Overwatch How To Ultimate Track Guide
Ultimate tracking is one of the hardest skills to learn and to master. With so much going on in a single team fight, it’s almost impossible to predict the enemy team’s ultimates 100% of the time. However, it’s still an important skill that a player can learn to build their awareness, or use that skill to help predict the win condition of the enemy team. If you only want to learn a few things about ult tracking then you don’t need to go further than the Beginner tips, if you’re already an experienced player and have good game awareness then the Advanced tips might be more suited for you, and if you’re an Ult Tracker on a team, then I have some advice specific to playing on an organized team. I do advise to read everything if you’re really looking to improve ult tracking as each segment is like a stepping stone towards the overall goal of ult tracking mastery.
- Experience different heroes: While it’s good to play a certain role or like particular heroes, don’t be afraid to try different heroes, whether it be in comp, QP, arcade, or your own custom games. When you play different heroes, you figure out how their abilities work, how much damage/healing they do and how fast they can charge their ultimate. Once you have the basics of how heroes play and have a general idea of how long it takes to charge their ultimate then you can start working towards ultimate tracking.
- Start by tracking one person on the enemy team: This is probably the most common tip that most people give, when they talk about ult tracking. People usually say to track the ultimate of their counterpart, like a main tank should ult track the enemy main tank, but I usually tell people to ult track a player on the enemy team that affects them the most. For example, a Dva would want to ult track a Soldier with Tactical Visor, or a McCree with High Noon, because those are ultimates that she can negate with her abilities. Likewise, I would tell a DPS player to ult track enemy support ultimates like Lucio’s beat, or Zenyatta’s trans because those would negate their ultimate. So, start by trying to track one of those ultimate first, then as you get more experienced you can start moving towards two or three people on the enemy team, but don’t let your gameplay suffer too much in trying to ult track.
- A player who hasn’t used an ultimate 3 team fights in a row probably has ultimate: Pretty self-explanatory, if a player hasn’t used ultimate in 3 team fights in a row, or 2/3 minutes have passed in the game, then that player most likely has their ultimate.
- Using kill cam to view a player’s ultimate status: Personally, I think that Blizzard should remove the ability to see an enemy’s ultimate when looking at the Kill Cam, but that’s just my opinion. It’s fine to use it to see if you’re right or wrong in predicting if they enemy has an ultimate, but if you really want to get good at ult tracking, don’t rely on this too much.
- Ultimates used in the previous fight: This may start becoming more demanding, but still a good habit to learn as a beginner to start getting used to, if you really want to improve in ult tracking. Just calling out ultimates used in the previous fight will really help your overall awareness as a player. You can just say, “they used a, b, and c so they might have x, y, and z.” This is probably the next step you would need to take at ult tracking after trying to track one person on the enemy team. It’s a little bit more difficult, but if you have decent awareness and listen to sound queues you may be better at it than you think.
- Map design: A hero that plays really well in certain maps can build their ultimates really quickly. For example, a Junkrat playing in an enclosed space against an enemy team trying to push into him can build Rip-Tire VERY VERY quickly. A Junkrat player in an open space, can find it very difficult to build Rip-Tire quickly, even for the most experienced Junkrat players.
- Team comps: Matchups in team comps matter a lot when it comes to figuring out who can build ultimates faster. A Reinhardt against a dive comp (assuming they are playing dive correctly) will struggle to build Earthshatter when compared to playing against a deathball comp. For the example of Reinhardt, he will struggle against dive because the enemy heroes will most likely be out of his hammer range, and he may only be able to land a Fire Strike onto one or two people. So the Reinhardt may only get his Earthshatter every 3 or 4 team fights. Compare that to playing against a deathball comp, where a Reinhardt can land a single Fire Strike onto multiple people, and a hammer swing will get more value, a Reinhardt can get Earthshatter every 2 team fights. If he’s a really good Reinhardt player, he might be able to get Earthshatter almost every fight. Apply that example to other heroes and you should understand the team comps affect how fast a hero can earn their ultimate.
- When were the ultimates used in the team fight: An ultimate being used at the start of a fight will allow a player to gain that ultimate during that team fight. For example, a good Tracer player who used her pulse bomb at the start of the team fight will be able to gain 50%-80% of the ultimate back during that same team fight if she manages to stay alive. Compare that to a Tracer player who used her pulse bomb at the end of a team fight, she will be starting at 5%-15% when the next team fight begins. So as you’re ult tracking, remember that you need to think about when a player uses that ultimate, because that will dictate how fast a player can build back up that same ultimate.
- How long was the team fight: Prolonged team fights can help a player build their ultimate really fast. The best example is attacking the second point on Assault. Those points can have very prolonged team fights and that you may have started that team fight with an ultimate used, but during that entire fight, which can last from 30 seconds to 4 minutes ,you’ve already built up another ultimate. That’s an extreme case, but the principle still applies to fights that can last from 10 seconds to 30 seconds.
- When did the enemy die: Take note of when an opponent dies during a team fight as that will also affect their ultimate charge. A player who dies really early in a team fight would have barely gained any ultimate charge as compared to a player who died at the end of a team fight. Could be a 10%-40% ult charge difference between a player who died at the beginning of a fight and a player who died at the end.
- Reading body language: Players can be very obvious when they want to use their ultimate. Like a McCree who suddenly disappears from a team fight, is probably hiding somewhere in the back or on high ground to pull off a flank High Noon. A Reinhardt playing more aggressive than usual is looking to shatter your team so they make it very telegraphed. Just be careful not to be baited by this once you play in higher ranks as players are aware that other players like to use body language as a way to read if a person has ultimate. For example, a Sombra might throw her translocator into the middle of the team to bait out the Zenyatta trans, then she’ll wait out the trans and EMP after.
- Understanding play styles: Different play styles affect how a player can gain ultimate charge. A DPS player who is constantly doing damage will build an ultimate faster than a player who looks to go for longer flanks. Another example is a Lucio player who is always on healing will build an ultimate faster as opposed to a Lucio who will be on speed more. So as an ult tracker, it’s important to understand an opponents play style to have an estimate on how fast they build their ultimate.
Tips for Organized Teams and Dedicated Ult Trackers
- Have a method of breaking down ultimates: With a lot of communication happening on a team, it’s important to be organized and concise when breaking down what the enemy has. As an Ult Tracker, it’s your job to break down what ultimates the enemy has in an organized manner. In this order, you start by saying what the enemy used in the last fight, what ultimates they have in the next fight, what ultimates they might be close to(50%-80%), then the ultimates you think they will most likely use for the next team fight. Your team should supply additional information if you have missed anything or say, “they used (ultimate)” if you weren’t able to catch it. To make it easier, try segmenting the enemy team in tanks, DPS, and supports, so you can say, “they used both tank ultimates, and they have both DPS ultimates” or something along those lines to make it easier on your brain. You may use a different order or method if that works better for you or your team, this method is just what I like to use.
- VOD review: With learning something new, it’s always good to do a VOD review on what you can improve. As an Ult Tracker, use VODs as a tool to improve on ult tracking. Hopefully your team has a 3rd person POV of your scrims/tournaments so that you are able to see the ult charge on the top of the screen. So after scrims, listen to your communication and see if you are tracking ultimates correctly. If you aren’t, figure out what happened on why you didn’t track an ultimate correctly. It can be tedious to do this, but if you want to be a better Ult Tracker, using VODs is one of the best ways to get better.
- Time yourself: Time is such an important factor in Overwatch, and it doesn’t take very long for an enemy team to regroup for the next fight. As an Ult Tracker, you only have 10-20 seconds to gather all your thoughts and tell the team what the enemy has. It’s good practice to time yourself so that you are forced to give out all the information in a limited amount of time. Maybe it will take you at least 20 seconds to give out all that information, so once you can get that down, lessen the time to 17 seconds, and so on and so forth until you can get it down to at most 10 seconds.
Points Needed to Gain Ultimate (Updated as of 11/26/18)
Each hero has different total points that they need to gain to achieve their ultimate. So, some heroes take longer to build as compared to others purely on this point system. Everything mentioned above will affect how fast or how slow a player can build their ultimates, so take that into account when reading this.
- Tracer – 1125
- Sombra – 1250
- Dva – 1375
- Reinhardt – 1375
- Winston – 1375
- Widowmaker – 1375
- Wrecking Ball – 1375
- Mei – 1437.5
- Orisa – 1500
- Doomfist – 1500
- Genji – 1500
- Hanzo – 1500
- Mcree – 1500
- Symmetra – 1500
- Junkrat – 1562.5
- Mercy – 1625
- Pharah – 1875
- Reaper – 1875
- Ana – 1875
- Zarya – 1875
- Ashe – 2000
- Roadhog – 2000
- Bastion – 2062.5
- Soldier 76 – 2062.5
- Zenyatta – 2062.5
- Torbjorn – 2125
- Moira – 2125
- Brigitte – 2250
- Lucio – 2625