I've played the open beta and some hours now and I'm really comfortable playing snipers but I'm not sure if my positioning is as it should. I started playing them on the top of the buildings as I had better vision but at some point when leveling up, people was always checking those spots so I moved back to the ground and, since the game was released, I was playing them on a closer distance hiding behind a truck or something else while peeking out to shoot and the hide again.
So far, it worked perfectly and, after about 10 games I have a kill/death ratio of over 12 but it might be because of my low level.

So, anyone knows if there's any position I should be focusing on playing as a sniper or does it depend on many aspects that I should just adapt depending the match?

Side note: by snipers I mean the heroes Hanzo and Widowmaker.

4 Answers 4


The game currently has two snipers and they work differently.


Widowmaker has a grappling hook that she can use to pull herself up to ledges and rooftops. You should use this to position yourself somewhere where it's hard to see you.

Her alt-fire will use her zoom scope. When zoomed in, a power meter appears on your screen. When the power meter is full (takes about 2 seconds), headshots will do 300 damage and body shots will do 150 damage.

Keep in mind that a few characters have a different head position:

  • D.va's head is...
    • Mech: The entire cockpit she sits in.
    • Girl: Her head
  • Bastion's head is...
    • Recon configuration: His head
    • Sentry configuration: The glowing spot on the back of the turret near the top.
    • Tank configuration: The glowing spot on the back of the tank near the top. (This used to be at the top of the tank, but I'm pretty sure that changed during beta.)

Bear in mind that death replays as well as your sniper rifle's tracers (the red lines that show where you were shooting) give away your position, so you periodically need to move.

Don't forget to set your venom mine down somewhere. It's best use is as an early warning that an enemy is nearby as it shows on your screen when it's triggered.

Your ultimate should most likely be used shortly after you get it as it shows all enemy positions to your team.


Unlike Widowmaker, Hanzo doesn't have a zoom scope. As such, you tend to do better when you're closer to an enemy. Constant movement between shots helps quite a bit.

Remember that you can climb walls and use this to your advantage.

Hanzo's arrow do more damage if you charge the bow for a second before letting go of the attack button.

You should use your Sonic Arrow whenever it's ready to help show your allies where enemy players are. Keep in mind that, unlike Widowmaker Ult, it only shows enemies near the arrow.

On Defense, consider shooting it at one of the enemy doors during setup time so that you can see what heroes the other team has.

Your Scatter Arrow is a mixed bag. It's most powerful when shot in a small room as the shots ricochet off walls. However, you can still do a lot of damage with it by shooting the floor directly in front of an enemy.

Your ultimate is incredibly powerful as it sends the twin dragons/wolves in a direct line in front of you and travels a good distance, but bear in mind that it won't hit anyone within about 5 meters of you.

  • Any chance you can update this answer to include Ana? I'd love to know :)
    – Doktor J
    Oct 13, 2016 at 20:51
  • @DoktorJ While Ana is a sniper, if you're choosing her just to snipe, you're arguably Doing It Wrong.
    – Powerlord
    Oct 14, 2016 at 5:11
  • True; I figured that since a) she doesn't have the mobility of Hanzo or Widowmaker, b) she should be targeting teammates as well as enemies at any given time, c) she has the sleep dart and biotic grenade that are less snipey, and d) her damage is DoT not instant, that she will have SOME commonalities with WM and Hanzo, but will otherwise play very differently.
    – Doktor J
    Oct 14, 2016 at 12:17

There's a few factors that should go into your positioning.

  • Can I see the enemy? If you aren't putting constant fire on the other team, you probably need to move

  • Can the enemy see me? You want to find a hidden enough spot that you'll see the other team before they see you. The element of surprise is your friend. If you're standing in the wide open then becomes much easier to flank you.

  • Have I been here a long time? The longer you sit in a position and rack up kills, the more aware the other team is. Similar to Bastion, you want to move every couple kills to prevent being flanked.

You have the right idea about adapting depending on the match. You want to be unpredictable to help keep you out of reach of the more aggressive heroes.


My main is Hanzo. I'd play him every time and always I can (I wouldnt play him if someone else has picked him and won't change or we have a widowmaker).

It's equally effective on offense AND defense. I've been able to hold the entire enemy team in their own base and not let them out for a solid minute ... Snipers' mobility allows them to play from far away and high in the map.

What you should be aiming is to stay far away not to be ganged from behind (if defending) or stay behind your tanks or somewhere high when attacking.

(With Hanzo) make sure to always Sonar the bottlenecks or the point of capture/their attack lane and you should be fine.

When defending I make sure to rush and shoot a Sonar on where the most Heroes would come out when the timer goes. When attacking I'd shoot a Sonar on where the most heroes should be attacking us from, OR if there's someone on a tricky spit sniping us (Gibraltar - across the main area)

  • My Sonar is always in cooldown :D
    – sysfiend
    May 24, 2016 at 14:50
  • 1
    @Alex Amin brother ! May 24, 2016 at 14:51

There are great Overwatch Map Tours by Unit Lost:

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .