How to play Kiriko in Overwatch 2 — Tips and tricks

How to play Kiriko in Overwatch 2 -- Tips and tricks bugs
Image via Activision Blizzard

Kiriko has made a splash as one of the most powerful Support heroes in Overwatch 2. She is also the first new Support introduced in the sequel. Hailing from Japan, Kiriko is able to do it all. She can heal efficiently and powerfully, cleanse negative effects from allies and provide brief invulnerability, and deal a metric ton of damage as well with her kunai. Plus, she has one of the most powerful Support ultimates in the game. Kiriko is designed to zip and teleport around to allies, giving her a lot of flexibility as both an offensive and defensive healer. Kiriko provides an incredible amount of utility for any team, and there’s rarely a situation where she’s a bad pick. Here are some tips and tricks on how to play Kiriko in Overwatch 2.

Related: How to play Mercy in Overwatch 2 – Tips and tricks.

How to play Kiriko in Overwatch 2 – Tips and tricks

In Overwatch 2, Kiriko has an impressively loaded kit. Her primary fire, ‘Healing Ofuda,’ lets her send out a group of “healing talismans” that home in on allies if you aim at them correctly. This is potentially one of the highest-healing outputs in the game, but these talismans do have a slow projectile speed. Her secondary fire, ‘Kunai,’ is what gives Kiriko an offensive edge. While doing unremarkable damage on body shots, headshots deal extra damage and can help secure picks or even let you solo duel Damage heroes.

‘Swift Step’ is Kiriko’s movement ability and allows her to teleport to an ally at far distances. You can even use this ability through walls, allowing you to overextend and swiftly retreat if an ally is nearby. You are also invulnerable while teleporting. Her ‘Protection Suzu’ is one of her strongest abilities and provides a cleanse of negative effects (stuns, anti-heals, etc.), some small burst healing, slight enemy displacement, and even brief invulnerability. Finally, Kiriko’s ultimate, ‘Kitsune Rush,’ summons a long and narrow field that provides buffs to allies standing in it. (Movement speed, increased rate of fire, faster reloads, and cooldown reduction.)

Kiriko has a multitude of diverse playstyles, allowing you to play her based on your skill level in Overwatch 2. Playing her as a “healbot,” focusing on healing and quickly getting Kitsune Rushes is just as viable as going on the offensive and dishing out damage with her Kunai. That being said, her skill ceiling is very high. This tips and tricks guide will hopefully help you learn how to play Kiriko in Overwatch 2 and master this new, premier support character.

Know what her Protection Suzu cleanses

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Your Protection Suzu provides invulnerability and healing, allowing you to save an ally low on health from death. But, depending on the enemy team, you might want to save your Protection Suzu to cleanse an ability. Knowing what you can use your Protection Suzu on will help you gauge when you should pop this ability. The cleanse on her Protection Suzu will clear out a multitude of negative effects.

You can cleanse the anti-heal that comes from Ana’s grenade or Junker Queen’s ultimate, which will allow you to resume healing your allies. This is the major ability most people are aware of, but you can also cleanse most stuns in the game. Are one of your allies frozen in Mei’s ultimate? Pop your Suzu and free them. Other effects, such as Ashe’s Dynamite, which deals a damage over time, can also be cleansed.

You should also know what her Protection Suzu doesn’t cleanse. For instance, if an ally is stuck in a Junkrat trap, your Suzu will not free them. If your ally is pinned by a Reinhardt, your Suzu might block the damage if you timed it correctly, but they will not be freed from his grasp. Knowing what your Suzu cleanses is also useful in gauging when to pick Kiriko. If they have an Ana, not having a Kiriko on your team is a huge handicap.

Dodge enemy abilities with your Swift Step

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Your teleport doesn’t just have to be an escape tool or a way to reach an ally. When all else fails, you can use your Swift Step as an evasion ability, as it also cleanses you and provides invulnerability. For example, if you’re exposed to a D.Va ultimate and have no Suzu or cover, you can time your Swift Step on a nearby ally to save yourself. Your ally might die, but nothing much is gained from total loss.

You can also use Swift Step to cleanse yourself of negative effects, such as Ana’s anti-heal. This may let you save Protection Suzu for an ally, as you can instead use your Swift Step in a fight to cleanse yourself instead of using your Suzu. Be wary, as there are situations where you won’t be able to use your Swift Step, such as in Zarya’s Graviton Surge or Junkrat’s Steel Trap. Also, objects that are attached to Kiriko, such as Tracer’s Pulse Bomb, will follow Kiriko as you teleport.

Note: You also have a very brief period of invulnerability while exiting your Swift Step as well, meaning you don’t have to time this ability perfectly.

You can two-shot a Tracer with Kunai + melee

Tracer Attacker Overwatch2

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With your Kunai dealing 120 damage and melee dishing out 30, you can potentially deal a total of 150 damage in a short period of time. Therefore, it’s worth investing time into mastering Kiriko’s headshots. Your damage is an important part of Kiriko’s kit, and there are moments when you might want to sacrifice healing in place of damage. The combo of your Suzu, Swift Step, and high damage makes Kiriko a difficult Support to duel.

Knowing damage breakpoints is a generally useful tool in Overwatch 2, allowing you to gauge whether or not you may be able to duel an enemy and get a pick. Either way, you can dissuade flankers very well with some consistent aim. On that note…

Interweave your Kunai with healing

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While healbotting is a viable way to play Kiriko, you can level up your play by consistently outputting some damage when possible. An efficient way to output both healing and damage in the middle of a fight is to use wave your Healing Ofuda and Kunai together. At the end of your Healing Ofuda, send out a Kunai. Your healing may be impacted slightly, but this is a simple way to deal damage while also healing.

Getting a lucky headshot can be the difference between securing a pick or letting the enemy Damage run wild, so getting a headshot is not insignificant. Plus, a headshot helps build your Kitsune Rush in a sizable manner.

Roadhog is your best friend

Roadhog Tank Overwatch2

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Roadhog and Kiriko is a well-documented pairing, as Kiriko’s Protection Suzu can help negate many of Roadhog’s weaknesses. Roadhog in particular is weak to CC (crowd control) abilities, but his biggest Achilles heel is Ana’s frequent anti-healing grenade that makes his ‘Take a Breather’ ability effectively useless. Not to mention, Ana’s ‘Sleep Dart’ is easy to hit on Roadhog’s big, beefy body. With this in mind, Kiriko’s Protection Suzu absolutely makes Roadhog easier to play, as she can use her Suzu to save Roadhog from danger.

Of course, Kiriko synergizes with other tanks as well, which may also be highly impacted by crowd control. However, Roadhog may not have had his recent rise to fame without Kiriko backing him up. Ironically, Kiriko can help counter other Roadhogs as well, if you are able to time your Protection Suzu with his ‘Hook’ and save an ally from a one-shot kill.

Your Kitsune Rush does not pierce through terrain

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One underrated tip when placing Kiriko’s Kitsune Rush is to be very aware of where you are aiming it. Her Kitsune Rush will not go through walls, and the area of effect (AOE) of this ultimate may be cut short if you send it directly against a surface. This is important to keep in mind when you’re fighting in a tight corridor, as your Kitsune Rush may be interrupted by a doorframe or stray pole. It’s recommended to use Kitsune Rush in wide-open areas when possible.

Note: Kitsune Rush can also be blocked by ally deployables that count as walls, such as Mei’s Ice Wall or even her Ice Block. Shooting Kitsune Rush into these abilities will cut the efficacy of this ability greatly, so aim it well. It also can’t cover walls or gaps.

You can climb walls

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Kiriko shares one passive in common with her Japanese brethren, Genji and Hanzo — she can climb walls. If her mobility wasn’t already ridiculous enough, Kiriko can scale walls now to boot. Scaling walls inherently allows her to reposition and kite enemies in a tricky fight. In combination with her Suzu, Swift Step, and wall climb, Kiriko is rarely the first character to die in a fight, and for a good reason — she’s very hard to kill.

That’s our guide on how to play Kiriko in Overwatch 2. For our thoughts on the game’s heroes, check out our tier lists on best DPS, best Tanks, and best Support.

Joshua Chu
About The Author
Joshua Chu is a Contributing Writer for PC Invasion since June 2021. His undying love for live-service games like Overwatch 2, Valorant, and Honkai: Star Rail (amongst other soul-rending games) has led him to spend hours and hours on his PC. After earning his Print Journalism degree at Pennsylvania State University, he proceeded to freelance for a variety of sites, with other bylines including Gamepur and Kotaku. He is probably sad he demoted in rank in Overwatch.