I was lucky enough to be recording during my first ever round trying Lucio in the Overwatch beta. I didn’t expect him to become my favorite character over Mercy, but it’s months later and I’ve barely touched the other healers because he’s just so much damn fun, skating around doling out area-of-effect speedboosts and heals, riding along walls and booping people off ledges.
But while Lucio’s skill floor is admittedly quite low (just look at what I get done having never touched the character before) his ceiling is deceptively lofty. Here are a few things I’ve learned about him from watching Competitive scrims, reading reddit, and playing him longer than all the other heroes combined.
1. Don’t forget about speed boost! Amateur Lucios never seem to switch their gun off of the heal aura. If your team is fully healthy, it’s not doing anything, give them the speed boost instead! Even after that, many players maintain that Lucio is more useful as a primary speedbooster, only switching to amped-up heals when any of his teammates are at Critical. After all, there are plenty of classes that can heal in Overwatch but Lucio’s the only one who can bestow his whole team with an easy speedboosts.
2. Only Amp it Up when it’s needed. This is another thing you see a lot in low-level Lucio play; hitting that E-key the millisecond it becomes available. While it may seem intuitive to maximise your healing by using Amp it Up as many times as conceivably possible in one round, the ability only lasts for a second and it’s far more useful if you reserve it for dire situations. After all, when crunch time hits and you need to save several teammates from imminent death, you don’t want Amp it Up on cooldown. If you use the speedboost playstyle mentioned in the last bullet, this point segues really well into it because you’ll be prioritizing your healing aura for critical moments anyway.
3. Practise wall-riding. Wall-riding is a sorely under-utilized ability in most of the Lucio footage I watch, which is a shame because it’s the single most powerful ability the character has. Nobody but Pharah is looking for you on the ceiling, and your auras extend around you in a large sphere meaning that there’s little reason to skate around in the middle of everyone getting shot at. With map awareness, wall-riding can be used to parkour across the map at blazing speeds, either to reach the front lines quickly or escape an ambush with your life. Jamie Allegro is one of the best YouTube channels I’ve found for tutorials on taking your wall-riding to the next level.
4. Don’t forget about melee and boops. Lucio doesn’t deal much damage at long or medium range, but he’s actually deceptively self-sufficient in a close-range skirmish due to his speed, wall-riding, and airblast letting him control the positioning of the combatants. His bass balls and melee can also stack up damage since he can guarantee they all land, and if you position yourself near environmental hazards you can kill an unaware opponent with a single right-click. Never underestimate yourself during a fight for your life, I’ve had a remarkably successful track record of skating away from some nasty scrapes.
This last one is an optional tip, but watch some high-level Competitive play! Lucio’s the only character who’s maintained an Overused-tier ranking for the entire time the game’s been out, so there’s no shortage of professional Lucio play. I also find it incredibly unlikely he’s going to stop being a powerful force on the battlefield any time soon, so if you’re looking for an effective and viable class worthy of your time and effort to improve, he’ll always be a good choice.