Soldier 76 is famous for his iconic one-liners and somewhat grouchy demeanor. He is the quintessential “good guy” and will always do what he can to protect the innocent, regardless of whether he puts himself in harm’s way.
Soldier 76 has a reputation for being one of the easier characters to play in Overwatch. He is typically a go-to for first-time Overwatch players. I myself had fallen victim to that stereotype. That does not mean it is a bad thing; if you are new to Overwatch or gaming as a whole, Soldier 76 is a great pick!
Even though he may seem simple to play, becoming an expert on him is a difficult task. If someone is willing to put in the hours on mastering Soldier 76, they will be feared by their opponents.
Who Is Soldier 76?
Soldier 76, previously known as Jack Morrison, was born and raised in small-town Indiana. At the age of 18, he joined the military and went on to become an augmented soldier. Here, his overall abilities were chemically enhanced, similar to the “super-soldier serum” portrayed in the MCU.
He used his newfound strength and stamina to help in the fight against Talon, who were the enemy forces. The military is where he formed a friendship with Gabriel Reyes, who went on to be known as the character we love to hate, Reaper.
Morrison and Reyes eventually joined the Overwatch Taskforce put together by the United Nations. Morrison was named commander of Overwatch and served in this leadership role for 20 years. However, over time he and Reyes began to not see eye to eye on how the task force should be run. They had differing opinions and morals on where to guide the future of Overwatch.
Civil unrest began when terrorist attacks began, and many civilians began to point the finger against Overwatch themselves. They began to protest against Overwatch and the hero’s within it. This left Morrison to face a publicity nightmare as he attempted to defend the Overwatch legacy. Very similar to the plot of Captain America: Civil War.
Eventually, the Overwatch Headquarters was blown up in a terrorist attack. Both Morrison and Reyes were presumed dead. And that is where his life as James Morrison ended and his life as Soldier 76 began. He became a masked vigilante trying to avenge his presumed death and track down those who turned against Overwatch. Think, “Captain America goes rogue.”
His vigilantism took him all over the world and, at one point, landed him in Egypt. In Egypt, he was tracked down by Reaper, who he came to find out was his once old pal Gabriel Reyes. Reyes blamed the whole attack on Soldier 76 (Morrison) and shot him in the back.
Just as he was about to finish him off, another masked hero swooped in and saved him. This masked savior unveiled herself to be Anna, another original member of the Overwatch Taskforce. Anna then joined Soldier 76 to pick up where they left off and continue their age-old fight against Talon.
Why Should I Pick Soldier 76?
Soldier 76 is often referred to as one of the easier damage characters to play, which, to an extent, is true. He does not have any revolutionary abilities or hard-to-understand controls. So, I would consider him a more uncomplicated character to play from the first look.
Soldier 76 was actually the first character I played when I got into PC Gaming and downloaded Overwatch. By starting with a simpler, more straightforward character, I was really able to hone in on the basics. I was able to master movement as it was the first time I was playing on a keyboard, as well as aiming, tracking other characters, managing my health bar, etc.
Even though he is an “easier” character, it does not make him any less powerful. If a seasoned vet in the gaming space chose Soldier 76, it would be a sad day for the other team. I can attest to that as someone who has tried to counteract some really strong Soldier 76 players.
He is one of only six non-healer characters that can self-heal. His Tactical Visor Ult is considered OP amongst the Overwatch community since it does not demand any need to aim to put out immense damage.
Due to him being able to cater to gaming newbies and serious gamers, he is a good utility player. As I stated, if you are willing and able to put a lot of hours in on this character and master his abilities and tracking abilities, you will make the other team ALT F4.
Soldier 76’s Abilities
Heavy Pulse Rifle: This is his only weapon, as opposed to some of his DPS counterparts that can use an automatic gun coupled with a melee weapon or grenade-type weapon. It is a rapid-fire hit scan weapon, so it can be deadly when used correctly.
There are 30 rounds per clip with a 1.5-second reload. Holding down the attack button will keep it in use until the 30 rounds run out and reloading is necessary. Its best use is to deal out consistent damage and tear down the opposing team’s tank’s shields.
Sprint: A pretty straightforward ability; he goes faster. It has no cooldown and allows him to run 50% faster than his average jogging pace. Soldier 76 is also the only character that can sprint in the old-school fashion. Other characters can teleport or possess varying movement abilities, but only Soldier 76 can increase the speed he is running indefinitely throughout the game.
At first look, this ability may not seem especially beneficial, but in moments where I need to quickly enter an area, wrap around the corner, or bail out, the sprint has quite literally saved me more times than I can count.
Biotic Field: This is Soldier 76’s self-heal/proximity-heal ability. He is able to heal himself and any teammate within the proximity of the 5-meter radius of 40 health points per second. This ability lasts only 5 seconds; however, it has a quick cooldown of 15 seconds.
Helix Rockets: Soldier 76’s Helix Rockets can damage an opponent up to 120 HP if making a direct hit. This ability also has splash damage that can deal up to 80 HP on an opponent, as well as up to 40 HP of self-damage if not positioned correctly. This “splash range” zone goes up to 2 meters. The cooldown on his Helix Rocket’s ability is relatively quick at only 6 seconds.
Tactical Visor: This is Soldier 76’s Ult (ultimate ability); if powered up enough, you can use his tactical visor to “lock” on to members of the other team without having to aim and shoot as you normally would. All bullets will automatically lock on and hit opponents. His Ult lasts only 6 seconds but can be pretty deadly in this short amount of time.
Since it is so quick, timing and location are everything with this ability. I have often witnessed a Soldier 76 Ult in the wrong spot (sometimes even in the spawn, heartbreaking) and seen all of that potential power go to waste. Yes, there are times I have witnessed myself do this.
The best and most effective way to use this ult would be to carry out the element of surprise successfully. If you are able to sneak behind the opposing team and catch them off guard, you will be golden. At that point, their defenses will be down, and it will be much easier to lock on to multiple targets. My first “Play of the Game” for Overwatch was a Team Kill using Soldier 76’s Tactical Visor, so it is near and dear to my gamer heart.
How To Play As A Good Soldier 76
Soldier 76 is a highly sought-after damage character with the best hit scan in the game. With that being said, Overwatch falls under the category of being a MOBA game, meaning every team member has their role. While playing Soldier 76, your primary role should be to always keep in mind who you should prioritize.
Characters high on the priority list should be any opposing high damage enemies or healers. If you can pick off any healers or high damaging enemies, the other team will begin to crumble rapidly. The idea is to give your team the best possible advantage.
In terms of specific gameplay, location is the most important. Since Soldier 76 only has 200 health, being able to be behind barriers for shields or staying behind tanks on your team that have shields is crucial. Finding the high ground is also an excellent way to maintain good positioning.
Being able to play elusively and defensively is necessary to be a successful Soldier 76. It also is a good way to put pressure and damage on an opponent from differing locations; it is much harder to defend my team or payload if I am being shot at from multiple directions and varying levels.
You should always be shooting since he has a 30-round clip in his heavy pulse rifle. This is a higher amount of ammo than most of his damaged counterparts. He has the ability to put out more consistent damage than any other member of his team, so use that to your advantage! If you see a tank’s shield on the opposing team, start shooting at it to get them to lower it.
Most Effective Team Comps
Since Soldier 76’s health capacity falls on the lower end with 200HP, having a tank with some sort of shield or barrier to use as coverage is crucial. As I have said, it is all about your movement and location. If you can put out a continuous stream of damage while hiding behind Reinhardt’s or Orisa’s shield, you will be golden.
Anyone who can amplify his damage is also a significant plus. Because he is already such a high damage character, having a boost from any support players will make all the difference. Examples would be Mercy’s Damage Boost or Anna’s Boost.
As we know, he is single target damage. So, recruiting any AOE-style attack character like Junkrat’s explosive damage or Pharah’s rocket can help since it is another form of damage the opponent will have to try and counter. The goal is always to be as annoying as you possibly can. If you incorporate these ideas into your team comp, I promise you will be delightfully insufferable.
Soldier 76 is an OG Overwatch character, so his lore and relationships with other characters are extensive.
It was revealed in Overwatch’s short story “Bastet” in 2019 that Jack Morrison is a member of the LGBTQ+ community. Anna stumbles across an old photo of him with a man named Vincent, and he goes on to share the story. He and Vincent were at one time involved, but Vincent went on to marry a woman because he could not give him the life he deserved.
He does not come right out and say it was a romantic relationship but it is heavily implied. Jack describes it as a “touchy subject,” which is just about all the context we get as readers. Soldier 76 is the second Overwatch character confirmed to be gay, behind Tracer.
Anna and Reaper
Jack Morrison (Soldier 76), Anna, and Gabriel Reyes (Reaper) were all founding members of the original Overwatch Taskforce. So, to say they have a history would be an understatement. Contrary to popular belief, Reyes was A-Okay with Morrison being named leader, so this was not a point of contention as it was presumed to be.
All three of them fought beside one another for years until the creation of Blackwatch, led by Reyes, drove a wedge between them. As stated, he and Morrison had a difference of opinion on where to take Overwatch as a whole, ultimately leading to their friendship demise. They were all presumed dead following the explosion of the Overwatch Headquarters.
Years later their paths crossed again in Egypt. Reaper was attempting to kill Soldier 76 and was stopped only due to Anna’s intervening. Reaper ended up fleeing and Anna and Soldier 76 banded together to uncover the truth about what happened to Overwatch and find answers to questions they have had for years.
Question: Who counters Soldier 76 the best?
Answer: Tanks tend to be his kryptonite, given his low health at 200HP. If I ever find myself in a 1v1 situation with a high-powered tank enemy, I try to flee as quickly as possible, as it is a fight I cannot typically win. In addition, any character that has a burst weapon: Junkrat’s heavy damage, Roadhog’s chain hook, and Cassidy’s ult fire.
Question: Who does Soldier 76 counter the best?
Answer: Since he is good at sustained damage with hit scan capabilities, slow-moving characters are typically more accessible for him to track down. With Pharah, for example, she has lead time while being a flying character, and when she is in the air, she is relatively slow. Another tip would always be to try and aim for the opposing team’s tank’s shield if possible.
Since Soldier 76 has so much constant and sustained damage, he can destroy a character like Reinhardt’s shield faster than other DPS characters.
Question: What should we expect from Soldier 76 in Overwatch 2?
Answer: The only upgrade Soldier 76 has received from the original Overwatch is a boost of 10% in his movement speed; however, every other DPS character received this buff, so it kind of evens them all out on the same playing field. But, in the time I was able to play the beta, that 10% increase in sprint speed was very apparent. I will be looking forward to seeing if they choose to buff Soldier 76 anymore in the future and will be actively checking any patch notes.
In the Overwatch 2 Beta, we are also introduced to a new character, Sojourn. She is being heavily compared to Soldier 76 because she is a DPS hit-scan hero. It will be interesting to see how they stack up against one another as more of Overwatch 2 gets released.
Soldier 76 Overwatch Guide Conclusion
Soldier 76 is mainly known as one of the more vanilla characters in the Overwatch universe. But, if played to his strengths, he has the ability to carry his team while being a terror to his opponents.
He is a practical character to play if you are new to a MOBA-type game or a specific gaming console and is a character in which you can hone in on your aiming and movement skills to grow you as an overall gamer.