Reinhardt is the lovable German grandpa of the Overwatch team. He provides protection for the whole team. Though he is massive in stature, Reinhardt is kind of heart and fights for the little guy (or girl). The key to learning Reinhardt is not as much about mastering his size and strength, but instead learning the mind games that take place between opposing Reinhardt players.
As one of the biggest characters in Overwatch, Reinhardt is made for the frontline and should always be leading the charge for his team. With his giant shield and great engage abilities, Reinhardt has a kit tailor-made for leading his team into battle.
“Don’t worry my friends. I will be your shield”
The most visible aspect of Reinhardt’s kit is his Barrier Field, also known as his giant blue shield. The shield absorbs all projectiles hit into it besides Symmetra’s Energy Ball, the enemy Reinhardt’s Fire Strike, Hanzo’s Dragon Strike, and Winston’s Tesla Cannon.
The Barrier Field is crucial for pushing through certain choke points on maps while keeping your team safe. One of the more important skills to learn with the Barrier Field is when to duck behind cover and leave your shield down so it can recharge its health.
The Barrier Field has a health pool of 2,000. Though that is a massive number, the barrier cannot last forever and it’s important to know when to let it recharge. Many low-level Reinhardt players will keep their shield up no matter what, even when not blocking damage, which doesn’t allow the shield to recharge its health.
When you’re in an area where not much damage is coming at you, or your team isn’t in a position to push with you, let your shield rest and regain its health. Another strategy is to just allow damage to hit you as long as you have a healer behind you keeping your health topped off while building their ult charge.
While the supports can easily ult charge by healing you up, the quickest way to build up an Earthshatter is to land your Flame Strikes. The only projectile that Reinhardt has in his arsenal is a powerful one, as it can go through shields, and the only thing that can stop it from hitting a target is D.Va’s Defense Matrix.
Flame Strike deals 100 damage to a target and will pass through multiple targets. If you land a hit on multiple enemies, this will charge up your ultimate quickly. Flame Strike is on a six-second cooldown, so you will want to pick your shots so that you get the most damage and ult charge out of every use.
“One hundred percent German power”
If you would rather get straight into the fight and not use silly projectiles, Charge is just the ability for you. Reinhardt flares the rocket on his back and propels himself forward, going headfirst into any enemy or wall that stands in his path. Charge speeds Reinhardt up but decreases his ability to move left or right, basically committing him on his path forward.
Charge will “pin” the first enemy you hit to Reinhardt. If that target is charged into a wall Reinhardt deals 300 damage to them. This amount of damage will kill many characters and a great way to finish off low-health ones. Not only does the ability deal a lot of damage, the target is stunned for one second if hit into the wall. This means if the target survives the initial damage, you’re free to swing your hammer to finish them off.
During your Charge, other enemies that are in your path will be knocked away if you already have a hero “pinned” to you. Charge is a fantastic ability to use when getting onto a point—it can kill an open target while knocking other enemies away to ruin their set-up. Though it’s a great ability, it can be very dangerous at times.
There are only a few ways for Reinhardt’s charge to stop, meaning once you are on that path, there’s not much putting you off of it. If you don’t aim correctly and go in alone, you could completely miss your target and be stuck in the middle of the enemy team by yourself. Many Reinhardt players also completely miss a wall and will Charge right off a cliff, plummeting to their death.
Once you find yourself in the middle of the enemy team, Reinhardt has the tool to bring them all down. Earthshatter is Reinhardt’s ultimate ability—it will knock down enemies in an AoE area spreading from Reinhardt. Earthshatter knocks down any enemy hit for two and a half seconds, providing plenty of time for you to wipe the entire enemy team without them being able to do anything.
With a high impact ability, you must pick the correct time to use it. Other barriers, like opposing Reinhardt shields, Winston’s barrier, Zarya’s barrier, and Orisa’s shield, can block Earthshatter and completely negate the effect. It may require you to walk directly into the enemy team or track the timing on various barriers to use your ultimate in the correct time window.
Works well with
Reinhardt works well with Ana. He’s a great target for the Nano Boost. The extra damage and health allow Reinhardt to charge into the enemy team with more confidence to cause more destruction.
Zarya is another good partner in crime for Reinhardt. Zarya can keep Reinhardt alive for longer if his shield goes down by giving him her Projected Barrier. They also link up for a good ultimate wombo-combo—Zarya can bring the enemies together with her Graviton Surge and Reinhardt knocks them down.
Reinhardt struggles against Bastion because Bastion tears through Reinhardt’s shield. Tracer also presents a problem for Reinhardt because of her mobility. She is hard to hit for Reinhardt and she can quickly move behind the barrier to shoot him in the back.
One of the best way to learn how to use a hero and the best timing for his abilities is to watch one of the top professional players play him. There are not many better Reinhardt players than Ryu “Kaiser” Sang-hoon. The main highlight of Kaiser’s play on Reinhardt is his use of Earthshatter and how he times it perfectly to get the greatest effect.
Although Reinhardt is one of the biggest heroes in the game, it requires finesse and a good mind in order to get the most out of his abilities.