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Deathmatch guide - Overwatch

Everything you need to dominate Overwatch's latest game modes.

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About Ed Thorn

Ed joined Metabomb in May 2017 and puts together guides and news across the site.

Our Overwatch: Deathmatch guide contains strategy advice, tips, tricks and tactics to give you the ultimate edge over your opponents in battle.

On top of Overwatch’s objective based modes, Blizzard has introduced Deathmatch into the mix which centers around the thrill of getting as many eliminations as possible.

Deathmatch splits into two distinct modes: Free For All and Team Deathmatch. They’re both distinct from one another, yet share the same basic sentiment - kill the enemy, top the leaderboard, win. For this reason, both present a very different experience from escorting the Payload, for example, or capturing the point.

From the moment you step into a Deathmatch game, it’s all about seeking out the enemy and largely protecting yourself. This presents a new way of thinking about the game, and we’ve put together strategies and advice tailored to help you dominate in Deathmatch.

Editor's UPDATE #1: Deathmatch is currently only available on the PTR so we’ll continue monitoring the game mode for any changes and tweak the guide accordingly if anything does happen. Otherwise, we’ve been playing it non-stop and we’re looking forward to seeing it hit the live servers sometime in the future. Of course, we’ll update this guide further when the time comes - stay tuned for more!

Deathmatch Overview

Firstly, here’s a simple breakdown of both modes in Deathmatch.

Free For All

  • Eight players in total.
  • Timer of ten minutes.
  • First player to twenty eliminations wins the match.
  • Assists do not count as eliminations, you must finish off your opponents to earn points.
  • If you fall off the map, a point is deducted from your score.
  • If an enemy you've damaged falls off the map, you do not earn an elimination. Instead a point is deducted from their total score.
  • Players are able to respawn at a faster rate.
  • You only need to reach the top four to earn credit for Arcade rewards.
  • There is no cap on how many of each hero can be played.
  • So far, only one map is available for this mode: Chateau Guillard.

Team Deathmatch

  • Two teams of four players.
  • Timer of ten minutes.
  • First team to reach thirty eliminations wins the match.
  • This mode is playable on modified versions of many existing maps.

Free For All: Tips and Tricks

Below you’ll find a list of strategies and tips to think about when you’re playing this game mode.

  • It may sound obvious, but be aware of your surroundings! You’ll be respawning at a faster rate, and we’ve found you’re likely to re-enter the battlefield right next to someone. It’s worth doing a quick sweep of the area every time you respawn, or at least move off quickly to avoid getting caught from behind.
  • From the get-go, it’s incredibly important to stay on the move. Often we’ve tried to hold a point on the map and been overwhelmed by a swarm of enemies all vying to eliminate each other. Instead, carve your path across the map and you’re more likely to join a fight late so you can cheekily pick off low-health targets.
  • Don’t forget to press [space] if you want to respawn faster. You’ll save a surprising amount of time this way - time that’s used for racking up those eliminations of course!
  • If you’re faced with a fight that’s not going your way, don’t be afraid to do a runner and back out. Sometimes you can swing it in your favour by dashing into a corner, waiting for your cooldowns to expire and then nuking the enemy if you’ve got the tools to do so.
  • Encounter two enemies duking it out? We recommend having a little patience and lining up your shots first before pulling the trigger. So many times we’ve fluffed our chances of picking up a couple of easy kills by getting too excited.
  • With everyone out to get you in Free For All, we’ve fallen victim to a death streak plenty of times. To get out of a seemingly endless rut of respawning, take a moment to reset and think about what your next objective is going to be. Focus on moving to a certain part of the map, or practicing your aim. This way you’ll turn the match from a boring, frustrating affair into something that’s going to improve your game.
  • As it’s not a team-based mode, you’re not going to be able to rely on a healer to top you up anymore. This places a huge emphasis on knowing where the health packs are located, so make sure you’re memorising where they are!
  • In a similar vein to the point above, avoid entering fights when you’ve lost a fair amount of health as it’ll crush your chances of winning those all important one versus one duels. Instead, go and seek out those health packs, recuperate and rejoin the fight with a full health bar!

Team Deathmatch: Tips and Tricks

Here we’ve compiled a bunch of advice that you’ll want to take with you into battle.

  • Mercy comes into her own here as her Resurrection robs enemies of their kills.
  • We found great success forming a “Death Ball” of sorts, and essentially roaming about together in a big pack. This enables everyone to focus the same target and forces the enemy to face you all if they want to get a kill - not something they’ll usually come out of alive.
  • Hanzo’s surprisingly strong in this game mode as he’s easily able to give intel to his allies. Widowmaker’s Ultimate is also similar in this regard, and knowing where the enemy is - or isn’t - gives you a serious advantage when it comes to beating the opposition.
  • If you’re fighting a losing battle, sometimes it’s worth backing off and leading the enemy towards your allies. This ensures that even if you end up dying, the chances are that you’ll trade the kill back anyway - or get them all, put a few points on the board and walk away unscathed!
  • Normally when you’re queuing up by yourself, it’s unlikely that your team will have a healer. Health packs, then, are your best friend. Make sure you’re aware of where each one is positioned on the map. We recommend hopping into custom games and memorising where they all are.
  • If the match is excruciatingly close, and we’re talking something along the lines of 25 all, it’s worth using your Ultimates as soon as possible rather than saving them for the “right moment”. You might pick up a quick flurry of kills to propel you within touching distance of winning the match.

This is of course a basic guide to getting started with both Deathmatch modes. As we get more hands on time with it, and as it transitions over to the live servers, we’ll be sure to update this guide a huge amount!

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