Zlosterr
Zlosterr
Zlosterr has been a fan of esports for many years and mainly focuses on Dota 2. He has more than five years of experience writing Dota 2 content for numerous platforms. Besides being a passionate fan of the game, he's also played for various amateur teams.

Overwatch Zarya Guide, The Cannon Wielding Tank

Overwatch Zarya Guide
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Some Overwatch players may not like Zarya because she is one of the most annoying tanks in the game. However, there is no arguing that she is really strong, especially if she gets the chance to play with some top DPS heroes in the current meta.


Zarya is an interesting tank that provides her team with a lot of utility. She may not have a reliable shield like Reinhardt, but she definitely makes up for it by doing a lot of damage. 

Since learning how to play with this hero is easier said than done, she is not that popular among lower-skilled players. Nevertheless, the hero shines in pro games and in the hands of those who know how to use her to her full potential. With that being said, let’s learn more about this hero and the thing she is capable of.

Thanks to her abilities, Zarya is one of the best solo queue tanks

Some people play Overwatch for fun, but many others want to make the most of this game and want to gain more ratings. Hence, they often pick different kinds of heroes that can carry the game by themselves.

Zarya is one of the names that fall into this section. Her skillset and abilities like Particle Barrier allow her to stay safe and deal a lot of damage. The shield also helps her be relatively independent and not heal-dependable. In other words, you don’t need to rely on your healer while playing, which can make a massive difference.

Since Zarya is not the most mobile hero in the game (she has no movement abilities), she has to stay on the frontline. Fortunately, this is where she excels because she can deal crazy amounts of damage. This is the only hero in Overwatch that can deal more damage once she receives enough damage from her opponents.

The thing mentioned above is possible thanks to a passive ability called Energy. Depending on the situation, she can deal crazy amounts of damage with her Particle Cannon (both left and right clicks).

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In other words, you should try to have as much energy as possible in order to do more damage.

Particle Cannon

Depending on Zarya’s energy, her Particle Cannon can become one of the most dangerous weapons in the game. It deals 75 DPS while having 0 % charge, but once she gets 100% energy, it can deal 170 DPS. Her primary fire mode has 15 maximum range, 100 ammo, and fires at a rate of 20 rounds per second.

It is worth noting that the hero’s beam can go through many abilities, such as Genji’s Deflect. This makes Zarya even more dangerous because many opponents can’t rely on their defensive skills.

As for her secondary fire mode, Zarya can deal up to 95 damage, depending on her energy. She does that by firing a projectile that is a bit tricky to master.

Zarya relies on her Bubbles to be effective

As mentioned earlier, there are a couple of reasons why Zarya is one of the most complicated heroes in Overwatch. One of them is her bubbles and the fact that she needs to make the most of them.

Speaking of bubbles, she has two of them. The first one is called Particle Barrier, which lasts 2 seconds and has a 10 seconds cooldown. When used, Zarya shields herself against incoming attacks and gains energy. While the bubble is active, Zarya is immune to CC effects and cleans her from most DoT effects.

Projected Barrier is the hero’s second bubble, and it also has 200 HP. However, instead of using it on herself, she can use it on any allied hero. Other than that, the ability has a similar effect to her previous bubble.

Since the bubbles block damage and can remove a lot of negative effects, you need to learn how to use them. This is one of the things that makes Zarya one of the most complicated heroes in Overwatch.

Zarya’s ultimate

After mentioning some of the most important things about the hero, it is time to focus on one of the best ultimates in Overwatch. Zarya’s Graviton Surge is an ability that lasts for four seconds, has 6 meters AoE, and deals some damage. 

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When used, Zarya can draw enemies and trap them until the ability’s effect is over. During that time, her teammates can deal massive amounts of damage because all enemies are grouped up.

Although this ultimate is strong enough to use solely, it excels when you combine it with other heroes. There are many possible combinations, but the most interesting one is with Hanzo. Dragonstrike and Graviton Surge can wipe any team in seconds.

Since Zarya’s opponents will be “trapped” close to each other, this ult can also do wonders with heroes like Pharah. The same applies to Tracer, Genji, Rein, and so on. 

Of course, landing a good ultimate as Zarya is not easy, especially when playing against experienced Overwatch players. They will do everything they can to avoid getting trapped, which means they won’t stay close to each other.

On top of that, Zarya needs to be careful and dodge certain abilities in the game before using her ultimate. The most annoying one has to be D.Va’s, Defense Matrix, which can easily disable Zarya’s ult.

Other tips and tricks

Since Zarya has to be on the frontlines to deal more damage, the hero doesn’t work in every scenario. In fact, there are a couple of maps, such as Junkertown, where she is just not as strong as other heroes. Due to the lack of mobility, enemies can simply use the high ground to their advantage and dodge her abilities.

Another thing that you can often see if you watch some of the best Zarya players in action is using their secondary fire mode to “rocket jump”. This works similarly to Pharah or Solider’s ability, but it is not that good. 

Last but not least, don't forget to use both fire modes. Many people rely solely on their beam, but the secondary mode can also do wonders.

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