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Overwatch: Roadhog guide - Tips, tricks and strategy advice

UPDATE: Our massive Roadhog guide now contains even more advice about playing the popular tank.

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About John Bedford

John is a freelance writer based in West Sussex.

Our Overwatch Roadhog guide contains ability and strategy tips, counter advice, and everything else you need for mastering this mighty tank.

It is not really 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 such as 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 hero 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. Despite the sheer heft of his health pool, if 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 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.

Editor's note - Update #5: It's been a little while since we last updated our Roadhog guide, and you'll now find all of the latest cosmetic items for the hero, new video guides and an update of all his core stats based on the latest patches.

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.

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 though, 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 metres in front of your Hero.

Chain Hook [LSHIFT] - Every Overwatch hero has their own signature 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 provided as an aura. 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 at 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 ungainly 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.

AbilityHPAmmoFire RateDurationCooldown / ReloadHealsDamageRange
Scrap Gun (LMB)60051.3 RPS-1.5s-150 max-
Shrapnel Ball (RMB)-41.3 RPS-1.5s-150 max9m
Chain Hook----8s-3020m
Take a Breather---1s8s300 HP--
Whole Hog---6s--109.5 per shot-

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 couple of years.

  • 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 sure 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 don't be afraid to get stuck in!
  • 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 againstRoadhog 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)

Coming soon!

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

Coming soon!

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

Coming soon!

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.

Ice Fisherman1000Legendary
Junkenstein's Monster1000Legendary
Belly Laugh250Epic
Can Crusher250Epic
Secret Friend250Epic
Tuckered Out250Epic
Victory Poses
Pointing To The Sky75Rare
Thumbs Up75Rare
Tuckered Out75Rare
What's Mine is Mine75Rare
Voice Line
Candy From A Baby25Common
Eat This25Common
Got Something To Say?25Common
Hook, Line And Sinker25Common
Ho Ho Ho25Common
I'm Going Hog Wild!25Common
I Don't Like Talkers25Common
I Have Your Present Right Here25Common
It's All Gone To The Dogs25Common
Killed For Less Than That25Common
Life Is Pain, So Is Death25Common
Piece Of Cake25Common
Push Off25Common
Say "Bacon..."25Common
She'll Be Right25Common
The Apocalypse25Common
There's No "I" In Team25Common
Violence Is The Answer25Common
Want Some Candy?25Common
We're All Animals25Common
You Chicken?25Common
You Wanna Scrap With Me?25Common
Highlight Intro
Little Piggy250Epic
Say "Cheese"250Epic
Whole Hog250Epic

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  • PotatoLord-78 #1 4 years ago
    Is there any way that you can still push on while staying in the front and not going through any side entrances because I feel like it could be possible to sustain all the damage.