Overwatch launched in 2016 and starred the sturdy main tank, Reinhardt. Reinhardt Wilhelm is a large German man with serious firepower behind his suit of armor and hammer. A sturdy tank and a solid offensive spearhead, Reinhardt can carry games by himself if he has enough healing. But that doesn’t mean carrying games alone should be the focus of a Reinhardt player. Through the eyes of a tank, protecting the team comes first. That shouldn’t discourage players from bashing a few heroes with the hammer, however.
With a pick rate of 9.83 percent, Reinhardt is no longer the only shield tank seen in a match, unlike in previous seasons. He is still a great hero to learn how to be a tank in Overwatch. He’s also making a comeback into the meta with several buffs coming his way, marking this the best time to learn him in this Reinhardt guide.
Reinhardt’s passive is resistance to knockback abilities, reducing the initial velocity of all knockback effects. It should be noted that crowd control abilities that are not classified in the game are not reduced in velocity. Abilities like Halt, Chain Hook, and Graviton Surge will not be affected by Reinhardt’s passive. Recent changes have seen Reinhardt’s passive getting huge buffs and making him nearly immovable by knockback effects.
Primary Weapon: Rocket Hammer
One of the reasons for making Reinhardt an easy pick for beginners is the lack of ranged attacks. The hero’s primary method of attack is melee damage with his Rocket Hammer. The hammer does 75 damage on each enemy in a 5-meter cone in front of Reinhardt. Maximize the damage of the hammer by swinging it when there are multiple enemies in range.
Ability #1: Barrier Field
Reinhardt’s primary defensive ability is the barrier field. When playing on PC, holding the right mouse button keeps it activated. Although shield nerfs hit Reinhardt hard since he’s a shield tank, his shield is still a 1600 point barrier. After being taken down for two seconds, it regenerates at 200 points a second. After being completely broken, the shield will take five seconds to come back online.
Image credit to GameWatcher.
Ability #2: Charge
Reinhardt’s best offensive ability, upon pressing the assigned button, Reinhardt charges forward at high speed, pinning any enemies in the way. Any enemy pinned to the wall takes extra damage, and most heroes in Overwatch will be one-shot by it. It’s also a good way to cancel opponents’ crowd control abilities. Note that it’s got a long cooldown of ten seconds and can be dangerous to use if the team can’t back you up.
Ability #3: Fire Strike
This is Reinhardt’s only ranged ability. He shoots a burst of flame going through shields and damaging all enemies in its path. This causes 100 damage to each enemy and hitting multiple opponents charges his ultimate quicker. It has a comparatively short cooldown at six seconds and should be spammed if enemies are clustered together.
Reinhardt’s ultimate ability is a crowd control effect that stuns everyone in its range for three whole seconds. In Overwatch, that’s more than enough time to die. This ability does not go through shields and can be blocked by other crowd control abilities so timing is important.
Defending the Team
As a team’s shield tank, Reinhardt needs to defend his allies from enemy fire first and foremost. His large shield, passive knockback reduction and armor make it easier to take hits for the team. Use the barrier liberally as Reinhardt recently received a speed buff while holding his shield. But avoid breaking his shield completely as it takes five seconds to come back online. Try to have a balance between losing shield health and health points. A shield is the best defense for a team against enemy offenses, so players should try to keep teams nearby.
As Reinhardt, players will often be the spearhead of your attack, creating space and causing havoc for DPS heroes to take advantage of. Charge is his deadliest attack, so it’s crucial to hit an enemy when charging. Try to also keep Charge distance as short as possible. Reinhardt is vulnerable to other crowd control abilities while charging, so enemy abilities should be baited out best as possible. Reinhardt can get a lot of Play of the Game moments if played aggressively.
With enough skill, you can even hit everyone around you with your rocket hammer, by swinging the mouse a full 360 degrees as you hit it. Earthshatter is an ability that can wipe out teams with a proper setup, but it is vulnerable to shields and other abilities, such as Zarya’s bubble. Bait these abilities out before attacking with your ultimate.
Synergy with Others
As a large defender with crowd control, Reinhardt holds great synergy with other heroes. Zarya and Reinhardt have been a classic combo for years. With both heroes being buffed recently, it is once again viable to play both together. Ana also pairs well with Reinhardt since her Nano Boost can transform Reinhardt into a one-man wrecking crew.
Lucio provides Reinhardt with some necessary mobility. Any DPS hero synergizes well with Reinhardt, as they can simply stay behind his shield and deal damage to the enemy. Bastion will become unstoppable with a Reinhardt protecting him. Earthshatter is not an ultimate that can one-shot every enemy, but combining it with other DPS ultimates like Junkrat’s Riptire can lead to a team wipe.
Reinhardt is one of the most unique heroes of Overwatch. In a game that is essentially a first-person shooter, Reinhardt is a hero with no guns and a lack of ranged attacks in general. But this does not make him any less of a hero than others as his powerful melees and game sense-based play can be empowering to play as. Reinhardt lets the player improve at tanking and getting good at playing him may even land players in Grandmaster.
Written by Navid Imtiaz