Zenyatta Guide: How To Be The Best Zenyatta In The World

Zenyatta from Overwatch floating in the air and creating discord and harmony orbs in the palms of his heands
“A disciplined mind is your most dependable ally.”

What to do when you are playing Overwatch and you want to be a healer but also enjoy causing massive damage? You play Zenyatta. In the current three healer meta, Zenyatta shines more than ever before. He is perfect if you want a healer who can help keep all your “squishy” teammates alive but also take out the enemy tanks and healers, all from the back lines. Zenyatta truly is an amazing hero with a great toolkit at their disposal that can benefit many teams, however, they are not the easiest of support heroes to play. But, don't worry; In this guide, I will teach you how to become a top-notch Zenyatta and before you know it you will be climbing the ranks!

Strengths:

Orb of Harmony:

Zenyatta's orbs have great mobility. As long as you are within line of sight and 40 meters you can cast an orb of harmony to a teammate, and it will float around their shoulder constantly healing them. However, if you lose sight of your comrade the orb will return to you after 3 seconds. Zenyatta can use both orbs of harmony and discord simultaneously, but he can't use multiple of each orb, so you can't heal more than one ally at a time. Orb of harmony is a targeted homing projectile with a speed of 120 meters per second, 30 HP healing per second, and it charges your ultimate 33 points per 25 HP of healing.

Orb of Discord:

Making Zenyatta such a difficult hero to battle against is his orb of discord. Instead of healing allies like his orb of harmony, the orb of discord multiplies damage that the enemy takes. Like the orb of harmony, it is a targeted homing projectile with a speed of 120 meters per second that has a range of 40 meters and will return to you if the enemy it is attached to is out of sight for 3 seconds. However, instead of healing like the orb or harmony, the orb of discord will increase the damage the targeted enemy takes by 30%. You can not place orb of discord on people who are being blocked by a shield or barrier.

Orb of Destruction:

Instead of having a gun Zenyatta throws orbs of destruction to take down his enemies. They are a linear projectile with pinpoint accuracy, fire at 80 meters per second, fire at a rate of 2.5 per second, 20 ammo, reload time of 2 seconds, and each orb does 46 HP damage when fired at a target without an orb of discord. When fired at an enemy that also has an orb of discord attached it will deal 59.8 HP damage.

Orb Volley:

Zenyatta has the ability to put their hands together and gather energy, and then send out orbs of destruction in a volley dealing massive damage. Orb volley is multiple linear projectiles with pinpoint accuracy, they travel 80 meters per second, it uses 5 ammo per volley and Zenyatta has a 20 ammo capacity. Uncharged it has a 1.1-second rate of fire but fully charged it has a 4-second rate of fire. After firing a volley Zenyatta can fire again in 0.6 seconds. Orb volley deals 46 HP damage per orb, with a maximum damage of 230, or 299 HP damage if paired with an orb of discord.

Transcendence:

Zenyatta's ultimate causes massive healing to nearby teammates and can help your team survive many attacks. Transcendence has a 10-meter range, a duration of 6 seconds, increases Zenyatta's movement speed to 11 meters per second, and heals nearby allies 300 HP per second. It is a wonderful boost to your team if timed properly. Transcendence requires a 2062.5 point charge.

Weaknesses:

Low Mobility:

To compensate for all of Zenyatta's power he has an incredibly low movement speed and a large hitbox, making him a very big and slow-moving target for the enemy. It makes it really hard to survive when you are flanked or out of position.

Weaker Healing:

While Zenyatta is a wonderful addition to your team, both for healing and damage, his healing is lower than constitutes as a main healer. Zenyatta's orb of harmony only heals 30 HP per second, whereas Mercy can heal 60 HP per second.

Transcendence Activated

Strategy Overview:

Zenyatta's kit isn't that complex, however, that doesn't make playing him easy. It takes a whole lot of practice, as he is the hardest ranked healer. There are five things you especially need to keep in mind as a Zenyatta player, being: positioning, awareness, communication, healing priority, and aim.

Positioning:

As a healer, it is your priority to stay alive, because if the healer is dead the team dies, and a large part of staying alive is in positioning. This is especially true for Zenyatta since he lacks very much mobility.
In general, you will want to stay on the back line, where you can see most of your team in order to heal them and out of range of the enemies. However, you don't want to be too far removed from your team, because if you are flanked you need to be close by for help from your teammates.
A more risky, but sometimes needed position is right behind the tanks. Ideally, the tanks will be able to protect you, and in return, you can keep the tanks and your squishy heroes healed up.
Make sure that when you position yourself you always have an escape route planned.

Awareness:

Part of being a healer requires being aware of everything. You need to learn the maps, health pack locations, all the heroes' abilities and how they interact. You also need to be aware of whom the enemy team is playing, where each person on both teams is located at during a match, and approximately how long it will be before an enemy uses their ultimate.
It is a lot to keep in mind, especially when everything is moving quickly. But, your position in the back of the lineup does help you to be able to watch everything going on closer, and with practice, you will get used to noticing everything.

Communication:

It is vital to communicate with your team, so use that microphone.
When a match begins start by making a game plan, figure out what everyone is best at and decide how you all need to tackle the upcoming battle. When the battle does begin start calling out who is on the enemy team as soon as you catch sight of them, and warn people when you see them being flanked.
A large part with Zenyatta is calling out whom you have the discord orb on. Whoever is discorded is who the team needs to focus on, and vice versa. So, if the team is focusing on D.Va or Bastion throw your discord orb on them so they can be taken out quickly.
If everyone is fighting without a clear target let them know whom you put the discord orb on so that everyone will focus on that person. Generally, you will want to discord the healers and tanks, but if there is another person who is especially powerful or skilled and causing your team problems, then focus on them.

Aim:

It can be tricky to get a good aim, but as a Zenyatta it really is vital. Getting in any extra damage by not missing shots and by going for headshots really will boost how much damage you can deliver.
Try practicing a lot in the practice range, the arcade, custom games, and quick play. You can not practice enough.
Remember to lead your orbs when your target is moving, you will eventually learn about how far ahead you need to move it before the person gets there so it lands on target.
There are some great ways to practice, and here is a video that will show you how to improve aiming and getting headshots in 10 minutes:

Healing Priority:

Being a healer it's important to know whom to heal. Generally, you should be teamed up with a Mercy, Moira, or Anna. In that case, you should keep your orb of harmony on your DPS, your squishy heroes with little health, and let your main healer worry about the tanks. Of course, if the tanks reach critical health you can help out your main healer, but with Zenyatta's lower healing rate you will be much better focusing on keeping the DPS healed, when possible.
Whom you heal for DPS varies widely depending on everyone's position, the team composition, and the skill of everyone. You will have to decide who is more important to the team, and also if they have an ability to heal themselves, such as Solider 76 has, that will play a factor as well.
So for instance, generally it would be better to heal Pharah than Soldier. Solider is more likely to be flanking and getting out of sight and he has an ability to heal himself. Whereas Pharah is more likely to stay within sight and it's harder for her to heal herself since she would have to land and find a health pack.
Remember, it's very easy to move the orb of harmony around, so you don't have to keep it on only one teammate. But, don't move it around too often since it does have a slow healing rate, and if you move it around every few seconds nobody will get very much healing.

Using Zenyatta's Strengths to Your Advantage:

Orb of Harmony:

You want to make sure you always have the harmony orb on someone, even if your team is at full health. If everyone's health is fine, prioritize the team members who are about to be in danger.
Orb of harmony is great for Winston since when he gets too far for one of your other healers to go with him the orb will stick to him. It won't provide much health, but it can help give him some valuable time.
If one of your main healers gets low health prioritize healing them over your tanks or DPS since they can help you keep everyone alive, especially since their healing rate is a lot higher than Zenyatta's.

Orb of Discord:

Prioritize whom you need to keep discord on. First healers, then tanks, then problematic DPS such as Pharah, Bastion, Sombra, whoever is countering your team hard.
If someone's health is particularly low, your team's Roadhog has hooked them, or they are otherwise weak in some way that is also a good person to target.
If the enemy team is going with a PharMercy (Pharah + Mercy) combo make sure you first take out Mercy and then Pharah, otherwise, Mercy can help keep Pharah healed and resurrect her.
When you have discord on someone it will show a marker above them, this will make targeting easier when they are at a distance, and you can see the marker through walls if they try to hide, for 3 seconds until the orb comes back to you.
Some heroes have abilities that allow them to remove the discord orb: Reaper when he goes into Wraith, Mei when she goes into Cryo-Freeze, D.Va when she Self-Destructs, Tracer when she Recalls, Zenyatta when he uses Transcendence, and Zarya when she uses a Barrier.

Orb of Destruction:

Shields can really get in the way of your team doing the damage it needs to, so if you have no better target, spam the enemy team's shields to get them down as soon as possible.
Don't thoughtlessly aim just holding down the trigger. You will be a target while you reload, and it's easy to get in the habit of doing that and less of your shots will land. If you only shoot when you think you will hit your target you will learn to take more reliable shots.

Orb Volley:

If you notice a flanker who either hasn't noticed you or doesn't think you saw them, charge your orbs and when you get the chance send them flying, if your aim is right this can often be an instant kill.
Charge up your volley, and once it's ready peek around a corner or a choke point and hit a target before they get the chance to see you.
Volley is also wonderful for the times when there's a troublesome sniper or Bastion. While hidden you can charge your orbs up and then release them on the target quickly, hopefully before they get a chance to target you.
Regardless of how much ammo you have left, even if you only have one orb, you can still charge volley to the maximum of five orbs.
Sometimes it may be better to use volley instead of destruction, such as: when McCree is about to use Deadeye, when Pharah is using Rocket Barrage, when Mei is about to come out of Cryo-Freeze, when Reaper is Shadow Stepping, and when Zarya is using a Barrier charge it and then release when her barrier goes down.

Transcendence:

One important thing to remember is that you can't fight while using Transcendence.
Don't use Transcendence just to save yourself, it would be a waste of an ult. It's often best used while your enemy is using their ultimates, such as if they pair Graviton Surge and Rocket Barrage, you could go into Transcendence and keep all of your teammates alive.
However, another tactic that is riskier but can sometimes be pulled off is when the enemy team uses a healing ultimate, such as Valkyrie or Coalescence, wait and use Transcendence after their ults are over. If both teams use their healing ultimates simultaneously it will probably be a stalemate, but if your team is in a position to get through the attack without using yours you can then use it after the other team has used theirs and your team will be at an advantage to win.

Compensating for Zenyatta's Weaknesses:

Low Mobility:

When you position yourself make sure you let your teammates know where you are, and have at least one team member nearby, so in case you are in danger they can help you out. However, if you learn to use your discord and destruction orbs while aiming well it will greatly increase your chance of survival.

Zenyatta floats, so he is the only Overwatch hero without footsteps. Use this to your advantage to sneak around.

Weaker Healing:

Zenyatta isn't a solo-healer. You really want him with Moira, Mercy, or Anna as a main healer. Sometimes, if your team is really good and not taking too much damage, you can duo-heal with Zenyatta and Lúcio, but Lúcio doesn't give very quick healing, so it's risky.

Let Anna, Mercy, or Moira keep the tanks alive while you focus on keeping the squishy heroes alive.

Tips and Tricks:

  • Make sure your team is still alive and with you when using Transcendence
  • Zenyatta's silent floating can be really useful when sneaking up behind someone.
  • Don't keep bouncing the discord orb around more than needed, use it, eliminate the target, and then move it onto the next target.
  • Make sure if you get into trouble you go towards your team. Sometimes people will automatically back away to try to get some distance from the enemy targeting them and trying to aim, but make sure you're headed in the direction of your team members.
  • If you get into trouble tell your team so that they will back you up.
  • If you die let your other healer(s) know, so that they know what healing they need to do until you get back from the spawn room.
  • If someone does flank you dodge them by moving around and crouching so they have a harder time hitting your head.
  • If an enemy gets close and you're having a hard time finishing them off just kick them, which is Zenyatta's melee attack.
  • Only 50 HP of Zenyatta's “health” is actual health, the other 150 HP is armor that regenerates, so if he takes on damage duck behind something to stay hidden until your armor regenerates.

Zenyatta may not be an easy healer to learn, but he is well worth the practice it will take. With his massive damage potential and healing you don't have to constantly be controlling, he is a wonderful addition to a team. If you practice and follow the advice of this guide I know you will become a top-notch Zenyatta your team won't want to be without!

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Whether it's pulling out my blaster and getting some headshots in or using my staff to heal, I'm always there to protect my team all while writing, gaming, and watching anime.
Gamer Since: 1999
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