A Beginner's Guide to Torbjörn

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

If turrets are your style, Torbjörn is the Swede for you. The diminutive builder offers the ability to build a hardy turret that can deal serious damage all the while granting armor and some not-so-subtle firepower in the form of his Rivet Gun.


The primary fire for Torbjörn's Rivet Gun is a long-range projectile that loses height as it travels. It can be useful for firing into chokepoints through which enemies are forced to travel, or to fire at snipers trying to peek out from behind cover.

The secondary fire for Rivet Gun instead fires a blast of pellets, shotgun-style. While this can be effective at short range, medium and long-range targets are outside its reach.

Build Turret allows Torbjörn to build a turret that locks on to enemies at all but the longest ranges. The turret begins at "Level 1" strength and can be upgraded to "Level 2" with repeated application of Torbjörn's Forge Hammer. If the turret is not at full health, it will be repaired instead of upgraded. The Forge Hammer can also be used as a last-ditch melee weapon, though a close range shot from Torbjörn's Rivet Gun will do more damage.

Armor Pack allows Torbjörn to build a consumable armor pack that allies can pick up, granting them a substantial amount of armor that's added on to their health total. Since it removes a flat amount of damage from each damage source, armor is very effective against low-damage, rapid-fire attacks and less effective against burst damage. To build the packs, Torbjörn must use scrap, which he generates passively and can also be retrieved from fallen foes, allies and turrets.

When is Torbjörn a good choice?

Perhaps more than any other character, Torbjörn is a niche pick. He is primarily useful on defense, as he cannot typically bring his turret to opponents (payload shenanigans notwithstanding). He is also heavily threatened by several heroes.

Torbjörn is a good choice when:

  • He is on defense and the player has good awareness of the map's attack routes
  • His team has a Reinhardt, who can help block out some damage for Torbjörn, allowing him to heal his turret up while it fires at attackers from behind the Barrier Field

Torbjörn can be more difficult to play when:

  • The enemy has a Widowmaker, Hanzo or Ana, who can safely pelt him and the turret from long range
  • The enemy team has a Pharah or Junkrat, whose explosive projectiles can be fired from long range or from behind cover respectively
  • The enemy team has a Reinhardt, who can block out the turret's damage while his allies deal with it
  • His player is not comfortable with the map and the strong locations in which to put the turret
  • The player is on the attacking team, or is on a control map

Torbjörn excels in areas where:

  • His turret can force opponents into difficult decisions or distract the enemy's tank players, like the first section of Hanamura
  • The turret is placed in hard-to-reach or unexpected areas, like the first stretch of Route 66

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