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Overwatch 2Feb 23, 2016 5:00 pm CT

Overwatch’s new Control game mode

The relaunch of Overwatch comes with a brand new game mode: Control. Two maps are available for play — the sleek metropolis around Lijiang Tower and a base cradled high in the mountains of Nepal. Control mode features three capture points that your team must take over and hold. You’ll score a win if your progress bar reaches 100% before your opponent, and you need at least two wins to emerge victorious in the match.

Once you are in control of the capture point, you don’t have to be standing within it the whole time. You can slip out and grab a health pack from the surrounding area, or attempt to disrupt the opposing team and trying to wrest control. There’s a bit of a grace period at the start of each map where the control points are inactive. Your team might get to the point first, but it won’t trigger the capture sequence right away. Even so, it’s way better to have control of it and defend it, as opposed to not having good position on it to begin with.

Will Control maps be a major mode in competitive play? Not for a while. Overwatch’s spin on the domination game mode is certainly fun, but there needs to be some balance changes and tweaks made.

Ljiang Tower

Built in a bustling Chinese metropolitan area, Lijiang Tower has a quite a lively nightlife. You’ll find food vendors, tranquil gardens, and busy shops around the area. Lijiang Tower itself appears to focus on a prominent company in the Chinese space industry. Lucheng Interstellar showcases space suits, land vehicles, and space pods within their offices. Teams start off near the base tower and gradually progress upward until the final stage, which is within the tower.


First capture point

  • There are five ways in, plus an aerial route for Pharah and other heroes who can get in through the second window.
  • There are also three accessible health packs within reach if you’ve suffered damage.


Second capture point

  • This point has two main ways in, with walls and a giant pillar affecting line of sight in the middle of the capture point.
  • There’s a bottomless pit (which is technically water) that anyone can fall into, which basically surrounds the capture area.
  • One of the sheds near the middle of the map provides a fantastic vantage point to the other team’s dropship spawn point, allowing opportunistic players to snipe or harass them as they leave.


Third capture point

  • There are many different ways to assault this point, but line of sight will be an issue.
  • There’s a stairwell that leads to a ledge overlooking the server room, allowing you to get the jump on anyone below.


I was wondering about the history and the background of Nepal. Turns out, this area is home to a giant monastery belonging to a contingent of Omnic robots. My assumption is that this is where they went to meditate. Does Nepal have a strategic significance in the Overwatch universe? It seems to have more of a historic and symbolic importance as opposed to a strategic one. Nepal isn’t exactly a military base like Watchpoint: Gibraltar, or a production facility like Volskaya Industries. As Nepal takes place on a mountain, expect plenty of opportunities for falling off ledges.


First capture point

  • The first capture point is easily accessible and defensible with two points of entry.
  • Heroes like Pharah and Black Widow can maneuver themselves onto the ledge above to help provide defense.


Second capture point

  • There are multiple ways to attack the second point, and it seems to favor the defenders due to the elevation.
  • If you’re defending, you may want to try a 4 Bastion, 2 Lucio composition.
  • Take note of where the med packs are, so you can rush out to grab them in the middle of an engagement.


Third capture point

  • Knocking people off the center platform is fun, but don’t get caught near it yourself, or you’ll risk falling off the side.
  • It’s possible to drop into the little alcove that’s adjacent to the capture point, if you want to flank anyone sitting on the zone.

Recommended characters

  • Lucio: He is a must have on the team. The speedboost he offers is invaluable in getting your team near the control point. If you don’t have him, it’s almost guaranteed the other team will, and beat you to the punch. That means you’ll need to tackle the uphill battle of flushing the opposing team from the control point. Lucio’s right click has the ability to knock players away, and certain capture points feature bottomless pits! If your team does manage to get the capture point, just sit there with Lucio’s healing aura passively healing everyone around him.
  • Pharah: Knockback abilities are valuable here. While eliminating other heroes is the main method in securing the capture point, a case can be made to simply knock enemy players away for your team to capture or defend it.
  • Junkrat: His grenade launcher will prove crucial in dislodging the opposing team if they’re sitting on the capture points. Some of the points can be fortified with a limited number of ways in. Junkrat can safely launch grenades that will simply bounce off a wall or doorway and affect anyone unfortunate enough to stand in the blast radius. Rip-Tire can tear into the opposing team if they’re not expecting it, and allow your allies to swoop in and clean up.
  • Roadhog: Similar to Pharah, Roadhog allows you to position your enemies and drag them out of supposedly safe locations for a quick pick. Take a Breather provides you with some extra sustainability so you can stay on the point longer.
  • Reaper: Since most of the action hinges around a small area, Reaper will have a heck of a day feasting on anyone in close range — especially with a charged up Death Blossom. Use the rest of your team as a distraction by letting them go first while you come roaring around the side.
  • Zarya: Like Junkrat, the Energy Cannon’s grenade launcher function can knock opponents off balance. Her real power comes from Graviton Surge. With the close quarters that everyone is in, a well placed Surge can stack up the enemy team even closer, allowing your team to pile on extra damage and annihilating them completely.
  • Bastion: Even with the nerf, Bastion on defense can be a huge pain, especially if he’s in Sentry mode sitting on top of a point in maps with limited entrances. His self-sustainability can keep him going for a while.
  • Winston: The giant gorilla pairs well with defensively minded heroes looking to hold a point. Like some of the aforementioned heroes, Winston’s knockbacks can help maintain or assist with control of capture points. However, he won’t be as useful from long range — he’s better off assaulting anyone that manages to get close and personal on capture points. Place your Barriers on top of Bastion or other key heroes.

This new Control game mode is a pleasant change of pace from the other game modes that have been in place since the beta launched. As expected, certain heroes are a lock to have. Snipers seem to have a bit of a tough time in parts of the maps due to line of sight and the amount of cover that’s afforded. In addition, having stuff to hide behind makes it much more interesting to contest points. The round almost never ends right when a team reaches 100%, because there are plenty of chances for overtime to kick in. One last rush can be made to wrest back control of a point. I remember one game on a recent stream where we had a comfortable lead before losing control at 99%. After that, we could never regain control and the other team ended up winning the match!

Moral of the story? Don’t activate celebratory ultimate abilities until overtime actually ends. If you do want to use them, aim them at the control point.

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