Updated 28th June 2016: Our Roadhog guide contains everything you need to know about this powerful Overwatch Hero, with plenty of ability and strategy tips.
It is not really much of an exaggeration to say that subtlety on the battlefield isn't one of Roadhog's biggest strengths. This massive monstrosity of an Overwatch Hero is one of the most resilient characters in the game, and he's one which does away with such piffling tanking tricks like shields in favour of using his raw bulk to wear down his enemies in close-range combat. In our Roadhog guide, we'll show you how to play this towering Tank to a tee.
Let's start with his health pool. It is, frankly, completely ridiculous in size, and no one wants to find themselves in a one-on-one duel with this mighty meathead - not unless they've brought a few friends with them at least. If - and despite the sheer heft of his health pool - you're concerned that an unshielded character like this might die too quickly to be of much use as a tank, then worry no more. He has some extremely potent self-healing at his disposal to keep him in the fight, as well as a vicious hook which allows him to pick up specific - preferably vulnerable - opponents from the enemy lines, and bring them closer to home so his teammates can give them a good pummeling.
Despite this huge health pool, we would not describe Roadhog as the best choice for the complete Overwatch novice, as you need some experience of the game to land that chain consistently. He's also one of the slowest Heroes you can play right now, which suits his aesthetic rather neatly, but does mean you need tight teamwork for this tank to shine. You also need quick wits about you to respond to your immediate threats. Despite these slight misgivings, however, there are few other Heroes that you'd least like to have all up in your face. He's truly deadly when played well.
In the rest of our Roadhog guide, we'll explain how all of this Hero's abilities work, and give you some tips for making a much bigger impact in battle too. We've also got some extra detail on this character's counters, as well as some map-specific advice that should help you live longer - whichever battleground you happen to find yourself on. Finally, we've got a quick look at all of the customisation options available for this Hero. Stay tuned for more updates as we all get to grips with Overwatch's emerging metagame./
Editor's note - Update #4: We've revised our Roadhog guide with a closer look at how to get more from him when playing on the game's handful of Assault maps. We'll be adding advice for the other map types in the game in the coming days and weeks. Let us know in the comments if there's anything in particular you'd like to see added to this article
BREAKING! - Ready for a celebration? We've got the expected Overwatch: Anniversary start times for every region around the world.
Roadhog's abilities and strategy tips
Roadhog's abilities aren't too difficult to wrap your head around at all, but it's certainly important that you use his primary weapon in the correct manner, which will largely depend on how near or far away the target of your aggression actually is.
Here's a quick look at all of this Hero's signature abilities, along with some important strategy tips to help you make a massive impression from your very first match.
Scrap Gun [LMB | RMB] - Roadhog's Scrap Gun actually works in two different ways. If you choose to hold down the left mouse button you can rattle off slivers of shrapnel in a spread, which is pretty good for inflicting short-range damage. Given Roadhog's mobility issues, you're actually more likely to be using the alternate, right mouse button fire instead though. This sends out a largely cluster of shrapnel that detonates around 20 feet in front of your Hero.
Chain Hook [LSHIFT] - Every Hero has their own unique skill, and if there's one ability that marks Roadhog out from the rest of the pack it's his Chain Hook. If you manage to land this ability on an enemy, they'll be dragged towards you and your teammates. You'll find this tactic particularly effective against Support Heroes who are sustaining the enemy in battle. One thing to keep in mind is that you are completely immobile as Roadhog until the chain has returned to you - and regardless of whether or not you even hit your target. You should also be aware that the Chain Hook will not pass through any shields or barriers that are standing between you and your prey.
Take A Breather [E] - Just like Soldier: 76, Roadhog can make use of an ability that tops up his health over time. Be aware, however, that in this case the effect is channeled, rather than radially provided. It takes a little while for the entire process to finish, but the good news is that it won't be interrupted if Roadhog himself comes under fire. It doesn't have a long cooldown either, so you should be chugging away with this ability pretty freely - in total, it's good for topping up a whole half of Roadhog's impressive health pool.
Whole Hog [Q] - Truth be told we're not that excited by Roadhog's Ultimate ability - not compared to some of the others in Overwatch, at least. While activating Whole Hog will turn your shrapnel gun into a roaring minigun temporarily, your movement becomes even slower and you're committed to using only this ability until the effect has worn off. It's more effective against short-range opponents, but watch out for reticule drift while the ability plays out - you'll need to keep compensating for it over time if you want to keep landing shots.
|Ability||HP||Ammo||Fire Rate||Duration||Cooldown / Reload||Heals||Damage||Range|
|Scrap Gun||600||4||1 RPS||-||1.5s||-||4-9||-|
|Scrap Gun (alt)||-||4||0.75 RPS||-||1.5s||-||50||Detonates at 8m|
|Take a Breather||-||-||-||1s||8s||300 HP||-||-|
Roadhog's a relatively simple Overwatch character to play - and Blizzard itself rates him as an Easy category of Hero - but that doesn't mean there isn't mastery to be had regardless. Here's a quick look at some of the best tips the community has accumulated over the last few months of beta gameplay.
- If your RMB weapon damage doesn't actually explode, the cluster itself lands a pretty weak chunk of damage all things considered. Practise makes perfect here, but if you don't think there's enough time to guarantee a detonation, stick to the LMB firepower instead.
- Even if an enemy target is up in the air, you can still use your Chain Hook to drag them towards your team (hi Pharah!). Just make suree you try to aim slightly ahead of your target's direction of travel, as the hook itself takes a little while to arrive at its destination.
- You need to also bear in mind that one of Chain Hook's most powerful uses is for interrupting channeled abilities that threaten to completely overwhelm your team. You have the health pool required to get in there and stop the chaos, so do so!
- So you've hooked an enemy and they're now in your clutches - what next? A popular combat combo here involves using your primary weapon fire, followed by a melee whallop to the face, followed by another LMB blast. If you can keep cycling these abilities it shouldn't take long for your target to drop to the floor.
- You should prioritise dragging healers and other Support characters into range with your Chain Hook, as this will cause the maximum amount of disruption to the enemy team. Once these characters have been taken care of, you'll find it much easier to pick off the rest of their friends, who'll now be finding life a good deal trickier.
- As we've already mentioned, make sure you compensate for the recoil effect of Whole Hog to ensure your aim remains on target. Only practise can help you out here, so don't give up!
- Even if you've only taken a relatively small amount of damage, you should drink deep if your Take A Breather is off cooldown and you have somewhere to hide for a moment! The cooldown is really quite short on this ability, and so you can afford to chug away pretty freely. You'll need to make the call on whether it's better to take more damage and finish a fight first though.
- Whole Hog can take a little getting used to, but if you can try to use it when enemies are in an enclosed space, then you'll find that the knockback effect increases the amount of damage they take overall.
- We find that Whole Hog is particularly effective when it comes to disrupting the enemy team from taking an objective. The rattling knockback effect of this Ultimate should make life extremely difficult for them. Every little helps anyway, especially if you're waiting for your team to catch up to the action.
Roadhog counters and match-ups
|Roadhog is strong against||Roadhog is weak against|
If you can land your Chain Hook reliably, Roadhog excels at dealing with just about any squishy Support Hero, pulling them away from their teammates and into the clutches of your own. His immense health also helps him emerge from a one-on-one encounter with Offense Heroes like McCree in pretty good shape, while Pharah can be plucked from the sky with a good aim.
He's pretty good at peeling tanks away from their team as well - a team dependant on their Reinhardt for protection is going to be in a whole lot of bother once that shield provider's been ripped away from them.
Conversely, if you can't grab Pharah from the skies, then she is capable of peppering you with rocketfire until you collapse in a heap. If Reaper gets to fight you on his terms then you're in a spot of bother - regardless of your health pool - while a Genji that blocks your Chain Hook is most likely about to rip your face off.
For help with other Heroes, make sure you check out our complete Overwatch: Counters guide.
Map-specific advice for Roadhog
Here's some helpful advice for surviving on the many maps of Overwatch. We'll be updating this section regularly.
Roadhog: Assault tips (Hanamura, Temple of Anubis, Volskaya Industries)
Roadhog can be used as the frontman of an extremely aggressive attacking force on these maps, pushing with his flankers to pick off the other team's defenses. You will want to take the road less travelled with this character though, as in the wide open he presents the defending team with a huge sponge with which to charge up their Ultimates.
When defending, Roadhog again wants to be roaming through the corridors and side areas of these maps in order to obliterate any attackers hoping to flank past the defenses. A switched-on Roadhog can leave an attacking team feeling absolutely paralyzed, and scared to make a meaningful push towards their objective on their own.
Roadhog: Control tips (Ilios, Lijiang Tower, Nepal)
Roadhog: Escort tips (Dorado, Route 66, Watchpoint: Gibraltar)
Roadhog: Hybrid tips (Hollywood, King's Row, Numbani)
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Roadhog Skins, Victory Poses, Emotes and Voice Lines
Fancy adding a little cosmetic flavour to your Roadhog games? Here are all of the customisation options that are currently available for this Hero - we'll have galleries for all these skins and sprays very shortly.
|Pointing To The Sky||75||Rare|
|Candy From A Baby||25||Common|
|Got Something To Say?||25||Common|
|Hook, Line And Sinker||25||Common|
|Life Is Pain, So Is Death||25||Common|
|Piece Of Cake||25||Common|
|Violence Is The Answer||25||Common|
|We're All Animals||25||Common|