Tips for Mastering New 'Overwatch' Uprising PvE Mode
Here's how you take back King's Row from Null Sector.
The latest Overwatch event — Uprising — delves into the history of the titular peacekeeping organization, specifically the events that may or may not have led to its inevitable downfall. Uprising includes perhaps the best game mode Overwatch has seen: Insurrection. It’s a co-operative player vs. environment (PvE) romp through King’s Row in London. Mercy, Tracer, Reinhardt, and Torbjörn are on a mission to root out the omnic terrorist organization known as Null Sector, which has taken over the city and captured important political leaders.
This is the first instance of PvE gameplay since the short-lived but widely praised Halloween-themed Junkenstein’s Revenge, which was more of a round-based, horde defense game. Insurrection, on the other hand, fuses together common Overwatch match types — namely both zone capture and vehicle escort — with mini-bosses and a culminating final confrontation. The first few goals involve disabling defensive cannons before you escort a door-busting payload up the street. In the finale, you face off against several proto-Orisas and a Bastion or two.
Though there’s also an option to play the mission outside the limits of a pre-set team; here are a number of strategies that are universally applicable to achieving success in Insurrection:
Group Up and Focus on Defending Objectives
Many Overwatch players are prone to going rogue to rack up the kills no matter what the game mode, oftentimes ignoring Support teammates and other allies altogether. The thing is, it’s easy to get buried in enemies as Insurrection throws waves and waves of robots at players, especially on more difficult settings. Even Tracer, who is known to zip deep behind enemy lines to flank opponents, is better off playing it more defensive behind Reinhardt’s shield than going rogue. Insurrection does have an ally revive mechanic found in many other shooters, but if you’re behind enemy lines too deep, that won’t even be an option. Teamwork in Overwatch has never been more important than it is on the streets of King’s Row, especially when many objectives need to have at least one teammate on them to continue progressing, but it’s also important when the team needs to focus fire on the more difficult enemies. Speaking of:
Know Which Enemies to Prioritize
Several of the mini-bosses will straight-up drop out of the sky or just as quickly appear from around the corner — and the team needs to know how to handle them. Generally speaking, it’s best to quickly eliminate hoards of smaller enemies before going for the big ones, but there are exceptions. Recognize these enemy types:
These ubiquitous enemies are the most common. Their weapons aren’t overly threatening, but they can quickly become overwhelming when their numbers grow. Each one should go down relatively quick, but if there is an enemy type that can be ignored, it’s them.
Slicers are tiny, easy-to-kill enemies that shuffle directly towards the payload and try to bring it down with a focused laser. It’s always best to try and pick them off before they can even fire, and if they do get close enough, they tend to bunch up together — which is prime for a few swings of Reinhardt’s hammer or other focused close-range attack.
These large, pulsating orbs begin to spawn as the payload starts to boot up. Sent in with the primary goal of getting close enough to the payload to detonate, these can quickly end the mission prematurely. Whenever one of these arrives on the scene, the entire team needs to bring it down as quickly as possible while ignoring all else.
These big robots have a curved Reinhardt-esque shield but also rockets, too. They can put out a lot of damage but do so inconsistently. It’s almost always better to take out smaller enemies first before ganging up on these to finish out whatever “round” you are on. Flanking its unshielded side helps, but it’s possible to burn down the shield directly with enough damage output.
You’re undoubtedly familiar with how much of a pain an enemy Bastion can be. A lot of the enemy Bastions in Insurrection seem to come tearing onto the battlefield in tank form before setting up as a turret, usually behind a Shielded Omnic. If you can manage taking it out before it can set up as a turret, you’ll be better off for it.
Several enemy Orisas represent the final boss battle of Insurrection. They are constantly tossing down shields to protect each other, and their cannons can burn through smaller characters very quickly, especially if one of them uses its ultimate to buff damage output. The best thing you can do is take the confrontation at a slow and steady pace, especially considering that they tend to be accompanied by a pair of Bastions with turret modes that are far more dangerous.
If a Teammate Goes Down, Rally Together to Get Them Back Up
Reviving a downed teammate is possible, but you’re given a very narrow window during which to get them back into fighting shape. This is part of why it’s so important to stick together because the remaining three teammates need to work together to revive their teammate. Things will only get more difficult if you’re a man short, which is why so many team compositions view Mercy as essential: her ultimate can quickly revive one or all of her downed teammates.
If You Want to Succeed at Higher Difficulties, Consider a Different Team Comp
The default setup of Torbjörn, Mercy, Tracer, and Reinhardt represents a great balance of Defense, Healing Support, DPS, and Tank on paper — but on higher difficulties, Tracer is going to be next to useless, and even Torbjörn could stand to be replaced. For a lot of teams, Bastion will be an essential addition for the damage output, but even a Soldier: 76 is far better than Tracer. One healer is essential — with two being overkill — and while Mercy is perhaps the best, Lucio or Ana might suffice in a skilled player’s hands. Reinhardt is all but essential; though he could conceivably be replaced with a talented Orisa, the two working together is oftentimes even effective when accompanied by a DPS and healer.
Several characters in the greater roster are more of a liability in a game mode like this. Zenyatta just can’t cut it as the solo heal (and you shouldn’t have two here). Genji, Pharah, Hanzo, Widowmaker, Winston, and Roadhog are less than optimal for the same reasons as Tracer: Each of these characters functions best when fighting apart from their team, which is a real liability in Insurrection. Depending on the overall composition, pretty much any of the remaining characters could jockey for a spot on your squad — just make sure you don’t double-down on Support or Defense characters.
If you’re interested in the lore of the event, the latest Overwatch comic offers up a bit of a prelude to Uprising, which is actually Tracer’s first mission on active duty.
Overwatch Uprising — along with Insurrection — lasts only until May 1.