Overwatch Character Digest: An Introduction to Overwatch Heroes
Overwatch has recently hit a hallmark milestone of 35 million players. Blizzard has definitely hit the nail on the head with this popular online multiplayer shooter. At this point, you simply can’t keep ignoring it even if you wanted to.
In case you’ve been sitting on the fence ever since it started hitting the headlines, but are now considering getting the game after all, you’ll have to get familiar with Overwatch heroes first. Here’s a brief summary and description of all the Overwatch Heroes for you to get acquainted.
8 Offense Heroes
With a slew of heavy-hitting skills and abilities, offense heroes hold the highest killing potential across the board. The main downside to using offense heroes is their squishiness, with most of them having only 200 hit points and very limited defence capabilities.
- Doomfist: a melee/close range brawler with rather limited capabilities at medium and long range. His self-shielding passive ability constantly increases his HP as he deals damage to enemy heroes. This adds a maximum of 150 additional temporary HP on top of his 250 base HP, making him one of the tankiest offense heroes available right now.
- Genji: a cybernetic ninja warrior who can use his sword with jedi-like precision to deflect incoming damage back to his attackers. His basic attack hurls 3 shurikens in quick succession. In combination with powerful swordsmanship abilities, he deals massive bursts of damage. He’s one of the rare heroes that can climb walls and jump in mid-air.
- McCree: an expert marksman with a rich criminal history. With his trusty Peacekeeper revolver, he’s capable of dealing sustained damage at range, as well as burst-firing an entire clip of 6 rounds in tight, close quarters combat situations. He’s one of the best 1v1 heroes, with the ability to stun enemy heroes using a Flashbang.
- Pharah: a jet propulsion, flying menace shooting rockets from above. With her rocket launcher, she hurls rockets that deal heavy splash/AoE damage. The smaller rockets she shoots from her wrists knockback enemies it hits. Pharah can use her thrusters to jump high and hover mid-air, making her an excellent flanker/ganker type of hero.
- Reaper: another 250 HP hero, who wields 2 Hellfire Shotguns, inflicting serious damage at close distances as well as stealing health from his enemies. His wraith-like abilities can make him temporary immune to all damage or teleport him from one spot to another.
- Soldier: 76: a vigilante with augmented, enhanced combat and military capabilities and an arsenal of cutting-edge gear and weaponry. He’s one of the easiest heroes to pick up, as he is both fast, deals lots of damage and can self-heal.
- Sombra: a nimble specialist possessing a powerful mix of stealth, movement and disabling/hacking abilities. She deals decent amounts of damage too, but she is often times more valuable in a quasi-support role rather than a classic DPS.
- Tracer: is about movement and positioning virtuoso, using experimental time manipulating device prototype to teleport short distances and revert back to her state a couple seconds ago. She can be a real pain to deal with, as harassment and opportunism are her main roles on the battlefield.
6 Defense Heroes
Defense heroes posses specialized abilities that enable them to setup defence perimeters, stop enemies at choke points and prevent them from taking objectives. Their damage output varies and depend more on a situation at hand, which is why they typically posses more self-defensive, self-sustain and team-support capabilities.
- Bastion: a newbie-friendly omnic (a type of a sentient robot in Overwatch lore) that has 2 basic fire modes – a mobile, less damaging Recon and a stationary, area denial Sentry. His ultimate ability temporary unlocks a third fire mode called Tank, which fires devastating long-range shells. He can also self-heal on a whim and possesses increased damage resistance when transformed.
- Hanzo: Genji’s older brother, an assassin with masterful bow & arrow skills. He can also climb walls, and he can use his arrow in a multitude of ways, either as a basic damage dealing weapon or for marking and tracking his enemies. Hanzo is great for area denial and finishing off low-health enemies.
- Junkrat: an internationally acclaimed criminal specializing in traps, bombs and explosives. His area denial is matched by few, and he can single-handedly keep a bunch of enemies stuck on choke points. He’s quite squishy though, so he requires some level of protection from his team to perform at an optimal level.
- Mei: a self-sustaining cry-tech specialist on a mission to protect and preserve the environment and the ecosystem. Capable of freezing and walling-off the enemies, she can also self-heal and therefore act as a sort of a support-tank type of hero in various battle scenarios.
- Torbjörn: a master weapons engineer with a colorful set of skills and abilities. He can provide additional armor to his teammates, create choke points with his turrets or simply deal damage to the enemies all by himself. He’s often a pivotal hero in point-defence situations.
- Widowmaker: a mobile sniper assassin that operates with ruthless precision. She can use her grappling hook to get virtually anywhere on a map. Her Venom Mine, thermal vision and a full auto sniper rifle helps her stay one step ahead of her enemies at all times.
6 Tank Heroes
Tanks typically sport the highest HP of all heroes and provide frontline protection to their teammates. They’re used to soaking up as much enemy fire as possible and can disrupt opponents enough for their teammates to kill them or chase them away.
- Va: one of the most popular tank heroes out there, as she can both protect her teammates and deal significant amount of damage. She’s capable of ejecting out of the mech and being played that way, but she’s quite squishy and possesses very limited abilities.
- Orisa: is a guardian omnic. She can make herself more resistant to damage and provide Protective Barrier to her teammates, while her damage capabilities work in tandem with team-assisting Supercharger device that maximizes her teammates’ damage output.
- Reinhardt: a heavyweight slugger carrying a huge Rocket Hammer that primarily deals melee type damage, while also being capable of flinging a Fire Strike in a single line. Reinheardt’s main use is his massive, 2000 HP mobile Barrier Field, he can project and carry at will to protect himself and his teammates.
- Roadhog: a Chain Hook specialist capable of grabbing opponents and bringing them in towards his Scrap Gun. He can also heal himself for 300 HP every 8 seconds, which makes him one of the toughest tanks out there.
- Winston: a genetically enhanced gorilla with superior intellect and strength. He can still channel his primal instincts and go beast-mode on his opponents, leaping high up in the air and frying everything with his advanced Tesla Cannon. He can also place stationary Barrier Projectors for his teammates’ protection.
- Zarya: another barrier specialist capable of providing short-lived barriers around herself and her teammates. She can channel all incoming damage into her Particle Cannon, which makes her one of the highest damage output tanks in the game, effectively allowing to be played as a quasi-DPS.
5 Support Heroes
Supports rely on their teammates to do the dirty work the most, as they typically can’t engage opponents on their own effectively. They usually provide healing, buffs and assistance to their allies, as well as debuffs and disables to their enemies.
- Ana: a sniper who can use her weapon and grenades to heal allies and damage enemies. She can also fire Sleep Darts to completely disable her opponents. Her ultimate ability significantly improves the damage and resistance of a single ally for 8 seconds.
- Lucio: provides healing or speed boost to all allies nearby. His Sonic Amplifier weapon deals moderate amounts of damage and can knock back enemies, while his ultimate ability provides a large temporary boost of HP to himself and all the nearby allies.
- Mercy: one of the most impactful support heroes on the battlefield. She can resurrect an ally every 30 seconds, and her Caduceus Staff provides lots of healing to a single ally. She also possesses a passive healing ability, constantly regenerating her HP to the fullest.
- Symmetra: the only support hero lacking any serious healing abilities. However, her ultimate ability enables her to cast teleporters for her teammates to get back into battle in a matter of seconds, or a Shield Generator that provides extra shields to her teammates in a 50 meter radius. Also, her Photon Barrier and Sentry Turrets provide additional protection and area denial, while her Photon Projector actually deals a pretty substantial amount of damage on its own.
- Zenyata: an omnic monk that uses orbs to heal his teammates or damage and weaken his enemies. His ultimate ability Transcendence renders him immune to all incoming damaging for 6 seconds, and provides a huge healing effect to allies around him. He cannot use any weapons and abilities while in this state, but he can help his allies endure just enough to fend off and kill all remaining enemies.
Every hero has a role on the battlefield, and there’s no single hero better than the other. Certain heroes like Mercy, D. Va, Hanzo and Genji are more popular overall, but in the hands of a capable player, every hero can be an MVP.
The best approach is to get good at using 1-2 heroes from each class, and then pick the one your team needs the most, depending on the team composition and the map objectives.
For offense, you can’t go wrong with Soldier: 76 and Pharah in most situations. Bastion, Junkrat and Torbjörn can be amazing on defence. Orisa and Reinhardt are awesome tanks for newbies, while D. Va and Winston are a constant annoyance, and fun to play with. For supports, Mercy is definitely number one. If you can master Symmetra as well, you can virtually auto-win most games on the defence side. Lucio is probably the most fun support hero to play.
Overall, you can realistically only master 6-12 heroes max, so pick the ones you enjoy the most and stick with them at all times.