McCree Guide

Justice - An In-Depth McCree Guide


Justice Ain't Gonna Dispense Itself - STILL TO BE WORKED ON.



Well Howdy,

I'm Carlotso, 20 from the UK and formerly a TF2 pro.

This guide will include general information on McCree, his matchups, when or when not to play him, and tips to get the most out of the gun-slinging bounty hunter.





  • Peacekeeper deals 35-70 damage per shot dependent on range. Double damage on headshots.
  • Peacekeeper's alternate fire will empty the remainder of your round incredibly fast at the cost of accuracy.
  • Combat Roll instantly reloads Peacekeeper, as well as just being a general movement tool.
  • Flashbang stuns anyone caught in its small radius for a second. It can hit potentially hit multiple players.
  • DeadEye locks on to all targets in sight, and when fired rapidly shoots all who were targeted. Players fully targeted will be instantly killed. Target charge time varies depending on health of target.


  • Great and quick close range burst
  • Good medium range spam.
  • Long range poke.
  • Free reload in his kit for sustained fights.
  • Damage dealing Hero with CC. That's quite powerful.
  • Potentially the most deadliest ultimate in the game.
  • He's a goddamn gunslinger with a robot arm.


  • Dependent on good aim.
  • Dependent on positioning.
  • Struggles against Tanks
  • Has no way to retreat from a bad fight.
  • Potentially the easiest to counter ultimate in the game.
  • Has some hard counters.
  • Lacks long range damage.
  • Low mobility.



General Strategy


With McCree, you have two main roles to fill. Your most team oriented role is general damage output. Peacekeeper deals on average 50 damage a shot at medium to long range. With 6 shots per round, that's a noticeable hunk of damage if you keep up the spam. Never use your alternate fire, always stick to single shots when spamming. Characters like Reinhardt and Winston on the other hand make it difficult to deal sustained damage due to their barriers. Avoid shooting at them and instead aim for players that aren't being protected such as Pharah.


However, McCree's shining role is Dueling. This role revolves around making use of your incredible close range dominance. The idea is to push flanks with the goal of finding a lone enemy to fight. Whenever you are in range, use your Flashbang and follow with your Peacekeeper alternate fire immediately. This combo will melt any light to medium health hero that is in your way. In the case of anyone that does survive, follow up with your Combat Roll and alternate fire again. The alternate fire is pretty inaccurate, so you want to be as close as possible to your enemy for max damage. The key to it all is hitting the Flashbang. If it lands, then you should have a free kill on your hands. You want to be on flanks mostly. Tight angles and enclosed rooms are your friends for picking off mobile heroes like Tracer. McCree doesn't get more complicated than that. Whenever you see an opportunity, lead with Flashbang and empty your Peacekeeper. Otherwise, just keep putting out damage.


Offense and Defense function similarly for McCree. Pick off flankers to the side, put out damage at the front. Defense will be a bit easier as your low mobility is taken out of the equation. People will often just charge a flank into you and your awaiting Flashbang. You can abuse corners very effectively in this regard. Though defense takes the risk of more than you can handle charging into you.


Lastly; Deadeye. Deadeye is an incredibly scary ultimate. It has the potential to kill all 6 of the enemy team at once. Unfortunately, that will almost never happen. The ultimate is full of weaknesses that the enemy team can exploit. When you activate it, McCree will exclaim quite loudly that "It's High Noon." Aside from this being incredibly badass, this will let the enemy team know you just popped your Ult. The sound is also directional, so sneaking behind the enemy doesn't give any benefits in that regard.


You're a sitting duck for the duration of the Ult. Many things can deal with Deadeye that you need to be aware of. To list a few;

  • Widowmaker
  • Anyone behind you
  • Barriers
  • Genji
  • Being behind cover

You want to use Deadeye during an existing engagement, preferably from an advantageous position such as high ground, to the side or even behind them if you're ballsy enough. The only time you want to use your Ult from the front is for Area Denial, such as spawn camping when you're about to win the round, or in a combination with your team. E.g. Graviton Surge. Do not be greedy, two kills can be good enough to win a push. On the upside if you do get three kills, then congratulations, you just got play of the game. Expect to see "press Q, get PotG" in chat.



Hero Matchups


Offense - These are the guys you want to be engaging mostly.




Genji - Ironically your first matchup is your worst. One of McCree's hardest counters.


Deflect basically ruins everything you have going for you. He can deflect your Peacekeeper, your Flashbang and even your Ultimate. Successfully deflecting any of these at you will lead to your death. What's worse is that this is a fight you're forced to take due to his superior mobility, making it impossible for you to retreat without your team.

I recommend avoiding the use of your Alternate Fire and Flashbang. Use Combat Roll and left clicks to bait him into using Deflect. Once Deflect is down, treat him like any other opponent. Genji's will expect you to Flashbang the second you encounter, which is often when they will Deflect. Stay reserved when fighting Genji and play around his strength.


Genji's Shuriken deal significant damage at all ranges. Beware of his damage output and keep the spam on him if you're at medium range. At long range don't even try. You have damage falloff, he doesn't.

If you've popped Deadeye and Genji is just staring at you, you should know what his plan is. You're probably gonna die if you don't have a barrier in front of you, so either just go for it or wait for his Deflect to run out.





McCree - A good ol' fashioned showdown, this comes down to whoever is quicker on the draw.


At medium range, this is purely about who can hit more shots. You'll rarely kill one another at this range, but it will often decide who can move up. The true fight happens in close quarters and is determined by who lands their Flashbang. I recommend aggressive play to land the Flash, and following up with your Alternate Fire. Combat Roll will be key in getting the drop on em. All I can say is just try to be quicker.





Pharah - She may own the skies, but McCree has a pretty good reach for them.


Pharah's Hover Jets enable her to maintain air superiority, meaning you will almost never get up close to her. However this doesn't mean she has the advantage. Whilst in the air, Pharah is a pretty easy target for your Peacekeeper. Keep in mind she can shoot at you too, but you should be able to out-damage her if you hit your shots. If you see Pharah in the air, you can also pop Deadeye. The air is the worst place to be against Deadeye, as there's nowhere for her to be covered from it.

Whenever she uses Barrage, it's your job to kill her. Whilst she's still, you should be able to land easy headshots to quickly end her Barrage. All in all, I would say McCree is pretty effective against Pharah.





Reaper - You reap what you sow, and Reaper is no different.


Reaper excels at close range combat. But so do you. So who wins? Reaper's Hellfire Shotguns can rack up a tremendous amount of damage, and are able to outdamage you at close range if you're just blasting eachother. At max damage, all Reaper needs is two shots to wreck you. Fortunately, this is where Flashbang comes in. Should you land it, you should win the fight with little trouble. Reaper can dodge your Flashbang via his Wraith Form, however there is no threat to you unlike Deflect. Should you not hit the Flash, I recommend either keeping your distance and destroying him at mid range, or use your Alternate Fire followed immediately by a Melee. Remember Reaper's damage falls off very hard at further ranges so use that to your advantage.





Soldier: 76 - Think you're a powerhouse at mid range? Morrison would like a word with you.


Let's just get this out of the way. You can't beat him at mid-range. Not possible. Your damage at medium range simply isn't enough to get through his Biotic Field, especially if he's on the payload. His Heavy Pulse Rifle deals a lot of damage at that distance and is constant. One well aimed Helix Rocket is all it takes to send you packing. Instead, focus on your strength against him; your close range dominance. At close range, all he can do is hit you with a Helix Rocket, which won't be enough to kill you. Providing you hit your Flashbang, your Alternate Fire should tear through 76 without much issue. Don't be afraid to use Combat Roll to dodge the Helix Rocket however.





Tracer - Who knew the cavalry could be stopped by one grenade?


Tracer is an annoyance. No matter what hero you play, she is going to be an annoyance. If however she decides to be anything else but an annoyance, McCree is there to stop her dead in her tracks (quite literally). Tracer's strength is her mobility. Blink allows her to both participate and avoid every fight. To top it off, Rewind is a safety net for her to make bold moves and reset herself at no cost. However if she can't use these abilities, then what does she have? Essentially nothing.


Flashbang is the bane of a Tracer's existence. One Flash followed immediately by your Alternate Fire will make quick work of a Tracer. Make sure you do it immediately after however, or she will rewind and re-engage you. At that point it just comes down to who can aim better. She'll have a slight advantage due to her Blink, but it's still possible to end her in two-three shots thanks to her low health.

At medium range she's not a threat. You probably won't kill her, but any damage you do to her is helpful.


Defense - Most of these guys aren't in a position to be killed by you, so you won't fight em often.




Bastion - McCree is perfect at taking down mobile heroes. But immobile ones? Well...


McCree is to Bastion, the same as anyone in front of his Configuration: Sentry Mode; A target. If you're staring down Bastion whilst he's in Sentry Mode, you're gonna die. Simple as. He puts out an absurd amount of damage at long range that's impossible for you to do anything about. Even if he wasn't shooting at you, his Barrier protects him from frontal damage, meaning your Peacekeeper is useless. Your kit has absolutely no impact to Bastion whilst you are playing at his range. Avoid his line of sight at all costs.


If somehow you have managed to creep up on Bastion (which should only occur if you have dominated your flank sufficiently), or he is in Configuration: Recon Mode then put the hurt on him. No need to use your abilities at all really, just empty your Peacekeper into him with either of the firing modes. Whilst he is in Configuration: Tank Mode, beware of taking him on. His health will boost up to 400 and he'll deal 190 damage per cannon shot. It's your call if you want to fight him or not, but if you do then make sure to spam him a bit at range first then follow up with Flashbang and your Alternate Fire to finish him off.





Hanzo - "With every death comes rage. With rage, saltiness"


Hanzo is an interesting hero to fight as McCree. Often than not, it's a battle to see if McCree can close the gap to get to him whilst getting spammed by Storm Bow arrows. It's as you'd expect really. If you can close the gap then a Flashbang will end it. If you can't, well you'll be forced to have a mid range battle against someone who can tango with you quite effectively. His Storm Bow hurts quite a bit. Two fully charged arrows are enough to kill you, and they have a pretty generous hitbox. It is possible to trade spam with him, but know he has the advantage at medium range, so hit your shots.


Hanzo also presents a threat whilst you're on the flanks. Even when you're not aware of his presence, Scatter Arrow is all it takes for him to one shot you. Listen out for any arrows shot nearby. You can also see them visually for a brief time, though hard to spot. This usually indicates Sonic Arrow. If you believe he's fired one in your area, back off for a little while. It's not worth taking the risk and dying instantly. In summary, try to close the distance and end it in close range. Also don't use Deadeye if he has fired Dragonstrike in your area. You will look like a fool.





Junkrat - More deadly blowing himself up than his projectiles really.


Junkrat is actually quite a good hero for locking down a flank. With his Bear Trap and Frag Launcher, he can take down many a hero who wanders into his territory. Often than not, Junk will catch heroes such as Tracer or Genji in his traps due to their mobility. They move too quickly to know when an area is being trapped, and get punished as a result. However McCree's lack of mobility is actually his biggest strength against Junkrat. Take the time approaching the flank to search the doorways for his Bear Trap. Once you spot it, shoot it down and immediately Combat Roll into the room. Junkrat will usually be positioned close to his trap so as to instantly kill whoever has been caught. Slam him with a Flashbang and finish him off with your Peacekeeper.


The main threat you have to worry about oddly enough is his passive Total Mayhem. The only times I die to Junk as McCree is when I've killed him and walked over his corpse without thinking, which can occur often when you kill him at such a close range.


Fight him at medium range when you can as well. You should have a much easier time hitting him than he should you. Also try to shoot his Rip Tire whenever you see it. Could save yours or a teammates life.





Mei - "Our world is worth fighting for." Not with you in it Mei.


There's something about Mei which is just... infuriating. You have the tools to beat her, but half the time she wins and it leaves a bad taste in your mouth. Eugh. Bias aside, Mei is an effective close range fighter. Her Endothermic Blaster will slow your actions to a freeze over the course of 2.25 seconds of channeling at you. Whilst frozen, she'll shoot an Icicle at you (and maybe follow up with a melee) for the kill. Her entire playstyle revolves around the freeze so you have to play around that. Now I know what you're thinking "He's gonna say to Flashbang her and wreck her right? So predictable." WRONG. See? This hero isn't that braindead!


She has 250 Health. Whilst this on its own isn't the problem, it gives her a decent chance to survive your Flashbang > Peacekeeper combo. The real problem is that after surviving your combo, she'll pop her Ice Block and regenerate all of her missing health. If this happens, then you've pretty much lost unless you get an incredibly lucky Alternate Fire consisting of all headshots. For this reason, the key is to play smart with your Flashbang instead of being aggressive. My advice would be to whittle her down with regular shots, use combat roll to reset her freeze progress and reload, then use the Flashbang combo to guarantee the kill. I won't lie, this is quite a difficult fight and it can go either way. Just try to be smart with your abilities and make your shots count.

At medium range, she can't deal with you. Then again, she doesn't have to. She can just put up her Ice Wall to your dismay. Can't tell you how frustrating is when you have a perfect Deadeye, then all shots get blocked by a goddamn Ice Wall.





Torbjörn - This fight will rarely ever happen. But sure, why not?


In a straight up fight, you should win with little problem. His Alternate Fire on his Rivet Gun does a decent amount of damage at close range, but that's why you have Flashbang. When he's using Molten Core however, I would exercise restraint. He'll have Tank levels of health and a lot of damage to go with it.


In any case, it's his Turret which will primarily be the issue. Like Bastion, trying to take it head on is asking to be hurt. It doesn't have a shield, but it's got a lot of health and will guarantee shoot at you if it sees you. Much like Bastion however, if you can creep up on him or his turret, you should be able to take them out effectively with your Alternate Fire. Besides that, you shouldn't really be encountering eachother often.





Widowmaker - Things were going so well too.


No matter how awesome I think McCree is, Widowmaker exists. Hell, no matter what Hero I like, Widowmaker exists. The long range carry, Widow is a sniper, and that always spells destruction in any FPS game. It's no different in Overwatch, as Widow will kill anything in her line of sight as long as it's not covered by a Barrier. True, two weeks ago I would have told you that McCree would have no problem killing a Widow. However since McCree's damage fall off nerf, he can't touch Widow anymore. You will almost never be able to close the gap due to her Grappling Hook. If you have a Barrier in front of you, try and spam her. Avoid her at all costs otherwise, and do not under any circumstances use Deadeye in the open when you know she is still alive and sniping.


Tanks - Now these guys are annoying. A lot of health and are designed to withstand your short burst.




Reinhardt - This matchup is the most important in the game. It's a battle of JUSTICE.


Pretty awkward matchup to be honest. His Barrier will nullify pretty much all your damage and block your Flashbang. This and Winston's Barrier are going to be the reason you never have any good ultimates. He can use his Flame Strike to poke you fairly harshly. If it hits you, you'll most likely have to back off. The only chance you have at dealing with Reinhardt is to catch him when his Barrier is down, or to just walk straight past it, and sink two rounds of Alternate Fire into him with the use of Combat Roll and Flashbang. This is very risky as he has a lot of health, does great damage with his Rocket Hammer, and there's always the chance he could Charge you into the next century. If he's with his team, avoid this fight at all costs. You want to take 1v1's.







The subtitle above sums it up pretty nicely to be honest. Armed with a whopping 600 Health and a self heal for 300 every 8 seconds, Roadhog is the definition of a damage soaker. On the upside, he's one of the few tanks without a Barrier. Which means every shot you hit him with will deal damage. On the downside, he's pretty damn good at 1v1. His Scrap Gun will do good damage at close range, and its Alternate Fire is borderline scary at medium range. His Chain Hook has a surprisingly longer range than you'd expect, and will lead into his own combo of Chain Hook > Scrap Gun > Melee. He can even throw in an Alternate Fire at the start of the combo if done correctly. Suffice to say, fighting Roadhog is pretty dangerous. He doesn't necessarily counter you, but he is a hard target to take down. Use your entire kit on him (bar Deadeye) when fighting Roadhog. Never fight him when he's with his team.





D.Va - Play to win? Say that to the other 5 D.Va's on your team.


D.Va is weird. She isn't a Hero I have fully grasped yet. From what I can gather and have experienced so far, her strength is in disruption & re-positioning via her Mech: Boosters, and dueling enemies with her Fusion Cannons. This makes her similar to Winston in a way, except that she lacks a Barrier. Her team defense skill comes in the form of Defense Matrix, which will remove any projectiles shot at her for a few seconds. In certain scenarios this can be very advantageous for her, particularly against your Alternate fire should you come up in a duel against her. She'll aim to fight you once you have to reload, giving her the upper hand. Her Fusion Cannons do decent damage up close range and never have to be reloaded, plus she'll essentially have two lives. Whilst she's in her Pilot Mode, simply hit her with a Flashbang and wreck as you normally would. Her Light Pistol can do a surprising amount of damage if you let it, but if she's in Mech Mode, I'd avoid fighting up close and just spam her. Heroes like Reaper with continuous high burst are more suited to fight Tanks like her as opposed to McCree's short burst.





Winston - "Enjoying the exhibit?"


It's too fun to not say. Anyway, Winston is probably the easiest to kill out of the Tanks. Whilst sporting the same amount of health as the rest of the Tanks, Winston's playstyle makes him take a lot of damage. His lack of much Armor contributes as well. He relies on his health pool to slowly kill low health enemies with his Tesla Cannon. Fortunately for you, your Flashbang and his giant head go pretty well together. Unload your full kit into him (bar Deadeye) and he should be dead. When he's using Primal Rage however, I recommend not fighting him at all unless he has Orb of Discord on him.





Zarya - In the words of the anguished souls of the Overwatch Subreddit; "Fuck."


Just don't fight her. Only ever do it if you know for a fact that her Particle Barrier is down and you have Flashbang. Otherwise don't even try. She is one of the strongest Heroes in the game and is nearly impossible to beat if played correctly. Her Particle Barrier allows her to win any fight she wants to take, and trust me, she will. It forces you to make a choice between giving her more damage (whilst still dealing none because you have to get rid of the Barrier), or not giving her more damage but letting her deal free damage to you. If you do that, she will also regenerate her Shields. It's a lose lose situation. Try not to be grouped up too much just in case she uses Graviton Surge as well. Other than that, just wait for the nerf.


Supports - Easy pickings.




Lúcio - Why the hell are you doing this much damage?


Ok, I won't lie. Lúcio is a little scary. His mobility is off the charts, and he actually hurts quite a bit when he can aim his Sonic Amplifier. Fortunately his mobility is all about movement speed, unlike Tracer or Genji. This means he is a much easier target for Flashbang, but take caution nonetheless. You can still miss him if he's already Amped It Up in Speed Mode. Upon hitting the Flashbang, just do what you always do.


His ultimate, Sound Barrier, is a huge pain in ass for Deadeye. It essentially increases Deadeye's charge time by such a massive amount that it loses all practicality. Make sure to listen out for "Let's drop the beat!", as that will indicate an enemy Lúcio ult. "Oh, let's break it down!" will indicate a friendly Lúcio ult.





Mercy - Oh you just killed 5 people with Deadeye? "This might sting!"


If the tagline above seems to suggest any saltiness, let me be the first to assure you; you're right. Resurrect is broken. Acting easily as one of the most valuable ultimates in the game, Resurrect allows Mercy to revive everyone currently dead within a certain proximity to her. How does this affect you? Providing she doesn't get hit by it, she will undo the work of your Deadeye. The obvious answer is to focus her like mad, but unfortunately her positioning often doesn't allow this for McCree. She'll rarely be on flanks, and if she is then she'll never go through them on her own. Meaning the only possibility to kill her as at a range with your Peacekeeper. This will also rarely happen as well, as she'll often be with a Tank ready to protect her. Unfortunately, the best you can hope for is that one of your Harassers such as Tracer or Genji deals with her.


Beware fighting enemies she is pocketing with Caduceus Staff. She can outheal your damage at medium-long range, but you should tear through it at close range providing the target isn't Tanky. Unless she's flying in the air with Pharah (which makes her a very easy target), I would advise against trying to focus her unless you know you're going to die. Her Guardian Angel simply gives her too much mobility for you to kill her.


If you are ever in a 1v1 with her, she can actually do an okay amount of damage at range with her Caduceus Blaster. But as long as you hit your shots, you'll be fine. I shouldn't have to say what to do if she's ever at close range with you.





Symmetra - "Haha! A lone Symmetra! Now to ju-AOJPSGNPSAIODJNG"


The above is an accurate representation of your inner monologue when Symmetra successfully baits you into the room she's defending. Whilst you are defending, you'll almost never encounter her. Whilst you're attacking, you'll almost exclusively encounter her. Her Sentry Turret's are the definition of annoying. Multiple of these things can quickly burn down your health. What's worse is that your Peacekeeper is pretty poor at getting rid of them, what with it being a single shot precision weapon. When chasing Symmetra, I would advise taking it very slow. Peak corners slowly and watch for the Turrets. If Symmetra ever engages you directly, end her with your Flashbang > Alternate Fire combo. The Flashbang prevents her perfectly from increasing her damage with Photon Projector. Should she ever get a Teleporter up, you're probably one of the worst characters to try and get rid of it. Usually not your priority to deal with it, but help out if you think you can.


The primary reason you should be concerned about Symmetra is her Photon Shield. This will give every hero on her team 50 extra health which can be regenerated. To some heroes this means nothing. To McCree, this can be a huge deal. Take Mei for instance. I've already described above how difficult it is to fight her. If she has Photon Shield on her as well? No, you've lost. Photon Shield turns a lot of fights against McCree and can really slow down your aggression. Whilst not being a direct counter to McCree, Symmetra makes life harder for him by making her team more tanky against his short burst. There's not a whole lot of counterplay to this, you just have to decide whether 50 health can make the difference between you winning or not.





Zenyatta - Think I've got something snarky to say? Well I don't. Zen is cool. That's all.


Maybe I'm only saying this because I love dishing out damage and other people don't play him that much, but Zenyatta is neat. Acting as a Support/Offense hybrid, Zenyatta is an interesting hero. He's all about throwing out a buff/debuff, forgetting about it then just unloading his primary fire. His Orbs of Destruction don't do much on their own, but if you have Orb of Discord on you then you might want to be scared. Not including headshots, he'll be hitting you for nearly 70 damage per shot, and the dude has 20 orbs before he has to reload. It's actually pretty insane. One thing to note is that whilst you have Orb of Discord on you, Zenyatta is able to see your location until he either switches targets or dies. For this reason, Zen can be super annoying to play against. 


Zen can dish out damage, there's no question about that. However the guy has one flaw; he is the squishiest character in the game. With only 150 health and no movement abilities like Tracer, Zenyatta can die very easily. I would advise spamming at him with Peacekeeper always at mid-long range, as it will usually scare him off. Zen's will often keep spamming if nobody is reacting to them. 2/3rds of Zenyatta's health is actually Shields, so he'll often retreat to regenerate those. At close range, he will be your easiest kill unless he pops his ult.


His ultimate; Transcendence, allows him to be invulnerable and provide huge healing to all his nearby teammates. Fortunately for you, this does not protect them from one hit kills, which is precisely what Deadeye is all about. You won't kill Zen himself, but feel free to use Deadeye if you still think the opportunity is good.



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