From the dawn of man, many have asked a question that holds great meaning….Who is Jesse McCree and how do I use him in Overwatch? Well, today we answer that question once and for all with a little bit of lore and a lot of play styles to learn so let’s go!

       His Story

McCree’s story starts off in America with the Deadlock gang, a group of bandits who smuggled high-powered weapons and military hardware throughout the American south-west, until one day they were taken out by Overwatch. But due to his extreme marksman skills, he was given the choice of spending the rest of his life in jail or becoming a member of Overwatch’s covert mission squad, Blackwatch. From this point on McCree would change his entire outlook on life, seeing it as a world that he could help make better. McCree would work with Blackwatch for several years until leaving due to internal corruption within the organisation.


      So first off we are going to be going over McCree’s general stats starting with his gun, the Peacekeeper. So, the Peacekeeper is a single shot revolver that has a damage range of 20-70 per shot with a falloff range of about 20 to 45 meters. This means that McCree can be effective at both close and medium range, that added to an ammo capacity of 6 with a 1.5 second reload time come together to make the McCree we all know and love.

Now with his Fan-the-Hammer, on the other hand, we get some different stats from the regular single shot Peacekeeper; instead, we are given a rapid fire weapon that does about 22 to 45 damage per shot with a falloff range of 18 to 30 meters. so instead of a mid ranged single shot, you get a close combat rapid fire pistol, that, when combined with a flashbang, creates a deadly combo. Speaking of his flashbang, McCree’s first ability is just that, a splash projectile (like Ana’s) that does 25 damage to enemies and stuns those in the area. It can be thrown about a maximum of 5 meters with a 0.7-meter area of effect. This will then stun an enemy for 0.7 seconds, enough time for you to use your Fan-the-Hammer. McCree’s second ability is his combat roll, which allows you to roll up to 6 meters for 0.5 seconds. This can come in handy with large crowds that require a quick escape, though it’s nothing compared to Tracers blink.

It should also be noted that McCree is one of the slower heroes and can fall victim to faster heroes, like Tracer, or those with improved mobility, like Genji and Winston. Finally, we come to the ultimate known simply as Deadeye. Deadeye is an ultimate that requires you to basically become immobile, unless one can coordinate a speed boost, in order to lock onto enemies. A circle will appear above each enemy in your line of sight, the longer they stay in view the more full it becomes. Once full, you can release and take out up to an entire team, technically more. Each bullet will do around 170 points of damage for every second an enemy stays in sight. The charge up for deadeye is 1200 points, the number of points you get depends on how many kills you can get and how much damage you can do. So you should be able to get a few a match depending on your skill level. 



    Hero matchups (strong against)

Reaper– Reaper is a hero that can utilise only one thing, close quarters. This does not mix well with McCree, making it extremely easy to stun him and take him out, providing he can’t use his wraith form to escape.

Tracer– Tracer is another example of a great hero who can be taken out quickly by McCree. If hit with a single headshot, a Tracer will be left with 10 health. That, as well as a stun, means she will not be able to use her blink or recall abilities, most likely resulting in a kill for ol’ McCree.

Bastion– Bastion is a hero that can be countered by several heroes, McCree being one of them. If McCree can get up close or from behind, a flashbang can easily take out Bastion. Just make sure to have 6 shots ready to go before attacking.

Mei– Mei is a hero that has similar playstyles to McCree, due both of them being able to handle close combat or midrange combat with ease. But Mei doesn’t compare to McCree when matched against each other. McCree can easily stun her or dodge out of her endothermic blaster’s beam  and still have time to Fan-the-Hammer.

Genji– Genji may be a lightfooted hero that can take out entire teams if the right conditions are met, but McCree is a hero that usually poses some trouble for him. Though he can deflect the flashbang, many simply forget that if you throw it on the ground you still get the same effect. The nimbleness of Genji can cause lesser McCree’s issue as people fail to track him effectively.

Pharah– Pharah, with her slow, airborne movement can be easy pickings for a good McCree. Her low DPS and relatively poor survivability means McCree can pick her apart from a safe distance. Despite two hits being enough to deal with the cowboy, a discord orb atop Pharah will ensure McCree coming out on top.

Symmetra– She may not be played much, but when the room-of-doom creator faces against a McCree, Symmetra is dead. With his flashbangs able to instantly take out any turrets it may hit, she can be quickly nullified by a wise McCree; this alongside Symmetra’s low range, McCree can destroy her from afar with no worries.

    Hero matchups (weak against)

Reinhardt– Reinhardt is a wall of destruction when compared to McCree. Having a massive amount of health as well as a barrier shield that can block flashbangs and bullets, this changes if you can get a flash above or below his shield to stun the big guy. This and Reinhardt’s hammer only create a bad time for this cowboy. 

Widowmaker– Widowmaker is a bad mixture with McCree because of one word, “distance.’ McCree simply can’t fight an enemy like Widowmaker who generally stays far from the action, picking off enemies as she pleases. However, if you can manage to get up close with her then you have the upper hand. 

Soldier: 76– Soldier: 76 and McCree both have similar styles of fighting. Both can handle close combat and mid-ranged attacks pretty well. But Soldier 76’s ability to run for an infinite amount of time paired up with his helix rockets will usually spell the end for McCree

Zarya– Zarya is a hero that, when compared to McCree, is a big (heh) threat with Zarya’s barrier shield being one of the major factors. Both are meant for close quarters combat but Zarya allows herself to block flashbangs and Fan-the-Hammer with her shield, all while any mistake a McCree makes will allow Zarya to become stronger. 

Roadhog– Roadhog is a hero that relies heavily on being close to enemies, though McCree is good at close ranges against most heroes, Roadhog is not one of those heroes. Roadhog’s chain combined with his shrapnel gun usually result in McCree loosing. That combined with his large amount of health that can be regained after firefights, do not mix well with McCree for a good time.

D.Va– With her defence matrix receiving a major buff recently, D.Va is back on the battlefield. This buff means that McCrees flashbang can be negated with a fast acting defence matrix to swallow it and then easily kill the cowboy as he runs away, waiting for the cooldown to end.

    Why should you play as McCree?

    McCree is one of the most played heroes and a fan favourite . Though he may require good accuracy to land headshots, McCree can be easily be played at any skill level. McCree can also be used on most teams whether it be attack or defence. Though it should be noted that McCree is not a very fast hero and can be overpowered by fast heroes from time to time. 




Brady Spielman on Twitter
Brady Spielman
Brady Spielman is a writer/animation enthusiast from Pennsylvania, and one of Omnic Core's community spotlightists. He's a gamer with titles such as Bioshock Infinite. Persona 4 and Destiny in his library, and enough dog pictures to keep the team motivated even during the slowest of days. With several years of writing experience and a lifetime of gaming behind him, Brady writes about the community and his favorite southern cowboy.