Soldier: 76 – Enhancing an Old Dogs Performance.
If you’ve ever played first person shooters such as Call of Duty or Battlefield, then Soldier: 76 should feel pretty familiar. With a fully automatic primary weapon, an effective multi-rocket launcher for a secondary weapon, a self heal, and a sprint, he can at first seem quite simple to master. Don’t let this simple tool kit fool you though. There are several tricks you can use in order to maximize your performance with him. Let’s take a look at his abilities, how to increase their usefulness, and how well they pair with other Overwatch heroes.
Primary Weapon – Pulse Rifle – 25 Round Magazine – 1.5 Second Reload Timer.
Standard automatic rifle. With a 25 round magazine and a 1.5 second reload time, you can tear through your enemies with ease. However, there is a way to increase the effectiveness of this weapon.
- Know when to fire full auto vs. short, controlled bursts.
Firing your weapon in small, concentrated bursts can drastically improve its damage output. The first 4 shots fired from the Pulse Rifle won’t cause your target reticle to expand. Utilizing this while aiming at the heads of enemy heroes can cause your damage to ramp up, resulting in faster kills. With a little bit of practice, you can have this down in no time.
- Utilize the range capability of Pulse Rifle.
76’s Pulse Rifle works wonders at mid and even far-range. Keeping a safe distance and firing with short, controlled bursts will improve your threat capability. High-ground vantage points improve your map awareness and your survivability. Having the high-ground advantage lets you pick off heroes who might be hiding behind Reinhardt’s shield, as well as taking out aerial targets such as Pharah.
Secondary Weapon – Helix Rockets – 8 Second Cooldown – Blast Radius: 2 Meters.
76 fires rockets out of his Pulse Rifle which explode wherever they make contact.
- Keep track of this cooldown.
It is important to keep track of Helix Rockets cooldown. You don’t want to enter a fight with an enemy hero if you’re on full cooldowns. Having the availability of your full kit will often decide if you kill, or get killed.
- Learn to lead your target.
A lot of players struggle with this. Leading your target will increase the accuracy of Helix Rockets by a ton. Keep in mind that the blast radius of the rockets can also be effective in landing kills as well as spreading your damage to multiple targets. Go for direct rocket hits when you are certain they will hit, such as when they are incapacitated.
- Master the Rocket jump.
This is arguably the hardest trick to master with 76. If you use your Helix Rocket’s, time it with a jump and Sprint, you can leap really far. Mastering this combo can take your 76 play to a whole new level. There are drawbacks to this risky play though. If you don’t time everything right, you can end up in some dangerous or deadly situations.
Ability 1 – Sprint – Duration: Lasts Until Cancelled.
76 activates his Sprint ability which greatly increases his movement speed.
- Sprint often.
Sprinting will save your life. Sprint will get you places faster, such as to the payload or the objective. Sprint will also quickly get you out of dangerous situations such as a Mei ult, a D.Va ult, or a McCree ult, or if you need to heal. You can also chase down fleeing or injured enemies to finish them off.
Ability 2 – Biotic Field – Cooldown: 15 Seconds – Duration: 5 Seconds – Area of Effect: 5 Meters – Health Regeneration Rate: 40 Health Per Second.
76 deploys a healing field at his location, healing himself and all allies within the zone.
- Turn on Allied Health Bars in your Settings.
Turning on Allied Health Bars in your settings will not only increase the effectiveness of your Biotic Field, but it will also increase your support capability for your teammates. This can be particularly effective when your team is either trying to capture or defend an objective.
- Biotic Field cannot be destroyed
It cannot be targeted or destroyed by enemy abilities.
- Know where and when to deploy it.
Knowing where to deploy your healing field is crucial. If you can deploy it safely behind cover, and somewhere where multiple teammates can benefit from it, that’s great. Knowing when to deploy it is also helpful. If you’re taking consistent damage, sometimes it’s best to use Sprint to get to safety and then heal up. This is situational, but good judgement goes a long way when it comes to using this ability.
- You can deploy Biotic Field on the payload.
Deploying Biotic Field on a moving payload enables you to create a moving healing zone which can benefit your teammates tremendously.
Ultimate Ability – Tactical Visor – Duration: 6 Seconds – Reload Time: 0.75 Seconds
76 activates his visor. All of his shots during the duration of this ability will automatically hit the target that is closest to the center of his crosshairs.
- Timing is everything.
Using Tactical Visor at the right time can be a major game changer. Knowing when to use it is crucial to improving your 76 performance.
- Examples of when to use Tactical Visor.
- When the enemy team is incapacitated and unable to act, such as from a Zarya, Reinhardt, or Mei ult. These ults are some of the best times to activate Tactical Visor and can easily lead to an effective team kill.
- When the enemy team has no shielding capability or little to no cover.
- Examples of when NOT to use Tactical Visor.
- When the enemy team has easy cover to get behind. Popping out with your ult only to see the enemy team quickly get behind cover is not only a terrible waste of your ult, but it also gives them a chance to counterattack.
- When the enemy team has shielding capability. Reinhardt’s, D.Va’s, and Zarya’s shield can all be very problematic for Tactical Visor. Make sure Reinhardt’s shield is down, and that Zarya’s shield is on cooldown before using Tactical Visor.
- Prioritize Targets.
- Tactical Visor can kill low health targets such as Mercy very quickly, increasing your teams odds of winning that fight.
- Tactical Visor can kill evasive targets such as Tracer and Genji as seen above.
That’s all for now! Currently trying to get some solid footage of Rocket Jumping, so I’ll post it when I get it. I still have a lot to work on with Soldier: 76, but I’m feeling more confident in my ability to not only play him, but to better support my team as well. Let us know what you think in the comments section and as always, Good Luck, Have Fun! From all of us here at The Game Haus, I’m David.