Combining her personal barriers and her Particle Cannon, Zarya can lead the charge towards domination for her team.
Particle Cannon: A short-range beam of targeted energy, that can be powered up with her Particle Barrier, or shoot an explosive charge to damage multiple opponents.
Particle Barrier: A personal barrier that protects Zarya from damage, redirecting the energy to power up her primary weapons damage.
Projected Barrier: A barrier that envelopes a teammate, then redirects the damage to be used in enhancing her primary weapon.
Graviton Surge: A gravity manipulation device that lures enemies in, and causes damage to those trapped within its range.
Playing as Zarya is entirely focused on ability combinations, both of her protective barrier types work in tandem with her Particle Cannon, making it a far superior weapon. Regardless of the objective, you should be staying near your teammates and close to the skirmishes. She's a close range character, and since her barriers fuel her weapon, you want to deploy them as frequently as possible. Start fights by surrounding yourself with a Particle Barrier, absorbing damage to charge up your Particle Cannon. This will ensure high damage output, and can make for significantly easier fights. This same tactic goes for when a teammate is sustaining the brunt of the damage, and can not only save them from an untimely demise but grant you an equally significant boost in your primary's DPS. It's essential to use your barriers as frequently as you can, as Zarya not only has low health relative to the rest of the Tank Class but also because her DPS isn't nearly as significant when not taking advantage her abilities. It's best to stay close to other members of your team to always ensure your abilities are useful and be able to provide backup to power your Particle Cannon. Zarya's ultimate is also significantly more useful when working with teammates as it can stun and incapacitate any enemy caught in its radius. You can hinder an entire team while you and your teammates focus fire on a central point, which makes eliminating the opposing team much easier. With Zarya, your least effective alone and in wide open spaces. Her weapon is meant to be used at short range only, and can only hit targets in that range. If you're alone, the Particle Barrier is useful but Projected Barrier isn't, eliminating the possibility of using an entire ability. You have no splash damage or close range offensive abilities other than your primary, so fighting alone against multiple enemies can lead to a quick death. On top of all of this, Zarya has no evasive abilities and isn't a particularly fast hero, so staying close to your teammates, and consistently using your barriers is a must for survival. Using all of your abilities to their maximum potential leads to an absolutely dominating Tank character, that can grant bonuses to herself, and her teammates with ease.
Never fire first, always let your opponents begin to fire on your Particle Barrier to absorb their damage and send it right back with stream of damage from your own weapon.
Winston: Zarya can easily absorb Winstons attacks at close range with a Particle Barrier, then use her primary attack to take down Winston easily in a 1v1 fight. Winton's own barrier can block her attacks so it’s best to deal with him quickly.
Mei: Zarya's Particle barrier easily stops Mei’s freeze ray, so whether she’s attacking you or a teammate, you can take advantage of this and charge your weapons before annihilating her with your high damage Particle Cannon.
Pharah: Due to Zarya’s limited targeting ability, Pharah can prove to be quite troublesome, her high damage rockets can easily chip away at Zarya’s health. Your best bet is to take cover and use your Particle Barrier to charge up your Particle Cannon and attempt to take her out.
Bastion: When in Sentry Mode, Bastion can tear completely through Zarya’s barriers within a few seconds if she’s caught in the line of fire. It’s best to try and take him out with her explosive charge shots and stick to cover.
Real Name: Aleksandra Zaryanova
Base of Operations: Krasnoyarsk Front, Russia
Affiliation: Russian Defense Forces
Aleksandra Zaryanova is one of the world's strongest women, a celebrated athlete who sacrificed personal glory to protect her family, friends, and country in a time of war.
Aleksandra was born in a remote Siberian village that was on the front lines of the Omnic Crisis, which began some thirty years ago. Although Russian forces defeated the robots and shut down their omnium, the region was devastated by the conflict. Only a child at the time, Aleksandra was surrounded by the post-war destruction, and as she grew older, she swore that she would gain the strength to help her people recover.
Focusing on weightlifting and bodybuilding, Aleksandra was identified by the national athletics program as a potential star. She trained extensively, moving up the ranks while representing her country, and was expected to shatter longstanding records in the upcoming world championships.
But on the eve of the tournament, an attack came from the long-dormant Siberian omnium, and her village was thrust into war once again. Aleksandra immediately withdrew from the competition and rushed home to enlist in the local defense forces, sacrificing the life of fame and fortune she might have had.
Now she serves—a symbol to some, a stalwart fellow soldier to others. But for Aleksandra, it is a chance to use her great strength to protect the ones she loves.