In the run up to launch, it was Overwatch's diverse collection of Heroes that tended to hog all of the attentione, but for a developer taking its first steps into the shooter genre, the maps these Heroes fight on are incredibly well designed. Artfully placed choke points, shortcuts, sniping points, twists and turns are found everywhere on every map, and there's usually something about each battleground that marks it out as truly unique from the rest.
It can, to be quite honest, all be a little too much to take on board when you first fire up the game, and there's an awful lot you need to learn for each possible role you might choose to take on in a fight. Combine this generous spread of physical spaces with a handful of different control modes, and it's safe to say you might need a little help navigating your way aroud, so that you can make a good impression on your teammates!
With all that in mind, we're in the process of putting together guides for every single map that's currently available in the game, and you'll find a link to each one, right here from this article as soon as they're ready. Just as we're doing for Heroes, we'll also add future map guides to this round-up as and when new content is released by Blizzard.
Keep us bookmarked, as we are on the process of continuously updating all of our guide content.
Overwatch map list
At the time of writing this article there are 15 maps available in Overwatch, each one of which is themed around a certain objective. Here's a quick look at each one, and you'll find more detail about each one by heading to the related guide we've linked.
Hanamura (Point Capture): Set in Japan, Hanamura was one of the original maps of the game and includes plenty of sniping spots and hidey-holes - Hanamura guide
Temple of Anubis (Point Capture): Stairways and overpasses define the Temple of Anubis, and team combat often finds you first... - Temple of Anubis guide
Volskaya Industries (Point Capture): The industrial Volskaya favours tanky characters due to the wide open spaces available to snipers - Volskaya Industries guide
Horizon Lunar Colony (Point Capture): The first space-based map for Overwatch features a little low-gravity fun - Horizon Lunar Colony guide
- Make sure you check out our round-up of the best Assault map team comps and builds to get ahead of the competition.
Ilios (Control): Expect plenty of sun, sea and...shooting on this gorgeous Mediterranean Control map. Fast fights abound here - Ilios guide
Lijiang Tower (Control): This is a Control map set within a beautiful Chinese city. Expect tight and claustrophobic firefights here - Lijiang Tower guide
Nepal (Control): This winding map, festooned with flanking possibilities has the two teams competing to take charge of control points in an old monastery - Nepal guide
Oasis (Control): Another three stage map that's set thematically within the Arabian Desert- Oasis guide
- Our guide to the best Control map team comps and builds will help you build a solid starting team.
Dorado (Payload): One of the prettiest maps in the game, Dorado provides plenty of hiding spots for trapping the unwary - Dorado guide
Route 66 (Payload): There are twisting tunnels applenty in this American highway themed escort map - Route 66 guide
Watchpoint: Gibraltar (Payload): Another map with plenty of sniping spots and bottlenecks, this is one of our favourite maps in the game - Watchpoint: Gibraltar guide
Junkertown (Payload): Junkrat and Roadhog's hometown which makes for some great action-packed fights - Junkertown guide
Rialto (Payload): A lovely Italian map with a ridiculous number of flanking routes - Rialto guide
- For help creating a starting team, take a look at our guide to the best Escort map team comps and builds.
Eichenwalde (Hybrid): The home of Reinhardt is stuffed to the brim with sniping spots and chokepoints: GLORIOUS! - Eichenwalde guide
Hollywood (Hybrid): Overwatch's Hollywood map takes you through three distinct film sets as you escort your payload to its destination - Hollywood guide
King's Row (Hybrid): This sprawling map is stuffed full of choke points and it can be tough for an attacking team to even get out of the gate! - King's Row guide
Numbani (Hybrid): It's sniper paradise in Numbani, where bags of balconies provide ample opportunity to pick off cocky players who spend far too long out in the open... - Numbani guide
- Take a look at our pick of the best Hybrid map team comps and builds to get ahead of the competition.
Ecopoint Antarctica (Arcade): Mei's thematic home plays host to a handful of special modes featured only in the Arcade - Ecopoint Antarctica guide
Black Forest (Arcade): One of the game's first bespoke Elimination maps - Black Forest guide
Ayutthaya (Arcade): Set in Thailand and perhaps the most beautiful map in the game, it's been designed specifically with Capture the flag in mind - Ayutthaya guide
- Take a look at our Arcade Mode guide for tips on playing every mode in this section of the game.
Here are a handful of tips to help you get started with the game. While these are intended to help you get to grips in a very general sense, you can expect much more specific, in-depth detail in our individual map guides which will be ready for launch.
- Don't just rely on third-party guides to get to grips with maps before jumping into battle. Fire up a few custom games and take some time to explore the different worlds for yourself. Where are the sniping points? How would I flank as an assault character? Are there any cheeky "exploits" that can be used to gain the upper hand? Ask the same questions as your enemy might from the other side of the map!
- There's a reason Overwatch allows you to switch Heroes on the fly - at the spawn room at least - and that's to allow a multitude of strategies to blossom on each map, and stop the game going stale. If it's making you die, don't keep doing the same thing over and over! Look for counters to turrets and bothersome Bastions (Tracer, Reaper etc), add some extra support into the mix if your tanks are dying, and so on.
- Learn the best hiding spots for your particular character. Soldier: 76, for example, just loves to tuck himself into a room corner and drop a healing bomb on himself. On the subject of healing, make sure you know where all of those medical kits are as well - being able to grab one of those before your opponent pratically decides the outcome of a one-on-one by itself!
- It's easy to focus on one Hero when you find one you really love, but there's no getting away from the fact that different maps tend to favour specific Heroes - at least when it comes to some of the tried and tested strategies that have been unearthed during the various beta phases. A balanced understanding of the entire Hero roster will leave you much better equipped to pick the right tool for the job at hand!