In Overwatch 2, Genji has undergone some subtle changes. While he’s not had any abilities stripped, Genji has had a severe knock to his damage capabilities.
In late 2022, Blizzard released a patch that has effectively made Genji the worst we’ve ever seen him – knocking his maximum ammo down from 30 to 24 and reducing his damage from 29 to 27.
However, this has by no means made playing Genji unviable. When it comes to his ultimate, Genji is almost as strong as before the disastrous patch. So let’s dig into how you can get the most out of this beloved DPS in Overwatch 2.
Overwatch 2 Genji
Overwatch 2 Genji: story and background
As the youngest son of the infamous Japanese crime family, the Shimada clan, Genji grew up surrounded by death and deceit. Despite his clan's wishes, Genji never wanted to participate in his family's corrupt actions, instead looking elsewhere for fun and fulfillment.
This dispute ultimately led to his brother, Hanzo, confronting him. In a rage, Hanzo fatally wounded his brother, leaving him dead. Luckily, Overwatch found him before it was too late and, with the help of Dr. Angela Ziegler, known as Mercy, was able to reconstruct Genji with cybernetics, making him a deadly weapon.
Genji would later go on to join Overwatch’s secret strike team Blackwatch and was involved with taking his former clan down along with some morally-questionable missions. One of these was the notorious Venice Incident, leading to the public becoming aware of Blackwatch and the team's suspension.
In Overwatch 2, Genji was forced to come to terms with himself as he became a weapon with no reason to fight. Searching for purpose, he came across the omnic monk Zenyatta who taught him about peace and forgiveness. Thanks to this teaching, Genji has chosen to forgive his Brother and continue to help Overwatch in their battle against Talon and Null Sector.
Overwatch 2 Genji: abilities breakdown
Primary Fire: Shuriken
Description: Throw an accurate burst of three projectiles or throw a fan of three shots in an arc.
Unfortunately, in Overwatch 2, Genji’s shuriken has taken the brunt of the aforementioned patch. Genji's primary weapon has seen better days, with damage dealt now decreased from 29 to 27 and his total ammo available reduced from 30 down to 24.
This primary fire has two options for shooting. Either use it in pinpoint accuracy or fan the shots out. Pinpoint accuracy is better when you aim for a specific hero, usually a lone support or a dying DPS. On the other hand, fanning your shots is a better deterrent when you are backing off from fights.
Some tips and tricks about this weapon:
- Reloading will stop if you use melee before it is over.
- You can get a headshot with this ability.
Ability: Swift Strike
Description: Rapidly dash forward and inflict damage on enemies.
The best way to use this ability is by aiming for Ghost Dash. This is when a player dashes into an enemy and kills them, which automatically resets the cooldown, meaning the Genji can do a 180 turn and immediately get out of there.
While this ability isn’t as seamless as it was before the patch, as now there is a slight delay, Genji can still use this ability to dive enemies with little consequence.
Some tips and tricks for this ability:
- You can use this skill when using your Dragonblade ultimate.
- The cooldown will reset no matter what power is used for the kill.
- Swift Strike does not damage traps like Junkrat’s Steel Trap or Widowmaker’s Venom Mine.
Description: Deflect incoming projectiles towards the direction you are aiming and block melee attacks.
Genji can reflect all incoming projectiles, along with some melee attacks, with a one-meter radius in front of him. In Overwatch 2, Genji can deflect melee attacks like Roadhog’s Chain Hook and Brigitte’s Whip Shot. However, these attacks are not reflected onto the user.
Some tips and tricks for this ability:
- Attacks like Symmetra’s Photon Projector or Winston’s Tesla Cannon that are energy-based cannot be reflected or deflected.
- Most Projectiles Genji reflects are treated as his own and so deal damage to the enemy team.
Passive Ability: Wall Climb
Description: Genji can climb walls by simply running at them.
While this sounds easy, it is quite difficult now. In Overwatch 2, Genji has fewer places to wall climb, thanks to the increased detail of maps. This is because as soon as Genji encounters a surface that is not flat, like an edge or an overhang, it will interrupt his Wall Climb sending him sliding to the floor.
Some tips and tricks for this passive ability:
- Passive abilities happen automatically; you do not have to press anything.
- Even if a wall looks flat, it doesn’t mean it is.
Description: Unsheathe a deadly melee weapon that uses the power of the green dragon.
For a short time, Genji can brandish his Katana and deliver killing strikes with 110 damage in six seconds.
By itself, this ultimate is pretty scary. Still, if you couple it with Mercy’s Damage Boost or Ana’s Nano Boost, then Genji can one-shot just about everyone, with the ability to wipe out the enemy team in one go.
Some tips and tricks for this ultimate:
- Genji cannot use Shuriken when using his ultimate.
- Activating Dragonblade resets the cooldown of Swift Strike.
- Genji can skip the sheathing animation by dashing or wall climbing.
Overwatch 2 Genji: gameplay breakdown
In Overwatch 2, Genji is still a viable hero choice. Despite the changes to his damage output, this DPS hero can still deal damage consistently. However, due to these changes, this is now much harder to do, making his skill ceiling even higher than it already was.
Genji is by no means a character for new players, who aren’t familiar with first-person shooters, to pick up. While he can be entertaining to play, the fact that he isn’t a hitscan hero, coupled with the mechanics of his abilities and the self-restraint you need to play this hero well, makes this ninja a tough pick for most fans.
The best way to play Genji is to use his agility to your advantage. While you won’t be able to do heavy, consistent damage like Soldier 76 or Reaper, Genji can effectively finish off already low-health heroes or invade the back line of the enemy team to cause confusion. It’s all about creating space and dislodging the supports from the rest of the group.