Our regularly updated strategy guide for mastering Overwatch's McCree.
Our latest Overwatch guide explains how to win more games with the sharp-shooting McCree, and includes plenty of useful tips for success.
Gruff Hero McGree is Overwatch’s rootin’, tootin’ cowboy who packs a mean revolver capable of whittling an enemy’s health down to nothing in no time. On top of that, he’s also got some gentle crowd-control in the form of a stun grenade effect – which is handy for stopping speedy heroes in their tracks – as well as a rolling mobility manoeuvre that both makes him a little harder to hit and tops up the ammo in his weapon at the same time.
While his Deadeye Ultimate is extremely powerful it does take some time to set up, and McCree will be left very exposed while he prepares this multi-target showdown. He also lacks the ability to restore his own health beyond grabbing any health packs that happen to be nearb, and you should make sure you practice your aim well too – a miss with that Flashbang takes a lot of the power out of this particular hero.
Even if this isn’t your preferred kind of role, you should of course take time to try and master McCree so that you know how to deal with him on the other side of a duel. Just understand that you need to have extremely quick reactions in order to shine with this character, along with good judgement for timing the use of your Flashbang – button-mashers who are prone to panic are in for a bad time here. If you have quick wits and are great at traditional shooters though, then you should feel right at home with this gunslinger.
Editor’s note – Update #4 – We’ve not updated our McCree guide for a little while now, so we’ve taken the opportunity to tart it up a little bit. There’s a video guide for this hero from one of our favourite YouTubers, and we’ve also got a few extra tips for playing McCree on specific map types. Finally, we’ve updated all of the cosmetic details to reflect the many additions to the game since launch. We’ll continue updating this guide over time to ensure it remains the most useful resource it can be!
A new event has just hit Overwatch! Check out our essential Retribution guide for all the tips, tricks and strategy advice you need to master this new PVE mode.
McCree’s abilities and strategy tips
Like everyhHero in Overwatch, McCree is defined largely by the handful of core abilities he has at his disposal. In short though, he’s a sharpshooting character who rewards quick wits and even quicker mousework.
Here’s a look at what exactly he brings to a fight.
Peacekeeper [LMB] [RMB] – McCree’s pistol packs a serious shot if you fire each bullet off individually using the left-mouse button. Alternatively, you can fire off several serious shots, one after another if you use the right mouse button instead. Note that this will completely empty your weapon of its current ammunition, so this move is best saved for when you have an enemy either cornered, or very close to death and you need to take several shots quickly in order to secure the kill. Note the fall-off component here, which means enemies who are further away will take less damage.
Combat Roll [SHIFT] – If you do find yourself out of ammunition and in a pretty sticky situation, your Combat Roll ability will not only make you harder to hit due to your reduced profile, it’ll also automatically refill the ammunition in your weapon. Very handy in close-quarters combat, and an excellent example of a great defense being a pretty good offense too! Keep in mind that you can roll in any direction along the horizontal plane, as long as you’re feet are planted firmly on the ground.
Flashbang [E] – To give yourself a rather large advantage in battle, you can fling one of McCree’s Flashbangs into your opponent’s face, which will temporarily stop them dead in their tracks. On an otherwise even playing field where you both have full health, this should give you a major advantage. Once you’ve immoblised your target, it’s often a good play to rattle off a fan of bullets striaght into their face. This will very often drop a relatively squishier character in one fell swoop.
Deadeye [Q] – McCree’s ultimate Ability is a devastating skill called Deadeye. Once activated, McCree will survey and target all of the enemies in his field of view, before rattling off a huge volley of firepower to ensure a series of one-shot kills. The closer to death an enemy is, the faster McCree will zone in on them as a target. Specifically, every 100 HP they have will add an extra second of time to the amount of time it takes to charge up.
|Ability||Ammo||Fire Rate||Duration||Cooldown / Reload||Damage||Range|
|Fan the Hammer||6||6 RPS||–||1.5s||22-45||–|
|Combat Roll||–||–||0.5s||8s||–||6m roll|
Here are some tried and tested tips that should help you get to grips with McCree nice and quickly. Let us know of your own favourite tactics in the comments section, and we’ll add them the next time we update this guide.
- From a relatively distant range you should start a fight by rattling off your basic left-click attack. Save your rapid right-mouse button attack for when the enemy is much closer – they’ll be easier to finish off as they are more likely to take a rapid succession of bullets to the face.
- To increase your odds of pulling off this move, consider throwing your Flashbang right at them. This will stun them, giving you a window of opportunity to fan off your Peacekeeper bullets, then Combat Roll to top up your bullets once again. From here you should be able to pick off the final slivers of their health, but you need to be extremely quick at every stage of this process to pull it off..
- Given his lack of escape abilities, McCree is often best played close by to a tank or support hero that he can guard against flanking attacks. It’s also worth having a shield-granting friend nearby when it comes to activating McCree’s Ultimate.
- Keep in mind that – while extremely effective at temporarily disabling an enemy Hero – McCree’s Flashbang does not have a great deal of range at all. Practise makes perfect here, so don’t be too discouraged if at first you’re not nailing this perfectly each time. It’s an important part of perfecting your play with this hero though, so make sure you persevere.
- To increase your chances of landing Flashbang, consider aiming it at the ground nearby. It needn’t land a direct blow to initiate the stun, and as long as it’s relatively near the target it’ll still get the job done. Note that aiming in this way will also prevent Genji from using his Deflect ability to avoid the charge altogether.
- The element of surprise is crucial when using Deadeye, not least because McCree’s vocal line when it’s cast is a pretty big giveaway to the enemy team. Get behind the enemy lines, line your shots up and make sure you rattle off your damage before you get taken out. Any cover you can gain while using this ability will pay huge dividends.
- Unlike characters such as Lucio who fire projectiles with a certain weight to them, McCree owns a so-called hit-scan weapon. This means there is no travel time to take into account with your aiming, and so anything you target and fire at gets hit – no exceptions.
McCree map tactics
Here’s a little extra advice for how you can use McCree to greater effect on the many maps of Overwatch.
McCree: Assault tips (Hanamura, Temple of Anubis, Volskaya Industries)
As McCree your job on these maps – beyond collaborative team fights – is to take the road less travelled when playing on attack, eliminate the Support and Defense threats you find, and in particular eliminate any turrets you can reach with Fan The Hammer. This provides the rest of your team with an easier path towards the objective.
Likewise, McCree excels at stopping an attacking team from trying alternative routes, and pushing them back further towards their spawn point. He is, of course, extremely potent in teamfights where you simply need to clear the capture point of opponents.
McCree: Control tips (Ilios, Lijiang Tower, Nepal)
McCree’s value on these sorts of maps is self-evident. There’ll be close encounters galore, which is this hero’s combat bread and butter. Don’t forget to make use of any shielding provided by nearby characters though, as you’ll drop quickly under fire from multiple enemies.
It can pay to keep a litle distance from mass brawls that are taking place on the point, and simply chip, chip away at the fight from a position of relative safety.
McCree: Escort tips (Dorado, Route 66, Watchpoint: Gibraltar)
McCree: Hybrid tips (Hollywood, King’s Row, Numbani)
Our most popular Overwatch articles:
Unit Lost’s McCree guide
We’re big fans of Unit Lost’s series of Overwatch hero guides, and we think you’ll get a lot of Stylosa’s look at McCree.
Give it a watch through to the end as there are tonnes of tips to be taken from it.
McCree counters and match-ups
McCree is designed to post a particular threat to specific Heroes, while other Heroes are equally made to make short work of him.
There are many nuanced factors that determine who creates a problem for him on a given map, but we’ve pulled together the top three threats and targets for the character.
|McCree is strong against||McCree is weak against|
McCree is generally pretty good against all of the tanks in the game – it’s just a question of getting behind their shield or barrier defenses and dropping a stun. If he can get the Flashbang drop on Tracer, she’s as good as dead, and this advice goes for any backline Support or squishier Offense heroes too.
Genji’s mobility drastically increases the odds of surviving a duel with McCree, however, and Widowmaker obviously presents a huge problem if you need to get out of cover to do your thing. If Soldier: 76 can keep range from you, his self-heal will probably ensure he emerges victorious.
For help with handling other heroes in the game, make sure you check out our huge Overwatch Counters guide.
McCree’s Skins, Victory Poses, Emotes and Voice Lines
Want to give McCree a new bad-ass look in battle? Here are the following items you can unlock for this hero, whether you find ’em in a Loot Box, or craft ’em from your hard-earned currency.
|On The Range||250||Epic|
|Take A Load Off||250||Epic|
|Over The Shoulder||75||Rare|
|Take It Easy||75||Rare|
|Ain’t I Killed You Before||25||Common|
|Calls For A Celebration||Seasonal||Common|
|Had To Break The Ice||Seasonal||Common|
|Happens To The Best Of Us||25||Common|
|I’m The Quick…||25||Common|
|I’m Your Huckleberry||25||Common|
|I’ve Got A Bullet…||25||Common|
|I Don’t Much Like Losing||Seasonal||Common|
|I Tried Being Reasonable||25||Common|
|It’s Your Funeral||Seasonal||Common|
|Reach For The Sky||25||Common|
|Sure As Hell Ain’t Ugly||25||Common|
|Wanted: Dead Or Alive||25||Common|
|Watch And Learn||25||Common|
|Rolling Into Action||250||Epic|
|The Name’s McCree||250||Epic|