Zenyatta is an omnic monk who wanders the world in search of spiritual enlightenment. It is said that those who cross his path are never the same again.
Years ago, following the Omnic Crisis, a group of outcast omnic robots experienced what they described as a spiritual awakening. They abandoned their preprogrammed lives to establish a communal monastery deep in the Himalayas. After many years of meditation on the nature of existence, they came to the belief that they were more than artificial intelligence and, like humans, possessed the essence of a soul.
Recognizing the spiritual equality they held with humans, the monks, led by the enigmatic robot known as Tekhartha Mondatta, sought to heal the wounds caused by the Omnic Crisis a generation earlier and bring humans and robots back into societal harmony. Their message was embraced by millions around the world, and they became global celebrities.
But one monk, Zenyatta, disagreed with this new direction. He believed that the way to repair the problems between humans and omnics was not through dogmatic teaching but through interpersonal connection and engagement.
Ultimately, Zenyatta followed his own path. He chose to leave the monastery and wander the world, helping those he meets to overcome their personal struggles and find inner peace. But, when necessary, he will fight to protect the innocent, be they omnic or human.
Orb of Destruction 20 rounds per clip 2-second reload Primary fire: Singular Orb Linear projectile type 46 damage 2.5 shots per second 60 m/s projectile speed ✔ Can headshot Secondary fire: Orb Volley Charged burst fire linear projectile type 46 damage per orb 1 - 5 orbs per shot Max 230 bodyshot damage 5 orbs in 0.4 seconds 1 - 5 rounds per burst 60 m/s projectile speed 0.4 - 2 and up to 3 seconds charging, 0.6 seconds buffer ✔ Can headshot Zenyatta projects his destructive energy orbs either individually or in a rapid-fire volley after a few seconds spent gathering power. Primary Fire Key: (, , ) Secondary Fire Key: (, , )
Orb of Harmony Ally-targeting healingprojectile type 30 HP per second 120 m/s projectile speed 40 m range Lasts 3 seconds or until target is changed 0-second cooldown Zenyatta casts an orb over the shoulder of a targeted ally. So long as Zenyatta maintains line of sight, the orb slowly restores health to his ally. Only one ally can receive the orb's benefit at a time. Default Key: (, , )
Orb of Discord Enemy-targeting debuff projectile type -30% damage resistance 120 m/s projectile speed 40 m range Lasts 3 seconds or until target is changed 0-second cooldown Attaching the orb of discord to an opponent amplifies the amount of damage they receive for as long as Zenyatta maintains line of sight. Only one opponent can suffer the orb's effects at a time. Default Key: (, , )
Ultimate Ability: Transcendence Channeled ultimate type Area healing ability type 10 m radius 300 healing per second 11 m/s movement speed Lasts 6 seconds
Zenyatta enters a state of heightened existence for a short period of time. While transcendent, Zenyatta cannot use abilities or weapons, but is immune to damage, moves twice as fast, and automatically restores his health and that of nearby allies.
Default Key: (, , )
Beside these abilities, Zenyatta is able to jump, crouch, reload (only when his ammo is not full), and perform Quick Melee. However, when he activates his ultimate ability, he cannot crouch, reload, or perform Quick Melee.
All seasonal event items, which are marked with special event icons ( • • • • • ), are only available to be unlocked either through their respective Loot Boxes or by Credits within the event's duration.During the event, newly-introduced event items cost three times as much as non-event items of the same rarity, while returning seasonal items are unlocked at the regular price.
Tekhartha Zenyatta was a member of the Shambali, a Buddhist-esque monastery in Nepal that preaches omnic rights and that omnics' possession of souls. Zenyatta became the mentor of Genji, a human that had been given a machine body to save his life, when he arrived at Nepal. Genji had been unsettled by his existence, but Zenyatta helped him come to terms with his dual existence. Genji moved into the village at the Shambali monastery.
Zenyatta came to disagree with the monastery's methods of spreading their message. He believed that humans and omnics should unite via empathy, not just dogmatic teaching. He decided to leave the monastery and now wanders the world.
Around the time of recent Christmas, he was seen meditating next to Genji at a place which looks similar to Nepal.
Zenyatta is a very calm and supportive omnic, always willing to help those in mental pain. He is very enlightened and has a wise thought for just about anything, such as how patience is the greatest weapon and that anger only defeats the one who possesses it. He also often meditates on metaphysical ideas and makes multiple references to sayings of numerous religions, mostly to Buddhism and Christianity.
Unlike most heroes, Zenyatta never trash-talks any enemies while in a match, and only speaks of how they refuse to learn whenever he defeats one. He additionally has a very dry sense of humor, for the assumed closest teaching he has to comedy is "If you wish to know someone, walk in their shoes....or hover."
Though he enjoys sharing his guidance, Zenyatta prefers his students to learn about the morals of life for themselves.
Zenyatta is often not seen as a harsh threat to many players, as he is classed in Support. However, this is far from true, as his damage output is significant, making a competent Zenyatta player potentially extremely deadly and should be fought with great caution.
Since Zenyatta's Orbs of Destruction have a travel time, it's better to engage at mid-range so that you can land your shots effectively without leading them too much. However, his damage falloff immunity means you shouldn't be afraid to engage at long-range should the situation call for it.
While your orb volley can deal devastating damage, take note that Genji can still deflect the orbs. Because of this, try not to unleash an orb volley against a Genji unless you are certain his Deflect is recharging.
While he has low mobility, Transcendence makes him very fast and briefly invulnerable.
That said, beware heroes like Widowmaker and Hanzo. While both can be killed with well-placed and timely Orb Volleys, Zenyatta’s slow mobility makes him a prime target for snipers.
Zenyatta is the only hero who has no footstep noises, making him surprisingly stealthy.
In such case, take advantage of his low mobility using high burst damage (close-up Reaper or Sombra, Pharah's rockets, and most forms of one-shot combo that he's less likely to be able to run away from, such as Roadhog's hook)
Be careful when letting a Zenyatta disengage from a fight, as much of his health is shield, and he will regain much of it when not taking damage.
Zenyatta's orbs only function if the player is alive, so it is HIGHLY encouraged to protect Zenyatta on your team and keep him towards the rear of the fight (with reasonable distance for repelling potential flankers and better access to Transcendence). Keeping Zenyatta alive and protected makes him extraordinarily powerful and a very valuable asset to the team as a whole.
Orb of Harmony and Orb of Discord require a direct line of sight, so even a glass window can dispel them.
Orb of Discord can act somewhat like a tracking device for a brief period of time, allowing for Zenyatta to chase or let his team chase down the marked target.
Because Orbs of Discord increase the damage taken by enemy heroes, opponents are more likely to take cover if they are tagged by your Discord Orb. This can be used to your advantage to deter enemy movements, as well as to create favorable spacing for you and your team.
With a rather poor heal capability of the Orb of Harmony compared to most others sources of healing, it is recommended to leave the burst-healing task (when possible) to Ana, Mercy, or a hacked health pack, and give the orb to heroes that may take consistent, non-burst damage such as an engaging Pharah, Tracer, Genji.
Even when not engaging, it should be put on anyone in case of any sudden damage sources.
His Orb of Discord is very effective at taking down high health opponents, such as tanks.
While Orb of Discord requires line of sight to maintain, it still latches onto the targeted enemy for 3 seconds before being dispelled, thus can be useful to track them through walls as well. Much like Sombra's passive ability, the Discord orb tracking only applies to Zenyatta, so it is recommended to communicate with teammates on that.
Zenyatta’s Orbs of Discord are best utilized when communicating with your team. Calling out which heroes you Discord allows your teammates to concentrate fire against prioritized targets, which can make the difference in a firefight.
Also note that after an orb volley, there is a small cooldown for throwing orbs again, thus is recommended to use when Zenyatta is not about to engage with an enemy.
Zenyatta can cancel his orb volley without firing by using quick melee so as to not let enemies know where you are.
Don't use Transcendence just because you're being cornered. While your speed is increased, making for a good escape, it is better used to support teammates when they need it most, such as if caught in an enemy's ultimate.
Like Lucio's ultimate, it can be used offensively to negate incoming damage and promote assassination on your team, should your team be coordinated and good to go.
Unlike Lucio's ultimate, however, Transcendence cannot be cancelled by an EMP, and it lasts much longer than the EMP's effects, so Transcendence can be used to keep teammates alive during its duration.
Take note that Ana's biotic grenade is the most effective counter to Zenyatta's ultimate due to its ability to negate any incoming heals. However, an allied Ana can also boost the abilty’s effects, making it even more powerful.
Use Transcendence when fighting in a choke point, on an objective with many teammates, or delivering the payload in the last few moments, as it will allow the team to push the payload without much worry of dying.
Transcendence is also particularly useful as a counter to enemy ults, such as Genji’s Dragonblade and Zarya’s Graviton Surge. A well timed Transcendence can neutralize the effectiveness of these ults.
Zenyatta's Orb of Harmony is best passed from one person to the next, focusing too much on one hero isn't nessecarily good, because others will need it as well. This is true with Mercy as well, as she can only heal one person at a time.
When playing with a second healer capable of doing high amounts of healing to a single hero (such as Mercy or Ana), juggle Orbs of Harmony to heal heroes with smaller health pools. Doing this allows your main healer to focus on keeping the tank heroes alive.
It is best not to try and charge all five orbs when engaged in combat, although the effects are devastating, most people will dodge most orbs, and in Genji's case, he can deflect all five, which won't make Zenyatta the happiest Omnic around. Zenyatta's DPS is great, which means countinously spam-firing his orbs is more useful than charging multiple orbs, which can take close to 6 seconds.
Oftentimes, to add extra damage, you can add an Orb of Discord on a person right after firing the Orb Volley. While not all of the orbs will deal extra damage, the last few should deal more.
A good use for the charged orbs is to do corner checking. Charge them and slowly move around the corner and release while still moving. If there is an enemy with low heath it might result in a kill.
Keep track of your ammo counter. Zenyatta can fire a full charged volley even when he has 1/20 shots left. Use this to your advantage if the situation demands it.
Zenyatta's Transcendence rapidly heals teammates, allowing them to recover from mass damage. From an enemy's perspective, this can be used to charge an ultimate, as charge is gained from dealing damage, and not taking damage.
Keep in mind that Zenyatta can still be moved by Roadhog’s Hook, Reinhardt’s Charge, Zarya’s Graviton Surge, Lucio’s Soundwave and Pharah’s Concussive Blast while Transcendence is active. On maps like Lijang Tower and Illios, this can kill an otherwise invincible Zenyatta, so be aware of your surroundings while using your Transcendence.
If playing with fellow Supports, mind their health as well. Zenyatta's line-of-sight healing allows him to help from afar, and an allied Mercy or Lucio often has little time to self-heal.
Highly-mobile heroes should keep in mind that Orb of Discord requires line of sight. Breaking the enemy Zenyatta's line of sight with you will quickly remove the orb.
Flanking heroes, especially sneak-attack heroes such as a Reaper and McCree, should use the enemy Zenyatta to gauge their attacks. If you receive an Orb of Discord while flanking, the enemy team (or at least their healer) is likely aware of your presence.
Zenyatta is often a target for flanking heroes like Tracer and Genji. If you find yourself engaging the former (or other heroes, like Reaper or Sombra), try to pace your shots to hit them in the head. If the opportunity presents itself, a well-placed, fully charged volley can fell most flanking heroes. If you are faced against a Genji, slow down your primary fire. Usually, Genji will initially deflect to use your orbs against you before using his dash attack. Slowing down your primary fire will help maximize damage against the Genji while minimizing any damage you’d normally receive from deflected projectiles.
Zenyatta has few methods of escape when cornered, but can deal serious damage and should not be underestimated. Heroes like Zarya (Barrier), Reinhardt (Shield), and Genji (Deflect) can mitigate the damage and simply run an enemy Zenyatta down.
Zenyatta seems to have nine glowing dots on his head, while other omnics have three dots. He shares this physical characteristic with another omnic, Tekhartha Mondatta, albeit his dots are in different placement.
Zenyatta is the only hero in Overwatch to have more shield than health.
The character "禅" on Zenyatta's bead, hanging from his waist on his backside, is a Chinese (and also Japanese) character meaning "zen". The characters are also visible on his Orb of Destruction of the skins which are not Legendary skins.
Zenyatta's orbs are hand-carved at Shambali Monastery and serve as a means to channel Omnic energy. They can be unleashed in peaceful or destructive ways.
In the Summer Games, Zenyatta's signature sport is martial arts, especially in the form of taekwondo. This sport theme may be based on his action when performing Quick Melee.
Zenyatta is the only character who hovers. Despite this, he can still get trapped by Junkrat's Steel Trap.
Additonally, Zenyatta can jump, despite never touching the ground. How he is able to do this remains a mystery.
Despite being a major part of his kit, Zenyatta's Harmony and Discord orbs are explicitly stated as non-canon gameplay mechanics.
Zenyatta is the only hero whose quick melee is a kick.
The dots on his head is a Jieba, a symbol representing the three gems of the Buddha, the Dharma, and the Sangha; the three vows of abandoning bad behavior, having wisdom to release others from suffering, and creating goodness; and the three trainings of discipline, concentration, and wisdom.
His orbs symbolize the nine chakras (the tenth chakra is outside the body). The word means circle, which may be why it's a necklace.
The Orb of Discord and Orb of Harmony represents the Yin and Yang, a Chinese taoist and Buddhist symbol for opposites. As a teacher, he is also supposed to bring out the good and the bad in the student.
His close bond to Genji may be a reference to the origin of ninjitsu being in Buddhism.
His Transcendence, in which he gains multiple arms, may be a reference to Avalokiteśvara, a monk who gained a thousand arms to help all in need.
Siddhartha Gautama, the founder of Buddhism who was born in Nepal around 500 BC. According to Buddhism, he was the first to achieve enlightenment through meditation and the middle path between self-denial and hedonic indulgence. He is also known as the Buddha.
Śūnyatā, meaning emptiness - a cornerstone concept in Buddhism.
The Japanese-origin universal word "zen" means "meditative state" (or "trance"), and the Malay/Indonesian word "nyata" means "absolute," "clear," "real," and "true." This simply alludes to the fact that meditation can bring someone to enlightenment.
Zenyatta's Djinyatta skin is a play on djinn and his name, Zenyatta. Its appearance is based on common artists' imagination of djinn: long moustache, angry expression, with a great feathered turban and a pair of Arabian shoes.
Likewise, the Ifrit skin is a reference to Ifrit, a supernatural creature in Middle Eastern stories. Ifrit is described as an infernal kind of djinn and has a connection to the element of fire. When equipping this skin, and activating Transcendence, the ability will make a fiery effect instead of a light effect.
Zenyatta's Ra skin is named after the God of the Sun in Egyptian mythology. The God Ra is always drawn as having a human body and a falcon head, along with a disk of the sun above. Zenyatta in this skin also wears a nemes headress, an ankh necklace, and a belt with an Eye of Horus symbol to add more into the Egyptian theme.
The Sunyatta skin is a play on words, it's a mix of Sun (from Ra, God of the Sun), Śūnyatā, and Zenyatta.
If you look closely on the orbs of Ra and Sunyatta skin, there are images of scarabs, a beetle worshipped by the ancient Egyptians.
On the back of his robe, there is the word "唐", stand for his last name, Tang. The character "禅" which is normally placed on Zenyatta's belt is replaced by the word "徃"; it means "go (forward)" or "depart".
The words "金蝉子" are engraved on his orbs; it means "golden cicada". It is told in the story that Sanzang's past life is Golden Cicada, a disciple of the Buddha.
Zenyatta's Cultist skin is a reference to Cthulhu, an entity from H.P. Lovecraft's short story The Call of Cthulhu.
Cthulhu was often depicted as an idol of worship for various cults all over the world, likely the origin of the name of the skin.
Zenyatta has different voice lines when the Cultist skin is equipped. For instance, when Zenyatta activates his Transcendence while wearing the Cultist skin, the lines “Experience tranquility” and “Pass into the Iris” are altered to become “Experience oblivion” and “Pass into the unknown” respectively.
Zenyatta's "I Dreamt I Was A Butterfly" voice line comes from a quote by Chinese philosopher Zhuang Zhou. The full quote is "Now I do not know whether it was then I dreamt I was a butterfly, or whether I am now a butterfly dreaming I am a man."
Zenyatta's "Hello, world!" voice line comes from what most programmers use as a basic syntax of their first program.
Zenyatta's "Do I think? Does a submarine swim?" voice line comes from a quote by Dutch computer scientist Edsger Wybe Dijkstra. The exact quote was "The question of whether machines can think (...) is about as relevant as the question of whether submarines can swim".
Zenyatta's "Death is Whimsical Today" is a reference to the movie "Léon", a remarkable quote by the antagonist Norman Stansfield.
Zenyatta's "I think, therefore I am" voice line is derived from a quote by philosopher René Descartes who said: "Cogito ergo sum." which translates to "I think, therefore I am".
Zenyatta's pre-game line on Horizon Lunar Colony, "The damage doesn’t look so bad from up here." is likely a reference to the beginning of the original Star Wars, where C-3PO says nearly the exact same line looking out of an escape pod.