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Torbjorn guide - 2018 - Overwatch

Our essential guide to making defensive duties seem effortless with Torbjorn.

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About Ed Thorn

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

Updated 17th May 2018: Our massive Torbjorn guide contains ability and strategy tips, counter advice, and everything else you need to know about mastering this hero.

Torbjorn's certainly not considered to be the most powerful character in Overwatch, he's nevertheless a firm favourite of ours at Metabomb. A stoic, mechanical maestro of defensive prowess, this hero specialises in knocking together strategically placed turrets which'll lock onto targets and rain hell down onto the attacking team. He'll then give them a good few smacks with his hammer to restore and upgrade them over time to ensure they present an ever-deadly threat. He's surprisingly fun to play in Overwatch, particularly when you've gained a deep understanding of every map in the game, and have mastered a bunch of dastardly turret spots.

Alongside these dastardly contraptions, Torbjorn has a few other tricks up his short, wide sleeves. He can harvest scraps of metal that fall from dead enemy Heroes in order to forge armour for his allies. Between his Rivet Gun and his mighty Forge Hammer, Torbjorn's can also often emerge victorious from a surprise encounter. As for his Ultimate ability, Molten Core not only boosts up his turret's strength even further, it also throws Torbjorn into an enraged state that makes him incredibly tough to take down - enemies will scatter when they hear him bellow and glow orange.

In our comprehensive Torbjorn guide, we'll kick things off by explaining how exactly those turrets work in practise, and then run through how all of his other skills work as well. Once we're done with that, we've got a few general tips which should help you survive and prosper in battle for much longer. In the weeks and months ahead of us, we'll also be adding some useful info regarding this character's counters, along with some map-specific advice to help you place your turrets more efficiently. Check back for updates soon!

Editor's note - May 2018 update: It's been a while since we last updated this guide, but we've given it a good new year refresh meaning it's now completely up to date. Expect more updates over time, so stay tuned!

Torbjorn abilities and strategy tips

Torbjorn's core abilities are all centred around clever use of his turrets, but it's not just a case of picking your spot and then plonking your defenses down on the ground. For this reason, we've put together a quick guide covering all of Torbjorn's fundamenetal abilities, which should help you get up to speed with the basics nice and fast.

Rivet Gun [LMB / RMB] - Although Torbjorn's primary fire is a long way away from being the most powerful in the game, it can still help you live a little longer - and pick off an unwary target or two. You can rattle off rivets at long-range enemies quickly enough by using the left mouse button, but switch over to the right mouse button in close encounters - you'll need the extra oomph to end duels sooner rather than later.

Forge Hammer [RMB] - Tap the 2 button (or the scroll wheel on your mouse), and you'll switch over from the Rivet Gun to the Forge Hammer - you can tap 1 or scroll again to return to the default weapon. Don't use this for dealing damage to other Heroes unless you've run out of Rivet Gun ammo temporarily, but instead save it for when you need to repair or upgrade your turret. Every whack you deliver to your mechanical contraption will boost its strength back up towards its maximum tally.

Build Turret [LSHIFT] - Now we come to Torbjorn's signature skill, but there's more to it than just choosing a nice spot. Once it's in place, you can then hit it with your Forge Hammer to start upgrading the device. Five hits - from a maximum strength Level 1 turret - will upgrade it to Level 2. When you activate your Ultimate - Molten Core - your turret will automatically increase to Level 3, but it will revert to Level 2 once the Ultimate expires. The higher the level, the more damage the machine will do, basically.

Armor Pack [E] - Dead enemies will drop scraps which you can collect and then convert into armor for your friends to pick up and take advantage of. Following a post-launch patch, Torbjorn can also passively generate scrap over time. Note that Torbjorn himself can also make use of these useful armour patches, but no one character can have more than one applied to themselves at any given time.

Molten Core [Q] - Torbjorn enters something of a frenzied state when Molten Core is activated. Not only does he hit harder and move a lot faster, if he has a Level 2 turret out in play then it'll be upgraded to Level 3 for as long as the effect lasts. He also repairs existing turrets much more quickly when his Ultimate is active, and he gains a great deal of personal armour too. Don't be timid when it comes to taking on fights in the mode - Torbjorn's a monster when he's fired up and practically invicible.

Scrap Collector [PASSIVE] - As we've already explained, when enemies die on the battlefield, Torbjorn is capable of collecting scraps from their corpses. He can then use these scraps to create armour packs for his allies. Note that Torbjorn can only hold onto 200 of these scraps at any one time.

AbilityHPAmmoFire RateCooldown / ReloadDamageRange
Rivet Gun200182 RPS2s70-
Rivet Gun (Alt)-3 per shot1 RPS-15-
Forge Hammer--1 swing p/sec-75-
Rivet Gun500-----
Turret (1)150-2 RPS8s14 per40
Turret (2)300-4 RPS-14 per40
Turret (3)800-9 RPS-14 per40

Want to get a little more out of Torbjorn's turrets nice and quickly? Here are a handful of tips that will help you master this character in no time.

  • Consider setting up your Torbjorn controls so that you only have to hit one button to switch back and forth between weapon types. This will remove some of the fiddliness inherent in juggling your combat duties. It's not a game-changer by itself, but every little helps.
  • You probably aren't going to make many friends in the random queue by taking Torbjorn into a match as the attacking team. Sure you'll do some work, but once the team has made progress you have to set up all over again - there are almost always better choices, unless you really are a top-tier Overwatch player.
  • Don't feel too dejected if it takes you a little while to really master the trajectory of Torbjorn's Rivet Gun. The shots arc a little bit as they travel, but once you've mastered your aiming here you'll surprise yourself at how much damage you can throw around as a Defense character. It can be useful to set yourself a few marker shoots from range ahead of a big encounter that's expected.
  • Torbjorn can only hold 200 armour scraps at any one time, so create an Armor Pack if you're at or are close to maximum and you need to gather more - it can't do any harm and you might as well use them!
  • If you run out of Rivet Gun ammo and you have a one-on-one situation, quickly switch over to your hammer and try and land a couple of smacks with it. When you switch back over to your gun, it'll be fully restocked with ammo
  • If your turret has just been destroyed, don't just set it up where it was before as the enemy will be primed to take it down in the same location once more. Experiment and get creative so that you always keep the other team on their toes. Typically a team will have to test the turret's position before taking it down, so you can tie them up in knots with clever switching.
  • You can only have one turret active at a time, so make sure it's well positioned and look after it! Try to place it somewhere where it gets a wide line of sight, while also providing you with some kind of cover. That way you can still repair it with your hammer when it comes under fire.
  • It is almost always better to take the time to build a Level 2 turret before activating your Molten Core Ultimate. The extra damage bonus is more than worth the wait while you prepare your defenses. If you do need to build a turret mid-Ultimate, note that it will automatically upgrade to Level 3 once you've built it to Level 2.
  • Try to drop your Armor Packs somewhere your teammates are likely to see them easily, and get them when they're most needed. Put them near the spawn room or the objective, or just drop them directly by your allies to get the effect on them straight away. Torbjorn will give out a tell to nearby friendly players when he's made them a pack!

Torbjorn counters and match-ups

Here are the top three counters and match-ups for Torbjorn. There are of course other characters to consider in this list, but for the sake of simplicity you should watch out for the following heroes in particular.

Torbjorn is strong againstTorbjorn is weak against
LucioGenji
SymmetraPharah
ZenyattaReaper

Torbjorn map tactics

Here are some extra tips for playing Torbjorn on specific maps in the game.

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

Torbjorn is abysmal at attacking on these sorts of maps so don't use him unless you're defending the capture points from the enemy. How you position your turrets largely depends on the stage of the game. At the beginning, go for distance and line of sight to cause the enemy a problem getting out of the gate.

If the enemy team continue to make progress, it's time to reposition your turrent to make life harder for them to approach the objective. When things really get spicey, you might consider popping your turret in a corner of the room, where it's most likely to catch approaching enemies unawares.

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

Again, you would probably not call Torbjorn a primary pick on these maps. If you're confidently holding the point already though, then there can still be value in popping a turret in one of the corners.

Just make sure you pick a corner that represents a blind spot for the typical approach path of the enemy team. That way they rush in and either get splatted or panic enough for your team to gain the upper hand.

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

We're not huge fans of Torbjorn on Escort maps unless you're defending the very last corner or area. If you're in this situation, find some nice spots to set up your turrets and keep putting out as much damage as you can. Otherwise, if they're being destroyed quickly, we'd honestly recommend switching off the hero as soon as you can.

Playing Torbjorn on attack as an opening gambit is our only other piece of advice. Build his turret on the Payload, set up shields, and more often than not the enemy team will have to adapt their composition to match your cheesey strategy.

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

Echoing many of the points we've already mentioned here, it's important you're picking Torbjorn for the right situation. Placing his turret at certain chokepoints is probably your best bet, otherwise exercise a great deal of caution. If your turrets are getting destroyed quickly, it's best to switch to another hero sharpish.

Our most popular Overwatch articles:

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

If you've grown a little tired of Torbjorn's vanilla looks, there are lots of different ways of changing his looks and sounds. If you're not having much luck when it comes to opening Loot Boxes, here are all of the items you can purchase with Credits.

UnlockCostNotes
Skins
Classic0Common
Bla75Rare
Citron75Rare
Gron75Rare
Plommon75Rare
Cathode250Epic
Woodclad250Epic
Tre Kronor250Epic
Chopper1000Legendary
Deadlock1000Legendary
Barbarossa1000Legendary
Blackbeard1000Legendary
Santaclad1000Legendary
Chief Engineer LindholmSeasonalLegendary
IroncladSeasonalLegendary
VikingSeasonalLegendary
Emotes
Heroic0Common
Clicking Heels250Epic
Fisticuffs250Epic
Guffaw250Epic
Overload250Epic
Taking A Break250Epic
Victory Pose
Heroic0Rare
Hammer75Rare
Medal75Rare
R.I.P.75Rare
Sitting Pretty75Rare
Take Five75Epic
Toast75Rare
Voice Line
A Chicken Out Of A Feather25Common
Completion Date25Common
Don't Get Caught0Common
Engineers25Common
Expert CraftsmanshipSeasonalRare
Hard Work Pays Off75Rare
Hear Me, Baby?SeasonalRare
I Smell Trouble BrewingSeasonalRare
If You Build It25Common
I'm Giving It All I've Got!75Rare
I'm Swedish!25Common
Just Start HammeringSeasonalRare
Leave This To An Expert25Common
Let's Not Buy The Pig25Common
Made To Order25Common
More Where That Came From25Common
Poor CraftsmanSeasonalRare
Some Assembly Required75Rare
There's No Prize For SecondSeasonalRare
Too Hot For You?25Common
Trust MeSeasonalRare
Working As Intended75Rare
Highlight Intro
Heroic0Common
Random0Common
In Your Face250Epic
Refreshing250Epic
Ride 'Em250Epic

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