Genji is a complex character to play in Overwatch 2. It takes some skill to play him well and a whole lot of skill to master him. Yet this is what makes him one of the more fun heroes to play. Those moments where the stars align and you make the play of the century make Genji a very addicting hero to play. Even if you don’t play Genji, you have to admit watching a skilled Genji main like Shadder2k or A_Seagull (back when he played Genji) is somewhat magical.
Now, I can’t promise you’ll be the next Shadder, but we’ve put together a guide on how to play Genji. Let’s go over the basics.
|Genji throws 3 shuriken in a straight line.
|L Click, Right Trigger
|Genji throws 3 shuriken in a wide spread.
|R Click, Left Trigger
|Genji uses his wakizashi to block and reflect projectiles.
|E, R1, RB
|See Deflect section
|Genji dashes in the direction he’s looking, dealing damage to those he dashes through. Eliminations reset the cooldown.
|Shift, L1, LB
|Genji pulls out his katana for 6 seconds, turning his primary fire into a melee swing.
To the untrained eye, Genji looks like he just throws shuriken everywhere, dashes around, and somehow gets kills. Honestly, that truly is how it looks. However, that’s what the Genji mains want you to think. As a future Genji main, you’ll have to fully understand everything about his kit and your enemies if you want to do well.
But let’s keep it simple for now and start with his passives.
Genji’s first passive is Cyber-Agility. This passive allows him to wall-climb and double jump. Both wall-climb and double jump are tied to your default jump key (Space for PC, X for PS5, and A for Xbox). To double jump, simply press the jump button twice. You can only double jump once while in the air, and it resets once you touch the ground.
To wall-climb, you need to be near a wall and hold the jump button. Genji will then start climbing the wall vertically for as long as you hold the jump button, or until one second has passed. Despite being called wall-climbing, you can basically climb up most surfaces, from walls to lampposts.
His second and last passive is one shared by all of the Damage Role Heroes, Role: Damage. While they need to work on the name, this passive gives Genji a 35% reload speed buff after any elimination. This means any kill or assist will activate this perk. Now you won’t be punished for reloading after a kill.
No cyber-ninja would be complete without shuriken. Genji’s main weapon are shuriken that he can throw in two different ways. His primary fire will throw three shuriken that travel in a straight line. There’s a slight delay between each shuriken when fired, so they each will have their own trajectory based on where you were aiming during the firing animation. You’ll typically use the primary fire for medium to long range targets.
His secondary fire, also called Fan of Blades, will throw three shuriken that fan out in three directions. Over long ranges, these shuriken have a wide spread. However, in close range, they have a smaller spread, allowing you to hit all three on your target. Additionally, Fan of Blades shoots just a bit faster than the primary fire.
For both modes of fire, each individual shuriken does 27 damage on a body shot and 54 damage on a headshot. So, if you hit all three shuriken, you can deal around 81–162 damage, depending on how many headshots you hit. This is important to always remember because of our next ability, Swift Strike.
Swift Strike is Genji’s best ability. Besides his ultimate, of course. Using Swift Strike, Genji dashes forward, slashing enemies in his path. Each enemy hit is dealt 50 damage. More importantly, this ability’s cooldown is reset whenever Genji gets a kill or an assist.
Activating the cooldown reset is the foundation of a good Genji player. It’s also why I said to be aware of how much damage you can do. If a 200-health enemy was hit by six body shot shuriken, then they have less than 50 health remaining and one Swift Strike will finish them off. After, you’ll have another Swift Strike to finish other enemies or dash away.
Being able to know when to use Swift Strike to secure kills and get resets will put you apart from your average Genji main in Overwatch. Or you could do what I do — guesstimate and hope for the best.
Deflect is great defensive ability. When used, Genji will pull out his wakizashi to block melee attacks and reflect any projectiles shot at him for 2 seconds. Any projectiles reflected will be shot back to where you are aiming. So be sure to aim at whatever target you want dead.
However, you’re not entirely invincible. Some attacks are considered beams, which will go straight through your Deflect and deal damage to you. Winston and other heroes have weapons that have beam ammunition. So, if you ever die during Deflect, it was probably because of them.
The best use of Deflect is stalling for time. You’re often going to misposition as Genji no matter how good you are at Overwatch. Either you went a little too crazy or you mistimed a Swift Strike. Whatever the case, all eyes are on you, and so are their guns. Using Deflect so you can get around a corner, get support from your team, or maybe get a kill, will save you time and time again.
Finally, we have Dragonblade, Genji’s ultimate. For 6 seconds, Genji pulls out his katana and his primary fire turns into a melee slash. Each slash deals 110 damage and its hitbox covers most of your screen. Most heroes have around 200 health, so just two slashes can kill most of the cast. Because of this, Dragonblade has the potential to be game changing.
What’s more, Genji gains a 30% move speed buff for the duration of Dragonblade. The activation also resets the cooldown of your Swift Strike. So, you can Swift Strike into Dragonblade, then Swift Strike again for a quick 100 damage, leaving enemies vulnerable to one swipe of the blade.
The biggest tip for Dragonblade is to never let your enemies guess when you’re going to use it. Always try to approach from the flank or from above. Many Genji mains will dash into the air, activate Dragonblade, then come hurtling down like an anime protagonist to destroy the enemy team.
Bread and Butter
As a new Genji main, the best combo to learn in Overwatch is pretty easy. It should turn into your go to for dealing burst damage or finishing off low health enemies when you can’t or don’t want to use Swift Strike.
This combo simply consists of the Fan of Blades secondary fire, then immediately meleeing afterwards. You’ll quickly deal 110 damage at minimum and 190 damage at maximum with headshots. If possible, go for a Swift Strike for extra damage or even a kill.
Swift Strike + Shuriken
Another simple Genji combo uses his shuriken and Swift Strike. Something to get used to doing is using your primary fire or secondary fire before dashing after a target. Incorporating this into your gameplay will ensure you get the kill, just in case your target gets healed.
To do this combo, throw some shuriken before you use Swift Strike. Be sure to aim for the head. Once thrown, immediately Swift Strike. When done correctly, you’ll fly past your shuriken, hit your target with Swift Strike, then your shuriken will hit the target straight after.
Something I noticed when practicing this combo was the difference between primary and secondary fire. Secondary fire was the best for lower health targets and was quicker to get out. Primary fire, on the other hand, was better for higher health/stationary targets.
I also noticed it was possible to cancel the primary fire animation with Swift Strike, which caused only one shuriken to come out. So, if you’re going to use primary fire, be sure to let the full animation play out for full damage.
With this Dragonblade combo, we can quickly get 270 damage out to one-shot any non-tank hero. Additionally, it uses an animation cancel to swing our sword faster. I recommend practicing this combo to increase the amount of impact you have with every Dragonblade.
This combo is fairly simple. Normally, Dragonblade plays the animation of swinging the blade, then has a small delay before we can swing again. However, if we swing and immediately Swift Strike, the animation delay is cancelled and we can get out the second swing faster.
Obviously, you won’t always be in the perfect position to use this combo. Maybe you have to use Swift Strike to close the gap. However, putting this mechanic into muscle memory will make your gameplay that much smoother.
Just to repeat, this combo consists of Slash -> Swift Strike -> Slash.
Synergy and Counters
Overwatch 2 is a game of knowing what works and what doesn’t. Sometimes playing Pharah into Cassidy and Widowmaker just isn’t going to go well. As a budding Genji main, you’ll go far knowing what teammates work best with you and what enemies will shut you down. Let’s start with the best team synergy for Genji in Overwatch 2, then look at what not to play him into.
Ana is one of the best supports to pair with Genji in Overwatch 2. Not only can she safely support Genji from afar, her ultimate, Nano Boost, is one of the best ultimate combos in the game. What the community has dubbed the Nanoblade is the combination of Nano Boost and Dragonblade. Nanoblade turns Genji into a blender with a 50% damage buff and 50% damage reduction.
With Nano, Dragonblade deals 165 damage in one swipe. Combined with a 75 damage Swift Strike, this is enough to one-shot most of the hero cast. With the Dragonblade combo from earlier, you can even kill people through Zenyatta’s Transcendence. As long as you know what you’re doing, you’ll easily kill a whole team by yourself. With a Zarya, this combo becomes even deadlier.
Zarya is a great tank to pair with Genji. Since Genji loves to dive the enemy to get kills, Zarya can support this playstyle with her Barriers. With a push of a button, you’ll be protected from getting slept, stunned, pushed back, or whatever might prevent you from getting that kill. In return, Zarya gains all the charge she could ever want. It’s a win-win.
Additionally, Zarya’s ultimate pairs well with Dragonblade. A decent Graviton Surge will make easy targets for Genji to clean up. Combine Graviton Surge with a Nanoblade and few teams will be able to survive.
Flank/All in Heroes
Lastly, Genji pairs well with any type of hero that does what he does — flank and dive enemies. Heroes like Winston, D.Va, Tracer, and even Kiriko can easily follow a Genji into the fray and play to each other’s strengths. With a buddy in the backline, it’ll be 10x easier to do your job. Teamwork makes the dream work!
Speaking of Winston, he’s also one of the top counters for Genji in Overwatch 2. The main reason is due to Winston’s gun, Tesla Cannon. Winston’s Tesla Cannon is considered a beam type weapon, so Winston will be able to damage you even through Deflect. However, that’s not the only reason why Winston is so good.
Winston’s shield that he places down can make your job much harder. Competent Winstons will put down a shield over their allies to block shuriken and prevent Swift Strike combos. Then, if Genji tries to run away, Winston can jump after him and run him down.
If you see a Winston on the enemy, I recommend to not play Genji. It won’t be a fun time.
For the same reasons, Zarya is also a great Genji counter. Like Winston, Zarya’s gun is considered a beam type weapon, so she’ll be able to damage you through Deflect. Add in her weapon charge, and she might even be able to kill you before you realize it.
Again, similar to Winston, her shields can prevent you from completing your combos on their teammates. If she times it right, she can shield her teammate right before your Swift Strike, leaving you kill-less and no where to go. Then she can just melt you down with the charge you just gave her.
Yet again we have another hero with a beam. However, this time it isn’t their weapon we have to worry about. Symmetra has turrets she can set out that shoot beams and slow enemies. While she can only have three out at a time, each turret deals 40 damage per second and slows by 15%. This may not seem like a lot, but getting targeted by three turrets at once often means death.
Competent Symmetras will place turrets at common flanking routes to prevent your entry and make your life miserable. As Genji, there is very little you can do other than dash away if you get caught out.
Last, we have one of the most annoying heroes in Overwatch 2, especially for a Genji. Sombra doesn’t have a beam weapon, but something much worse. Genji’s whole playstyle revolves around using abilities to get kills and move around. Sombra’s Hack ability can prevent Genji from using his abilities, including his Cyber-Agility passive.
Being hacked basically makes you a sitting duck. The only thing you can do while hacked is hope you can survive long enough for the hack to expire. Sombra can even hack you during Deflect to cancel it. If you find yourself getting targeted by a Sombra, your only choices are to play safer or switch heroes.
Practice Makes Perfect
Now let’s take our knowledge into a match. In Overwatch 2, there should be a few things going through your mind when playing Genji. Can I dive their backline? Do I have an angle to approach from? Did I leave the stove on? Does the enemy team know where I am? Is this a good time for a Dragonblade? Let’s go over these questions.
Something I see a lot of Genji players do is jump into the enemy team when they shouldn’t. Playing Genji is all about knowing when to play passive and when to play aggressive. So, when should you play aggressive?
To play aggressively and dive their backline, you need to a few things. First, you need to approach from an angle they won’t see you coming from. Whether it’s from above, below, behind, or from the side, find an opportunity to delete the enemy Ana. The perfect time is when the enemy team is focused on your team. Too many people tunnel vision during a fight. Use that to your advantage.
Don’t forget to use wall climbing and double jumping to find angles that other heroes can’t use.
On the other side of the Genji-shaped coin is playing passively. Few people, especially beginner Genji players, understand the value of playing passively in Overwatch 2.
Sometimes there will be moments where two teams will be in a stalemate, usually when one is trying to pass a choke point. At these moments, playing passively will benefit you more than trying to play aggressively.
Genji’s primary fire is extremely useful for spamming down chokes. You can safely sit at long range, building up your ultimate or even grabbing a kill. It also creates a constant danger zone that enemies have to avoid or take 3 shuriken to the face.
Remember you don’t need to be at 100% all the time. Sometimes you can just sit back and relax.
Genji has one of the most intimidating ultimates to use in Overwatch 2. There’s almost a huge pressure to perform well and kill three every time you press the button. A lot of players, myself included, tend to hold Dragonblade and never use it because of that pressure. So, when is the right time to use Dragonblade?
Typically, you want to use Dragonblade during teamfights. People are going to be grouped up and focused more on your team rather than you. Find a flank or dash into the air and activate Dragonblade, then come hurtling down upon them.
Don’t be afraid of “wasting” your ultimate. If you have Dragonblade ready and you see some supports unprotected, then go for it. The only wasted ultimate is a one that’s never used. The only time you should hold your ultimate is to wait for a teammate to build theirs. A Nanoblade or Graviton Surge combo will always be better than ulting alone.
Tips and Tricks
Animation Cancels. Swift Strike, melee, and wall climbing can all cancel animations. Deflect, reloading, and the ending animation for Dragonblade can all be animation cancelled.
Buy a Replica Katana. Having a replica katana is proven to increase your skills with Genji by 1000%.
Shorten Swift Strike Range. You can shorten the distance of Swift Strike by colliding with a solid object. The ground, a wall, or a random object can all be used to shorten the distance. This is pretty useful for when you don’t want to dash past your target.
Join the High Ground
That sums up our Overwatch 2 Genji guide, thanks for reading! Feel free to add some more tips for the budding Genji mains out there. Also, subscribe to our newsletter so you don’t miss anything!