Overwatch Orisa How To Play Guide In-depth Part 1 Mechanics And Abilities

Learn about Orisa IN DEPTH. We are starting with the mechanics and general tips in this video, part 2 will be about teamplay and synergies. An in-depth guide to Orisa for every skill level! Learn where and how to use your abilities for the fullest potential in this video!

Part 2 about teamplay and synergies: https://youtu.be/4pu1SVEPs-c

Full written guide here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1gpA5g3Jfxm3G60a16SuC7zTmM9t6SQ-c4lB-o6MTkM0/edit?usp=sharing


Hello guys, welcome to the dojo! Most players still don’t know what to do when Orisa is around. We are going to give you the full picture about her, so you can understand how to play with Orisa, as Orisa or against a team where she is present.


When a new character comes out, the community usually has trouble figuring it out. Look at Sombra for example: even pro gamers had very different opinions of her for a long time. She can be used very effectively in the right hands, but mostly avoided due to the lack of experience. This effect applies to solo queue too, where players tend to heavily disagree with picks not following the meta.


Orisa is still a puzzle for most players. She is supposed to be a tank, but goes down very quickly to direct damage. She can do a lot of damage, but is very slow moving when firing her gun, so what’s the deal with her? Let’s start with the very basics. We need to understand her character, abilities and role in the game, then we can share more in-depth knowledge building on these foundations. We are interested what you think about Orisa right now, share it in a comment!



A quick overview of her kit

First, let’s cover her basics (note that these values are suspect to change in any patch, the numbers we use here are her current stats):


She has 200 health and 200 armor. Having half her HP in armor is important, because it is a great advantage against enemies firing a lot of small bullets like Tracer and Soldier. Armor mitigates a lot of that. Fortify is also most effective when you still have armor on.


Her primary fire is a fast projectile weapon with 150 ammo. She can do a whooping 1800 damage with a full clip, and the projectiles does not have a falloff. One important thing is that she gets slower when firing the weapon, just like D.Va. An important concept is leading the targets when firing, predicting their movements and pre-firing.


Her first ability is Halt! This is a small graviton charge that travels at slow speed until it collides with something. Orisa can re-activate the ability to pull enemies together. We are going to discuss this ability in more depth soon, as it has a lot of really good uses.


The next ability is protective barrier. She can fire it in an arc to really long ranges to deploy a 900 HP shield. This shield is the most important part of her kit, a good Orisa can use it very effectively to cover her team and make strong pushes. It has a relatively low cooldown, so you can use it a lot to gain more effective hp. More about it later.


She does not have any real escape ability, but her Fortify makes Orisa really tanky for a short while. She also becomes immune to any crowd control effect. The ability has a low cooldown, so it can be and should be used frequently to mitigate damage and body block the enemy line of sight. It’s important to notice that Orisa will go down very quickly if she is without a shield when fortify ends, so keep this in mind.


Her ultimate ability is supercharger. She places a deployable with 200 health that gives every teammate a 50% damage increase in a 25-meter radius for 15 seconds. The radius is really long, so you can hide this behind walls and attack or defend with +50 damage. If handled well, this ability can win fights for your team in itself.


These are the basics. Now we are going to see them in more depth. There is a drill video about learning how to aim with Orisa, check it out it you are interested in that topic, we are not going to cover it here.


We are going to talk about the abilities in-depth. Notice that the cooldowns are relatively low, so you want to actively use them for the best results. Don’t forget this when you are in the heat of battle!


The first thing you need to know about Orisa is how to use her primary fire. A very important part of her kit, she can do monstrous amounts of damage up close if handled correctly. The bullets do 12 damage and are fast moving projectiles with no damage falloff. The weapon has 150 ammo, meaning you can pump out 1800 damage per clip at a rate of 12 shots per second for a 144 DPS. And of course it can head shot enemies, potentially doubling the damage.


Having no damage falloff, Orisa’s basic attack is a really good tool for harassing enemies at any range. It is not ideal for long range sniping, as the projectiles have some travel time and are easily avoidable. Orisa is really strong on mid to close range, as she can dance around the shield (more about this later) while continuously firing. A 200 hp hero can go down in 1.5 seconds, or 0.8 if all shots land to the head. That’s pretty good for a ‘tank’.

Leading shots

It is important to learn how much you need to lead your target in order to hit them at different ranges. The farther they are from you the more you need to be able to predict their movement. Use a crosshair that is not covering a lot from the screen and useful for precise shots, like the short crosshairs. Enabling bloom is a personal preference, we like it on, but the spread is random, you can not control it like Soldier’s.


A really important part of Orisa’s basic attack is reloading. It takes 2,5 seconds to reload her gun, that’s a lot. A good flanker can make short work of you in that time. So make sure you only start reloading when it is necessary and you have cover where you can back off during the animation. If you still have some bullets in the clip and want to get back to the fight immediately, you can cancel the reload with a melee attack.


Let’s continue with the halt! Ability. It’s a mini graviton with 8 seconds cooldown. This ability has a lot of uses that you need to know about to be really effective with Orisa. We would suggest you go to the practice range and experience the speed and the length of the grav effect of this ability.


The power of the Halt ability is that it not only in its effect that pulls enemies to a place. It must be used as a zoning tool, as the enemy will try to keep away from it as much as possible, knowing it can disrupt their movements and position greatly. As a bonus, you can use it to scout around a choke and see how many enemies are there by watching the beams connecting to them.

Halt usage

The following are some example uses for the halt ability so you don’t just spam it randomly, but understand and utilize it in a way that creates opportunities for your team. A good thing to do is to use it vertically, pulling enemies upward. They are predictable when falling down and will not be able to escape for one more second, that is sometimes enough to finish them off.

High ground control

The first common usage is to pull down enemies from high grounds. This ability is really valuable in creating equal fights for your team. If you are approaching an enemy position and they have the advantage of the high ground, you can fire your ability, pull them down and let your team do their worst. This can throw them off if their strategy revolves around fighting from top-down. Make sure that you practice the timing for this move.

Shield plays

The next usage is when you want to attack a choke point, but the enemy is behind a shield you have hard time breaking. The ability pulls targets out from behind shields, so you can use it to target a secondary tank or a healer playing close to the front-line and help your team get a pick. Make sure that you call this, so a Roadhog will be able to hook the target for example.

It can also be used to pull targets upwards from behind a shield. This makes them reachable by some characters and falling down also makes them predictable.

Enabling ultimates

The halt ability displaces enemies, so it can open up ways for your allies to use their ultimates. Pulling defenders away, or upwards is a really great way to do unexpected things. You can pull a Reinhardt up and allow your own Rein buddy to use the Earthshatter when the shield is not blocking. You can pull a Reinhardt sideways, opening up the view for a McCree ultimate. There is a big list of combos here, make sure to think them through and use them in your next Orisa game. This gives a good idea who to combo with.


Reinhardt Pull up enemy -> earthshatter them
McCree Pull away shields -> open for deadeye
Tracer, Genji, Pharah, etc Mini graviton -> Use ultimate into them
D.Va, Mei, Reaper, Junkrat Pull them when they are fleeing from ult
Zenyatta, Widowmaker, Hanzo Pull target up -> Easier to target, instakill


Catching fleeing enemies have never been so easy. Fire the orb when you suspect they are going to flee, pull them upwards and back to you to finish them. Low health enemies are a good indication, but Genji players will usually flee after using their reflect, Tracers after recall, Zarya after their shield was used and depleted. You get the idea. Predict them and punish.

Protecting allies

Halt is a really good ability for protecting your allies. You can pull away flankers easily, making way for your supports and allowing damage dealers to do their work on them. The halt ability is really good to pull an ulting Genji away from your team, as he is really slow without his dash. You can deny the whole ultimate with a good halt. The same applies to a lot of boosted targets. You can pull a Pharah behind a wall to deny her ultimate too. Think of creative ways.

Securing fallbacks

You can fire the ability when you are fleeing to stagger the enemy, allowing your team to backpedal to safety. As you can see Halt is really about positional plays and disrupting the enemy movement in order to gain some kind of advantage.


Fortify mitigates 50% of all damage for 4 seconds, with a 10 seconds cooldown.It also makes you immune to all crowd control effects, but does not protect your allies from it. If you want to learn how and when to use fortify, the basic idea is to use it when you are still healthy, whenever you started to receive damage. This is much like Zarya’s shield in its usage. Never use it preemptively. Wait until the enemy really wants to focus you, and use it then. It’s important to note that it’s much more effective at mitigating damage when you still have armor up, so try to engage with it like so. Fortify is not for withstanding a lot of punishment, but to negate some when you are getting focused.


Using this ability well will help you win every 1v1 situation in the game. Combine it with your barrier for maximum effect, more about that soon.

Body blocking

An important thing to do is to use your huge bulk to block vision and abilities that would target your most important allies. By standing between an enemy Soldier and your Mercy, you can save her just long enough to be able to use her ultimate. Body blocking is an important concept to learn and use with any tank or off tank. Try to use fortify when you are eating an enemy ability or damage, making sure that you don’t sacrifice yourself if not really needed.

Denying abilities

It’s also really useful to deny a Roadhog hook or a Reinhardt charge. Time it when you suspect he is going to use it and block their abilities. Can get you out of a Mei freeze as well. This is what makes it really hard to win a 1v1 against a good Orisa.


If the situation calls for a fallback, fortify can be used to make sure you can flee. Use it to deny enemy abilities that would slow you down, and to reduce damage of course. In this situation, you should never shoot, as it slows you down.


Now we get to the Protective barrier ability that is something that should be used all the time with Orisa. It’s a shield that has 900 health, 20 seconds duration and 12 seconds cooldown. It can be fired in an arc to quite long distances. As Reinhardt is known for the shield, this remote barrier is the trademark of Orisa. Don’t forget that the cooldown starts as soon as you use the ability, so the shield can usually be kept up all the time.


Let’s talk about the basics of shield usage. The main purpose of shields in this game is not to soak damage. They should always be used to defend your team when something is actively happening, making sure they are protected. A Reinhardt who holds up shield, but not protecting anybody is not a good Reinhardt. The same applies to Orisa’s shield, but it is more like Winton’s. You don’t use it to protect against damage head on, but to create opportunities for pushes or to separate enemies with it. It’s basically a 900 hp pack that you can use regularly.

Barrier dance

Barrier dancing or shield dancing is a move you need to master. It is used to help the shield stay alive longer, allowing your team to have larger room to do their jobs. The idea is to put the shield down and move around it, blocking the line of sight of the enemy. If you body block the shield, it will stay up longer. If you use the shield for protecting, you can mitigate some damage. Do this to ensure you can push in with the team, falling behind it to receive heals when you need it, or to win 1v1 situations by moving around the shield in a way that does not allow your enemy to hit you.

Pushing with the shield

Use your shield to gain ground for your team.When you are pushing into the enemy team, it is important to use that 900 effective hp as good as you can. Start going towards the enemy, then use fortify and shoot your shield right away in front of them. The shield should land before your damage reduction ends. It is advisable not to shoot when you are charging in, as you are going to be too slow to reach them. Pull them apart with halt and let your team work on them when you reached the enemy positions.

Defending with the shield

When you are defending a point or a choke, placing the shield right in front of the enemy team is a bad decision. They will melt it in 3 seconds. It’s better to use the shield wisely and to protect your damage dealers, enabling them to have an extended cover that they can use to do damage. If there is a Soldier on the high ground needing a little more protection, give the shield to him.

Another important time frame is when the enemy decides to engage. Cut them in half with the shield, so the back line can not support the front line effectively. A well coordinated counter offense will catch the enemies by surprise.

Separating enemies, denying abilities

There are some combos that depend heavily on line of sight. The Zarya Tracer wombo combo is a such one, but a nano-blade Genji goes down quickly too without healing. Thus creating a distraction with the shield and denying certain abilities to pass for a few seconds can go a long way.

Shooting the shield up

This is a technique that can be used when defending stationary positions. Shoot your shield straight up when the one placed is about to go down, but still has some juice in it. The cooldown instantly starts, but the new shield will only get deployed when it lands. Time it well and you will have a shield deployed and the next coming up in a few seconds. Really great against strong pushes.


Supercharger gives 50% damage boost to every ally in a 25m radius for 15 seconds. It is a deployable with 200 health, so it needs to be protected in order to gain maximum value from it. You want to make sure that you protect it as long as possible, so deploy a shield first and put the deployable behind it.

Supercharger in defense

Supercharger is easier to deploy in defensive scenarios, as you can use the terrain to protect it from harm. Because of the stationary position of the defenders however, enemy characters will have an easier time to figure out where it is. It can be surprisingly strong in defense too if the team sticks in the radius of the ultimate.

Don’t use it preemptively, only when the enemy decides to commit to the attack. If they trick you into using it and retreat, you wasted a really strong ult. Try to wait until they are bringing the fight close to you.

Supercharger in attack

When you are attacking it is not that easy to decide when and where to place it. You want to make sure it stays up as long as possible. Put down a shield, place the supercharger behind it and use the presence of your front line to further protect it from harm. If you can get one or two picks before it goes down, it was worth it.
You can also use it to create a diversion as a secondary effect. The defenders will want to eliminate it as quickly as possible, and you can use this to your advantage. Focus the ones going for it, you can kill them quickly if they tunnelvision.

Get the boost from ana

Farm your ult as quickly as possible. This is a cheesy tactic that works well in premade teams (duo is enough). You need someone to play Ana for you and charge the nanoboost quickly by soaking damage (shield dancing without fortify). Then Ana ults you and you do enough damage to be able to place your supercharger. +50% damage to the whole team very quickly if done right.