How do I use Winston?

General Discussion
Every time I dive their back line, I end up dying literally in less than 5 seconds. I ALWAYS use my shield, and I still end up dying so quickly. In addition, it takes me ALL OF MY AMMO to kill someone as squishy as Symmetra or even Zenyatta.

When I use my ult, no one seems to be scared of me, even when I knock them back, and I feel like I'm not doing anything to them.

What am I doing wrong, and can someone PLEASE give me tips?
Yeah, that kind of sucks and that's what happens most of the times.
Honestlry he only works if there's just either lots of easy targets like more than 1 widow/genji and someone is backing you up with the healing. Otherwise, just gigantic target to shoot. Even worse than Dva.

In theory, what is needed to be done with him is just jump, harrass one squishy at the time and as soon as you can retreat to heal. Also. His weapon can't even outdamage Mercy's healing so... don't try to attack someone who's being healed by her.
Winston plays similarly to Tracer. I find him to be most effective when the enemy has already started to engage your team and you can jump behind them and force them to fight a battle on two fronts. Personally, I save his shield for when I start to lose health and I maybe need a couple seconds to wait for my jump to come off cooldown so I can escape. The shield is also very useful as a way to counter Junkrats wheel and D.Vas ultimate. If the wheel is coming towards you, you can pop that shield and jump out. If you time it right you can have the wheel explode within the shield and keep your teammates safe (though you will probably die). If you drop it on top of D.Vas ult it you completely negate it as long as your teammates stay outside the shield and the enemies fail to destroy it before the mech expodes.

Winston benefits a lot from knowing where health packs are. I don't think you should be trying to kill anyone that isn't separated from their teams. You are trying to distract your enemies so that your teammates are taking reduced fire. Avoid Reaper like the plague. He is your worst nightmare. Don't forget to jump around often. Be a constant pest to the enemy team. Usually you should be jumping away every time it comes off cooldown so you can attack from a different angle. Make the other team watch out for you. Force their DPS to play a little conservatively because they are worried their healer will be dead.

As for his ult, be selective of who you are hitting and why. Hit their healers towards your team, hit their DPS away from the fight, and try to hit their tanks out of the way.

Hope these tips help, Winston is a lot of fun when you get used to his kit.
Winston is a tank, not a flanker. You're not supposed to be attacking their back line. You're supposed to be attacking their front line.

Put on a show. Run in, drop your shield, stay in your shield, and zap anyone who dares approach. You've temporarily cut off that entire area. When your health gets low, leap away.

Your ult is also about faking it. You don't do much damage, but you're virtually unkillable. Run around, leap around, and tank the enemy team by distracting them and causing chaos.

Winston has three roles: He's an offensive intimidation tank, he can assassinate lone and vertical heroes (like Widowmaker, or a Mercy who has been separated from her team), and his kit allows him to tank and destroy Symmetra turrets.
The best advice I can give is to watch someone who is great at the game play him and try to learn from them. Here is a video of a_seagull playing him (though not on his channel, he unfortunately doesn't have any winston games uploaded to youtube).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QzbzxTMRVo8

You could find more on his twitch channel I'm sure.
07/03/2016 12:34 AMPosted by Berg
Winston is a tank, not a flanker. You're not supposed to be attacking their back line. You're supposed to be attacking their front line.


I disagree completely. Winston is TERRIBLE as a standard tank. What Winston is best at is mass disruption/chaos.

Winston should help clear a point, but the moment the opportunity arises he should be pouncing on a healer. If you manage to wipe a team on a koth map, Winston should be super aggressive and hit the enemy on their way back to the point.

Winston's ultimate is also best for keeping the enemy from getting where they want to be(I.E. the front line). The rest of your team can smack down the enemy team while winston is keeping a healer, tank, or whatever other valuable assets from getting to where they need to be.

Best of all, Winston's leap is a fantastic initiate AND escape on a very short cooldown. The very fact that he has that skill shows that he is not supposed to be on the front line. If that was the case, his leap is worthless outside of getting back to the fight quicker.
07/03/2016 12:34 AMPosted by Karock
The best advice I can give is to watch someone who is great at the game play him and try to learn from them. Here is a video of a_seagull playing him (though not on his channel, he unfortunately doesn't have any winston games uploaded to youtube).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QzbzxTMRVo8

You could find more on his twitch channel I'm sure.
=/
To be fair, he also dies a lot. Like jesus. Even 76 can easily kill Winston. He's more suicidal than Dva even. And they also have 2 other tanks and a Mercy with them.

I know he said it's because there's a Roadhog and Reaper but in most of the games there will be at least one tank killer or at least 76. And/or roadhog. So that doesn't help much.
Leap and kill anyone not protected by something that shreds Winston. I can't think of a better advice. You leap, you win a one sided battle and you go somewhere else.

You only need a few seconds near a target to do your dirty work. Time your attacks and always calculate risks of any leap you can make. Bubble shield can be useful, but it doesn't do much outside of specific situations. Most of the time I use bubble shield to aid my teammates waddling in through a chokepoint.
Jump the backlines, drop the shield on your way in
At that point the enemy team is forced to either fight your team with a dome shield in between, with a monkey zapling their backline, or turn their back to the front and start chasing you, while being chased by your team
07/03/2016 12:34 AMPosted by Berg
Winston is a tank, not a flanker. You're not supposed to be attacking their back line. You're supposed to be attacking their front line.

Put on a show. Run in, drop your shield, stay in your shield, and zap anyone who dares approach. You've temporarily cut off that entire area. When your health gets low, leap away.

Your ult is also about faking it. You don't do much damage, but you're virtually unkillable. Run around, leap around, and tank the enemy team by distracting them and causing chaos.


If you want to get better at Winston I implore you to ignore everything that is said here.
07/03/2016 12:34 AMPosted by Berg
Winston is a tank, not a flanker. You're not supposed to be attacking their back line. You're supposed to be attacking their front line.

Put on a show. Run in, drop your shield, stay in your shield, and zap anyone who dares approach. You've temporarily cut off that entire area. When your health gets low, leap away.

Your ult is also about faking it. You don't do much damage, but you're virtually unkillable. Run around, leap around, and tank the enemy team by distracting them and causing chaos.

Winston has three roles: He's an offensive intimidation tank, he can assassinate lone and vertical heroes (like Widowmaker, or a Mercy who has been separated from her team), and his kit allows him to tank and destroy Symmetra turrets.


cute demonstration about how to make lot of line while thinking he is right, and then, he cant be more wrong.
jump, land on someone, dump ammo, jump again.

the jump cooldown is as durable as you weapon's ammo.

another thing to practice is dropping your shield on a target as you're above them to prevent them from doing damage to anyone, on your team, outside of the barrier. think of it as a forced, "you're in here with me.".

be sure to use your primal rage when your abilities are on cooldown, both. if you can manage to push enough people a way you should still have a bubble to return to when that mega-evolution fades and you turn back into a machamp. when your jump is on cooldown and primal rage is used the cooldown is reset. if you're obnoxious enough you should be able to jump, primal rage, land, knock the person(s) into a wall, jump and land again, and then return to slapping them into a wall.

there's your crash course on Winston.
Don't try to get fancy with Winston... you may feel like you are playing like a simpleton but here's what I do and it works to a great degree...

Stay with your team, protect your support from flankers but don't take on a reaper 1 on 1 if possible.

Look for an opening in the enemy lines... and walk there if possible. If you are feeling confident, you can leap there, but I like to save that for the escape.

Now that you're behind them hard focus their support like you have a fixation problem. If they suddenly get help from reaper / roadhog or another tank killer, defensive leap and get the heck out of there. It all sounds kind of risky but honestly a lot of people don't turn around and help their mercy / lucio / zen and you can just focus them down.

Try and plop your bubble down if you get in trouble and use it as a double shield - the enemy has to pass through the outside-in and the inside-out in order to get to you if you're on opposing sides. If you can time it just right on top of something nasty like a reaper ult it can be game changing but extremely risky - jump over the top of him and while in flight drop your shield over the top of him, sealing the death away. But that's playing fancy Winston, which is against my first rule of thumb so take that with a grain of salt.

Hopefully some of these tips help and aren't super obvious at face value, I'm not the greatest player but these are some of the things I do that seem to work for me!
Winston isn't that great alone. He's only a decent disruption hero. It's when there are 2 Winstons coordinating targets that he becomes ridic.
Winston task by priority :
1/Jump/kill snipers
2/ Kill genji
3/ Protect ur healers from annoying tracer.
4/ Play as a tank.
It's simple:
gorilla tactics
07/03/2016 01:05 AMPosted by BladeOfBlue
It all sounds kind of risky but honestly a lot of people don't turn around and help their mercy / lucio / zen and you can just focus them down.
They might not want to save their healer intentionally, but usually they're not stupid enough to ignore the angry monkey in front of them.

I don't know. The damage output is just awful as well as his shield.
07/03/2016 01:12 AMPosted by Itzal
I don't know. The damage output is just awful as well as his shield.


Give him much more damage and he is all of sudden unstoppable. I think his shield is OK. If it had too much health they would need to increase the cooldown. The way it works now it is effective at blocking a Roadhog hook or taking the brunt of a few of the more powerful ultimates, but not strong enough to withstand an onslaught from a few heroes focusing it. In other words it is good enough to drop so he can have a few second buffer to escape, but not strong enough to provide your team with too much of a safe place to easily attack from.
DISCLAIMER: I'm not a super amazing Winston, and I suck at using his ultimate.

Honestly, Winston is someone who is better used as a pseudo-tank or "false tank." He's not so much a tank like Reinhardt (who, imo, is the only "real" tank as he can take a lot more damage) and, some may say, Roadhog (Has a lot of health, but without good healing isn't really a "tank" in its purest sense). He's similar to D.VA and Zarya (Roadhog can fit the pseudo-tank role as well). They really require another tank to absorb damage as well. D.VA alone is a terrible decision, but mixing her with other tanks, and things can go well. Winston shines when there's another tank, as the enemy team now has to take down two rather high health targets. Mostly, you'll aim for Genjis/Widowmakers, but if not, you should aim for their squishy healers and chase them down. Even if you die killing their healers, it makes a huge difference. He's mostly played like a D.VA (be careful with turrets, place your shield in a place to block the bullets). You're aiming for healers/annoying things(turrets, maybe distracting a Bastion, whatever else). Your high health pool usually ensures your able to kill your target and get out (if you are going to die, at least kill the healer(s) or wound them as much as you can). I used a lot of parenthesis. .-. Anyway, I use Winston mostly on defense or on King of the Hill maps so I can take out their healers. He can be used on attack for control points, since taking a healer out on the defending team is crucial. Just don't play him like a "tank" and play him more like a bruiser. You probably won't be able to take out other tanks or super high DPS heroes, but you will easily be able to take out their healers and such. His ultimate can be used to tank a lot of damage, disrupt the team, or when you're low HP and really just want chase down healers that might be getting away. cx

P.S. Stay away from reapers unless they're distracted or maybe half-HP, and always be aware of places you can jump to lose line of sight and/or get health packs.
07/03/2016 01:19 AMPosted by pandar

Give him much more damage and he is all of sudden unstoppable. I think his shield is OK. If it had too much health they would need to increase the cooldown. The way it works now it is effective at blocking a Roadhog hook or taking the brunt of a few of the more powerful ultimates, but not strong enough to withstand an onslaught from a few heroes focusing it. In other words it is good enough to drop so he can have a few second buffer to escape, but not strong enough to provide your team with too much of a safe place to easily attack from.
I don't think he needs much more damage. Just a bit more. Like in my example, to be able to kill a Genji if he's being healed by Mercy or something like that.
Shield can also has more health or whatever that is, it lasts for barely 2 seconds under fire even if it's a single 76 firing at it. Maybe it shouldn't have more health but at least 2-3 seconds of invulnerability on cast.

Well regardless, I can't really make him work the way he is now which is pretty sad. I don't think I've been playing him wrong since I can play Dva and he's similar but he's just... worse.

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