Zarya In-depth Strategy Guide
( FP's Overwatch Strategy Guide )
Zarya is well known for being one of the world's strongest women athletes. Later on in her competitive bodybuilding career, she decided to drop her all star status and join Overwatch to protect her family, friends, and country instead.
Zarya, being a tank, has the lowest amount of hitpoints out of all tanks. What she lacks in hitpoints she easily makes up in raw damage output with her Particle Cannon weapon. Zarya's weapon is able to harness raw energy and use it to create Particle Barriers on herself or her allies which block and absorb firepower from her enemies for a brief period of time and transfer it to her own Particle Gun to make it stronger. These Particle Barriers have many uses for keeping Zarya and her allies alive, allowing them to push forward and absorb firepower for Zarya at the same time.
Zarya's ultimate Graviton Surge unleashes a gravity bomb that draws all enemies close to it in a swirling clumped up mass that becomes extremely vulnerable to area effect damage such as Zarya's own explosive particle charges.
Zarya's main weakness is her lack of mobility as she will have a bit of trouble retreating from a losing battle or able to chase after nearly dying enemies.
Name: Aleksandra Zaryanova
Occupation: Krasnoyarsk Front, Russia
Base of Operation: Horizon Lunar Colony (formerly)
Release Date: 10-27-2015
Base Hitpoints: 400 (200 of it is shield)
Because Zarya is comprised of 50% shield, it's important to keep these points in mind:
- Shields regenerate at 25HP per second after 3 seconds of not taking damage.
- Shields can still be healed up by healers and health packs.
Zarya's mighty Particle Cannon unleashes a short-range beam of destructive energy.Ammo: 100
Fire Rate: 20 rps
Damage: 75 - 150 DPS (depending on how charged up it is)
Range: 15 meters
Reload Time: 1.5 seconds
Default Hotkey: LM
Zarya's primary fire unleashes a short-range beam that fires out roughly about 25 feet in front of her. It acts similar to the lightning gun in Quake. The beam does not go through multiple targets as it only hits one target at a time. Shields and barriers will block the beam. It does more DPS than her alternate fire (explosive charges) and works best on single targets. If there is more than a few enemies close up you are better off using explosive charges to do area damage to them instead as it will do more DPS.
Gun Charge Strength
Zarya's Particle Cannon gets charged up and deals more damage when she absorbs enemy fire from her Particle Barriers that she can use on herself or Projected Barriers that she can put on her allies.
- Particle Gun strength value is from 0% to 100%.
- Particle Gun strength increases at 1% per 5 shield damage taken for weapon attacks and 1% per 2 shield damage taken from all melee attacks (this also includes Genji's Swift Strike and Dragonblade). This means that melee attacks will absorb a higher percentage of power for Zarya's weapon than normal attack weapons.
- Particle Gun strength decreases at 2% per second. This means you have to keep absorbing damage to maintain your gun strength up or it will slowly dissipate over time.
There are five different indicators that show you how charged up Zarya's Particle Cannon is.
The 5 indicators that show Particle Gun Strength:
(from most helpful to least helpful)
- Your crosshair becomes thicker and bolder. I find this particular one is the most visually useful in the heat of battle.
- The sound of your Particle Gun will become more bolder and louder.
- When charged up further it will increase the width of Zarya's Particle Cannon's beam (primary fire). Please note that the increased beam actually has a larger hit area and can make hitting targets a tad easier.
- Your crosshair has a numerical value from 0 - 100.
- The energy ball grows larger in Zarya's gun.
NOTE: When you get to 100% charged, Zarya will sometimes say: "Maximum charge!"
Not Charged at all (0%)
Half Way Charged (50%)
Fully Charged (100%)
Zarya will also look like this in-game to other players:
0% Charge - 50% Charged - 100% Charged
Importance of knowing how charged up you are:
When fully charged, Zarya becomes one of the greatest damage dealers in Overwatch. From 0% to 100% you will literally do twice as much damage per second. It's good to know how charged up you are so you know how much fire power it will take to kill someone. This especially helps in knowing how many explosive charges you need to lob out to kill something before moving on to another target.
Alternatively, Zarya can lob an explosive charge to strike multiple opponents.Ammo: 100 (uses 25 per shot)
Fire Rate: 1 rps
Damage: 46 - 95 DPS (depending on how charged up it is)
Self-Damage: Up to 50 self-damage (depending on how charged up it is)
AOE Blast Radius: 2 meters
Reload Time: 1.5 seconds
Default Hotkey: RM
Zarya's alternate fire lobs explosive charges and explodes on the first thing it hits doing splash damage. The charges fly in an ark to its destination and just like the short range beam it will also benefit from Zarya's charged up gun status, dealing extra damage the more your gun is charged up. Enemies hit by an explosive charge will deal a slight knockback. Keep in mind that the slight knockback just might be enough to knock enemies into pits if they are close to one. A lot of Control maps have many pits where you can knock enemies into them with charged shots.
The alternate fire is Zarya's means of doing damage from longer ranges. You can lob explosive charges over walls or obstacles to hit potential enemies behind them. Remember that Zarya's short range Particle Beam does more DPS than charged shots, so always switch to your particle beam for close up enemies, unless you can do a lot of splash damage with the charged shots.
Precisely aiming explosive charged shots properly will take some practice. You can practice firing charged shots in the practice range at targets very far away from you for some good aiming practice.
Drained Ammo Trick
Each shot requires 25 ammo out of a pool of 100, this means you can only fire 4 shots until a reload is needed. However, you can still fire an explosive shot even if you only have 1 ammo left. This means you can make extra use of your ammo before a reload is needed via using three charged shots, then using your short range beam for about a second, then releasing the 4th charged shot. This can give you a little extra fire power before a reload is needed.
No Headshots :(
Please note that both Zarya's primary fire and her alternate fire will not do headshots, so don't bother aiming at heads with her as it will not make a difference.
Ability with cooldown
The Particle Cannon can emit a personal barrier that shields Zarya against incoming attacks, redirecting their energy to enhance her weapon's damage and the width of its beam.Cooldown: 10 seconds
Barrier Strength: 200
Duration: 2 seconds
Default Hotkey: Shift
Particle Barrier is Zarya's personal shield which only last 2 seconds that blocks and absorbs damage. The Particle Barrier then transfers that absorbed damage to Zarya's Particle Cannon to make it stronger (but only temporarily). The shield only blocks/absorbs up to 200 damage.
Particle Barrier is best used when you are consistently taking damage. I have noticed a lot of new players turn on the ability immediately when they see enemies, this is not usually efficient because Particle Barriers only last 2 seconds, you generally want to use this ability right when you are taking damage. Remember that Zarya's health is comprised of 50% shield, so you can let that wither down a tad then activate Particle Barrier, it tends to be more effective that way. The same thing applies to when you give an ally a Projected Barrier (more on that later).
Particle Barrier is great for blocking enemy ultimates and other situations where high damage output could occur. I explain more in-depth when using Particle Barrier is important at the hero counters down below this guide.
Particle Barriers and Projected Barriers do not fully protect Zarya (or allies) from knockbacks. If something was blocked by the bubble outside of Zarya (or the ally) he/she will NOT be knocked back. However, if the hit was done inside the bubble, Zarya (or the ally) can then be knocked back.
Ability with cooldown
Zarya surrounds one of her teammates with an energy barrier that simultaneously absorbs fire and boosts the power of her Particle Cannon.Cooldown: 8 seconds
Shield Strength: 200
Range: 30 meters
Duration: 2 seconds
Default Hotkey: E
Projected Barrier is very much like Zarya's Particle Barrier but can only be used on her allies. If you look closely at the stats between the two barriers, you will see that Projected Barriers are slightly more powerful by having a 2 second less cooldown, but both barriers last the same length of 2 seconds and absorb the same amount of damage. Because of the lower cooldown for Projected Barriers, you need to be continuously using this ability to protect allies and absorb damage to enhance your Particle Cannon. You will be relying on the Projected Barrier just as much as your personal barrier to charge up your Particle Cannon.
As noted above, for every 4 points of damage blocked, Zarya will temporarily gain +1% on her Particle Cannon's energy output. If she blocks 100% of a personal or projected Particle Barrier Zarya will gain +50 on her weapon power.
Projected Barrier Mechanics
- Projected Barriers (and Zarya's personal Barriers) do not charge your ultimate meter directly, but they do indirectly via the increased output of your Particle Cannon's damage.
- The bubble size of the Projected Barrier will be the exact same on all allies (from small heroes like Tracer to big ones like Roadhog).
- Allies cannot do self damage while having a Projected Barrier on to charge Zarya's weapon.
What separates a Zarya player from a really good Zarya player comes down to how good she is at keeping up with her Projected Barriers properly. It will take some skill to constantly keep an eye out on all your allies and to give a Projected Barrier to who needs it the most. This will come with practice, but here are some tips..
Who should receive Projected Barriers:
- Offensive allies that are in the midst of harassing the enemy.
- An ally that is getting flanked.
- An ally that is in trouble of being hit by an enemy ultimate.
- An ally that is pushing forward in the front lines.
- An ally that is taking damage with the Orb of Discord on them.
- An allied Roadhog who just Chain Hooked an enemy into him.
- An ally who just jumped or boosted right into the midst of enemy fire, such as a Winston leaping, D.va boosting, Reinhardt charging, a Pharah flying, or a Genji Swift Striking.
- Most heroes in Overwatch become especially vulnerable while using their ultimate, but when they have a Projected Barrier on them, they become invincible.
These allies benefit the most from Projected Barriers while they use their ultimate:
- Genji's Dragonblade
- Roadhog's Whole Hog
- Junkrat's Rip-Tire (while he stands still)
- Soldier 76's Tactical Visor
- McCree's Deadeye
- Reaper's Deathblossom
- Pharah's Barrage
- Bastion's Tank Form
- Mercy's Resurrect (she stands solid for a brief time while casting)
Particle Barriers can block infinite damage
Particle Barriers and Projected Barriers can block infinite damage from a single hit. Let me explain. Particle Barriers can block 200 damage before it disappears. If an attack does more than the barrier's strength it will not roll over to your heroes HP pool, but instead will have no effect at all. For example, Junkrat's Rip-Tire does up to 600 damage and D.va's Self-Destruct does up to 1000 damage. A Particle Barrier can block all this damage and Zarya (or an ally) will take no additional damage from these higher damage abilities, but your barrier will drop prematurely.
Don't attack enemy barriers!
This is probably obvious by now, but worth mentioning anyways. Since Zarya's barriers absorb enemy fire and then transfers the energy to her weapon to make it stronger means you need to avoid attacking enemy Particle/Projected Barriers at all costs! This will also be mentioned throughout my guide on the other hero sections to continuously remind you about this.
Turn on Allied Health Meters
By default, allied health meters are turned off for Zarya. I highly recommend turning them on (in Zarya's custom control settings) so that you will be able to make more informed decisions on who to give a Projected Barrier to.
NOTE: Because I feel like Projected Barrier knowledge is so important, I may come out with a more in-depth guide about this topic later.
Zarya launches a gravity bomb that draws in enemy combatants and deals damage while they're trapped.Duration: 4 seconds
Range of Surge: 8 meters
Default Hotkey: Q
Zarya's ultimate Graviton Surge is arguably one of the most powerful ultimates in Overwatch. The ability lobs a gravity bomb similar to the mechanics of one explosive charge shot, but once it hits the ground it opens a massive ball of gravity that draws all nearby enemies to it and keeps them there for up to 4 seconds. Enemies can still use their abilities while being stuck in the surge. Graviton Surge does a very small amount of damage itself, but where this ultimate really shines is the ability to let you and your allies do AOE damage to the clumped up enemies, which can easily wipe all of them out. After clumping up enemies in a Graviton Surge you can dish out damage to the trapped enemies with your explosive charges as you will take full advantage of the AOE damage that your explosive charges can do. Graviton Surge has no effect on you or your allies, as you can walk right up to it and it will not trap you or your team, this allows your allies to get right up to the clumped up enemies to deal damage to them.
Graviton Surge also combos very well with many allied abilities and ultimates, most notably:
- Zarya's explosive charges
- D.va's Self-Destruct
- Junkrat's Rip-Tire
- Tracer's Pulse Bomb
- Reaper's Death Blossom
- Pharah's Barrage
- Reinhardt's melee attacks
- Symmetra's Photon Orbs
- Bastion can easily aim in the general direction to do a lot of damage, or use his Tank form to do AOE damage.
- Hanzo can launch a Dragonstrike at the mass
Because Graviton Surge is the best paired ultimate in the game, it is important to communicate with your allies that you are getting ready to use your ultimate so they will be ready to combo it with their ultimate or abilities. I recommend binding a key for "Communicate: Ultimate Status" so you can press it when you are getting close to use your ultimate.
These heroes have the capability to actually escape a Graviton Surge after getting trapped in one:
- Tracer can use a Recall to escape, or two quick Blinks.
- Reinhardt can use a Charge to escape.
- Genji can use a Swift Strike to get out of it.
- Reaper can use Wraith Form to escape.
- D.va can use her Boosters to escape.
- Widowmaker can use her Grappling Hook to escape.
- Mercy can use her Guardian Angel ability to fly to an ally to escape out. The ally must be further away from the Gravition Surge in order for it to work.
Those heroes are the only ones (currently) that can escape a Graviton Surge, so definitely keep this in mind as this is very important information to know!
What weirds me out is some heroes do have rocket thrusters on them, but they cannot escape, such as:
Winston and his Jump Packs? Pharah and her Jet Packs?
Some heroes have abilities that can somewhat counter Graviton Surge, and it's important to know this information.
These heroes have hard counters against Graviton Surge while trapped:
- Lucio can use Sound Barrier to protect his trapped allies.
- Zenyatta can use Transcendence to save him and heal his allies while trapped.
- A trapped Zarya can put a Projected Barrier on a Mercy, allowing her to survive, she can then Resurrect all the dead heroes.
These heroes can partially counter Graviton Surge while trapped:
- D.va can use her Defense Matrix ability to block incoming projectiles.
- Mei can throw up an Ice Wall to protect from incoming enemy fire.
- Roadhog can use Whole Hog to knock enemies down and to prevent them from firing.
- Winston can use a Barrier Projector.
- Reinhardt can put out his shield.
- An enemy Zarya can use a Particle Barrier to protect herself, or a Projected Barrier on one of her allies.
Zarya's Strength and Weaknesses Vs Other Heroes
Winston: Winston is not much of a threat to Zarya. If Winston leaps at you, simply use a Particle Barrier to protect yourself from his Tesla Cannon or melee attacks. A good Zarya player will also be able to protect any one of her allies that Winston leaps to with her Projected Barrier. Zarya's Particle Cannon at 0% charge without a Particle Barrier will out beat Winston's Tesla Cannon in a 1vs1 fight.
Unfortunately, Winston's Barrier does block both of Zarya's Particle Cannon attacks (both her short range beam and medium range explosive charges).
Zarya's ultimate Graviton Surge is somewhat deadly to Winston since he has no way to escape it (his Jump Pack wont let him escape it), but Winston can put down a Barrier to block shots from hitting him and his allies stuck in the surge. Zarya's Graviton Surge becomes especially deadly when she traps Winston into it while his ultimate Primal Rage is active, making Primal Rage totally useless then.
If you can't use a Graviton Surge to trap a Primal Rage Winston, then use Particle/Projected Barriers to protect you and an ally from taking damage from it, even though Primal Rage will still knock you away from him.
Genji: Genji's Deflect does not work on Zarya's Particle Cannon Beam, but Deflect does work against Zarya's charged particle shots. For the most part, Genji will be a distance from Zarya throwing shurikens at her. If Genji gets close he may do Swift Strikes at you (that does 50 damage). Just keep your short range beam on him while taking cover, and use a Particle Barrier to further protect yourself from him.
Be careful launching a Graviton Surge around a Genji as he can Deflect the initial black Graviton Surge projectile causing a Graviton Surge for Genji's team. Also Genji is one of the few heroes that can escape out of Zarya's Graviton Surge with his Swift Strike ability.
Genji's ultimate Dragonblade happens to be deadly against Zarya as her poor mobility makes it hard to run away from it, although a Particle Barrier can be used to protect you (or an ally) from it (if it's not on a cooldown).
Mei: Mei's freeze gun is less effective against Zarya due to Zarya's Particle Barrier. A Particle Barrier will stop the freeze build up. With this in mind, when coming face to face with Mei, try to wait just a little bit before you are about to get frozen to use your Particle Barrier, so you can survive longer.
Zarya can also save her allies from Mei's freeze gun with Projected Barriers. If you see any of your allies getting attacked by Mei's freeze gun, just throw a Projected Barrier on that ally to save em. When your Particle Gun is near fully charged, it will be a close tie between killing Mei from full health and she freezing you. This is another important reason to know how charged up your Particle Cannon is!
In 1on1 fights, Mei's Cryo-Freeze heal is no threat to Zarya, as Zarya's shield will regenerate quickly while Mei is frozen, thus making things even. Although Mei can position her Cryo-Freeze so it blocks your explosive charge shots from hitting her allies.
Since Mei is usually right in the back with her teammates, she is usually in a targetable spot for Zarya's ultimate Graviton Surge. While trapped, Mei can put up an Ice Wall to protect her allies that are stuck in the surge. Mei can also use a Cryo-Freeze to avoid any AOE damage thrown her way, while also potentially shielding any of her allies behind the Cryo-Freeze.
Mei's ultimate Blizzard can be countered by using a Particle Barrier, and a Projected Barrier on an ally in the Blizzard as well. The Particle Barriers will stop the freeze effect and let you walk out of it safely. If a Particle Barrier is not available, then Zarya is out of luck due to her slow mobility.
Lucio: Lucio will mostly keep his distance from Zarya while shooting his Sonic projectiles out at you. Sonic projectiles are somewhat easy to avoid and you can even soak up the spam with your Particle Barrier to easily charge your Particle Cannon up.
Zarya has multiple ways of countering Lucio's fast movement. Because Zarya's explosive charge shots do AOE damage, it's much easier to hit Lucio when he is skating around fast, whether he has his speed aura on or not. Graviton Surge is another counter to Lucio's fast movement as it can be tough to avoid a Graviton Surge since it get activated so quickly. However, when trapped in a surge, Lucio can use his ultimate Sound Barrier to protect his team from AOE damage.
When Lucio uses his ultimate Sound Barrier, his team may think they are invulnerable and will go right up in the front lines to do some massive attacks for a brief period of time. This is a great moment to capitalize on this to use a Particle/Projected Barriers to soak up as much damage as possible, then quickly back off. If your Particle Barrier is still on a cooldown, just take cover in the meantime until Sound Barrier fades out.
Zenyatta: Zarya is a great counter to Zenyatta because her barriers will remove Zenyatta's Orb of Discord from her or from her allies. Although, Zarya is one of the slowest heroes to reach getting behind a wall to block Zenyatta's line of sight to remove the orb.
Zarya's alternate fire (charged particle shots) are deadly against Zenyatta's slow movement as the AOE splash damage will be harder for Zenyatta to dodge.
Zenyatta can counter Zarya's Graviton Surge with his ultimate Transcendence, which will save him and rapidly heal his trapped allies from damage.
Soldier 76: Soldier 76's Pulse Rifle will be a nuisance to deal with as it does a good amount of damage. If you can, try to get close to him and use your short range beam on him, he will become weaker to you close up, especially if your Particle Cannon is charged up. Particle Barriers are great for blocking Soldier 76's Helix Rockets from hitting you and to protect your allies behind you as well.
Soldier 76 is usually in range to be targeted by Graviton Surge, as he typically stays with his team while putting down Biotic Fields to heal them so he is usually in the right spot for a Graviton Surge most of the time. There is not much Soldier 76 can do to counter a Graviton Surge besides putting down a Biotic Field to keep his allies healed a bit. However, Soldier 76's Sprint ability does enable him to reposition himself in different spots quickly away from Zarya to potentially avoid Graviton Surge and her short range particle beam.
Soldier 76's ultimate Tactical Visor is generally not good to use on tanks, but Zarya is the most prone tank target for Tactical Visor since she has poor mobility and lacks the most with blocking, healing or HP of any tank. If targeted by Tactical Visor, just use a Particle Barrier and take cover if you can.
D.va: Zarya's explosive particle charges are very deadly to D.va from medium to long range, since D.va is such a big target and moves slow when firing. Close up and D.va can dish out more damage to Zarya with Fusion Cannons (as long as Zarya's gun is not charged up).
D.va's Defense Matrix does block Charged Particle Shots and even Graviton Surge (before it deploys). Defense Matrix does NOT block Zarya's short range particle beam.
Zarya's poor mobility makes running away from D.va a challenge, but you can use a Particle Barrier to stay alive longer. Particle Barriers can also save Zarya from D.va's ultimate Self-Destruct while still being able to continue attacking at the same time.
Zarya's ultimate Graviton Surge is not very effective against D.va. If trapped in the surge, D.va can use a Defense Matrix to block incoming shots and projectiles from hitting her trapped allies. D.va can also use her Boosters to escape out of it as well.
D.va can also use a Defense Matrix to absorb Zarya's Graviton Surge before it detonates, but one would need to be extremely quick with the trigger in order to stop it. This also means don't use Graviton Surge at a Defense Matrix or it will get destroyed.
Symmetra: Both heroes are not much of a threat to each other. Symmetra is usually off in the distance putting up Sentry Turrets or lobbing Photon Orbs and is usually far enough away to avoid Zarya's short range particle beam, although Symmetra is somewhat susceptible to Zarya's explosive charge shots from a distance.
Symmetra's Photon Orbs will still strike through Zarya's Particle Barriers, but the barrier will absorb the damage making Zarya's gun stronger. One fully charged Orb will give Zarya +40 power for her Particle Cannon. And since Photon Orbs fly so slowly, you can purposely run into them while having a Particle Barrier on to absorb the damage to enhance your Particle Cannon.
If Zarya walks in a room full of Symmetra's Sentry Turrets, she can easily take them out with the AOE damage of her explosive charge shots, or even her short range beam while protecting herself with a Particle Barrier. Sentry Turrets will still attack targets that have Zarya's barrier on. The barriers will absorb the damage to make Zarya's weapon stronger and not slow down the hero with the barrier.
Symmetra's Teleporter ultimate is safe from Zarya due to the fact that Zarya has very poor mobility and is generally not a Teleporter hunter.
Symmetra is a sitting duck to Graviton Surge, as there is nothing she can do to escape or protect herself while she is trapped in the surge.
McCree: Zarya's Particle/Projected Barriers help protect you and your allies from McCree's flashbangs and fan fire attacks. However, Zarya's barrier only lasts for a very short period of time, leaving her vulnerable to McCree most of the time. Overall, Zarya's Particle/Projected Barriers, health, and damage from her particle gun will give McCree a tough time.
Out of all the tanks, Zarya is the weakest to McCree's ultimate Deadeye. Her lack of mobility to take cover and lack of damage mitigation to protect her whole team makes Zarya and her allies more vulnerable to Deadeye overall.
Graviton Surge is very deadly to McCree as he is usually right in the targetable spot for it along with not having ways to escape or counter it.
Pharah: Pharah pretty much pwns Zarya. It's hard to hit enemies far away or up in the air with Zarya's Particle Cannon, as explosive charges won't be able to do their AOE damage to hit Pharah while she is flying and hovering around in the air, this makes damaging Pharah extremely difficult for Zarya.
Be careful when Pharah spams her rockets down at you, try to take cover under a ceiling/wall or turn on your Particle Barrier to block and absorb all the rocket damage. Keep an eye out where Pharah is firing her rockets at, and use a Projected Barrier on an ally that is being attacked by her.
Since Pharah is usually in the air with her Jet Packs, she is usually in the clear of Graviton Surge (since it is a ground ability). But if for some odd reason Pharah does get trapped in it, she doesn't have much to counter it besides using her Barrage ultimate (Jet packs won't get her out of it).
Pharah's ultimate Barrage can be deadly against Zarya due to her poor mobility to dodge it, but you can use a Particle Barrier to protect yourself (only for 2 seconds though).
Widowmaker: Widowmaker's sniping abilities are very deadly to Zarya and there isn't much Zarya can do about her. Zarya's Particle Cannon usually doesn't reach far enough to damage Widowmaker, even with her explosive charges, which Widowmaker can usually strafe to avoid or grapple to a different sniping spot.
It's also hard to guess which ally to give a Projected Barrier to against her, since her sniping can involve any ally around you.
Widowmaker is also usually safe from Zarya's ultimate Graviton Surge since she is usually away from the heart of the battle and off sniping by herself. Widowmaker can also escape out of a Graviton Surge by grappling somewhere.
Bastion: Watch out for Bastion Sentries, even with barriers. While in Sentry Form, Bastion can melt Zarya's barriers (both personal and projected) in about a half a second, normally they will last for 2 seconds before the cooldown is up for it. Even though you will receive +40 strength to make your Particle Cannon stronger, it doesn't take long for a Bastion Sentry to finish Zarya off completely before she gets many shots in. Because of this, barriers have minimal use against Bastion's insane DPS while in sentry form.
Zarya's slow mobility in general will give you a tough time taking cover from Bastion and you will have a tough time flanking him unnoticed.
From a distance Zarya can hit a Bastion Sentry with her explosive charge shots which has the potential to do a lot of damage to him, and she can sometimes achieve this while not being in his line of sight. This is one of the best tactics you can do against a Bastion Sentry.
Graviton Surge can be effective on a Bastion Sentry as he has no counters for it. Bastion Sentries can still fire while stuck in a Graviton Surge, but he is still very susceptible to area effect damage by you and your teammates.
Zarya can protect herself with a Particle Barrier against Bastion's Tank form ultimate, and you can protect an ally with a Projected Barrier against Bastion's Tank Form as well.
Mercy: Although Zarya can easily kill Mercy in combat with her explosive charge AOE shots, Mercy is deadly mostly due to her ultimate Resurrect. Resurrect is generally very powerful as it can bring all her dead allies back to life. Resurrect is a hard counter to Graviton Surge. As long as Mercy doesn't get trapped in the surge or is able to survive it (such as with a Projected Barrier), she can then resurrect all the dead heroes that died from the surge. This can make Graviton Surge very ineffective against Mercy. Mercy can also escape out of a Graviton Surge by using her Guardian Angel ability to fly to an ally that is further away from the surge.
Junkrat: Junkrat's mines and traps are no real threat to Zarya since she moves slow and is able to spot them before she runs over them, and even if you actually do run over them, you can quickly use your Particle Barrier to save yourself from any mine detonations. If your is quick enough, you can save your teammates from the trap/mine combo by giving them a Particle Barrier as well. Zarya can still get stuck in Junkrat's Trap even with a Particle Barrier on, but it will absorb the damage to make her gun stronger.
Zarya is most prone to Junkrat's grenade spam, since she doesn't have any means of healing herself besides her regenerating shield. However, Zarya's alternate fire (explosive charges) actually tends to be quite effective on Junkrat, since it does splash damage and can hurt Junkrat hiding around an object or wall.
If you happen to trap Junkrat in a Graviton Surge there is nothing he can do to escape or counter it. Gravition Surge will also trap Junkrat's ultimate Rip-Tire. You can also protect yourself from Rip-Tire detonations by using a Particle Barrier, or protect an ally with from it with a Projected Barrier.
Torbjorn: Zarya's alternate fire with explosive charges are somewhat effective against turrets thanks to the AOE splash damage, enabling it to potentially hit both the turret and Torbjorn at the same time but it isn't really enough to deal with Torbjorn's fast turret repair, unless your gun is charged up enough.
Zarya's Particle Barriers can help you and one of your allies get closer to Torbjorn's turret allowing you to take it out a bit easier. Torbjorn's Turrets can also attack Zarya's barriers, thus wasting the turret's fire power while Zarya's barriers absorb the damage to enhance Zarya's Particle Cannon.
Graviton Surge seems to only work on Torbjorn about 50% of the time, since sometimes he places turrets away from the heart of his team, such as on high up ledges, away from Graviton Surge. If you do happen to trap Torbjorn in a surge, there is nothing he can do to counter it. Graviton Surge has no actual effects on turrets.
Reinhardt: Both heroes generally keep their distance from each other, but Reinhardt can do serious damage to Zarya up close with his melee attacks and Charge ability as long as she is unable to use her Particle Barrier to protect her. Zarya's poor mobility only makes it harder for her to escape Reinhardt's deadly melee attacks and Charge ability. Reinhardt can still Charge Zarya while her Particle Barrier is up and Reinhardt's shield can block both of her attacks from her Particle Cannon (short range beam and explosive charges).
Zarya's Particle Barriers can block Reinhardt's Fire Strike damage and absorb the damage to make her Particle Cannon stronger. A Fire Strike will still pass through Zarya's barrier, doing no damage to her and giving her +40 power for her Particle Cannon.
Graviton Surge is not very effective against Reinhardt, as he is one of the few heroes that can actually escape out of it by using a Charge. Those rocket thrusters on Reinhardt's back is OP. Although his shield will not block the surge or the initial projectile shot.
Reinahardt's ultimate Earthshatter will NOT knock Zarya down when she has her Particle Barrier up, and she will absorb the damage as well (+13 to her Particle Cannon strength). The same thing will apply when her Projected Barrier is on an ally.
Tracer: Tracer is a hero known for her superior flanking abilities with her quick movements and constant harassing. Luckily, Zarya's Particle Cannon works decently on Tracer as her short range beam and AOE splash damage from the charged shots are easier to hit Tracer than most other weapons in Overwatch. Tracer's Pulse Pistols are only mediocre at best, especially against tanks. Zarya's Particle Barriers will make it harder for Tracer to harass and flank Zarya. Zarya can also protect allies that are getting flanked by Tracer with Projected Barriers.
Tracer's ultimate Pulse Bomb is very deadly and is one of the hardest ultimates to counter, but Zarya's Particle Barrier is a great counter to it, as it will absorb all the damage and transfer it to her Particle Cannon to make it stronger.
Since Tracer is usually out harassing and flanking, she is usually in the clear of Graviton Surge. However if Tracer does get trapped in Zarya's Graviton Surge, she can just use Recall to escape out of it, or use two quick Blinks as well.
Overall, Tracer is better off avoiding Zarya and focus on killing other easier targets.
Roadhog: Zarya has fairly good counters to Roadhog's Chain Hook. If you get chained into Roadhog, you can use a Particle Barrier while backing up to escape. You also need to watch out if Roadhog Chain Hooks one of your allies, if he does, simply use a Projected Barrier on that ally to save em.
From afar, you can do a lot of damage to Roadhog with your explosive charge shots, and since Zarya has the smallest hitbox out of all the tanks, she will take the least amount of damage from Roadhog's Scrap Gun. But Roadhog will still be very deadly close up with his Scrap Gun if you cannot use a Particle Barrier to protect yourself.
Roadhog's ultimate Whole Hog can be countered by using Particle Barriers, and since Roadhog will be unable to stop shooting he will most likely still connect his scrap hits with you, which will only make your gun stronger. However, Whole Hog will still knock Zarya back while using a Particle Barrier.
Graviton Surge is very deadly to Roadhog as he is usually in the targetable area for it and has no means to escape or counter it.
Reaper: Reaper is similar to Tracer, where he can randomly appear out of no where and start attacking you. Up close and Reaper's shotguns are very deadly, even to Zarya. A Particle Barrier can protect yourself for a few seconds from him, but Reaper can easily return and fire at you when your barriers are on a cooldown. Reaper will tend to avoid you altogether as long as you stick with your team and they have your back, as Reaper works best when trying to pick off single targets. While playing, listen carefully for his shotgun sounds and when you hear or see a Reaper attacking one of your teammates, quickly throw a Projected Barrier on that ally to save em.
Reapers are usually in the clear of Zarya's Graviton Surge, since Reaper is usually not around his team most of the time. If Reaper does happen to get caught in a Graviton Surge, he can simply escape out of it with Wraith Form.
Reaper's ultimate Death Blossom can be deadly to Zarya if you cannot use a Particle Barrier to protect yourself from it, as Zarya's slow mobility can easily get you stuck in it.
Hanzo: Because Hanzo is a sniper that usually fires from a distance, it will be tough for Zarya to do damage to him with your short and medium ranged weapons. Particle Barriers will usually just force Hanzo to fire at different targets for the time being and it can be hard to predict to use a Particle Barrier against him due to the nature of his sniping abilities.
Hanzo can sometimes be in the targetable spot for Graviton Surge, although a lot of times he can climb walls and be in a different spot from the heart of his team and can be safe from Graviton Surge. If he does get trapped in a surge, there is nothing he can do to escape or counter it.
A Particle Barrier will block and absorb Hanzo's ultimate Dragonstrike, but keep in mind that a Particle Barrier will not fully protect you from a Dragonstrike, as Dragonstrike actually does a damage over time effect, in which it can take down your Particle Barrier and then quickly eat away at your actual hitpoints.
Zarya: Particle/Projected Barriers will block everything Ana has, including: Ana's Biotic Rifle, Sleep Darts, Biotic Grenades and a Nano Boosted ally (Ana's ultimate). But Particle Barriers only last for a very short period of time so Ana will still have plenty of opportunities to use her abilities against Zarya, but your barriers can shield a lot of Ana's attack attempts.
Zarya can also use a Projected Barrier on allies that use ultimates that are very prone to Ana's Sleep Darts, such as: Pharah's Barrage, McCree's Deadeye, Reaper's Deathblossom and Roadhog's Whole Hog.
A lot of times Ana is in a targetable spot for Graviton Surge, which can be very hard for Ana to avoid sometimes as Ana has no way to escape out of it. If Ana gets stuck in a Graviton Surge the best thing for her to do is to simply throw down a Biotic Grenade at her allies stuck in the surge and she should keep firing at them to heal them up in the surge. Ana should be careful not to waste her ultimate Nano Boost on one of her allies stuck in the surge as the incoming splash damage may take that ally out anyways, instead Ana can Nano Boost one of her allies that is already not in the surge to have that ally help deal with Zarya's incoming attackers effectively.
Zarya: Dealing with another Zarya comes down to who has the better reflexes with aiming and avoiding fire once the opposing Zarya uses her Particle Barriers.
Trapping an enemy Zarya in a Graviton Surge is very reasonable, but she can use a Particle Barrier to protect herself or protect an ally with a Projected Barrier from the surge. Another backup plan for surviving a Graviton Surge is by using your own Graviton Surge back at the enemy to trap them too, so both teams will be trapped and unable to escape from each other.
Overwatch Hero Introductions - Basics Guide
How the Mechanics Work in Overwatch
How Headshots Work In Overwatch
Overwatch Game Modes Overview
Overwatch Health Types & Hitpoint Basics
Overwatch Terms, Abbreviations, & Their Meanings
Easiest and Hardest Overwatch Heroes to Master
My Hotkey Bindings For Overwatch & Why I Use Them
Feel free to leave any type of comment, such as how you like the guide and if it helps you at all, or to report something that is inaccurate in the guide.