Ana is one of the most interesting supports in Overwatch, with a playstyle that rewards precision and good timing, allowing her to seamlessly transition between healing allies and damaging enemies.
In this Overwatch Ana guide, we’ll highlight the best tips, tricks, and strategies for playing as the talented bounty hunter and markswoman.
If you would like more tips and tricks, check out our Overwatch Beginner’s Guide, where we dive into hero roles, team composition, and best practices for winning.
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Ana Abilities And Role Explained
During her extensive time in the field, Ana has picked up several tricks that make her one of the more unique Overwatch support heroes to play.
She functions as a sniper character with long-range projectiles and debuffs in the form of a healing/anti-healing grenade and her signature sleep darts which can stop an enemy mid-attack.
While Ana is one of the more capable supports in terms of dealing damage, she requires certain conditions to be met and a thorough understanding of her kit to truly thrive on the battlefield.
How To Use Biotic Rifle
Ana’s primary weapon is her Biotic Rifle, which has been modified to both damage enemies and heal allies depending on who Ana targets during battle.
This weapon can hold 12 rounds per clip and deal either 70 damage or 70 healing with every shot fired.
Ana can fire her Biotic Rifle from the hip, or zoom in using her scope to get a better read on her target at the cost of reduced movement speed.
An important thing to note about Ana is that although she is a sniper character, she does not benefit from landing headshots so just focus on hitting your target.
How To Use Sleep Dart
We can already see how different Ana’s playstyle is compared to traditional snipers and even other sniper heroes in Overwatch like Widowmaker or Hanzo.
While her kit mainly revolves around healing, she can also use Sleep Dart to quickly turn the tide of battles by interrupting her target and forcing them to take a quick cat nap.
When an enemy is hit by Sleep Dart, they’ll take 5 damage and lay unconscious on the ground for up to 5.5 seconds followed by a 12-second cooldown before the ability can be used again.
Remember that sleeping enemies will wake up early if Ana or any of her teammates damage them during its effects, so try and get in the habit of announcing who you’re going to sleep.
How To Use Biotic Grenade
Rounding out Ana’s kit is her Biotic Grenade, which functions as a powerful AoE attack dealing 60 damage to enemies and 100 healing to allies and Ana herself.
It also has a secondary effect that provides Ana and her allies with a 50% healing boost that also prevents enemies from being healed for a total of 4 seconds.
While the Biotic Grenade’s 4m splash radius is rather generous, you want to be careful when you’re using it since the 10-second cooldown will leave Ana relatively defenseless.
With that said, it’s easily one of the best tools in the game due to its anti-healing effect on the enemy team and often acts as the catalyst for big plays during matches.
How To Use Nano Boost (Ultimate)
Finishing things off, Ana also has one of the more interesting Ultimates the game in the form of Nano Boost, a hitscan projectile that heals a targeted ally for 250 healing as well as provide them with two buffs.
The first is a 50% boost to their damage and the second is a 50% reduction in damage taken for up to 8 seconds, though its effects will instantly be removed if the Nano-Boosted hero is killed.
Ana can select an ally to target within a generous maximum range of 40m, allowing flanking teammates to secure kills and build momentum.
The biggest challenge with Nano Boost is determining the right hero and time to use it; generally, you’ll want to save it for tanks and DPS heroes who are about to flank or use their Ultimate.
Ana prefers to sit comfortably in a team’s backline, ensuring she can heal allies from afar and whittle away enemy health bars or sleep them from a distance.
Her Biotic Grenade serves as a reliable emergency escape button that also has offensive applications which can discourage enemies from engaging any further.
She’s most effective when played how she was intended to be, a support hero, and in that regard, can influence the tide of battles so long as her teammates build off of her plays.
Which Heroes Combo Best With Ana?
- Reinhardt – Can shield Ana and benefit from her Nano Boost.
- Lucio – Can peel for Ana using Crossfade and round out the team’s healing capabilities.
- Mercy – Can provide more consistent heals, allowing Ana to play more offensively.
- Reaper – Can use Ana’s long-range heals to safely perform Death Blossom.
- Genji – Another great high-damage candidate for Ana’s Nano Boost.
- Winston – One of the easier tanks for Ana to heal from afar; gets a lot of value from NanoBoost.
Considering she’s primarily a sniper, Ana’s playstyle is inherently more advanced compared to other supports, demanding a level of high accuracy and precision that some players simply don’t have.
Additionally, close encounters are not ideal for Ana, especially when Biotic Grenade is on cooldown since the rest of her abilities are most effective at long-range.
Lastly, she and her team will fall apart quickly if she’s not consistently healing and instead focusing on damage, especially since Ana is easily outmatched by other snipers and most DPS heroes.
Which Heroes Does Ana Struggle Against?
- Genji – High mobility makes it tough for Ana to deal with Genji alone.
- Reaper – Can outpace Ana’s damage at close range.
- D.Va – Will get in Ana’s face and prevent her from focusing on heals.
- Winston – Can easily trap Ana by slipping into the team’s backline.
- Tracer – Another high mobility hero who can outpace Ana’s more long-range-centric playstyle.
- Pharah – Can distract Ana from the main fight and bait her into using her Sleep Dart.
- Widowmaker – Can out-damage Ana at long-range battles.
- Hanzo – Similar to Widowmaker, Hanzo will out-damage Ana in most long-range duels.
General Tips For Playing Ana
If you’re still new to Overwatch, we recommend holding off on using Ana until you have a better understanding of the game’s mechanics, hero roles, and map layouts.
However, once you’ve got that all down, you’ll find she’s one of the most creative supports in the game and has a flexible kit with both offensive and defensive applications.
Communication is especially important for Ana since most of her plays require another ally to step in and combo off of Ana’s initial play, though you can get quite far with these tips as well:
- Keep an eye out for low-health teammates and make healing them your first priority.
- Try to save your Biotic Grenades for times when you’re in immediate danger and need to defend yourself.
- Sleep Dart is great at stopping fast-moving targets with big hitboxes such as a charging D.Va or Reinhardt.
- Accuracy is critical when triggering Ana’s Nano Boost, so make sure to spend some time practicing aiming it at allies.
- Nano Boost is best assigned to main tanks and DPS heroes who can charge head-on into battle and get the most value from its effects.