At its absolute core, Overwatch is a team-oriented game, centered around working as one to push payloads, and defend objectives and attack points. Tanks are essential in achieving victory, aiding the team with their increased health and strong abilities. Reinhardt proves to be an excellent tank for both offense and defense, largely due to his shield and ultimate Earth Shatter ability.
Guiding your team to a victory as Reinhardt can be difficult, as, without coordination and communication, his abilities have the potential to become weakened. He works best alongside others; combining his tactics geared towards pushes with healers and DPS in tow will ensure a quick and easy capture or detick of the objective.
Who Is Reinhardt?
Reinhardt Wilhelm is a German ex-crusader and soldier who upholds knightly virtues, driven by honor and glory. In his youth, his desire to be seen as a hero and his overenthusiasm for battle caused his disobedience during the Omnic Crisis, with him rushing ahead into battle alone.
Balderich von Adler, his mentor, was forced to intervene in order to bring Reinhardt back to the crusader unit, in turn leading to Balderich’s death. This fight left Reinhardt as the only crusader left and is the reason for Reinhardt joining Overwatch, thanks to Balderich, a member of Overwatch, naming him as his successor.
Once Overwatch had suppressed the Omnic Crisis, the task force served as peacekeepers. Reinhardt ensured Overwatch remained on the right path, critical of any potential wrongdoings.
He served with them into his 50s prior to his retirement, which was believed by his comrade and close friend Torbjörn to be a forced retirement – however, Reinhardt had retired out of his own free will due to the increasing rumors of corruption that were beginning to surround Overwatch.
Regardless of his retirement, age, and Overwatch’s end, Reinhardt’s chivalry did not falter and he continued to fight in the name of honor and justice alongside his goddaughter, Brigitte, who is Torbjörn’s daughter.
Sometime later, scientist Winston sent out a message for Overwatch to be recalled, and given the rumors of before Reinhardt was reluctant to rejoin. He revisited where he had once fought as a crusader to be reminded of Balderich’s ultimate sacrifice, changing his mind and officially rejoining Overwatch after a successful win against Null Sector alongside them.
He is a huge personality amongst the Overwatch team and an iconic hero in the game, with relentless enthusiasm and a determination to always be moral. His years of soldier experience and accolades lend to Overwatch’s combat expertise, and he is a core member of the task force.
Why Pick Reinhardt?
Overwatch’s catalog of melee heroes is small, with Reinhardt being one of them. His Rocket Hammer serves as a unique way to play Overwatch and adds to the joy and fun of playing as him, alongside his huge shield that provides excellent defense while pushing the payload or preventing enemy team progression. He is not built for ranged combat, but his special abilities help massively in close combat.
Without much need for aim, Reinhardt is arguably one of the easier, if not the easiest, tanks to play. With a simple swing of his hammer able to deal extensive damage to any unfortunate nearby foe, he is especially great for console players as without the precision a keyboard and mouse provides, the hammer is an excellent alternative to D.Va’s fusion cannons or Sigma’s hyperspheres, both of which require decent aim.
Charge is one of the hardest Reinhardt abilities to master, offering a high-risk high reward aspect to the tank. When activated, Reinhardt’s ability to move is minimal, offering slight leaning to the left or right, meaning careful timing is essential to be sure that he is aiming for a close hero who will not have time to escape. This ability often causes players to fall off maps or end up against walls, so it is important to only use it when there is a clear path to do so.
The recharge time on this ability is 10 seconds, giving plenty of opportunities to utilize this attack several times within a match. Generally, it is best used when an enemy is a few meters away, when they are stunned or if you need to get someone away from a payload or point. It is extremely helpful when the match enters overtime with one or two enemies pushing the point, as this ability allows you to push them away and kill them, bringing overtime to an end.
Charge also deals an impressive 300 damage when pinning heroes against a wall, meaning it can one-shot all DPS and healers and cause tanks to scramble for a health pack. If no wall is found, it still causes a useful 50 damage.
This is Reinhardt’s key ability and crucial for defense. The size of it means all of the team is able to be defended against attacks and enemy fire, however, it does mean Reinhardt becomes reliant on his team as when activated he moves slowly and cannot use his hammer.
Barrier Field is able to absorb 1600 damage and regenerates at 200 health per second after being out of use for two seconds. It has a cooldown of five seconds upon being destroyed.
This ability is especially useful in helping to push the payload and defense against most ultimate abilities, with Genji’s Dragonblade, Mei’s Blizzard, Reinhardt’s Fire Strike, and Hanzo’s Dragonstrike all having the ability to pierce through the shield.
Because of its size, this ability is great for moving the team through an area without taking damage and is often used for pushing.
Reinhardt’s shield also only provides cover in front. For quick flanking heroes such as Tracer or Sombra, it’s important to always be wary of your surroundings, as they can very easily get behind you and deal damage as you try to defend your team.
Fire Strike is Reinhardt’s only ranged attack, and its 100 damage makes it ideal for use against stationary enemies such as Bastions, Torbjörns, and snipers, as well as being followed up by a swing attack against close-range enemies.
This projectile ability has a six-second cooldown, and so can be used multiple times during a push. It moves slowly and only in one direction, making it better to use against enemies who are only a few meters away and of low health. With it dealing more damage than the Rocket Hammer, it is a good idea to use it while engaging in one-to-one combat alongside the melee attack.
Fire Strike also does not necessarily need to be used solely for attacks. Due to the speed it gives the slow-moving tank and the short cooldown, it works perfectly for getting to the fight quicker upon respawning – especially helpful when the match is ending or in overtime.
Steadfast is a passive ability that provides Reinhardt with resistance to knockback effects, reducing it by 50%. This makes it harder for the enemy team to push Reinhardt away from close fights or the point, aiding in melee use due to it becoming harder for the enemy to get away.
This ability is only useful against push rather than pull attacks, for example, Roadhog’s Chain Hook will still grab Reinhardt, but his Whole Hog ultimate will push Reinhardt less than other teammates.
Reinhardt’s main weapon, Rocket Hammer is a mighty hammer able to deal 85 damage with each swing. As a large melee weapon, it is capable of damaging multiple enemies at once and of course does not need reloading, making Reinhardt able to deal huge amounts of damage to enemies in a short amount of time.
The Rocket Hammer also displaces enemies when used, in turn messing up their aim, which is further useful against Reinhardt’s large hitbox. It can be swung once per second, and holding the attack button will keep it in use, offering plenty of damage against near enemies.
Earthshatter is Reinhardt’s ultimate ability. While it only deals 50 damage, it stuns enemies in front of him for 2.5 seconds, meaning that being used alongside other ultimates or during a team attack it can hugely affect the game’s outcome.
This ability cancels others’ ultimate abilities due to it being a stun attack, and enemies will be completely incapable of doing anything such as heal, move, or fight back. The only drawback of this ultimate is it will not pass through shields, such as Winston’s, Zarya’s, or Reinhardt’s, so it is important to keep this in mind lest the ability goes wasted.
It is best to use in open areas, otherwise, enemies who are in cover will be unaffected and can prevent many attacks from being done during the ultimate.
Playing as Reinhardt
Reinhardt has featured in countless meta team compositions as, with good team synergy, he truly is a force to be reckoned with.
The most crucial element of playing Reinhardt is ensuring you are always in coordination with your team. His abilities are powerful, but his large hitbox and limited shield health become huge drawbacks if he is fighting alone or charges ahead (which is perhaps what his hero short is trying to teach us).
His ultimate is especially needed alongside other ultimates or with an alive team, as the short 2.5 seconds means Reinhardt is unlikely to achieve more than a few kills alone.
His shield and large hitbox make him something of a damage sponge, but with teammates helping to defend their tank, he is a brutal killing machine when in enemy lines, making it important to consider both ranged and closer combat depending on what the team is doing.
When in ranged combat, utilize your projectile ability and focus on maintaining the shield for the team so they can deal lots of damage without needing to dip for health packs. If the team is engaging in ranged fights, do not use charge as your team will go unprotected and you will take massive damage, if not die, without aid.
Reinhardt is not the best choice for flanking heroes, but with help from healers and other tanks, he still proves to be a powerful tank.
Bastion is a devastatingly powerful hero, and hugely frustrating for the enemy team, particularly when paired with Reinhardt for payload attacks or point defending. Having Bastion on the payload behind a Reinhardt shield is difficult to fight against, and will help move the payload a fair amount before the stationary meta combination comes apart.
Bastion’s Sentry ability will have him unleashing mass amounts of bullets into the enemy team, and with little need for precise accuracy, can give your team a huge advantage – even more so when also paired with a Mercy.
Bastion is already one of the most annoying heroes to be up against, and with the aid of a Reinhardt shield, may have the team scrambling to change heroes in order to overcome this composition.
Similar to Bastion’s Sentry, Torbjörn’s turret can last a long while and pick enemies off when protected by Reinhardt. Reinhardt is a huge help in helping the ability deal huge damage before being destroyed, as on its own is quite weak – especially with abilities such as Genji’s Deflect ability in play.
The turret being an ability, as opposed to a hero as is the case for Bastion, further provides the team with Torbjörn’s melee help given the lack of need for him to constantly be repairing the turret.
D.Va and Reinhardt is a famed tank meta, with D.Va’s fast-moving playstyle in conjunction with Reinhardt’s slower, defensive style creating a perfect tank duo.
Combining their ults will bring much of the enemy team to their knees and when timed correctly will change fights in favor of your team.
D.Va’s aggression compared to Reinhardt’s defensive abilities also provides the perfect counter against the majority of potential enemy heroes, with D.Va able to pick off snipers and ranged heroes such as Pharah, while Reinhardt can focus on tanks and close range heroes. This meta works on all maps.
Known as a double shield meta, these two tanks are a great combination when playing offense. Reinhardt is able to easily bring the enemy’s health down in close range, and Sigma’s hyperspheres and Accretion ability can help to finish them off.
Combining Reinhardt’s extensive pushing power with Sigma’s damage-focused abilities will create near undefeatable pushes, giving your team huge help in capturing points.
One of the most impressive things about Overwatch is the carefully constructed lore, which gives characters relationships shown to us in the form of voice lines and shorts.
Reinhardt’s close friendship with Torbjörn, and his saving his life, resulted in Torbjörn bestowing the role of godfather to Reinhardt for his daughter, Brigitte. She serves as Reinhardt’s squire just as her father once did, maintaining his armor as they travel together. The Overwatch 2 trailer showed their shield abilities combining, highlighting how close the pair are.
Reinhardt and Torbjörn worked alongside each other for Overwatch and are extremely close friends. Reinhardt saved his life, and during their time at Overwatch, Torbjörn would help Reinhardt with his armor. When Reinhardt retired, it was Torbjörn who was discontent due to believing it to be a forced retirement for his beloved friend.
Question: Why pick Reinhardt as a shield over Orisa?
Answer: Orisa’s shield brings its own perks and is an equally great tank, but Reinhardt’s shield is larger and can clear space more easily for the team. Reinhardt is better for quick pushes in comparison to Orisa’s almost solely defensive style. It is generally dependent on what game mode and what team composition you are playing with, but Reinhardt will provide more mobility and team protection.
Question: Is Reinhardt an easy tank to play?
Answer: Reinhardt is perhaps one of the easiest tanks to play, but playing him as optimally as possible requires practice and knowledge of your team members’ abilities. Communication is essential, be it in the form of character voice lines or voice chat, to maintain team cohesion.
Be sure to utilize all of his abilities, keeping in mind the cooldowns and sticking by other players, and you will find Reinhardt to be one of the best tank options.
Question: Is Reinhardt a common pick for competitive?
Answer: Reinhardt has been featured in many metas, especially in double shields alongside Orisa and Sigma. His pushing capabilities mean he is often chosen for competitive as he provides huge help in capturing points, and furthermore, competitive players will generally utilize voice chat more, which is often key for Reinhardt players.
Reinhardt Overwatch Guide: Conclusion
An excellent tank for both offense and defense, Reinhardt always proves to be devastating against the enemy team. He serves as a great protector for teammates and has the ability to turn the match in your team’s favor when paired with other heroes and their abilities. He is strong and able to absorb huge amounts of damage, making pushes all the easier.
Play alongside your team, rather than charging in alone, just as his Honor and Glory short taught us.