrier to block off corridors, doorways and other narrow entrances, whether you’re attacking or defending.
But make use of that arc: with good aiming you can get that projectile to land in a position that you’ll need it in seconds before you or your team arrive. That’s important because it’ll not only have your defence set up and ready to go as you arrive, but it begins the cooldown sooner, allowing you to rebuild or reposition the barrier quicker if needed.
The cooldown is quite long on the barrier, so this will need to be something to consider. If it’s off cooldown and the enemy aren’t pushing just yet, use that downtime by replacing (and refreshing the strength of) your barrier.
And if it gets destroyed quicker than you had hoped, activate Fortify and take the lead with your cannon. Orisa is a big character, she can block the attacks of other enemies. It might be sacrificial, but it’ll be more important for the team.
The skill needed for Halt!
Orisa’s more interesting ability is her Halt! graviton charge. It does no damage, but it can definitely be used in some creative ways. The best Orisa players will never forget this ability, or how to use it.
The most important thing to remember is to activate the ability a second time to detonate the charge. This will hold it in the air and pull together any enemies tethered to the charge. You can see this tether, which is the number one signal for when to activate the pull.
At its base level you can use this to disorientate players, keep them from running away, or helping your team to lock an enemy in position so they can get a clear shot.
But there are other tricks. As with any ability that pushes or pulls, Halt! can be used to fling enemies into disaster, whether that’s off the edge of the map in Lijiang Tower or into the pit of the capture point in Ilios – which won’t necessarily kill them, but at least takes that player out of the fight for a brief moment, forcing them to focus on escaping their imminent death.
You’ll need to be savvy to make this work, though. First it’ll take a keen eye to spot the opportunity, but then you need to fire the charge off away from your target. Aim for where you want them to be slingshotted and wait until it’s far enough over that there’s no chance that they’ll recover.
Additionally Halt! should be used to remove snipers from secure cover, as well as a means of checking whether there’s a player (or three) waiting behind a corner.
Lastly, co-ordinate with your team. Locking the enemy team in place is utterly fantastic for setting up more powerful combos to deal damage. It’ll give your team that extra time to react, following up with their own ultimates or area of effect damage abilities.
The best players will make the best use of Halt!, even though it doesn’t bring it’s own damage to the table.
How to properly use Orisa’s ultimate
By providing a 50% boost to damage for all players within a large area Orisa’s Supercharger can be an important ultimate for turning the tide of a battle. It can make your defense of an area considerably easier, as well as empowering your team in an attack.
It is a little tougher to use on attack since the ultimate is a deployable, stationary object, but it still has a large enough area of effect that it can be deployed close enough to an objective and still offer its benefit.
But remember that it requires line of sight to work, and this is where using Supercharger can get tricky. As an object with only 200HP it can be destroyed by a smart enemy player, so it needs both protective cover and line of sight.
If you really have no choice, placing a barrier directly in front of it will maintain some security from frontal attacks.
But you’re better off looking for positions where the enemy won’t typically be. Hiding it behind a wall in a defensive position will give your defenders the extra damage as they poke through the openings that the enemy will first need to break through – meaning the Supercharger itself will be safe.
Alternatively in payload games you can affix the Supercharger to the back of the vehicle. This will move the object with the vehicle, while most payloads are larger in the front – giving the object some protection.
But really it’s important to use the ultimate with your team, otherwise it loses its benefit. Let them know it’s ready, wait for the assault to happen and then activate it. The Supercharger effect lasts for quite some time, but if unprepared it can still be wasted.
It’s especially important to combine with other ultimates, too. Soldier76’s tactical visor, for example, will be greatly enhanced with this active. Ana can also Nano Boost a target who will gain all her benefits in addition to your 50% damage boost. Devastating.
Orisa isn’t the only tank worth taking to the battlefield, though. Reinhardt is still one of the strongest tanks in Overwatch’s meta right now, and we’ve got all the tips on how to play Reinhardt like a pro too.