How to get started with one of Overwatch's trickiest heroes.
On this page you’ll find our essential Genji tips and tricks for new players who want to start mastering this challenging hero.
Genji’s arsenal of unforgiving abilities makes him an intimidating hero to play for those new to Overwatch. Even for experienced players, the sheer versatility of his kit still demands a serious level of mechanical skill if you’re to have any impact in game. It’s easy for even the best of us to botch what was intended to be a well thought out sequence of moves.
To help get you over that hump, we’ve put together a comprehensive guide to help you get started with Genji, outlining the best things to think about when playing him and giving you a basic breakdown of how to use his abilities effectively.
Here’s the information you need to begin playing him at a better level.
Genji’s shurikens are his main source of consistent damage. He can fling three outwards in a straight line one after the other, or flick them outwards instantly so they fan out in a wide arc. Understanding when to use one method over the other is the first real step towards mastering Genji.
As a general rule of thumb, Genji’s left-click primary fire (three shurikens in a straight line) should only be used in long to medium range engagements, as they remain accurate no matter the distance travelled. Otherwise, use alternate right-click fire if it’s a short-range battle. They spread further apart as they travel through the air for longer, so it’s worth getting within touching distance of an enemy and ensuring each shuriken lands when you pull the trigger.
So many Overwatch players forget that a melee attack even exists, yet it’s an essential tool that you should get into the habit of using, especially when playing Genji. Hitting enemies with a quick melee attack in-between shuriken throws boosts the damage dealt to a single target , and also works as a safeguard. You’re at least guaranteed to land a slice from your melee attack if your shurikens happen to sail past your target.
As part ninja, part machine, it’s a given really that Genji is able to Wall Climb and Double Jump (by simply tapping spacebar twice). This mobility separates him from the entire Overwatch hero roster in terms of his ability to get around each and every map with unrivalled ease.
Whenever you’re diving into a match as Genji, get into a state of mind that deliberately questions how you’re approaching certain situations, and how you’ll work the environment into your strategy.
Sometimes it’s difficult to pick up on exactly what you’re doing from moment to moment and it’s all about developing the ability to mentally zoom out and pinpoint exactly what you’re doing and how you could be doing it better.
For instance, if you’re hopping about throwing shurikens directly in front of the enemy team, consider flanking around them. Each map is Genji’s playground, so if you see a good opportunity, peel away from your team and find an alternative route to get on the offensive.
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Pick the right target
Even in the upper echelons of Diamond and Master, Genjis get drawn into focusing their attention on tanks because they present a large, easy target. In the vast majority of situations, however, this isn’t making the most of a hero that’s built to assassinate low health healers and damage dealers.
Again, think about maximising the value of your time and opportunity in-game, and the things you could be getting up to if you weren’t funnelling all your attention into scratching a tank’s back. Dashing into the backline during a fight and taking care of their healers can have a bigger impact at the end of the day.
It’s also important to remember that appearing on the killfeed and chasing glory isn’t all that matters. Imagine flying into the backline of an enemy team, hitting them with shurikens and causing three of them to try and deal with you. That’s three people focused on an annoying Genji and not paying attention to more pressing matters like winning the overall teamfight.
As long as you’re providing a distraction for your team to push or defend effectively, that’s a job well done.
Genji’s Dragonblade can send incoming damage right back at his enemies, or at least negate it entirely. There are, however, some left clicks that he can’t deflect: Mei’s Endothermic Blaster, Symmetra’s Photon Projector, Zarya’s Particle Cannon and Winston’s Tesla Cannon.
It’s an ability that’s best used predictively, for example, when you think McCree is about to Flashbang. Hit Reflect and hope that it flies back straight back into his face. What’s more, you can also boldly wade headlong into an enemy team with Reflect activated in order to protect your own teammates, as well as redirect all that damage back towards your opponents.
We like to save Reflect until the latter stages of a fight, as it often catches your enemies by surprise and allows your other cooldowns to come back up so you can make a swift getaway if need be.
An extra quick tip that many people – surprisingly – don’t know: Genji can Reflect Reinhardt’s hammer swings. It won’t harm him, but it won’t harm you either.
Swift Strike enables Genji to close the gap between him and his target, narrowly escape certain peril and deal damage too. It’s cooldown also resets if he bags an elimination after he’s dashed, so it’s possible for a good player to string together a combination of kills in rapid succession.
Many Genjis (ourselves included) fall into the trap of immediately dashing towards a target they wish to pursue. Unfortunately this places you in an even worse position, as you now have no means of escape if you fumble and struggle to eliminate your target.
Repeat this mantra, ‘the dash is sacred’. It’s got a lengthy cooldown if you don’t get a kill after using it, so we recommend you only Swift Strike to secure kills on low health heroes. By all means, dash into the backline, but always establish who you’re going to focus first and commit to taking them out as quickly as you can. This way, you’ll reset the cooldown and get yourself out of the fight.
This is the Ultimate responsible for 90% of the Overwatch kill montages on the internet. Genji’s Dragonblade deals immense of amounts of damage with each swing, possesses a huge radius and has a surprisingly long slashing range. Additionally, it resets Swift Strike’s cooldown as soon as it’s unleashed, giving Genji a bonus pass to his chosen prey.
Our first piece of advice is not to be too conscious of using it, or wait too long for the perfect opportunity to arise. Yes, people might judge you for messing up, but that’s the only way to get better at using it, right?
When you’ve got Dragonblade locked and loaded, it’s essential you try and flank the enemy. Once you’ve snuck around them, establish who you’re looking to obliterate. As we’ve already discussed, you should be aiming for the healers and the damage dealers first, and they should fall in a slash or two.
Now that’s sorted, you’ve got a number of combos at your disposal:
- Press Q, dash and slash.
- Dash, press Q, kill someone, dash again.
- Alternatively, aim your dash skywards, press Q and dash towards your target and hopefully get a kill.
We’d say they’re all situational and dependent on where you’re positioned in regards to the enemy. Just bear in mind that Genji’s pretty vulnerable when using his ultimate, so employ a string of dashes to make it extremely hard for your enemies to hit you while dealing damage to loads of people at the same time.
If you’re looking for further details, here’s a great live video commentary on a Genji’s play with analysis on their decision making and what they could be doing better. It’s chock full of very useful info which you should definitely check out: