Overwatch is specifically a hero shooter. It features a wide variety of playable characters, each with their own weapons and abilities – so we’ve crafted a beginner’s guide with some explanations and useful tips for each of the heroes so that the character selection won’t be quite so difficult.
The Overwatch Characters list
Overwatch has added new characters to its character list every 6 months since its release, adding new gameplay and changing the meta fairly regularly. This keeps things fresh – and it keeps things like the Overwatch League interesting to fans, which in turn makes betting on Overwatch matches more fun!
All Tanks Overwatch heroes
Tank heroes are often great choices for beginning players. They are a little less flashy than the DPS heroes, but they will often survive longer in skirmishes, and can, well, tank a lot of damage! Of all Overwatch heroes, tanks are often easiest to play, and great starting choices. Remember that Your ultimate charge increases the more damage you deal, so don’t just focus on protecting your team, get your hands dirty too.
D.Va is a flying tank, her Boosters allow her to quickly move around the map, even vertically. They’re great for escaping sticky situations but can get you in trouble if you’re too aggressive. Her primary fire attack, Fusion Cannons, are a pair of short-range cannons that never need to reload, they do slow her movement down, however.
Uniquely, when D.Va’s Health drops to 0, she doesn’t die, she instead gets ejected from her mech and has to run around on foot. The more damage you do, on foot the faster her Call Mech ability recharges allowing her to get back to full strength, so don’t just hide and wait. When in her Mech, D.Va’s ultimate is Self-Destruct, which ejects her from the Mech and sets it to explode after a few seconds dealing huge damage. After using her ultimate, the Call Mech ability is automatically ready to use, so you can get straight back in the fight.
Skills: Fusion Cannons, Light Gun, Boosters, Defense Matrix, Micro Missiles, Self-Destruct, Call Mech
Tip: Use her Defense Matrix sparingly, so that you always have it available for encounters with enemies like Zarya, Mei, or another high-damage hero. It eats all incoming projectiles so try to use it when they launch their ultimate!
Orisa is a main tank designed to hold the line. Her Protective Barrier ability launches a static shield for her team to hide behind. Her Fusion Driver weapon fires a fully automatic series of projectiles, make sure to lead moving targets, as the projectiles take time to travel. Fortify boosts Orisa’s health for a few seconds by adding some armor, reducing incoming damage, and making her immune to knockback, at the cost of decreasing her movement speed.
The Halt! ability fires a small slow-moving projectile that will fly until it hits something, or until the ability is used again, and then pull nearby enemies towards it. This can be useful for pulling enemies out of hiding or preventing them from retreating. Orisa’s ultimate ability, Supercharger, places a small drum on the floor that then boosts the damage of all of the teammates within range and line of sight. The supercharger can be destroyed before it expires, so try to place it in a protected location that can still empower your teammates.
Skills: Fusion Driver, Fortify, Halt!, Protective Barrier, Supercharger
Tip: Halt works best when combined with teammates’ attacks. For example, use it and then have your team’s Ashe throw her Dynamite onto the halted enemies.
Out of all the Overwatch heroes, Reinhardt is the only one without a gun. This may make him seem like a bad choice in a shooter game, but the opposite is the case. His powerful Barrier Field shield provides a lot of protection for himself and his team, while his Rocket Hammer attacks make him a terror up close and also a great choice for new players. If you’re curious, Reinhardt holds another distinction as well – he holds the record for Overwatch character height, at 7’4’’ or 2.23m.
Fire Strike launches a small beam of fire that can hit multiple enemies. Charge sends Reinhardt careening forwards at great speed, if you hit an enemy and then a wall, this can pin them, dealing a great deal of damage, but with your shield down you can be quite vulnerable, so try not to charge the entire enemy team alone. His ultimate, Earthshatter, does a good deal of area damage while also knocking down all enemies in range of the attack. This skill is a great setup for DPS ultimate attacks, or even just to disrupt an enemy push!
Skills: Rocket Hammer, Barrier Field, Charge, Fire Strike, Earthshatter
Tip: When swinging Reinhardt’s Rocket Hammer, move your mouse in the same direction the hammer is swinging – this will extend your swing range and hit more enemies!
RoadHog’s Scrap gun has two modes of fire, both are shotguns with large damage potential. The primary fire has a very short effective range, while the secondary fire increases the range at the cost of making it ineffective at really close range. The Chain Hook ability throws a large hook in a straight line and will pull back an enemy, if it connects, to well within Roadhog’s effective range.
The Take a Breather ability heals Roadhog by a few hundred health and reduces the damage he takes during the duration of the animation. This ability can really save your bacon in clutch situations, so try not to waste it when you’ve only lost a small amount of health. Whole Hog is Roadhog’s ultimate which causes his Scrap Gun to fire continuously applying a fair amount of damage and an insane amount of knockback to affected enemies.
Skills: Scrap Gun, Take a Breather, Chain Hook, Whole Hog
Tip: In order to effectively use Chain Hook, move a few meters forward once you’ve hooked someone, as your Primary Fire bullets otherwise won’t properly damage the enemy because your hook doesn’t pull enemies all the way over. You can also use a melee attack directly after you shoot to deal some extra damage. Alternatively, try dropping enemies off the edge of the map!
Sigma’s main attack involves him flinging a pair of Hyperspheres that can bounce off surfaces before exploding after a short period or when they hit an enemy. Experimental Barrier allows Sigma to cast a relatively small shield in the direction he’s looking. The shield can be dismissed at any time, and then recast after a small delay.
Kinetic Grasp allows Sigma to absorb incoming projectile damage and turn it into personal shields. Accretion summons and launches a large ball of rocks that stuns an enemy if it hits. His ultimate, Gravitic Flux, launches Sigma into the air, and lets him select an area of the visible map in which all enemies will be lifted up and then slammed back down onto the ground, dealing half of their max health in damage.
Skills: Hyperspheres, Experimental Barrier, Kinetic Grasp, Accretion, Gravitic Flux
Tip: Accretion disrupts any channeling attack and can’t be nullified by anything other than shields. This means you should always have it ready to counter an incoming ulti like Pharah’s Barrage or Reaper’s Death Blossom.
Winston, along with D.Va and Wrecking Ball, is a dive tank, who can use his Jump Pack to launch himself across the map and up onto high-ground. When he engages enemies, his Tesla Cannon electrocutes them, while it doesn’t have much range, or do much damage, it can hit all enemies within range at the same time.
To protect himself when diving on the enemy team, Winston has a Barrier Projector ability that creates a large bubble shield. By playing around the edge of the shield, Winston can effectively deny area at minimal risk to his own life. His ultimate, Primal Rage, increases his health to 1000, significantly reduces the cool down on the Jump Pack, and replaces the Tesla Cannon with his fists. In this form Winston’s melee attacks do a lot of damage and knock enemies back
Skills: Tesla Cannon, Jump Pack, Barrier Projector, Primal Rage
Tip: Every gamer’s dream – using his Primal Rage will reset the Jump Pack cooldown, so you can effectively use it twice and double-jump if you time it well, giving you incredible range!
The final dive tank, wrecking ball has incredible mobility and survivability and can be very disruptive, this is at the cost of low damage, however. His Quad Cannons are very rapid firing but do minimal damage. His main use is to transform into ball mode with Roll, and to then roll around the map much faster than normal. His speed can be further increased by using the Grappling Claw. When rolling at speed thanks to the Grappling Claw, Wrecking Ball knocks back any enemy he hits making him excellent at denying access to choke points or capture points.
When surrounded by enemies, Wrecking ball can use Adaptive Shield to gain extra health. The amount of health gained is based on the number of nearby enemies, so use it when you are surrounded by enemies. Piledriver slams Wrecking ball into the ground, knocking nearby enemies up into the air and slightly towards the centre. His ultimate, Minefield, spreads explosive mines across a wide area, effectively denying the opposing team access temporarily.
Skills: Quad Cannons, Roll, Grappling Claw, Adaptive Shield, Piledriver, Minefield
Tip: When you are looking to launch his ulti, make sure you use the Grappling Hook to swing into the air, launch the Minefield and immediately follow it up with Piledriver. This will knock enemies in range into the mines for maximum kills!
Zarya is an off-tank, with lower health and no mobility abilities but has the capacity for incredible amounts of damage. Her Particle Cannon is a beam weapon that can hit a single target and a secondary fire that launches an explosive orb that can hurt multiple enemies. Both attacks do low damage by default but can be charged up, however, with her two shield abilities. Particle Barrier, and Projected Barrier, cast a temporary shield around herself and a teammate respectively. These barriers protect against up to 200 damage each and the more damage they block the more charge Zarya gains, up to 40 charges per barrier.
By carefully prioritising when and where to use the two barrier abilities, Zarya can keep her charge and potential damage output high. It’s important to use them when you or a teammate is about to take a large amount of damage. Zarya’s ultimate is Graviton Surge which launches a black hole that sticks to the first thing it touches and pulls nearby enemies towards it making it easier to pour damage on them.
Skills: Particle Cannon, Particle Barrier, Projected Barrier, Graviton Surge
Tip: While her shield breaks once it loses its 200 health, even at 1 health, it can block a single damage instance like D’Va’s explosion ultimate. So, even when weak, the shield can effectively guard against 1-hit kills!
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All Support Overwatch heroes
Support heroes or healers are some of the most important elements in any team. A good healer can significantly extend the fighting power the damage and tank heroes have – and a weak healer can all but tank a team (pun intended). Picking a support character and mastering it will make a new player a valuable addition to a team! As a support character you can generate ultimate charge by healing your teammates and by damaging enemies. Don’t get caught up in dealing damage though, that should be secondary after you’ve ensured your team is staying alive as best you can.
Ana is a sniper with a dual-purpose rifle, when you shoot teammates, it heals them, when you shoot enemies, it damages them. When fired from the hip, the rifle fires projectiles that take time to travel, however, when using the scope, the rifle is hitscan, meaning that the bullets hit the target the instant the weapon is fired.
Ana can throw a Biotic Grenade, which applies some instant healing and temporarily enhances the effect of future healing. The grenade does the opposite to enemies, damaging them and temporarily rendering them immune to healing. The Sleep Dart can put any enemy it hits to sleep for a few seconds, time you can use to run away, to group up to kill the sleeping enemy or to just wait out a dangerous ultimate. Just be aware that any damage will wake a sleeping enemy. Her ultimate is Nano Boost which targets a single hero, heals them, increases all damage that they deal (excluding explosions) and reduces all damage that hits them. Combined with a high damage ultimate this can be extremely effective and hard to deal with.
Skills: Biotic Rifle, Sleep Dart, Biotic Grenade, Nano Boost
Tips: When you’ve slept an enemy with the Sleep Dart, follow it up with Primary Fire, a Biotic Grenade, and Primary Fire again. This will do enough damage (~200) to kill quite a lot of heroes, not including tanks. You can also use the time to reposition and return to your team for support.
Baptiste’s Biotic launcher can shoot a high-recoil three-round burst at enemies or launch Area of Effect healing orbs for teammates. Regenerative blast applies a healing effect to Baptiste and all allies within range. His Exo Boots launch Baptiste in the air if he holds crouch before jumping. This can be used to get to high ground, jump over obstacles, or more easily heal teammates blocked by obstacles. Just be careful, in the air, you can be an easy target for snipers.
Immortality field places a generator that floats in the air and renders all teammates immortal as long as they stay within range. They can still take damage, but they will never drop to 0 health and die. This can be incredibly clutch against high damage ulti’s, just remember the generator can be destroyed. His ultimate ability, Amplification field, places a square window on the map, all friendly projectiles travelling through it will have their damage increased.
Skills: Biotic Launcher, Regenerative Blast, Immortality Field, Amplification Field, Exo Boots
Tips: Baptiste’s Primary Fire has a bit of a recoil problem – but you can control that by pulling the crosshair down with each burst shot. It’ll take some practice, but you’ll be able to make 3-bullet headshots if you get it right!
Brigitte is a brawling support character designed to be in the thick of a team fight. Her Rocket Flail deals damage when it hits enemies and applies a healing aura to herself and nearby teammates. Her repair pack can boost a teammates health with some extra armour. Whip Shot launches Brigitte’s flail forwards, dealing damage and knocking an enemy back. If an enemy is near an edge this can be used to knock them off pretty easily.
Brigitte has a Barrier Shield, similar to Reinhardt’s but only big enough to protect herself. Brigitte can also execute a Shield Bash, lunging forwards and stunning an enemy. These two abilities combined make Brigitte incredibly effective in a one-on-one situation against enemies with no movement abilities. Her ultimate, Rally, applies a continuous healing aura that can also apply temporary armour to herself and teammates.
Skills: Rocket Flail, Repair Pack, Whip Shot, Barrier Shield, Shield Bash, Rally
Tips: Brigitte’s Shield Bash is more than it seems – it’s a pretty useful movement skill! Wait for the Bash to complete, then hold jump and turn, using Whip Shot as you’re mid-air – and just like that, you can cover a fair bit of ground and escape sticky situations!
Lucio is an area of effect support character, his Crossfade ability allows him to swap between applying a healing aura and a speed boost aura as denoted by the yellow and green ring around him. His Sonic Amplifier weapon burst fires projectiles. Its alternate fire knocks enemies back and can “boop” them off the edge of many maps. The Amp it Up ability temporarily boosts whichever aura Lucio is using, increasing healing or the speed boost.
By holding the jump key when in the air near a wall, Lucio can wall-ride, when you jump off the wall you can gain height and also a speed boost. Lucio’s speed boosts all stack, so he can launch himself incredibly fast across the map, leaving his team behind, this can let you chase an enemy down but can also leave your teammates behind when they also wanted a speed boost, positional awareness is really important. His ultimate, Sound Barrier, applies a large, temporary over-shield to all teammates in range and line-of-sight.
Skills: Sonic Amplifier, Crossfade, Amp it Up, Sound Barrier
Tips: Lucio’s Sound Barrier activates after a small jump – you can actually decrease the casting time by jump-casting to higher ground, in tight doorways and other places with low ceilings. If you use it from a bit of a height, you’ll end up prolonging cast times and can even get sniped before it launches, losing the charge, so be careful!
Mercy’s primary “weapon” is the healing Caduceus Staff, it applies a yellow healing beam or a blue damage boosting beam to a single teammate. Her Guardian Angel ability allows her to fly to teammates at a medium range to offer support or to escape danger herself. By holding jump while in the air, Mercy can float with Angelic Descent, keeping her out of harms way but also leaving her vulnerable to snipers.
When she hasn’t taken damage for a while, Mercy starts regaining health automatically. If you can’t escape danger, then you can fall back to the Caduceus Blaster but don’t expect it to do much damage. If a teammate has died but not yet respawned, Mercy can Resurrect them in the field at full health. You have very limited movement while using this ability and it’s on a very long cooldown so choose your timing carefully. Mercy’s ultimate, Valkyrie, allows her to fly freely rather than just glide, enhances the range of Guardian Angel, and allows her Caduceus Staff beam to spread to support multiple teammates.
Skills: Caduceus Staff, Caduceus Blaster, Guardian Angel, Resurrect, Angelic Descent, Valkyrie
Tips: Mercy’s heal isn’t based on line-of-sight – you can still heal someone even if you briefly lose sight of them. Just make sure not to go too far for too long, and you can both hide and heal!
Moira can damage a single enemy at medium range with Biotic Grasp. The damage she does this way recharges Biotic Grasp’s healing pool that can also be used to spray healing at nearby teammates. It heals fast when being actively used and leaves a trickle heal effect afterwards, so hold it down for burst healing or tap it if you’re running low. Her Biotic orbs can also damage or heal depending on which one is used. They travel fast, unless they’re actively affecting a hero for which they slow down, they also bounce off all surfaces.
Fade allows Moira to blink out of existence, move at high speed and renders her immune to damage for a second, great for avoiding damage, escaping an enemy, getting back to the fight quickly, or chasing down a lone survivor. Her ultimate Coalescence fires a long biotic beam for a few seconds that deals a lot of damage and healing, it also completely ignores enemy shields.
Skills: Biotic Grasp, Biotic Orb, Fade, Coalescence
Tips: Moira’s Fade provides a good movement boost… and you can extend it by jumping as she comes out of it! If you time it right, you’ll keep the movement speed up for the duration of the jump, letting you cover a bit more ground!
Zenyatta can deal enough damage to rival the best DPS with his Orbs of Destruction. His Orb of Discord can be applied to a single enemy and amplifies all damage they receive from your team, until either of you die, until the orb is removed by breaking line-of-sight, or until the orb is transferred to another enemy. The Orb of Harmony is similar to the Orb of Discord but applies continuous healing to allies, the same rules apply as for the Orb of Discord.
Zen’s ultimate, Transcendence makes him immune to all damage, increases his movement speed and radiates an aura that applies a large amount of healing to any teammate in range. While you may be immune to damage, your teammates are not, it’s great protection against damage over time, such as Soldier 76’s ultimate, but can be overwhelmed by burst damage such as a D.Va self-destruct or even a well wielded nano-boosted dragon blade. It’s also not effective if your team is spread out and can be nullified by an enemy Ana’s Biotic Grenade.
Skills: Orb of Destruction, Orb of Harmony, Orb of Discord, Transcendence
Tips: Zen’s orbs last for 3 seconds after you lose line of sight with the enemy – so if in those 3 seconds you manage to get back into line of sight with them, that timer is reset, extending the duration!
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All DPS Overwatch heroes
DPS heroes are the flashy, high-impact part of any team composition. Many are easy to use but some have exceedingly high skill floors and even higher skill ceilings. If you’re struggling with one DPS hero, try picking another that has a different play style, or synergises with your teammates’ heroes. Your ultimate charge is almost exclusively based on the damage you deal, burning down shields is useful but doesn’t increase your ultimate charge. Try to be aware of your surroundings too, if you wander off alone, your supports may not be able to help you if you run into trouble.
Ashe is a medium to long range hero with her rifle The Viper. You can rapid-fire it from the hip or you can aim down sights for more precision. Her Dynamite ability throws a stick of dynamite which will go off after a short period of time, or can be detonated early by shooting it, nearby enemies will receive explosive damage and be lit on fire.
Ashe’s Coach Gun ability deals medium damage, knocks enemies back, and launches Ashe backwards too. By aiming down when using this ability, you can launch yourself to the high ground. Ashe’s ultimate is B.O.B. which summons Bob to charge in the direction you’re aiming, knocking enemies out of the way and to then automatically shoot at any enemy within range. Bob has a huge amount of health and is very dangerous, he acts and is treated as another player and can be healed or boosted by your supports or disabled by your enemies.
Skills: The Viper, Dynamite, Coach Gun, B.O.B.
Tips: Ashe’s Viper has the longest reload time in the game. When completely empty, it takes over 4 seconds to reload. To counter this, reload as often as possible, before you’ve run out of bullets. Combine its somewhat low damage of 170 per headshot with Dynamite or damage buffs to make your kills, and always keep an eye on how many shots you have!
Bastion has two main modes, Configurations: Recon and Sentry which can be switched between with Reconfiguration. In Recon mode he can mode around and fire a machine gun, In Sentry mode, Bastion is static but can use a minigun with a lot of ammo and a really high damage potential. Combined with a shield he can be very difficult to deal with due to his high damage output, especially if you set up on a moving payload.
Bastion has a limited ability to heal himself with Self-Repair which recharges over time. His ultimate, provides a temporary third mode, Configuration: Tank. In this mode Bastion can move around and fire high explosive rounds that deals a large amount of area damage. You can also rocket jump by jumping and firing down at the same time to get a better angle for your next shot, or to get to some high ground.
Skills: Configuration: Recon, Configuration: Sentry, Reconfigure, Self-Repair, Configuration: Tank
Tips: Leaving Configuration: Sentry will auto-reload your Sentry ammo. This means that if you just use the cooldown-free Reconfigure followed immediately by the switch to Sentry, you’ll reload in 1.5 seconds, rather than the 2.1 seconds for the regular reload. That may not seem a lot, but in a pinch, it can make a difference!
Doomfist is a dive hero with a high skill floor. When used effectively he can be a hit-and-run nightmare for the enemy team, but he can also be ineffective and just a minor nuisance. His Seismic Slam ability allows him to dive in from the air and deal area damage. Rising Uppercut then allows him to launch himself and a nearby enemy into the air while applying a stun. Hand Cannon has a small number of shots that are only effective at close range. Rocket punch then allows Doomfist to escape to reset his abilities or to smash an unfortunate enemy backwards. If an enemy is knocked back by rocket punch, they will take the full damage again if they hit a wall.
Doomfist’s ultimate is Meteor Strike, which launches him out of the map and allows him to choose where to slam back down, causing a lot of damage to a wide area with very little warning.
Skills: Hand Cannon, Seismic Slam, Rising Uppercut, Rocket Punch, Meteor Strike
Tips: ‘The’ Doomfist combo that makes him such a hated enemy is a Seismic Slam combed with Rising Uppercut, followed by 2-3 Primary Fire shots and a quick escape with Rocket Punch. That combo will usually kill 200HP enemies pretty easily – and it’s quite hard to counter!
Echo’s primary fire is Tri-Shot which fires a triangle pattern of projectiles, Sticky Bombs launches a series of projectiles that stick to surfaces or heroes and explode after a short time. Focussing Beam is a beam weapon and so can be blocked by shields but not D.Va’s defence matrix. It does more damage if the target is below half health, so use it to finish off vulnerable enemies.
Glide allows Echo to slow her descent down at will, while Flight allows her to surge forwards and enter fully controlled flight. Her ultimate, Duplicate allows her to become the same hero as any member of the enemy team for a short amount of time. While you’re playing the duplicated hero, you have access to all of their abilities, including their ultimate, which charges six and a half times faster than normal.
Skills: Tri-Shot, Sticky Bombs, Flight, Focusing Beam, Glide, Duplicate
Tip: Echo is fairly vulnerable to hitscan enemies since she’s a flyer. Use her mobility to get away if you run into a hitscan enemy combo, and only hang around if you have your ulti ready to go. Use Duplicate to copy an enemy with a quick-to-charge and impactful ultimate like Earthshatter, Pulse Bomb, Deadeye, or even RIP-tire – your copied hero’s ulti will charge 6.5 times as fast as normal so you can really hurt your enemies.
Genji is another high-skill floor dive hero. His Shuriken attack has two forms, a series of three shuriken that fly straight or a fan of three that spread out. The fan method is much more effective up-close but has a limited effective range. Genji’s Deflect ability allows him to reflect all incoming projectile damage, this includes a number of ultimate abilities including Graviton Surge, Blizzard, Rocket Barrage, Pulse Bomb, and even the early arrow portion of Hanzo’s Dragonstrike.
Genji can double jump and climb walls by tapping or holding jump when in the air. With Swift Strike Genji dashes forwards and through enemies, dealing damage. Whenever Genji gets any credit for an enemy dying, his Swift Strike gets reset, even if he just used it to get the kill. Genji’s ultimate sees him draw his Dragon Blade which deals a significant of slashing damage to multiple enemies over a relatively short range. The combination of Dragon Blade, and Swift Strike is very effective thanks to the dash resets, this is further enhanced by Ana’s Nano Boost and becomes almost impossible to deal with – all this makes Genji one of the most annoying entries on the Overwatch characters list.
Skills: Shuriken, Deflect, Swift Strike, Dragon Blade
Tips: Genji’s deflect isn’t a perfect reflection, it doesn’t automatically go back to the sender. In other words – always aim your crosshair right when deflecting so you can do maximum damage, you can even get headshots!
Hanzo is a sniper whose weapon is Storm Bow, all of his arrows take time to travel and suffer from “bullet” drop. Hanzo’s default attack knocks a normal arrow to the Storm Bow which can be held at full strength indefinitely. Sonic arrow can be used to switch the already knocked and drawn arrow to reveal the location of enemies near to where it lands, use this to gain the advantage in sniper duels or to predict when an enemy will come around a corner.
Storm arrows allows Hanzo to fire a series of rapid-fire arrows at full strength which can be a dangerous amount of damage even for a tank. Lunge allows Hanzo to make a sudden leap in a horizontal direction, he can also climb walls by holding space in mid-air. Hanzo’s ultimate fires an arrow that turns into a twisting pair of dragons that fly straight across the map. The arrow portion of this can be reflected or eaten by a few abilities but it can also travel through walls, shields and enemies before becoming the unstoppable dragons.
Skills: Storm Bow, Sonic Arrow, Storm Arrows, Lunge, Dragonstrike
Tips: Hanzo’s Dragonstrike arrow works like a normal 125 damage arrow, and will release the dragons whether it hits or not – but if you manage to make it hit, you can take out high-HP enemies much more easily! It can also travel through walls for the ultimate surprise attack.
Junkrat is a damage spam hero who is easy to play pretty well. Frag Launcher fires slow moving grenades affected by gravity that bounce and explode after a while or explode on contact with an enemy, applying a lot of damage and some knockback. Junkrat carries two concussion mines one of which can be thrown at a time and detonated at will, they apply a medium amount of damage and a large amount of knockback. They can also be used to launch you in the air for a surprise attack. Steel Trap places a somewhat hidden bear trap that will trap enemies for a few seconds.
Junkrat’s Rip-Tire ultimate has insane maneuverability and can drive across most of the map, up walls and then drop on the enemy team. With most heroes, the danger is over when they’re dead, not so with Junkrat, when killed he drops a number of his grenades as his Total Mayhem ability which can kill any enemy unlucky enough to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. This can even be weaponised by deliberately launching yourself towards the enemy team when on low health.
Skills: Frag Launcher, Concussion Mine, Steel Trap, Total Mayhem, Rip-Tire
Tips: His RIP-tire isn’t particularly beholden to the laws of physics – you can use it to climb walls, and you can also use the environment around yourself to block or redirect it until it’s the perfect moment to unleash it for maximum damage!
McCree’s Peackeeper is a short to long range hitscan six-shooter. Primary fire fires a perfectly accurate single shot. Secondary fire empties the Peacekeeper with Fan the Hammer, this is a lot less accurate, and cannot get a headshot damage bonus, it is only advisable at close-range or when attempting to burn down large shields as fast as possible.
Combat Roll is McCree’s only movement ability, which also reloads his gun instantly. Flashbang is a close-range stun that can cancel some abilities, this also provides enough time and range to fan the hammer for quick damage or to line up a pair of headshots. By carefully throwing the flashbang over Reinhardt’s shield or Genji’s deflect, these characters can be stunned when they think they are safe. McCree’s ultimate is Deadeye, which charges up the amount of damage to be dealt to any visible enemy, the longer you hold the attack before firing, the more damage, but the more time they have to hide and the more likely you are to get sniped. Additionally, be aware that Genji can deflect your ultimate and kill you with it.
Skills: Peacekeeper, Combat Roll, Flashbang, Deadeye
Tips: McCree’s Deadeye is scary – enough so for lots of players to avoid it. Activating it as you’re about to capture a point may not give you kills necessarily, but it might just scare the opposing team enough to let your team progress those last few %!
Mei’s Endothermic Blaster can fire a short-range freezing spray that will slow and freeze enemies in place or can fire projectile icicles after a short charging period. These can be combined to freeze an enemy in place, then get a headshot or two with icicles. Mei can summon an ice-block around herself, healing her and rendering her immune to damage. This can be helpful to contest the point for an extra few seconds, but can also lead to you getting surrounded rather than being able to get away, because you can’t move.
Mei’s Ice Wall ability can be used to place a length- or width-ways wall of ice that can block a chokepoint, splitting an enemy team or trapping a lone survivor, it can also be used to lift you and your teammates to the high-ground if you stand where it is summoned. Mei’s Ultimate is Blizzard which throws a blizzard generator that freezes any enemy that can’t escape in time.
Skills: Endothermic Blaster, Cryo-Freeze, Ice Wall, Blizzard
Tips: Mei’s field control abilities: Ice Wall and Cryo-Freeze, are great to block, hide and frustrate the enemy – and they can be made more unpredictable by cancelling them early. Try briefly putting yourself in Cryo-Freeze, cancelling it to throw up a wall, and immediately getting away from the enemy!
Pharah’s weapon is a Rocket Launcher that fires missiles that fly in a straight line until they hit something and explode. To be able to get a better angle, Pharah can fly by pressing and holding jump to engage her Hover Jets, her Jump Jet ability can also be used for a quick altitude boost. If you want a small extra boost, and you know your healers can help you, you can also rocket jump, this isn’t recommended normally though as you’ll be easier to shoot down.
Pharah’s concussive blast ability, fires a fast-moving rocket that does no damage but applies a lot of knockback. It can be used to “boop” enemies off the map or to blast yourself in the direction you want to go. Her ultimate is “Barrage” which holds her still in the air as she unleashes a barrage of missiles.
Skills: Rocket Launcher, Jump Jet, Concussive Blast, Barrage
Tips: In order to reach maximum flight height with her, combine Rocket Launcher fire aimed at the ground, Hover Jets until you’ve run out, then Jump Jet, followed by the by-then-refuelled Hover Jets again – you’ll be the highest you can get in regular gameplay!
Reaper wields dual Hellfire Shotguns that he reloads by dropping and pulling more out of his jacket. Any damage he does to an enemy, results in self-healing. Wraith form allows Reaper to avoid all damage and abilities for a few seconds while he is likewise also unable to do damage, although he can be healed by teammates and health packs.
Shadow Step allows Reaper to teleport forwards a fair distance, it can also get him up to high ground, the main downside is that he becomes vulnerable to damage just before he can move, so teleporting near an enemy allows them time to line up and time a headshot. Reaper’s ultimate, Death Blossom, sees him spin in a whirlwind of area of effect shotgun damage that can melt through entire teams if they’re grouped up and don’t react quickly enough.
Skills: Hellfire Shotguns, Wraith Form, Shadow Step, Death Blossom
Tips: Reaper’s self-heal works not just with Primary Fire and his ulti, but even for melee damage – but not if you damage something other than heroes, like turrets. So, use it to replenish health as much as you can!
Soldier’s Heavy Pulse Rifle is a fairly standard medium to long range fully automatic hit-scan assault rifle, except it has no recoil, although, when firing in more than a short burst it loses accuracy. As a secondary fire ability, Soldier fires a trio of Helix Rockets in a straight line. He also has the ability to Sprint, which doesn’t come with any sort of exhaustion or stamina bar.
Soldier can put down a small Biotic Field which heals all teammates within range. This healing can help him win one-on-one’s and can be critical help for healers or a life saver for the team if both healers have died. Soldier’s Ultimate is Tactical Visor which allows his gun to lock on to enemies if they’re on screen, guaranteeing body shots unless something else blocks the bullets.
Skills: Heavy Pulse Rifle, Helix Rockets, Sprint, Biotic Field, Tactical Visor
Tips: His Helix Rockets work a bit like Pharah’s rocket launcher jumps – you can use them to launch yourself into the air (if not as far). Use it in combination with a well-timed Primary Fire attack to finish off an escaping enemy or one behind a low wall!
Sombra’s weapon is a short to medium range Machine Pistol with a high rate of fire and relatively low damage. The main thing the makes her dangerous though is her Hack ability, which when used on an enemy can disable all of their abilities. Hack can also be used to claim health packs, causing them to recharge faster and to be unavailable to the other team.
Stealth allows Sombra to become completely invisible, unless you go to close to an enemy. This allows you to sneak up behind lone enemies or the entire team and catch them unawares. If you happen to bite off more than you can chew, you can make use of her Translocator to teleport back to a previously designated position. It’s generally recommended that you put your translocator down on a hacked health pack so you can get healed up as soon as you get back. Sombra’s ultimate is EMP which applies her hack over a large area, it also destroys all shields including personal shields which primarily effects Zarya and Zenyatta who drop to 200 and 50 health respectively, leaving them particularly vulnerable.
Skills: Machine Pistol, Hack, Stealth, Translocator, EMP
Tips: While her Hack is important, another key ability of Sombra is her ability to gather intel in Stealth mode. Use her to relay info to your teammates and set up an ambush or even just an ulti-combo the enemy won’t see coming.
Symmetra’s weapon is called Photon Projector, the primary fire is a locking beam, which charges up and deals more damage the longer it is connected to an enemy. When shooting a shield, not only does it charge up, but it damages the shield and refills your ammo count, this makes her a relatively effective shield buster as she can use her charged attack on them indefinitely. Her secondary fire charges up and fires slow-moving orbs across the map.
Symmetra can summon a teleporter at will, with the other end being created where she is currently standing. This can be used to get to the point faster, sneak behind the enemy team or to teleport into the middle of them. All teammates and some items, including Symmetra’s turrets, Torbjorn’s turret, and Junkrat’s Rip-Tire can go through the teleporter. Symmetra can cast three turrets which will fly until they hit a wall, then fire a beam at enemies which deals damage and slows them down. Her ultimate is Photon Barrier which creates a shield wall that crosses the entire map.
Skills: Photon Projector, Sentry Turret, Teleporter, Photon Barrier
Tips: Drop your Teleporter and immediately throw your 3 Sentry Turrets through it to do a bit of surprise damage to the enemy, without needing to worry about the turrets being destroyed when you need them – by the time you get to the fight, they’ll have cooled down and you can place them again!
Torbjorn’s Rivet Gun fires small projectiles that are affected by gravity as its primary fire, fires a shotgun blast as a secondary fire. He can use Deploy Turret to place a turret that will automatically fire at enemies in line-of-sight, it takes a small amount of time to automatically construct. Torbjorn can repair the turret when it takes damage by hitting it with the Forge Hammer, this also does a small amount of melee damage when hitting an enemy.
Overload grants Torbjorn extra armour and increases his attack, movement, and reload speed temporarily. His ultimate, Molten Core, launches pools of molten metal on the floor which applies massive burning damage to enemies that step in it. Molten Core is very effective at denying access to an area, for example, by covering the capture point, it can be very hard for the enemy to contest the point.
Skills: Rivet Gun, Forge Hammer, Deploy Turret, Overload, Molten Core
Tips: On maps with a moving payload, try placing your turret on the payload to keep it in the fight rather than having to regularly move it. Additionally, placing your turret behind a shield can provide it with ample protection.
Tracer Dual wields a pair of Pulse Pistols, which fire extremely rapidly, but are only effective at close range. To get to that close range she can make use of three charges of her Blink ability which allows here to teleport in any horizontal direction. Blinking, emptying her Pulse Pistols, reloading, then blinking again to restart the process can make Tracer an effective harassing character and very difficult for backline characters such as snipers and healers to deal with alone.
Recall allows Tracer to rewind her passage of time, dropping her back where she was a few seconds ago, with any damage received or ammo spent, in the meantime restored. It can allow you to overcommit and then fall back to safety, but enemies may be able to predict where and wen you will return. Just try not to recall to a moment where you were jumping over the edge of the map. Tracer’s ultimate is the fast-charging Pulse Bomb which sticks to surfaces and enemies and deals a lot of explosive damage. Its fuse is just long enough for you to be able to recall on to it, so be careful with that combination.
Skills: Pulse Pistols, Blink, Recall, Pulse Bomb
Tips: Tracer has voice lines for each of her three Blinks. Naturally, these can be heard by the enemy… which means that you need to be careful about getting too close to the enemy when you’ve used all 3. Enemies can use that to force you to use your recall to get out of danger or kill you outright – never use all 3 Blinks in hearing range of an enemy!
Widowmaker’s weapon, Widow’s Kiss acts primarily as a perfectly accurate hit-scan sniper rifle but can also be used as a hip-firing submachine gun when fighting at close range. Her Grappling Hook ability let her access high ground and ledges. The Grappling Hook can also be used to launch herself into the air by cancelling it just before she reaches the top, while in the air she can try to use the extra visibility to pick off an enemy or two with an arial headshot.
Widowmaker’s Venom Mine can be launched and stuck to surfaces, it explodes automatically when an enemy gets too close, poisoning them and letting Widowmaker see them through walls temporarily. Typically, this is used to cover an approach from which you could be flanked as an early warning system. Her Ultimate is called Infra-Sight which drops her visor, revealing the precise location of all enemies on the map, through walls, to her entire team. This can be used to line up and time the perfect headshot as an unsuspecting enemy walks around a corner, it can also help you spot enemies that are trying to sneak up on you or on your team.
Skills: Widow’s Kiss, Grappling Hook, Venom Mine, Infra-Sight
Tips: If you jump while you’re using the Grappling Hook, you’ll cancel the hook and end up propelling yourself past the point where you can pull yourself to by default – this will let you launch yourself past your usual reach!
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This list contains all Overwatch heroes currently in the game – a complete Overwatch character list. It’ll take far more than this to truly master a character, but if you’re just starting out, you’re looking to try a new character or you just want to get to know some heroes you don’t often play, this guide can help you out!
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