Overwatch 2: How To Play Ana Effectively

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Ana gets ready to miss all her shots

Who Is Ana?

Ana is one of the support heroes in Overwatch 2. Beloved by pros and casual players alike, Ana is one of the most popular support heroes in the game. She has a versatile kit that requires more concentration than most supports. That means you need to know how to play her if you’re going to survive.


Ana Intro

Ana is known for her high healing and powerful grenade ability. She has a rifle, biotic grenade, sleep dart, and nano boost ultimate. Her kit is fairly simple, but how she uses it is what determines how good the Ana player is.

Ana pairs well with most heroes in the game. Her kit is versatile enough to fit most situations, to the point where it’s pretty impressive. She pairs best with heroes like Genji and Reinhardt, who capitalize the most on her nano boost.

However, as useful as she is, you can’t play her well if you don’t know the ins and outs of her kit. Here are fifteen tips on how to play Ana more effectively.


15. Range

Range is one of the most important parts of Ana’s kit. She has the range to heal anyone from a large distance away. Her healing and damage stay the same regardless of how far you are from your target, so don’t be scared to sit in the back with a better view of the fight. Your bullets travel fast and don’t fall off; take advantage of that.

Playing up close risks being killed in the fight because you are not fast enough to escape certain enemy abilities. However, there are risks playing in the back as well. For example, if the enemies have Genji, D.Va, Winston, or Doomfist, you’re risking getting attacked in the backline.

However, long range isn’t a bad idea simply because you have a better view of the map and your teammates. You should position yourself depending on the situation you’re in, but don’t be scared to play on high ground or far in the back if it gives you a better view.


14. Sleep Dart Basics

Your sleep dart is one of the most essential parts of your kit because it protects you when someone is attacking you. However, it has more purposes than just self-defense. For example, it’s great at interrupting ultimates or enemy abilities.

Interrupting ultimates is one of the most useful parts of the sleep dart. The easiest two are Winston and Ashe’s. BOB is Ashe’s ultimate, and he’s a big target that you can sleep easily. Winston is a bit more challenging since he leaps around, but you can still sleep him rather easily if you catch him between leaps.

There are Ana sleep dart practice ranges you can use in custom games. If you want to get better with your sleep dart, make sure you utilize those practice ranges.


13. Duck And Cover

As Ana, you’re going to be targeted first almost all the time. You’re a slow target, and you make a huge impact on the game. You’re not going to outrun the enemy team, even if it’s a Zen chasing you. You need to know how to use your environment to your advantage. I call this the duck and cover method (totally original, I know).

Overwatch maps are designed to have cover, chokepoints, and high ground areas in every part of the map. Some maps are better than others, but a common theme is that you can use the environment to your advantage. If you see cover, use it. Hide from your enemy and get your self-healing going.

Not only that, but it gives you time to reset your cooldowns. Your best defenses are your grenade and sleep dart. With them, you have a stronger chance of winning.


12. Biotic Grenade Basics

Biotic grenade is one of the most powerful abilities in the game. Support heroes tend to have the most powerful abilities that can change entire team fights when used correctly. Biotic grenade makes any enemy target in range anti-healed for a few seconds. Any ally who gets sprayed with it receives healing and a healing boost for a short amount of time.

Using your grenade to increase your team’s total healing output is a great idea. The reason why is because it saves your allies from certain death most of the time. The amplification the grenade gives is too good to pass down.

Your grenade has a long range. No matter how far you throw it, it has the same effect. Make sure you aren’t limiting yourself to what’s right in front of you. If you see a teammate struggling from far away, throw it to try and save them. It also heals you, so if you’re in a tight spot, use it to heal yourself.


11. Zoom Versus No Zoom

Zoom versus no zoom, or scope versus no scope, is a difficult decision to make when you’re in the heat of a battle. However, you need to keep in mind the situation. With your scope, you have more control over your aim and can land your shots better (in general, anyway). Without your scope, you have a slightly better view of the fight and a wider range from left to right.

Unfortunately, there’s no clear answer to what you should use. It depends on the situation you’re in and how far from the team you are. If you’re far away, the scope is the better option because you have a better range. Without your scope, you risk missing more shots.

If you’re closer to your team, playing without the scope is the better option since you won’t be limited to the small field of view. It depends on where you’re playing and what your personal preference is. If you feel your aim is better without the scope, then do it like that. The same applies inversely.


10. Nano Boost

Nano boost is Ana’s powerful ultimate that gives a massive healing burst to the ally she gives it to. The ally also has increased damage and damage resistance. They won’t take as much damage when the nano boost is active, which makes it effective at keeping allies alive for longer. That’s why it works perfectly with tanks, who already have high health.

Nano boost is one of the strongest support ults, even though it isn’t as flashy as some of the others. It can keep a target alive for a long period of time. If you need to keep someone alive for longer, then use the nano boost on them. You cannot use nano boost on yourself, which kind of ruins the fun, but you can use it on any ally.

The most obvious targets are your tank or powerful DPS like Genji, Soldier, and Bastion. These heroes have high damage, and with nano, they become even deadlier. It’s best when you combine it with a DPS ult. For example, Genji or Soldier’s.


9. Team Fights

Team fights are, for obvious reasons, extremely vital parts of the Overwatch experience. They determine whether or not you win. If you want to increase your odds of winning, you need to be alert for the entirety of the team fight. You need to utilize your entire kit to aid your team instead of focusing on just healing. Don’t heal bot; use your grenade and sleep dart; do damage when you can; and use your ultimate.

Instead of only healing, you should be throwing your grenade to anti the enemy team. Use your sleep dart to stall targets from attacking. Use your ult to slow the enemy’s advance or even get a bunch of kills. Of course, you should be healing too, but support has to juggle utility as well as healing.

Along with that, try doing damage when you can. I know this sounds like a lot, but it’s easier in-game when you have practice. Don’t be discouraged; you can do it!


8. Practice

Ana is a hero centered around aim. Unfortunately, it’s hard to practice in casual play because the toxicity is terrible. If you miss shots, you’re going to get roasted by your team. The best way to practice is to play other game modes away from people. The practice range is a good example of that. Practice your shots from different ranges and get on high ground to mix up your play style.

Another useful tool is custom games. There are aim-training custom games you can use to improve your aim. The best part about these is that they have the actual hitboxes of the heroes you’ll need to hit in-game. The practice range has big bots, while the custom games have actual in-game experience.

You should play a variety of both the custom games and the practice range to better hone your skills. Use the practice range in the beginning stages to get a feel for Ana’s range. After that, you can move on to more advanced practice, like aim training.


7. Sleep Dart Advanced

Now we’re moving into more advanced territory. Sleep dart is used for more than just knocking out enemies who are in the middle of their ultimates. You can also use it to put high-priority targets to sleep, or you can use it just to throw an enemy off. Landing your sleep dart is hard, and it’s on a long cooldown, so don’t just use it for the sake of using it; make sure you aren’t avoiding it either.

For example, if Genji is in your backline, it’s better to use your sleep dart on him than to save it for something big like an ultimate. Yes, sleep dart has a long cooldown, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t use it on targets that deserve it. Even sleeping a flying Mercy could be more useful than sleeping an enemy who is using their ultimate.

You need to make sure you’re using it more casually as well as for the big stuff. If you’re only useful during the big events, you’re not going to be a very good Ana player. You need to be well-rounded. The more well-rounded you are, the better. And that starts with the sleep dart.


6. Healing Or Damage

Kiriko, Bap, and Moira players all relate to this tip. Knowing when to do healing and when to do damage is knowledge that’s hard to determine in intense situations. However, remember that you have a second support. You don’t need to do all the healing or damage on your own. You need to keep an eye on your other support not only to increase your odds of success but also to know whether you should take over the healing or the utility.

Healing is a powerful part of Ana’s kit. She’s a main healer meant for doing high amounts of healing. However, she also does a lot of damage. She can contest hitscan heroes like Ashe, Soldier, and Widowmaker, with Widowmaker being the most popular for Ana players to take on.

Since she does so much damage, don’t be scared to do it. Fire away and do as much damage as you can. Just keep in mind that if you’re 1v1ing someone like Widow, it takes you more shots than it takes her to kill you. Be sure you’re always getting the first shot off to increase your odds of winning the fight.


5. Nano Boost Strategies

I gave you an insight into what nano boost does and how it works, but there are other strategies you can use for nano boost. The most popular one is using it to keep someone alive. Although nano boost is typically used to make an ally more intimidating and guarantee they get kills, you can also use it to keep an ally alive if they’re about to die.

You can also use it to secure one or two kills. You don’t need to get a team wipe to make nano boost useful. Instead, it can be just as useful to secure a win. Controlling the point can be just as useful as a team wipe.

While on the topic, you can also use nano boost to stall. Overtime is the most important part of the game because it’s the last chance the attackers have at winning. Nano boost can give you the edge. If not with eliminations, then at least enough to stall. If you stall, more of your teammates will arrive to aid you.


4. Remember Your Passive

Overwatch 1 support players will know that other than Mercy, support heroes couldn’t automatically self-heal when not in combat. However, in Overwatch 2, you can self-heal over time when you’re not taking damage. Try not to forget that and waste a grenade on yourself when you aren’t in any danger.

So many Ana players make the mistake of throwing their grenades at any minor inconvenience. Don’t do that. Duck in cover, like the tip I mentioned earlier, and heal while keeping an eye on your team. You have the luxury of having a long range. Don’t be scared to hide and heal from a distance instead of staying up close.


3. Communication

This is a tip I give out often, but it’s most important for Ana players to know. As Ana, you’re going to get targeted a lot; we went over that earlier. However, you can make your life easier by communicating with your team when you’re getting jumped on. Although your team should have awareness, you can’t expect them to know when you’re in danger all the time.

Although you obviously can’t type in the chat in the middle of a fight, you can use the ping system to ping enemies attacking you. There’s also an "I need help" option you can use to alert allies to your position.

If that doesn’t work for you, then you’re going to have to use your mic. There aren’t many ways you can communicate with your team without either using the ping system or your mic. Please don’t be toxic; it’s only going to make people want to help you less. Remember that even though you’re support, you have a second support too. If you’re toxic, they’re not going to help you.


2. Awareness

While on the topic of awareness, you should be aware of your surroundings. Support players need to have the most awareness since they are taking care of the entire team and keeping track of the enemies in case they jump on them. That means you need to be listening for small audio cues that can help you play better.

For example, listen to your teammates. Every hero grunts and groans when they get damaged. Your fellow support will call out when they are getting damaged. You need to listen for those in-game audio cues so you know who to help. Unfortunately, this is something that takes time to learn.

I’ve been playing Overwatch since 2016, which means I’ve memorized which heroes make which grunting noises. That means I can turn to them and heal them at a moment’s notice. That’s something newer players will have to practice. You’ll also need to listen for footsteps. The heavier the footsteps, the more dangerous the hero (in most cases). If the footsteps are very heavy, they’re probably from an enemy tank or a Reaper.


1. Biotic Grenade Advanced

Biotic grenade is one of the most powerful abilities in the game, which means there are more advanced tips to give. For example, anti-healing is something we haven’t gone too in-depth on yet. It’s the most important part of her kit, in my opinion. It changes the tide of a fight since it controls whether the enemy team can get healed or not.

Unless the enemy has a Kiriko or Baptiste, they aren’t getting out of an anti-healing nade. Even Baptiste can’t do much against it since his immortality field can get destroyed easily. When you see enemies charging in, you should throw your grenade at them to anti-heal them, forcing them to retreat or die.

If the enemy team has a Kiriko, wait until the Suzu goes off, then you can use nade. They won’t have any counters for it, leaving them defenseless. If they don’t have a Kiriko, you can use your anti-nade whenever you please. It’s such a strong ability that you can use it almost every time it comes off cooldown. Don’t be scared to use it; even if you miss, it’s better than not using it at all.


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After battling monsters, Twitter, and toxic teammates, Raven now has to face her greatest opponent: the Sun.
Gamer Since: 2008
Favorite Genre: FPS
Currently Playing: Overwatch
Top 3 Favorite Games:Portal 2, Battlefield 4, The Walking Dead

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