Overwatch: Best & Worst Basic Abilities, Ranked

Overwatch is one of the biggest FPS games to come out in the last few years. It features a colorful and diverse cast of characters, each of them bringing their own set of skills and tools to the table. While a huge ultimate ability can make the difference between a W or an L, skillful use of a character’s cooldown tools is also pivotal to your team’s success.

RELATED: Nerf This: 10 Clutch Overwatch Ults That Can Change The Tide Of Any Fight

Just like ultimates, though, some character abilities are just better than others. This list will look at some of the best ones in the game as well as the not-so-great ones.

Continue scrolling to keep reading

Click the button below to start this article in quick view

Start Now

10 Worst: Barrier Projector

You’d think a giant dome of protection would be a pretty useful tool, but sadly, Winston’s Barrier Projector underperforms. At just 600 hit points, the barrier can easily be burst down quickly by a team with even a semblance of coordination.

It also has a pretty lengthy cooldown of 13 seconds and it actually despawns naturally with 7 seconds left. That’s just not enough time to help your team out in any kind of way defensively except for when retreating. And considering the dome will probably be shot down even before that, its offensive applications are also lacking.

9 Best: Biotic Grenade

Unlike most grenades in video games, this one helps just as much as it harms. Toss out one of these bad boys and, depending on who it hits, it will either give your teammates a boost in healing properties or deny any sort of healing to enemy players. It explodes when making contact with anything, so make sure your tosses are on-point.

Healing is such an important resource in Overwatch. Having the power to buff your own team’s healing while simultaneously stripping your opponent’s away is a big advantage. It’s no wonder Ana can only carry one grenade at a time while Junkrat can carry up to two mines.

8 Worst: Wraith Form

As a character, Reaper is a scrub-cleaner with probably one of the highest raw damage outputs, but his abilities are near useless. At best, Wraith Form is a sub-par defensive option when in a pinch. At worst, it’s a horrible offensive option that basically telegraphs to the other team that you’re about to do Death Blossom.

RELATED: Overwatch: The 10 Easiest Heroes For Beginners

In order to get Reaper’s ultimate off effectively, you usually have to do something incredibly cheesy. 9 times out of 10 it doesn't involve using Wraith Form at all, unless your teammates are already distracting the other team, but by that time there’s really no point in using the ability.

7 Best: Defense Matrix

By far D.Va’s best tool, the Defense Matrix has so much utility, it’s crazy more people don’t learn how to use it effectively. This wondrous piece of technology cancels out all projectiles and even some game-changing ultimates too. Even so, it still has no luck staving off melee attacks or beam weapons, but that trade-off is practically negligible.

It’s a cone that can protect you as well as any teammate that stands inside of it. Therefore, D.Va can actually sometimes get away with being out of position and still have a way of defending the team from damage. That added onto the fact that it can make the best ultimate in the game, Graviton Surge, useless means that this ability’s value is through the roof.

6 Worst: Teleporter

All of Symmetra's other tools are actually quite useful, but her Teleporter isn't, even in the hands of someone who knows what they’re doing. The Teleporter might be good for a one-time attack strategy to throw your opponent off, but if it doesn't succeed the first time, it’s back to the drawing board.

It’s just not a very reliable or consistent ability compared to her other tools. Back when her Teleporter was her ultimate, its application was very useful, but in its current incarnation, there just isn't much you can do with it outside of a few specific maps.

5 Best: Hack

Sombra has a number of useful basic abilities, but her best has got to be the Hack. Need that Tracer to stop moving so much? Hack her. D.Va keeps eating your Zarya’s Graviton Surges? Hack her. Lúcio keeps skating on walls and booping your teammates around? Hack him.

RELATED: Master Overwatch With These 10 Essential Player Tips

In the right hands, a Sombra has the power to shut down almost any other character on the roster all at her fingertips. On top of that, it can also be used as indirect off-healing as well. Hacking a health pack on a map will not only have it respawn faster but also makes it inaccessible to your opponents.

4 Worst: Shadow Step

It’s a good thing Reaper is not an ability intensive character. Or maybe he’s not ability intensive because his abilities are just not practical. Either way, Shadow Step basically has the same applications as Symmetra’s Teleporter but worse. If you don’t select a spot carefully, which more than likely won’t be a good spot anyway, you’ll take way too much damage teleporting in and instantly have to make a retreat with your almost as equally-useless Wraith Form.

This ability only works in the cheesiest of set-ups when your team already has the enemy’s attention, and again, if that’s the case, then there really is no use for the ability at that point. It may save a little time getting from point A to point B, but that’s about it.

3 Best: Immortality Field

The latest hero, Baptiste, brings with him a very unique tool: the Immortality Field, which keeps your teammates from dying for a brief period. This tool is especially useful for setting up hardpoints defensively. While under the laser light show of the little drone, teammates’ health bars will never drop below a certain point, allowing them to continue pressuring without any worries.

RELATED: Overwatch: A Beginner's Guide To Baptiste

The trade-off is that the ability has a cooldown of 20 seconds, the drone can be destroyed, and it naturally despawns after 7 seconds. Most players won’t be bothered to try and kill the drone, though, and 7 seconds is sometimes more than enough time to punish a player or two who are out of position.

2 Worst: Combat Roll

McCree is one of the best one-on-one characters in the game, but one-on-one fights can only take your team so far. Not only is Combat Roll one of the worst movement tools in the game, but it also has a 6-second cooldown.

That may not sound like much, but other characters in the game get much more utility out of movement abilities with similar properties that also move them farther and have the same amount of cooldown time or less. This little barrel roll the cowboy does just doesn't cut it. At least you get a faster reload during it, so that’s kind of nice.

1 Best: Resurrect

What’s better than keeping your teammates from dying? Bringing them back from the dead. Easily the best ability in the game, Mercy’s Resurrect is an irreplaceable tool. While some may argue that changing this ultimate into a basic ability is a nerf, it’s still a very powerful ability.

Just being able to bring back one teammate in the middle of a fight or saving time so they don’t have to run all the way back from spawn after one is huge. It’s also still the best morale booster for your team and morale killer for your opponent.

NEXT: Overwatch: 10 Life-Saving Tips To Become A Better Healer

More in Lists