Overwatch Autopilot vs Focus – How To Win More and Gain SR

Playing in autopilot instead of focusing on your Overwatch game makes you a worse player. If you want to know how to win more games and earn more SR, this guide will help you understand the causes of autopilot in Overwatch, why is it harmful for your game and what can you do to avoid going into this state of mind.

Fighting autopilot (either competitive games autopilot or quick play) and learning the biggest difference between autopilot vs focus is really important for your Overwatch game sense. Preventing autopilot helps you to gain SR and to improve.

Autopilot vs focusing in Overwatch

Hey there! Players tend to go autopilot in Overwatch that hurts their performance. It’s important to know how to focus and not let your guard down, to be on top of your game in every match. If you are experiencing games where you just perform badly losing a lot of SR and don’t understand the causes, we are going to explain why!

Hello guys and welcome to the dojo! You must have heard about the term autopilot in different competitive games, including Overwatch. Autopilot or the loss of focus is happening to gamers at all skill levels, however there are only a few who know what to do about it. This thing is usually not recognized by the players, however it can hurt their performance and take the fun away from the game. We are going to dissect the main causes and offer you remedies to stay sharp and win more games, or to stop the huge SR loss and get back on track.

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Autopilot in Overwatch

Alright, when we say a someone goes autopilot during a game, we mean that they are not present in the moment, not paying their full attention to the game. These players are letting their emotions and usual actions control them instead of being control themselves. The more you play a given game or sport, the more likely you will spend some fraction of the game time in autopilot mode. This is happening to us because our brains are easy to get bored with tasks it finds repetitive or to lose focus due to certain things. Even if we enjoy what we are doing, we can still easily go into the state of mind where everything happens automatically and we just follow the flow of the game.

However the lack of focus can hurt a player’s performance really badly. You are not focusing on the game 100%. When you let your experience take over and guide your movements, you will be likely oversee small events in the game that you would otherwise notice. You will not position yourself good enough, resulting in more deaths than usual. You may not use your abilities, forget about them, or just time them pretty badly. Generally you are just playing how you usually play without paying attention to the details of the specific game. These are all symptoms of losing your focus on the game and should serve you as an alert to get your mind back on the game if you happen to identify any of these symptoms.

Causes of autopilot – fatigue

Alright. let’s briefly talk about the causes of autopilot. The biggest cause is fatigue, so the lack of focus can be experienced more after a lengthy gaming session or after an exhausting day. The first match should feel a little bit like a warm up, getting accustomed to the game. The next few games are usually quite good regarding your own performance. Then you start getting a bit tired, even tilted and autopilot kicks in. In this state of mind your automatic reactions and usual behaviour takes over the reactive style that should be played.

Why is fatigue affecting autopilot

Fatigue affects autopilot because of how the human body works. If we are tired – say for example going somewhere very early for a special reason where we go a lot of times – we tend to forget how we got from point A to B. Try to remember how did you get the work or school today, calling back as much as you can. It’s likely that you will remember how you got on the bus, but won’t know how many people were next to you. You should get the idea.

The same can happen during the game. Instead of thinking about the actual team compositions, preferable engages and ability combos, players on autopilot just rush in again and again, doing the same mistakes and generally bad play. Instead of picking another hero when getting hard countered, they stay with the same and die to the same enemy again and again.

What to do against fatigue

So what to do against fatigue? Easy peasy, get up and take a break between 2 to 3 games. You can watch an episode of a series, or go for a short walk around the house, it does not matter. Let yourself chill for a short while and charge your energy reserves a bit to be able to get back to the game and remain sharp.

Have a chat

Some people like to get social to replenish their batteries. If you are such and individual, head over to the Overwatchdojo’s Discord and have a game related chat. Click the card right now, or the link in the description to join our community!

Causes of autopilot – not being present in the moment

The next cause of letting things happen to you in game in not being present in the moment. This means that you are just clicking on the competitive matchmaking and alt tabbing to the browser, watching something else. Then the game loads, you tab back, pick a hero and start thinking about how was your day or what do you want to eat after the match. These are all things non game related and if you want to perform really well, you should put these aside during the game.

Why not being present hurts your game

Not being present hurts your game because your thoughts are not 100% about what you are doing. If you want to win, you need to be actively engaged with the specific match you are participating in, there shouldn’t be any half measures. With a real life example: you don’t want to climb a slippery wall while thinking about a grocery list. Focus on what is happening and adjust yourself well.

What to do against it

In order to be present, you need to be engaged with the game. While the match loads, watch and study the loading screen, see who you are teamed up with, and who makes the enemy team. Look for premades because they can help carrying a game more easily. Then when the game loads, pick a hero, and start thinking about where you should leave the spawn, what route to take when attacking, or which point to defend when setting up. A lot of things goes in this topic, the idea is to take an active part in the game and use your mind, not just your reflexes.

Doing some active exercises help a lot as well, like tracking the head of your teammates, or repeating some ability combos, etc. Just make sure that you are present in the game, watching what is happening and reacting to anything that comes in your way.

Causes of autopilot – not having goals

The last cause of autopilot generally is not having goals. We are talking about small, match related goals, and longer goals where your improvement or achievements are in the focus. Having some goals defined helps you to keep on track and engage your brain to pay deliberate attention to the game. If you connect these milestones or goals with small rewards – say for example you get to eat a gummy bear after every win – you are tricking your mind into a state where it not only fights for the amusement and usual goal of winning, but it knows that it will be rewarded on success. This can increase some people’s performance drastically, so try this out.

Why is not having goals kicks in autopilot

Not having goals kicks you in autopilot, because being engaged is not just about reacting to the stimuli happening right now, but it usually needs you to think a little bit long term. You may win the current 1v1 against Genji, but then what? Where should you go? Who should you try to pick from the enemy team? What is the general goal of your team right now? What is the goal after the next engage?

What to do against not having goals

So what you should do against not having goals? Thinking about you goals and draft a plan up. This plan can be changed in reaction to how the events unfold during a given match, but it will help you remain focused during the game. You are engaging yourself mechanically and mentally, and this leads to a high level of focus and better quality play.

Coaching helps a lot with your goals

If you don’t exactly know how to proceed with your goals, or how to fix your game and accelerate your improvement, we are here to coach you. Overwatchdojo is offering private coaching with awesome results to all skill levels. Head over to our Patreon right now and claim your place for the next month, you won’t regret it.

A mental checklist

So we have talked about the three most common causes of autopilot in Overwatch. If you want to make sure you are really present in the game all the time, construct a mental checklist that helps you to know what actions to take and what to think about. This will keep you engaged and help your game sense to perform better. You really should try to figure this out yourself, or use the comment section to construct something that works for your skill level. Here is an example checklist for any situation for a diamond or higher:

  • How many players do we have present for the next engage?
  • How many does the enemy have?
  • What is the preferable route to to attack or defend?
  • How many ults can come in play during the fight?
  • What should I personally do during the next engage?

And the list goes on and on. Reading this is long, but getting to the habit of going through your personalized checklist should be short and help you a lot. Try to compile something and post it in the comment section below.


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