Sigma is arguably Overwatch’s most difficult hero to use and get value with. With his release imminent, we’ve created a guide to help you play him to his full potential and lead your team to victory.
Overwatch has four barrier tanks. Reinhardt, Winston, Orisa, and now Sigma. While the former three are what you would consider to be main tanks, there’s been a lot of debate on where the game’s newest hero fits in.
Until we see what teams in the Overwatch League or Contenders do with him, we not going to talk about who he works best with, but rather how you can get the most out of his abilities if you really want to play him in a competitive environment.
Sigma’s primary attack is a projectile volley that deals 60 damage upon impact for each sphere, capping out at 120 damage.
While these don’t headshot for double damage, when shot through Baptiste’s amplification matrix, these spheres will be able to kill any squishy character in the game or leave Reaper, Mei and Doomfist with a mere 10 HP.
Like any projectile, you need to predict your enemy’s movement to be effective and land your shots. However, unlike any other projectile in the game, hyperspheres will explode after they travel 20 meters.
Keeping the distance between you and your target at a range where your shots land and you can play safe is going to be key. Luckily, you don’t need to necessarily be aiming at your target to hit them.
Similar to Junkrat grenades, you can bank them off surfaces or walls to hit opponents who may be hiding behind a corner or a room.
Hitting enemies who are grouped together will also help when it comes to building your ultimate as the splash damage can be up to 35.
As you’ll soon learn, everything in Sigma’s kit comes down to math in some form. It’s actually quite ingenious by the developers because it bridges Sigma’s lore with his gameplay from a mental perspective.
Sigma’s second way of doing damage is his accretion ability in which he hurls a large boulder at a target knocking them down upon impact. The farther away you are from your opponent who you hit with the rock, the longer they will stay on the ground.
The least amount of time a large will stay grounded for is .5 seconds and the longest is 3. Accretion will do a maximum of 80 damage and up to 50 splash.
The good news about the maximum damage accretion does is that it can be comboed into hypersheres resulting in an instant 200 damage.
Accretion is going to be a key tool for you in a 1v1 duel situation. Without the ability online, Sigma can be relatively vulnerable, but with it active, your threat level rises.
It’s also important to note that accretion will not be blocked by D.va’s defense matrix. Given her large hit box, landing the ability on her can be deadly and gift your team a bunch of ultimate charge.
You can also use it to cancel out ultimates like Roadhog’s whole hog, McCree’s deadeye, and even (if you can somehow hit it) Sombra’s EMP.
Do you remember D.va’s old cool-down based defense matrix? Kinetic grasp is pretty much that, but with some slight variations.
Lasting two seconds, kinetic grasp can absorb enemy damage and turn 40% of it into shields, which max out at 400. Everything except for beam weapons can be absorbed, but there is a big difference between this and defense matrix. Kinetic grasp can block Roadhog’s hook.
What this means is that if timed correctly, you can completely negate a halt-hook combo by Orisa and Roadhog if you can get out in front of it.
Unlike defense matrix, kinetic grasp doesn’t extend outward so it’s more for personal gain rather than to help your team.
And while you can eat ultimates with kinetic grasp, it’s incredibly difficult to do so and you run the risk of putting the ability on a 13-second cool down if you miss time it.
As Freedo from Your Overwatch explains in this video (timestamp 4:38 for mobile users), using Sigma’s shield and alternating it with kinetic grasp can allow you to make space, box your opponents in.
Which leads, of course, to his barrier.
At 1,500 HP, Sigma’s barrier is more durable than a single Orisa or Winston barrier, but 500 HP less than Reinhardt’s. The big difference is how you can deploy it and retract it to make space for your team while continuing to lobby big chunks of damage.
The big mistake a lot of rookie Sigma players will likely make are treating Sigma’s barrier like a disposable leave-it-out shield like Orisa’s or Winston’s. That’s not how you’re going to be making the most use out of it.
Extending it forward to catch big chunks of damage while advancing into the enemy or taking an advantageous position is crucial to getting the most out of his barrier. The thing is, you have to be constantly retracting it.
Think of it like a game of speed chess and after every use of the barrier you’re hitting the clock. There is a rhythm to using Sigma that will take time to get used to, but once you do, you’ll realize that your damage negation is far higher than other tanks.
After it’s recalled for two seconds, the barrier will recharge at a rate of 175 HP per second.
This ultimate is by far one of the best in the game. It has damage in two instances. The initial cast in which any enemy lifted will take 50 damage and secondly, the drop will deal half of any enemy’s total HP.
When you use the ultimate, Sigma will be able to travel in the air for a short period of time. Use this to land shots onto targets you know you can kill. 200 HP or lower targets such as McCree should be priority.
Because you can be stunned or hacked out of this ultimate, knowing who you’re going to target with it as quickly as possible is a must. You shouldn’t be going with trying to catch an entire enemy team. Two of three targets can be enough assuming there is follow-up.
Additionally, and this is extremely key, if you’re in a final fight situation and need to survive, don’t be afraid to use gravitic flux defensively. If there’s a nano-blade Genji coming for your backline, solo ulting him to prevent the Genji from getting any value could end up winning you the game.
Play smart and you’ll get the most out of Sigma. He’s a difficult hero to master, but when you do, we’re sure there’s going to be some incredible plays you can make and carry your ranked games.