Zarya is one of the six tanks in Overwatch and is considered the most difficult to play. Yet, when played well she is the most rewarding. This is due to the power of her barriers, which most people refer to as bubbles. The aim of today’s Zarya guide is to aid you in how to maximize the use of her barriers.
But first, let’s understand why it’s important to use her barriers effectively.
Zarya Guide: Why barriers are important
Zarya’s barriers are important for two reasons.
First, they are how Zarya protects herself and her team. And second, they are how Zarya builds up energy with her passive ability.
Passive Ability: Energy
Zarya’s passive ability is Energy. What it does is that for every five points of damage that Zarya’s barriers absorb Zarya gains +1% damage. This increased damage buff is capped at 100%. Which means that the more damage Zarya’s barriers soak up the more dangerous she becomes.
And Zarya can be a one-woman wrecking crew when she is fully charged.
The difficulty lies in charging that energy and maintaining it because every second she loses two points of her charge and the barriers she charges with have long cooldowns. In addition, those barriers have short durations. Let’s look at the barriers in question.
Zarya’s bubbles: One for me, one for you
Zarya has two barriers she uses, one that she uses for herself and the other for allies. Each barrier has 200 health and lasts for a whopping total of two seconds. The only difference between the barriers is that the one for allies has a two second shorter cooldown. Which means that Zarya can protect her teammates, and build charge off of them, more often.
Yet, with only a two-second duration for each barrier, it means that Zarya’s timing has to be spot on, which wasn’t always the case in the clip above.
Zarya guide: Timing is everything
Timing is everything when using your barriers to absorb damage. Too early and the enemy team will not shoot at them. Too late and the enemy team will have the chance to deal plenty of preventable damage to you and yours. So always keep in mind that timing matters when using your barriers.
The easiest way to build charge with your barriers is to wait until the damage is coming. Waiting until the enemy is shooting at you gives them little time to stop shooting you, which builds you charge. Another thing to keep in mind is that Zarya’s barriers are not limited to blocking 200 points of damage.
In fact, Zarya’s barriers can block all of D.Va’s, Junkrat’s and Tracer’s ultimates if timed correctly. Zarya’s barriers can do this because those ultimates are single bursts of damage. Her barriers also stop teammates from being killed by Reinhardt’s pin and negates the knockdown from Earthshatter.
That is it for Zarya. Hopefully this guide helps you improve with Zarya’s bubble power. Let us know what you think in the comments below.