An Ode To Zenyatta, The Actual Best Character In Overwatch


Certain esteemed journalists might tell you that the likes of Tracer or D.Va are the best characters in Overwatch, Blizzard’s crazy-fun shooter about wacky heroes and quasi-superheroic shenanigans. I am here to tell you that they are wrong.

I have been itching to bother everyone with hot Overwatch takes pretty much since the game came out and dominated my limited free time over the past few months. Now I have free reign to educate you on why the Overwatch hero I play the most is the best, and your favourite sucks.

He’s a Robot Monk

In Overwatch’s backstory, some bad stuff went down with artificial intelligence before the events of the game. Basically, a bunch of robots rebelled against their human masters, something called the Omnic Crisis. The Overwatch organisation was formed to defeat the robots — and they did — but in the wake of the war, a certain sect of them chose to form a religious order, promoting peace with the humans through faith.

Zenyatta is one such monk, who eventually left the order to travel the world and dispense his own brand of spiritual justice, which involves telekinetically flinging balls into peoples faces at deadly speeds. That’s way cooler than “Morally Ambiguous Architect” or “Shitty Cowboy” if you ask me.

He’s a Healer, So You Get to Feel Morally Superior to Everyone Else

The life of an Overwatch support character — the class of character designated as specialising in providing healing, utility and buffs for their teammates rather than specialising in offensive or defensive abilities — is certainly a thankless one. Zenyatta especially so, though, as he’s actually the hardest healer to get a grasp on in the game.

Unlike his fellow healers, Zenyatta’s healing orbs are a bit weak. They also require you to stay in line-of-sight with whoever they’re being used on, and given that Zenyatta is a squishy healer, that means leaving him in danger. And that means to be an effective healer you have to be on your game constantly, but hey — you get to feel better than those arseholes who always pick the damage-focused characters and nothing else, judging them as they spam the “I need healing because I did something dumb!” button.

He’s Also a Cold-Blooded Killer

Where Zenyatta also differs from his fellow healers is that he’s surprisingly lethal. One of his special abilities is a debuff that makes his target take extra damage, and combined with his deadly ranged attacks he can melt most of the other characters in Overwatch. As he’s slow and vulnerable most people don’t expect it, but Zenyatta can and will beat the living crap out of you if you don’t pay attention. It’s almost hilariously schizophrenic that a healing monk also floats around the battlefield killing people left, right and centre.

He Says the Darndest Things

Speaking of that, while he’s either healing people or smashing them into itty bitty bits of pulp, Zenyatta’s voice is excellently chill. He’s fairly monotone, and just waltzes around saying cute lines like how he dreamt he was a butterfly while murdering the living daylights out of people.

Even in moments of failure, he sounds adorable:

[vine id=”i2hrdiB6Hax”]

You just wanna pat his little robot head.

Goodness Gracious, Great Balls of Fire

Given that it’s a first-person shooter, everyone has a weapon in Overwatch. There’s bows, shurikens, shotguns, pistols and assault rifles, even wilder options like Mei’s cryo-beam or Reinhardt’s rocket-powered hammer. Zenyatta ignores that and throws metal balls with his mind. And then reloads them by clapping his hands in prayer.

Seriously, look at that gif. That’s gorgeous. Now imagine getting to see that all the time, instead of something boring like shotguns or SMGs. Balls are the ultimate video game weapon, apparently.

Sometimes He’s a Robot Egyptian Bird Monk

Ca-caw, ya jerks.

Feel free to disagree in the comments below, Overwatch fans. But you’ll be wrong.


  • I like the guy. We have a team member that mains Zenyatta and we absolutely demolish in comp because of his discords 🙂

  • I’ve been using him more recently, and after his buff, he’s pretty formidable in the right hands (read: not mine).

      • tracer is one of those heroes that the average joe needs to avoid… but in the hands of a skilled player… shes kicks butt.

        • No arguments there. All I’m saying is, you know that sensation when you rub a cheese grater up and down your face repeatedly for several hours? Thats what I get every time I hear her voice lines…

  • I like Zenyatta, but he requires work to get good. This means when you’re starting out, you get all the usual “support sucks” comments. Its almost appropriate that being a monk character, his skill set mastery requires a lot of patience. Main problem is that you have to balance heals and fights. This is where he suffers a bit compared to Lucio. Lucio you can just sit there and blast away safe in the knowledge that your latent healing is doing the job. But, I feel that once you get good, Zenyatta is actually way more effective that Lucio, due to the discord orbs.

    Oh, and btw, had a Zenyatta hit me with a discord orb a milisecond before I took a rocket to the face. I had to applaud him for timing. See, if you get good you get my admiration which is a great thing. 😛

  • I played him as main before the Buff. It was great, I was constantly underestimated.
    Since the buff alot more people play him.
    He did not even need to be buffed.

  • I find myself maining him a lot. I like to think I’m a pretty good Zenyatta. I never get play of the game, but I have managed to take out a tracer 1. vs. 1. And it was a pretty good tracer too.

  • Is my phone mental (Galaxy S7) or is the formatting all wangy for heaps of articles lately? Is there something I can do on my end? Have to drag the page left to right, cant zoom out either.

    • Is it redirecting you to the mobile site? That’s usually formatted fine for me. Having said that I rarely read kotaku on my phone so not sure if it’s changed at all.

      • Yeah it was! 90% off articles work under the mobile site rules so I never bothered requesting full site. Am now though. Txt is a lot smaller but it’ll do.

  • Zenyatta’s my main and he is ruthless. Still haven’t managed to get this pixel spray achievement but i have managed to get PotG quite a few times just from sheer brutality.

    He is the ultimate tank killer if fought at proper range. Also since the shield buff, he now has a chance to defeat offensive classes on 1v1 contests.

Show more comments

Comments are closed.

Log in to comment on this story!