McCree is a DPS offense character with a powerful revolver as his primary attack. He’s a solid choice for most team compositions as he can quickly remove pesky characters like Pharah from a fight. If you’re a fan of lining up headshots at mid-range and targeting high priority enemies, McCree might be your new favorite hero.
In Overwatch lore, Jesse McCree is a reformed bounty hunter and ex-member of the Deadlock Gang—a group of outlaws that sold illegal weapons and contriband across Southwest America. When Overwatch swooped in to disband the Deadlock Gang, Gabriel Reyes (Reaper) saw potential in the young Jesse, and gave him a chance to serve in Overwatch’s elite covert ops division, Blackwatch.
Since then, McCree has used Overwatch as a way to atone for his past life of crime.
McCree is by and large Overwatch’s “glass cannon” character; he deals a tremendous amount of damage, but he’s fragile without a team to back him up. This high-risk, high-reward playstyle makes for some memorable POTG moments, especially when Deadeye wipes a whole team away.
Table of Contents
- 1 Strengths & Weaknesses
- 2 Abilities
- 2.1 Base Stats
- 2.2 Main Attack: Peacekeeper
- 2.3 Secondary Attack: Fan Fire
- 2.4 Tips for fanning the hammer
- 2.5 Ability 1: Combat Roll
- 2.6 Tips for using Combat Roll
- 2.7 Ability 2: Flashbang
- 2.8 Tips for using Flashbang
- 2.9 Characters that can avoid Flashbang
- 2.10 Ultimate: Deadeye
- 2.11 How Deadeye works
- 2.12 Tips for Deadeye
- 3 General Tips & Strategy
- 4 Specific Map Tips
- 5 Match-ups
- 6 Skins
Strengths & Weaknesses
- Excellent attacking power makes him one of the most dangerous DPS characters in the game
- Flashbang can interrupt a variety of enemy abilities
- Ultimate ability can potentially wipeout whole teams
- Not suitable for long-range attacks
- Low mobility makes escaping fights difficult
- Ultimate is easy to avoid and makes McCree prone to damage
- Health: 200
- Armor: None
Main Attack: Peacekeeper
- Description: McCree wields a powerful six-shot revolver that devestates enemies at short-medium range.
- Damage: 25-45 per shot
- Ammo: 6
McCree’s Peacekeeper is a straighforward hitscan revolver that hits a targeted enemy as soon as it’s fired. With only 6 shots in the chamber, it’s important to keep an eye on his ammo and reload whenever there’s a break in the fight. McCree may not have much ammo, but each bullet packs a punch, so take the time to aim for headshots whenever possible.
With practice you’ll be able to compensate for Peacekeeper’s recoil and nail more headshots from different angles.
Secondary Attack: Fan Fire
- Description: McCree’s alternate attack unloads Peacekeeper’s entire chamber.
- Damage: 270 max (25-45 per shot, depending on distance)
- Ammo: 1-6
McCree’s alternate fire unloads the remaining bullets in Peacekeeper’s chamber. This is ideal for eliminating close-range enemies and depleting health from fat tanks. Combined with Flashbang and Combat Roll, Fan Fire is a deadly technique that should be part of your arsenal.
Tips for fanning the hammer
- Fan Fire has a LOT of recoil, which causes Peacekeeper to gradually fire upwards in a vertical path. You can counter this by pushing McCree’s aim downward while using Fan Fire.
- Due to Fan Fire’s recoil, it’s more effective to aim at an enemy’s body than it is to try to shoot their head.
- Use Combat Roll to close the distance between McCree and his target, than fan the hammer.
- Fan Fire immediately unloads any remaining bullets in Peacekeeper’s chamber. That means if you only have 2 bullets left, then Fan Fire will only shoot twice.
- Use Flashbang to stun opponents, then immediately Fan Fire to kill them instantly deplete their health.
- Fan Fire tanks with a fully loaded Peacekeeper, then Combat Roll to reload and Fan Fire again. This will eliminate most tanks assuming every shot hits.
- Fan Fire is not ideal for anything but short-range encounters, as it’s not an accurate way to target enemies.
Ability 1: Combat Roll
- Description: McCree does a short dive roll in the direction he’s moving. This automatically reloads his Peacekeeper.
- Cooldown: 8 seconds
Combat Roll is a versatile ability that can be used in a variety of situations. It’s great for engaging enemies by diving into them, tossing a Flashbang and then using Fan Fire. It’s also great for escaping attacks and creating distance so McCree can find cover and keep firing.
In essence, Combat Roll gives McCree 12 shots instead of 6, since Combat Roll will automatically reload Peacekeeper. Use it in a pinch when reloading isn’t an option, or use it aggressively to keep enemies at bay.
Tips for using Combat Roll
- Combat Roll lets McCree dive in the direction he’s moving. This means you can roll forward to engage, backwards to disengage, or sideways to strafe and reposition.
- Peek around corners with McCree, fire some shots at the enemy, then use Combat Roll to quickly return to cover.
- Combat Roll doesn’t work when McCree is in the air.
- Use Combat Roll to confuse your enemies by diving past them. This is especially useful against characters like Reaper, Hanzo, Widowmaker and Ana, as they’ll be trying to line up a shot which you can easily avoid with Combat Roll.
- Always remember that Combat Roll auto-reloads McCree’s Peacemaker. This means you can Fan Fire an enemy, Combat Roll, then Fan Fire again. This combo melts shields and is useful for when you really need to take a tank or high HP character out of the fight.
- Use Combat Roll to escape Mei’s Blizzard.
Ability 2: Flashbang
- Description: McCree tosses a flashbang grenade, stunning all enemies in a small radius for a brief second.
- Cooldown: 10 seconds
- Damage: 25
- Duration: .7 seconds
McCree’s Flashbang is a useful ability that stuns close-range enemies for a split-second, allowing him to lineup a headshot or unleash Fan Fire on his frozen prey for an easy kill.
While Fan Hammer is a pretty reliable way to get a kill right after using Flashbang, smaller heroes such as Tracer, Genji, Sombra and Widowmaker are harder to pinpoint, due to Fan Fire’s recoil. When up against these heroes, use Flashbang to lineup a headshot instead.
Similar to Ana’s Sleep Dart, Flashbang interrupts numerous Ultimate attacks and abilities. Do expect a Reaper to drop into your team with Deathblossom? Save Flashbang to disrupt his Ultimate.
Tips for using Flashbang
- Flashbang’s distance is pretty short, about 15-feet.
- Flashbang will interrupt any action and ability (except those mentioned below).
- A direct hit by Flashbang deals 25 damage. Useful for eliminating low-health heroes when tossing a Flashbang is faster than reloading.
- Flashbang will detonate early if it hits nearby objects or surfaces.
- Watch out for Genji, as he can Deflect your Flashbang, stunning you instead. To counter this, throw Flashbang anywhere around Genji (above his head or beneath his foot are easiest). It will cancel Deflect and stun Genji.
- Throw Flashbang above Reinhardt’s shield. This will stun Reinhardt and cause him to drop his shield.
- Hit Pharah with a Flashbang to drop her to the ground (or off the edge of the map!)
- Conserve Flashbang for agile characters that are a nuisance to target, like Lucio.
- Use Flashbang followed up by Fan Fire for easy eliminations. If the target doesn’t go down, use Combat Roll to reload, then Fan Fire again.
Characters that can avoid Flashbang
- Genji can use Deflect against Flashbang.
- Reaper in Wraith Form can’t be harmed by Flashbang.
- Mei can enter Cryo-Freeze to protect herself from being stunned.
- Zarya’s Particle and Projected Barriers negate Flashbang.
- Orisa’s Fortify negates Flashbang.
- Anyone being revived by Mercy is temporarily invulnerable to Flashbang.
- All shields block Flashbang.
- Description: McCree takes a moment to target any enemies in his line of sight. Fully targeted enemies are instantly killed when he fires.
- Aim time: 1 second for every 200 HP the enemy has
- Damage: Instant kill
- Duration: 10 seconds (max)
Deadeye is one of the most powerful Ultimate abilities in Overwatch. When Deadeye is activated, McCree goes into sharpshooter’s stance, auto-targeting any visible enemies on the battlefield for an instant kill.
In essence, this sounds like a game-changing ability. But in practice, McCree’s Ultimate is finicky, and is one of the easiest abilities in the game to avoid.
How Deadeye works
The length it takes to lock-on to each target in Deadeye isn’t measured by distance, but by current HP. It takes 1 second for Deadeye to “target” 200 HP. This can be observed by a ring that gradually shrinks towards a red dot on the enemy’s head.
If a target has 250 HP (as most heroes in Overwatch do) it’ll take 1.5 seconds to lock-on.
When Deadeye has fully targeted a character, the red dot on their head will turn into a bright red skull icon. Deadeye will instantly kill fully targeted heroes, as long as they remain in McCree’s line-of-sight.
When activated, Deadeye leaves McCree in a slow trance. You can’t perform any other actions while locking on to your targets, but you can cancel Deadeye for a bit of a refund (see below). Keep in mind that this makes McCree very vulnerable, especially to snipers.
To make matters worse, McCree will also be glowing, and a little tumbleweed will billow across the map. His callout is very loud, and will alert the enemy team to his presence and possible location. For this reason, it’s best to wait until a little chaos breaks out on the battlefield before using Deadeye, as McCree will become a sitting duck.
Deadeye can be cancelled as well, leaving McCree with a 50% Ultimate charge. Canceling has its uses. Perhaps a D.va is ready to absorb Deadeye with her Defense Matrix, or the opposing team is crowded behind their Reinhardt’s shield. In these cases, it’s better to withdraw and save Deadeye for later.
Tips for Deadeye
- Try to position yourself behind an ally’s shield or barrier to prevent snipers from hitting you before you can unleash Deadeye.
- Initiate Deadeye while behind cover, then expose yourself to line up your shots. This will throw the enemy off, since they’ll be able to hear you announce Deadeye, but they won’t be able to see where you’re at.
- When in doubt, use Deadeye to kill Mercy, Pharah, or the deadly duo itself: Pharmercy. Both heroes are relatively slow and have a difficult time escaping Deadeye, especially if they’re airborne.
- Always make sure the enemy D.va is out of her mech before using Deadeye! One of her primary duties is to protect her team from Ultimate attacks such as McCree’s, and she’ll put a quick end to your Ultimate.
- While it’s tempting to sneak around the enemy backline and use Deadeye by surprise, it’s almost always a better idea to stay with your team, since you’re their main source of dealing damage.
General Tips & Strategy
McCree is a mid-long range DPS character, and should be positioned as such. This mean’s hang back with your team, use cover when available, and pseudo-snipe enemies with your Peacekeeper. Let your tanks draw out enemy fire, then dish out damage from a relatively safe position.
Use your tanks! McCree is fragile and benefits from any protective support he can find. Utilize shields such as Orisa’s Protective Barrier and Reinhardt’s Shield.
Protect your supports! As a dangerous DPS hero, your primary concern should be picking off enemies that dive for your team and whittling away large HP pools, such as Winston and Roadhog. Genji, Tracer and Sombra will be looking to pick your healers off, so act as their bodyguard as much as possible.
Step silently by crouching. McCree’s footprints are very loud, and the rattle of his spurs is a telltale sign that he’s near. Professional players always have their ears open to giveaways like this, so tread lightly.
Don’t be afraid to dive into enemies. An aggressive McCree can close the distance between himself and an opponent using Combat Roll, then quickly Fan Fire/Flashbang to dispatch the problem. This is especially true if you have a Mercy or Lucio supporting you.
Land those headshots. McCree’s main effectiveness is his base fire damage, and headshots double that figure. With only 6 rounds per magazine, it’s important to nail headshots whenever possible.
Don’t conserve Deadeye. Too many McCree’s hold on to Deadeye for “that perfect moment,” but they’re few and far between. If you can remove an enemy support from the battle, or a pesky Pharah or Soldier that’s ready to let, then Deadeye was worth it.
Specific Map Tips
McCree is a viable choice on every map type.
Route 66 features plenty of overhangs and ledges for McCree to gain a tactical advantage. Utilize the top of the gas station right before the first checkpoint to hold off attackers. Defenders can also use the billboards and rocks along the side of the canyon to conceal their movements. As the map progresses, Defenders have even more options, including a giant semi-truck towards the end of the map that’s perfect for Deadeye.
This map is practically built for a Western showdown. Not only does McCree have confined flank routes to take advantage of, but elevated platforms around the map allow him to control the airspace—excellent for removing Genjis and Pharahs that try to hold the high ground. Attackers should take the catwalk inside the movie studio, which let’s them use Deadeye on the top right corner of the map while the enemy team is busy defending the main escort route.
Horizon Lunar Colony
McCree can maintain the high ground advantage while pushing against Point A, using the staircase on the right side Point A. Point B has two excellent positions for a devastating Deadeye: either the top right route that leads to an elevated walkway, or the room on the left of Point B (with a mega health pack). The left option is sneakier, and has a better chance of disrupting enemies that are trying to attack your team from the elevated walkway.
McCree is one tough dude, but he does have certain vulnerabilities that can be exploited. For one, he’s not very fast, meaning agile opponents can dodge his fire and Flashbang relatively easily. He’s ineffective for long-range encounters, as the drop-off from Peacekeeper’s bullets slashes the damage McCree can output. And he’s vulnerable during Deadeye, meaning a team can swoop in on him before he has a chance to lineup a single target.
Pharah: If the enemy team has a Pharah, chances are your team will either have a Soldier or McCree to counter her. Thanks to the hitscan nature of McCree’s revolver, Pharah is much easier to target and eliminate as McCree than most of the other characters in Overwatch. Just remember, if you see a Mercy pocket healing Pharah, take the Mercy out first!
Roadhog: In general, McCree is a pretty solid tank killer as long as he can keep whittling away at a tank’s HP pool and armor. He’s exceptionally good at killing Roadhog, who doesn’t have a personal shield and can’t Hook or damage McCree from a safe distance. To make matters worse, Flashbang interrupts Whole Hog, leaving Roadhog stranded in the middle of a fight.
Reaper: McCree is one of the best counters against Reaper. Flashbang stops Deathblossom in its tracks, and Reaper’s slow mobility makes headshots a lot easier for McCree to lineup. Reaper’s close-range shotguns can’t reach McCree easily, either.
McCree is countered by
Torbjorn: Torbjorn’s turret is great at keeping McCree at bay, and prevents him from using Deadeye effectively unless he wants to risk soaking up turret bullets. The turret also distracts McCree from focusing on higher priority enemies that are likely to be harassing the backline, like Tracer, Genji, Sombra and Winston.
Hanzo: Both Hanzo and Widowmaker can safely snipe McCree from long-range, but they can also kill him while he’s targeting enemies with Deadeye. As McCree’s positioning on each map becomes more obvious and predictable, crafty Hanzo’s will know where and when to light up an area of the map using Sonic Arrow, so their whole team can see McCree trying to set up Deadeye. When fighting Hanzo, it’s best to quickly close the distance using Combat Roll, and Fan Fire before he can use a Scatter Arrow against you.
D.va: D.va’s Defense Matrix can eat McCree’s entire Deadeye, making her a strong counter against his Ultimate ability. She can also block his Flashbang and Fan Fire, saving her allies in the process. It’s harder for McCree to escape Self Destruct than most characters, as he’s a pretty slow walker. Use cover against D.va and whittle away at her mech from a safe distance.
McCree’s Rare skins are variations of his Classic skin—a dusty cowboy outfit with a red cape that conceals his cybernetic arm.
- One The Range: A casual McCree dons blue jeans, a plaid shirt and a humble cape.
- White Hat: The closest thing to a white knight, McCree goes all white and beige in this skin.
- American*: Commonly referred to as “Americree,” this patriotic skin reflects the red, white and blue of the United States flag. (Summer Games)
- Scrooge*: McCree is dusted in snow. He trades his cowboy hat for a tophat, and he wears a small pair of bifocals. (Winter Holiday Event)
Credits: 250 (Basic), 750 (Special Event)*
- Gambler: This Western outfit shares a likeness to Doc Holliday in Tombstone. As McCree himself says—”I’m your huckleberry.”
- Riverboat: Is this Red Dead Redemption? McCree looks like an NPC from another famous videogame. A devilish mustache and topcoat seals the deal.
- Mystery Man: McCree’s face is concealed by a bandit mask and handkerchief. He arrives to save the day when you least expect him.
- Vigilante: This banana suit isn’t very subtle, but it is memorable.
- Blackwatch*: McCree’s outfit when he was a member of Overwatch’s elite spec ops unit, Blackwatch. His left arm isn’t cybernetic yet… (Uprising Event)
- Lifeguard*: A revealing McCree wears nothing but a beach towel and some red swimming trunks. Peacekeeper looks more like a flare gun. (Summer Games)
Credits: 1,000 (Basic), 3,000 (Special Event)*