Zenyatta in Overwatch 2 has a powerful new kick, but remains the complex hybrid support character he always was. Long-range healing and attacks make him useful not just for restoring HP, but for taking down threats as well. However, he’s easily cornered and poses little threat up close, thanks to low mobility and HP. Here’s how to play Zenyatta effectively in Overwatch 2.
Zenyatta is a unique support hero with some of the strongest DPS potential among his fellow healers. His projectile orbs deal a significant amount of damage, especially when charged, and one of his healing abilities has an alternate form that reduces enemy defense–perfect for keeping enemies off you or helping another DPS take down difficult foes. He also has a healing ability that works at a distance, so long as you keep your ally in sight, and Zenyatta’s ultimate ability heals an enormous amount of HP over the course of a few seconds.
What Zenyatta doesn’t have is much recourse if an enemy gets close. His new snap kick melee is handy, but not foolproof, and he has no movement skills to help escape in a pinch.
- Orb of Destruction: Zenyatta launches one of his orbs
- Orb of Destruction (alt-fire): Zenyatta charges an orb and launches it, dealing extra damage on hit
- Orb of Harmony: Zenyatta casts an orb on an ally that provides constant healing while the ally remains in sight
- Orb of Discord: Zenyatta attaches an orb to an enemy that increases the amount of damage they take
- Transcendence: Zenyatta becomes invulnerable and generates 300 HP per second for nearby allies. His movement speed also increases
- Snap Kick (melee): Zenyatta kicks a single target and knocks them backward
Having Zenyatta on the frontlines with a tank or DPS is not the best idea, given his lack of movement skills and low HP. The better option is hanging back and targeting opponents with Zenyatta’s orbs, charged or otherwise. Charged shots are handy for dealing with other support heroes quickly, and tanks are easy orb targets as well, thanks to their larger size.
Unlike other heroes whose weapons grow weaker at a distance, such as Soldier 76 or Cassidy, Zenyatta’s projectiles deal the same amount of damage at long range, so you can still contribute to the team’s success by playing it safe. Staying behind everyone else also makes it easier to keep them in sight and get the most out of Orb of Harmony.
Pondering his orbs
Overwatch 2 gives you a couple of in-game tips for how to use Zenyatta’s orbs. One of them is accurate, and the other has a caveat. One says to keep an Orb of Harmony on your ally at all times, and that is, indeed, good practice. The orbs don’t stack, but sticking an orb on an ally ahead of time means they have a better chance of survival once things get rough, especially since they provide comparatively low healing anyway. Don’t forget to actually keep up with what’s going on, though. If you stick an orb on Ashe, and she goes off somewhere else, you naturally need to put the orb on another ally locked in combat.
Maintaining awareness is important for the Orb of Discord as well. Blizzard recommends keeping it on Zenyatta’s own foes to take them down quickly, and it is useful for that. The Orb of Discord can help Zen deal with an enemy before they get too close. However, it also has uses that aren’t Zenyatta-centric. Consider using it on a target that your allies need help with, say, if a DPS opponent is harassing your tank. Alternatively, if you need to go off and help an ally in critical shape, drop an Orb of Discord on a nearby enemy first so your team can deal with them.
Transcend all obstacles
Zenyatta’s ultimate is the best healing ability in the game and can save the party not just from your run-of-the-mill threats, but from enemy ultimates as well. The amount of healing and the speed with which Zenyatta generates it can counter even Tactical Visor and other abilities that damage over time, especially if you use the speed boost to interrupt the enemy’s aim.
Zen is immune to damage during this period, but Roadhog can still hook him. Stay on the move while the ultimate is active to keep enemies guessing.
- Snap Kick works well if you can sneak up on enemies, but not so much if they’re facing you.
- Avoid lingering in open places or in one position, even while hanging back. Zenyatta is an easy target for Widowmaker
- Orb of Harmony is handy, but heals a low amount of HP. Make sure your party has another healer who can make up for Zen’s single-target, low-HP abilities
- Zenyatta’s charged attacks can take out weaker DPS characters such as Genji and Tracer
- Zen will recover shield strength if you can retreat after taking damage
If you’re keen on experimenting with other Overwatch 2 roles, check out our tank hero tier and support hero tier to see how they all match up.
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