A Beginner's Guide to McCree

by Josh Bury Feb 6 2017
Thumbnail image courtesy of Blizzard Entertainment

Jesse McCree tried being reasonable, but he didn't take to it. If you like precision head-popping, however, you should give this cowboy a shot.

McCree is an Offense character, and is frequently responsible for attacking vulnerable targets and eliminating them quickly. The accuracy of his primary weapon lets him take apart low health targets quickly and efficiently.


Peacekeeper's primary fire is an accurate single shot with a low overall rate-of-fire. This is McCree's main method of engaging enemies, particularly at longer ranges. However, the weapon's damage does drop off at extreme ranges.

The alternate fire for the weapon is Fan The Hammer, in which McCree empties the rest of the weapon's cylinder in a wide spray of shots that deal reduced damage. This is typically only valuable against targets that are very close, as the majority of the shots will connect.

Combat Roll lets McCree not only move a short distance quickly, but he also reloads his weapon during the animation in a fraction of the time it would take normally.

Flashbang is a close-range thrown projectile that stuns enemies in a small radius, allowing McCree to grab an easy headshot or Fan the Hammer at point-blank range.

Deadeye is McCree's Ultimate ability. Once activated, he begins locking on to enemies in his line of sight. Once he fires his Peacekeeper again, McCree will fire at all targets in his line of sight, doing more damage the longer he'd locked on to them.

When is McCree a good choice?

McCree is a well-rounded attacker who can extend his team's range and deal substantial burst damage. If your team could use some damage and your aim is up to the test, he's a great choice.

McCree is a good choice when:

  • His team could use the damage and the long reach he provides
  • The enemy team has heroes with slow-moving, predictable movement like Pharah or Mercy, or heroes that prefer to remain stationary like Bastion or Torbjörn
  • He can duel low-health targets on the flanks of a fight

McCree can be more difficult to play when:

  • His team has an unreliable front line, giving him little space to work with
  • The enemy team has several high-health heroes that are difficult to kill before he becomes a target

McCree thrives in areas where:

  • He can flank the enemy team from an unpredictable angle, allowing him to get huge value from his Deadeye Ultimate ability, like on Hanamura's second point
  • He can shoot the enemy's supports from high ground, like the second section of King's Row
  • He can approach the enemy's front line from cover and throw a Flashbang over a Reinhardt's shield, like on Route 66's final point

Josh "Gauntlet" Bury is a news editor for theScore esports. You can find him on Twitter.