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|"Together we are strong."|
|Aleksandra Zaryanova (Александра Зарянова)|
|Krasnoyarsk Front, Russia|
|Russian Defense Forces|
Volskaya Industries (temporarily)
|Dolya Gavanski (English)
Alexia Lunel (French)
- 1 Overview
- 2 Abilities
- 3 Strategy
- 4 Story
- 5 Achievements
- 6 Trivia
- 7 Videos
- 8 Patch Notes History
- 9 References
- 10 External links
Deploying powerful personal barriers that convert incoming damage into energy for her massive Particle Cannon, Zarya is an invaluable asset on the front lines of any battle.
Zarya is a challenging Tank to play, though one of the most rewarding when played well. She gains Energy by absorbing damage with her barrier abilities, increasing her own damage substantially. At maximum Energy, she is a monstrous threat to the enemy team, tearing them apart in seconds with her Particle Cannon. Her Ultimate has some of the highest playmaking potential in the game, with the ability to trap entire teams in a single spot for her allies to fire upon. All of this comes with a severe weakness: she is the softest of the Tanks, with the lowest base Health out of them (save for Orisa), no movement abilities, and only an infrequent, short-duration barrier to protect her and her team. She is heavily reliant on her teammates to charge up her Energy, provide cover/healing when she is out of position, and coordinate with her ultimate.
Weapons & Abilities
- Energy (Passive): Zarya spawns with 0 Energy and can gain a maximum of 100 Energy. Energy is gained when her Particle Barrier or Projected Barrier absorb damage, at a rate of 1% energy for every 5 points of damage absorbed. For every 1 Energy Zarya has, the damage of her Particle Cannon is increased by 1%. Energy will slowly decay over time at 1.6% every second.
- Maintaining a high level of Energy is critical to Zarya's gameplay. At low Energy levels, Zarya isn't much of a threat. At high Energy levels, Zarya is a significant damage dealer that the enemy team ignores at their peril.
- Particle Cannon: Zarya's main weapon. The primary fire, when held down, shoots out a hitscan beam that deals continuous damage to the first enemy it hits. The secondary fire consumes more ammunition and shoots out a grenade-like ball of energy that detonates when it hits an enemy or solid surface, dealing damage in an area. This detonation will damage Zarya; the damage will be negated by Particle Barrier, but does not return any Energy.
- The primary fire is useful for taking down single targets, while the secondary fire is useful for damaging groups or hitting particularly evasive enemies like Tracer. Switch between the two depending on the situation.
- The primary fire pierces Genji's Deflect and D.Va's Defense Matrix. Contrary to some reports, it does not ignore enemy armor.
- Particle Barrier: When activated, Zarya will completely surround herself with a barrier for a brief period of time, absorbing a large amount of damage and making her immune to all negative effects (such as knockback or stun) while the barrier holds. Damage dealt to the Particle Barrier contributes to her Energy.
- Be cautious when activating Particle Barrier. It has a lengthy cooldown time and a short duration, leaving Zarya vulnerable during the time when it's down. Don't activate it unless your enemies are already firing at you.
- Particle Barrier is best used when you predict a sudden incoming burst of damage, such as running into a Reaper around a corner or when you see Junkrat's RIP-Tire getting within explosion range.
- Zarya will receive knockback from any attack that pierce barriers. For example, if Zarya has a barrier on herself and is hit by one of Pharah’s concussive blasts, she won’t be affected, because the barrier blocked the effect. However, if Winston uses his ultimate and starts to swing at Zarya, it will now knock her back even if a protective barrier is active, since melee attacks pierce barriers.
- Projected Barrier: When activated, Zarya grants the targeted ally a barrier that will completely surround them for a brief period of time, absorbing a large amount of damage and making them immune to all negative effects (such as knockback or stun) while the barrier holds. Damage dealt to the Particle Barrier contributes to Zarya's Energy. This ability autotargets the ally closest to Zarya's crosshairs.
- Projected Barrier behaves otherwise identically to Particle Barrier in terms of damage absorption and immunity to negative effects.
- Projected Barrier has 2-seconds faster cooldown than Particle Barrier, which means that you can use it more often than the other one.
- Much like Particle Barrier, the short duration of Projected Barrier means that you must choose an ideal time to use it. Predict when an ally is about to take a large amount of damage and use it to both keep them alive and give yourself Energy.
- Graviton Surge (Ultimate): Zarya's Ultimate ability. When activated, Zarya fires an energy projectile in an arc. When the projectile impacts a solid surface, it creates a temporary gravity well that continually pulls in all nearby enemies and deals damage over time to them. Movement abilities are disabled within the effect of Graviton Surge.
- Although Graviton Surge is not a devastating Ultimate on its own, it is easily the most powerful Ultimate in the game when coordinated with other Ultimates.
- The projectile from Graviton Surge is destroyed if it hits an enemy Zarya's barrier or D.Va's Defense Matrix, but if it hits Winston's or Reinhardt's barrier it will simply activate where struck. It is still not a good idea to fire it at those places, as they will lessen or negate your team's ability to combo with it. The projectile can also be deflected by Genji before it lands on a surface, effectively turning it against Zarya's team instead.
- While most movement abilities are disabled when heroes are caught within the gravity well, certain heroes are still able to escape using certain abilities, including Reaper with Wraith Form and Orisa with Fortify.
- When played poorly, Zarya contributes only average damage, mild absorption with her barriers, and her Ultimate. When played well, Zarya is able to cleave through teams with the damage provided by high Energy and can save both herself and a single teammate from otherwise certain death. Despite her power when played well, however, she's still somewhat lacking as a Tank when it comes to either blocking off a point (like Reinhardt) or disrupting the enemy team (like Winston). Consider pairing her up with either of them instead of going as your team's only Tank.
- A good way to consistently gain Energy is to engage your opponents before activating Particle Barrier. Your enemies will have less time to react and stop hitting your barrier if they're already firing at you. Approaching your enemies and activating Particle Barrier immediately will likely cause them to simply retreat until the barrier is down before returning to firing at you.
- Exploit the secondary fire of Particle Cannon by firing it at oncoming enemies and then ducking back in behind cover to avoid return fire. Despite being a Tank, Zarya can generally absorb less damage than the other Tanks, making cautious play important. You should ideally try to minimize the amount of time you're exposed to enemy fire while still threatening enemies who get too close with your presence.
- Look for opportunities where you can predictably absorb damage with Particle Barrier, such as by running into the grenades from Junkrat's Frag Launcher or the attacks from several of Symmetra's Sentry Turrets. This will help you to maintain a higher level of Energy in order to threaten your opponents more effectively.
- Both of Zarya's barriers act like a separate health pool, If used to block high damage ults from heroes like Tracer, D.va, or Junkrat it will totally negate the damage and likely instantly bring you to full charge, but only if it stays active at the time of the explosion. This can also be exploited to save squishier heroes from such ultimates, if they are close enough and you have the reaction time.
- Using a particle barrier while being frozen by Mei's Endothermic Blaster or Blizzard will free the player from the slowing effects of freezing. Use this right before a Mei completes a freeze on a player to surprise the Mei and force her to retreat or use her Cryo-Freeze. Additionally, this can be used to free players trapped in Mei's Blizzard, as it gives 2 seconds for Zarya or a shielded player to leave the radius of the ultimate un-slowed.
- A substantial portion of Zarya's Health is composed of shields. When you see yourself getting below 50% Health, duck into cover to give your shields time to regenerate. This will allow you to keep fighting far longer than staying out in the open constantly will.
- Projected Barrier is one of Zarya's strongest abilities. It gives a single ally a substantial increase in Health, allowing them to absorb more fire than normal, as well as giving you Energy. Allies like Reaper and Roadhog benefit immensely from Projected Barrier, especially when they are using channeled Ultimates, as it will stop them from being interrupted temporarily. An ally Reinhardt holding up a barrier can also be a good Projected Barrier target, as all damage that would be absorbed by his barrier is instead absorbed by Zarya's barrier. It can also save an ally like Mercy from being killed by enemy flankers if applied in time. Rather than throwing it out randomly, consider the enemy team's composition and position and decide whether throwing it on an ally for extra Energy is better than saving it in case of a flank by an enemy hero like Genji.
- Graviton Surge is one of the trickiest Ultimates in the game to use correctly, but is devastating when deployed at the right time. It is also one of the slowest-charging Ultimates of any hero, making proper use of it critical. In general, pay attention to the Assault heroes on your team and wait for their Ultimates to be up before deploying Graviton Surge. Try to fire the projectile so that it will land in the center of the enemy team in order to catch as many of them as possible. When combined with an Ultimate like Reaper's Death Blossom or Pharah's Barrage, you can easily wipe out entire enemy teams in a single blow. Using it when none of your allies have their Ultimates will usually result in only one or two kills at the most, or possibly even no kills if the enemy team has a Reinhardt blocking most of the damage.
Aleksandra Zaryanova is one of the world's strongest women, a celebrated athlete who sacrificed personal glory to protect her family, friends, and country in a time of war. As a soldier in the Russian Defense Forces, she is proud to use her strength to protect the ones she loves.
Aleksandra was born in a remote Siberian village that was on the front lines of the Omnic Crisis, which began some thirty years ago. Although Russian forces defeated the omnics and shut down their omnium, the region was devastated by the conflict. Only a child at the time, Aleksandra was surrounded by the post-war destruction, and as she grew older, she swore that she would gain the strength to help her people recover.
Focusing on weightlifting and bodybuilding, Aleksandra was identified by the national athletics program as a potential star. She trained extensively, moving up the ranks while representing her country, and was expected to shatter longstanding records in the upcoming world championships.
But on the eve of the tournament, an attack came from the long-dormant Siberian omnium, and her village was thrust into war once again. Aleksandra immediately withdrew from the competition and rushed home to enlist in the local defense forces, sacrificing the life of fame and fortune she might have had. The magazine Богатыри reported on her departure. Now a member of the Russian Defense Forces, Zarya was deployed to the Krasnoyarsk front in Siberia. Serving as a soldier, Zarya became a symbol to some, a stalwart fellow soldier to others. But for Zarya, it was a chance to use her great strength to protect the ones she loves.
Zarya spent Christmas fighting against the omnics alongside her fellow soldiers.
|“||Do you know why you are here?
I believe I do.
|~ Katya Volskaya to Zarya|
After a trio of Talon agents tried to assassinate Katya Volskaya of Volskaya Industries, Zarya was summoned to her office. After being asked whether she knew why she was here, Zarya responded that she believed she did. However, after being told about the nature of her mission, to track down Sombra (who was among the Talon agents who'd tried to assassinate Katya, Zarya realized that the assignment hadn't been what she'd expected. She told Katya that a spy would have been a better choice. Katya shrugged the suggestion off, and sent Zarya on her way. Over weeks of searching, she visited Lijiang Tower, Hanamura, and London. She reported to Katya that her leads had run dry. Katya sent Zarya to Numbani to meet a hacker.
Zarya was uncomfortable in Numbani, rankled at the sight of humans and omnics living together. Her mood wasn't improved when she discovered that her hacker contact was an omnic named Lynx Seventeen. She contacted Katya, asking if she knew the hacker was an omnic, but Katya explained that sometimes, one had to ally with undesirable allies in order to fight a common enemy. Lynx showed Zarya the data they had gathered on the "Sombra Collective." Zarya explained that the supposed collective was actually a single woman, and Lynx explained that given that Sombra's calling card was a sugar skull (similar to that of Los Muertos, and had implicated Guillermo Portero for corruption. Given all that, they headed for Dorado, Mexico, where they met with Portero himself. He wished them luck, but stated that LumériCo couldn't give them any aid.
Not giving up, Zarya and Lynx began knocking on all the doors of Dorado, asking hundreds of people per day as to whether they'd seen Sombra. None of the people had seen Sombra, or if they had, weren't admitting it—Zarya noticed that they saw Sombra as being akin to Stepan Razin; robbing from the rich on behalf of the poor. They achieved a breakthrough at the Panadería Las Nieblas bakery, where they met a girl named Alejandra. Playing on the girl's emotions, Zarya asked her if she'd seen Sombra, and that if she had, she'd be a "hero" to her. The ploy worked, and Alejandra took them to the warehouse Sombra was operating from. Lynx deactivated the structure's security system, and as they did so, they discussed Zarya's history with the omnics, and her negative sentiment towards them. Their bickering was ended as Sombra revealed her presence. The two engaged in a battle of bullets and words, which ended as Zarya incapacitated Sombra with a graviton surge.
Sombra demanded that Zarya let her go, or otherwise, the world would know Katya's secret, that she'd been receiving technology from omnics in order to fight against the Siberian omnium. Sombra also explained that she actually wanted Katya in power, as a 'friend' to help her peel back a global conspiracy she'd uncovered. Zarya was skeptical, but her hand was forced as Lynx collapsed—when them had hacked Sombra in Numbani, Sombra had hacked them right back, and now, the program was kicking in. Also, the warehouse would detonate in one minute's time. She decided to let Sombra go and rescued Lynx, escaping the blast with them. When they asked why she'd rescued them, Zarya stated that she didn't know, and that a few days ago, she might have killed them herself. She stated that she would head back to Russia to continue the fight against the Siberian omnics.
After parting ways with Lynx, she conversed with Katya again. Zarya asked as to why she hadn't confessed where she got her technology from, but Katya explained that her secret dealings with omnics had to remain secret for now. One day, Russia would understand, but that day wasn't here yet. Zarya agreed to keep her secret.
|Keep Zarya's Particle Cannon above 70 power for 60 seconds in Quick or Competitive play.|
|Capture 5 enemies in a single use of Zarya's Graviton Surge in Quick or Competitive play.|
- Zarja (заря) is a Russian word for "dawn".
- Zarya's particle cannon was ripped from the hull of an armored vehicle during battle, and is too heavy for most soldiers to carry. Her gloves conduct and amplify the energy flowing through it.
- Zarya's design emerged from player demand for a greater diversity of genders, body types, and ethnicities.
- Zarya's kit may have been partially inspired by Iris, a hero created for the original Prometheus pitch meeting.
- With her hairstyle, she bears resemblance to a Russian Blizzard employee, Tamara Bakhlycheva. It's unknown whether it was intentional or not.
- The 512 tattoo on her shoulder is apparently her weightlifting record; two of her sprays depict a 512kg set of weights. This is a higher record than any woman's set in the Olympics to date, though not the highest ever recorded (although under the current format it exceeds all present records).
- Zarya is the only character in the game whose melee animation differs if viewed in 1st person versus 3rd person.
- Zarya is a playable character in Heroes of the Storm, as a ranged Warrior class hero. Her abilities are almost completely preserved from Overwatch, apart from her second ult called 'Expulsion Zone' that deals damage and pushes enemy heroes away from an area.
- A Zarya-themed hoodie is available from JINX.
- A Zarya Funko Pop figure will go on sale in 2018.
- In an arm-wrestling match between Brigitte and Zarya, Zarya would win (according to Michael Chu).
Patch Notes History
For more information, see Patch Notes
July 27th, 2017
Hero Balance Change
- Graviton Surge
- Now disables mobility abilities on all affected targets
In the past, the abilities that allowed heroes to escape Zarya’s Graviton Surge felt fairly arbitrary. We’re cleaning this up and increasing Graviton Surge's overall power by rendering all movement abilities unusable when an enemy is trapped.
December 13th, 2016
Hero Balance Change
- Particle Barrier/Projected Barrier
- Attacks like Reinhardt's Fire Strike or Hanzo's Dragonstrike that deal damage to both the barrier and the hero within the barrier, no longer deal damage to the barrier twice
- Developer Comments
- This is a bug fix, but we think it's significant enough to warrant a separate note. We've had a long-standing bug that caused "piercing" damage to hit Zarya's barrier twice. Sometimes this benefited Zarya (for example, jumping in front of Reinhardt's Fire Strike was a good way to generate a large amount of energy quickly), and sometimes it really hurt her (Genji’s Dragonblade, for example, would cut through her shield in one swing, instead of two). This change isn’t intended to buff or a nerf to Zarya. We're simply trying get her abilities working as they should, and we’ll keep an eye on how it affects her balance.
November 15th, 2016
- Hero Balance Change
- Ultimate costs have been increased by 25% for all heroes
- Developer Comment
- Game-changing ultimate abilities were coming up a bit too frequently. This change helps keep them in check while still allowing them to be powerful.
- Particle Barrier
- Power gained from barriers decreased by 20%
- Projected Barrier
- Power gained from barriers decreased by 20%
- Developer Comment
- Considering her potential damage output, Zarya was starting to feel like a mandatory pick in most situations. Rather than reduce her damage output, this change makes achieving her maximum power and damage output slightly more difficult.
- Bug Fixes
- Fixed a bug preventing Zarya from gripping her gun’s handle in the “Deadlift” highlight Intro
- Fixed a bug causing Zarya’s Graviton Surge to eject Reinhardt at high velocity
- Bug Fixes
- [PC Only] Fixed a bug that sometimes caused Zarya’s alternate fire to scale incorrectly with her damage boost modifier
June 21, 2016
- Bug Fixes
- Fixed a bug that would sometimes cause projectiles to hit Reinhardt instead of his Barrier Field in "High Bandwidth" Custom Games
- Reduced the chance for larger projectiles (i.e. Hanzo's arrows, Zenyatta's orbs) to hit targets around corners
- Zarya, Blizzard Entertainment. Accessed on 2015-03-09
- Machines of War, Blizzard Entertainment. Accessed on 2016-09-04
- Overwatch, Zarya Quotes
- 2016-08-15, The Ultimate Overwatch Workout. Twitter, accessed on 2016-08-15
- 2015-02-26, Magazine. Twitter, accessed on 2015-03-16
- Overwatch, Zarya Skins
- 2015-08-04, Volskaya Industries CEO announces increased mech production after new attacks from Siberian omnium.. Twitter, accessed on 2015-08-11
- Zarya: Searching
- Tracer: Reflections
- Заря - Wiktionary
- Overwatch Visual Source Book, pages 104-105
- 2015-03-06, PAX East 2015 Blizzard Panel | Blizzplanet (1/2). YouTube, accessed on 2015-03-19
- List of world records in Olympic weightlifting - Wikipedia
- Machines of War, Blizzard Entertainment. Accessed on 2016-09-04
- 2017-11-22, Overwatch Hoodies. Blizzplanet, accessed on 2017-11-23
- 2018-02-19, New Overwatch toys and figurines coming to Toy Fair 2018. Blizzard Watch, accessed on 2018-02-20
- 2018-03-21, STORY UPDATE: BRIGITTE Q&A. Blizzard Entertainment, accessed on 2018-03-24