Hanzo is a lethal mid-range sniper with a powerful “wall hack” ability that enables his entire team to see enemies hidden behind cover. Adept Hanzo’s can be killing machines, nailing headshots and dispatching enemies with his powerful Dragonstrike ultimate.
In Overwatch lore, Hanzo Shimada is heir to the powerful Shimada empire, a dangerous criminal organization as well as a clan of skilled assassins. He was eventually tasked with training and disciplining his younger brother, Genji. Genji refused all of his attempts though and Hanzo was forced to kill him.
With the help of Mercy and Overwatch, Genji survived.
Torn by the guilt of “killing” his brother, Hanzo wanders the world seeking to restore his honor and atone for his past.
Table of Contents
- 1 Strengths & Weaknesses
- 2 Abilities
- 2.1 Base Stats
- 2.2 Main Attack: Storm Bow
- 2.3 When not to fire a charged shot
- 2.4 Bow shot + melee
- 2.5 Ability 1: Sonic Arrow
- 2.6 Tips for using Sonic Arrows
- 2.7 Two Sonic Arrows Trick
- 2.8 Characters that can dispel Sonic Arrow
- 2.9 Ability 2: Scatter Arrow
- 2.10 Tips for Scatter Arrow
- 2.11 Passive Ability: Wall Climb
- 2.12 Tips for Wall Climb
- 2.13 Ultimate: Dragonstrike
- 2.14 Tips for Dragonstrike
- 2.15 Dragonstrike does not damage
- 3 General Tips & Strategy
- 4 Specific Map Tips
- 5 Match-ups
- 6 Skins
Strengths & Weaknesses
- Excellent Sonic Arrow ability reveals enemies behind walls
- Infinite ammo makes up for slow nock speed
- Headshots and Scatter Arrow can one-shot most heroes
- Wall climbing is great for avoiding fights and holding high ground
- Dragonstrike can be used to cut through chokepoints and disrupt an enemy’s push
- Dragonstrike is easy to avoid
- Can’t capture or hold control points very well
- Can be eliminated rather easily at close-range
- High skill ceiling makes Hanzo difficult to master on PC and console
- Health: 200
- Armor: No armor
Main Attack: Storm Bow
- Description: A high-tech bow preferred by Hanzo
- Damage: 29-125
- Ammo: Infinite
Storm Bow functions more like a real bow than your typical Overwatch weapon. Holding down fire will charge an arrow, making it fly faster and hit harder. But it also slows Hanzo’s movement speed (and rate of fire). Pressing fire without charging will loose a slower arrow that fires in an arc and does less damage.
Hanzo requires a bit more practice on the target range due to the natural arc of his arrows and the velocity required to shoot certain distances. Crafty Hanzos have to juggle distance and power with enemy movements—making him notoriously difficult to aim with (doubly so on console.)
That being said, Storm Bow is a powerful weapon in the right hands. Hanzo’s headshots are devastating and his unlimited supply of arrows means he doesn’t need to worry about reloading.
When not to fire a charged shot
- Non-charged shots let Hanzo move and fire faster.
- Good for finishing off weak opponents in close-range
- Ideal for shooting while retreating
Bow shot + melee
Hanzo can melee instantly after firing any type of arrow. Like Genji, Hanzo’s melee combo enables him to aggressively attack enemies at close range.
Ability 1: Sonic Arrow
- Description: Hanzo shoots a sonar arrow that displays enemy outlines within a certain radius
- Duration: 10 seconds
- Damage: 29-125
- Cooldown: 20 seconds
Similar to Widowmaker’s Infra-Sight ultimate ability, Hanzo sports a utility arrow that can hack walls, revealing the red outline of any enemies within range. It also has a surprisingly long 10-second duration, boosting his team’s awareness while ensuring flankers have a hard time of surprising you.
It’s easy to forget to use Sonic Arrow, since it’s not necessarily a damage dealing ability (although the initial arrow does cause damage). Get in the habit of firing Sonic Arrow whenever it’s available, aiming for walls, corners, doors and passages you think enemies will be using.
Tips for using Sonic Arrows
- Sonic Arrow is silent and gives no special indication to enemies.
- On Defense, immediately shoot a sonic arrow at the enemies spawn before each match. It’s a great way to gauge which heroes you’ll be facing before the match even starts.
- Sonic Arrow sticks to enemies it hits. If you peg a Roadhog with a Sonic Arrow he becomes a walking sonar device.
- Sonic Arrow is one of the few abilities that can reveal Sombra while she’s invisible.
Two Sonic Arrows Trick
Hanzo can essentially gain two Sonic Arrows at the beginning of any match, although it’s primarily useful on Defense when your team is setting up outside an enemy’s spawn.
Here’s what you do: fire a Sonic Arrow straight up in the air 14-18 seconds before a match starts, right in the spot you want it to activate (like outside the attacker’s spawn door). When the match starts, Sonic Arrow should be ready to use again, giving Hanzo (and his team) an extra edge on the battlefield.
Characters that can dispel Sonic Arrow
- Tracer can use Recall to remove a Sonic Arrow stuck to her
- Reaper can use Wraith Form to remove Sonic Arrow
- Note that when either character dispels Sonic Arrow it will drop to the ground and continue to provide sonar coverage’
Ability 2: Scatter Arrow
- Description: A special arrow that breaks into smaller arrows
- Damage: 75 per arrow, 375 total damage from all arrows
- Cooldown: 10 seconds
Scatter Arrow is great for finishing off low-health heroes and for clearing small rooms and narrow passages. Like Sonic Arrow, pressing this ability will nock a special arrow in Hanzo’s bow. From there he must draw and fire Scatter Arrow like a normal one.
Scatter Arrow breaks apart on impact and splits into 6 separate arrows that can each bounce 5 times against walls and objects. It’s most effective when fired at the ground, as the likelihood of hitting a hero with all 6 fragments is greater than if you were to shoot Scatter Arrow off a wall or ceiling.
Tips for Scatter Arrow
- Scatter Arrow breaks on the surface it hits. If you shoot a Scatter Arrow at an enemy’s torso, it’ll break apart there.
- Damage from Scatter Arrow’s fragments only begins after they bounce off something first.
- Aim and fire Scatter Arrow at the ground right beneath an enemy. This can inflict massive damage if each arrow fragment connects.
- Use Scatter Arrow to eliminate enemies that flee into small rooms or behind cover.
- Use Scatter Arrow against enemies caught floating in Zarya’s Graviton Surge.
Passive Ability: Wall Climb
Description: Hanzo climbs straight up any wall or surface he jumps into
Hanzo and Genji share a passive ability that let’s them climb any wall or surface they jump to. The effect ends when Hanzo encounters an obstacle (like a moving platform), is knocked back, or eliminated.
Note that while all walls can be scaled, if Hanzo doesn’t reach a flat surface after a certain height he’ll fall back to the ground.
Tips for Wall Climb
- Wall climbing is great for positioning and evading. Disengage when a fight looks unbeatable and wall climb to a position where the enemy can’t reach you.
- Wall climb can save Hanzo from getting knocked off cliffs and ledges.
- Hanzo can also jump off cliffs or into pits to avoid enemy attacks (like D.va’s Self-Destruct), then quickly wall climb out of there. This takes practice and precision timing, but can keep you in the fight longer.
- When Hanzo reaches the top of a wall he’ll briefly remain in the air. Use this time to nock and fire a Sonic or Scatter Arrow, then quickly fall back behind the wall for cover.
- Description: Hanzo summons a massive spirit dragon that damages all enemies in its path
- Damage: 200 per second (125 with the initial arrow)
- Radius: 4 meters over an infinite distance
- Cast time: 2 seconds
Dragonstrike travels across the entire map, cutting through walls and objects while damaging any enemies in its path. Most enemies caught in Dragonstrike’s path will die in 1.5-2 seconds.
Unfortunately, Dragonstrike is not only easy to predict, but Hanzo’s voice line while casting is loud enough for everyone to react to. Use Dragonstrike during a chaotic team fight for a better chance to take enemies by surprise.
Still, when used for area denial rather than pure destruction, Dragonstrike is a clever way to force your opponent into a different location.
Tips for Dragonstrike
- Dragonstrike doesn’t require Hanzo to notch and fire an arrow (unlike Scatter and Sonic Arrow). Simply position Hanzo’s crosshairs in the direction you want Dragonstrike to fire before activating.
- Use Dragonstrike as a zoning mechanism that forces an enemy team to relocate or break apart
- Use Sonic Arrow to find where enemies are grouped up then launch Dragonstrike through a wall at an angle they won’t expect
- On Attack, using Dragonstrike to cut off reinforcements by firing it across a spawn room door
- Use against a Reinhardt + Bastion combo
- Use in narrow passageways and chokeholds where enemies are clustered
- Combine Dragonstrike with the following Ultimates for devastating effect:
- Zarya’s Graviton Surge
- Mei’s Blizzard
- Reinhardt’s Earthshatter
- Dragonstrike can pass through enemy shields except D.va’s Defense Matrix, which can absorb Hanzo’s initial arrow (before the dragon appears).
- Dragonstrike can serve as a pseudo-smokescreen for your team, since they can move and fire within Dragonstrike without taking damage
Dragonstrike does not damage
- Torbjorn’s turret
- Symmetra’s Teleporter, Shield Generator or turrets
- Widowmaker’s Venom Mines
- Junkrat’s traps and mines
- Shield barriers (Dragonstrike passes through shields but does not damage their health)
General Tips & Strategy
Hanzo’s abilities are more aggressive than Widowmaker’s, meaning he can dish out close to medium range damage when necessary. If your team is capturing a point, don’t be afraid to jump in and start firing.
Hanzo’s mobility is essential to his play style. Use alternate routes and passages to sneak above and around your enemies. Fire a couple shots and then escape if you draw too much attention.
Don’t be afraid to stand your ground. Hanzo is deadly at close range if you can land head shots, and a well-timed Scatter Arrow can easily dispatch most heroes.
Keep firing Sonic Arrow whenever it’s available. It’s incredibly beneficial and can communicate the enemy’s position to your whole team without you having to actually say anything.
Dragonstrike is deadly when combined with specific ultimates, but don’t hang onto it for too long. If Zarya’s ult charge is only at 50%, use Dragonstrike to remove enemies from an objective or help your team push forward.
Specific Map Tips
In general, Hanzo is better on Defense than Attack. He shines on Assault and Escort maps but (arguably) less so on Control maps such as Oasis and Ilios.
Naturally, Hanamura is a great map for Hanzo. With plenty of walkways to shoot from and walls and windows to climb through, Hanzo can keep repositioning for the best angle. While defending Point A, Hanzo can harass enemies outside the castle gate from the opening on the top right.
Hanzo and Widowmaker both fair well here on Defense. Position Hanzo on the first metal catwalk, on top of the garage (using the sign as cover), or further back by the narrow canyon. From here he can counter flankers while picking off attackers hiding behind the cover of the payload.
Defending Hanzos can use the platforms behind the statue by Point A to target enemies filtering through the first chokepoint, while attackers can use the bell tower attached to the first spawn room to get some quick kills and cover their team’s approach.
An experienced Hanzo can counter most characters before they even come near him. He can escape a variety of encounters, but he’s still vulnerable when caught off guard.
Mercy: Crippling a team starts with removing their supports. Hanzo can keep an eye on the enemy Mercy from a distance. Her slow mobility makes her an easy target to pick off when she strays from safety.
Junkrat: Junkrat’s grenades are ineffective at targeting enemies above him. Take the high ground and peg him with arrows, or line up a Scatter Arrow while he’s distracted.
Soldier 76: Soldier’s vertical mobility isn’t too great, making it easy for Hanzo to aim at him from ground level. As long as Hanzo keeps his distance he should be able to take care of this high threat target.
Hanzo is countered by
Widowmaker: Widowmaker’s accuracy and reload speed are better than Hanzo’s, making her a dangerous foe to go head-to-head with. Use a Sonic Arrow to highlight Widowmaker, then line up a headshot while behind cover.
Pharah: Pharah can easily dodge the arc of Hanzo’s arrows while lobbing rockets that are more likely to eliminate him first. Just by distracting Hanzo, she’s managed to keep him from targeting vulnerable heroes.
Winston: Winston can quickly leap to reach Hanzo on any high ground. Thanks to his high health and devastating Tesla Cannon, he makes short work of Hanzo. Go for headshots when possible and drain his health to survive.
Hanzo’s rare skins are all colored variations of his Classic skin—a Japanese kimono that reveals a huge tattoo on his left arm.
- Cloud: An elegant white and blue kimono that looks as light and airy as a cloud.
- Dragon: A yellow kimono with dragon embroidery represents the Shimada clans close association with dragons.
- Demon*: Hanzo is a dark-skinned demonic version of himself, and his kimono is white and red. (Halloween Event)
Credits: 250 (Basic), 750 (Special Event)*
- Young Hanzo: Hanzo was the son of the former master of the Shimada Clan. This was outfit while training as an archer and assassin.
- Young Master: A white and blue outfit associated with the assassins of the Shimada Clan.
- Lone Wolf: Hanzo spent years traveling around the world by himself after he thought he killed his brother Genji.
- Okami: Hanzo trained in the mountains for a long time. He’s adorned in the skin of a white wolf.
- Cyberninja*: A futuristic cyborg version of Hanzo. He resembles his brother Genji. (2017 Anniversary Event)
Credits: 1,000 (Basic), 3,000 (Special Event)*