Seven custom control schemes for Overwatch gamepad users

July 27, 2016 by Lucas Croft

Overwatch lets you customize controls per-hero. Let's take advantage of that.

There is no shortage of variety in Overwatch. With 21 characters -- 22 if you are counting Ana -- spread across 4 classes competing in 4 game modes on 12 unique maps, Blizzard has epitomized the idea that there is more than one way to skin a cat.

To pile onto the variety, Blizzard released the game with fully customizable controls that can be altered for each individual hero. While the default gamepad control scheme for most characters would fall into the “good enough” category, there are tweaks that can be made to individual characters that can buy you the extra split second you’d need to keep the game in Overtime.

How to Access Custom Controls

In order to get to these custom control schemes from the home screen go to options, then press R1 twice to get to the controls menu. This screen allows you to change the universal button mapping. In the top right, there is a drop down menu where you can select each individual character.  If you have previously customized controls for individual characters, those changes will remain intact after making universal changes. In order to use the universal mapping for a character you have previously customized, simply choose them from the drop down menu (custom control schemes will be marked with an asterisk) and select “delete override”.


Mobility is the name of Mercy’s game. While she doesn’t deal a lot of damage, if you ever find yourself isolated amongst a group of enemies, her pistol can pack enough punch to buy you some time. However, switching to that weapon where it is mapped by default (D-Pad) takes away Mercy’s biggest advantage over more damage-heavy opponents. Maintaining Mercy’s mobility when she finds herself in these precarious positions is of utmost important.

In her default control scheme, healing is mapped to R2, damage buff to R1, and guardian angel (which allows her to float towards a teammate within range) is mapped to L1. Angelic descent, Mercy’s passive ability that allows players to slowly float to the ground when jumping from great heights, is mapped to L2.

The simplest change Mercy players can make is to map the weapon change to L2 and her angelic descent to L3. This allows you to continue moving and quickly shift to her damage-dealing pistol. However, I prefer mapping her damage buff to L2 and moving the weapon switch to R1.


Genji has a giant bag of tricks to pull from, and while his default scheme is acceptable, there are a couple changes that put his abilities even closer to your fingertips.

If you are used to playing just about any other online shooter, you are used to melee being mapped to R3. The same is true for Overwatch, but Genji has a melee dash that deals is far more advantageous than the default melee. Mapping his melee dash to R3 feels more natural than the bumper it is mapped to by default. Similarly, Genji’s deflect can be mapped to L3 in order to quickly access it while turning towards the enemy fire you are trying to send away.


Lucio is the fastest and most mobile of all of the support characters, yet wall-riding -- the ability which helps make him as mobile as he is -- is mapped to a face-button.

If you want to maintain Lucio’s ability to aim his gun while wall-riding, you will have to map this ability to one of the shoulder buttons. I prefer moving his alt-fire, soundwave, off of L2 and onto R3 (it’s far more effective than melee anyway) and mapping jump/wall-ride to L2.

Auto Wall-Climb

Hanzo and Genji both have the ability to wall-climb, as well as Junkrat’s RIP-tire ultimate. However, in order to take advantage of this ability you have to hold down the X button. In each of these character’s custom control settings there is an option to auto wall-climb. This means that rather than holding down a button to climb a wall, you can simply jump towards it by pressing X and automatically begin climbing. Pressing X again will cause the player to jump from the wall.


Overwatch’s best tank for pushing the payload through chokepoints is Reinhardt. His massive shield provides ample coverage for low-HP characters trying to damage the defending team, and absorbs an enormous amount of damage being focused on the point. By default, Reinhardt’s shield is only active as long as L2 is being held down.

In his custom settings, you can change this by selecting “toggle barrier”. Rather than holding down L2 to activate Reinhardt’s shield, pressing L2 will simply toggle the barrier on. In order to bring the barrier in to recharge, press L2 again.


Until Ana is fully released, Widowmaker is the only character in Overwatch with a scoped weapon. While her control scheme feels quite natural, there are two custom settings worth playing around with that may improve the experience.

The first is relative aim sensitivity. This means that you can increase or decrease the sensitivity of the right stick when you are ADS relative to when you are not.

The other setting is zoom toggle. This is a matter of player preference, but it allows players who run widowmaker to simply click L2 to use the sniper rifle and click it again to use her assault rifle.

Soldier 76

Soldier 76 is the only character with a sprint option, and in his default control scheme it is mapped to L1. A more natural feel for people making the transition from traditional FPS games like Call of Duty or Destiny, is to map his sprint to L3. There is also an option to set his sprint to toggle or hold. I prefer keeping it set to toggle when using L3. Stopping Soldier’s movement will cancel the sprint.

Mapping sprint to L3 leaves L1 open. Either jump or reload can be mapped to L1 in order to take more controls off of the face buttons.

If you’ve played these characters for a while but these new control schemes seem like something that could improve your game, it is best to take the new control scheme into the practice range. From there, you can tweak your controls straight from the pause menu and quickly change characters. Plus, there is something oddly cathartic about destroying swarms of in-game bots.