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Genji guide - 2018 - Overwatch

Our regularly updated, massive guide to mastering Genji in Overwatch.

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About John Bedford

John is a freelance writer based in West Sussex.

If you've got a bit of a soft spot for ninjas, swords and shuriken-flinging, then we think you're going to get a pretty big kick out of getting stuck into Genji. This mysterious and deadly Hero can be used to field a truly intimidating assassin onto any map, but we have to say you're going to need very sharp reflexes indeed if you want to make a significant impact with this Hero on the battlefield.

Not only is Genji a dab-hand at dishing out damage, he also possesses some exceptional mobility skills in battle thanks to his passive ability. This allows him to both clamber up walls and also do a double-jump whenever he's taken to the air. This sort of acrobatics, combined with his razor-sharp weaponry, allows a very skilled player to absolutely terrorise the opposing team, as Genji races between targets and tears each one to shreds in the blink of an eye.

To say that Genji has a high skill ceiling is to put it very mildly indeed, and we wouldn't even think about recommending him to a complete newcomer to Overwatch. Still, when you feel like you're ready to move on from easier characters and truly master a Hero, no-one will give you a platform to show off your skills like this extraordinarily powerful character. Just be prepared to spend a bit of time perfecting your craft, that's all.

The good news is that we can help you get there. In our comprehensive Genji guide, we've got a breakdown of all of his abilities, in order to help you understand what makes him tick. After that we've got some really useful tips that the community has gradually accumulated during the game's open and closed beta phases - and now into launch. Finally, we've got some useful information about which of the other Heroes directly counter Genji, and who he's tailor-made to track down and target in any given battle. In future updates, we'll provide some map-specific advice for this Hero too!

Editor's note: Update #5 - We've overhauled this guide to bring it bang up to date!

A new event has just hit Overwatch! Check out our essential Retribution guide for all the tips, tricks and strategy advice you need to master this new PVE mode.

Genji's abilities and strategy tips

Genji is, as we've mentioned, a rather tricky Hero to master in Overwatch. To help you get started though, here's a quick look at how each of his combat Abilities actually work on the battlefield, and what you can do to sharpen up your own skills with them. It'll take a lot of practise to perfect playing him, but the effort will be well rewarded.

Shuriken [LMB | RMB] - There are two different methods for using Genji's principal attack. First of all, you can use the left-mouse button to fling a fast-moving line of vertically aligned shurikens at your target. Alternatively, you can use the right-mouse button to fire them in a horizontal spread instead. As you might imagine, the former's good for long-range targeting, while the latter - somewhat faster - assault works great when you're getting up-close and personal with a potential victim.

Swift Strike [LSHIFT] - This Ability allows Genji to slice and dice his way forwards and through anyone stupid enough to be standing in his way! Even better, if you kill someone with this manoeuvre, the Ability refreshes so that you can keep up your delicious murdering spree. You can also use Swift Strike either as an escape tool, or as a means to simply close the gap on a target. It's also great for getting on the other side of a stubborn defensive shield, or when you need to pick off a turret and reach it in one piece.

Deflect [E] - The first important thing to note about Deflect is that it doesn't only protect Genji from incoming projectiles, it also aims them straight back towards the attacker (Hi Bastion!). To return the fire, you simply need to make sure your targeting reticule is aimed where you want the deflected shot to land. Note, however, that if you're being hit by a melee weapon, you'll only negate the damage and the same goes for channelled fire too. As is perhaps becoming clear, you need some rather sharp reflexes to get the most out of this Hero.

Dragonblade [Q] - Fire up Genji's awesome Ultimate Ability and you'll be able to slash and crash your way through victims using a super-charged sword. The effect lasts for 8 seconds (or, of course, until you're killed...), and you should keep in mind that you can still use your Deflect and Swift Strike skills while it's active. The only thing you can't do is throw your normal projectiles around the place - that would be a bit ridiculous.

AbilityHPAmmoFire RateDurationCooldown / ReloadDamageRange
Shuriken200243 RPS-1s28-
Fan of Blades-246 RPS--28-
Dragonblade--1 swing p/s8s-1205m swing

Here are some tried and tested tips for getting to grips with Genji. We've also got some combat tips for you as well. Let us know your own strategies in the comments and we'll add them to this section when we next update our Genji guide.

  • Focus purely on your attacking options and you might pick someone off, but you likely won't live long enough to do it again. Always have an escape route in mind for when things go wrong, and be ready to make use of Genji's incredible mobility passive at every stage of the fight.
  • Use Genji's fantastic burst damage and mobility to focus on wiping out the enemy team's most irritating Support Heroes. He's also fantastic for getting behind shields to deal with well-positioned turrets.
  • Genji's double-jump can really catch an opponent by surprise in a duel. Get used to working this mobility option into your combat routine to make it that little bit harder for the enemy to pick you off.
  • Know your targets before letting rip with your Ultimate, and have a plan in mind of where you want to head to once one target has been taken care of. You want to tot up as many squishy kills as possible while you have the means to slice through them with relative ease.
  • Note that while Deflect will ward off any projectile shots that come Genji's way, this skill will not prevent melee attacks, beams or channeled weapons from striking you. This skill will also not prevent any splash damage from taking a chunk out of your health pool either.
  • Use Deflect to race towards a tricky Torbjorn turret or a Bastion, and ensure you arrive in one piece and can take your target out.
  • Genji's Deflect works on a whole host of enemy Ultimates. We're talking Zarya's Graviton before it hits the floor, Hanzo's Dragon before it's unleashed, High Noon and Roadhog's Whole Hog.
  • You're not limited to horizontal movement with Swift Strike by any means. You can actually use this vertically if you need to. Remember that this ability resets if you score a kill with it - look for weakened enemies you can slam into.
  • You can make up to nine massive slashes with Dragonblade before it expires, and each one is capable of dishing out a monstrous 120 points of damage to all enemies in front of Genji. This Ultimate works particularly well against stunned or otherwise incapacitated opponents.
  • Don't forget that you can still use Swift Strike while Dragonblade is active. For this reason you should make sure you dart from target to target, chopping your way through the masses to ensure you extract maximum value from this powerful Ultimate.
  • There are some tried and tested combos to make use of as Genji. Against long-range targets, use Swift Strike to close the gap, then your alternate fire, followed by a melee whack in rapid succession. After that, go back to using alternate fire again. In close range, start with alternate fire, then melee, then Swift Strike, before repeating the process all over again. Practice these until their committed to muscle memory!
  • Remember that eliminations will reset the cooldown on Swift Strike so it's possible to dash between multiple enemies in some sort of wild sword-frenzy.
  • For targets at short range, we recommend using alternate fire [RMB] as you're more likely to land your shots and deal that all important damage.
  • Although you're exceptionally mobile, remember that you're a ninja. Dip in and out of fights, seek out vulnerable targets and know when to retreat if the odds are stacked against you.

Genji combat combos

There are a couple of key combos that help you dish out the pain with Genji. Get in a practice match and rattle off these moves until you can do them without thinking.

  • In a melee fight, use your alternate fire, then smash them in the face with a melee strike. After that, use Swift Strike immediately. If they're still standing, go back to using alternate fire.
  • If your target is further away, Swift Strike to them, use your alternate fire and melee strike in quick succession, then go back to alternate fire.

Map-specific advice for Genji

Genji: Assault tips (Hanamura, Temple of Anubis, Volskaya Industries)

When it comes to working Assault maps on the attacking team, Genji excels at picking off bothersome defensive forces such as Torbjorn turrets or well-positioned Bastions. His Deflect skill allows him to return damage to these problematic characters, while also gaining enough ground to get close and finish the job off if if extra work is required.

He's also good at harassing backline Support Heroes, or picking off a Widowmaker if they're not quick to move once the damage starts rolling in. If his Ultimate is up and the team is making a collaborative push within the confided space of the objective, Genji can tear the attackers to ribbons.

Genji: Control tips (Ilios, Lijiang Tower, Nepal)

Control maps are a Genji's playground as he's got the space to dance around enemies and use the environment to defend, attack or stall the point.

Your primary job is to relentlessly pursue vulnerable targets whenever a fight breaks out. With this said, avoid being too aggressive and wait for fights to break out before springing to action. Once you've eliminated the healers, move onto the damage dealers. Even if you can't drop them, at least force them to deal with you - or die.

Genji: Escort tips (Dorado, Route 66, Watchpoint: Gibraltar)

It's all about using the environment to your advantage when pushing the payload. Otherwise, we wouldn't recommend Genji on defense unless you're supremely confident in your own abilities.

If attacking, it's best to deal damage from a distance while pushing the cart with your team. When you sense a fight brewing, start flanking or clamber up to a high spot so you can locate some squishy targets. As chaos commences, dive in and begin your assassination mission!

Genji: Hybrid tips (Hollywood, King's Row, Numbani)

Taking much of the advice from the points above, playing Genji on Hybrid requires adaptation. When you're escorting the Payload, focus on sticking with your team until a fight breaks out before peeling away and hunting for the main enemy healers or damage dealers.

Once you've got an objecive to capture, play patiently and wait for clear opportunities to strike. There's no value in getting greedy, dying prematurely and wasting time for your team.

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Genji counters and match-ups

Just like every other Hero in Overwatch, Genji has his counters. That also means that he has some preferential targets too! Here's a quick overview of how he stacks up against the overall roster of Heroes in the game.

Genji is strong againstGenji is weak against

As well as being particularly strong against the three Heroes above, Genji also does a pretty handy job of dealing with the likes of Tracer, backline Support enemy Heroes in general, and snipers like Widowmaker. If he's got Deflect up as well, he can bring it to McCree and Soldier: 76 as well.

If Genji doesn't have Deflect up, then those same characters can cause him a lot of trouble. Mei is another natural counter to Genji because she nullifies his mobility advantage. Zarya and Winston both have plenty of bothersome shields to throw around, and the latter can almost match our ninja-like friend in terms of mobility.

For help with other Heroes, make sure you check out our complete Overwatch: Counters guide.

Genji's Skins, Victory Poses, Emotes and Voice Lines

Whether you're looking for a new way to make your mark on the world, or you just want to rub your success in the enemy team's face in a new and amusing way, Genji's got loads of customistaion options available to him.

In the table below, you'll find details of all of this Hero's skins, victory poses, highlight intros and the like. There are tonnes of sprays to add as well, but for clarity's sake we've left them out of this particular round-up.

Carbon Fiber250Epic
Young Genji1000Legendary
Cutting Edge250Epic
Victory Pose
Sword Stance250Rare
Highlight Intros
Unsheathing The Sword250Epic
Warrior's Salute250Epic
Pumpkin CarvingHalloweenEpic
Voice Line
A Steady Blade0Common
Come On!25Common
I Am Prepared!25Common
Hoping For A ChallengeSeasonalCommon
Let's Fight!25Common
Life And Death BalanceSeasonalCommon
Measure Twice, Cut Once25Common
Merry ChristmasSeasonalCommon
My Halloween Costume?SeasonalCommon
My Soul Seeks Balance25Common
Not Good Enough!25Common
To Know YourselfSeasonalCommon
You Seem NiceSeasonalCommon
My Work Here Is Done25Common
ToucheSummer GamesCommon
Happy HalloweenHalloweenCommon
Count Your BlessingsWinterCommon
Merry Christmas!WinterCommon
To Know YourselfLunarCommon
I'm Not ImpressedAnniversaryCommon

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  • Gokuinfinity #1 5 years ago
    I would just like to point this out. I don't know when it would be useful, but if you do a quick melee attack during Genji's Primary Shuriken (the three that go in a straight line) you can stop one or two of the shurikens from firing, which keeps them in the clip.
  • BakaSenpai #2 6 years ago
    Rockets can be reflected, although depending on the distance between you and the Phara, you may get one or two in the reflect if you time it properly.
  • BakaSenpai #3 6 years ago
    This guide is a very comprehensive guide, but I always suggest to newer Genji players to go into custom games on every map and experiment with flanking routes, looking for some examples on youtube can't hurt but there broadcast to everyone so its better to find your own. Another point, I only ever attack an enemy I know I can kill. Its that simple. Flank behind, take out the healers, Torbjörns, and Bastions. Maybe the odd DPS hero but don't push it. Retreat to in-between the enemy spawn and the objective to prevent these enemies returning to the fight. This allows your team to have an advantage to push with. That's my tactics. Take of them what you will.
  • AV479 #4 6 years ago
    You can reflect Ultimates too BTW. If you get in front of Hanzo before his ult "Dragon's up" you can reflect it towards his team. You can also insta-kill McCree with his own High Noon. Roadhog's whole hog and Reaper's Death Blossom can also be reflected, I think.

    Secondly, while I think rockets will go through Genji's reflect, i know that Junkrat's standard fire can be deflected, although the arc is the same.
  • jonathansmith24 #5 6 years ago
    Not a bad guide.
    Something to note is that Swift Strike automatically recharges the second Genji receives a kill notice. This means that it will recharge simply by killing with a Shuriken toss, melee, reflect, or even an assist. If you deal even a minuscule amount of damage to an enemy and they die to someone else, it will charge.

    The shuriken's primary fire will throw in a straight line, directly to your reticule with no drop off. Not vertically.

    Deflect, though you did state it, only sends the projectile where you are aiming. Your first words in it's description imply that it launches it directly back towards your attacker, regardless of aim.

    Otherwise, excellent article. I'll be keeping an eye on this for further tips.
  • Bedders #6 6 years ago
    @wetcamtheman04 Doh! Updating now, thank you :-)
  • wetcamtheman04 #7 6 years ago
    Great guide! One comment though. Genji's deflect is E, and his Swift Strike is his left shift. Other than that, great guide!