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May 2017

What Are Hitboxes And How Can They Improve Your Aim

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overwatch hitboxes cover

Hitbox has always been a crucial part of a video game. It is the backbone of almost every single games you have ever played. By changing how the hitbox of a game work, you can change how the game itself feels, and even the balance of the game. And, despite a number of people complaining about the log-sized arrows from Hanzo, Overwatch has one of the best hitbox usages in the entire industry, and we’ll show you why.

Brief History Of Hitboxes By Our Overwatch SR Boosting Team

A hitbox is basically a box around an object that is the essence of all interaction in video games. It takes an incredible amount of resources if you want to take a character’s every pixel and determined if a projectile is hitting them, and hitbox is the developers’ workaround for this problem. Almost everything in a game has a hitbox: your bullets, your fist, your leg, your head, even the rocks on the sidewalks if you don’t want the character to phase right through them.

Nowadays, hitboxes are not just “workaround” anymore, they are essentially a conscious game design choice. Back when hitbox was first introduced (around the golden age of arcade games), hitboxes were mostly used in fighting games, the like of Street Fighters and Mortal Kombat. As time goes on, however, developers realized that hitbox is an excellent way to balance a game. You want to make an ability stronger and more consistent? Just increase the size of the hitbox to be bigger than the actual projectile’s size, claim our Overwatch boost professionals.

You want to nerf an ability? Just decrease the size of its hitbox and call it a day. These changes pretty much went unnoticed back in the arcade days. But as video games becoming more and more competitive, people started to realize that they’re getting hit by the air coming from the opponent’s fists and began asking questions. This is when developers started to become more open about hitboxes, its purpose and how they are handling it in term of balancing and game feel.

Hitbox is now a must-known concept to any competitive players or even semi-competitive ones. Even though they are much more complex than they used to be, they all serve the same purpose: keeping the game’s balance in check while also help with improving the “feel” of the game.

Hitboxes in Overwatch

Blizzard is usually regarded as one of the best companies around in term of video game stories, art, music, and world. However, one thing most people don’t realize is that Blizzard’s game always has a nice “feel” about it when you play. For example, in Overwatch, there’s this satisfying beep sound when you kill an enemy, or the red cross that grows larger in the middle of the scene as you headshot people, or even the screen shake when you get grabbed by a Roadhog (R.I.P). All of these, while you may not have noticed it, makes the game feel very satisfying to play.

An integral part of this “feel” that we’re talking about is the hitbox, and we’re gonna give you a quick overview of how this is implemented in Overwatch. Overwatch uses the “edge-to-edge” hit detection, which means that if the edge of the Hanzo’s arrow’s hitbox hit the edge of that Tracer’s tiny little head hitbox, the Tracer is pretty much dead. This style of hit detection rewards precision aiming while also leaving a bit of room for latency. This, however, means that sometimes weird things can happen, like when Hanzo headshot when you are hiding behind a wall by hitting your ears, or it was just unbeatable precision from our Ow boosting team. 😉 Here’s an example:

overwatch hitbox example

Another core mechanics of Overwatch’s hit detection is the “favor the shooter” the system. This means that everything in the game will be measured from the shooter’s point of view. So even when you dodged that Pharah’s rocket from your point-of-view, as long as it hits you from her perspective, it’s a hit. This also applies to Roadhog’s hooks and most other projectiles.

And, despite how wrong it may sound, one of the better use of hitbox in Overwatch is how not accurate it can be. Take Reinhardt’s swing for example. The hitbox can not be more unsynced to the animation, but it makes the character feels better to play and actually is really important to the balance of him. Here’s how his hitbox works:

overwatch hitboxes reinhardt

Seems horrible right? Well, it doesn’t matter. The character works, it feels great to play as him, and he is balanced. That’s all that matters. This is not an easy decision to make, and this is why Blizzard is one step above other similar game companies in the genre. Some other examples of this are:

Tracer’s unusually small hitboxes, making her a lot harder to hit, which enforces the “zip zap you can’t hit me” playstyles.
Widowmaker’s head which has a slightly larger hitbox, making her easier to get counter-sniped, claims our Overwatch Skill Rating boosting team.
Hanzo’s arrow, which we already know, has a larger hitbox than the actual projectile, making him feels really satisfying to play while doesn’t affect the balance of the game in a negative way.

How Does This Help Me?

So you may ask: “This information is cool and all that, but why do I need to know it, or how can I get better using it?”. Actually, this information has huge applications in the game, some of them you might have already been using but probably just not realized it yet.

One of the more popular ones is to look around while meleeing. Doing this will increase your melee hitbox by a ton since it’s fixed towards the direction you’re looking at. Think of meleeing as shooting a laser beam, the more you look around the wider it hits. You can even do a 360 degree hit as Reinhardt if you turn while swinging! This is an extremely good way to get extra damage on those pesky flankers that always zip-zapping around your team, namely Tracers and Genjis, when your aim can’t follow them.

An advanced technique that is tied to using hitbox effectively is flick shooting. Because of the way hit detection is handled in this game, you actually have more chance of hitting the enemy while flicking towards them. Therefore by focusing on an area, then flick towards the enemy for the shot, then flick back to the initial area, you will actually land more shots. This technique is utilized by our Overwatch boosting team on hit-scan heroes, most notably McCree.

This is not an easy technique to master, however, as it requires a lot of muscle memory. You can do this by hitting the Practice Range or a custom game, then do the following: focus on an area, flick to the enemy and shoot, back to the area, repeat. This will build up your muscle memory over time, and you will see a significant increase in accuracy when you use this in a real game. Flicking also helps you to become more and more accustomed to the hitboxes of the game, and over time you will find yourself noticing where you should really aim for if you want to hit the enemies, and more importantly, their heads.

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5 Tips To Kickstart Your Positioning Game

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overwatch positioning tips

In Overwatch, one of the critical skill beside aiming is positioning. It has happened way too often: one of the tanks get caught out of position and suddenly the whole defense crumbles, supports that die before they can pop their ultimate, or an overly aggressive DPS putting themselves in danger. Your aim is not a factor here, your positioning is. Here are some tips that can help you improve this skill, because if your positioning isn’t good, your winrate will suffer terribly, claims our Overwatch boosting team.

1. Learn The Maps

Knowing the map is the first step to getting better at positioning, and the first thing you need to learn about the map is its high ground positions.
Watchpoint and Route 66 often starts with the defending team on the high ground. Numbani’s point A is also a perfect example. The enemy has 4 attacking routes to choose from, and having control of the high ground makes it easier for the team to move and play around the opponent’s push. If the enemy is pushing from the low ground routes, all you need to do is drop down, fight, and then reposition. If you’re playing a mobile hero such as Tracer or Genji, keep in mind the locations of the health packs can be of great help. Don’t rely on your Mercy to fly across the enemy team to heal you.

2. Feel Your Line of Sight And Range

Understanding different heroes’ range can give you an upper hand in a fight. Against a Widowmaker, the range between her and you does not matter, and often times you will want to get as close to her as possible. Against a Reaper, keeping the distance is crucial. This means that you need to know your own range as well. As a Soldier:76, you have a spread and fall off distance, therefore in order to effectively duel a Widowmaker you need to know what is a good distance to have between you and her.

Keep in mind where on the map are you most exposed to being sniped, or where can you create a choke point in order to deal more damage to the enemy, as well as where can you have an escape route in case things go south. Know your line of sight and the enemies’.

3. Play Around Your Tanks

The tank is considered the most positioning heavy role in the game. They keep the pacing of your whole team. If a tank plays aggressively, the whole team will need to follow him when he’s diving in. With a more passive tank, the team needs to play around his shield and find an opportunity for a push. A key thing to remember is to make sure you know your tanks’ current position. If you find yourself dying too many times, maybe it’s better to stay near/behind the tanks. They are there to take damage for you, states our Reinhardt main from the Ow skill rating boosting team.

4. Stop Dying

This is probably the most important, but hidden, objective in Overwatch (besides the real objective): staying alive. Some stay alive by killing, others by hiding. Your positioning is the key to staying alive. Go into your games with this in mind: how many times do I die, and how many of those can I actually avoid? How many of those come from me being out of position? There are unavoidable deaths, but most of the time you can avoid dying by having better positioning, even if the enemy has better mechanical skills.
If you’re a Mercy, don’t fly across the battlefield to heal a dying teammate.

If you’re a Soldier:76, make sure that you are shooting the enemy while also being able to avoid incoming damage. If you are a Reinhardt, keep track of your team’s positioning, especially the support. Often time when you get caught out of position, the healer will try to help you, which leads to 2 deaths instead of 1.

5. Specific Hero Positioning

Each hero has a different way of positioning themselves. Often times, when you feel like you’re just not doing a lot as a Reaper, it means that you need to change into another hero with better range, which leads us to the 2nd point: knowing your range. Keep switching things up until you find a hero that you are comfortable with (dies less, does more, and fits the team), is the last advice from our Overwatch skill rating boost team.

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Soldier 76: Top 6 Tips To Help You Master Him

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soldier 76 tips

Introduction To Soldier By Our OW Boosting Team

Soldier 76 looks easy but actually is one of the hardest heroes to master in this game, which makes him a challenge a lot of players are willing to take since he’s also fairly easy to play. Soldier 76 is a great source of consistent damage that can eventually carry a team in a game. It is also very common to see the hero in nearly every game because of the advantages that come from playing him. Here are some Soldier 76 tips that you might need to improve on.

Shooting Better

In certain cases, while playing Soldier 76, one may need to focus more on where they shoot/aim for more accurate damage output rather than just continuous damage output. For example, trying to kill a Tracer in a duel, one shouldn’t just spray, instead, do burst fire. Burst firing is easy and its firing in bursts of 5 or 3. Other instances when fighting a Winston, one would want to just spray as the hitbox for a headshot on Winston is much bigger than other DPS heroes, suggests our Overwatch boost team.

Another instance where one would need to burst fire, as it is more favorable, is when you’re firing trying to kill someone and you’re near the falloff range. Your damage begins to decrease as well as the spread of your bullets increases by a significant amount, making it much harder to hit the target. The falloff range is usually around 30 to 50 meters, this obviously won’t be measured perfectly during the game but instead will be determined by prediction as well as practice. This overall increases your accuracy which in turn increases your damage.

soldier 76 guide tips

Helix rocket is a great way to finish your enemy hero with lethal damage after you’re done firing with your primary accurately. (Extra: Aiming at their feet will allow for a greater chance of you not missing the helix rockets and is a safe output o damage that will help you do the lethal damage you need)

Getting Up There

This is an extremely important and underestimated tip. Taking the higher ground during the game not only does it make it easier for you to shoot at your enemy, but also makes it harder for them to shoot at you. The enemy heroes will have to be focused on both you and your teammates on the ground which will confuse them or will force more effort from them. This gives you and your team an advantage where the enemy will also be afraid to push and will have to put more effort to take you and your teammates down. Having a small 200HP max you are a pretty vulnerable target so being up on the higher ground will give you the time and space to deal the damage you want to deal. Be unpredictable with the spots you stand in and that will be rewarding for you, claims our Overwatch boosting team.

soldier 76 taking high ground

A perfect example is on Hanamura where the map has a bunch of higher ground spots for you, especially the first point. As seen in the image above, that spot is a very good spot to be on the higher ground where the enemy will be rushing through and not taking into consideration that you might be up there and ready to take them down. Killing their healer or DPS being in this position will, of course, put your team at that advantage your team might need. As a lower rank player, you must try this out in your upcoming games and from now on. This will improve your overall performance as Soldier 76 and will help you win more games!

Effective Use of Biotic Field

An effective way to use your Biotic shield, which obviously heals you and your teammates, is the not keep it and not use it on an ally when they are in need of it. Non-selfish use of the biotic field will definitely be of advantage to your team and might just be the reason your team can pull off a game winning fight/combo. Your biotic field will be helpful also when you’re on the higher grounds and you get low on health and you want to stay there longer rather than go closer to a healer on your team. Another good use for it is during duels with an enemy. Putting the field down just when you engage in the fight will be very beneficial to you in winning the duel!

soldier 76 biotic field tip

Crosshairs

Crosshairs are something we all know about and we know that it is also customizable. Normal crosshair and the bloom feature are the ones operating by default. The different crosshairs available are crosshair, short crosshair, circle, and dot (-Note: Bloom doesn’t work on this crosshair). The bloom feature is extremely beneficial especially when you are trying to burst shoot. The reason why is that the crosshair begins to spread (As the Bloom feature will allow the crosshairs to spread when shooting for some heroes) when shooting and that is when you know how accurate your shooting will be. The less the spread on your crosshairs from shooting the better the job you are doing in bursting. As for the different crosshairs, our Ow boost team suggest that you play your favorite crosshairs or the ones you are most comfortable with.

soldier 76 crosshairs

Of course, it is all up to you whether you would like to enable the bloom feature but it is always encouraged for new players as it is very helpful especially at long range when you want to know how accurate you will be. It differs from target to target how you would want to shoot (e.g. tank or healer) as you might want to spray in some instances and burst shoot in others.

Your Ultimate

76’s ultimate is very strong especially against heroes that you want to have the really good accuracy to kill (e.g. Genji). The ultimate gives you a special crosshair that stays with you for several seconds. Your shots will automatically hit enemies as long as they are in your sight or it will hit the enemy closest to the center of the crosshairs (Also gets faster reload on his Heavy Pulse Rifle). It is always encouraged to kill the healers once your ultimate is activated to be at the greatest advantage. It is always also encouraging NOT to use your ultimate when the enemy has a tank alive that can block these shots as it will go to waste. Panic ulting is also a mistake that some players do where they JUST ult without any thought put into it and end up getting a minimal amount of kills or none at all, after you reach the level of our Overwatch boosting team, these will not happen anymore.

soldier 76 ultimate

Copy Our Overwatch Boost Team but Also Don’t

There are certain things one may do when it comes to copying what Pros do. Mimicking pros in terms of how they play certain heroes by watching them stream or watching them play competitive games is a great way to learn and understand certain tactics or ways to play a hero that you may not know. Watching Pros “just for fun” most of the time doesn’t end up with any benefit to you, but watching while picking up a thing or two from what they do can potentially improve your gameplay too.

A mistake that players do often is that they blindly copy a pro’s settings in the game thinking that doing that will automatically make them a better player. People often don’t realize that doing so may hurt you more than benefit you. It limits your ability to develop your own playstyle and also once the settings are changed, the settings will not be compatible with your style and understanding since a lot of your sense of the game will change and you will have to adapt to the new settings.

This has been 6 tips for playing Soldier 76 that will definitely be of benefit to you in your games to come. Don’t forget to burst, study, and practice over and over, as everything does come with repetition, practice, and experience. Good luck!

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