how to, how to play moira in overwatch: strategy, tips, and tricks

Image via Blizzard Entertainment

Moira O’Deorain is both an interesting lore figure in Overwatch and a fun hero to play. She’s a brilliant scientist who spent the bulk of her career in Overwatch’s secretive Blackwatch division, proving time and time again that she was willing to go to any length to make a breakthrough in her field. She now acts as both the Minister of Genetics in Oasis and a member of the villainous organization Talon.

Moira is a support hero who’s also capable of dishing out some serious damage. She can attack enemies from near or afar with her abilities, and she has a decent amount of movement potential to get her out of sticky situations. She’s a flexible hero who can assist her team in a variety of ways, making her a strong pick on many maps and in many situations.

Here’s how to play Moira in Overwatch.

Biotic Grasp

how to, how to play moira in overwatch: strategy, tips, and tricks

Image via Blizzard Entertainment

Moira is technically a support hero, but like her personality, her kit is based on duality. Her healing and damage potential go hand-in-hand—literally. Her Biotic Grasp primary fire produces a cone-shaped spray of biotic healing that will heal targets in front of her in a 15-meter range. Healing will over-penetrate, so she can heal multiple allies at once, at a clip of 70 health per second. After she stops the ability, the healing effect lingers, granting 35 health over two seconds to affected allies.

Moira can’t heal her allies forever with Biotic Grasp. The ability is constrained by an ammo meter that shows how much healing potential she has left. It will slowly regenerate over time, but the best way to “reload” her healing is to deal damage with Biotic Grasp’s secondary fire, which sends out a long-range beam that locks on to an enemy. As long as Moira remains close to the target and maintains line of sight, the beam will continue damaging the enemy. Damaging enemies with Biotic Grasp refills her ammo meter and heals her at a rate of 24 health per second. Biotic Grasp can’t pass through barriers, but it will deal damage to them.

Thanks to the beam’s auto-lock and her healing’s large area of effect, Moira is a fairly easy hero to pick up and play. Biotic Grasp is a great tool to use for either flanking or protecting against enemy flankers: it locks on to difficult-to-hit enemies like Genji and Tracer, both of whom are forced to get close to her to deal damage. Rather than having to use precision aim, you can throw out a beam and catch one of them as they zip by. It also helps that Biotic Grasp isn’t nullified by Genji’s Deflect, D.Va’s Defense Matrix, and Sigma’s Kinetic Grasp, making Moira something of a counter to those heroes.

Biotic Orb

how to, how to play moira in overwatch: strategy, tips, and tricks

Image via Blizzard Entertainment

One of Moira’s most powerful abilities is Biotic Orb. Like Biotic Grasp, this ability has two different forms that can be used to either heal or deal damage. When activated, Moira will hold up both of her hands, allowing you to choose whether you want to send out the healing orb or the offensive orb.

The damage form of Biotic Orb will sap enemies’ health at a rate of 50 damage per second or until 200 total damage has been done. The healing orb works the same way, but it heals at 65 per second or until 300 maximum health has been restored to its targets. (Note that the healing orb restores 300 total health to all nearby allies, not 300 health per ally; the damage orb works the same way with enemies.) Both orbs fly forward in the direction they’re cast, bounce off of walls, pierce barriers, and slow down while damaging enemies or healing allies. Only one can be cast at a time, and they last for seven seconds, or until their healing or damage is depleted.

Tossing a damage orb into a group of enemies is a solid way of adding chip damage to a teamfight, but it requires some forethought. Because only one Biotic Orb can be in play at a time and the two orbs share a cooldown, Moira players must make a quick judgment call on which orb would be most beneficial at the moment. While Moira has a lot of damage potential and can almost work as a pseudo-DPS, it’s important to remember that she’s also one of the team’s healers. She functions as an off-healer, but it’s still important for her to top up allies in between taking out enemies.

Biotic Orb’s damage form works great as a way to finish off enemies who are on the brink of death thanks to Moira’s Biotic Grasp or an ally’s attacks. Its healing form doesn’t replace her primary fire’s healing, but it’s a good spot treatment to perk up allies who are dueling with an enemy, especially when they’re far away from Moira. Both orbs work extremely well in closed spaces, like the small side rooms in King’s Row: they can simply bounce off of walls and deal damage to (or heal) heroes hanging out inside. The healing form of Biotic Orb also works great as a quick self-heal for Moira when there are no enemies around.


how to, how to play moira in overwatch: strategy, tips, and tricks

Image via Blizzard Entertainment

Fade is where Moira gets her mobility. When activated, Moira immediately jumps in the direction the player is moving. The ability gives her a 250 percent movement speed buff for its duration and allows her to disappear for a short time, making her invisible and invulnerable. Using Fade cleanses any slows and damage over time effects hampering Moira and allows her to escape out of trapping abilities like Zarya’s Graviton Surge and Sigma’s Gravitic Flux. (Note that this escape only applies in the first Overwatch; as of the Overwatch 2 betas, she can no longer exit trapping abilities with Fade.) Moira can’t use any other abilities while Fade is active.

Fade’s cooldown is only six seconds, which means it’s usually available and ready to use if Moira gets into a tough spot. While it’s tempting to use it to get closer to an enemy and chase them with Biotic Grasp, it’s generally better saved for getting out of trouble and repositioning away from an enemy. It’s faster and more instantaneous than Reaper’s Shadow Step, but it doesn’t travel quite as far. In most cases, it will put you far away enough to immediately turn around and use Biotic Grasp to heal yourself and damage the enemy you were running from.


how to, how to play moira in overwatch: strategy, tips, and tricks

Image via Blizzard Entertainment

Moira’s ultimate ability is Coalescence, a high-powered beam of energy that heals and deals damage simultaneously. It deals 70 damage per second to enemies and heals allies for 140 health per second. It also heals Moira for 50 health per second. Moira regenerates healing ammo three times faster while using the ability. Coalescence lasts for eight seconds or until Moira is stunned out of it, and while casting it, she moves 50 percent faster. Unlike Biotic Grasp, Coalescence passes through barriers to hit enemies and allies on the other side.

Coalescence charges fairly quickly as compared to other ultimate abilities, so it’s usually better to use it rather than trying to save it for that one magical moment. While it can be used to take out enemies, its much higher healing rate means that it should ideally be used as a healing tool for allies. It’s perfect when used in big, clustered teamfights or in concert with Zarya’s Graviton Surge: Moira can both damage enemies and keep allies alive with just one ability. While it’s not as instantly powerful as something like Zenyatta’s Transcendence, it’s still a versatile and useful ability that keeps enemies at bay.

Strengths and counters

how to, how to play moira in overwatch: strategy, tips, and tricks

Image via Blizzard Entertainment

As a hero with a beam-based primary fire, Moira is strong against many of the same legends that Symmetra is strong against. As previously mentioned, she’s a hard counter to Genji, who can’t deflect her beam, D.Va, whose Defense Matrix doesn’t absorb it, and Sigma, whose Kinetic Grasp can’t stop it. While all three of those abilities will still affect her Biotic Orb, her non-projectile primary fire is one of her biggest strengths. She lords over fast-moving flankers like Tracer and Genji, whom she can target easily with Biotic Grasp’s auto-lock.

Moira is also great against barrier tanks like Reinhardt, Orisa, and Winston. Both Biotic Orb and Coalescence pierce through barriers, allowing her to hit enemies who may be huddled behind them. Moira can easily flank behind barriers with Fade and unleash mayhem on a closely-packed team, especially if her team also has a main healer like Mercy or Lucio who can keep them alive while she works her biotic magic.

On the flip side, Moira has a handful of counters. D.Va, Sigma, and Genji can work against her by destroying or deflecting her Biotic Orb, which will nullify all of its effects. Ana’s Biotic Grenade will stop Moira from healing herself and any allies it hits; it’s a counter to most other healers. Ana also has the advantage of range on Moira, as do Cassidy, Widowmaker, Ashe, and other precision-shot heroes. Moira struggles at long ranges since her Biotic Grasp’s range is far, but not that far.

Perhaps Moira’s biggest counter is heroes who take to the air. Pharah and Echo are both capable of destroying Moira before she can even reach them. Biotic Grasp usually won’t tether that far into the air, and Biotic Orb is useless when shot directly into the sky. If your team is being destroyed by a Pharah or an Echo, it’s usually best to switch to a hero like Ana who can deal with sky-high enemies.

Life is all about give and take, and so is Moira. Find a balance between giving health to your teammates and taking it from enemies, and you’ll be fine. Just as the devious scientist was a powerful force in the first Overwatch, so she will likely be in Overwatch 2. Take the time to learn her before jumping into the sequel so you can rain life and death over the battlefield.


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