Like her fellow ninjas on the Overwatch roster, Kiriko has the ability to scale vertical surfaces by jumping at any wall. She lacks the enhanced jumps of Hanzo’s Lunge or Genji’s Cyber Agility, but Kiriko still has the mobility provided by Wall Climb. Use it to access high-ground positions or escape enemies that can’t chase you vertically.
Kiriko’s primary fire is also her main method of healing. She releases talismans that can hone in on allies if Kiriko is in range and aims her reticle close enough to them. Homing ofuda will turn yellow and follow whichever ally they lock onto. Blue ofuda will just travel in a straight line to max range, but can still heal allies who intercept them.
Damage for Kiriko comes in the form of her secondary fire, Kunai. Kirko throws the slender knives at a pace similar to Cassidy’s revolver. Each shot does 40 damage but has the unique effect of doing triple damage for headshots. As a result, accuracy is a must to be an effective Kiriko player. The Kunai are fast, straight-line projectiles with no damage falloff, making Kiriko deadly at any range.
While Wall Climb already gave Kiriko great mobility for a support hero, Swift Step takes her to a level all her own. When activated, Swift Step teleports Kiriko directly to a targeted ally within 35 meters. This ability allows Kiriko to travel through walls, over terrain, and past enemies to any teammate in range. Swift Step is great for getting back from spawn, escaping sticky situations, or repositioning to get a better angle during a fight.
Kiriko’s final regular ability may be her most impactful. Protection Suzu launches an arcing projectile that explodes on impact. Nearby allies are healed for 50HP and given just under a second of invulnerability. During that time, enemy abilities and damage pass right through them.
The Protection Suzu can also cleanse a variety of effects from Kirko’s allies. Anti-heal from Ana’s grenade or Junker Queen’s ultimate can be cleansed, along with Ashe’s Dynamite and Junker Queen’s Bleed. Certain ultimates like Reinhardt’s Earthshatter and Mei’s Blizzard can be cleansed, but others, like Zarya’s Graviton Surge and Sigma’s Gravitic Flux, cannot.
Kiriko’s ultimate harnesses the power of a Japanese fox spirit to empower her team. Kiriko sends out a spectral fox that creates an area in which Kiriko’s team receives increased attack and movement speed alongside reduced ability cooldowns and reload time. Kitsune Rush can be a great engage tool as well as a massive teamfight buff. Like most of Kiriko’s kit, it will take some time to learn how to use it, but the payoff can be huge.
How to Play Kiriko in Overwatch 2
If you’ve spent time with the other supports in Overwatch, there are a number of skills that will help you succeed playing Kiriko. Her Kunai function similarly to Zenyatta’s primary fire in terms of aiming, only with an added importance on hitting headshots. Protection Suzu can often be used like Baptiste’s Immortality Field to save teammates from big bursts of damage. Even Swift Step can mimic Moira’s Fade, though Kiriko must turn towards her teammates to activate it.
Overall, Kiriko requires a dynamic play style to get the most out of her complex but rewarding kit. You want to find angles where you can land Kunai and also heal your teammates. She can’t just sit in the backline and heal her teammates while shooting shields. She needs to look for opportunities to be aggressive, maybe joining a flanker to assassinate enemy backlines. At the same time, she wants to be near her team so she can use Protection Suzu at the right moment.
Protection Suzu is going to be Kiriko’s primary playmaking tool besides simply landing her Kunai shots. Saving teammates from a big anti-heal or crowd control effect is the biggest way for her to swing a fight. It comes with a long cooldown, so finding the perfect moment is key for Kiriko to live up to her potential.
Kiriko can be effective in a variety of team compositions, but not everyone plays nice with Overwatch’s new support. Kitsune Rush brings a ton of power to the table, but heroes like Widowmaker, Pharah, and Echo are unlikely to get a ton of value out of her ultimate. On the other hand, heroes like Reinhardt, Reaper, and Ana can really take advantage of the buffs.
Advanced Tips for Kiriko in Overwatch
- Know your exits. Swift Step is great for getting Kiriko out of trouble, but you need your teammates to make it happen. Keep track of where they’re positioned and be ready to dart back to safety at a moment’s notice.
- Let the fox run free. Kitsune Rush is one of the best ults in the game, creating a huge AoE buff for Kiriko’s team. It can be blocked by walls (including Mei’s), vehicles, and map geometry, so make sure there’s room directly in front of you for the fox to run forward and carry you to victory.
- Figure out your settings. There are a couple of settings Kiriko players might want to fiddle with. First, Toggle Healing Ofuda is on by default and will fire all 10 of her Ofuda whenever she fires them. Turning it off lets players fire only while holding the button. Second, there’s Swift Step Sensitivity. It controls how close you have to aim at teammates to activate her teleport. Higher sensitivity will mean slightly less precise aim is needed for that ability, something that could be useful in high-pressure moments.
- Keep your wits about you. Kiriko has a lot to manage during chaotic moments. When dropping her ultimate, the urge is to rush in and go for kills, but your teammates still need support. Make sure to keep them topped up while they charge ahead.
- Spam, spam, spam. Kiriko’s Kunai have the potential to secure picks at any moment, even before a fight starts. Put your crosshair at head height and send those Kunai downrange. Two headshots will kill most heroes, and you never know when a low-health enemy will walk right into one.
Alongside Sojourn and Junker Queen, Kiriko feels like a hero designed specifically for Overwatch 2. She thrives without the additional shields and damage mitigation, and her mobility fits right in with the game’s faster pace.
Support players have waited a long time for a new hero, and luckily it’s one of the most exciting additions to the game in quite some time. Her abilities can shape a match as much as any hero in Overwatch. Everyone is still learning her complex kit, but the ceiling is sky-high once you can master Kiriko in Overwatch 2.