Once married to the biggest thorn in the side of the terrorist organization, Talon, Amelie Lacroix became the target of the nefarious organization's attacks. They couldn't kill her husband, Gerard, but with the right amount of neural reconditioning, they could convince her to do it. Shortly after being kidnapped and transformed into a sleeper agent, she was activated. After assassinating her husband, she would go on to become a prolific assassin under her new identity, Widowmaker. (Get it? Because the she killed her husband, making her a widow? I'll move on...)
In game, Widowmaker is a steely and lethal sniper capable of battlefield control in a way that most other characters can't replicate. Her effective range is incredible, and getting caught in the open or in a choke point with a Widowmaker on the enemy team is almost a guaranteed disaster.
Widowmaker is as archetypal a video game sniper as Overwatch can produce. She's patient and deliberate, with her sniper shots being among the strongest in the game. She's not entirely helpless in close range though, as she has just enough tricks up her sleeve to protect herself and reposition for the next shot.
Her primary damage dealer is her Widow's Kiss, which has two firing modes. When looking down the scope, the weapon charges a shot. It takes a full second to charge it to full power, but it can be stopped at any point doing the charge. The amount of charge you get before you pull the trigger determines the multiplier applied to the shot as bonus damage. So at 100% charge, a single shot from Widow's Kiss does 120 damage. Put that at a critical spot on a target (like the head) and that poor soul isn't making it home, especially because critical hits with this weapon do 2.5x the damage, and not just 2.
The secondary firing mode of Widow's Kiss is a fully automatic rifle. The ammo count is reasonable, and the damage rivals that of Solider: 76's Pulse Rifle. It's less accurate, but has more ammo. When it comes down to a close quarters fight, never forget about this option.
Widowmaker is quick, but the real secret behind her agility and resourcefulness is her Grappling Hook. Point it at a ledge or some other solid surface, and the wrist mounted hook will launch out and grab it. If it successfully makes it, Widowmaker will be pulled to the target. This is great for taking shortcuts to high ledges and firing positions. This isn't just a tool for being preemptive; it can also get you out of trouble. When being attacked by a flanker like Genji, pulling yourself to the nearest vertical surface can get out of harm's way long enough to counter the attack. The pull of the hook also gives you some momentum, so you can sling yourself away at the last minute, using all that energy as an effective "high jump."
Venom Mines are Widowmaker's trump card. She fires them out of her wrist launcher, and they can stick to practically any surface, arming themselves on contact. Should an enemy walk near the mine, it will detonate. The explosion hits everyone in the area, poisoning them and dealing damage over time, but these mines can be shot and destroyed without ever being triggered. Overall, Venom Mines are yet another way Widowmaker can defend herself from oncoming assaults. Tuck them around corners along hard-to-miss walls or low ceilings to catch flankers off guard. Also, it's worth noting that the mines launch pretty far. It may be worth slinging it around like a grenade launcher if you spot low health enemies. Venoming enemies on the run might help secure important kills.
Her ultimate, Infra-Sight, tears down the barriers of walls and obstacles, giving everyone on your team the ability to see the enemy no matter where they are. This isn't your standard ult, which is generally some sort of big damage attack. In this case, information is the weapon. This is the best way to set up your own headshots and give your team the tools to set up/avoid ambushes. Infra-Sight is probably one of the most useful abilities in the game, and it is welcome in every team composition.
- On maps like Temple of Anubis and King's Row (ones with wide open spaces and corridors) there are fewer heroes more terrifying than a well-played Widowmaker. Forcing people into the open is the key here, and good communication is paramount.
- Never stick around too long after a shot. Widowmaker's shots have long, visible tracers, and your spot will be blown easily after repeated fire. Keep a mental note of every nearby perch and rotate through them quickly. Be cautious to stay ahead of the reactionary widow-hunts.
- Your sniper shot should be your go-to shot, and taking great care to use it safely should be a priority. Never zoom while out in the open, because an enemy Widowmaker or Hanzo will always be looking in those areas, and your field of vision will be so narrow that you'll never see them coming.
- Don't focus solely on head shots. The critical hit damage is nice, but a fully powered sniper shot does plenty of damage without it. If you're aiming at soft targets, you'll be doing enough damage to weaken or finish off just about anyone - even if you hit them in the chest.
- Speaking of soft targets, your primary quarries should be supports or squishier offensive heroes like McCree or Tracer. Be wary of Genjis, being sure to hit them when they are unaware - or you'll risk getting your shot deflected back at you. Also, never engage a tank without back-up, because unless you are hitting them in the head, the chances of you putting them down in one shot is slim. A living target is one that is motivated to find you.
- It's easy to want to keep Infra-Sight on as much as possible because of how useful it is, but it should be held for the most strategic applications possible. Right before making a push for an enemy objective (or vice versa) is a great time to know how the formation is coming together. With sight on, you can attack the enemy strategically, getting rid of healers first, then collapsing on the rest of the now helpless squad.
If these pointers are helping you give your enemies arachnophobia, let us know on Twitter and Facebook. Also, please stop by our Overwatch Wiki to learn more about your favorite heroes, and share information of your own.
Jarrett shares his love of video games and geek culture through feature articles on Gamepedia. He prides himself on his deep attraction to Japanese beat-em ups and his god-like Bushido Blade talents.