Overwatch 2 Hanzo guide: abilities, lore, and gameplay

Overwatch 2 Hanzo: pulling back bowstring ready to fire an arrow
(Image credit: Blizzard Entertainment)

In Overwatch 2, Hanzo has undergone little to no changes, unlike many heroes who are constantly receiving new patches and updates. However, more and more players are turning to Hanzo for game-winning clutches. 

This furious sniper is an alternative to Widowmaker. While Widowmaker is a more traditional sniper, with her scoped rifle, Hanzo has the benefit of mobility and being more useful in close-range battles. He has quick reload speed and firing on his side, which makes getting those consecutive headshots that much easier. 

While this hero isn’t for everyone due to his high skill ceiling, which means you have to dedicate more time to learning the ins and outs of how this character plays, his abilities are also refreshingly simple. As we see more heroes added to the Overwatch 2 roster, their abilities, and skills become more complicated to remember. However, all you need to do is point and aim with Hanzo’s bow. 

Overwatch 2 Hanzo  

Overwatch 2 Hanzo: story and background

In Overwatch 2, Hanzo isn’t the only ninja hailing from the infamous Shimada clan; Genji also has his origins in this Japanese crime family. However, unlike Genji, who could lead a relatively carefree life, Hanzo was forced to train constantly under Kiriko’s mother in preparation for succeeding his father in leading the clan. 

Upon the death of his father, Hanzo was thrust into a life-altering decision as the clan elders demanded Hanzo force his younger brother Genji into line by disciplining him. Unfortunately, Genji didn’t listen to Hanzo and refused to help him rule the Shimada family. This decision resulted in Hanzo fighting and killing Genji. 

After this fatal battle, Hanzo’s heart was broken, and he abandoned his position and clan in shame, leading him to lose everything he had worked so hard to attain. After this, Hanzo left to travel the world and right all his wrongs. Despite being forgiven by his revived brother Hanzo still hasn’t forgiven himself.

Amid new turmoil in the fight between Overwatch, Null Sector, and Talon, Hanzo is yet to pick a side, and where he will land remains to be seen. 

Overwatch 2 Hanzo: abilities breakdown

Primary fire: Storm Bow  

Hanzo first person view pulling back arrow

(Image credit: Blizzard Entertainment)

Description: Hold fire to charge and then release to launch arrows further 

In Overwatch 2, Hanzo’s Storm Bow is one of the more simple primary fire weapons as it has no secondary fire attached and has infinite ammo with no need to reload. 

You can release arrows immediately for a quick fire rate, but be warned as this weapon is an arcing projectile, the less you pull back the arrow, the less distance it will travel. This means for close-quarters fights, the rapid strikes of your arrow can be useful, but if you want to do some long-range sniping, then holding the firing trigger or key for longer will let you get more distance. 

Some tricks and tips for this weapon: 

  • Hanzo can undraw his arrow by using an ability or reloading. 
  • You can get a headshot with this ability. 
  • There is a 30% movement speed penalty when charging arrows.  

Ability: Storm Arrows  

Hanzo being damage-boosted by Mercy

(Image credit: Blizzard Entertainment)

Description: The next five arrows fire instantly at reduced damage. 

While this ability still fires arching projectiles, they travel the max distance without having to wait the time it takes to charge them up. The casting time is 0.24 seconds, and the projectile speed is 110 meters per second, making this a rapid-fire shot. 

Some tricks and tips for this ability: 

  • Enemies like Cassidy or Ana cannot interrupt this ability with stun or sleep. 
  • Storm Arrows can be canceled by D.Va’s Defense Matrix or Zarya’s Particle Barrier. 

Ability: Sonic Arrow  

Hanzo firing a sonic arrow at Zenyatta

(Image credit: Blizzard Entertainment)

Description: Hanzo can release an arrow that reveals enemies within its hit radius for a short time. 

This ability allows Hanzo and his team to see enemies through all obstacles within a nine-meter radius, as they appear as red bodies through walls. This skill mimics Widowmaker’s ultimate Infra-Sight. 

Some tricks and tips for this ability: 

  • Pressing this ability’s key or button while using Storm Arrows will allow you to use a Sonic Arrow within this fast-paced release of shots.   
  • If the arrow becomes stuck on a moving target, then the effect follows.  

Ability Lunge  

Hanzo running towards somthing

(Image credit: Blizzard Entertainment)

Description: Hanzo can double jump 

In Overwatch 2, Hanzo has great mobility, and this is in part thanks to his Lunge ability. This skill helps Hanzo to cross wide gaps and even evade fire in mid-air, as he can change direction with this power. 

Some tricks and tips for this ability: 

  • This ability has a max range of 7.85 meters. 
  • You can use this ability, along with Hanzo’s passive ability Wall Climb, to get more height.  

Passive Ability: Wall Climb  

Hanzo aiming at something with Widowmaker behind him

(Image credit: Blizzard Entertainment)

Description: Jump at walls to climb up them 

In Overwatch 2, Hanzo has a passive ability, much like other heroes. This skill lets the bowman scale tall buildings and walls as long as they are flat and have ledges or overhangs. 

Some tricks and tips for this passive ability: 

  • Passive abilities happen without any need for the player to push a button or key.  
  • Even if a wall looks flat, it may not be causing you to helplessly slide down into the enemy's clutches. 

Ultimate: Dragonstrike  

Hazo's ultimate - two blue dragons sweep across the battlefield

(Image credit: Blizzard Entertainment)

Description: Launch a deadly Dragon Spirit with your bow that damages the enemy team as it passes through. 

Dragonstrike is the ultimate best used in collaboration with others. In Overwatch 2, Hanzo is a pretty independent hero who is able to deal enough damage and escape from the clutches of most aggressive enemies by himself. However, while his ultimate is strong, it can be hard to use well by yourself. 

This is because it is a loud, massive blue dragon. Unless you cast this ultimate from an unsuspecting corner or strange angle, many enemy heroes will simply be able to step out of the way. This means using the ultimate with your teammates who can prevent movement is key. This could be Mei’s Ice Wall or Blizzard, Zarya’s Graviton Surge, or Reinhardt’s Earthshatter. If your enemies can’t move, Hanzo’s Dragonstrike will chew them up and spit them out. 

Dragonstrike is also useful when needing to clear a point in overtime of a match as it forces enemies to either get off the point or lose most, if not all, of their health. 

Some tips or tricks for this ultimate:

  • Hanzo can gain ult charge when Dragonstrike is active but the damage done by this ultimate won't help charge the next one. 
  • Dragonstrike can be destroyed by D.Va's Defense Matrix, Sigma's Kinetic Grasp, or Orisa's Javelin Spin.
  • The hitbox for Dragonstrike is actually both dragons so the ultimate deals more damage in the center and less at the edges.

Overwatch 2 Hanzo: gameplay breakdown

Hanzo wearing sunglasses and staring into camera

(Image credit: Blizzard Entertainment)

In Overwatch 2, Hanzo is one of the more consistent heroes, as not many patches come his way to change any of his abilities. This may be one reason why this bowman is such a solid fallback. 

It seems like everything is changing every two seconds with heroes like Roadhog or Bastion, which can make these characters hard to master as you need to keep a constant eye on Overwatch 2’s meta and patch notes. 

However, Hanzo’s purpose and abilities within a match are simple. Your main objective is consistent damage output which you can secure by using quick-fire abilities like Storm Arrows. This way, you can pick off low-health supports and DPS heroes while also inflicting a good amount of damage towards the sole enemy tank. 

While you’ll be hard-pressed to make a significant impact against high-damage output heroes like Reaper and Zarya, Hanzo is pretty well-versed in taking on bigger and less aggressive targets like D.Va and Soldier 76

Elie Gould
Features Writer

Elie is a Features Writer for TechRadar Gaming, here to write about anything new or slightly weird. Before writing for TRG, Elie studied for a Masters at Cardiff University JOMEC in International Journalism and Documentaries – spending their free time filming short docs or editing the gaming section for their student publications. 

Elie’s first step into gaming was through Pokémon but they've taken the natural next step in the horror genre. Any and every game that would keep you up at night is on their list to play - despite the fact that one of Elie’s biggest fears is being chased.