In this Genji hero guide, I’ll be going over how to start finding success playing Overwatch’s favorite ninja. Genji has been overshadowed by other DPS heroes recently, but can still be a deadly assassin in the right hands. With that said though, he does require a lot of practice to get value out of him.
In the current state of the game, Genji’s in kind of a tough spot. Other heroes like Doomfist and Reaper can get almost the same results as him, but for a lot less work. The introduction of Sigma has also caused some trouble for Genji players – especially considering Genji can’t deflect Accretion rock. On top of all of that, Genji’s damage can be easily healed and mitigated by healers such as Baptiste.
Okay, so I just gave you a lot of reasons not to play Genji, but I promise it comes from a good place. A hero like Doomfist can go off on his own, find a pick, and escape without too much help from his team. Genji, on the other hand, requires much more teamwork and communication to succeed. It should be clear that although Genji can carry games, he is not a solo carry hero.
When used well, Genji is a rewarding Overwatch hero to play and can be absolutely lethal in competitive games. I’m going to go over all the necessities into understanding his kit. I’ll be covering Genji’s role on his team, as well as his combos, positioning, matchups, and much more.
Let’s start with some combos that every Genji player should know.
Dash Reset // Ghost Dashing
A “dash reset” is simply when Genji’s dash cooldown resets after getting a kill or assist. When playing aggressively into the enemy team, dash resetting is a great way for Genji to keep the pressure going. You’ve probably seen the crazy montage videos of professional players and streamers doing this already.
It’s important to understand that Genji is not like Tracer or Doomfist, both of which have several escape options. With that in mind, my biggest tip is knowing your limit and consider using your reset to dash to safety. It’s very common for Genji players to feel like they’re suddenly untouchable after getting a kill, and instantly dash into the enemy lines without thinking twice.
Dash Shuriken Melee
This is the highest damage output that Genji can execute. It goes Dash + Right Click (while still dashing) + Melee. This combo has the potential to one-shot 200 health heroes, assuming you headshot with the shurikens. When looking for potential targets to quickly assassinate, this is the combo I opt for all the time.
Deflect canceling is less of a combo and more of a tip, but it’s good to know regardless.
We all know Deflect is a strong ability. It can create enormous plays, for example when Deflecting Zarya’s Graviton Surge or McCree’s High Noon. But nowadays, people are more or less used to the timing of Deflect, and most play around it lot better than before. There are even custom workshop modes that help players deal with Genji’s Deflect. Genji players should know how to cancel their Deflect in favor of dealing more damage.
There are two ways to cancel deflect. The first way is to simply wall climb. It is quick and effective.
The second way is to cancel Deflect with your dash. Which cancel you use will depend on the situation, but be mindful of where you plan on dashing if you opt for the second option.
Positioning with Genji could be a whole other Overwatch article in itself. I’ll cover some tips that I find are important to know.
1. Genji is the king of high ground
He can easily contest any high ground and should be actively doing so. Remember, that if there’s a Widow or Soldier raining damage from high ground, you have one of the strongest kits in the game to make them re-position.
Genji is also conveniently most effective when poking in and out of high ground positions. It will maximize his damage potential while also distracting your enemies. If you have ugly memories of games where a Genji was constantly throwing shurikens at you from different directions, you know what I’m talking about.
The damage isn’t significant enough to kill you but you also can’t let it keep happening. For many players, this creates a feeling of frustration. Be that frustration.
2. Wall climbing and double jumping
Remember that Genji has a lot of movement choices. When engaging and skirmishing with enemies, make sure to always be slippery. This is especially true when taking 1v1s with Overwatch heroes like Widowmaker and Hanzo.
Another thing to keep in mind is that Genji is good with vertical movement, provided there’s space. So be wary when taking on fights in tight corridors and low ceiling areas.
3. Be aware of your healers
“I need healing”. The infamous line of all Genji mains.
The problem usually isn’t with the healers, but with the Genji player. As mentioned, Genji doesn’t have the same escape options as other Overwatch assassins. Most of the time, Genjis who blame their healers usually took on a fight they weren’t supposed to.
The easiest solution for this is to be aware of where your team is, and to communicate with them in voice chat.
Role on team
Genji fills a few different roles on the team depending on the situation. Sometimes he’s better as a flanker, trying to find picks in the backline. Other times it’s better just to stay with your team and wait for opportunities they create for you.
Instead of thinking, “Oh I’ll try flanking the whole game today”, I like to make sure I’m doing at least one of the following.
1. Harassing from long-range
I like to build my ult this way, by hitting tanks from a safe distance. This is especially easier when going up against a Roadhog or D.VA. Divide your attention between targets, making sure to also to keep squishier targets like Widow worried and away from the high ground. Remember to be aware of your ammo, since at any time you might want to dash in and confirm a kill.
2. Bursting from short-range
Genji is fairly effective when fanning his shurikens from close range. Make sure to stay slippery through wall climbs and double jumps when you’re up close, while always trying to aim for headshots.
3. Combo bursting to try and confirm a kill
This is the most important aspect of Genji. You shouldn’t be mindlessly throwing your shurikens at the enemy. If you want to just spam damage, pick Junkrat or Bastion. Remember, we’re throwing shurikens to build ultimate and to look for picks. As Genji, always be aware of low health enemies and execute your combo when you feel confident.
4. Building your dragon blade
Building your blade fast can lead your team to an easy objective capture. You must spend time building your ultimate charge rather than throwing your shurikens into shields. This is especially true when running into shield heroes such as Reinhardt or Orisa.
Genji is a strong hero and was a staple pick during the early stages of competitive Overwatch. He still has the ability to win games, and do so with devastating displays of skill. Just remember the basics: always be aware of your surroundings, and have a clear plan when you commit to dashing onto a target.