Overwatch is a game about diversity in hero selection, and everyone has their own personal favorite. Some people may play heroes near the bottom of this list. That doesn’t mean that they are bad players; it only means that the hero may not be the strongest.
A skilled player can excel with any character in Overwatch, but there is a certain reality that we all must accept: certain heroes are better than others. A fair amount of this list is subjective, but there are undoubtedly tiers of characters that are accepted by the community. We aren’t claiming to know more than a typical player; only that we’ve studied efficacy and player perception in regards to a game we all love.
Of course, Overwatch is a fluid game with lots of changes. This list of rankings could be outdated by the time the next patch comes around. Still, if you’re new to the game and don’t know where to start, are looking to pick up a new character, or are a just Hanzo main looking to get mad at where he’s placed, this is a good list for you. Here is Every Overwatch Hero, Ranked Worst To Best.
Junkrat is generally considered to be the least useful character in Overwatch. He’s certainly fun to play and has his uses, but in competitive games most people would rather have a more reliant DPS character on their team. Spamming grenades through a choke point can be a healthy source of damage, but oftentimes it does more harm than good.
One of the main knocks on Junkrat is that his primary fire gives more to the enemy team than many other heroes. In most circumstances, a Junkrat is spamming his grenades. With a coordinated team on the other end, these random grenades can be used to charge Zarya’s damage as well as enemy support ultimates. If you’re feeding ultimate charge to the enemy team, you’re actually lowering the chances of winning in the long run.
Junkrat has his uses, and is certainly effective on certain maps, but usually falls-off in effectiveness when skill level is increased. He doesn’t have much in the way of survivability (his recent change addressed this, but not to an effective degree) and his damage is inconsistent. Basically, other character choices would be of more benefit to the team in virtually every circumstance.
Torbjörn has received some love in recent patches, but only enough to remove him from contention for least-useful hero in the game. His ability to passively generate his armor packs as well as his hammer-rate increase have made him more viable, but have not done enough to force him into the middle of the pack.
A skilled player can do work with any hero in the game, and that’s no different with Torbjörn. His damage is more consistent that Junkrat’s, but he suffers from similar problems. For one, it’s not hard to block or out-heal his turret damage. Even more, at higher levels, turrets don’t have a very high lifespan if they aren’t being protected with priority. They’re relatively easy to deal with, even on console.
Torbjörn’s armor packs are a good way to support a team, but they come at the cost of regular, reliant damage. His effective use is relegated to defense and niche payload maps, and many people will groan if they see him picked in competitive. Torbjörn, perhaps, suffers from the perceived weaknesses of his kit rather than his actual capabilities, but perception is half the battle Blizzard is fighting.
Sombra is one of the newest heroes that has been introduced to the game, and many consider her to be the weakest. The only reason that she’s not at the bottom of this list is her ultimate. Shields are one of the most important elements in the game right now, and Sombra’s ability to neutralize all shields by pressing a button makes her slightly more useful than some of the other heroes in this tier. On top of that, her ultimate has one of the easiest charges in the game, allowing her to swing team fights in her team’s favor.
The rest of her kit, including her trademark hack, needs to be improved. They are nudging Sombra in the right direction, but Blizzard has been clear about not over-correcting on new heroes like they did with Ana.
Sombra, as she is at this moment, is under-powered in multiple ways. She relies too heavily on her hack; an ability that is easy to interrupt and difficult to fully utilize. Like most of the heroes in this section of the list, a Tracer or Genji would serve the team better in almost any situation.
Hanzo, while effective in the right hands, will still garner a groan from teammates who see him picked in a competitive match. With Hanzo, we enter the section of the list that is “below ideal.” Sure, an effective Hanzo player can devastate the enemy team. That said, most people would rather have a Soldier 76 or even Widowmaker on their side over a Hanzo.
Being a Hanzo main has almost become a meme in the Overwatch community. They get hated on as much – if not more – than any hero in the game, despite the fact that they can be effective.
Hanzo’s criticism comes in the form of reliant damage. Someone like McCree or Soldier can rack up kills more consistently than Hanzo can. He doesn’t have the self-sustain that other heroes in the game do, and a good Widowmaker can virtually neutralize a good Hanzo. His kit is decent, but won’t get him in the top-tier based on consistent efficacy and fan perception.
Symmetra probably sits in about the same spot she’d sit before the recent changes to her kit. The new shield generator gives her ultimate more flexibility and her shield ability makes her far more effective in one v. one situations. Still, Symmetra has always been relegated to first-point defense in most cases.
Blizzard changed Symmetra because they wanted to make her more viable in general situations. Her win rate was always high, but they saw that she was mostly being picked on first-point defense alone. The change has given her some viability outside of these circumstances, but mostly only to second-point defense on assault maps.
The presence of an enemy Symmetra can be irksome, but a Winston on a coordinated team can virtually neutralize most of her efficacy. There are a few characters who can bypass or handle her turrets, which is one of the main reasons a player picks Symmetra in the first place. Overall, Symmetra has her uses but is not the best choice in many situations.
Orisa is the newest hero to reach the Overwatch world, but many consider her to be too weak. It’s still a bit early to determine how effective her kit is, but general fan perception is that she’s under-powered. If Blizzard was trying to break the mold with Sombra, they did the exact opposite with Orisa.
Orisa’s kit basically consists of other hero abilities combined into one. The only ability that is completely unique is fortify, which gives her immunity from crowd-control effects and decreased damage. The rest of her abilities are recycled versions of Reidhardt’s barrier, Zarya’s Graviton Surge, and Mercy’s damage boost.
Orisa’s weakness comes in two forms. For one, like most heroes in this section, other tank selections would usually be of more benefit to a team. Her barrier is fixed instead of mobile, making it easier for flankers to navigate around. Second, her head hit-box is huge. For most mobile DPS heroes who can strafe effectively, one-on-one fights are relatively easy against an Orisa. Orisa is not the worst hero in the game, but she may be the worst tank.
Bastion is a perfect example of the fluidity of Overwatch. If this list had been written only a few weeks ago, Bastion would have come in near the top. Thankfully, they nerfed Bastion when they realized how powerful he had become, bringing him back down to Earth – and the back third of this list.
A Bastion that goes unchecked can devastate a team, particularly on defense. While the recent changes to his kit made him more sustainable and mobile, he is ultimately relegated to niche situations in most matches. An attack Bastion is generally frowned upon in higher levels, and a defensive Bastion can get focus-fired out of existence.
Bastion has long been dubbed “the noob killer” due to his ability to dominate at lower levels of play. Unfortunately, as players gain more skill, they learn how to deal with Bastion and take him out before he becomes a problem. Bastion can be strong, but he’s too situational to put among some of the better performers.
Reaper is not a bad character by any stretch of the word. In fact, he is one of the only characters that haven’t been changed since launch. His ability to deal close-range damage is almost unparalleled. He has relatively good sustain and a decent way to get out of sticky situations. So why, then, is he only at number 17 on this list?
The answer: Roadhog. Reaper suffers because Roadhog is basically a better version of him. At higher levels in particular, no one is going to play reaper when they could have a Roadhog doing the same thing. Roadhog can completely nullify certain enemy ultimates while Reaper can only get himself out of harm’s way. Reaper is fun to play and can be effective, but there’s a better version of him in the tank class, making his role nonexistent in many high-level matches.
An effective Widowmaker can absolutely destroy an enemy team. An ineffective Widowmaker can cost her team the match. This is why Widowmaker lands near the middle of the list.
The skill-cap on Widowmaker is one of the highest in the game, as the ability to instantly kill an opposing player can turn the tide of any team fight. This fact is what makes Widowmaker both powerful and ineffective on a given team. If the player is an MLG sniper, popping domes left and right, your team will likely win. If the player has terrible aim then you are basically playing with only five people.
This problem is particularly noticeable on console. No one disagrees that aiming is much easier on PC. This makes console Windowmaker players need even more skill to be effective. On top of that, a skilled Winston or D.Va on the enemy team can counter Widowmaker players more often than not. For these reasons, Widowmaker finds herself near the top of the bottom half. Instead of groaning at Widowmaker picks, most players will simply say, “You better be good.”
D.Va has been in and out of the meta more than any other character in the game. She was originally too weak, then buffed into a must-pick, now nerfed into a mid-tier tank. Her kit has remained the same, but the minor tweaks that Blizzard has made throughout the game has changed her status quite a bit.
The last patch that affected D.Va changed the way her health pool works. Now, instead of copious amounts of armor, most of her mech’s health pool is made up of health (armor has more damage resilience than health). This means that she is far less sustainable and can be melted by a soldier with relative ease.
D.Va’s ultimate is still powerful, but has always been quiet easy to avoid. Mobile characters and those with shields can usually withstand the blast. Especially now, with her health pool effectively lowered, many D.Va ultimates are forced out by getting her out of her mech. She’s still a good character, and likely won’t net you boos from your teammates, but no longer deserves that top-tier status she held before she was changed.
Winston is an effective hero that hasn’t seen much change since launch. He recently received a slight buff, which allowed the cool-down on his barrier to start as soon as it was deployed. While this change helped his viability, it didn’t do enough to launch Winston into must-pick status.
Winston has always been good at certain things. He can deal with a troublesome Genji, destroy Symmetra turrets, and neutralize enemy snipers. He doesn’t do a lot of damage, but requires no aim whatsoever, allowing mechanically weak players to still excel.
His drawbacks come in the form of survivability. Winston has always been heavily reliant on friendly healers to keep him alive. His ultimate refills his health pool, but without an Anna or Mercy helping him, he will do little more than feed enemy ultimates. A skilled Winston can be an absolute pest on the enemy team, but without the support of his teammates he will find himself walking back from spawn more often than not.
Mei has always been around the same spot on the Overwatch tier list. She’s had minor changes made to her abilities, such as increasing her ultimate range, but it didn’t do too much in the way of popularizing her character.
Mei is a nuisance. Her kit can snipe people from long range and freeze anyone brave enough to get close to her. Her self-heal gives her a good amount of survivability and her ultimate can decimate an entire team. She specializes in crowd control, giving her team the ability to take advantage of the frozen opponents and isolating single players with her wall.
There are some drawbacks in Mei’s character, though. Her alternate fire takes a lot of practice to hit from range, and often seems like luck over skill when it lands. Her damage isn’t as reliable as most DPS characters and she can’t survive as long as a tank. The defense class is under-powered as a whole in Overwatch, but Mei is one of the characters who can make the best of it.
McCree is another character that has seen his time in the must-pick limelight come and go. McCree was the strongest DPS character in his prime, with his primary fire sniping players from distance and his alternate fire shredding tanks up close. Blizzard nerfed McCree’s alternate fire, which was much needed, but that wasn’t the only change made that pushed him down the list.
The primary reason McCree is not in the top five anymore is the current state of Soldier 76. The way things are now, Soldier 76 has a better change of outputting reliable damage on enemies from mid-range. On top of his damage, 76 is far more mobile and sustainable, with a self heal that can grant him ultimate charge and survivability.
McCree can still be extremely effective, and a good McCree that’s landing head-shots can be hard to overcome. The only problem with McCree is that he’s more punishing than Soldier 76. Missing a few shots with 76 isn’t the end of the world, but with McCree it can mean life or death. Still, you have to be a mechanically better player to excel with McCree, which relegates him to the middle of the list.
Mercy is the favorite healer of everyone new to the game. She’s actually very important to the game, and a fantastic example of how a new player can contribute in their very first match. That’s not to say that it takes no skill to play Mercy; she just has a simple function and can be effective with little mechanical skill.
Mercy is, and always has been, a solid pick for any team. Especially on console, her reliable single-target healing and ultimate ability combine to make a damn good hero choice. There are countless examples of how her ultimate can turn the tide of a fight, and her pistol damage is actually pretty underrated.
Mercy, however, is one of the least effective healers in the 2-2-2 meta (two tanks, two healers, two support). She suffers from the same problem that many other heroes do: there is just someone else who can do her job more effectively. In Mercy’s case, that hero is Ana. This fact alone pushes Mercy out of the top ten.
Zenyatta was initially under-powered when the game went live, though a change to his health pool made him a must-pick in every game. His discord orb damage multiplier was eventually nerfed, but it didn’t change much of what Zenyatta does well.
Zenyatta is an attack healer. He’s perfect for supplemental healing alongside a Lucio, Ana, or Mercy, but has the ability to dish out serious damage in the hands of a skilled player. His discord orb is the real reason to pick him.
The orb of discord applies a 30% damage increase to the enemy player unlucky enough to get targeted by it, and provides an implicit targeting priority for any skilled team. A team with a Zenyatta, even without using voice communication, implicitly knows where to shoot by watching the discord orb. A talented Zenyatta will prioritize out-of-position supports for easy picks and alert teammates to the location of enemy flankers. The discord orb serves the same purpose as a Mercy damage boost, but for the entire team.
The high-flying rocket queen was one of the first hero concepts Blizzard realized when creating Overwatch. Her kit is relatively simple: she’s an airborne death machine that rains fire from above. Her ultimate, when in combination with other ultimates, can wipe an entire team and her concussive blast has been known to throw people off the map when they least expect it.
Pharah is probably most powerful on console, where aiming is more difficult. A good Pharah can haunt the dreams of players who can’t take care of her, raining down rockets at will. Her recent changes allow her to stay in the air for longer, which is paramount to being successful as Pharah.
Her position on this list is greatly influenced by her efficacy on console. High-level PC players with hit-scan characters can handle a Pharah with relative ease, though she still has her place in the game. She’s not the most reliable damage dealer in Overwatch, but her mobility and versatility make her a good selection in many situations.
Tracer is one of the only characters in the game who hasn’t been changed since release. She can best be related to a bee; zipping around, stinging players, and staying just out of reach of the swatter. A good Tracer that goes unchecked can wreak havoc on the back-lines, causing teams to fold before they even know what’s happening.
Tracer is best when she’s zooming around and targeting squishy heroes. She has a fair amount of survivability due to her recall ability, and mechanically weak teams have little shot at countering her. Her ultimate is easy to charge and is a free kill if placed correctly. In combination with other ultimates – especially Zarya’s – it can lead to a team wipe in no time.
Tracer’s only weakness is her health pool. A talented Widowmaker, Soldier, or Roadhog on the other team can shut Tracer down before she gets started, effectively nullifying her use in the match. If Tracer can stay away from these dangers, though, she can wrack up damage as fast as any character in the game.
Zarya is, and always has been, one of the fan-favorite tanks in the game. For new players, her abilities seem complicated and her damage seems underwhelming. Once you get the hang of her, though, there are few more satisfying heroes to master.
Zarya’s shield abilities allow her to survive and give her the tools to nullify enemy kills. A Reinhardt charge or Roadhog hook can be countered by throwing a bubble on the affected player, usually saving a teammate from a sure-fire death. On top of that, her charge increases with these tactics, and allows her to melt through opposing players of all sizes.
A high-powered Zarya is one of the most dangerous and terrifying sights in the game. When you come around the corner and see a glowing Zarya, the only options are to get out of the way or prepare to walk back from spawn. Her ultimate is one of the most powerful in the game when used correctly, and can set up your side for a team kill. While she may not have made the top six “ideal team composition,” She’s certainly not far off. No one will complain if they see a Zarya on their side.
Lucio begins the section of the “ideal team composition.” He’s been in the meta since the launch of the game, and though Blizzard keeps nerfing him they can’t seem to get him out of must-pick status. Lucio is primarily a healer, but it’s not his healing ability that keeps him in nearly every competitive game.
Lucio’s healing is actually underwhelming at times; it’s his speed boost that makes him great. Lucio’s ability to engage and disengage team fights is second to none. A competent team with a Lucio can easily outmaneuver a team without one, making him one of the most necessary picks in the game.
Lucio has recently been reworked, adding a range to his healing/speed boost and a higher damage output. The community is still figuring out if this was a nerf or a buff to Lucio, but as long as he is the only hero in the game with a speed mechanic, it’s likely he won’t be going anywhere soon.
Roadhog is one of the most powerful characters in Overwatch. His kit is so good that it makes Reaper virtually obsolete, as he’s able to heavily damage enemies at short and mid-range. His hook is a virtual instant-kill, and his large health pool is supplemented by a generous self-heal. A good Roadhog player can succeed even with lackluster healing on his side.
Anyone who’s been plugged-in to the Overwatch community knows that Roadhog’s hook has been one of the most changed elements in the game. As it stands now, the hook pulls players a bit further than it used to, but decreased the spread of his weapon. This made his hook more skill-based, but still kept it as an almost guaranteed kill for any player who specializes in the character.
It’s hard to pick a better character than Roadhog to master. He’s one of the most versatile characters in the game. He can flank, assassinate, and tank bullets all in the same game. He’s most effective with a coordinated team, but Roadhog is one of the few characters that can carry an under-performing team and walk away with the win.
Ana was the first new hero to join Overwatch, and one that set the tone for heroes to come. The community didn’t know what to make of her in the beginning, which led Blizzard to over-correct and make her too powerful at one point. She’s since been dialed-back, but still stands as one of the best picks a player can make.
Ana is, plain and simple, the best single-target healer in the game. Her ability to amplify the healing of other healers and stunt the healing of enemy healers makes her useful in every situation imaginable. Her sleep dart can neutralize enemy ultimates and put valuable targets out of commission. Overall, an Ana in the hands of a talented player can net your team the win more times than not.
Ana’s damage has been recently nerfed, and while she’s far more vulnerable when caught alone she can still stand her ground. Coordinated teams will revolve around their Ana, and while she’s vulnerable to flankers, she can defend herself quite well. The only problem with Ana is her survivability, which is the worst in the healer class, but a second healer can usually pick up the slack in that department.
Reinhardt is another character that’s been dominating since the release of the game, though there’s one element in particular that makes him so powerful. His mobile shield is second to none, and while Blizzard attempted to replicate his popularity with Orisa, they failed to push Reinhardt out of must-pick status.
Reinhardt’s ability to block damage and break choke points with his shield is what makes him so great. There is no other hero in the game who can put the enemy team on their heels like Reinhardt. A team with a Reinhardt will beat a team without one nine times out of ten because he gives them the ability to damage enemies without taking damage themselves.
The rest of Reinhardt’s kit is relatively powerful, but without his shield he wouldn’t be of as much use. His fire strike, charge, primary fire and ultimate are all excellent abilities, but none match his shield in terms of efficacy. Getting close to a Reinhardt is generally a terrible idea, as he will whack all enemies in range for devastating damage. Overall, Reinhardt is one of the most effective characters in the game with one of the most essential abilities.
We should take this time to pause and let everybody get their groans out of the way.
Being a Genji main is one of the biggest memes in Overwatch. It’s annoying to see a Genji be locked-in at the start of every game, no matter the team composition – everyone knows that feeling. Still, there is no denying that a skillful Genji can be one of the most effective players in Overwatch.
If Tracer is a bee than Genji is a hawk; he’s more deadly and harder to get a hold of. A Genji player that makes the most of his mobility is virtually impossible to deal with, and requires a team to switch heroes in order to counter him.
The prevalence and efficacy of Genji is part of the reason Winston is as high on this list as he is. Winston’s the only hard-counter to Genji; a character that is picked in nearly every game at any level. He’s one of the most popular heroes for a reason – he gets the job done.
1. Soldier 76
If Reinhardt is the anchor that every team needs, Soldier 76 is the man behind the shield every team wants. His ability to deal consistent damage is second to none, and in the right hands he can be absolutely devastating. Soldier 76 has the ability to track enemies like no other character in the game, and his self-heal and sprint abilities make him one of the most survivable.
Soldier wasn’t always at the top of Overwatch power-rankings, but he’s certainly there now. McCree was the original God of DPS, but changes to Soldier’s damage made him the best choice by a mile.
Skilled Soldier players use his abilities in ways that even Blizzard didn’t expect. The helix-jump is one of the more popular moves in high-level play, allowing Soldier to get to places the developers didn’t necessarily intend. All of these facts combine to make Soldier one of, if not the most powerful hero in the game. The number one spot is relatively subjective, but anyone can admit that Soldier 76 is a strong contender.
Is your favorite Overwatch hero too low on the list? Let us know in the comments!