How to win Overwatch's new Yeti Hunt Winter event

Overwatch is still going strong over a year and a half after its release, and every other month fans can look forward to some new themed content. Since it’s December it’s time for a repeat of the game’s Holiday event, this time with a brand new mode called Yeti Hunt. We’ll walk you through the new mode and provide some strategies that’ll help you succeed, whether you want to play as the yeti or as one of the hunters.

Overview

Mei’s Yeti Hunt is a new brawl pitting five Mei players against one superpowered Winston. The Mei team wins if they manage to drop Winston’s health down to nothing, and Yeti Winston has to take out five Mei players to claim victory.  Meis will respawn if they’re knocked out, but the team shares a pool of five lives and if they get used up, the hunting party loses.

Winston players start with 5000 health and armor, but otherwise play as normal at the game’s outset. He can leap every six seconds and drop a barrier to block incoming icicles, though it won’t stand up to sustained fire. Winston’s ultimate ability doesn’t charge as normal. Instead, he must collect four meat pickups from around the map to transform into his powerful Primal Rage mode. When he does, the Mei team should try to flee since his massive fists will only need to connect once or twice to take them out.

Mei players are changed very little, with the exception of their Ultimate ability. Instead of throwing the Snowball droid for an area-of-effect cold snap, Mei can lay a Junkrat-style trap somewhere on the map which remains until it’s triggered or destroyed. If Winston steps in the trap he’s immobilized for a few seconds, even if he’s in Rage mode.

The game is played on a slightly modified version of the Nepal Village map. There’s a little more fog obscuring player’s vision, and all health packs are turned off in this mode. Mei can still heal in her Ice block, but Winston can only regain health when he transforms. Winston only gains 500 health when he shifts, so the Yeti player will have to play carefully if they want to claim victory. On the plus side, he’ll get the 500 health added to his total even if he’s already at full health when he enters beast mode.

Playing as Winston

Playing as the Yeti can be more difficult than playing as a Mei, and winning requires better knowledge of the map. If you’re not familiar with Nepal Village, try playing a few rounds as Mei first to learn where you can move around on the ground. The chip damage Meis do to Winston adds up, so try to stay out of their line of sight whenever you can. Use the terrain and your bubble shield to block shots and avoid taking damage at all if possible. Winston shouldn’t hang around in one place for very long, so use your Leap ability as often as possible to move around the map quickly and get yourself to the meat.

Getting cornered by a Mei means she’ll probably try to freeze you, so do your best to Leap away before she gets a chance. Clever Mei players may try to block you in with an ice wall, but don’t be shy about firing back with your Tesla cannon if you’re trapped. You don’t have to get all five Mei kills in rage mode; any death counts against their total and contributes to your victory. Even if you only kill the same player five times, you get the win.

If multiple hunters are in front of you, don’t forget that your weapon hurts them all equally as long as they’re within range. It’s also good to remember that landing on top of an enemy does up to 50 damage, and connecting with a melee strike does 30. Punish overly aggressive Mei players by Leaping onto them and following up with a quick melee, and you may not even need to hulk out to achieve a win.

Once you’ve collected four steaks, Winston will gain an incredibly powerful melee strike and his Leap ability drops to a two second cooldown. Unfortunately, this means he loses access to his bubble shield and Tesla cannon. Take advantage of this time to drop as many Yeti hunter Meis as you can before the rage wears off. If Mei tries to block you with an Ice wall, you can smash through it pretty easily or use your Leap to jump over. If she tries to hide in her Ice block, keep swinging; the amount of time she’s allowed to stay in there is reduced during this mode so you’ll likely still be able to score a kill if you have her cornered. Keep your eyes open for the telltale teeth of a trap and try not to get frozen, as both conditions will waste valuable rage time.

One other strategy to consider is stalling as much as you can. The meat spawns on a fixed timer at several fixed points throughout the map. If you collect three and then hide for a bit before collecting the fourth, the other three spawn points will have more time to regenerate meat for you. This can get you a second rage mode more quickly than the Mei team might be expecting, though it’s still up to your skill to hunt them down.

Playing as Mei

Mei starts with all the advantages, much like the ghosts in Pac-Man. The Mei team’s strategy should be to chip away at Winston’s enormous health pool, swarming him when possible and running away when he enters rage mode. Freezing him or trapping him with Ice walls can help, but all damage done to the primate will help contribute to your team claiming a win. Your Ice block and Ice wall will fall faster than you’re probably used to from the live game, so stalling out a raging Winston won’t work as well as you might expect.

Mei’s Ice block will allow her to heal to full, so don’t be shy about using it if Winston has been throwing lightning. Her Ice wall can be used to try and trap the Yeti, but it’s much more useful as a mobility tool. A skilled Mei player can use their wall to quickly reach high ground by casting it directly beneath her, and this works especially well on the side of the map overlooking the drop. Don’t forget the wall can be dismissed by pressing the button again, preventing it from blocking your teammates’ shots. You can also choose between a horizontal wall or one that stretches out in front of you by hitting the wall button twice before summoning it.

Any damage you do to Winston will help your team claim victory, so fire icicles using your alt-fire whenever you can see him. Hitting him with any attack will cause him to become visible to the rest of your team for a moment, much like the effect of Hanzo’s Sonic arrow or Widowmaker’s Infrasight. If you’re close to Winston, switch to the freeze ray and try to lock him in place for a moment, but always keep an eye on your own health. If you get below 50 or so you should drop into an Ice block to restore yourself.

Mei players will succeed more often if they coordinate and call out the position of the yeti, so consider bringing some friends along and miking up if you’re having a hard time achieving victory. All players can see how much meat Winston has collected because of a special UI element to center right. When he gets to three consumed, it might be a good idea for the Mei team to scatter so Winston won’t be able to take out multiple hunters at once.

When you get a trap, try placing it on top of a meat spawn or a choke point somewhere on the ground. Use it as soon as you can since it takes a while to build charge and you won’t be gaining any while holding onto the trap. Locking a raging Winston in place for three seconds can help buy your teammates some time to hide, and Winston doesn’t gain infrasight so the player will have to rely on their own senses to seek out enemy hunters.

Two new achievements were added to coincide with the new game mode, and trapping a Winston or consuming four meat in one game will earn you some new sprays. You’ll also earn a free holiday loot box for your first win whether you’re playing as the Yeti or the hunters. The new mode will only be around until the New Year, so load up Overwatch and happy hunting!