A super-intelligent, genetically engineered gorilla, Winston is a brilliant scientist and a champion for humanity's potential.
The Horizon Lunar Colony was established as a first step for humanity's renewed exploration of space. Among its residents was a group of genetically enhanced gorillas that were intended to test the effects of prolonged habitation in space.
One gorilla displayed such rapid brain development from the gene therapy that he was taken under the wing of Dr. Harold Winston, who taught him science and inspired him with tales of human ingenuity. The young gorilla passed his days assisting with the scientists' experiments, watching the distant blue world outside his habitat window, dreaming of the endless possibilities that awaited him there.
But his life was thrown into chaos when the other gorillas led an uprising, killed the mission scientists, and claimed the colony for their own. Taking on the name of his beloved human caretaker, Winston built a makeshift rocket and escaped to Earth. There he found a new home with Overwatch, an organization that represented everything he had come to admire about humanity. Winston was finally able to live up to the heroic ideal that had been instilled in him.
Now with the fall of Overwatch, Winston has gone into seclusion, once again cut off from the world he believes in, but longing for the days of heroism to return.
Besides these abilities, Winston is able to jump, crouch, reload (only when his ammo is not full), and perform Quick Melee. However, when he activates his ultimate ability, Winston cannot crouch, reload and perform Quick Melee.
- All seasonal event items, which are marked with special event icons ( • • • • • ), are only available to be unlocked either through their respective Loot Boxes or by Credits within the event's duration. During the event, newly-introduced event items cost three times as much as non-event items of the same rarity, while returning seasonal items are unlocked at the regular price. Items which are obtained from an external source are marked with Blizzard icons () and their requirements are noted below.
- The BlizzCon 2017 skin was obtained by purchasing a BlizzCon 2017 Virtual Ticket.
- a This emote, after activating, will remain in its animation until the player inputs other actions to interrupt it.
- For Winston-specific sprays, see Winston/Sprays.
One purchase of an alternate weapon skin will apply to the Tesla Cannon of all unlocked skins when equipping it.
Winston was initially a subject in the tests on genetically enhanced gorillas that took place in Lucheng Interstellar's Horizon Lunar Colony. He had shown unusually rapid development, so Dr. Harold Winston, from whom Winston got his name, took personal care of him. Through him, Winston learned science and helped in the doctor's research. The scientist also instills in the gorilla's mind a sense of freedom and adventure, to question the world waiting for him. The doctor also gave Winston his signature glasses.
When the other gorillas started to revolt against the colony, murder all of the scientists in the colony, Winston built a rocket by himself and escaped to Earth. Winston found a new home as a member of Overwatch. There, he became both a soldier and a scientist. His skill in combat led to him defeating Doomfist, and his craftsmanship and knowledge allowed him to save the life of Tracer by building for her the chronal accelerator.
After the collapse of Overwatch, Winston and Athena retreated to Watchpoint: Gibraltar, from which he launched a satellite drone in the event that Overwatch would need to be recalled. He included with it a personal message to the former agents. Winston's lab at the Watchpoint was invaded by Reaper and several Talon agents in order to extract the information of former Overwatch agents. He was able to dispatch them and afterward decided to finally recall Overwatch agents to active duty. Later, Winston worked with Tracer to stop Widowmaker and Reaper from stealing Doomfist's gauntlet. Though the gauntlet was damaged, there were no casualties.
On Christmas, Winston and Athena were waiting for Tracer and her girlfriend Emily to have a meal together at Watchpoint: Gibraltar's lab. His wait is paid off when they all arrived in time for the dinner.
Winston is an awkward yet gentle giant, never wanting to inflict unnecessary harm on innocents and often stuttering whenever someone compliments him. He is a huge fan of Overwatch and really cares about its members to the point of calling them family in the Are You With Us? cinematic teaser. He also seems to have a love for peanut butter and bananas, as shown in the Recall animated short, his Voice Lines and Emotes.
Winston is rather smart when it comes to craftsmanship, as proven by his ability to create the chronal accelerator. He is even considered an intelligent scientist as well, and he hates being called a monkey.
- Winston is a highly mobile tank that leaps around, creating chaos.
- Winston works best when moving around, thus is different from the standard stand and plant tank.
- Winston is a very Crowd Control-focused hero, especially with his ultimate. Use him to initiate and create space in a team fight, pick off low health targets, and capture objectives.
- Although powerful, Winston's giant health pool comes at a small disadvantage: because it is difficult to kill him, sometimes players shooting at him may not be trying to prevent him from reaching an area, but rather to charge up their Ultimate Abilities, causing this to be a huge disadvantage for Winston and his teammates in a later time.
- Since Winston's head is so large, he makes an easy target for snipers, and Hanzo can finish Winston with two headshots.
- Although Primal Rage grants Winston a large amount of health, do not overextend with him. A Bastion that is damage buffed can easily shred Winston.
- Winston is part of the dive comp meta, where high mobility heroes such as Genji, Tracer, and D.Va, charge into battle and cause chaos. Pair with any heroes listed above.
- Never stop moving. A stationary Winston is a dead Winston. Jumping around and knocking up enemies messes up their aim, makes you a harder target, and doesn't let snipers hit you as easily.
- Tesla Cannon
- Winston's Tesla Cannon deals damage to all targets in a conical area of effect within his field of view.
- Because it tracks enemies as long as it is activated, the Tesla Cannon is strong against high-mobility heroes.
- Due to the Tesla Cannon's rather low damage, Winston should not be chasing after tanks like Roadhog, who can also very easily eliminate Winston. Winston can be an extreme hazard for all "back-line" heroes.
- Never underestimate a Winston. His large health pool and shield, and his high fire-rate make him a dangerous foe. He counters Genji effectively, as he can follow Genji quite easily and his weapon is not a projectile or hitscan, so he can't deflect it.
- Jump Pack
- You can jump farther depending of your angle and your orientation.
- Pointing straight up before using Winston's jump will make him jump extremely high, and he can still be moved while jumping as other characters can.
- Walking forward and jumping will make your jump larger. Walking backward and jumping will make your jump smaller, good against close targets. Walking forward/backward after jumping will have a minor effect compared to before jump.
- When landing after using a Jump Pack, you knock enemies back. Keep this in mind as it may be useful for scoring environmental kills.
- However, be careful not to leap off the edge, as you cannot control Winston while leaping in midair.
- Jump Pack can be used as an escape tool as well. When in a fight and low on health, jumping away can usually save Winston's life.
- Barrier Projector
- When fighting an enemy, move in and out of your barrier, blocking their attacks while keeping them in range of your Tesla Cannon.
- Winston's Barrier Projector blocks enemy shots going out as well as in. It can limit the range of entrenched enemies or turrets.
- Winston can use his Barrier Projector in the air - combine this with his Jump Pack to protect teammates, block enemy shots and cross gaps at the same time. However, take note that the Barrier Projector will not be launched in the player's direction - rather, it will fall to the ground slowly. Keep this in mind when jumping onto the battlefield.
- Winston can use his Barrier Projector to contain D.Va's Self Destruct ultimate or at least reduce the blast radius, however, if Winston can't get away in time then this can be used as a self-sacrificing move in order to protect the team.
- Projected Barrier can sometimes be more useful than other shields, as it is a dome. This can be used to cover an objective to easily capture it.
- Your shield isn't meant to be placed every time you fight. If you can guarantee a kill, there is no need to place a shield. Save it for emergency purposes, such as hindering the enemy's firepower for a while during which you jump away from the fight.
- Primal Rage
- If possible, try to wait until Winston is below 50% HP before using Primal Rage, as it completely restores his health.
- Primal Rage is meant to be used in these situations:
- Crowd-controlling an enemy ultimate (e.g. pushing a McCree during Deadeye into spaces where he can't hit his shots).
- Knocking enemies into Environmental hazards.
- Killing enemies by repeatedly knocking them into a wall.
- Scattering the enemy team.
- Securing a kill on a key target when Winston's HP is low or he needs the Jump Pack cooldown to be reset.
- Stalling an objective.
- Winston and his storyline may be a reference to The Planet of the Apes series.
- Winston is voiced by Crispin Freeman, who also voiced Roy Harper(Speedy/Red Arrow/Arsenal) in the cartoon Young Justice, as well as Itachi Uchiha in the anime Naruto. He also voiced several characters in Blizzard's other IP, World of Warcraft, the most notable being Vindicator Maraad in the Warlords of Draenor expansion.
- Winston's name and origin may be derived from Winston Scott, an American astronaut who was assigned as a specialist with the STS-72 Endeavor. Winston's versatile jump pack also alludes to this, as the crew of the Endeavor was tasked with conducting multiple EVA walks in preparation for the International Space Station.
- Winston's ultimate ability Primal Rage is most likely a reference to the popular 90's game franchise by the same name (Primal Rage).
- Winston is very similar to Marvel Comics character Hank McCoy aka Beast, an animalistic person with great intellect.
- The voice line "Houston, we have a problem" is a direct, unedited quote from the film Apollo 13, which has become not only symbolic for NASA but a staple in pop culture; the line, however, is incorrect. The correct line is "Houston we've had a problem."
- Winston's pose "The Thinker" is the same as that of the bronze sculpture " " by Auguste Rodin, originally part of a larger commission, The Gates of Hell. The Thinker represents intellect and poetry, which to some degree reflects the personality of Winston. It was treated as an individual work after completion of The Gates of Hell.
- His dance is a reference to Pulp Fiction
- While wearing the Yeti skin Winston will quote the Abominable Snowman from Monsters Inc.