Overwatch: The life of a Bastion main

Yes, I “main” Bastion. And, by that, I mean it’s my principal character (by a long way – 81 out of 102 hours played, at the time of writing this).

But a lot of players feel he’s overpowered and only used by “noobs”. The lack of Bastion players in competitive eSports is cited as a demonstration of this. Combine that with the often toxic environment of gaming and he can make passions run high.

Why I main Bastion

Now, let me be straight, I’m an average gamer in all senses of the word. I’m in a gaming group called “Old and Rubbish” for good reason. The only game, hand on heart, I’d say I’m really good at is Battlefield 4. But I like gaming and I like playing Overwatch. Bastion, to me, is a comfortable player – I know his pros and cons well and, I think, play him quite well. Some of my experience from the Battlefield franchise helps towards this too.

To me, Soldier: 76, is the true “noob” player character – easy to use, powerful and with no obvious cons or nemesis players.

[Soldier: 76] was conceived as a “gateway hero” to help players that are used to modern shooters ease into the game

BlizzCon, 2014

With Bastion, he has none of Soldier’s advantages – his regular immobility makes him a static target, and Tracer, Sombra and Genji, when played well, are regularly painful for Bastion players. And that is the main reason why you rarely see him being played competitively – not because he’s powerful or easy to use, but because he has obvious disadvantages.

Bastion has perhaps most powerful raw damage output in the game, not only dealing immensely high DPS but also sustaining it for three hundred bullets at a time between reloads.

Such damage capacity has to come with a downside, however, and for Bastion this is incredibly low mobility even when moving – with no abilities to achieve extra verticality and a slow movement speed – as well as the need to remain stationary to deal that immense damage from his minigun.

In short, Bastion is difficult to position and vulnerable once positioned, but if you can manage to overcome those two obstacles he can be one of the most devastating heroes in the game.


I mean, it could be worse for you – Bastion used to have a shield as well…

But, you know what, I think I play Bastion well – I’ve watched many Bastion videos on YouTube and I think I’m as good, if not better sometimes. 

Hints on Bastion play

  • Reload whenever the opportunity occurs. Bastion often dies during his slow reload, so make this as infrequent as possible.
  • Make sure you’re full healed at all times. As Bastion can repair himself, whenever you can pause, make sure you’re 100% healed.
  • Pull back from the front-line. Because of his immobility when acting as a sentry, I find staying away from the immediate action is beneficial. Fire through your ranks and take out targets at a distance. I will often be found protecting objectives from hidden locations.
  • Team up with Mercy. If you can. With a protected Mercy constantly healing you, the level of devastation you can create can be brutal.

Let’s talk about some of those disadvantages some more and how you can try and compensate for them…

  • Immobility when in sentry mode. Positioning is key. Place yourself in an unexpected position and partly hidden to make any attack difficult. Also, the old mantra of “shoot and relocate” is key here. As soon as you kill someone and they re-spawn, they’ll know just where you are. Reposition somewhere else – and, even better, go somewhere you can see your old position. Many times I’ve killed those re-spawning players as they turned up at my previous location, seeking a little revenge.
  • Tracer. Tracer’s constant movement can make it easier for her to fire at Bastion and constantly dodge out of the way. The key here is 2-fold – prediction of Tracer’s movement (most players move with a defined pattern) and use of self-repair.
  • Genji. His deflection of Bastion’s own bullets is his strength. The answer, and I’ll admit to struggling with this myself, is to burst a small round at him, making him deflect, but then rest and fire again. His deflection only occurs for a short time so you need to fire at him during this time as little as possible. Once that time has passed, he is vulnerable.
  • Sombra. She can hack Bastion, pulling him out of sentry mode (and not being able to return to it) and unable to repair. Stay on top of your repairs and, if this happens, make use of your recon gun – it’s actually quite powerful and can take Sombra down. Once the imminent danger is over, move out of the way until you can repair and sentry again.

That toxicity

I don’t know if there is another character in Overwatch as generally reviled as Bastion is. Hell, I struggle even to get endorsements.

Last night, I received a message (some of which is redacted) from a fellow player…

Bravo. Playing Bastion as a main

My assumption is that it was meant sarcastically 😉 And, as I say, that’s the clean part of the message.

And finally…

Yes, I main Bastion but I game for fun and I enjoy playing him. Get over it. And I literally have the t-shirt too (not pictured).

Now you can watch me shoot things in this year old video (I really need to make a more up-to-date one)…

Talk to me!

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