How to Play Genji in Overwatch

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Matthew M. White
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Genji is one of the most difficult champions to learn in Overwatch, requiring mastery of various offensive and defensive tactics. But if you manage to master this versatile hero, you will become a serious threat on the battlefield. You will also be one of your team's most critical assets, paving the way to victory.

In this article, we will give you many tips for playing Genji in Overwatch. Research strategies to maximize his strengths and what to avoid if you master this Shuriken-wielding hero.



How to Play Genji in Overwatch

Genji has two formidable weapons in his arsenal: the sword and the Shuriken. The former is used in melee combat, while the latter can be fired side-by-side or in clusters of three in a straight line. The champion can also deflect incoming attacks using the sword and deliver fast, devastating strikes. On top of that, his handy passive ability includes double jumps and allows him to traverse difficult terrain.

Now let's see how you can make the most of Genji's abilities.

Choose your targets wisely

Even Diamond and Master Genji players tend to focus their attacks on tanks as they are the easiest target. But in most situations, this offensive tactic doesn't fit Genji's design for taking out low health damage dealers and healers.

Directing all your efforts towards obliterating a tank often wastes a lot of time and opportunity, limiting the effectiveness of your fights. Rushing into your enemy's backline during combat and taking out their healers usually has a bigger impact on the outcome of the battle.


You should also remember that chasing glory and appearing on the News Feed isn't necessarily essential to winning a match. Instead, consider jumping into the opponent's backline and engaging them with your shurikens. If three people are focusing on you, they won't pay attention to the rest of your allies and will be less likely to lose the team fight. While you distract the enemy, your team can also defend and push more effectively.


Excel at melee encounters

Genji thrives in close quarters combat. To make full use of his abilities, you'll need to master his melee combat style.

The key here is to learn the most effective combat techniques, based on Genji's strengths and weaknesses. Engaging in fast-paced melee combat is your best bet as the champion isn't well-suited to intense, long fights. Therefore, mash your melee button and try to avoid enemy attacks at all costs. If the situation doesn't seem safe, look for another opportunity to get involved.

Trust your Dragonblade

Most Genji kill online montages feature his Dragonblade. It deals massive damage per hit, features a large radius, and features an extra-long slashing range. Additionally, it resets the cooldown of your Swift Strike the moment you release it. Therefore, this ultimate ability gives the hero an additional path to his prey.

When your Dragonblade is ready, try to flank the opponents. Sneak around them and determine the ideal target to annihilate. As stated before, aim for damage dealers and healers first, as they shouldn't take more than a slash or two to kill.


You must also use one of the following combos:

  • Q, dash, slash
  • Dash, Q, tuer, Dash
  • Rush to the sky, Q, Rush to the enemy, kill

All of these combos are situational and depend on your position relative to the enemy. But keep in mind that Genji is very vulnerable when his ultimate is activated. To avoid kills, use a series of dashes to evade enemy attacks and damage a handful of people simultaneously.


Maximize your fast typing potential

Genji's quick strike allows the champion to close in on targets, evade various dangers, and deal massive damage. The cooldown resets if he kills an enemy after sprinting, and good players take advantage of this by combining multiple kills in quick succession.

However, try not to rush towards the enemy you want to pursue immediately. This move can put you in a dangerous position as you will have no way of escaping in case you fumble around eliminating your target.

Remember that Genji's Quick Strike is a sacred ability. The cooldown is quite long if a kill does not accompany it. So only use it to kill low health enemy champions where you are pretty much guaranteed to kill.

Also, dash into the backline of opponents, but be sure to establish your target before starting the fight. Eliminate the enemy as quickly as possible, allowing you to reset your cooldown and escape the fight nearly unscathed.

Use Shurikens Appropriately

Genji's Shurikens are a constant source of damage when used effectively. The champion's main Shuriken attack involves him throwing three outwards in straight lines. On the other hand, his secondary fire allows him to graze them, fanning the projectiles in wide arcs. Polishing this attack mostly comes down to understanding when one method is more convenient than the other.


As a general rule, you should keep the primary fire for long and medium range fights, as they will remain accurate regardless of distance. In other cases, using the secondary fire method can make your close-range fights more effective. Keep in mind that the longer they stay in the air, the more they will deploy. Therefore, you need to get close to your opponent and make sure the Shurikens hit their target with every trigger pull.


Surprise your enemies

Genji is a unique character and you need to understand his particular fighting style to help your team succeed. In addition to his melee prowess, he is also an excellent choice for surprise attacks.

During quiet moments, take your time to examine the map, find shortcuts, and catch the opponent off guard while they tend to other team members. Remember to fall back before you take too much damage and prepare your weapons for the next assault.

Swerve like the best of them

While attacks are a crucial element of gameplay, deflecting and blocking also play a central role in getting to grips with Genji. You may be an expert offensive player, but if you lack the necessary defensive skills, you will quickly fall into the right circumstances. To avoid this scenario, practice Genji's deflect ability as often as possible.

In most cases, you will need to use this ability predictively. For example, when anticipating McCree's Flashbang, use Deflection to send him back into the champion's face. Additionally, you can dash headlong into your opponents with Deflection enabled to shield your teammates and redirect damage back towards enemies.

Typically, you want to save Deflection for later stages of combat, as it usually surprises your opponents and allows your cooldowns to recharge. This way you can escape or engage quickly if necessary.

Don't go into battles without a plan

While the deflect ability provides some protection when rushing into battle, it's generally not a good idea when playing Genji. Again, it's not designed to thrive in long, intense bouts of combat. As a result, you should use the champion strategically rather than impulsively.

Always have a plan when engaging in enemy encounters. Otherwise, you'll most likely be a sitting duck and a liability to your teammates. Learn to strategize your moves, leap into action, and retreat before taking too much damage. Remember Genji's strengths and drawbacks and design your plan around them.

Avoid 1v1s

Another important part of playing to Genji's strengths and adapting to weaknesses is avoiding 1v1s. The character is not intended for solo withdrawals. This job is best left to other teammates well equipped for these interactions, such as Roadhog, Tracer, and Mei.

If you have no other choice, try to kill the opponent as soon as possible and avoid characters that deal tons of damage. Also try to avoid encounters with the following heroes, as they counter Genji's battle kit:

  • Winston/Zarya - These heroes are perhaps Genji's worst adversaries. Their health and shields allow them to absorb Genji's Shurikens, and you can't deflect their primary fire. Additionally, Winston can turn into an absolute nightmare since he can use his jump to stay within range of you.
  • Mei - Genji cannot deflect his endothermic blaster. This ability also freezes you, leaving you defenseless.
  • Symmetra – Symmetra uses sentry turrets to slow you down and uses her primary weapons to track you around the map. Granted, it might not be as deadly as some other attacks, but properly placed turrets can be your downfall.

Shoot efficiently

One of the most common problems newbies have when learning to play Genji is the heavy reliance on his Dash. Some moments require you to rush, while some situations don't require the ability.

Essentially, you want to use Dash only when needed. Analyze the enemy team and try to anticipate the next move. If the coast is clear, activate the ability to increase your chances of a quick takedown. Otherwise, avoid using it; using Dash at the wrong time risks exposing yourself and your team's position.

The path to victory is clear

Even though Genji is one of the toughest champions in the game, you can achieve impressive results if you stay within his comfort zone. To sum it up, the hero is at his best when he invades the enemy's backline and eliminates low HP units with his Swift Strike. Use his Dash to take out enemies before they realize what's going on and escape dangerous situations before getting too badly injured. Also, don't focus on tanks and 1v1 encounters to avoid misguided extended fights.

Do you find Genji fun to play or too complicated to learn? Is he one of your favorite champions in the game? Have you considered keeping Genji? Let us know in the comments section below.

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