What's the deal with Hanzo's hitbox anyway?



Lately, there has been quite a bit of discussion about Hanzo and his state of balance. It has already been confirmed by Blizzard that he will receive at least one nerf in the near future, but a lingering problem involving his strange hitboxes is, apparently, still alive and thriving.

This isn't a new bug or a just recently discovered issue either. As far back as July as of last year, videos about Hanzo's irregular hitbox have been popping up, validating subconscious suspicions many players had about how difficult it was to land a headshot against him.

Some cursory searches around popular Overwatch watering holes reveal a consistent history of gripes about Hanzo's hitboxes. Just this week, two top threads on both r/overwatch and r/competitiveoverwatch both deal with the indescribable weirdness of Hanzo's head and how it's resistant to bullets.

The player frustration is easy to spot:

"It feels terrible and luck-based. This should have been fixed ages ago, it's literally broken."

"Hanzo has been the hardest hero for me to headshot and now I know why"

"This has been a problem since the beginning of the game, yet Blizzard hasn't fixed it"

But is this really broken?

While it appears true enough that Hanzo is protected to some extent by his outstretched arms and bow, this isn't necessarily indicative of an inconsistency in the games coding. Some will argue that, if a projectile hits another hitbox (in this case, an armor or a bow) before it collides with a head hitbox, the attack should rightly stop at the point of first contact.

And the expected result is no headshot.

An attempt to fix this problem by shrinking the hand or arrow hitbox may result in more "accurate" headshots against Hanzo when his bow is outstretched, but then a new problem arises with shots whiffing Hanzo's body and hands completely. Hanzo's fire animation is unique -- why not have his hands protect his head?

This isn't the only case of this happening either. A similar situation occurs whenever Mercy raises her hands to use Resurrect -- her hand hitbox covers part of her head and, as a result, headshots sometimes connect with arms.

So is this really a big deal? Maybe to the players who consistently miss otherwise well-placed headshots against a dueling Hanzo the frustration is well deserved, but a more likely explanation for a resurgence of this complaint is Hanzo's current power level already oppressing a shimada weary community.

On top of incredible damage, mobility and fast ult charge, does Hanzo really need another trick up his sleeve?


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