Overwatch is a 100% teamplay game where the combination of heroes is very important.
When you play casual/unranked you will see following situation quite often:

First one player on your team dies, then two others and soon after you are the only one left. In most cases being the last alive means you will be dead sooner than later.
After a few seconds the play who died first respawns, and starts running to the fight - just to die after a few seconds of action due to the difference of team strength.

It is usually rare that team members wait for a full team respawn to engage at full team strength.

I am the last player of my team and the opposing team has 2-3 players alive. I can see two choices:

  1. Try to survive until my team arrives, but with the risk of dying and causing my team to wait for me
  2. I suicide on purpose to join my team in a few seconds with full health.

Is it ever a valid strategy to take the free death?

  • 4
    if you aren't in the thick of the battle when it all goes south you should try to retreat and signal a group up. Commented Jun 13, 2016 at 13:20
  • Yeah, sometimes it is possible to get back or avoid a fight - but there are a few maps where you will die sooner or later. Maybe it depends on which class you are as well. Because as a tank you have to stay with your team and when you reach them with low HP or die a few moments before you gather, they'll have to wait 20-30 seconds until you can engage again.
    – Jurik
    Commented Jun 13, 2016 at 13:22
  • In particular, if your team comp is lacking a healer, suicide can be an effective option to regroup with your team at full health rather than try to push on (even if you wait for them) with fractional health.
    – Sterno
    Commented Jun 13, 2016 at 15:42
  • I'd suggest that your best option in most cases would be to stay alive, and to let the enemy know you're still alive. If they have to deal with you, they won't be able to devote their full attention to preparing for your team's counterattack. Bonus points if you can get them trapped in a disadvantageous position when your team arrives. Commented Jun 13, 2016 at 20:16

6 Answers 6


As a rule of thumb, no.

The situation may differ depending on whether you're attacking or defending, but the time it takes to die, respawn and run back is time you could be spending diverting enemy attention, rounding up health packs (to zone/deny your enemy getting them when the next team fight starts), or scouting for teleporters/turrets/flankers.

One thing I will mention though, is that in a situation where it's suicide or die to the enemy without the option of retreating/regrouping (let's say you overextended and can't backtrack without getting pipped by a turret or sniper, and you're watching a Reinhardt trudging towards you); suiciding is the better of the two options.

This is because if you let that Reinhardt hammer your face in, he gets ultimate charge, which stacks the odds against your next engagement. If you suicide, the respawn timer is the same, and he is ~10% further from his ultimate because you decided the cliff would treat you better than his beatstick.

  • 1
    That is a good point. I know that this does not often happen, but I was asking for a situation where suicide is a good solution. I did not take in account the % for ultimate. So suicide is WAY better than get killed.
    – Jurik
    Commented Jun 14, 2016 at 11:56

Why are the only two options to kill yourself or let yourself get killed in an outmatched situation? Simply retreat if the situation is no longer in your favour and wait for your team to respawn. If it means losing the first point, then so be it.

Of course, if the enemy is attacking the last point, throw yourself on the capture area even if you die a second after.

  • The two options are try to survive/retreat and free death. And like I wrote in the comment to my question - there are situations where you have to be with your team - they can not do anything without you and the risk might be high that you will cause a 20-30s delay.
    – Jurik
    Commented Jun 13, 2016 at 13:24
  • 1
    @Jurik I don't see how "try to survive" is the same as "retreat". One implies actively fighting, the other doesn't. Maybe it's not really clear to me what kind of situation you're in. Are you behind enemy lines? Have the enemy spotted you? Please edit your question with all of the details since you're clearly thinking of a specific situation. Commented Jun 13, 2016 at 13:40
  • 1
    You never want to just suicide/die because your other teammates are dead. Try to hold/pull back and tell them to group up on you or at a certain point. Pushing as a team is more effective and you do not want to go through the respawn timer while your teammates go in alone. Commented Jun 13, 2016 at 15:17
  • @DanmakuGrazer in most cases they chase you down, because they know, if they kill you right now, you'll have a respawn timer on you and the whole next attack will be delayed OR they attack with less ppl than this team has. But I guess that there are just a few situations where such things happen. But that's why I wrote survive/retreat.
    – Jurik
    Commented Jun 14, 2016 at 7:13

In "Mystery Heroes" mode (one of the weekly brawls, where your hero is randomly chosen each life), it can be useful to suicide to get a new hero. I've done this when, for instance, I was one of four(!) Symmettras on the team. If done before the round starts, it's basically a free mulligan.

In a normal game, the only time suiciding would make sense would be if retreating wasn't an option. The maps are well-designed enough that this should never happen.


The correct answer is an emphatic "yes". You should infact jump off a cliff as soon as you think your team has lost a fight. The earlier the better, because it denies ult charge from the enemy team and ensures you will be able to regroup as soon as possible. I have seen top 500 players jump off cliffs after only 2 teammates have died in a fight.

Actually, I've seen a top500 player jump off a cliff just because the enemy team used their ults. Why? Because his team wasn't going to use any ults, and he already had his ult fully charged. Him being in the fight would accomplish literally nothing. They just wanted the enemy team to use ults, which they did. After which he regrouped with his team and they used their ults to win the next fight.

Obviously if you can get out of the fight safely without taking any damage, then you should do that. But keep in mind that if you have your ult up, any non-fatal damage you deal to the enemy only helps them by giving them ult charge, so usually it's equally good to jump off a cliff.

For reference, I'm a master league player, but you will quickly see pro players suiciding from lost fights if you watch any stream.


I would say no (with a caveat to be explained in a moment), because a team wipe is a great opportunity for the enemy team; it offers a chance to completely regroup and heal back up, thus charging their supports' Ults, letting them entrench their position, and otherwise making things more difficult for when your team does get there. With most characters, it makes more sense to harass them from a range that you'll be safe at (and take out things like Torbjorn turrets while that's still easy, or punish Bastion for trying to set up in a spot that would be a problem); with many flankers or pickoff characters you might instead take out their supports before they can completely heal the team, to steal the initiative from them on that front and keep some of your team's momentum (alternatively, you might find yourself a good position to hit their back line from when the rest of your team does arrive). If you're a character like Reinhardt, you should pull back to intercept your team (as they're presumably faster than you), or decide on an angle to push from and call out the group up.

Taking yourself takes away options, and I don't think it's as free as you're suggesting - I've certainly gotten elimination credit when a Reinhardt or Winston I've damaged has dropped themselves off the map, which presumably means Ult charge as well (I did not make note of this at the time).

The caveat is this: Some suicide plays, like charging an enemy off the map mid-Ult as Reinhardt, are effective choices when the rest of your team IS around to benefit from what you just did.

  • 1
    +1 for the mention of suicide plays. That triple kill out of the gates on Numbani when you push half the attacking team off the cliff is so worth the trade off of running back to the point to hit that one Tracer that snuck past.
    – KizTrap
    Commented Jun 15, 2016 at 11:11

Edit: This answer is based on general fighting game knowledge. My knowledge of Overwatch mechanics is slim. That means, the answer is most probably not exactly the best. cough underestimation cough That being said, I'll still keep it in, as people more experienced with Overwatch possibly might still draw something useful out of it. What's good in most fighting games, cannot be totally bad in Overwatch

There is a third possibility: Go for full offense. By doing that, you get more likely to die so you reduce your respawn delay towards the team, and you can flick up some serious damage before you're off. Also, that makes an insanely awesome look in a Let's Play and, if that exists in Overwatch, in the battle replay. (For the awesome look: Remember the LOTR scene where Boromir dies and keeps demolishing orcs upon doing so? Now imagine you can put in an offense strike scene of that quality!)

I have little idea of Overwatch in particular, but that's what I can tell from my general fighting game knowledge.

Also, from what I know about Overwatch so far, I could imagine there is a character with a Nuke Ultimate, about like the Explosion move from Pokemon: The character makes suicide, but deals serious damage to everyone nearby upon doing so. If you're that character, and have your Ultimate ready, then jump in the middle of the enemy group and blow up yourself.

  • Whoever gave negative rep, explain please. It's bad practice to donvote without giving a reason.
    – Egor Hans
    Commented Mar 22, 2017 at 13:58
  • I downvoted because your answer did not address game specific mechanics that professional Overwatch players are taking in to account and more casual players need to keep in mind. Your advice to attack will result in free ultimate charge building up for the enemy team, and wasting your own suicide ult will just mean that you will have to wait to build it back up until you can use it at a time that your teammates can actually capitalize on. Overwatch matches center around spatial control, so killing the enemies is not useful unless someone from your team is available to follow up.
    – JamesCW
    Commented Mar 24, 2017 at 12:38
  • Hm, I see. I keep forgetting it's a bad idea to try answering based on general knowledge :-/ (As opposed to specific knowledge of a particular game.)
    – Egor Hans
    Commented Apr 8, 2017 at 14:58

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