Season 3 is off to a flying start, which makes now the perfect time to take a step back and evaluate your gameplay by analyzing your stats. Overwatch’s in-game stats are notoriously bad at providing players with meaningful insights. Thankfully, many third-party Overwatch stat tracking websites have sprung up. Let’s take a look at some of the most popular sites, and analyze which stats are valuable (and not valuable) for players who wants to evaluate their performance.
Three most commonly used sites are Overbuff, Master Overwatch, and Overwatch Tracker. They display per-game stats, hero/class breakdowns, basic trends, leaderboard rankings, percentile comparisons to other players in the database, and other useful tidbits of information. Let’s review some of the important (and misleading) pieces of data offered by these websites.
Skill Rank Percentile
All of the third-party stat tracking websites provide a skill rank percentile: How your skill rating compares to every other player in their database. However, these sites only have access to a player’s data when someone has searched his or her name on the website. Because a lot of casual players never bother to use these websites, the sites’ skill ranks are biased. Subsequently, your real skill rank is probably a few percentage points higher. This also explains why your skill rank will be slightly different if you compare across websites.
Comparing Your Stats with Other Players
All of the third-party stat tracking websites will display a percentile that indicates how you rank among other players in their database. Higher percentiles are better (99% means that you beat out 99% of the players in their database) unless you’re measuring a stat like deaths, in which case a lower percentile is better. Overbuff’s hero stats section is a great way to evaluate your stats compared to the rest of the player base. Click into each hero’s page to see how the top and bottom players perform in each stat category. Just make sure that you’re not comparing stats across different heroes; Mercy players will almost always have a K/D below 1, whereas Soldier: 76 players should never have a K/D below 1.
Comparing your stats against other players will give you a general idea of your performance (for example, if your K/D with Reinhardt is less than 1, you should reevaluate how you play the hero). However, there are many limitations to these numbers. For example, Lucio players at higher SRs tend to spend more time in speed boost. That will decrease their healing stats, but it doesn’t objectively make them worse than Lucio players with higher healing numbers. Healing averages are particularly worthless stats for support heroes; focus more on lowering your deaths per game and improving your game sense. A clutch support ult can turn the tide of a team fight, but it doesn’t get tracked by a website.
Bottom line: Don’t focus too much on the numbers! What most affects your SR is if your team wins and loses. Padding your stats won’t help you win games.
Overbuff Hero Rank
This is a close to worthless measure, but it’s used a lot – especially on Reddit – by players who are trying to prove how skilled they are with that hero. The Overbuff Hero Rank factors in skill rating, win rate, games played, and hero stats. Unfortunately, games played isn’t a good indicator of your actual skill with a hero. Skill rating and win rate are better, but hero stats are also an issue because your stats are partly determined by your skill rating. A Master-level Winston player might not have better stats than a Platinum-level player because they are usually playing against different levels of competition. As an example, check out my Winston stats below. Am I really among the top 400 Winstons? Probably not. My season high is 3126, and my win rate + hero stats would most likely suffer if I were playing at a Masters level of competition.
Per-Game Stats vs Per-Minute Stats
The three stat tracking websites provide a range of per-game stats and per-minute stats on each hero that you play. I prefer per-minute stats because Overwatch’s current meta rewards aggression. If you die all the time, you’re not going to have high per-minute stats (because you’re spending a lot of your time in the respawn screen). Playing for a high K/D doesn’t always help your team if you’re being too conservative and not securing meaningful kills. The game counts assists as eliminations, which can skew K/D ratios higher for heroes who can damage a lot of enemies very quickly. I usually default to Master Overwatch’s per-minute stats. Overbuff’s site is also useful, but I find Overwatch Tracker’s layout and stat presentation to be the worst among the three sites.
Track Your Own Stats in a Spreadsheet
More analytical players should consider manually tracking additional stats in a spreadsheet. Although the stat-tracking websites are good at collecting hero-based data, they are not very useful for visualizing your SR gains and losses. Manually tracking your SR gains and losses, map win / loss ratios, and other stats will supplement your knowledge. This handy and easy-to-use document was shared on Reddit and can be edited / added upon: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1BEwADRlbFgjaFzSKHr7qPTjdx1jUOr28nUWtgGNxkMY/edit?usp=sharing. Simply click File -> Make a Copy, or File -> Download as Microsoft Excel to edit the document with your own stats. Feel free to add and change columns if you’re interested in tracking more stats, such as medal count, SR difference between the teams, game leavers / disconnects, etc.
At the end of the season, you can use this document and calculate an average SR gained per win and lost per loss. For example, mine ended up being average gain: 25.68 points and average loss: 26.20 points.
Tracking your Streaks and Avoiding Tilt
The document linked above automatically populates a graph that charts your SR gains and losses. Start filling out the chart and you’ll begin to notice how much streaks will affect your SR. Streaks are especially noticeable during the 5th straight win or loss, although sometimes they can kick in after the 4th.
Once your streak bonus kicks in, you’ll find yourself gaining (or losing) more SR than you normally would. In the case of losing streaks, “tilt” refers to the worsening of a player’s performance as he/she goes on a losing streak. Not all players experience tilt, but going on a day-long losing streak is a enough to derail weeks’ worth of SR gains; this can be difficult to visualize unless you’re actively tracking your SR changes. There’s no surefire way to eliminate tilt that works for everyone, but if you’re a streaky player, consider taking a break after losing 2 games in a row. Play another game mode, grab a snack, or do something else to refresh.
That’s all, Overwatch players. Go out there any enjoy Season 3!