Roadhog is a great, big, beefy boy who just wants to hook people, huff gas and shoot people with metal garbage. The best friend and roommate to Junkrat, Roadhog is one of Overwatch’s most fun characters.
Roadhog is a short range, hero who picks off and eliminates squishy enemy targets. His goal is to body block for allies, self-sustain and pull enemy heroes into his team’s kill range, taking them out of the fight entirely.
The Scrap Gun is Roadhog’s primary and secondary fire. His primary shoots a small shotgun blast of shrapnel into nearby enemies. His secondary fire clumps the junk together in a ball, launching it forward only for it to explode a few feet away from Roadhog. This essentially allows Roadhog to have a longer range shotgun when used correctly.
It shouldn’t be shocking that Roadhog uses a shotgun. While a good Roadhog player should be standing with his team, looking for a hook, his Scrap Gun allows him to skirmish up close and help fend off dueling divers. When advancing, the close range fire shreds enemies, while the secondary fire can deal some nice damage while you wait for their Lucio to turn a corner.
Take a Breather is Roadhog’s first ability and is essentially just one, massive heal. He can’t fire while he does this, but Roadhog will smash a gas canister into his face, healing himself very quickly. This makes Roadhog a wall of health that can never reliably be taken down. This kind of self-sustain keeps Roadhog going even when he has no healers around him. But while you may have an easy way to heal yourself through Tracer’s or Soldier 76’s primary fire, don’t forget that you can still be bursted down with high damage abilities.
Chain Hook is Roadhog’s signature ability. When activated, he throws his hook forward in a straight line. If it hits an enemy hero, it’ll deal damage and pull them to Roadhog. They are then briefly stunned for a moment, allowing Roadhog and his allies to deal some serious damage. This is why you pick Roadhog. This is why this hero exists.
Roadhog is a pick hero, meaning that his main goal is to find, hook and eliminate the enemy threats. If you see a Pharah flying above you, pull her down and take her out. Mercy? Zenyatta? Tracer? The champions that pose a threat to your allies can be easily brought down by this beefy behemoth. Roadhog is not a tank in the traditional sense. He does not shield his allies from harm. However, he protects by being aggressive and taking out threats before they ever reach his allies.
Whole Hog is Roadhog’s ultimate. Like most of his abilities, it’s very simple and very powerful. Roadhog slams a bunch of junk into his scrap gun and begins cranking it out like a machine gun. The shot has a wide radius, deals damage and pushes back all enemy heroes hit. It’s great for adding DPS into a teamfight, but is especially powerful when used to keep engaging enemies away from your allies. Think of it like a big gust of wind that also shreds the health bars of your foes.
When To Pick Roadhog: Teammates and Match-ups
Roadhog is not always the most useful tank, but he can be used in most team comps. Picking Roadhog is less about who your team has and more about who the enemy picked up. If they don’t really have any good targets for Chain Hook, maybe leave Roadhog on the bench for this one.
That being said, a good Roadhog can win the game for his team. When thinking about your allies, you have two things to consider. The first is do you have allies that can help you deal burst damage very quickly. Reaper, Soldier 76 and Mei are great with Roadhog. The second consideration is do you have allies that need protection? If you have a secret agent comp focused on quick infiltration with Symmetra, Tracer and Genji diving your enemies, pulling targets away from them may end up being counter intuitive.
On the other hand, the secret agents are the exact kind of characters you want to pick Roadhog into if they’re on the other team. Being able to grab a diving Genji or pick out a dashing Tracer is very helpful to your team’s overall survivability. You can pull enemies away from their plans and really ruin the point of their comp.
Picking Roadhog into teams with lots of tanks and enemy shields can be pretty tough, however. Reinhardt’s barrier blocks Chain Hook, making it pretty worthless if all of his allies are stacked behind him. This isn’t to say that you should never take Roadhog against Reinhardt, simply that you have to be a bit more creative when doing so.
How to win with Roadhog
Winning with Roadhog is really simple. Were you able to creatively move around the map and hit your hook targets? No? Sorry, you lost because you wasted a pick on your team. Oh, you did hit your hooks? Congratulations, you won your team the game by making every fight a 6v5.
That sounds reductive but it really is true in so many ways. Roadhog is a high risk, high reward kind of tank. If you are better than the people you are playing against, you will smash with him every time; it won’t even be close. But if you fail to accomplish your goals, you are essentially worthless and would be far better off picking a different tank. Know what you and your enemies are capable of before going Whole Hog in a match.
Tips and tricks
- Be careful who you hook. Unaware Roadhogs will accidentally pull in a Reaper or a rampaging Winston. This is bad, and essentially just delivers the enemy unto your team. Don’t be that guy.
- Don’t save Take a Breather until you’re about to die. It has a pretty short cooldown considering how powerful it actually is. Instead, use it liberally and you’ll save a piggy life.
- Roadhog is a big fella but that doesn’t mean he can’t be sneaky. Take flanking routes or obscure ally ways to get into the back or sides of the enemy team. Then start pulling their backline away from them. This can cause some serious panic and force a few member’s attention to shift toward you, opening opportunities for your allies.
- Whole Hog isn’t necessarily easy to aim, you have to really focus the area you’re trying to hit. Make sure you don’t let go of your mouse or stick as soon as the ability starts; it’s not a fire and forget ability.