At the core of Overwatch’s captivating gameplay is its colourful roster of characters. The Heroes of Overwatch are classified in one of three roles: Damage, Support, and Tank. At the moment there are 32 playable Overwatch Heroes in the game. They all come from various ethnic or national backgrounds, each has a unique playstyle, appearance, and even different cosmetics within each match. All Overwatch heroes bring something different to the game. Each of the heroes feels unique in both how they play and their personality.
At launch, Overwatch has originally consisted of 21 playable heroes. Since then, 11 new and unique heroes have been added. These came at pretty regular intervals for the first few years of the game, with a new hero releasing in March, July, and November from 2016 through to 2018. In 2019, heroes were released in only March and August, with the final hero being added in April 2020. While all heroes have now been released, Overwatch 2 is going to introduce a whole host of new characters into the game, massively expanding an Overwatch heroes list. This will include Sojourn, a 33rd hero unveiled alongside the game.
Overwatch Heroes release dates
|01||Tracer||24 May 2016|
|22||Ana||19 July 2016|
|23||Sombra||15 November 2016|
|24||Orisa||21 March 2017|
|25||Doomfist||27 July 2017|
|26||Moira||16 November 2017|
|27||Brigitte||20 March 2018|
|28||Wrecking Ball||24 July 2018|
|29||Ashe||13 November 2018|
|30||Baptiste||19 March 2019|
|32||Echo||14 April 2020|
Check out the full Overwatch Heroes list below and follow us for updates.
Choosing the right hero at the right time can be crucial for victory, read also our Overwatch Counters guide.
Overwatch Heroes list
That is a complete Overwatch characters list with their release dates. However, each of the characters add something unique to the game. This is what you need to know about all of the Overwatch playable characters.
Ana is long-range Sniper with Supportive capabilities. She wields the powerful Biotic Rifle which provides accurate healing at the range, while her Biotic Grenades further amplify her healing effects. The sniper mindset leaves her with low mobility and a weakness to close-quarter combat and flanking. Her trusted sidearm comes in the clutch in these situations by firing sleeping darts at the opponents. Her ultimate ability allows her to Nano Boost an ally simultaneously increasing the offensive and defensive capacity of her allies.
Ashe is an Arizona native and a gang leader in the world of Overwatch. She wields The Viper, a powerful semi-automatic scoped rifle. The Viper allows Ashe to acess two firing modes (scoped and semi-automatic) which provide her with versatility in combat at mid-to-long range. To complement her deadly armament she carries a dynamite and a coach gun that allow her to booby trap and reach hard to get places and gain a positional advantage. Ashe’s ultimate ability calls down B.O.B, a trusted sidekick that assists her when sent to a location while gunning down enemies like a turret out of hell. She is best positioned close to the team to fully utilize B.O.B, or high at a vantage point providing cover support.
Baptiste joined the Overwatch heroes as the first recruit in 2019. As a member of the Caribbean Coalition and Talon, Baptiste developed into a potent medic with exceptional tactical prowess. His weapon of choice is the Biotic Launcher a dual mode projectile launcher capable of lobbing projectiles at allies and healing them on impact. Additionally, he creates an immortality field that prevents his allies from dying and to top it all off he can increase the healing of nearby allies with his Regenerative Burst. His ultimate ability allows him to create a special amplification matrix which empowers projectiles shot through it from himself and his allies.
Bastion is an Automaton that utilizes one of three different combat forms from his arsenal. His first form allows him to act as a reconnaissance mobile sub-machinegun turret that guns down enemies with bursts of bullets. If Bastion chooses to reconfigure in his secondary form, he is transformed into a stationary turret with massive damage outputs unparalleled in the Overwatch world. The downside to his stationary form is the inability to move and a weakness to flanks. The ultimate ability turns Bastion into a literal tank with continuous track wheels and a massive long-range canon that turns him into a vessel of pure destruction. Being an Automaton also has the added perk of self-repair which Bastion utilizes with ease.
Brigitte’s main task is providing armor to her allies. She fills a more tank oriented support role that benefits from herself and allies being packed together and pushing forward to fully benefit from her Inspire ability. She provides no damage of anything beyond close range and only works well when near her team. Her ultimate is called Rally and the effect literally rallies opponents by providing a armor and speed boost to allies. Brigitte is ideal in situation where capture and hold is required as she can stun enemies at range with her whip shot and support her team when packed together with all the necessary supporting goodies.
Doomfist is a powerful fighter equipped with a big-ess cybernetic hand cannon. His former experience in martial arts makes him a potent close-combat fighter that utilizes his massive cybernetic hand to punch, slam and uppercut his opponents with immense power. The sheer force with which Doomfist uppercuts is enough to elevate him from the ground enabling him to punch his way up to the top. What goes up, must also come down and Doomfist has both a Seismic slam and his ultimate ability “Meteor Strike” to come crushing down on opponents with great force. The downside to this crushing smashing monstrosity is his preference to close quarter combat. Anything at medium to high range is a detriment to Doomfist as he must quickly get close and personal with his opponents or suffer the consequence.
D.Va is a player and spectator favorite in the world of Overwatch. She utilizes Tokki, a powerful mechagon robot wielding two fusion canons. Tokki also has integrated boosters that allow D.va to navigate the battlefield with speed and ease. Driving around in a massive mech also means you fall into the Tank category and the Defense Matrix is what a tank a needs. This ability allows D.Va to intercept and shoot down incoming projectiles at her and her teammates. Finally, if all else fails the big red Self-Destruct button will make Tokki explode and deal massive damage in the area. The only downside to the powerful mech is his mobility. While the boosters are great for covering some distance and repositioning, once drained they leave the big mech slumbering around slowly leaving it vulnerable to flanking.
Echo is the last hero to be added into the game and she’s proven to be one of the most unique. Echo is a robot programmed to adapt to different battlefield roles. While this was a tantalizing bio, she was yet another DPS addition. Echo has some fun offensive moves and adds a lot to the diversity of the game. It’s her Ultimate that really grabs attention though. Echo can duplicate any enemy player and gain their abilities. This adds a lot of versatility, allowing a skilled player to adapt Echo to fit whatever situation has occurred. Outside of that, the rest of her kit is versatile. The first is flight, not unique but always a good addition, you’ve also got the focusing beam to work with.
Genji is a cybernetic samurai wielding a powerful wakizashi blade and ultra-sharp shurikens. Due to his cyber-agility Genji traverses obstacles and moves around the map with great ease. The shuriken tossing prowess and exceptional mobility make Genji deadly at medium and close range combat. His Wakizashi blade allows him to deflect attacks back at his opponents and mitigate upcoming melee damage. Finally, once Genji is ready to deliver a killing blow he can unsheathe his Ōdachi blade and swing at his opponents with powerful melee strikes. The violent swings make everything around him end up shred to pieces. A downside to the extreme mobility and assassination prowess is that Genji excels at delivering killing blows to vulnerable targets but a shrunken and fancy footwork don’t fare well against a massive armored tanks.
Genji’s older brother replaces the shurikens and swords with a magnificent bow that fires a plethora of arrows that can hit multiple targets or track reveal an opponent’s location. His bow prowess is also complemented with his increased agility that enables him to climb walls and jump to good vantage points. His bow also provides a stealthy element as his arrows are silent, yet extremely deadly. In the style with his Shimada Clan legacy, his ultimate ability is an arrow that when fired turns into two massive dragons fly and devourer opponents in their path.
Junkrat’s modus operandi is Mayhem. His weapon of choice is his trusted Frag Launcher that lobs bouncy bombs at his enemies. If you are naturally good at physics and understanding falling trajectories Junkrat should be your go to pick. On top of the mayhem causing bouncing bombs, Junkrat utilizes traps and mines to lock down enemies in place or send them flying away. His mines can also send him flying around making him a slippery target. The duel offensive and defensive nature of his ability makes him perfect for both defending and attacking designed area. If all else fails, Junkrat can climb into his armored Rip-Tire and roll down the battlefield to his explode in a designated area. Upon dying he even leaves a farewell card in the form of several live grenades.
The rollerblading Brazilian DJ is one of the trickiest supports to master among the Overwatch heroes. Great spatial and situational awareness is important when mastering Lucio. His toolset does not allow for direct single target healing, instead he utilizes his music to buff up and speed up all of his teammates at once. Additionally, his music can create a powerful sound barrier then protects his allies and annoy his enemies. Lucio is an ideal choice when the enemy team consists of heroes that damage more than 1 target, his toolkit is specifically designed to handle these situations by providing support for multiple allies at once.
McCree dispenses justice swiftly with his trusted Peacekeeper revolver. He is not just a deadly gunslinger who duels his opponents at high noon. When the need arises he tumbles and flashbangs an area to gain tactical advantage. The trade-off for his insane aiming skills and tracking ability is his low mobility making him vulnerable to flanks and surprise attacks. If Mcree is let to set up and load up freely he can unleash his powerful ultimate that shoots at all the targets in front of him with deadly accuracy guaranteeing a kill shot.
Mei is so cool she will chill you to the core. She attacks her opponents with the Endothermic Blaster which can freeze targets in place. Her ice cold approach makes her an outstanding dueler. If a duel goes awry she can encase herself in a cryo-freeze state and regain health while being immune to attacks and if the tides turn against her completely she can create a solid ice wall between herself and the enemies. Once the situation is ripe, Mei can unleash a blizzard at a designed area via a weather modification drone. The damage from the gust of cold winds damages opponents and can freeze them solid. Due to her unique toolkit Mei falls under a specific situational category between damage and offtank.
Mercy watches over all. The Valkyrie descends as an angel to heal and resurrect allies. She utilizes healing tethers are some of the most potent out of all the Supports in Overwatch giving her an ability to rapidly and fully heal her allies. When Mercy is not healing her allies she is instead providing powerful damage boosts to allies. Her ultimate ability Valkyre, lets Mercy soar to the skies and empower her abilities even further. Being so heavily oriented on healing on support means Mercy has almost no offensive capacity and is heavily dependent on her team to protect and enable her.
Moira is a gifted geneticist that utilizes powerful biotic abilities through both of her arms. Moiras left hand grasps with biotic energy healing allies in front of her. Her right hand uses the same energy to sap enemies and drain their life force in order to heal herself. The effects from her right hand’s Biotic abilities also replenishes her Biotic Energy. At longer ranges Moira can shoot orbs of energy that pass through allies and enemies alike that either heal or do damage. Her ultimate is Coalescence: a powerful beam of biotic energy that passes through barriers and damages enemies or heals allies. All of the biotic energy leaves Moira vulnerable to high amounts of burst damage. Luckily she can fade into obscurity and become untraceable and invulnerable for a time in order to evade threats.
A recently constructed and powerful guardian robot, Orisa represents the pinnacle of defensive technology. She can launch powerful graviton charges at opponents in order to control and slow down their advances while standing firm and fortified taking neglectable damage. Her offensive arsenal consists of an automated Fusion Driver that fires projectiles at a consistent rate at her targets. To top the defensive capabilities off she can provide a protective barrier for allies to hide under and mitigate incoming damage. Her ultimate ability is a powerful supercharger that “supercharges” (pun intended) allies and increases their outgoing damage towards her line of sight.
Pharah hovers atop the battlefield like a true guardian. She utilizes powerful high-explosive rockets to rain down terror on her foes. Being able to fly around the battlefield provides her with excellent areal awareness and ability to locate and eliminate threats on high points or long range snipers hiding in the distance. An added benefit of soaring over the battlefield is the inability of measly land dwellers to reach and threaten her. To top all off the “op” abilities off, her ultimate sends down a barrage of projectiles at a target location doing insane amounts of damage. Her ultimate it so potent that if positioned properly it can easily wipe out an entire enemy squad.
The envoy of death, Reaper is one of the deadliest characters among the Overwatch heroes. His weapon of choice are two Hellfire Shotguns that do massive damage when flanking enemies. He can Shadowstep around the battlefield with ease and quickly move from one point to another or turn into a powerful Wraith Form that enables him to quickly blend out of sight and become invulnerable. Finally, all the shadowy movement and threading carefully can create opportunities for Reaper to flank the ideal target and unleash Death Blossom, his ultimate ability that fires both of his shotguns and absolutely deletes the enemies in his sight.
Justice bringing german tank Reinhardt wages a rocket-propelled crusade across Overwatch. Armed with a powerful Rocket Hammer he swings wildly forward and charges at his foes. When not engulfed in a murdering frenzy Reinhardt can defend his allies with a powerful barrier field. The fully plated panzer is one of the tankiest heroes in Overwatch. A downside to all the heavy plating is his ability to only fight what is up close and personal. But if you get in his space expect his powerful Earthshatter ultimate to slam you to oblivion.
Akin to The Butcher, Pudge or Blitzcrank every game must have one hero that utilizes a hook to pull enemies to himself before unleashing a barrage of nastiness. In the world of Overwatch this is Roadhog. The Chain Hook pulls enemies close from a distance before shredding them with shrapnel from his Scrap Gun. When not engaged and positioning he can take a breather and regain his health back before hunting for more unsuspecting targets. One of Roadhog’s biggest strengths is also one of his biggest weakness. If the Chain Hook misses he is left mainly to wait for a cooldown by slumbering around pointlessly.
Sigma is a kind and brilliant scientist who has been irreparably changed by an experiment gone wrong, gaining the ability to manipulate gravity in the process. During that tragic experiment Sigma sustained serious psychological damage, deemed a threat to humanity, and locked away for years in a secret government facility. He was eventually freed by Talon and used as a living weapon. Sigma is a Tank hero with both barriers and projectiles at his disposal. He has hyperspheres that can damage enemies and bounce off walls, a floating barrier, the ability to freeze an incoming projectile and a high powered slam attack.
Engineered for perfection and utilizing cutting-edge weaponry Soldier: 76 represents the pinnacle of infantry warfare. His Heavy Pulse Rifle fires fully automatic bolts with almost zero recoil. When a full auto rifle doesn’t cut it, you go ahead and launch rockets at them. If that doesn’t cut it sprint away and re-evaluate the situation. A downside to all the combat training is that the Ultimate ability of this super soldier is somewhat underwhelming. It provides target lock to the nearest target but cannot headshot, a really good player can aim just as well without it leaving Soldier: 76 just a tad underwhelming in his ultimate compared to other damage dealers.
The Mexican hacker is a true menace to the enemy squad. Her entire toolset is optimized for disruption and pacification of her targets. A successful hack can render a target’s abilities useless for a time. When not engaged in hacking Sombra utilizes stealth and translocation to position herself on the battlefield. Her aptitude with tech allows her to identify vulnerable enemies hiding behind cover. When in a position to deal maximum mayhem Sombra’s ultimate launches an EMP pulse that renders all barriers and shields obsolete and hacking all opponents in the pulses range. In terms of damage she can only defend herself with her trusted Machine pistol although violence is not her main goal on the battlefield.
Geometry and order is Symmetra’s M.O. She constructs teleporter pads and turrets on the battlefield to enable herself and allies and dismantles opponents with her Photon Projector. When the going gets tough, her massive Photon Barrier cuts the map in half and provides a defensive field for her allies that blocks all ranged attacks towards it. The biggest weakness to Symmetra is that she is reliant on heavy coordination with the team in order to fully benefit from everything she brings to the table. Alone she is easy prey to enemy assassins.
The turret building Viking is a real menace on the battlefield. His trusted hammer allows him to build and maintain turrets in choke points while laying down suppressing fire with his powerful Rivet Gun. And that is the true strength and weakness of Torbjörn. While ideal for holding down areas with his turrets, gun and even his ultimate that makes the floor lave, he is really poor at engaging enemies at mid and high range due to an inbuilt arcing of his weapons and range of his turrets. His abilities make him a very situational pick that can be best utilized on capture and hold maps.
The true star of “Catch me if you can”, Tracer wields two pistols and blinks around the battlefield with ease. Her blink and recall abilities make her ideal for gunning down and eliminating single targets then reversing back to a previous point and mitigating all the damage. If the target is “honky” she can even place a time-bomb to make sure the opponents goes “poof” in a blaze of glory. Although hard to pin down, if cornered Tracer has zero defensive capacity and weak base stats which makes her an easy target. Timing is off the essence when playing as or against Tracer.
Widowmaker is a truest pray seeker among the Overwatch heroes. She wields a powerful sniper rifle named “Widow’s Kiss” that fires both single and fully automatic bullets at her foes. To stay safe on the battlefield she utilizes a grappling hook to traverse her surroundings and carefully positions poisonous gas traps at crucial locations. Her ultimate ability is a sniper’s wet dream providing infra sight to herself and all allies for a period of time making identifying opponents and eliminating the enemy squad a breeze. The weakness as is for any sniper is her inability to engage in close quarter combat forcing her to usually remain away from the hotspots and at relative safety.
Do not make the Gorilla go bananas. Winston has a lengthy collection of inventions he utilizes on the battlefield. His Tesla Cannon fires an electric barrage at enemies for as long as you hold your mouse button pressed. On his back he carries a Jump pack that makes him leap and stagger opponents as he engages. And if you manage to make the gorilla angry he mighty just go in a Primal Rage and squash you. On top of all of the technological goodies, Winston has the ability to project a defensive barrier around his allies making him a real menacing Tank for his enemies to deal with.
An angry hamster in a mech equipped for war. What could be more fun? Wrecking Ball is an offensive tank that utilizes high mobility, shielding and enemy disruption to achieve competitive advantage. Once curled up in a ball it can traverse the battlefield and engage enemies quickly by piledriving them in the air and placing proximity minefields at their feet. If not rolling around quad canons can be utilized to shred opponents while shielding itself. Did I mention the grappling hook? Just like a Miley song the Wrecking Ball can come in and knock enemies silly. A downside to this versatile tank is the inability to protect teammates as the champion is more of a one hamster show.
Zarya is one of the weaker tanks in Overwatch health wise. She replaces this with powerful personal shields that turn incoming damage into pure energy for her massive cannon. If allowed to fully charge her weapon with energy she turns in an absolute monster and shreds through enemies with ease. On top of this, her ultimate ability creates a gravity field at a target location pulling all enemies towards it. The nature of this ability makes it highly coveted in competitive play as it allows to setup some amazing plays in combination with champions that have massive AOE abilities. Zarya has become a staple pick in most of the competitive matches.
Zenyatta is one of the least mobile heroes in Overwatch. The lack of movement is supplemented by powerful offensive and defensive abilities thanks to his orb wielding powers. The Orbs of Discord or Destruction provide powerful offensive capacity from a Support Role. The Orb of Harmony in turn is providing ample healing for squadmates on the battlefield. The ultimate ability puts Zenyatta in a state of Transcendence making him immune to all incoming damage while replenishing health to himself and his allies. This orb wielding guru is a true jack of all trades if played properly.
How Many Overwatch Heroes Are There?
There are currently 32 overwatch characters in the game. Although that number is set to grow with the release of Overwatch 2. It is difficult ranking all of the characters, but with so many to work with some are naturally going to end up more useful than others. So while there are 32 total, a tier list can narrow down the characters that get used a lot.
Overwatch Heroes Ranked by Tier
The Overwatch tier list is meant to give information in terms of current playability of heroes in the current meta and patch. With each re-balance the tier list and relative strength of champions changes. Some heroes can be placed in a lower tier by playability but still be threatening if played to their fullest potential or in select situation. Tier lists are most relevant on the highest level of gameplay, but high tier characters are going to be favoured by the game’s balance across the board.
It’s also important to think about how counters. While some characters are low-tier, they do well as a counter to a high tier character. This makes them useful in some circumstances, but not across a game as a whole.
These tiers change and reflect patches that take palce in game. Overwatch is under constant development, and the metagame shifts regularly.
Tier 1 – Overwatch heroes with very high pick rates in professional play and a solid choice for any map or game-type.
Tier 2 – Heroes with high priority in professional play but swapped out if needed.
Tier 3 – Mid-tier picks that are situational in nature.
Tier 4 – Heroes reliant on team composition with low pick rate.
Tier 5 – Heroes that are not balanced properly or demand team compositions build around them in order to deliver results.
|Tier 1||Tier 2||Tier 3||Tier 4||Tier 5|