UPDATED: Latest changes to everyone's favourite Overwatch mech are now included.
Our huge Bastion guide contains ability and strategy tips, counter advice, and everything else you need for mastering this killing machine.
Bastion underwent quite a few rebalancing efforts following the first beta release of Overwatch, where he was quite the overpowered menace. A significant rework around a year after launch did much to improve his fortunes, although he remains a niche pick even now. In fairness to Blizzard, it can’t be easy to balance a hulking robot that’s capable of transforming into a hero-shredding turret, and do so against the wider pool of characters in the game.
The description above doesn’t even cover his most devastating form either. Once charged up, his Ultimate Ability allows him to become a roving tank that fires out massive amounts of area-of-effect damage – an offensive play that’s often capable of obliterating entire packs of enemies. Very few characters will survive an encounter with a tank-mode Bastion when he’s out on the prowl, and he excels at picking off clusters of low-health Heroes while in this terrifying form.
These design elements are all tremendous strengths of course, but there is a price to pay for this extraordinary firepower, and Bastion pays for it with comparatively low mobility during the normal course of play. He clunks along in mobile form, and cannot move at all when he’s in turret mode. If he’s attacked from the rear (“Hello Tracer!”), he’ll also take double the damage. It’s for this reason that we’ve put together our comprehensive Bastion guide, which should help you live long enough to shine with this hero.
In this article we’ll go through all of Bastion’s fundamental abilities and give you some helpful advice which should help you make a much bigger impact in every single match. After that, we’ll outline some of the tried and tested tips that have been uncovered for this character, and also bring you some map advice and hero counter information.
As always, let us know in the comments if there’s anything you’d like to see added to this guide. We’d also love to hear some of your own advice for playing this character, which we’ll round up in a future update. Have fun!
JULY 2018 UPDATE
Blizzard has just made a handful of changes to a number of heroes in the game, and in Bastion’s case it’s a buff to his minimum damage. In both Sentry and Recon Configurations, his minimum damage at max range has now been increased from 30% to 50%.
Bastion’s abilities and strategy tips
Bastion is classed as one of the easier heroes to play in Overwatch, but that’s not to say that mastering his playstyle is going to be a cakewalk for anyone. Take a bit of time to familiarise yourself with all of his defining Abilities before you jump into your first match – you’ll be glad you did.
(You can also find some extremely handy tips for playing this Hero further down the page as well.)
Configuration: Sentry [SHIFT] – Once you’ve found a nice defensive spot, you can activate this mode to turn Bastion into an immobile turret. You’ll be able to shoot in a 360 degree viewing range, but make sure your rear isn’t exposed as you’ll take twice as much damage if someone can fire at you from behind. A Bastion sitting on the Payload can cause all kinds of chaos too, but buddy up with Reinhardt if you want to live long enough to pull this strategy off.
Configuration: Recon [SHIFT] – Recon mode used to be pretty rubbish really, and strictly for getting Bastion into a new position to assume sentry duties once more. He’s still not the most powerful mobile offensive unit by a long shot, but he does perform a little better when he’s in mobile form.
Self-Repair [E] – This fairly self-explanatory Ability lets Bastion restore his health over time. Don’t do this right out in the open! Make sure you’re under some kind of cover as you heal yourself between bouts of sentry duty. Note that a post-release patch introduced a change which means Bastion can now use his healing ability while moving.
Configuration: Tank [Q] – Bastion’s Ultimate Ability turns him into a mechanical god, as he’s both mobile and capable of dishing out an astonishing amount of pain. Focus your area-of-effect cannonballs on clusters of enemies wherever possible, as this will give you the most bang for your buck. The enemy will want to take you down fast in Tank mode, so any protective shielding you can get from your teammates will be very welcome indeed.
Ironclad [PASSIVE] – As part of his redesign, Bastion also got a new passive ability known as Ironclad. The hero now takes 20% less damage while in Sentry and Tank forms.
|Configuration: Recon||300||25||8 RPS||2 sec||–||10 – 20|
|Configuration: Sentry||300||300||~ 35 RPS||2 sec||–||7.5 – 15|
|Self-Repair||–||–||–||1 sec||70 HPS||–|
|Configuration: Tank||450||–||–||1.5 sec||–||205|
Positioning is obviously a crucial factor when it comes to playing this hero to a really high standard, but there are a few other things you can do to become a better Bastion. Here’s our pick of the best tips we’ve picked up over the last few months.
Let us know your own in the comments so we can add them when we next revise this article.
- Don’t get too greedy with your Sentry Mode, and always assume that someone on the enemy team has the smarts to track you down – if you start taking any long-range damage, it means they’re on to you. Once you’ve bagged a few targets, pack up your metallic bags and find a new gunnery spot. Don’t forget to heal either!
- Avoid making life too easy for your enemy flankers. Make sure you’re positioned as snugly to a wall as possible while still having a decent firing view – if an enemy gets at your back you’ll take twice as much damage.
- Positions of height are always sensible when putting Bastion into Sentry mode, but don’t forget to make use of interiors too, particularly if the enemy team is flanking hard. You will be amazed at just how many people fail to check behind them after running into a room. If you’re in the corner by the door, you can pick them off cleanly from the rear.
- You should be using Recon mode to find a new Sentry mode position. Your DPS is comparatively weak when in your mobile form, so you should avoid combat during this phase as much as possible.
- Change your ammo expectations when playing Bastion. He has an extremely generous clip compared to other heroes, and you don’t want to waste precious gunning time on unnecessary reloads. Our advice? Get in a bot match and practise with this character until you have a very clear feel for the flow of his damage output.
- Be aware of every map’s flanking opportunities, and pick spots that provide the enemy team with the least possible chance of taking you out from the sides. Slowly but surely, everyone’s learning the obvious spots to find a Bastion, so try to stay ahead of the metagame in this regard.
- You get very few opportunities to scope out your local area for incoming flankers, so always use your reload time to look left and right before preparing to start firing again.
- Bastion is one of the few heroes who can come a cropper of Symmetra’s slow-moving orbs. You may well have to move off to a new location if you’re spotted by this rather bothersome enemy Hero. Reinhardt’s Fire Strike ability can also upset your plans rather badly.
- Switching between modes will automatically fill up your ammo clip to maximum.
- Don’t fire off your Ultimate just because it’s up. Sometimes it can be a much more sensible idea to remain in Sentry mode until the moment’s just right. Save your Tank mode for when you need to kill a group of enemies with low amounts of health – and enjoy your Play of the Game!
Bastion counters and match-ups
Just like every other hero in Overwatch, Bastion has certain characters that directly counter him. Although he’s great at ripping through all manner of opponents, he also presents specific heroes with a particular problem too.
Here’s how he stands up against the rest of the pack right now. For ease of learning the ropes, we’re sticking with three picks on each side of the fence. Related characters will of course match up in a similar fashion.
|Bastion is strong against||Bastion is weak against|
If Bastion can get a look at the backline Support of the enemy team then he can absolutely obliterate these squishier characters. He’s also not bad at ripping through tanks, even those who like to take advantage of protective shields.
Where he comes unstuck a little is when it comes to those super-mobile flanking stars like Genji, Tracer and – to a lesser degree – Reaper. He’s also a sniper’s delight, and Widowmaker excels at taking out just this kind of troublesome defensive trash.
For help with other heroes, make sure you check out our complete Overwatch: Counters guide.
Bastion map tactics
Here are some map specific tips that should help you find your feet.
Bastion: Assault tips (Hanamura, Temple of Anubis, Volskaya Industries)
Truth be told you’re probably not going to make Bastion your first pick as the attackers on these maps.
On defense the most important things to consider are distance from the advancing pack and line of sight. Combine these two aspects to greatest effect to make further advance by the enemy as perilous as possible. Don’t be afraid to let the team pass you either, then let rip from a rear position!
Don’t be afraid to use some of the scenery to hide yourself away either. When it looks as though the enemy team are close to taking the objective, consider tucking Bastion in a corner of the room that will allow you to rip the opposition to shreds before they can even realise you’re hiding away there.
Bastion: Control tips (Ilios, Lijiang Tower, Nepal)
These maps are a little trickier to take on with Bastion, and you’re probably going to get a little flak in the spawn room if you pick him at the very start of a match. You’ve been warned…
He can be a strong choice when you’re holding a control point comfortable though, and you want to shore up your defenses. Park Bastion up in a corner that’s blind to the enemy’s approach and you’ll be able to rip any assailants to shreds before they can even turn around.
Bastion: Escort tips (Dorado, Route 66, Watchpoint: Gibraltar)
Bastion: Hybrid tips (Hollywood, King’s Row, Numbani)
Unit Lost’s Bastion video guide
While you’ll get a lot out of studying the tips and strategy advice contained in this text guide, you’ll find it easier to apply if you have a look through a good video of competitive Bastion play.
Unit Lost’s series of hero guides are a little out of date in 2018, but a lot of the fundamental advice will always be applicable.
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Bastion’s Skins, Victory Poses, Emotes and Voice Lines
Bastion has a whole heap of customisation options to unlock. Here’s everything that’s currently available for the hero. We’ve updated this list to reflect the many new cosmetic items that have been added to Overwatch since the game launched in 2016.
|Boo Boo Doo De Doo||25||Common|
|Bwoo Bwoo Bwoo||25||Common|
|Chirr Chirr Chirr||25||Common|
|Doo Dun Dun Woo||25||Common|
|Doo Wee Doo Wee Woo!||25||Common|
|Dun Dun Boop Boop||25||Common|
|Dwee Doo Hoo||Seasonal||Common|
|Dwee Wee Woh||Seasonal||Common|
|Dweet Dweet Dweet!||25||Common|
|Hee Hoo Hoo||25||Common|
|Woop Doo Woo Dun Woop||Seasonal||Common|
|Zur Zur Ee Num||Seasonal||Common|
|Zwing Zwing Zwing||Seasonal||Common|
|Zwee-Ah Wheee Doo Woo||Seasonal||Common|