Have you ever played Overwatch and heard some in-game terminology you didn’t understand?
In this guide, we look at some of the most common things you will encounter when playing Overwatch, and what they mean.
Note: This is not a complete list of every term as the list would be endless!
The default team composition in Overwatch – Two Tanks, Two DPS, and Two Supports. This is used in both quick play and competitive, but some game modes deter away from this and let you pick freely in roles (I.E Open Queue). This is going to change with the introduction of Overwatch 2.
When D.Va has been knocked out of her mech and is playing in ‘Pilot’ mode.
When a team pushes the payload or captures an objective behind the enemy team. This generally happens when either side becomes aggressive for a team fight, and gives sufficient room for some players to sneak behind and complete the objective.
People who are the furthest away from the action, and behind the rest of the team. Generally, healers remain in the backline to overlook their team, as well as some long-range DPS.
A colloquial way of referring to Wrecking Ball. He can also be referred to as Hammond, Ham, or Hamster.
Another way of saying that Lucio used his Sound Barrier – ‘he dropped the beat’.
When Ana Nano-boosts a Reaper that uses his Death Blossom.
Colloquial way of referring to Orisa’s ultimate, Supercharger, because it is a bongo drum.
When Ana nano-boosts Lucio. After the term Boostio became popular amongst players, Blizzard actually got Johnny Cruz (voice actor for Lucio) to record the line to be added into the game when he gets nano-boosted.
When running a brawl composition, the main objective is to move as a team and close the distance between you and the enemy. This way, you can be aggressive and, if done successfully, push directly through the enemy. The standard picks for this comp are Reinhardt, Zarya, Reaper, Cassidy, Lucio and Moira.
The colloquial way of referring to Brigitte.
Having a bunker composition essentially means that you are going to defend the objective from behind a shield. You rarely move in a bunker comp, as you can work together to secure one position and prevent the enemy from breaking the composition. Generally you see Orisa, Bastion and Baptiste played to form this comp.
A C9 is where a team fails to touch the payload or objective point, which results in them losing a round, or the entire match. The origins of the name came from the team Cloud9, where in their matches they would regularly make such errors.
A hero whose abilities can outplay an enemy, and prevent them from causing too many problems for your team. There are several counter-pick matchups, including: Pharah and Soldier-76, Doomfist and Sombra, as well as Tracer and Cassidy.
In Overwatch, comp can have 2 meanings:
1. A way of referring to the competitive mode
2. Short for composition – the mix of heroes that are picked by the team for the match
Crowd control is essentially any ability that can stop an opponent’s movement. The most notable abilities are – Cassidy’s Flashbang, Roadhog’s Hook, Brigitte’s Shield Bash and Orisa’s Halt.
Short for ‘difference’, diff is used when a player is underperforming in a role in comparison to the enemy in the same role. For example, if the enemy Reinhardt is doing a lot better than your Reinhardt, someone may say ‘Tank diff’.
Dive is used in relation to the dive team composition – where a team has a Winston, D.Va and two flankers. The aim of this composition is to dive straight into the enemy and be aggressive, and is one of the most common comps used in Overwatch.
Meaning ‘Damage Per Second’ in standard gaming terms, the DPS of the team are basically your main damage dealers. They can either deal burst damage – where you can give out high amounts of damage in a short period of time, or sustained damage – where you deal damage over a longer period of time.
When D.Va uses her Defence Matrix to block or ‘eat’ projectile damage and ultimate’s. The most common things that get eaten are Zarya’s Graviton Surge, Mei’s Blizzard and Reinhardt’s Flamestrike. This can also be used in relation to Sigma and his Kinetic Grasp – which has the same functionality as the Matrix.
A reference to Baptiste’s ‘Immortality Field’ ability. Generally, callouts saying ‘field’ will be made when a Baptiste uses this ability.
The colloquial way of referring to Lucio.
Shorter way of saying Graviton Surge, which is Zarya’s ultimate ability.
When Zarya uses her Graviton Surge and Hanzo sends Dragonstrike into the enemies trapped into the grav.
A character whose primary damage requires no travel time before it can hit an opponent – i.e Cassidy, Soldier-76, Tracer. Generally people will play hitscan heroes to counter flying enemies like Pharah and Echo.
IGL is the abbreviation of In-Game-Leader – so the person who is calling the shots for the whole team and making more thought out decisions for gameplay. You generally only have an IGL when you play as a group, but some people can step up in matches with randoms.
Team compositions and hero choices that are considered the best choices in that patch version of the game. For example, dive and brawl compositions can be meta.
A colloquial way of referring to Winston. He is also commonly referred to as ‘Monke’.
When Ana Nano-boosts Genji as he uses his Dragon Blade
In Overwatch, pick can have two different meanings depending on the context.
1. An elimination on the enemy team that opens up space for a team fight
2. A choice of hero to suit the team composition (picks)
A spam-based strategy that focuses on having a Bastion setup on the moving payload. You will have a shield protecting the Bastion, with Mercy damage boosting them as they plow through enemy lines. Occasionally, to make this even more brutal, you will see a Bastion and Torbjorn used to add even more damage output.
The colloquial way to refer to Reinhardt.
The protectors of your team. They work to heal the entire team, but can also have abilities that can provide ally buffs, and enemy nerfs (I.E Ana’s Nano-Boost Vs her Anti-Nade).
In this spam composition, you essentially use multiple angles around the enemy to take control of the map, and use more long-range abilities to force the enemies to use their crucial abilities. By burning out their abilities, by the time you get to pushing through to the point, they have nothing left to help them take you down. The standard picks for this comp are Orisa, Sigma, Hanzo, Mei, Baptiste and Zenyatta.
Spawn-camping is where the defending team pushes their enemy back and keeps them locked in position near their spawn. This is very aggressive, and if you are spawn-camped it is difficult to get out of that position and back to the objective.
If you were to kill someone on the enemy team a little bit after another enemy goes down, you can prevent them from being able to reset together as a team. This is called staggering, and gives you the advantage of wasting enemy time by ensuring they have to wait for others before they can push again.
Larger and powerful heroes who can absorb a lot of damage for their team. Generally, tanks have a shield ability which allows them to protect their teammates, and push forward to make space for allies to attack.
The colloquial way of referring to Torbjorn.
When your team gets an elimination, but your opponents also get one immediately after. You are basically trading a player for a player, which is where the name comes from.
Colloquial way of referring to Zenyatta’s Transcendence.
The colloquial way of saying ‘ultimate’. Callouts will generally be things like ‘I have ult’ or ‘they have ult’.
The colloquial way of referring to Widowmaker.
When a member of your team calls out ‘winnable’ they are basically telling you not to give up hope. Having someone say this on your team should mean you all rally together and focus to try and win the teamfight. Always follow what someone says if it is looking promising.
The colloquial way of referring to Zenyatta.
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