Get the most out of Overwatch Retribution: Tips, tricks, and strategies for the latest event

Overwatch’s newest event kicked off this week, and Retribution requires the largest patch in the game’s history. The more than 16 GB update includes a ton of new content, but the most exciting part is a brand new map and game mode following the exploits of the Blackwatch team as they attempt to infiltrate a Talon facility in Venice, Italy. There are a few ways to play the new Rialto map, and we’ll go over each in turn. The huge patch also includes the return of last year’s popular Uprising event, which has changed slightly as well. Read on and we’ll provide all the details and some strategies on how to succeed at both events.

Know the terrain

Both Uprising and Retribution have two modes available: A story mode where your team is composed of four predetermined characters, and a more freeplay mode where you can choose the hero you want to play. Both modes have several achievements that will unlock sprays when completed, and for the most part these are earned by beating the different difficulty levels of the set character mode.

Uprising is set on the King’s Row map, modified slightly to gate certain areas and remove the respawning health kits. Retribution takes place on the entirely new Rialto map, styled to look like a futuristic version of Venice. In both scenarios, your team of four will move from area to area, fighting off waves of enemies including several unique types which can use special abilities and deal more damage to players.

King’s Row is one of the few maps in Overwatch without many opportunities for environmental kills.  Until the final stage there are no pits or hazards to knock enemies into, so characters who can take advantage of this feature like Pharah and Lucio will need to find their value elsewhere. Rialto, on the other hand, has several sections set near the canals, and these areas provide a few opportunities to boop enemies off the map.

Since Rialto is brand new, it may take a few tries to learn the intricacies of where best to attack from and how to move safely through the streets of Venice. Don’t be afraid to try the new map in Normal mode until you have a handle on where enemies will come from and how to deal with them.

Know the enemies

Most of the Talon operatives you’ll be facing in Retribution are simple cannon fodder called Troopers, but there are a few special types to watch out for.

Enforcers are the most common enemy type apart from the Troopers, and they take more shots to put down. They move and fire more slowly, but carry railguns which deal much heavier damage if you’re hit. Reaper can use Wraith Form to avoid their fire, then get in close and shoot them in the face. Genji can time his Deflect to send the railgun attack back at the Enforcer, and McCree can stun them to make them miss an attack cycle, then Fan the Hammer to finish them off. Prioritize Enforcers above Troopers since they can easily overwhelm your team if left standing for too long.

Assassins can phase quickly around the area and are difficult to pin down. If they get close, they can incapacitate a player and will deal heavy damage over time, sort of like a Hunter from Left 4 Dead. Other players can knock the Assassin off a friendly by damaging it or using stunning abilities.

Snipers act like Widowmaker, using a grappling hook to take up good positions and dealing heavy damage from a distance. Unlike Widowmaker, the Talon snipers have a very visible laser sight which will give away their position and allow the team to close on them. Genji can deflect a sniper’s shot back at them for a one hit kill, and Reaper can use Wraith Form to close the distance and shoot the sniper at close range. McCree can deal reasonable damage at range, but it’s probably best to let the other characters deal with them.

Heavy Troopers are a cross between Orisa and Reinhardt, combining the former’s high rate of fire with the latter’s charge and pin ability. Fortunately, these troopers don’t have any shielding, but they do have loads and loads of hit points. You’ll need to work as a team to take them down, attacking from multiple angles and aiming for the head when possible. Genji can deflect some damage back at the Heavy, but communicate with your McCree to make sure he doesn’t stun the target while you’re deflecting fire back at it.

It’s easy to get tunnel vision and focus all your attention on the Heavy, but they usually spawn alongside some lesser troopers who can overwhelm your group if they’re ignored. If you engage a Heavy from the front, stay a few steps back or they’ll hit you with a melee strike that deals heavy damage and knocks you backwards. Be very careful when fighting them near a canal since their charge attack can knock players into the water, necessitating a revival.

Know the characters

Retribution’s team consists of Genji, McCree, Reaper, and Moira as the team’s sole support. Knowing how to play each of these characters well will make Retribution much easier and allow you to flex pick at the beginning of a round. One of the achievements requires playing Retribution from the point of view of each of the team members, so it’s worth your time to learn how each of these heroes plays.


Moira has the most important job on the team, as she’s responsible for keeping everyone healthy and ready to fight. Players can revive one another with full health if they fall, but this takes some time and prevents the reviver from moving very far while picking up a fallen comrade. It’s much better to keep everyone healed than to rely on revival to bail you out.

Moira is one of the most misunderstood characters in the game in terms of her mechanics, and many people play her incorrectly. She’s a bit harder to play than Mercy, and getting the most out of her requires positioning and game sense not only by the Moira player, but by her teammates as well. Both of her healing options work best when her teammates stay close together since they can heal multiple targets simultaneously. Communicate this to your team, and let them know that if they leave your side they’re probably going to have a bad time. If you’re playing as one of the three offensive characters, do your best to stay close to Moira and prioritize taking out threats to her, since the game will become much more challenging without a dedicated healer.

Moira has the option to heal or harm depending on whether she’s using her primary or secondary fire. Her primary fire Biotic Spray heals and expends a resource indicated on the right of her heads-up display, while the secondary fire Biotic Grasp does light damage at medium range and replenishes this resource. Dealing damage in this way also heals Moira slightly. Try to remember that there’s a slight heal-over-time effect applied to any friendly characters hit by Biotic Spray, so it’s not necessary to completely top off your allies using this resource.

She can also launch a healing or a harming orb out which bounces off of walls and ceilings, automatically attaching itself to any character it gets close to. Try to use the healing orb to do the majority of your healing, and leave the spray for emergencies. Throwing a healing orb out and following it is the best way to heal yourself when damaged, and it can heal the team for up to 300 health before it dissipates. If the orb flies away you’ll have to wait for the entire 10 second cooldown before you can throw another one, so try to place them in areas where they will bounce back to the team if possible.

The harmful orb is a useful tool in a team game since it can penetrate barriers, but at higher difficulties it’s inadvisable to rely too heavily on it. Moira’s damage potential pales in comparison to what her three teammates can dish out, and it’s not her job to score kills on the Talon operatives you’re squaring off against. Just keep your team in one piece and use Biotic Grasp to steal some resource when they don’t need healing.

Moira’s ultimate Coalescence deals damage and heals at the same time, so you’ll get the most out of it when you fire into a crowd. Coalescence has greater range than Biotic Spray, so use it if a friendly character needs healing at a distance or to support a revive attempt.


Reaper got some welcome upgrades that coincide with this event. His Wraith Form can now be cancelled at any time rather than having to wait out the duration of the ability, so you can now use it as a quick reload if your guns run dry. His ultimate Death Blossom now reloads his shotguns after use, and both upgrades mean he’ll be able to fire more frequently and more consistently than before.

Reaper is the only character other than Moira to have any sort of self-healing since damage he deals returns a portion of his health. As such, he’s the tankiest character on the team and should probably lead the way when he can. Since his weapon works best at close range, he makes a great enforcer for Moira and should stay close to her to deal with threats whenever possible.

Save Death Blossom for large groups, but don’t feel bad about using it on a miniboss character. It’ll charge pretty quickly, especially if you’re getting in close and scoring headshots. One other thing to consider is that it’s a good idea to break some railings before a battle so you can move more freely with Shadow Step in case the Talon operatives come at you from above.


McCree plays best at close-to-medium range, depending on your personal accuracy with his revolver. His Flashbang can stun a single target or a large group, and it’s great for disrupting the heavy troopers when they charge the team or knocking an assassin off of a wall or a friendly character. Stunning a Trooper and pegging it with a headshot will drop them in a single hit in most cases. Consider setting your sensitivity a bit lower if you intend to play as McCree, as this will let you deliver more consistent headshots.

Since McCree is the only character on the team without any mobility options, do your best to stay close to Moira and defend her. Fan the Hammer works best at close range, and will drop lesser enemies with a single clip. Against tougher enemies you can Fan the Hammer, Combat Roll to reload, and then Fan the Hammer again for a huge amount of damage on a single target.

McCree’s Deadeye is best used against large groups, but don’t be scared to use it against an enemy Sniper, especially if they’re targeting someone else. It’s not especially effective against the Heavy troopers due to their high health pool, and it won’t work well on Assassins if they’re phasing around and preventing you from locking on. It’s great at clearing out multiple Enforcers and Troopers, and can be used while the rest of the team is tussling with a Heavy Trooper to clear out lesser enemies.


Genji has the highest mobility of the four characters, and the natural inclination for many Genji players is to engage enemies before they can reach the rest of the group. This isn’t a good idea, and the team will be much more successful if Genji stays within range of Moira’s healing abilities. Use Swift Strike and Wall climb to attack enemies on the upper floors of buildings, since McCree and Moira will have a tougher time reaching them. Reaper can reach these ledges as well, but teleporting leaves him vulnerable for a moment. If you’re hurt, get back to Moira before the enemies can overwhelm you. None of the enemies can heal, so it’s not vital to finish them off before they can escape.

Skilled Genji players can singlehandedly deal with Snipers by reflecting a headshot back at them. If this isn’t possible, use Deflect and Swift Strike to get in close, then take them out quickly with shuriken and melee strikes. Remember that Swift Strike’s cooldown is reset if you use it to finish off an enemy, so try to dash through crowds which are already damaged to get the most out of the ability. Be careful using Swift Strike near canals, and if you end up over the water use your double jump to return to shore.

Genji’s Dragonblade is one of the most damaging attacks in the game, and one of the best ways to deal with the miniboss enemies. While active the damage from Swift Strike is greatly amplified, so take advantage of this to destroy groups of lesser enemies. Dragonblade should charge quickly, so use it whenever the situation starts to look a little hairy.

Uprising Updated

Overwatch’s popular Uprising event returns as well, and there are a few changes since last year. Most of these concern Mercy, as the other three characters are largely unchanged.

Mercy was reworked twice since last year’s event, and her ultimate ability was changed significantly. Instead of charging her ultimate to Resurrect her entire team, she can now Resurrect a single target every thirty seconds. Of course, it’s better not to need this feature by making sure your team is topped off at all times, but it’s nice to have when something bad happens and you don’t want to wait for the revival animation to complete.

Her ultimate ability now applies her healing or damage beam to any characters who are close together, and greatly amplifies its effect while the ability is active. This can help greatly against big waves of enemies, nullifying their damage or allowing your teammates to take them out much more quickly. The other three characters should do their best to stay close together when Mercy triggers her ultimate to maximize the benefit of her beams.  Although Mercy can fly while using this ability, it’s still usually better to stay behind Reinhardt’s shield since the Omnics you’re fighting will be more than happy to shoot you down if you’re not protected.

General tips

As always, coordination will help your team to succeed. If possible, plug in a headset and try to work with your teammates to call out enemies. Play with friends if you can to take work together more effectively, not to mention taking advantage of the 20 percent experience bonus.

Some characters work better in the All Characters modes than others. Uprising works especially well with Bastion, Zenyatta, Orisa and a fourth character of the player’s choice. Sombra’s a good choice since her Hack and EMP abilities will disable the omnics for a decent amount of time, but any DPS character can slot in effectively. Retribution has lots of semi-enclosed spaces, so a close-range, melee focused group can really shine. Try building the team around a Reinhardt/Brigitte combo and you’ll probably do pretty well.

When playing on higher difficulties in Uprising, the team will live or die based on how well their Reinhardt plays. Learning how to manage his shield, when to use Earthshatter, when to pin an enemy bot, and where you’ll end up after charging are all vital skills to master before attempting the most difficult skill levels.

Enemy Bastions in Uprising should always be your first priority, especially if they’re in Tank mode. Reinhardt can charge and pin Bastions in Turret mode, and they’ll walk back to the point they had been set up before the pin. This is the rest of the team’s chance to pile on damage and destroy the robot before it can recover. Reinhardt can also charge the large bombs away from the payload, giving the rest of the team time to destroy it before it can damage the cart.

The small Slicer enemies need to be destroyed quickly, or they’ll cut the payload to pieces on the higher difficulty levels. Reinhardt can destroy them with some hammer swings, but all characters should keep an eye on the cart and be ready to shoot them if many appear at once.

Shielded enemies in Uprising take a few seconds to raise their defenses, during which time you can shoot them freely. If they do get a shield up, Tracer can blink behind them and shoot the small target on their back to make them drop the shield.

Torbjorn shouldn’t be shy about using Molten Core, especially since it charges very fast in this mode. Be sure to provide armor to the rest of the team, but don’t stray too far away when picking up scrap. Keep your turret in one piece and don’t forget your gun can do much more significant damage with headshots.

Logging in to Overwatch during the Retribution event will grant you an Archives Loot box, and you can earn two more by playing through Retribution in the story and all character modes. There are also several new sprays you can unlock by playing through Retribution on harder difficulty levels. Some of the best skins in the game are tied to this event, so get in there and bash some heads! Both the Retribution and Uprising events are active in Overwatch from now until April 30