Zenyatta is an orb-slingin’ Buddhist robot that waxes philosophical while picking off enemies from a distance. Representing both Yin and Yang, Zenyatta can heal allies and weaken enemies at the same time.
In Overwatch lore, Tekhartha Zenyatta was part of a commune of Omnic monks, known as the Shambali, that abandoned their preprogrammed robotic lives in favor of establishing a monastery in the Himalayas, where they could pursue a path to enlightenment.
Zenyatta diverged from these monks to pursue his own path. At some point he encountered Genji, a human-turned-cyborg that was conflicted about his nature as a machine. Zenyatta eventually became Genji’s spiritual mentor, and Genji found solace in being both human and machine.
Zenyatta is a good choice for those who want to support their team but who feel confident about their marksmanship as well. Although Zenyatta doesn’t heal as quickly as Mercy or Ana, he outputs a significant amount of damage, making him a deadly adversary.
Table of Contents
- 1 Strengths & Weaknesses
- 2 Abilities
- 2.1 Base Stats
- 2.2 Main Attack: Energy Orb
- 2.3 Alternative Attack: Orb Volley
- 2.4 Drained ammo tip
- 2.5 When to use Orb Volley instead of Energy Orb
- 2.6 Ability 1: Orb of Harmony
- 2.7 Tips for Orb of Harmony
- 2.8 Orb of Harmony tactics
- 2.9 Heroe’s that benefit the most from Orb of Harmony
- 2.10 Ability 2: Orb of Discord
- 2.11 Tips for using Orb of Discord
- 2.12 Enemies to prioritize with Orb of Discord
- 2.13 Enemies that can counter Orb of Discord
- 2.14 Ultimate: Transcendence
- 2.15 Tips for Transcendence
- 2.16 When to use Transcendence
- 3 General Tips & Strategy
- 4 Specific Map Tips
- 5 Match-ups
- 6 Skins
Strengths & Weaknesses
- Ultimate ability can protect allies from simultaneous enemy attacks
- Orb of Discord can be used to melt high-HP heroes, like tanks
- The only character that makes silent footsteps, enabling him to maneuver around a map unannounced
- Unable to perform any actions during his Ultimate ability
- Can only heal one ally at a time
- Low mobility and HP make him an easy target for Tracer and Genji
- Health: 50
- Shield: 150
Main Attack: Energy Orb
- Description: Zenyatta flings a floating orb at high-speed towards an enemy
- Damage: 46
- Ammo: 20
For a healer, Zenyatta’s Energy Orb is a pretty powerful primary attack, especially since he benefits from headshot damage as well. Energy Orb is a straightforward primary: each orb acts like a projectile but without suffering any fall-off distance damage. However, there is a slight delay from when Zenyatta launches an orb to when it hits an opponent. This means Zenyatta requires a bit more skill than other healers when it comes to attacking enemies.
Alternative Attack: Orb Volley
- Description: Zenyatta charges up to five orbs together, then hurls them at an enemy, dealing significant damage
- Damage: 46-230 (max damage if all 5 orbs hit)
- Ammo: 20 (up to 5 per shot)
Zenyatta players that don’t take advantage of his alternate fire, Orb Volley, are missing out. While it can take some time getting used to, Orb Volley is an incredibly powerful attack, and it makes Zenyatta the only support hero in Overwatch that can one-shot another character.
When holding his alternate fire, Zenyatta will begin to charge multiple orbs together. It takes 2-2.5 seconds to charge a full Orb Volley, though even 2-3 orbs is enough to deal heavy damage.
Orb Volley is ideal for hitting slow moving or predicatable targets from close to long-range. Enemies like Bastion in Sentry Mode, Orisa behind her shield, and slow creeping Widowmakers are perfect Orb Volley targets. Orb Volley can also be combined with Orb of Discord to predict an enemy’s movement, allowing Zenyatta to lineup a deadly headshot.
Drained ammo tip
Zenyatta can charge a full 5-orb Orb Volley even if he has 1 ammo left. This means you actually have additional ammo reserves—useful if you find yourself caught in a pinch and launching an Orb Volley is better than reloading.
When to use Orb Volley instead of Energy Orb
- Against McCree, when he’s casting Deadeye.
- Against Pharah, when she’s casting Barrage.
- Against Bastion in Sentry Mode.
- Against a Torbjorn turret.
- When Zarya casts her Projected Barrier on someone. You can wait out the duration of the barrier by charging a full Orb Volley.
Ability 1: Orb of Harmony
- Description: Zenyatta projects a golden healing orb onto a single ally.
- Health: 30 HP per second
- Cooldown: None
- Range: 49 meters
- Duration: Indefinite. Lasts until either Zenyatta dies, the target dies, or Zenyatta’s LoS between him and his ally is broken for more then 3 seconds.
Orb of Harmony is Zenyatta’s primary means of healing. When active, Orb of Harmony will continue to heal a target as long as they remain in Zen’s line of sight. This enables Zen to passively heal his team across a long distance while focusing on flanking and killing enemies with his Orbs of Destruction.
There’s no cooldown and no ammo involved with either of his orb abilities.
Tips for Orb of Harmony
- Orb of Harmony appears over an ally as a distinct golden orb that hovers above their head as long as it’s active.
- Orb of Harmony doesn’t require precision aiming. Simply launch it towards a highlighted squadmate and let the orb do the rest of the work.
- Always have Orb of Harmony attached to an ally, even if they have full HP.
- Orb of Harmony disappears if the target dies or Zen’s line of sight is broken. Ensure you’re constantly casting Orb of Harmony to make the most of Zen’s healing power (and to charge his Ultimate).
- Compared to other healers in Overwatch, Zenyatta’s rate of recovery is pretty slow. Mercy and Ana both heal significantly faster, making them ideal for protecting tank heroes. Zenyatta is better at keeping DPS heroes alive in the thick of battle, such as Genji, Reaper and McCree.
- Keep Orb of Harmony on any teammates that dive into the enemy backline, or find themselves caught in the middle of a fight.
- Although Orb of Harmony heals slowly, Zen can still fire his primary attack and launch Orb of Discord against enemies.
- Orb of Harmony cannot reach allies that are behind enemy shields or barriers.
Orb of Harmony tactics
- Use OoH on heroes that can’t quickly reach a health pack, like Ana and McCree.
- Prioritize OoH for allies that don’t have self-healing capabilities (i.e. don’t use OoH on Roadhog or Bastion).
- Prioritize OoH for allies that don’t have regenerative shields (i.e. don’t use OoH on Symmetra or Zarya).
- Use OoH on allies that also have an enemy Zenyatta’s Orb of Discord attached to them.
- Use OoH on teammates that are closer to the enemy, since they’re more likely to receive damage.
Heroe’s that benefit the most from Orb of Harmony
- Genji: Prone to diving into enemy teams, dealing damage, then quickly escaping to recharge his health, Genji is a great pick for slapping an Orb of Harmony onto. This way he can continuously buzz the enemy without fear of having to retreat for a health pack.
- McCree: He’s vulnerable while casting Deadeye, but OoH gives him a chance to survive any counterattacks.
- Pharah: She’s difficult to heal unless you’re Mercy, but OoH doesn’t require any aim, so you can launch one at her and let it linger for a while.
- Winston: Winston can dive into an enemy team with OoH buff and soak up damage.
Ability 2: Orb of Discord
- Description: Zenyatta slings a dark purple orb of negativity at a single enemy, increasing the damage they receive.
- Damage: Increases the damage the target receives by 30%
- Cooldown: None
- Range: 40 meters
- Duration: Indefinite. Lasts until either Zenyatta dies, the target dies, or Zenyatta’s LoS between him and his target is broken for more then 3 seconds.
The Yin to Zenyatta’s Yang, Orb of Discord is a powerful ability that weakens individual enemies by making them more susceptible to incoming damage. Hampering a foe with Orb of Discord means all damage they receive is increased by 30%.
Orb of Discord also highlights enemies behind walls and barriers, making it easier for Zenyatta to track and predict certain opponents. This is extremely useful for keeping an eye on flankers such as Genji, Sombra, Tracer and Reaper.
Like Orb of Harmony, Orb of Discord has no cooldown and can be applied and reapplied as often as necessary. The effect is persistent and last either until the target dies or breaks line of sight for 3 seconds or more.
Tips for using Orb of Discord
- Use Orb of Discord to distract or prevent enemies from joining a fight. Weak characters will be less willing to jump into a fight if they’re discorded.
- Use Orb of Discord to highlight enemies. Zenyatta can see the outline of any enemy suffering from Orb of Discord, even behind cover. Communicate the discorded enemy’s movements with your team and predict their next attack.
- Use Orb of Discord when caught in a 1-on-1 fight to give Zenyatta the advantage.
Enemies to prioritize with Orb of Discord
- Sombra. Her Translocator and Stealth Cloak abilities don’t remove Orb of Discord immediately, meaning Zenyatta can see where she translocates to.
- Orisa. Even while fortified, she’ll take more damage with Orb of Discord attached.
- Roadhog, Reinhardt and Winston. Big tanks are ideal for Orb of Discord, and Zenyatta can solo kill many of them if need be.
- D.va. She can’t block Orb of Discord with Defense Matrix, making her a great tank for Zenyatta to focus on attacking.
- Bastion. He’ll be much easier to pick off while discorded. At the very least, Orb of Discord will force him to change his positioning.
- Genji. He’s already hard to target, so Orb of Discord makes it easier for your team to kill him.
- Anyone your Winston is fighting. Winston’s primary attack melts discorded enemies.
- Any enemy that’s using their Ultimate ability. McCree, Genji, Soldier, Roadhog, Bastion and Winston are high priority targets that Zenyatta can discord to quickly remove from battle.
Enemies that can counter Orb of Discord
Certain enemies can escape the effects of Orb of Discord.
- Tracer can use Recall to remove Orb of Discord.
- Reaper can use Wraith Form to escape Orb of Discord.
- Mei’s Cryo-Freeze will remove Orb of Discord. She can also use Ice Wall to break LoS between herself and Zenyatta.
- Zarya’s Particle and Projected Barrier can be used to remove Orb of Discord.
- Winston’s Barrier Projector blocks Orb of Discord.
- Reinhardt’s Barrier Field protects himself and his allies from Orb of Discord.
- Sombra’s EMP and Hack will prevent Zenyatta from casting a new Orb of Harmony or Discord, but any active orbs will remain on their targets.
- Description: Zenyatta enters a nirvana-esque trance that makes him invulnverable to all damage, and rapidly restores the health of any nearby teammates.
- Health: 300 HP per second to any ally within radius
- Range: 10 meters
- Duration: 6 seconds
Transcendence is a team-saving ability that protects any allies around Zenyatta by healing them extremely quickly. Not only does Transcendence deter enemies from launching their Ultimate attacks (or countering them, as it were), but it’s a useful technique for initiating an aggressive team push. Can’t get through that Orisa/Bastion combo? Pop Transcendance and have your whole team charge the enemy.
Note that your team is still susceptible to damage. It’ll take a lot of firepower to eliminate any ally that’s being transcended, but a coordinated enemy team can fight through the healing benefits of Transcendence.
Tips for Transcendence
- Transcendence makes Zenyatta invulnerable, but his teammates can still die. Although each ally within radius receives 300 HP per second, if the enemy launches multiple Ultimates against you (Gravitation Surge + Self Destruct + Meteor Strike) your team can still die.
- Zenyatta is vulnerable to knockback effects while in Transcendence. Pharah, D.va and Lucio can boop Zenyatta, Reinhardt can Charge Zenyatta to keep him away from his team, and Doomfist can use all of his melee abilities to knock Zenyatta around.
- Transcendence is useful for contesting a point into Overtime. Just activate it right as the timer reaches zero, buying you and your team some time to fight back.
- Hanzo’s Dragonstrike will pierce Transcendance and damage any allies that you’re protecting. However, Transcendence can be used to guide them to safety.
- High-powered headshots can pierce Transcendence and kill anyone that’s being healed (i.e. Widowmaker headshotting a discorded target).
When to use Transcendence
- When Zarya traps your team in her Gravitation Surge.
- When Reinhardt uses Earthshatter against your team.
- When Reaper uses Deathblossom.
- When McCree is lining up Deadeye.
- When Soldier uses Tactical Visor.
- When Pharrah uses Barrage.
- When Roadhog uses Whole Hog.
- When Mei uses Blizzard (Transcendance makes Zenyatta immune to Blizzard’s freezing ability, meaning he can float around and keep his allies healed up).
- When Junkrat uses Rip-Tire.
General Tips & Strategy
Keep an eye on your shields. Zenyatta has the lowest HP of any character in Overwatch at just 50 HP. But he’s buffed by a 150 HP shield which regenerates after a short period of time.
Catch your enemy by surprise. Zenyatta doesn’t generate noise from his footsteps (he floats, after all), meaning you can sneak up on opponents or flank around objectives.
Use large allies as cover. Due to Zenyatta’s floaty nature and small character profile, he can easily hide behind large teammates like Reinhardt and Roadhog.
Always have an orb of Harmony and Discord active. Both orbs return to Zenyatta automatically when either the target is eliminated, or line of sight is broken for more than 3 seconds. Having your orbs active guarantees you’ll build your Ultimate while providing some type of support.
Utilize Zenyatta’s alternate attack. A common mistake is to not make use of Zen’s Orb Volley, but it’s a devestating attack that can severely weaken shields and drop opponents from long-range.
Zenyatta’s attacks don’t have a fall-off penalty. This means he outputs consistent damage, which is already pretty high.
Use Orb of Discord against tanks and ulting opponents. Zenyatta is a tank destroyer, and his Orb of Discord decreases the amount of time it takes to drain high HP heroes.
Communicate Orb of Discord with your teammates. In competitive it’s imperative you tell your teammates who is discorded, so they can collectively focus their attacks against a discorded D.va or Genji. Just say “X is discorded” to let everyone know.
Use Transcendence to save your tanks. Orb of Harmony doesn’t output enough HP per second to keep tanks alive, but Transcendence will quickly bring them back to full HP, while making them somewhat impervious to damage. Tanks are your frontline damage absorbers, so it’s best to always have one alive in battle.
Don’t use Transcendence just to keep yourself alive. Smart opponents will try to bait Zenyatta into activating Transcendance before a big push. Don’t waste Transcendence on yourself (unless it actually means the difference between winning or losing a match).
Specific Map Tips
Zenyatta is a useful healer that can be played offensively or defensively. In general, he’s more of a damage dealing healer than a primary healer, but he’s balanced for every map and game type.
Nepal: All Maps
It’s fitting that Zenyatta is a practical choice for Nepal. In the Sanctum, Zenyatta can hang back on the outer rim of the objective, lobbing Orb Volleys and discording any opponents that tries to take the objective. Transcendance is useful for contesting Nepal’s tiny and chaotic objectives, as Zenyatta can dive in to save his team and push the enemy away.
Zenyatta can line up some choice Orb Volleys against the enemy team, either while attacking Point A or Defending Point B. Attackers can charge through the gate with their team, discording and lobbing destructive orbs, while Defenders can charge volley shots through the entranceway of the temple, deterring anyone foolish enough to enter through the main door.
A great map for flankers, Zenyatta can make the most of his silent footsteps by creeping around the enemy. This is especially useful along the road that leads to the seconds checkpoint. Attackers can take the alleys that run along the right side of the map, discording and pushing enemies back to the opening the factory.
Zenyatta is susceptible to a wide range of enemies, particularly snipers and agile flankers. Keep your eyes and ears open for heroes that are looking to hunt you down.
D.va: D.va can’t block Orb of Discord using her Defense Matrix, making her a prime target for Zenyatta to chip away at. Charge up an Orb Volley and launch one at her whenever she drops her shield.
Reinhardt: Another large target that can be easily hit by Orb Volley, Reinhardt’s shield prevents Zen’s Orb of Discord from passing through it, but that doesn’t mean Zenyatta can’t break Rein’s shield with a series of persistent shots. Once the shield breaks, fling an Orb of Discord on him and watch the big knight crumple.
Roadhog: Stay out of reach of Roadhog’s hook and you should be able to cut through this dirty hog in no time. Orb of Discord increases the damage Roadhog receives, meaning Zenyatta can lob lon-distance shots well out of range of Roadhook’s hooks.
Zenyatta is countered by
Tracer: Tracer can quickly blink around Zenyatta, cutting him down quickly. Her Recall ability allows her to drop Orb of Discord, extending her survivability and make it even harder for Zenyatta to kill her in a 1-on-1 fight.
Hanzo: Zenyatta’s slow mobility makes him a prime target for snipers. Hanzo can use Scatter Arrow to one-shot Zenyatta, or Sonic Arrow to see where Zenyatta is hiding.
Doomfist: Doomfist’s Rocket Punch makes short work of Zenyatta, and his close-range attack style cuts through Zen’s long-range primaries. Since Doomfist also charges a beneficial shield with each ability that connects and damage his opponents, he’s a powerful counter to Zenyatta even if he has an Orb of Discord attached to him.
Zenyatta’s Rare skins are all colored variations of his Classic skin—the simple tattered cloth pants of a humble robot monk.
- Ascendant: Zen’s metallic casing is completely white, while his pants are purple and his sash is black. His Orbs of Destruction appear as floating black balls as well.
- Harmonious: Zen’s body casing is yellow, and his pants are light blue. His Orbs of Destruction are white.
- Skullyatta*: A spooky Zenyatta is painted like a skeleton. His pants are black, and his sash is a reddish orange. (Halloween Event)
Credits: 250 (Basic), 750 (Special Event)*
- Djinyatta: Is Zenyatta a genie? A bearded Zen wears white silk pants and a turban with a blue feather tucked inside. His Orbs of Destruction are blue.
- Ifrit: A fiery Zenyatta appears to glow red underneath a molten black body casing. His turban and pants are blue.
- Ra: Zenyatta looks like a brilliant Egyptian eagle. His face is a blue-beaked pharaoh’s mask, while his body is copper and blue.
- Sunyatta: Zenyatta looks like an ornate mummy. His headpiece and robe is a golden yellow, while his body is black and metallic.
- Nutcracker*: Zenyatta looks exactly like a nutcracker doll. His Orbs of Destruction are giant nuts. (Winter Wonderland Event)
- Sanzang*: Based on a hero in Chinese mythology, Zenyatta wears a human-like face as a mask, and a crown with two transparent neon braids running down either side of his face.(Lunar Event)
Credits: 1,000 (Basic), 3,000 (Special Event)*