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Junkrat guide - 2017 - Overwatch

Our comprehensive guide to mastering Junkrat in Overwatch.

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About John Bedford

John is a freelance writer based in West Sussex.

Our Junkrat guide has everything you need to know about this Overwatch hero, with ability tips, strategy advice and details of all his cosmetic options.

If carefully calibrated damage is your kind of thing, then it's fair to say that you're not going to get on particularly well with Junkrat, Overwatch's devilish explosives specialist. Don't get us wrong, he's a very strong all-round defensive choice, but instead of picking a target and then cleanly attacking, this chaotic characters prefers to takes a more explosive approach to proceedings. Specifically, he enjoys turning corridors into minefields, and throwing enough explosives around the place to turn even the quietest corner of the map into an impenetrable warzone.

This is where our Junkrat guide comes in. This hero's primary attack comes in the form of a grenade launcher which he can use to spray a particular area with a whole heap of explosive power, while his mines can be used to make an otherwise safe passage incredibly perilous for the enemy team to traverse. These mines can even be used to help Junkrat boost himself to great height and escape trouble, or just assume an even more menacing position from which he can rain down unholy hell. All things considered, Junkrat loves to play from height, and let gravity aid his weaponfire.

Apart from these more obviously dangerous tools of war, his traps can also be used to pin enemies firmly into place. They'll then not only suffer damage from any mines you've dropped nearby, they'll also becomes much easier targets for your friends to pick off with their more focused firepower. Rounding off his fantastic assortment of abilities is an Ultimate which grants Junkrat control of a whirling wheel of death. This can be steered towards a pack of enemies and then detonated, almost certainly to deadly effect. It really hurts when it lands, and we've got some tips to make sure it arrives in one piece.

Whether or not you get on with Junkrat is almost certainly going to come down to whether you're the kind of person who's comfortable frustrating the enemy team, rather than dominating them with precision kills. Have no doubt though that a well-played Junkrat can make life very easy for your team - and very, very unpleasant for the enemy. It's tougher to get a Play of the Game than with other characters, but that doesn't mean you can't be the star of the show from time to time.

To increase your odds of wowing your teammates, we've put together a massive Junkrat guide that we think should give you the lowdown on just about anything and everything to do with this hero. We've started with a complete breakdown of all of Junkrat's fundamental abilities, then followed up with some tips to make the most of them. After that we've got a bit of advice on who counters this character and how. Expect even more to be added to this guide in the weeks and months to come.

Editor's note - Update #3: We've given our Junkrat guide a well overdue update, with more advice for fighting on specific map types, updated skill stats, a handy video guide to playing the hero, and a complete refresh of all the cosmetic options that are available for Junkrat in 2017.

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.

Junkrat's abilities and strategy tips

Junkrat is Overwatch's master of mechanical mayhem, and you should expect an explosive experience with this character. Here's a look at all of his abilities, and how you should best utilise them on the battlefield.

Frag Launcher [LMB] - The bad news about Junkrat's Frag Launcher is that it's very hard to hit a particular target with its bouncing bombs. You can turn that lack of precision into a virtue, however, by spamming those grenades around a particular area, and making it extremely dangerous for the enemy to linger around in one place. Stick to ground-based opponents when you can, as it's very hard to hit aerial heroes with this weapon. Gravity will also help you rain hell down on any attacking team.

Concussion Mine [LSHIFT] - There are a couple of uses for Junkrat's Concussion Mine. First of all, you can - of course - simply leave it around for an enemy to wander into and that'll cause them some serious pain. Alternatively, you can actually use it to gain height. Run into the mine and detonate it and you'll take off, receiving absolutely no damage in the process. Use this move to either gain height and then rain grenades down on your enemies, or as a way to zip across the map faster when you need to get back into the fight.

Steel Trap [E] - If an enemy wanders into your Steel Trap then they'll be held in position for one second, giving your friends the perfect opportunity to finish them off. Alternatively, you can combo this ability with Concussion Mine. When the UI informs you that an opponent has been trapped, detonate the mine to do a very satisfying dollop of damage to them. When it comes to Overwatch's squishiest characters, this will almost certainly spell their doom. Try to place your trap in chokepoints that lead towards an objective, so that you increase your odds of bagging a victim.

RIP-Tire [Q] - Junkrat's Ultimate does an incredible amount of damage when it's detonated, and the noise of it being revved up is sure to put the fear of God into the enemy team - it will also warn them at the same time, of course Steer it towards your target (referencing our tips section below for extra advantage), then tap the left mouse button when you wish to blow it up. Enemies can shoot the tire before it explodes, but note that Torbjorn's turrets will not automatically target this wheel of death. This can be a great way of dealing with annoying defensive threats represented by this hero and others.

Total Mayhem [PASSIVE] - Given Junkrat's relatively low damage output, it's only fitting that he should at least go out with a massive bang - and have a good crack at taking everyone else out with him in the process. There's not much to say about this ability - it's passively cast, after all - although you should try to take a target or two down with you if you know you're about to croak! If you know the fight is going to end badly, might as well go all in and get close to your killer...

AbilityHPAmmoFire RateDurationCooldown/ReloadDamageRange
Frag Launcher20051.66 RPS-1.5s1202m radius
Concussion Mine----8s1203m radius
Steel Trap---3s10s801m radius
RIP-Tire--110s10s60010m radius
Total Mayhem-----300 max-

Here are some tried and tested Junkrat tips that will improve your play with this character a huge amount. A little further down the page, you'll find some very useful strategy tips for individual maps in the game - we're expanding on this section regularly.

  • Range is very much your friend when it comes to playing Junkrat. Place your mines and traps in the likely path of the enemy's approach, then move back and dish out your damage from a distance.
  • Spam that grenade launcher like it's going out of fashion, and try to spread your damage around if you're not completely sure of the other team's precise location. You should be bouncing this ability off walls, floors, ceilings and doors in order to create a pathway of absolute chaos for the enemy.
  • Be very wary of characters like Pharah who typically maintain a height advantage. Junkrat's weapons are all subject to arc and gravity, which do not play nicely with enemies who are positioned higher on the map than you are. The best place for a Junkrat is near some kind of cover, where he can fire out in relative peace.
  • Until you have a lot of experience under your belt, you're not likely to have much fun trying to land grenades directly upon an enemy target, so instead focus on spreading damage around in a specific area. This will cause plenty of chaos and confusion for the enemy team, and leave them with no safe space to run to. It's also good for splitting up enemy teams when they're pushing the Payload.
  • Most Junkrat players will re-mine an area they've had success with, so make sure you change your path of approach if you're trying to bust through his defenses! At the very least you should try to make him work harder for his kills!
  • The noise of your RIP-Tire can be a real giveaway, but it only makes a great deal of noise when it's travelling. If it's driving into a wall, you can use the element of surprise to catch the enemy team off-guard. Just keep in mind you have a ticking clock with this ability.
  • If you know you're going to die as Junkrat, it can be worth getting closer to the enemy rather than further away - particularly if they themselves are at low health. The damage from your death may be enough to finish off the job, and hey - you might as well take someone with you.
  • If you just let your RIP-Tire roll towards your target in a straight line, they've a very good chance of them simply shooting it down or dodging it altogether. Instead, consider flanking around them through a side corridor or alleyway in order to add an extra layer of confusion.
  • Junkrat synergises well with heroes like Widowmaker or Hanzo, who can provide vital extra intelligence on the location of the enemy team. Once spotted, all you need to worry about is hurling death and destruction their way.
  • You are incredibly vulnerable to being picked off while you're playing around with RIP-Tire, so make sure you've chosen a solid hiding spot before letting rip. If anyone's spotted you when the sound revs, they will take the opportunity to rush your position and pick you off. You might consider dropping a Steel Trap nearby before you fire off RIP-Tire, just to buy yourself a little more breathing space for your explosive wheel to get its job done.

Map-specific advice for Junkrat

Here's a little extra guidance for playing Junkrat on specific map types:

Junkrat: Assault tips

Junkrat's probably not your first choice on maps where you're attacking a control point, but if you stay behind a Reinhardt shield you can push a surprising amount of offensive damage. Alternatively, look for high vantage points you can use to dish out damage the defenders will find tricky to control.

When defending Assault maps, look for likely flanking routes where you can plant a trap and catch any sneaky attackers off-guard. Otherwise, stay mobile and focus on delivering a steady stream of disruptive damage towards whether the enemy is clustering in their push.

Junkrat: Control tips

Again, use your traps to block off flanking access. This becomes particularly important when you have a team well held back and at a stalemate. At this point it becomes increasingly likely that one of the enemy team will switch and try to disrupt your team from a different approach.

Junkrat: Escort tips

Coming soon!

Junkrat: Hybrid tips

Coming soon!

Unit Lost's Junkrat guide

For some useful Junkrat tips and tricks in video form, check our Unit Lost's guide to the hero.

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Junkrat counters and match-ups

Here's how things stack up for Junkrat in the current metagame.

Junkrat is strong againstJunkrat is weak against

If a hero makes use of shields, then Junkrat's spammy damage is great for wearing them down while also delivering splash damage to any nearby enemies. Very slow characters in this category include Reinhardt - especially as his friends are likely cowering behind that shield. We also feel Junkrat is great against Support characters and tanks in general thanks to RIP-Tire - if you manage to master landing your target, of course...

Any hero that specialises in sneaking in to bother the backlines represents a threat to Junkrat. In addition to the characters mentioned in our top three round-up, you also need to watch out for beefy characters like Winston, who can come bounding in to dish out a pummeling. Then there are characters who can flank behind Junkrat like Reaper and Tracer - you'll rarely win an even duel in this scenario.

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

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

At this stage of Overwatch's pre-release life, Junkrat doesn't seem to have all that many customisation options. Expect this to change as we approach launch - we'll update this section the next time we revisit our Junkrat guide.

Dr. JunkensteinSeasonalLegendary
Running RatSeasonalEpic
Victory Pose
Bad For Your HealthSeasonalRare
It'll Freeze That Way75Rare
Nyah Nyah75Rare
Highlight Intro
I'm Flying!250Epic
Shot PutSeasonalEpic
Voice Line
...Blow It Up Again25Common
Anyone Want Some BBQ?25Common
Come The Raw PrawnSeasonalCommon
Coming Up Explodey!25Common
Gong Xi Fa CaiSeasonalCommon
Happy Birthday25Common
Happy HalloweenSeasonalCommon
Have A Nice Day!25Common
I'm Blowing Up25Common
I Give It A 10!SeasonalCommon
It's The Little Things25Common
Merry ChristmasSeasonalCommon
Ooh, Shiny25Common
Oops... Dropped SomethingSeasonalCommon
Too RightSeasonalCommon

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