As far as Overwatch Supports are concerned, Zenyatta is a relatively balanced hero with viable healing and damage abilities that make him an excellent asset to any team.
In this Overwatch Zenyatta guide, we’ll highlight the best tips, tricks, and strategies for playing as the enlightened omnic monk.
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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Zenyatta Abilities and Role Explained
Zenyatta functions as a hybrid healer DPS hero who prefers to hang back and support his teammates from long range.
This is because most of his kit revolves around projectile-based abilities that either damage enemies or assign buffs/debuffs to players on the battlefield.
Below, we’ll go more in-depth about Zenyatta’s abilities and share advice for using each one in the heat of battles.
How To Use Orb Of Destruction
Zenyatta’s primary fire sees him shooting destructive energy orbs from his palms at his enemies, with each orb dealing 48 damage at a speed of 90 meters per second.
Orb of Destruction has a relatively low reload time at 1.5 seconds and can be fired at a rate of 2.5 shots every second, allowing Zenyatta to quickly dispatch his foes.
However, due to their Pinpoint spread angle, the Orb of Destruction requires you to accurately line up shots to deal any damage whatsoever.
Zenyatta’s secondary fire sees him charging up his Orbs for a few seconds before releasing them all at once in a concentrated volley to deal devastating damage to his target.
How To Use Orb Of Harmony
The next tool in Zenyatta’s arsenal is Orb of Harmony, a projectile-based buff that can be granted to a targeted ally within 40 meters to slowly restore their health over time.
Once activated, it provides 30 health per second until either Zen recalls the orb or the target moves outside his line of sight for more than 3 seconds.
Orb of Harmony’s use is limited to a single teammate and will immediately transfer once Zen gives it to someone else, so don’t be afraid to share the healing love.
Additionally, since players only benefit from Orb of Harmony’s effect while in Zenyatta’s line of sight, try to be mindful of your positioning while healing allies with critically low health.
How To Use Orb Of Discord
The yang to Orb of Harmony’s yin, Orb of Discord is a projectile-based debuff that can be assigned to any targeted enemy to increase the damage they receive by 25%.
It has the same range and projectile speed as Orb of Harmony, though its effects are immediately applied rather than carried out over time.
Similarly, it can only be applied to one enemy at a time and will be removed if the target escapes Zen’s line of sight for more than 3 seconds.
Deciding who to target with your Orb of Discord is somewhat situational, but your best bet is usually the enemy most of your teammates are targeting since doing so will likely get your team the kill.
How To Use Transcendence (Ultimate)
While most Zen’s kit is centered on long-range damage and support, his Ultimate flips this on its head by requiring you to get in the middle of the fight.
Upon activating Transcendence, Zenyatta enters a heightened existence that makes him invulnerable to all damage while also healing all allies within a 10-meter radius at 300 health per second.
In addition, Zen’s movement speed is boosted to 11 meters per second, allowing him to quickly get around and support allies who may be Ulting or simply low on health.
As far as Ultimates are concerned, Transcendence is one of the best tools in the game, so it’s best to save it for life or death situations where your team has a chance of getting wiped.
Despite some glaring weaknesses, Zenyatta can be extremely effective in battle when joined by a reliable healer and aggressive tanks.
Additionally, if your aim is decent enough, you’ll find Zen becomes a pretty potent damage dealer capable of 2HKO’ing Discorded enemies.
With all this said, some heroes are naturally better at synergizing with Zenyatta, so let’s take a moment to go over the most important ones.
Which Heroes Combo Best With Zenyatta?
- Mercy – Zen can patch Mercy up anytime her health drops and vice versa, resulting in fewer instances where your team is left stranded while the healers return from spawn.
- Winston – Discord Orb and Tesla Cannon are a deadly combo capable of shredding through squishier heroes in a matter of seconds.
- Lucio – Provides Zen with a much-needed speed boost, increasing his mobility and reducing the chances of Zen getting separated from his team.
- Genji – Zen can trigger Transcendence right as Genji activates Dragonblade, allowing him to protect Genji as he rips through the enemy team.
- Pharah – Can use her verticality to keep an eye on Zen and protect him from enemies who slip into your team’s backline.
- D.Va – Great at distracting anyone who tries to target Zen; can protect him using her Defense Matrix.
If you’ve sunk in any time with Zenyatta, then there’s a good chance you immediately picked up on his flaws, considering how noticeable they are.
He moves ridiculously slow, especially for a squishy hero, and has no way of dealing with close-range threats such as Reinhardt, Doomfist, or Reaper.
We wish the list ended there, but there are plenty more heroes that have an advantage over Zen in most situations, so allow us to lay them all out.
Which Heroes Does Zenyatta Struggle Against?
- Widowmaker – While Zen thrives at long-range matchups, his health is simply too low to survive a fully charged headshot from the cunning assassin.
- Reaper – Can infiltrate teams’ backlines and make life really difficult for Zenyatta.
- Tracer – Like Reaper, Tracer can slip past tanks and distract Zen from focusing on healing.
- Genji – Is way too fast and agile for Zen to keep up; any close-range encounter is likely to result in Zen’s death.
- McCree – Not as one-sided as other matchups, though Zen’s limited mobility makes him easy to trap with Mcree’s flashbang.
- Hanzo – Similar to Widowmaker, Hanzo can one-shot Zenyatta if you’re not careful; his Dragonstrike Ultimate can also be tricky to escape as Zen.
- Soldier: 76 – Can self-heal to make up for Discord’s effect; deals more consistent damage in a matchup against Zen.
- Winston – Will get right up in Zen’s face and Tesla Cannon him to death; massive healthpool is more than Zen can deal with.
- Pharah – While Zenyatta can target Pharah, doing so takes his focus off the main fight and puts his teammates in jeopardy.
- Roadhog – Can pull Zen close with his hook and blast him away; if you’re playing Zen, steer clear of Roadhog as much as possible.
General Tips for Playing Zenyatta
Ideally, you come away from this guide having gained some new insight into Zenyatta’s role in battle and a better understanding of his abilities.
Putting up numbers as Zenyatta means keeping a watchful eye over both your teammates’ and enemies’ positioning/health while zeroing in on the weakest targets.
Before we wrap things up, we would like to offer up some last-minute general tips for playing Zen that didn’t quite fit into the earlier sections.
- Due to Orb of Harmony’s slow healing properties, we don’t recommend trying to play solo-healer with Zenyatta.
- Try to stick to the back of your team and avoid standing in places where the enemy can target you from multiple angles.
- If you do end up getting flanked by an enemy, don’t try to run away; Zen’s poor mobility means you have a better chance of winning the fight than escaping.
- Remember that the majority of Zenyatta’s health is made up of shields, meaning if you take damage, you can always hide for a few seconds to recover.
- Orb of Discord uses an auto-targeting reticle that provides you with a general idea of where the enemy is located.