If you're looking for a beautifully designed team-based shooter that features interesting character designs, smooth visuals, and challenging gameplay elements, then Overwatch is the game for you. This aesthetically pleasing Blizzard release features a full roster of creative personalities that are endlessly locked in a struggle for the well-being of future Earth.
Overwatch has taken the First-person Shooter genre by storm. During its worldwide release back in May of 2016, Overwatch managed to attract over seven million players in a little over a week. That number grew to a massive 25 million players by January of 2017. Pair all of this with an impressive 91 Metacritic Score (90 on the PS4) and it's easy to see why Overwatch is such a smash hit.
Much like Team Fortress 2, Overwatch features a multitude of heroes (and some villains) to choose from. Each has their own unique playstyle and the full stock of playable pawns has something for everyone. Due to its competitive nature, this has Blizzard hard at work cranking out constant updates and balancing fixes to ensure the game feels as fair and fun as possible.
That being said, it doesn't mean that all characters shine equally. Overwatch rewards skill, practice, and dedication, but there are some heroes that come equipped with better abilities and functions overall. This is why it seemed important to rank all 24 current Overwatch heroes from worst to best.
It is important to note that Overwatch is a hero-swapping game, allowing you to quickly change classes upon each death. Because of this, some characters were created as direct "hero counters." This list takes a look at each hero overall, counting their abilities and utility as a grade.
Who is your number one? Let us know!
This hurts me emotionally. Zenyatta is a wonderful character, a pure Omnic monk that is simply too good for this world. It's painful to include him at the bottom of this list, but he is here for a couple reasons.
Zenyatta is a bit of a one trick pony, with both of his abilities coming in the form of attachable orbs. The harmony orb can latch onto one teammate at a time, providing them with a healing over time effect. The discord orb creates the opposite effect, latching onto a single enemy and forcing them to take double damage from all sources.
While both of these mechanics are useful in their own right, they don't provide enough oomph to lift Zenyatta higher up the list. The harmony orb is a bit lacking in its heal amount, and discord orb doesn't offer Zenyatta any elusiveness. His ultimate ability will provide rapid healing for anyone around him, but this healing isn't enough to stop hard nuking from focused fire, a Junkrat tire, or a D.Va mech explosion.
Winston is a unifier. This hyper-intelligent gorilla scientist is responsible for activating the Overwatch protocol and bringing all its former heroes together.
Unfortunately, Winston is a much better scientist than he is an Overwatch hero. This gorilla guardian is by no means a pushover, but in terms of tank effectiveness and damage output, he falls rather flat. His shielding ability offers quick cover for teammates, but comes at the cost of a lengthy cooldown. His nifty jump pack allows him to reach areas inaccessible to some, which can be very handy in eliminating snipers (and annoyingly good Genji players).
Aside from that, Winston isn't much of a threat. His survivability relies on him diving in and out of danger, thanks to a lower health pool and a lack of armor or shields. Characters with high damage output can take down an unassisted Winston fairly quickly. His tesla cannon does travel through shields, is incapable of deflection, and can attack multiple players at once. Sadly, the damage output is low enough that skilled players can quickly escape.
Orisa is the newest face to the Overwatch universe. This Omnic protection bot was created by Efi Oladele, an 11-year-old child prodigy with a serious adoration for robotics. Orisa comes off as a young A.I., boasting child-like innocence and a lawful police-influenced attitude. Her tanky exterior offers more protection than Winston, but her current setup of utilities leaves a lot to be desired.
Orisa is capable of calling down a shield, similar to Reinhardt and Winston, but notably smaller and anchored towards one direction. A secondary ability allows her to overcharge her shields, making her temporarily invulnerable to stuns and less susceptible to damage. Her ultimate ability is a beacon that grants all teammates in a given area increased damage output. Orisa's real bread and butter is her weapon, a massive chaingun that does solid DPS and features a secondary fire capable of pulling enemies towards a specific location.
All of this looks great on paper, but in-game Orisa is rather easy to burst down. Her shield doesn't offer nearly as much mobility as Reinhardt's and her movement speed is rather sluggish. To make matters worse, her ultimate ability can be destroyed rather quickly by focused fire.
Every shooting game needs at least one sniper. If you're looking for a cold and calculated damage dealer, then Widowmaker is right up your alley. Her fancy firearm features two modes, a fast-firing bullet spread and a chargeable precision scoped single-shot.
Her abilities are rather basic. She makes use of a grappling hook that can pull her into unique sniping positions or give her an edge in escaping a would-be attacker. The venom mine acts as an attachable proximity device, poisoning anyone who steps too close to it. Her ultimate ability will give her entire team the ability to see and track enemies through walls.
All of this sounds fantastic in theory, but lengthy ability cooldowns, a weak damage-over-time effect, and a serious skill requirement force us to rank Widowmaker much lower in this countdown. A skilled flanker can easily pick off the blue-skinned sniper and once she becomes the focus of attention, it can be hard to land the headshots she desperately needs to survive.
From a character design standpoint, Torbjorn is pretty amazing. This pint-sized engineer is easy to dismiss due to his short stature, but carries enough firepower to quickly lay waste to his enemies.
While other heroes spend their time battling along the front lines, Torbjorn is feverishly building turrets and supplying his allies with useful armor packs. His weapon lobs projectile bolts that do massive damage and his alternate fire shoots a painful shotgun-like spread. If you hear "Molten Core," be prepared to face an insanely strong turret and its fired up owner for a short period of time.
Torbjorn is a bit lower on this list due to his lack of escape and team dependency. Without shielding, his turret is an easy target for any character with a long range weapon. That being said, if a team builds themselves around a Torbjorn, he becomes a major headache.
Sombra is a sarcastic hacking genius that uses cunning and trickery to assault the battlefield. Her skill set makes her a fantastic choice for flanking the enemy team, but a lackluster ultimate ability and high player skill level places her at number 19 on this list.
Her hack ability has a multitude of uses. Sombra can hack enemy health packs, abilities, and ultimates, while simultaneously offering faster recharging health packs for her team. She has a cloaking ability that makes her completely invisible for a short time and a long range teleportation beacon that can help her escape trouble.
The issues come from Sombra's uninspired ultimate, which shoots out an AOE EMP that hacks multiple enemies at one time. It doesn't last as long as we'd like and it won't affect certain characters ultimate's at all. Sombra is a great flanker, but a bit of a high learning curve for inexperienced players.
I love Lucio. His character movement is entertaining, his skill set is unique, and he has an upbeat attitude that is strong enough to make even the grumpiest person smile. He's a stylish AOE healer that rewards fast movement and tactical placement.
Lucio uses the power of music to heal and buff his allies, via a switchable soundtrack that can seamlessly flow from a subtle healing boost to a gentle rise in movement speed. His secondary "Amp it Up" skill increases this effect dramatically for a short period of time. What makes Lucio so unique is that he can heal a team simply by being around them. His weapon of choice is a booming sound wave gun, that comes complete with a secondary knockback attack.
Lucio finds himself in the bottom twelve due to his general inability to help his team as a solo healer. His amped up healing beats offer a nice influx of health for his allies, but when the music isn't turned up to 11, the effect is rather weak. Teams that embrace Lucio as a secondary healer will find a useful hero with a life-saving ultimate ability, fantastic survivability, and decent knockback.
This plucky little sentient Omnic killing machine was the main complaint when Overwatch first released. His immensely powerful sentry mode had many players (myself included) frustrated and anxious. He's gone through a lot of changes in the recent year, but familiarity is what put him at number 17.
Bastion can freely cycle between recon and sentry modes. When patrolling as a recon, our robotic friend deals damage via a self-mounted assault rifle that does quite a bit of damage when aimed correctly. His sentry mode forces him into a stationary position, but offers one of the most powerful weapons in the game, a 200 round chaingun that can melt almost any hero in seconds. His secondary ability is a pretty nifty self-heal that uses a rechargeable resource ability and can be activated in both modes. He can even turn into a tank with his ultimate ability.
Bastion has been up and down the buff rollercoaster already, but his bottom 12 placement comes from age. As more players became familiar with Overwatch's maps, mechanics, and skills, Bastion began to have a harder time picking off his opponents. Overwatch is known as a hero swapping game and Bastion has quite a few counters.
Hanzo is technically a sniper but uses a unique weapon in the Overwatch universe. This dishonored Japanese bowman favors an arrow over a bullet and his powerful strikes can be a nightmare in the right hands.
Each of Hanzo's arrows can be nocked, allowing him to accurately pinpoint when to take a shot at his foes. His sonic arrow acts like a miniature version of Widowmaker's ultimate, scouting enemies and marking them through walls for himself and allies. Scatter arrow is an intensely powerful shot that sends out tons of tiny shards when it strikes a character or surface. His ultimate ability is incredibly powerful when used correctly, as it sends out two massive dragons that pass through any objects and melt heroes caught in their path.
Hanzo has great placement ability, as he can climb walls and obstacles, but lacks much escape. If targeted by a flanker, Hanzo is usually easy prey. That being said, his scatter arrow and general headshots can instantly destroy another hero or even a tank under the right circumstances. His weapon has no scope, but his arrows offer a larger hitbox than most weapons.
Pharah is easily one of the most entertaining heroes to pick up. Her sky high antics and powerful rockets can decimate heroes with lower health pools, with a nice added splash damage effect for shots that may not directly connect. Her powerful weaponry and ability to burst down tanks and turrets make her a very valuable commodity to a team.
Pharah can leap high into the sky and float around by way of jet pack resource, which refills over time. Her supreme maneuverability makes her especially good at destroying snipers and close-quarter fighters. She even has a knockback, which can be used to toss enemies off cliffs or as an escape mechanism if a fight gets out of hand. Her ultimate ability rains justice from the skies, in the form of a concentrated rocket barrage.
As entertaining as she is, Pharah has a glaring issue that bumps her quite a few rungs down our list. She moves rather slowly when navigating the sky and her ultimate makes her completely stationary for a few moments. Because of this, Pharah is rather easy to pick off and a dedicated long-range hero will give her trouble.
Jamison "Junkrat" Fawkes is mayhem and hilarity personified. This anarchist, thief, demolitionist, mercenary, and scavenger (yes he is all of those) has a penchant for homemade explosives and traps.
Junkrat comes equipped with a grenade launcher that fires a volley of explosives, which explode on contact (with enemy heroes). His utility is fairly strong, with a steel bear trap that can immobilize enemies and a remote-controlled bomb that doubles as an escape mechanism. His ultimate is a powerful and mobile tire that can be driven into enemies and detonated.
It's challenging enough to keep your head level during a firefight, so imagine how difficult it can be when tiny explosive grenades are bouncing all over the battlefield. Junkrat provides supreme crowd control, with a knockback, stun, and general weapon-based chaos. His weakness comes from a low health pool and the fact that all of his tricky tools can be neutralized with a few well-placed shots.
During the first few months of Overwatch, Symmetra was viewed as more of a black sheep, than a competent hero. There were players out there who loved the challenge of her restrictive weapon and curious utilities, but we experienced many matches in which Symmetra was absent from the chosen roster.
Fast forward to now and Symmetra has become a patched powerhouse of utility and pain. Her weapon locks onto enemies, slowly melting their health as long as she maintains a close enough range. This damage even amps up the longer it is locked on. Her secondary fire releases a slow-moving orb that can travel through shields and deal heavy damage. She even has a large deployable shield and placeable mini-turrets that slow and sap health.
Symmetra may not have much escape, but her shields and utility make her a tough cookie to crack. Pair this with a choosable ultimate (between teleporter and shield generator) and it's easy to understand why she's getting more attention from the community.
Mei is adorable. All of her mannerisms, voice lines, and overly cute animations, make her one of the best characters in the Overwatch universe. But underneath that innocent exterior lies the heart of a cold-blooded and tactical maniac.
No, Mei isn't some psychopath at heart, but her weapon is brutal and strong. The Endothermic blaster will leave foes shivering with fear, thanks to a freezing stream of solution that slows enemies until they quite literally freeze in place. Its secondary fire launches a ballistic icicle that does massive damage when it strikes. To make Mei even more imposing, she was given an ice block shield that makes her immune to damage while simultaneously granting health. She even has an ice wall that can block enemies and projectiles. Her ultimate causes a massive AOE freeze that can turn an enemy team into sitting ducks.
Mei is strong in the right hands and has enough crowd control, sustain, and range, to make her a considerable challenge. That being said, it can be rather easy to down a Mei if the team focuses fire on her. Without her ultimate, she's limited in dealing with multiple enemies at once and her ice shield makes her immobile for a few seconds.
The doctor will see you now. Mercy is an angel from above and not just because of her costume. Mercy is the best single-target healer currently in the game, making her an incredibly valuable asset to the team.
The Caduceus staff is Mercy's main "weapon of choice." When equipped, this staff is capable of firing out a healing beam that latches onto allies and provides them with a steady stream of health. The alternate fire rewards teammates with a blue damage buffing beam that enhances their attack power. Mercy can also fly to her allies and can even float through the air with a Pharah. Her true power comes from her ultimate ability, which can revive up to five fallen teammates instantly. Her ultimate charges rather quickly and can even be used through walls.
Unfortunately, Mercy is an easy target for a sniper or a healer-hungry flanker. A lot of her survivability comes from bouncing between teammates and hiding from danger. She does have a secondary firearm that does a decent amount of damage, but Mercy shines brightest when her teammates are looking out for her best interest.
Reaper gets a lot of flack from the community about his edgy behavior and depressive mood, but he's actually quite useful when it's time to fight. Thanks to his tank-busting hellfire shotguns, Reaper can quickly lay waste to even the toughest of opponents with relative ease.
His flanking ability is top notch, with a shadow step that allows him to instantly teleport to locations within view and range. His wraith form gives him a very mobile escape method, making him immune to damage and upping his movement speed a slight amount. He can even collect soul orbs from downed enemies, which provide a small amount of healing.
Reaper can clear an enemy team with the blink of an eye. His ultimate ability deals massive AOE damage in a moderate area and heals him for each enemy downed. Unfortunately, Reaper can still be killed and stunned during his ultimate, which makes careful planning key to a successful sweep. We've also knocked off a few points to his survivability since most characters can still keep up with him during a wraith form escape.
Hana Song is one of the youngest members of the Overwatch roster, but that doesn't mean she's a pushover. Her powerful mech suit is armed to the teeth with dual fusion cannons that provide an endless stream of bullets.
She has great mobility, by way of rocket boosters that allow her to damage enemies and reach otherwise inaccessible areas. Her secondary ability is a resource-based shield that sucks in all incoming projectiles, including certain hero ultimates. D.Va is a tank at heart and features a rather large health bar. When her health is depleted, she simply springs out of her mech and can freely roam around with a powerful pistol in hand. This can make it difficult to deal with D.Va, as she's technically two characters at once. Let her escape long enough and she can call down a brand new mech.
Her ultimate ability causes a massive mech explosion which will instantly kill any character caught in its path, but it can be easily blocked by most shields and obstacles. D.Va is rather good at flanking, killing nuisance snipers, and blocking damage for her team.
Every shooting game needs a gunslinging cowboy. McCree is a young cowpoke with a shiny six-shooter and an abundance of old-west inspired voice lines. His decent utility and powerful weapon makes him a force to be reckoned with.
McCree has a handy flashbang that can stop a hero dead in their tracks, including heroes that are in the middle of an ultimate ability. A stunned foe is easy pickings for his Peacekeeper, which does massive headshot damage. His alternate fire allows him to "fan the hammer," spraying successive bullets into his target. For a quick burst of evasion, McCree can dodge roll away from enemies and projectiles. Even better, this rolling maneuver reloads his gun completely.
McCree shines at range and is great for eliminating characters like Pharah and Tracer. His ultimate ability, High Noon, can instantly decimate a team if used correctly. Unfortunately, a missed flashbang or a bad dodge roll can put McCree in a tricky situation, making him a character that rewards skillful play.
We bring in the muscle at number seven. Zarya is a powerful Russian frontline soldier that fought for her country and home during the Omnic Crisis. She's big, strong, and even has a voice line referencing Rocky IV. She's a stellar tank that can swing a game if used correctly.
Zarya's weapon of choice is a hulking particle cannon with a steady stream laser and a grenade-like alternate fire. Her gun is rather weak on its own, but works in tandem with her shielding abilities. Zarya can instantly "bubble" herself, or an ally, protecting them from harm by wrapping them in a seemingly impenetrable shield. Any enemies foolish enough to attack one of these shields will cause Zarya's weapon to gain charge. This Russian tank is immensely powerful when her weapon reaches 100 percent.
Her ultimate ability is incredibly useful as well, trapping enemies in a vortex that leaves them vulnerable to ally attacks. She takes a bit of getting used to, as her weapon charge is completely dependent on enemy attacks. This requires players to bait enemies into attacking them and since her shields don't last long, they must be timed perfectly.
6 Soldier 76
Once a prominent part of Overwatch, Soldier 76 now prowls the world as a vigilante, bringing criminals to justice and toppling seedy corporations. He's also the most "shooter-like" character in the game.
Soldier 76 comes equipped with a no frills heavy pulse rifle that fires a steady stream of bullets at medium range. His alternate fire sends out three helix rockets that do a massive amount of damage if they connect with their target. Oddly enough, one of Soldier 76's most useful abilities is his sprint, which allows him to traverse the battlefield much faster than his opponents. He can also toss down a handy biotic field to heal himself and nearby teammates.
His ultimate may seem unfair to some, but his tactical visor essentially acts like an aimbot for a short period of time. Anyone within Soldier 76's sights is locked on and gunned down with the utmost precision. This battle hardened warrior lands at number six on our countdown due to his impressive sustain, escape, range, and team clearing ability.
Roadhog holds a special place in my heart. This large and in charge counterpart to Junkrat is a hulking tank that can instantly end many squishy heroes. His massive man-made gun fires streams of shrapnel and junk in a wide spread. The alternate fire has a surprising amount of range and although his gun has a low capacity at four, it's important to note that he can one-shot many heroes in close quarters.
His health pool is staggering compared other heroes and he comes equipped with a self-heal that almost doubles his sustain. His real bread and butter, and one of the most entertaining mechanics in Overwatch, is his hook. This maniacal chain has a low cooldown and can pull heroes right in front of Roadhog, making them a quick meal for his scrap gun. He's also a solid tank buster, making him a valuable asset to any team.
His ultimate ability leaves a lot to be desired, but the knockback effect can push opponents off cliffs or capture points. He may seem one dimensional, but Roadhog is supremely entertaining to play.
It was very tough deciding between Roadhog and Reinhardt for the fourth position on our countdown, but this hulking knight barely edged out our hoggy friend. Reinhardt represents all that is good in the world, with his love for smashing things, David Hasselhoff, and precision German engineering.
Reinhardt is currently the only melee character on the roster. His rocket hammer is an impressive weapon, dealing punishing damage in a wide arc with each swing. He has no need for ammo and heroes foolish enough to get too close to him will find his large health pool and crushing blows too much to handle. He has some range with a large fire strike that waves out towards enemies and his charge attack can pin a foe against the wall, instantly eliminating them in most scenarios.
What makes Reinhardt truly deserving of the number four spot on this list is his shield and ultimate ability. His large shield can protect allies against most projectiles and explosives, and recharges over time. His ultimate can stun enemies with a cone-shaped attack and recharges at a fairly rapid rate. Reinhardt is a staple in many competitive matches and for good reason.
Tracer is considered the mascot of Overwatch and receives a lot of love from both developers and the community. Her unique playstyle and rather entertaining mechanics have afforded her a spot in the top three.
Time bending can be a dangerous thing, but it's just another day for Tracer. Her chronal disassociation allows her to blink teleport short distances and recall entire sections of time. These small teleports make up the bulk of her skill and elusiveness, allowing her to run circles around her foes, dodge projectiles, and dash through shortcuts. If she finds herself in trouble, she can rewind time to a previous state, allowing her to return to a moment in which she had more health and a better position.
On top of these impressive abilities, Tracer's weapons do a considerable amount of damage to heroes and tanks alike. Since she's so speedy and elusive, it can be incredibly hard to eliminate her. A good Tracer will spend time harassing the enemy team and dive bombing their backlines before they even know what happened. As if all of this wasn't enough, she comes equipped with a stick bomb ultimate that can clear an enemy team under the right circumstances. The only thing keeping her from a number one spot is her rather small health pool.
Here's to all you loving grandmas out there. Ana is a protective mother, beloved friend, and capable healer. Once thought gone, this Overwatch operative made her way back to the battlefield and was the first character that developers added after launch.
Her impressive toolkit transforms Ana into a powerful healer and a decent damage dealer. Her long range sniper rifle can heal allies from any distance, while simultaneously harming foes with a quick damage over time effect. A skilled Ana can keep her team safe, while never stepping foot into an intense firefight. Her biotic grenade can heal multiple teammates at once or can be used to disable healing on enemies for a short period of time. If she finds herself being chased by a would-be attacker, a quick sleep dart will force nap time while she escapes. She can even stop rampaging ults.
Her ultimate ability is a nano boost that turns allies into freakishly strong heroes with boosted health and damage. Ana may look like a sweet elderly lady on the outside, but her impressive skill set and dual purpose abilities place her near the top of our list.
I NEED HEALING! All kidding aside, and through the countless internet memes we see making fun of Genji's lust for healing each week, this cyborg ninja is very deserving of the number one spot. His tool kit, survivability, and razor sharp ultimate ability culminate to form a hero that is hard to kill and harder to escape.
His shuriken hurt and his alternate fire is useful in dealing with tanks and multiple enemies. Those looking to burst down Genji will find themselves dodging a blast of deflected bullets. He can even deflect some ultimate abilities. His swift strike is used to cover ground, escape, reach normally inaccessible areas, and damage his foes. He's an excellent assassin and can make quick work of any healer, or backline sniper.
His ultimate ability can be a terrifying affair, as he slices through opponents and one-shots lower health heroes. This is made even worse by a well placed Ana nano boost or a Zarya ultimate. Genji really is the full package and, although he offers a steep learning curve to some, he rewards skillful play. Even hard counters may have a difficult time keeping up with the elusive ninja.