For a game that features a robust cast of unique characters, Soldier 76 could be considered the most normal. His tactics are straightforward and will be familiar to anyone with experience playing first-person shooters like Call of Duty. He’s also the first hero new players are acquainted with in Overwatch’s tutorial.
In Overwatch lore, Soldier: 76 was originally known as Jack Morrison. Together with Gabriel Reyes (Reaper), he led mankind’s fight against the Omnics. After the Omnic Crisis ended, Morrison was considered a global celebrity and renowned hero.
A rift developed between him and Reyes, culminating in a destructive fight that destroyed Overwatch’s Swiss base. Believed to be dead, Morrison would later reappear as the mysterious Soldier: 76 with a singular mission: expose the truth of Overwatch’s fall using any means possible.
Soldier 76 has few weaknesses, making him a solid pick for any team composition. However, given the nature of his gameplay, he may not be the most exciting hero to play as (even though he can deftly carry matches when placed in the right hands).
Table of Contents
- 1 Strengths & Weaknesses
- 2 Abilities
- 3 General Tips & Strategy
- 4 Specific Map Tips
- 5 Match-ups
- 6 Skins
Strengths & Weaknesses
- Excellent mobility allows Soldier to sprint to safety, chase weak opponents or quickly flank enemy defenses
- Good sustained damage from almost any distance
- Self-healing ability also heals nearby allies
- One of a handful of hitscan characters capable of countering Pharah
- Helix Rockets make short work of Torbjorn turrets and low-health characters
- Tactical Visor is a low-skill Ultimate capable of destroying whole teams
- All around well-balanced and solid addition to any team composition
- Tactical Visor is very audible when casting, and becomes easier to predict and avoid at higher skill levels
- Self-healing field visible to enemies, making Soldier easier to spot
- Relatively squishy and easy to dispatch at close-range
- Health: 200
- Armor: No armor
Main Attack: Heavy Pulse Rifle
- Description: A high tech medium-range rifle
- Damage: 6-20 per shot (depending on distance)
- Ammo: 25
Soldier 76 arguably has the most generic weapon in Overwatch, but by no means does that make him any less dangerous. His Heavy Pulse Rifle is a powerful hitscan gun with a snappy 1.5-second reload time, enabling Soldier to continuously apply pressure against enemy teams.
Soldier 76 is considered one of Overwatch’s most powerful hitscan characters, next to McCree. This means Soldier’s primary fire has no travel time, immediately hitting any target lined up in his crosshairs. He’s a particularly deadly counter to Pharah, Genji and other mobile heroes that can dodge most projectile attacks with ease.
Note that the longer you shoot Soldier 76’s pulse rifle, the less accurate your aim becomes. Similar to other FPS game mechanics, Soldier’s accuracy is improved by making quick controlled bursts rather than draining an entire clip at once. The first 3 shots are guaranteed to hit the crosshair, with the spread increasing thereafter.
Ability 1: Helix Rockets
- Description: Soldier 76 launches a cluster of rocket projectiles from his pulse rifle
- Damage: 120 damage (up to 80 splash damage)
- Cooldown: 8 seconds
Soldier 76’s Helix Rockets make short work of stationary objects and characters, such as Torbjorn turrets, Symmetra’s Teleporter or Shield Generator, and sentry mode Bastions. It’s also a devastating projectile at close range and can inflict splash damage on multiple opponents.
Be careful as Helix Rockets can hurt Soldier 76 as well (up to 40 self damage). Like Pharah’s rockets, you’ll want to avoid using this ability if any obstacles block your field of vision.
Tips for using Helix Rockets
- In close range, firing Helix Rockets at the ground can be more effective than trying to line up a body shot. If a Tracer is buzzing around you, try to take her down with splash damage from a ground shot.
- Any stationary characters are perfect targets for Soldier to launch rockets at. Lookout for enemy snipers like Widowmaker and Hanzo, ulting McCrees or Pharahs that are frozen in place, or stationary Bastions and Torbjorn turrets.
- Roadhog, D.va and Reinhardt are larger characters perfect for launching Helix Rockets at.
Combine Helix Rockets with Zarya’s Graviton Surge to inflict maximum damage against multiple opponents.
Ability 2: Sprint
- Description: Soldier 76 breaks into a quick run
- Duration: Infinite
- Cooldown: None
A straightforward ability with a variety of uses, Soldier 76 can sprint as long as this ability is in use. He cannot perform any attacks while sprinting, but he can jump.
Tips for using Sprint
- Sprint to avoid enemy attacks, such as Mei’s Blizzard or D.va’s Self-Destruct.
- Sprint to return to battle faster.
- Sprint to quickly flank enemies or take the high ground before they do.
- Sprint to jump further, enabling Soldier to leap across map-specific gaps.
- Sprint to reach allies at critical health and use Biotic Field to heal them back up.
Ability 3: Biotic Field
- Description: Soldier 76 plants a self-healing beacon on the ground
- Healing: 40 HP per second
- Duration: 5 seconds
- Cooldown: 15 seconds
Soldier 76’s Biotic Field is an extremely useful ability with an area-of-effect radius that heals all allies within its bounds.
While it doesn’t replace having a fully-fledged healer such as Mercy or Ana on a team, Soldier 76 can act as a temporary field medic, buffing his team during dangerous standoffs. He can also use Biotic Field during a 1-on-1 fight to give himself an advantage that makes him much more difficult to eliminate.
Tips for Biotic Field
- Although Biotic Field can be used (selfishly) to heal a sole Soldier, try to position yourself so that other teammates can take advantage of Biotic Field’s benefits.
- Unlike Symmetra turrets or Orisa’s Supercharger, Biotic Field can’t be destroyed by enemy fire.
- Biotic Field is an AoE ability that not only heals 5 meters around, but 5 meters above. Use it to reach slightly elevated teammates that need extra health.
- Enemies can see a red outline of Soldier’s Biotic Field. Keep this in mind in case you need to seek cover and heal up, as it essentially reveals your position.
- On that note, clever Soldier players can use Biotic Field as a trap, luring enemies to where they think he might be and firing from a different location.
- Biotic Field will stick to a payload, healing allies while they push the objective.
Ultimate: Tactical Visor
- Description: Soldier 76 locks-on to any target within his field of vision, automatically aiming at the closest target.
- Damage: 10-20 damage per shot
- Duration: 6 seconds
Soldier 76’s Ultimate ability is basically an automatic aim-assist. As long as a target is highlighted in Soldier’s sight, every bullet fired will hit regardless of how far off your crosshairs actually are. Tactical Visor is excellent for cutting down Pharah, Tracer, Lucio, and other pesky characters with high agility.
Tips for Tactical Visor
- Although all shots made with Tactical Visor will make contact, fall-off distance damage still applies depending on how close or far Soldier is from his target.
- Soldier 76 can still use all of his abilities while Tactical Visor is activated. Don’t hesitate to drop a Biotic Field or even Sprint away from the fight if Tactical Visor isn’t going the way you planned.
- Helix Rockets utilize Tactical Visor’s auto-aim feature, but being a projectile there’s no guarantee the rockets will hit, unlike Soldier’s primary fire.
- Skilled players will be on the lookout for Tactical Visor and will seek cover as soon as they hear Soldier activate it. Use team fights as a distraction to quickly sprint behind enemy lines and activate Tactical Visor to surprise less mobile characters.
- On that note, drop a Biotic Field before activating Tactical Visor, as it will give you a bit of breathing room in case your opponent tries to counter you.
- In general, use Tactical Visor to focus on heroes with less than 250 HP, primarily supports and offensive characters. If an enemy tank tries to stop your attack, aim around them or focus on someone you can kill rather than using Tactical Visor to whittle their health down.
- Tactical Visor automatically reloads Soldier’s rifle when activated. With practice you can drain a regular clip and immediately switch to Tactical Advisor for efficient damage output.
- Reload speed during tactical visor is reduced by 50%.
- Tactical Visor only auto aims at heroes, not objects. Manual aiming is still required for Torbjorn’s turrets, Symmetra’s turrets, Teleporter and Shield Generator, Junkrat’s traps and mines and Widowmaker’s Venom Mine.
- Beware Genji’s Deflect while using Tactical Visor, as it will make short work of Soldier if he’s not careful.
General Tips & Strategy
When viable, try to position Soldier on the high ground for ultimate effectiveness. His rifle has enough range that he can weaken or kill backline opponents, such as support characters.
Don’t ignore teammates at critical health. If someone asks for healing then you can act as a temporary medic, especially if your supports have been taken out of the fight. Sprint to your allies, drop a Biotic Field in a safe space, and suppress fire while they patch themselves up.
Soldier 76 can use Sprint to return to battle after dying. This can be used to your advantage—allowing you to “trade” Soldier for an enemy character (i.e. sacrificing Soldier to kill an opponent). Gauge whether the risk is worth the reward, and know that you can join the battle quickly as soon as you respawn.
Use ally shields to your advantage. Spray enemies behind Reinhardt’s shield, sprint into Winston’s shield for extra protection, and utilize Orisa’s Protective Barrier for cover.
A common mistake made by people new to Soldier 76 is to dash head first into a firefight. But Soldier is most effective at midrange, where he can Sprint from cover to cover firing a rapid succession of shots, ducking away to heal with a Biotic Field, then finding an opportunity to flank.
Specific Map Tips
Soldier 76 is a well-balanced offensive character designed for practically every map and encounter. Here are a few maps Soldier can exploit for maximum advantage.
Numbani offers plenty of elevated walkways for Soldier to hold the high ground, most notably on the zigzag road leading from Point A to the checkpoint right before the tunnel. On Defense, Soldier can easily sprint above and behind the tunnel, unleashing Tactical Visor against anyone pushing the payload towards Point B.
Lijiang Tower: Control Center
There is a small ledge overlooking most of the Control Point on this map that Soldier can quickly access by sprinting up a flight of stairs. While a variety of characters can make use of this viewpoint, Soldier can distract a team with Helix Rockets from above and heal himself behind cover if things get too hot.
Another map with plenty of flanking opportunities, Soldier can seek alleyways and elevated platforms to surprise his opponents with Tactical Visor. One point exists right before the checkpoint leading into the studio warehouse. On Defense, Soldier can traverse the catwalk above the main road and sprint all the way behind the enemy payload to catch them off guard. Similarly on Attack, Soldier can use the deck above the saloon to distract or destroy defending teams.
Soldier 76 can dispatch most low-health squishy characters at any range, particularly those with poor mobility who can’t dodge his Tactical Visor quickly.
Soldier 76 Counters
Pharah: As any competitive Soldier 76 player knows, Pharah can be such a threat that Soldier’s “job” is to counter her as soon as possible. While it may be frustrating to perform Pharah guard duty, there’s a reason Soldier is needed: his hitscan is crucial to picking her off before she does too much damage. She’s also an easy target for Tactical Visor, as she doesn’t have many options to hide while in the air.
Mercy: Although Soldier 76 should only flank when the opportunity arises, eliminating Mercy is an exception to the rule. Soldier excels at disabling the enemy backline, and what better place to start than sprinting behind a team and quickly destroying their means of healing. Because her mobility is slow (even when using Guardian Angel to escape), Soldier picks Mercy off fairly easily.
Roadhog: Roadhog has plenty of reasons to fear Soldier: he’s a large, slow moving target with poor range. Although he can hook and one-shot Soldier, Soldier can Sprint around his hook fairly easily. Keeping firing Helix Rockets at Roadhog and he’ll go down quickly.
Soldier 76 is countered by
D.Va: The bane of many offensive heroes, D.va’s Defense Matrix can absorb Soldier’s entire ultimate ability, making him an easy target for a coordinated team to eliminate while he’s stuck in Tactical Visor.
Reinhardt: Reinhardt can take plenty of damage and his shield can block the entirety of Tactical Visor. But even more concerning is his hammer if Soldier strays too close. Reinhardt’s Charge can also eliminate Soldier in one wall-crushing blow.
Ana: When she’s not healing her teammates, Ana can negate Soldier’s Biotic Field by lobbing a Biotic Grenade whenever she sees him. She can also silence his Tactical Visor with a well-timed Sleep Dart.
Soldier 76’s rare skins are all colored variations of his Classic skin—a leather mercenary jacket emblazoned with “76” and a red visor attached to a face-concealing mask.
- Bone: Soldier’s classic outfit is slightly altered—his visor is icy blue and his mask features skeleton teeth.
- Golden: Soldier’s classic outfit is now laced with gold trim, running from his mask all the way down to his boots.
- Immortal*: A Thriller inspired outfit, complete with a red Michael Jackson jacket and pale zombie head. (Halloween Event)
Credits: 250 (Basic), 750 (Special Event)*
- Commando 76: Soldier is covered in army green camouflage, perfect for jungle operations.
- Daredevil 76: An Evil Knievel inspired outfit, complete with suave mustache and red cape.
- Night Ops 76: Blue and black camouflage covers Soldier’s face and arms, allowing him to sneak around undetected.
- Stunt Rider 76: A blue and black twist on Soldier’s Daredevil 76 outfit, although this one sports a matching motorcycle helmet.
- Strike Commander Morrison*: Soldier 76 as he appeared over 30 years ago when he served as Overwatch’s CO, Jack Morrison. (Overwatch: Origins Edition)
- Cyborg 76*: Soldier 76 is half human, half cyborg in this bright orange skin that replaces various body parts with cybernetics. (2017 Anniversary Event)
- Grillmaster 76*: Dad’s home, and he’s hungry. Soldier dons a handyman apron (“raise the steaks”) and a beer can replaces his Biotic Field device. (Summer Games)
Credits: 1,000 (Basic), 3,000 (Special Event)*