Our essential guide to making defensive duties seem effortless with Torbjorn.
Our massive Torbjorn guide contains ability and strategy tips, counter advice, and everything else you need to know about mastering this hero.
Although Torbjorn’s not currently considered to be the most powerful character in Overwatch, he’s nevertheless a firm favourite of ours at geeksplatform. A stoic, mechanical maestro of defensive prowess, this hero specialises in knocking together strategically placed turrets which’ll lock onto targets and rain hell down upon the attacking team.
He can then give his turrets a good few smacks with his hammer to restore them over time to ensure they present an ever-deadly threat. He’s surprisingly fun to play in Overwatch, particularly when you’ve gained a deep understanding of every map in the game, and have mastered a bunch of dastardly turret spots. A recent re-work has made him even more enjoyable to mess around with too.
Alongside these dastardly contraptions, Torbjorn has a few other tricks up his short, wide sleeves, and a recent re-work has made him even more fun to play. While he can no longer generate armour packs for his teammates, Torbjorn now possesses a self-buff which improves his own defenses, movement, reload and attack speed. A new Ultimate allows him to fire globs of magma on the floor, causing serious damage to any opponent’s foolish enough to stick around.
In our comprehensive Torbjorn guide, we’ll kick things off by explaining how exactly those turrets work in practise, and then run through how all of his other skills work as well. Once we’re done with that, we’ve got a few general tips which should help you survive and prosper in battle for much longer.
October 2018 Update: Now that Torbjorn’s re-work has made it onto the live servers, we’ve completely overhauled our guide to incorporate all of his new abilities. As the numbers are inevitably tweaked over time, so we’ll continue updating this article.
Torbjorn abilities and strategy tips
Torbjorn’s core abilities are all centred around clever use of his turrets, but it’s not just a case of picking your spot and then plonking your defenses down on the ground. For this reason, we’ve put together a quick guide covering all of Torbjorn’s fundamenetal abilities, which should help you get up to speed with the basics nice and fast.
Rivet Gun [LMB / RMB] – Although Torbjorn’s primary fire is a long way away from being the most powerful in the game, it can still help you live a little longer – and pick off an unwary target or two. You can rattle off rivets at long-range enemies quickly enough by using the left mouse button, but switch over to the right mouse button in close encounters – you’ll need the extra oomph to end duels sooner rather than later.
Forge Hammer [RMB] – Tap the 2 button (or the scroll wheel on your mouse), and you’ll switch over from the Rivet Gun to the Forge Hammer – you can tap 1 or scroll again to return to the default weapon. Don’t use this for dealing damage to other Heroes unless you’ve run out of Rivet Gun ammo temporarily, but instead save it for when you need to repair your turret. Every whack you deliver to your mechanical contraption will boost its strength back up towards its maximum value. If you can hide behind a wall while doing so, you’ll avoid the enemy team’s attention a little longer.
Build Turret [LSHIFT] – Now we come to Torbjorn’s signature skill, but with the latest round of changes to this hero you don’t need to worry about upgrading it with your Forge Hammer. Once placed it will automatically level up into a Level 2 Turret, allowing you to concentrate on the enemy activity. You also now throw this item ahead of you onto the ground, rather than placing it with precision.
Overload [E] – Instead of harvesting enemy scraps to make armour packs, Torbjorn now has a self-buff which provides a welcome boost to his armour defenses, as well as his attack, movement and reload speed. This ability lasts for five seconds and has a twelve second cooldown on usage.
Molten Core [Q] – The new version of Torbjorn’s signature Ultimate ability temporarily switches his weapon out to a magma-firing device which scatters boiling hot lava all over the floor. Should your enemies get stuck in this mess and fail to leave quickly, they’ll take a significant amount of damage.
Want to get a little more out of Torbjorn’s turrets nice and quickly? Here are a handful of tips that will help you master this character in no time.
- Consider setting up your Torbjorn controls so that you only have to hit one button to switch back and forth between weapon types. This will remove some of the fiddliness inherent in juggling your combat duties. It’s not a game-changer by itself, but every little helps.
- You probably aren’t going to make many friends in the random queue by taking Torbjorn into a match as the attacking team. Sure you’ll do some work, but once the team has made progress you have to set up all over again – there are almost always better choices, unless you really are a top-tier Overwatch player.
- Don’t feel too dejected if it takes you a little while to really master the trajectory of Torbjorn’s Rivet Gun. The shots arc a little bit as they travel, but once you’ve mastered your aiming here you’ll surprise yourself at how much damage you can throw around as a Defense character. It can be useful to set yourself a few marker shoots from range ahead of a big encounter that’s expected.
- If you run out of Rivet Gun ammo and you have a one-on-one situation, quickly switch over to your hammer and try and land a couple of smacks with it. When you switch back over to your gun, it’ll be fully restocked with ammo
- If your turret has just been destroyed, don’t just set it up where it was before as the enemy will be primed to take it down in the same location once more. Experiment and get creative so that you always keep the other team on their toes. Typically a team will have to test the turret’s position before taking it down, so you can tie them up in knots with clever switching.
- You can only have one turret active at a time, so make sure it’s well positioned and look after it! Try to place it somewhere where it gets a wide line of sight, while also providing you with some kind of cover. That way you can still repair it with your hammer when it comes under fire.
Torbjorn counters and match-ups
Here are the top three counters and match-ups for Torbjorn. There are of course other characters to consider in this list, but for the sake of simplicity you should watch out for the following heroes in particular.
|Torbjorn is strong against||Torbjorn is weak against|
Torbjorn map tactics
Here are some extra tips for playing Torbjorn on specific maps in the game.
Torbjorn: Assault tips (Hanamura, Temple of Anubis, Volskaya Industries)
Torbjorn isn’t great at attacking on these sorts of maps so don’t use him unless you’re defending the capture points from the enemy. How you position your turrets largely depends on the stage of the game. At the beginning, go for distance and line of sight to cause the enemy a problem getting out of the gate.
If the enemy team continue to make progress, it’s time to reposition your turrent to make life harder for them to approach the objective. When things really get spicey, you might consider popping your turret in a corner of the room, where it’s most likely to catch approaching enemies unawares.
Torbjorn: Control tips (Ilios, Lijiang Tower, Nepal)
Again, you would probably not call Torbjorn a primary pick on these maps. If you’re confidently holding the point already though, then there can still be value in popping a turret in one of the corners.
Just make sure you pick a corner that represents a blind spot for the typical approach path of the enemy team. That way they rush in and either get splatted or panic enough for your team to gain the upper hand.
Torbjorn: Escort tips (Dorado, Route 66, Watchpoint: Gibraltar)
We’re not huge fans of Torbjorn on Escort maps unless you’re defending the very last corner or area. If you’re in this situation, find some nice spots to set up your turrets and keep putting out as much damage as you can. Otherwise, if they’re being destroyed quickly, we’d honestly recommend switching off the hero as soon as you can.
Playing Torbjorn on attack as an opening gambit is our only other piece of advice. Build his turret on the Payload, set up shields, and more often than not the enemy team will have to adapt their composition to match your cheesey strategy.
Torbjorn: Hybrid tips (Hollywood, King’s Row, Numbani)
Echoing many of the points we’ve already mentioned here, it’s important you’re picking Torbjorn for the right situation. Placing his turret at certain chokepoints is probably your best bet, otherwise exercise a great deal of caution. If your turrets are getting destroyed quickly, it’s best to switch to another hero sharpish.
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Torbjorn’s Skins, Victory Poses, Emotes and Voice Lines
If you’ve grown a little tired of Torbjorn’s vanilla looks, there are lots of different ways of changing his looks and sounds. If you’re not having much luck when it comes to opening Loot Boxes, here are all of the items you can purchase with Credits.
|Chief Engineer Lindholm||Seasonal||Legendary|
|Taking A Break||250||Epic|
|A Chicken Out Of A Feather||25||Common|
|Don’t Get Caught||0||Common|
|Hard Work Pays Off||75||Rare|
|Hear Me, Baby?||Seasonal||Rare|
|I Smell Trouble Brewing||Seasonal||Rare|
|If You Build It||25||Common|
|I’m Giving It All I’ve Got!||75||Rare|
|Just Start Hammering||Seasonal||Rare|
|Leave This To An Expert||25||Common|
|Let’s Not Buy The Pig||25||Common|
|Made To Order||25||Common|
|More Where That Came From||25||Common|
|Some Assembly Required||75||Rare|
|There’s No Prize For Second||Seasonal||Rare|
|Too Hot For You?||25||Common|
|Working As Intended||75||Rare|
|In Your Face||250||Epic|