Everything you need to know about dominating each game with Overwatch's tricky Tracer.
Updated 5th October 2016: Our essential Tracer guide contains ability and strategy tips, counter advice, and everything else you need to play her like a pro.
Tracer’s one of the truly unique Heroes in Overwatch – even taking into account the game’s impressive roster of colourful characters – and she very quickly became the postergirl for Blizzard’s first-person shooter. Playing her to a decent standard isn’t for the faint-hearted, however. Her Blink Ability allows her to race further ahead on the map with lightning speed, her ammo clip can be emptied into an opponent in the blink of an eye, and she can even rewind time itself in order to restore her to an earlier position on the map, along with her previous health and ammo levels.
As you can probably imagine, this means you’ve got to have sharp reflexes and a quick mind to read the battle in front of you, juggle your ammunition reserves, and simply stay alive long enough to make a difference to your team. Tracer is about as squishy as Heroes get in Overwatch and so you need to be on your toes constantly. If she’s tricky to play though, she’s equally satisfying to master.
To help you get started on that road to mastery, we’ve put together a massive Tracer guide that will explain how to get more out of all of her abilities. We’ve also outlined some tried and tested strategy tips to help you live longer on the battlefield, and kill quicker while you’re around. We’ll be adding some map-specific advice to this guide in the weeks ahead as well, so make sure you check back regularly for updates.
Editor’s note – Update #3: We haven’t updated our Tracer guide for a while now, but we’ve tweaked our tips section and also provided a little extra insight for playing her on specific map types. Let us know if there’s anything you’d like to see added to this guide and we’ll do our best to add it in!
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.
On this page:
1. Overwatch: Tracer overview and abilities
Tracer’s abilities and strategy tips
While she packs some pretty decent burst damage, its Tracer’s mobility skills that really define her as one of Overwatch’s most unique characters. It can be quite intimidating when you first jump into battle with this character, so take a little time to familiarise yourself with all of her core abilities, and how they’re weaved together to make her such a powerful Hero.
Pulse Pistols [LMB] – Tracer’s standard damage output comes from her pair of Pulse Pistols that she likes to wield. The amount of damage dealt isn’t particularly high, but the clip can be emptied in around a second, and reloaded in just another second. For this reason, you should always make sure you have a fully loaded weapon before you Blink into a fight (see below), as you really can’t afford to be caught out without the means to fight back against just about anyone.
Blink [RMB / SHIFT] – Tracer’s true defining ability allows her to teleport forwards a short distance, and do so up to a total of three times before the ability has to start charging up again – each of the three charges takes a few seconds to get ready. Don’t forget that you can combine Blink with your directional keys as well, allowing you to rapidly strafe left or right, or even leap across mid-air gaps if the situation calls for it. We recommend getting a good feel for the distance this ability covers before trying to cross any particularly perilous gaps in the map!
Recall [E] – This is where things can get a little fiddly when playing Tracer. Here’s how Recall works: when you activate this skill, Tracer will be transported back to the physical location she was in three seconds ago, and doing so will also restore the amount of health and ammo to whatever she had at that time. Obvious uses of this Ability involve getting out of a situation that’s become too hot to handle, gaining a mid-fight top-up of health, or simply trying to reverse any unwelcome debuff effects that have been applied to Tracer
Pulse Bomb (Q) – There’s nothing particularly fancy about Tracer’s Ultimate Ability, and the skill involved amounts to little more than applying a sticky explosive charge to the target. The damage it does is very impressive, however, and it’s powerful enough to obliterate all but the toughest of enemy tanks. Check the tips section below for a few interesting ways of making good use of Pulse Bomb in battle.
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|Ability||Ammo||Fire Rate||Cast Time||Duration||Cooldown / Reload||Damage||Range|
|Pulse Pistols||40||40 RPS||–||–||1s||1.5-6||–|
|Blink||3 charges||–||–||–||3s per charge||–||7m (approx)|
|Pulse Bomb||–||—||1s||–||–||400||3m radius|