Overwatch 2: How To Play Kiriko Effectively

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Kiriko activates her kitsune

Who Is Kiriko?

Kiriko is one of the strongest support heroes in the game right now. With her versatile kit, she’s an incredible hero that is considered by many to be OP. Learning Kiriko will make you a better player, particularly with support. If you master Kiriko, you have a higher chance of carrying games.


Kiriko Intro

Kiriko is the second-most recent support hero added to the game. Her kit consists of healing ofuda, kunai, Kitsune Rush, Swift Step, Protection Suzu, and wall climbing. Since she is a support hero, her passive ability is to heal herself over time.

As of mid-2023, Kiriko is used as an aggressive support hero that can act as either a main or off-healer. She tends to work best with other support heroes like Mercy, who can do lots of healing, while Kiriko focuses on utility and building her ult. Kiriko is meant to be played as a support who can stand on her own two feet rather than a support that relies on others to survive (like Mercy).

In general, Kiriko pairs well with Ramattra and Roadhog. She counters heroes like Ana and Ashe because they both have negative effects that Kiriko can cleanse with her Suzu.

With that in mind, here are fifteen tips on how to play Kiriko effectively.


15. Ultimate Usage

Kitsune Rush is a fast-charging ultimate with powerful abilities. When Kitsune Rush is active, it increases the movement, attack speed, and cooldowns of the teammates in the path. You should use Kitsune as often as you can because it’s an ultimate that doesn’t take a long time to charge.

Charge comes from healing and damage, but you get the majority of your ult charge through healing. If you want to use your ultimate well, use it during team fights to initiate the fight or end it. It works better as the initiator because it allows your teammates to speed past enemies blocking them from the point.

Kitsune can also be used when your teammates are struggling to keep up with the enemy team’s damage. The sudden attack speed buff will put your team on par with the enemy. Along with that, you can use Kitsune when you need a Suzu but have already used it. With Kitsune, you’ll gain your Suzu much faster.


14. Kunai And Healing

When you launch a healing volley, you will have time to throw a kunai in between volleys. For that reason, after you use your healing, use your kunai while waiting for it to recharge. You’ll have the chance to throw one per recharge, meaning you can add extra damage and potentially finish off weak enemies.

There’s no reason not to do this. Although it can be hard to remember, especially during a fight, you should always do this combo. It brings you ult charge and possibly a kill. At the very least, you’re trying to contribute more to the fight, which makes you a more valuable player overall.

The best support players are the ones using their entire kits to impact a fight in more than one way. Support heroes have the most potential to have large impacts on games. As Kiriko, you can have a huge impact by combining your healing and damage to do both at the same time. You’re no Moira, but you can still accomplish similar feats by having good timing with your healing and kunai.


13. High Ground

Kiriko is very effective from the high ground because she has a long range with her healing and kunai. High ground is easy to get to because Kiriko can wall climb. Along with that, Kiriko can teleport to the high ground if a teammate is standing there.

If you’re on a map that has frequent high ground spots, take advantage of it. Widowmaker and Hanzo are popular picks nowadays, so be careful, but you can make great use of your kit by staying above ground. The reason why is because you’re harder to hit and still have a huge impact on the game.

You can even jump down from high ground and trigger Kitsune. While jumping down, you have a lower chance of being hit, which means you have a lower chance of your ult getting canceled halfway through casting. The cast time is extremely quick, but it can get canceled if you’re not careful. High ground is one way to lower the chances.


12. Teleport + Suzu

Suzu is the most powerful part of her kit. When you teleport into battle, you should almost always use Suzu right out of teleport. The reason why is because you could be walking into a death trap. You don’t know what’s waiting for you on the other side, which means you should use Suzu to protect yourself and nearby allies.

The teleport and Suzu combo is effective not only because it keeps you safe but also because the enemy won’t see it coming. The whole point of teleportation is to suddenly transport you from one place to another. Your enemies won’t expect it, and it can shock them long enough to give your teammates the advantage.

You don’t always have to Suzu right out of teleport. In fact, it’s better if you don’t because Suzu is one of the most powerful abilities in the game, and you want to save it. However, if you are teleporting somewhere that has lots of gunshots, to keep yourself safe, use Suzu. It’s better to be safe than sorry, especially since one Suzu can mean the difference between life and taking a ten-minute walk back to the objective.


11. Headshots

When you first pick up Kiriko, landing consistent headshots is difficult unless you’re already familiar with the small hitbox Kiriko’s kunai have. Practice makes perfect in this regard. You need to try aim-training custom games, playing in the practice range, and playing in Quick Play. The more you play Kiriko, the better.

The best tip I can give you is to always aim a little higher than you think you should. Since her kunai has a small hitbox, aiming higher gives you a better chance of hitting your headshots. It’s odd, especially considering most heroes in the game don’t have this, but you’ll become a better Kiriko player if you do so.

It’s better to aim higher and risk missing than to go for the body shots. Although body shots are fine, you’re more likely to secure a kill if you’re aiming for the head. It’ll make you a deadlier Kiriko player if you’re always going for blood.


10. Wall Climb

It’s easy to forget Kiriko has a passive wall climb. When I first started playing Kiriko, I forgot about it because she has a large kit as is. You need to remember to utilize your wall climb for more than just getting to high ground. Wall climb can save your life and help you stall during critical moments, like during Overtime.

For example, if you’re trying to stay alive, wall climbing can throw your enemy’s aim off and keep you alive long enough to get another Suzu. Or it can give you a moment to restore some health through your healing passive. Either way, wall climb throws off your enemy and allows you to take a moment to think about your next move.

Along with that, Overtime is imperative to your success. Almost every Overwatch game ends up in Overtime. With wall climb, Kiriko can dance around the point and make herself harder to hit. It won’t work for too long, but it’s enough to buy yourself an extra few seconds.


9. Positioning

Positioning is vital if you want to successfully play Kiriko. Kiriko is a unique support because she doesn’t have to stay with her team all the time, especially if she’s paired with someone like Mercy. While Mercy does the heavy lifting on healing, Kiriko can flank with another teammate and catch the enemy off guard.

Kiriko’s positioning is extremely intriguing because there isn’t one set way to play Kiriko. Her versatile kit allows her to play however the player wants. You can be aggressive, you can be more passive, you can flank, you can take high ground, etc.

Kiriko has high healing and high damage, giving her lots of options. That leads into your positioning. Thanks to how versatile she is, you can position Kiriko wherever you want. Just be sure not to push too far in without your team. You’re not a tank; there's no need to act like one.


8. Healing And Damage Balance

You need to have a balance between healing and damage. As mentioned in the previous tip, Kiriko has both high healing and damage. That leads to a conundrum: what do you choose? The answer is that you need to do a balance of both. A general tip is to assess the situation. If an enemy is about to die, it’s okay to stop healing to finish off that enemy.

Just because you’re a support doesn’t mean you need to heal all the time. In fact, that’s not at all what you should do. You shouldn’t be afraid to stop healing and do some damage, even if it means ignoring health bars for a few moments. You have a second support for a reason; don’t be scared to let them take over the healing for a second.

The same applies the other way around. If you notice your second support going in to do more damage and utility, take over the healing but still keep doing the kunai combo so you’re maximizing your efficiency. Overall, you should play with your other support so you know when to heal and when to damage.


7. Playing With Teammates

Teammates are unpredictable, but you can train yourself to synchronize with them even if you’ve never played with them before. For starters, you need to identify their play styles. As I’ve mentioned throughout this list, Kiriko can match most play styles because of her versatile kit. If you’re playing with a tank that keeps rushing in, you have an aggressive tank on your hands.

Your tank will need your Suzu, which means you should encourage your teammates to be aggressive with your tank. Your tank controls the pacing of the game; if they’re passive, your team will be passive, and vice versa. Whatever play style your tank has, you should try to match it.

Your DPS may be a different story depending on who they are, but in general, the tank is the front line. As Kiriko, you should play with your tank for the best results until you become more comfortable with Kiriko’s kit. When you get more comfortable, alternate between your tank and DPS. In some games, your tank and DPS will play together; in other games, they won’t. In general, you should try to match the play style of your other teammates by pushing in and falling back with them.


6. Countering Ultimates

Suzu is the part of Kiriko’s kit that makes her borderline overpowered. If you learn how to use it to counter ultimates, you’ll become a Kiriko god. Almost every ult in the game can be countered with Suzu. The reason why is because Suzu gives you temporary invulnerability. So even if ultimates aren’t leaving negative effects, they can still be countered.

For example, Sigma’s ult. It doesn’t leave any lasting negative effects; Suzu can cleanse; however, a well-timed Suzu can erase the damage you suffer from the slam to the ground. That’s a more advanced Suzu throw, but other ultimates, like D.Va’s, are easier. As soon as D.Va’s mech is about to explode, launch Suzu and save yourself and potentially other teammates.

There are ults that do leave lasting negative effects. The most notable one is Junker Queen’s. Kiriko is one of the best counters to Junker Queen, which means you should practice Kiriko by playing against JQ. Tell your team to group up after JQ pops her ult. Then you can Suzu and remove the anti-healing effect.


5. Cleansing Negative Effects

While on the topic of Suzu, you need to learn when to and when not to cleanse negative effects. It’s easy to know when to clean them. For example, during a team fight, you should be cleansing negative effects. If your tank gets set on fire by dynamite, more often than not you’ll want to cleanse it so they can charge back in. The same applies to Ana’s grenade.

However, knowing when not to cleanse is what separates an average Kiriko player from a good one. You need to be aware of your surroundings. Ask yourself what negative effects the enemy has. Do they have Ana’s grenade and sleep? Ashe’s dynamite? Widowmaker’s venom mine?

When you identify what the enemy has, you can narrow down your choices. For example, cleansing your sleep is not very effective in most cases. On the other hand, cleansing with an anti-heal is effective in most cases. When you identify what negative effects the enemy has, you can determine if it’s worth it to Suzu.

For example, if you Suzu an anti-heal, the enemy’s Ashe might be smart and blow up dynamite right after you use your cleanse. The same applies to ultimates. If an enemy has their ult, they’ll try to bait out your Suzu before using it. If you know an enemy has their ult, especially an ult you can cleanse like Junker Queen’s, do not use the Suzu unless the situation is dire.


4. Flanking

Since Kiriko has teleport and high damage, you can use her to flank your enemies every once in a while. Kiriko can save herself from most situations, which is why flanking is a great way to practice your aim. You can also build your ult faster by flanking here and there.

You shouldn’t flank all the time, but in between team fights, feel free to get a head start by pushing forward on the flank. Get some cheap shots to build your ult and practice your aim. You might even secure a kill if you land enough headshots.

There’s nothing wrong with flanking, especially if you have flanking DPS to play with. Together, you and the flankers can push forward while the tank and second support stay on the objective. While this applies mostly to hybrid and payload maps, you can utilize it for push and control maps as well.


3. Kitsune Timing

Earlier we discussed not being afraid to hold your ult, but let’s get deeper into that topic and talk about the best times to use Kitsune. Yes, you can use it to start or end fights or get back your Suzu, but you can also use it when your teammates are on cooldowns. Since Kitsune has such a quick charge time, you don’t have to feel bad about using it to gain only a handful of assists.

For example, if you’re playing with Ana and she just used her anti-heal, you can put Kitsune in the middle of the fight so she can get another one quickly. However, keep in mind that although there are situations where you should use Kitsune, there are plenty of situations where you shouldn’t.

One situation is when your team has already used most, if not all, of their ults. Kitsune is great when combined with some ults, like Ramattra’s, but if your entire team already used their ults halfway through the fight, it could be detrimental to use yours. That means you won’t have it for the next team fight when the rest of your team doesn’t have their ults either. This is more obvious, but you shouldn’t use it during periods of rest (like a team kill) or for yourself. Always try to use Kitsune when you have teammates nearby to capitalize on it.


2. How To Build Your Ult Faster

Building your ult quickly is what makes you an effective Kiriko player. Healing charges your ult faster than damage. At least in general, because healing is more consistent. With kunai, you have to aim; with healing, not as much. However, if you do the healing and kunai combo mentioned in tip fourteen, you’ll gain ult charge faster.

Along with that, healing critical allies will give you lots of ult charge. When I play Kiriko, that’s where I find myself getting the most charge. You should be doing whatever you can to increase your odds of getting your ult faster. You can do that by flanking, using the kunai combo, and healing critical allies.

There should be very few times when you’re relaxing. As stressful as that sounds, it’s true. You should be firing your kunai or healing as often as you can, even when not in team fights. The faster you build your ult, the better chance your team has at winning.


1. Spamming

Spam your kunai at every given opportunity. When you’re not healing, especially when you’re at a choke point, you should be spamming your kunai. The reason why is because you’re like a mini-Hanzo. You can shoot somewhere and get a kill without knowing what you were shooting at.

Kiriko does huge headshot damage, which makes her insanely powerful during long-distance battles when she’s spamming kunai and doing more damage than the enemies on the other side. Even body shots are useful and can cause a killing blow. You don’t lose anything other than weapon accuracy if you spam, so why not do it?

Along with that, it’ll help you build your ult faster. The more shots you hit, the faster your ult builds. You shouldn’t actively be trying to put yourself in more danger than necessary, but spamming kunai is a great idea to build ult charge, get extra damage, and possibly score solid kills.


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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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