So Explodey! (In-depth Junkrat Guide) and recently updated since March 8th! by Cats

So Explodey! (In-depth Junkrat Guide) and recently updated since March 8th!

By: Cats
Last Updated: Mar 8, 2018
6 Votes

Junkrat Abilities


Cat's In-Depth Guide to Junkrat Top

6/21 - moves up on the counters of Junkrat. Updated his description to explain why. also moves up on the counter list, relying only on your Steel Trap should not make him lower than he should be on the list. Updated his description to explain why.
6/22 - Ability visual update now that the icons work and are not blurry. Ability number crunching added under abilities.
6/24 - Update on complete guide, in-depth on game modes and how to use Junkrat's potential.
6/25 - Added counters for RIP-Tire under the Ability section.
7/19 - Map tricks added
7/21 - Adjusted counters to recent patch. Counter sheet removed entirely and added a custom section to explain counters within the guide.
3/8/18 - and are added properly to the counters and synegy. Graphics are redone. The guide is updated for a better read, and the more recent Junkrat changes have been included in his strategy. Map tricks for the new maps will come at a later time. Junkrat's ability crunching is also up to date now as well.


Hello everyone, I'm Cats and I was a top ~100 ranked Junkrat Player during pre-season 1. I'm the one trick pony, but that doesn't mean I don't understand other heroes or lack game knowledge. Junkrat is just the only hero that is appealing to me. I was heavy in the Starcraft 2 community for a few years, playing at a Plat/Diamond level on the solo ladder. I was a 2200 Affliction lock in WOTLK in 3s arena, and I fell deep into the League of Legends community pushing Plat 2 in solo queue. I have extreme knowledge of the pvp scene, and how teams are supposed to work. Here in Overwatch, I am striving to climb as Junkrat by having fun, but more importantly leaving my mark as North America's best Jrat player. I have a long road ahead of me, but it's worth the journey. In this guide, I want to go over the basics, tips, and tricks, to explain Junkrat for you before playing him in competitive play. I hope you enjoy this guide, and if you have any questions you can e-mail me at [email protected]. Back seat gaming will be ignored, but criticism is always welcome. Just remember, we are all welcome to our opinions. This is how I climbed with Junkrat, it may be different from you. Regardless, hopefully, you can enjoy.



Junkrat is a defensive character that specializes in dealing damage from a distance. His Lclick (frag launcher) is used to not directly hit his enemies but spray the damage around for insane AoE. As Junkrat, you are consistently launching your frag grenades in the air, to gain the distance you require to deal that damage from afar. However, there is a lot more to Junkrat than just spamming your left click. Because of Junkrat's substandard survivability, it makes him hard to stay with a team 100% of the time. Failing to stay behind, or out of harm's way will ensure you die immediately. Stay close or on the objective and spam your frags at a distance. When the enemy team zergs with a few of the opposition, you should be harass from another distance while your front line covers to soak. You will NOT survive, or less likely unless you can gain that distance. So if you can't tell by the excessive use of the word, the key is distance. Your main purpose is to harass the enemy team off the objective, so your team can claim or defend it.

While I did address you won't be able to stay with the team all the time, that means it is obviously situational. Don't wander too far away from your team, you being zerged and dying will risk them losing control of the point. Set up your E(steel trap) and wait for offensive heroes try to flank. A steel trap versus a squishy can ensure you will be able to slaughter them quickly. A steel trap should 100% always be down.

RIP-Tire is an amazing utility for a team, but on the downside, it's very easy to kill. You need to use this on the flank and don't run it just right down the middle. You have control of the tire, so make sure you use the mobility to your advantage. Zig-zag, jump it over boxes, run it off buildings, whatever you decide to do make sure you use it to help your team. Clear out a point, stop enemies from rushing the point, and take care of turrets and bastions set up to slaughter your team.

Escort/Attack & Capture

During Escort, you don't directly want to be with the payload, but clearing a path for your team to push it to its destination. To do so, you want to make sure that turrets, bastions, or any other defenses are cleared out to not harm your team. Junkrat's range gives him a major advantage when it comes to ripping apart Torbjorn turrets and Bastion defenses. Video Example: Clearing a path like this

Video Example Two:(Flanking, but in a much more dangerous situation. Thankfully Pharah ignored me.)

This goes hand in hand with not directly standing on the capture point, unless you have a team. You want to harass them off the point, so your front line can stand to soak for retaliation. Make sure you clear out turrets just like in escort, and help your team with your utility ultimate(RIP-Tire). Video Example: Observe here(full 4-minute gameplay).

Be careful for :

– She is making a huge appearance as a defensive hero rather than offensive, and with that, you have a bounty on your head. Stay clear of the enemy Pharah in flight, you won't last long enough make an impact for your team.

– Hanzo's hitbox is insane, let's all just put the cards on the table and acknowledge that. This makes for a huge threat. Take note of elevated heights where snipers would be, so you can pinpoint where to look out for. Have your friendly sniper/or teammate remove that problem.

– Behold, the goddess of defense. Symmetra will easily nuke you with her Sentry Turrets if you don't be cautious of small corridors, or doorways that could lead and seem like an easy victory.

note this is not all you should watch for, just high threats that put you and your team at risk.


Defense for Junkrat is where he shines, and where he is intended to be played. Many maps favor Junkrat, and with this, you can use that highlight to your advantage. You want to be spamming your frag launcher at that payload/zerg entry. Spreading your damage on top of the enemy, nuking their front line so your offensive can sweep up their back line with ease.

Be careful for:

– His mobility is insane, but that does not make him invincible. When he uses his ultimate, try and stay away. Don't even jinx it. It's possible to kill him during it, but it's likely at the cost of your life. Genji will try everything to get to your back line, where you will be, and with his Swift Strike, it's not hard to do.

– Reaper's Shadow Step makes him a danger to you and your friendly back line, while most Reapers will try and flank be ready to use a mine to launch yourself away. It's likely a Death Blossom will be incoming. Get as far away as possible from him.

– Same as Escort, she will be up in the air most of the time firing her rockets at your back line. If her direct rockets won't kill you, be sure to know her splash damage will. Once she has a build up for her ultimate, rocket barrage will be incoming.

note this is not all you should watch for, just high threats that put you and your team at risk.


Control is a nice game mode where you really can sit back and watch your enemies explode. Be it near or on the point, fire away at where the enemy tries to zerg and spray some nasty damage to their team. Note you want to keep both your traps down in a case for enemy flanks, like a McCree or a Tracer. How you spread your damage, while taking out threatening turrets/bastions is like this. Video Example

Be careful for :

– It's not a surprise to see Reaper on here again, and with his Death Blossom, he really knows how to clear a point. If you see a Reaper Wraith Forming in, signal your team to spread and get away from the incoming ultimate that could potentially lose you the game.

– Like you, the enemy Junkrat should and most likely will be trying to accomplish the same thing. Clearing your team out, so his team can take control. Watch out for Traps and Frags, and try to overwhelm him with your own frags pushing him off being dominant.

– Mei's Blizzard becomes game-changing, and with that, she can easily CC your team and keep you in place for her offensive to clean up. When you hear her ultimate being dropped, try not to be caught in the devastating effect. Otherwise, you will lose the point, or put your team behind.

note this is not all you should watch for, just high threats that put you and your team at risk.

Threats & Counters Top

Here I will explain my experiences with each individual hero. Please note that a lot of these counters are situational and vary on the circumstance you and your enemy are in. You will find yourself having hard times with some easier threats listed, and finding a an easier time with some high threats listed. It's just how the game works. I rank each threat section (easy, medium, high). I will be updating this frequently. Enjoy.

Low threat(nothing to worry about, play it cool it should be an easy win)

Positioning your frag launcher can wipe out a bastion in three to four bombs. It's highly recommended you clear out their bastion so your team can progress.

Very easy, two frag grenades and a mine, and she goes down without even understanding what happened.

Torbjorn is very easy, your frag launcher will be able to take out turrets quick. Keep the pressure on him, he will be forced to abandon his turret or die in the process.

A steel trap and one frag will destroy him. Watch out for his orb of discord, allow it to fall off first before showing yourself.

Fairly easy, his mobility is a pain, but a steel trap will keep him from getting too out of hand.

A Reinhardt is very easy, a steel trap will provide the utility you need to lay down some damage. His shield should be the savior for him, but if you kite him at a distance, his swings cannot touch you. He isn't an issue.

Symmetra herself isn't an issue, although she does do quite the damage. Your mines will be your best friend, clearing out turrets to help your team pass through safe.

With the only thing Ana has over you is her sleep dart, even with her biotic grenade you still have the burst to nuke her before she becomes an issue. Be wary of her sleep dart, and keep moving. Dodging it will be mandatory for a win against her. Failing to do so could easily result in the fighting going in her favor. She has potential to be a medium level threat if played properly.

Sombra isn't much of a threat, and there aren't many people who will play her properly enough for you to feel threatened. She does have the potential to be considered a medium level threat, but it's very rare for you to be against a Sombra who knows what she is doing. She can stealth in and hack you, disabling you from using your mines to get away, already burning you down behind you before you know what's happening. Her EMP is deadly, and with her buffs to her hacking, there isn't a threat she can't disable for her team to zerg. Be careful. Set down a trap, and play around it. If you do catch her before she catches you, or your backline, she will be useless since she relays on the element of surprise. She more than likely will use her translocator to retreat, but removing her pressure should be seen as a win in your book.

Medium threats(Skill match up, circumstances vary, situational)

High damage if she gets on you, but trapping her makes for a quick kill. A good tracer will know where a steel trap will be placed if she can pinpoint where your harass is coming from, so be warned. If you are in a enclosed room, she doesn't stand a chance. Though don't underestimate her damage.

76 has one of the highest damage in the game, and I don't recommend dueling it. A steel trap will be your friend, providing just enough damage for a single frag to blow him to bits. If he fails to step on your trap, then you better pray you land some direct grenades. Otherwise, his damage will eat you alive.

Mei to me has always been one of those heroes I hated. Many players will disagree and say she is easy to deal with, but that is only if you have the element of surprise. If a good Mei keeps on you, there is no getting away. Kiting her is easy, concussive mine her away and spray your frag launcher. Be warned, if she catches you without your escape, you are more than likely dead.

It really just depends, I never have issues with other junkrats. If you can catch them with one frag and a concussion mine, they will drop. Be warned for their total mayhem passive. is not only a tank, but can dish out some wicked damage if you are not careful. She should be easy to take down with a bit of kiting and some careful use of concussion mines and steel traps.

You have an advantage here, but don't underestimate his range. Keep your distance at all cost, and move around in an unpredictable pattern. A headshot is all it takes and it will cost you your life.

A good Reaper will shadow step behind the enemy team just to spray the back line. Which is exactly where Junkrat will be. Two shots from his hellfire shotguns and it's over. With Reaper's survivability, it makes it very hard to win that duel. On top of that, even if you do catch him in your Steel Trap, he can Wraith Form to mitigate all your damage until the trap releases him. However, if you can manage to keep your distance, you will be fine. All in all, it depends on who has their cooldowns, and who doesn't.

She is a bit more flexible to deal with than Hanzo, but she is deadly nonetheless. I recommend having your sniper take care of the issue before you progress. However, it isn't hard to catch a Widowmaker off-guard. I recommend flanking around while she is focused on trying to eliminate your friendly Lucio or Mercy with a headshot. Two grenades and a mine will remove that threat for your team to push

By far my favorite tank in the game, with her utility she is a force to reckon with. She has a low cooldown on her protective barrier, will be will nullify your damage upfront. Unless there is massive damage from you and your team spraying into that barrier, she can easily throw another one back up before or just as it breaks. She also has her fortify, which can allow her to take a few hits for her squishes until she can deploy her barrier for security. She can be tough to kill, so a flank might be necessary to spray some damage behind her barrier and rain down havoc on the enemy team behind it. Be careful for her Halt! ability, that can pull you away from hiding corridors and leaving you vulnerable for her team to eliminate you. She can be killed once you stick onto her, but in certain situations, it might be difficult.

High threats (They have the advantage, be careful, approach with caution)

With favor the player a huge complaint in Overwatch, Hanzo can be a huge pain for Junkrat. His Sonic arrow can scope your out and pressure spawn you with just a headshot, or a scatter arrow at your feet or in a closed space and you're done for.

Winston is tanky, but not enough to withstand a steel trap and several frags. Cutting his mobility off is a must, otherwise letting him thresh you around will only get yourself killed. However, if he has his primal rage up, don't even try. Stand far away from his Tesla Cannon range, and bait out his Jump Pack before luring him into your steel trap.

Genji has high damage and enhanced mobility over you. Your best bet is to make use of your steel trap and bait out his deflect. Once his deflect is down, blow him up. Corridors are your friend, though a Swift Strike passed your trap and it's over for you. Fighting him in the open is not advised, all he will do is jump around until his Shuriken toss will kill you. *Corridors are a must to win a duel!*

Roadhog is annoying, I put him on a counter because of his kit is based around surviving. You can dish out damage, but he can heal it up and reset the fight. With the changes to his take a breather, he can move while healing now. That will be your only window of opportunity to try and eliminate him.

Zarya will soak and eat your damage to fuel her fire, and when she is out of your trap (assuming she stepped in it), you will pay that price to a fully charged death machine. Be careful playing with fire, it may get you killed.

The major counter to Junkrat, Pharah provides everything a Junkrat hates. Mobility, flight, and higher damage. My only advice is if you can and know you can shoot her down with her frag launcher, then you can take that risk. I don't advice it, pray your team knows how to deal with her.

Some players might disagree with Moira being listed as a high threat, and honestly, if you can catch her in a trap or when she is tethered to someone else, she is easy to kill. However, with the range of her biotic orb, she can decay your health rapidly and then keep up with you with her fade ability. One orb can chunk you enough for her to fade in, and finish you easily with her biotic grasp. Be careful for her, and stay as far away as possible to ensure you don't get chunked by her orb.


Please note that there is more than one place to set up at on any map, these are just a few tricks and tips that I use during my games.

Numbani – You want to make sure this corridor is your playground. Set up a steel trap, and wait for your opponents to poor in for the flank. Once your trap is triggered, spam your frag launcher and rain terror down with your splash damage. Be it a single enemy, or a group, this corridor never fails me when I am pushing my enemies back and forcing them to take my team head on.
Temple of Anubis – Temple is one of my favorite maps, because there is so many choke points you can claim. Your job on defense is to stop the enemy from claiming your point, so pushing them at a distance is a great way to secure a victory. Using your trap on various different small entries will be a key point to getting your team a victory. Below is just one of many places you can be.
Watchpoint : Gibraltar – Most Junkrat players like to camp up on top of the ship past the second point, but to me you are free food to any Pharah, Reaper, or sniper period. Remember, a key point is to claim a popular corridor on any map and force the enemy to think they can flank. On Watchpoint, you can see that past the first point is a fantastic place to set up.
Hanamura – Hanamura used to be a personal favorite, only because in lower level play this map is a free victory at the first point; depending on your composition. However, the room off to the right of the attackers is never a bad spot. You can place your trap in the doorway, or towards the right of the entry in the gate.
King's Row – King's Row is the most popular map Overwatch has to offer, and with that, comes a lot of players who know and understand the map's ins and outs. Here, in the obvious house off on the defender's side is a decent play to set up. Be warned that a lot of players will try and push you off to relieve that pressure. You are not quite safe here, but if you can get the motions down of spamming, fleeing, then spamming from another angle you will be fine. Switch it up a bit, don't stand in just one place in that area.
Route 66 – Despite all the footage on my I have, I will briefly describe the best place to set up in the beginning here. The corridor off to the right, from the defender's view, needs to be trapped for enemy genji and tracer that try and flank onto you and your back line. You can stay up on that cliff with your trap, or drop down behind your front line and spam your frags.
Volskaya Industries – This map is your domain, and use that to your advantage. The only time anyone can get in, unless they are the selected few such as flankers, they have to run it by you. You can keep your enemies at bay with your frag spam, and keep a trap in the door if any enemies try to get rid of you. You can put the trap towards the right in the gate, however that's up to you.
Hollywood – If hell were a place in this game, Hollywood would be it. I always hate going to Hollywood for some many reasons, and sudden death has been a huge reason for it. This corridor has your name written all over it, spam your frags through that room and get rid of anyone who tries to push through from this point.
Dorado – Dorado is a weird map, and it always leaves a sour taste. Placing your trap on the stairs is necessary because you will more than likely have flankers try and get rid of your back. You can stay in the room and deal with any flanks that come up your way, or keep your trap there and spray your damage from the opposing enemies trying to push the payload.

Because of the three stages on the control maps, I decided to just provide full raw footage of game-play. Please note that what I do in any video is situational, and take it with a grain of salt. Thank you.

Illios - video example

Lijiang Tower – I don't have any recent footage of Tower, but for now this will example

Nepal -video example


Total Mayhem -This is your passive, and when you are killed you drop frags at your feet that will explode shortly after.
[*] If you know you are a goner, try and position yourself in the middle of their team, or an enemy you are dueling. This is only if you cannot punish them from a distance.
Frag Launcher Lclick - Your bread and butter, always will be spamming your frags to spread your damage across the enemy team. They bounce around but also will detonate on a direct hit.
[*] Use for harass at a distance
[*] Shooting upward will help your frags gain distance to where you desire them to drop.
This is an example of harassing at a distance but close to the point. Scoring a double kill, and then sending RIP-Tire to finish the job.^- As you can see here, aiming upward will allow your frags to reach their destination.
Concussion Mine LShift - Your escape, and your best friend. Junkrat doesn't take damage from this bomb, so go to town with it. To trigger the bomb, you Rclick and any enemies in the area will be tossed flying. Also note that if Junkrat is by this bomb, he will as well be tossed as well.This ability is also great for the Steel Trap/Mine combo to kill offensive heroes easily.
[*] Standing on the back will send you backward, and on the tip of the front will send you forward. Directly in the middle will send you straight up to avoid deadly enemy projectiles.
[*] Using this against an enemy Mei, or tanks will give you the advantage to nuke them down or escape.(Kite)
[*] With the changes to his mine, you now have two charges of a concussion mine. Kiting, and escaping death have never been easier!
Video Example : Using the Concussion mine to score POTG and kill two tracers. Please enjoy this click and my friend's awesome laugh :D^- You can throw the mine just about anywhere, throwing it up and letting it drop on an enemy team will ensure some damage to their back line.
Steel Trap E - Your steel trap will ensnare enemies that walk on it, it not only does damage but buys you the time to react properly to what your trap caught.
[*] Use this when kiting, it's your friend
[*] Try to keep one down 100% of the time. Be it on defense when you are trying to guard flanks, or on offensive when you are guarding a walkway to where you are harassing. Always make sure you use it.
^- Placing a Steel trap in a tight corridor will give you the advantage on enemy flankers.
RIP-Tire Q - Your RIP-tire is launched from your location, sending the deadly rolling menace across the map. Jumping over obstacles, to find a blind spot and surprise its enemies. You can detonate it with your Rclick but it only has a 10-second duration. So be quick to roll your enemies to their death!
[*] RIP-Tire now will not kill you due to Junkrat's passive, Total Mayhem.
[*] Make sure you use it on the flank of your enemies, if an enemy kill it and it's very easy to do, it will deal no damage.
[*] Use RIP-Tire to clear out points or keep enemies slaughter away.

Some common counters to RIP-Tire to avoid :

- Sound Barrier is an unfortunate way to mitigate your RIP-Tire damage. Wait for Lucio's ultimate to fade, and then rush in to clean up.

- Transcendence will make sure you don't clean any kills up, and waste the tire completely. You might wanna track and make sure it's down before ripping your tire into the enemy team.

- Turning his Barrier Field will block damage from your ultimate, so try and get behind him before detonating it.

Video Example : clearing the point

Video example: Keeping the enemies off the point and at bay

Junkrat's Ability Crunching


- Her Infra-sight helps Junkrat find enemies that are clumped up together, and drive his RIP-Tire for a devastating massacre. Junkrat having sight of where the enemies are is a fantastic help.

- Hanzo's Sonic arrow is a fantastic utility to help Junkrat get sight like Widowmaker Hanzo can show Junkrat where to RIP his tire into clumped enemies. He can do it this more often than Widowmaker's Infra-Sight, so a Hanzo is an excellent hero to have with Junkrat.

- Barrier field is a great source of cover, allowing you to stand out in front and spam your frag launcher into the enemy backline that is zerging. A good Reinhardt should be communicating when his shield is low and when he needs to recharge it. Also, Earthshatter with A RIP-Tire or just spamming your frag launcher with a concussion mine will wipe a team easily.

- Zarya is probably my favorite combination with Junkrat. Not only does she give a shield that helps you survive when you are already squishy, but her Graviton Surge is by far a game changing ultimate. A timed Surge with a RIP-tire is 100% a force to reckon with. Video example: My friend playing Zarya with a beautiful ult, and a RIP-tire massacre

- Mei has overall the best crowd control this game has, and with it makes for a fantastic duo synergy when it comes to immobilizing targets for a RIP-Tire slaughter. Even just spamming your frag launcher into Mei's blizzard will score you some nice eliminations and quick clean up. Though be warned, Mei also can be a pain to team with, her wall can deny you a lot of harass.

- With her Caduceus Staff, Mercy can not only ensure Junkrat stays alive but ultimately, what's more beautiful is she can boost Junkrat's damage. Now your frag launcher deals MORE damage. She can boost the damage on everything but his Ultimate RIP-Tire and Passive (for obvious reasons).

Like Reinhardt, Orisa's protective barrier is a perfect way to stay safe along while causing mayhem. She provides the perfect defense that Junkrat needs to stay clear away from harm's way and if the Orisa can time her Halt! properly, you can do some pretty nasty combos.


Why only Junkrat?
I tried to play other heroes prior, I was big into Widowmaker, and Tracer before I settled with Junkrat. While I can still play Orisa and Genji now, I will always prefer Junkrat. It's my style of gameplay, so when I was introduced to playing Junkrat, I fell in love.

What is with the name Cats?
It was from a name prior I had, and I dropped the suffix of the name and remained as Cats. Though Cats or Copycats will do just fine.

Do you stream?
I do! Right now you can find me over at for now. I am trying to get my old channel name back, so keep in mind the name might change eventually.

Why don't you stand on the point with Junkrat?
While Objectives are important, my main purpose is harassing the enemies off the point so it's not contested. There, I can have my team move in to claim it. I will stand on it when there is not a zerg, but I play as a team player. Clearing the point, or path for the payload is my mandatory must.

You make dumb mistakes, and sometimes you are terrible. You're a Junkrat only player?
We all have bad days, and I am not a perfect player. I play for fun, so I may run into a team of six sometimes and get myself killed. I may do poor damage, or just be irrelevant overall. It's all depending on how the enemy team is, and if they are smart they will pressure me. The game is a team game, and if my team doesn't make quick of these backline assaults, I can only do so much. Junkrat can, not always, but can be team reliant. I won't always do good, that's impossible and I am very clearly not as good as I used to be.

Are you really in the top 100 players for Junkrat?
This is where a lot of people will differ, there are three known sites (to my knowledge) that use different ways to score your rank. I, for instance, used Overwatch Tracker, simple to use, while others depend more on Master Overwatch. Then there is All three sites will give you a different ladder, and different scores based on how they score. Until Blizzard releases their own ladders for the game, the real ranks will be a puzzled mess. It all depends on which site you use. *note that all three sites are irrelevant now, this was during pre-season 1*

Can we play? Are you on PC? PS4?
I don't mind playing, though I may be in a group, or busy. You can always add me for questions, or a quick play. Cats#11352, and I am only on PC. Any harassment will be removed, again, you have your opinions, and I have mine. The way I play Junkrat will be different from you.


Thank you so much for taking the time to read this guide, and I hope it helps you in the long run. You can find me on twitch as said above at thegloomking. You can also catch me on my new Twitter Toss me a follow and share me out please!

Any questions, concerns, or comments feel free to contact me with the e-mail above in the first section.

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