Overwatch is an incredible multiplayer first person shooter from Blizzard Entertainment, famed for the Warcraft, Starcraft, and Diablo franchises. We're here to give you some beginner's tips and tricks!

Update 16 November 2016: Added the latest additions to Overwatch's roster, Sombra and Ana, to the list.

Overwatch is a character-based shooter with predefined team roles. Having a good group synergy is often crucial, and knowing how to perform your role correctly is key to victory.

Like many Blizzard games, Overwatch is very accessible, even for gamers who aren't traditionally into shooters. Some of the characters don't even utilize guns. Instead, they play more like a melee class in a first-person action RPG.

There's something for everyone in Overwatch, but if you want to master the game, you'll not only need to learn your chosen character's abilities, but also your enemy's, and also the maps themselves.

Overwatch takes inspiration from MOBAs by giving each hero an Ultimate ability, which charges more quickly for performing well in battle. These skills can change the outcome of a match, but are, like everything else in the game, very counterable.

Overwatch has 23 playable characters with more on the way in the future. Working as a team is critical in Overwatch, as all of its game modes are entirely objective based, as opposed to deathmatch.

Here's a quick guide to each character, their counters, and some additional tips and tricks.

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1. Ana

Ana is the first character to be added to Overwatch post-launch, adding yet another sniper into the mix. Unlike other sniper characters which are best at dealing damage, Ana comes with some additional support abilities. With a versatile arsenal at her disposal, she can be a strong hero in a range of scenarios.

  • Unlike some of Overwatch's other sniper heroes, Ana is best utilized when kept away from the center of the combat. With limited health and long-range abilities, she can afford to hang back from the action.
  • Ana's abilities allow her to deal heavy damage and health regeneration, making for an interesting gameplay dynamic. Make sure to avoid getting focused on either playstyle and adapt your approach depending on the situation.
  • Ana's main weapon, her Biotic Rifle, has two different firing modes. These modes change the weapon's projectiles, depending on whether the rifle is zoomed-in or zoomed-out. When zoomed-in, the rifle fires hitscan projectiles, which essentially have no travel time and land where you've chosen to aim. When zoomed-out, projectiles will have travel time, requiring a little more planning per shot. Damage and healing stats don't change between these modes.
  • The Biotic Rifle and Biotic Grenades are the most versatile components of Ana's loadout. With the ability to heal allies and damage foes simultaneously, these two weapons are a great combo in more chaotic encounters. When combat is building up around choke points on the map, use these weapons to not only help your team but also push back the enemy.
  • Ana's ultimate adds to her support skillset, allowing her to buff one teammate for a limited amount of time. Granting faster movement, higher damage, and more damage resistance, make sure to hold back this ability until more crucial moment in combat.

When playing as Ana, make sure to watch out for fast approaching enemies. As a faster, but lightweight character, only a few shots from offensive heroes can knock Ana down. Also make sure to be weary of players tranquilised by her sleep darts, as any form of damage will awaken drowsy foes.

2. Bastion

Bastion is a defensive hero that is often lamented in the Overwatch community for his large damage output. Beyond his standard machine gun, he can also transform himself into a stationary sentry turret, and deal 2,500 damage in a single clip, dropping tank heroes in seconds. Bastion can also self-heal, making him monstrously autonomous.

  • Bastion shines when your team is playing defense, but a knowledgeable player can put him to good use on attack as well.
  • Bastion's Ultimate transforms him into a mobile battle tank, and his weapon blasts can rapidly wipe out the entire enemy team due to its high damage and wide area of effect.
  • Rather than using Bastion's Ultimate on a whim, save it for when the enemy team is distracted, grouped up and capturing a point or moving a payload, you can win the battle for your team.
  • Learning the maps is more critical with Bastion than most heroes. When you set up your Bastion, make sure you have cover nearby so you can slip out of the line of sight if things get too hectic. Try to hide as much of your body as possible without losing line of sight on enemies. Choke points are good for this.
  • Be wary of flanking characters such as Tracer and Reaper. Bastion isn't the squishiest Overwatch character, but he will die rapidly against attacking foes.
  • If you're playing with a friend using Mei, she can use her Ice Wall ability to lift Bastion onto spots usually unavailable to the character. This is guaranteed to catch your enemies off guard.
  • Bastion can transform into turret mode while jumping down from high ledges, which is a great way to ambush teams on certain maps with elevation.

Despite Bastion's high damage output, countering him is fairly easy. Do not try and take him head on: if he's defending a point and you're an unsuitable hero, simply go around or wait for a Reinhardt shield to hide behind, for example. Heroes like Pharah and Widowmaker are good for taking out Bastion, attacking from afar where the effective range of his rotary cannon is diminished. Heroes like Junkrat can also spam bombs on Bastion over walls, hidden from his line of sight. Teleporting in close with Tracer's sticky bomb Ultimate is practically designed for taking out Bastion, and Genji's bullet reflecting ability can cause an unprepared Bastion to kill itself.

3. D.Va

D.Va is an interesting hero due to her mech gameplay. When D.Va's mech is destroyed, she pops out and can run and shoot freely. Outside of her mech, D.Va's Ultimate gauge builds up while using her pistol, and allows you to call in a new mech. When she's in her mech, her Ultimate causes her mech to self-destruct, dealing massive damage in a wide area. Both Ultimate gauges build up independently, to ensure you don't lose out on your Self Destruct Ultimate.

  • D.Va is listed as a tank, but her gameplay is a little more on the aggressive side. Learning when to retreat and when to push forward is pretty central to D.Va gameplay, and she can be good on both offense and defense.
  • D.Va's mech Fusion Cannons have infinite clips and do not need to be reloaded, but have shotgun-like bullet spread, meaning you'll want to get up close and personal to make the best use of them. Even though their damage is low, they can be great for harassing snipers even at longer ranges, who will naturally opt to move rather than get hit.
  • D.Va's rocket boosters allow her to fly for a brief time, which can be great for getting into flanking positions or retreating to a health kit.
  • D.Va's rocket boosters also have a knockback effect when rammed into other players, which can be utilized to hilarious effect on certain maps with pitfalls.
  • When combined with her Self Destruct Ultimate, the rocket boosters can be used to slingshot her mech over walls and into groups of enemies, who often won't see it coming until it's too late.
  • While outside of her mech, D.Va's pistol does surprisingly good damage. Make sure to shoot from afar to build up your ultimate gauge as fast as possible. Strafe and fire at enemy's head level for critical damage.
  • D.Va's Defence Matrix ability can be used to block almost anything, including certain Ultimate skills. Use it to save your team from a nasty projectile or to close the gap with a turret.

D.Va is a disruptive hero, but she's not overly dangerous by herself. The hitbox for getting a headshot on her mech is unusually large and central to her model. Regardless of how close to her Self Destruct Ultimate you are, avoiding its line of sight completely negates its effect. Simply slip behind a wall, or use Mei's Ice Wall ability to shield your team completely.

4. Genji

Genji is a cyborg ninja and, in my opinion, one of the most difficult heroes to master. He's very mobile, complete with a double jump, dash attack that can be used for aerial mobility, in addition to the ability to climb walls. He also has a powerful ability called Deflect, which will reflect incoming damage back onto his opponent.

  • Genji is best utilized in one on one situations, using his superior mobility and deflect ability to circumnavigate incoming damage.
  • Genji's shuriken ranged attacks are very accurate and can take out players even at long ranges quite quickly.
  • Genji's alternate shuriken attack sends out three quickly in an arc, dealing more damage at close range in a shotgun-like way.
  • Use Genji's wall climbing to get the drop on enemy players. His Swift Strike can be used to dodge as well as attack.
  • Use Genji's Dragonblade Ultimate when the enemy team is distracted, as most squads will turn on Genji immediately to prevent him from maximizing his damage.
  • Use Deflect to rapidly destroy Bastions, turrets, snipers and other enemies who utilize projectile attacks. Deflect even works on projectile-based Ultimate abilities, which is a guaranteed way of upsetting your enemies.

In the right hands, Genji is a very dangerous hero, but characters who utilize area-attack weapons like Winston and Symmetra can completely ignore Deflect. Genji also doesn't do tremendously well against tanking heroes like Reinhardt and Roadhog, and he's quite susceptible to explosions as mentioned. Tanks should do their best to shut Genji down.

5. Hanzo

Hanzo is the brother of Genji and is a sniper with some good utility. His arrows suffer from gravity drop but have generous hitboxes to the point where you can sometimes hit players not entirely in your line of sight. He also can create sonar fields that allow allies to see through walls and can scatter arrows that deal damage in an area. His Ultimate, Dragonstrike, can be utilized in various ways and can be devastating in certain situations.

  • Hanzo can climb walls, similarly to Genji, allowing him to gain access to areas available only certain classes such as sniper nests.
  • His arrows deal more damage depending on how long you spend drawing on his bow, so hold the attack button down to get the maximum effect.
  • Hanzo's rate of fire is incredibly slow, but firing quick shots at lower damage can help you win a duel in a pinch, and there's always the basic melee button.
  • His Scatter Arrow can be used to deal large amounts of damage to tanks, due to their larger hitboxes. Practice ricocheting arrows off walls and floors. Shooting Scatter Arrow directly on the floor in front of a moving player can be sometimes easier than landing a crucial headshot.
  • His Dragonstrike Ultimate fires an arrow that produces a gigantic dragon that travels through walls across the entire map, dealing huge damage over time to anyone touching it. Due to its slow movement, it's often easy to avoid, but firing it on chokepoints, on objectives, and lining up the dragon's travel with the enemy spawn point can practically guarantee kills. At the very least, you'll disrupt the enemy team's positioning.

Countering Hanzo is fairly simple. He can't reach as many sniper positions as Widowmaker can, so Hanzo players are often glued to the ground. His mobility isn't great, and his shots rely on careful aim and gravity drop mechanics, most damage classes can out-manoeuvre Hanzo and kill him quickly at close range, while characters such as Junkrat can kill him around corners using explosives to avoid those nasty arrows.

6. Junkrat

Junkrat is an explosives junkie who can be a pain to deal with when in the right hands. His main grenade launcher fires erratic bouncing explosives that deal impressive damage. He also has a trap to keep players locked in place, and can produce remotely triggered stationary mines. His Ultimate spawns an explosive tire that tears across the map and deals a huge amount of damage in a wide area of effect.

  • Junkrat's trap is best deployed behind walls and in doorways, where unsuspecting players walk straight into them. You can also use the trap aggressively at close range, following it up with a quick blast from your Frag Launcher.
  • The same applies to Junkrat's Concussion Mine, which also causes knockback. Even if the mine might not kill, it might knock unsuspecting players off the map.
  • Concussion Mine can also be used to help Junkrat leap to high vantage points, utilizing the explosion as a boost.
  • Junkrat's ultimate RIP-Tire can scale walls and jump. It can also be destroyed very easily, so be sure to deploy it when the enemy is distracted or from a flanking position.
  • His Frag Launcher, like all other weapons in Overwatch, have unlimited ammo. Spamming explosives across the map can net you easy kills without putting yourself in danger. Junkrat is also great for attacking dangerous ranged hazards for this reason.

Junkrat is fairly squishy and can be killed easily by most characters. Roadhog can use his grappling hook to pull RIP-Tire out of harm's way (possibly sacrificing himself in the process), but otherwise, a few well-placed shots nullify a RIP-Tire entirely.

7. Lucio

Lucio is probably the most accessible character of the lot, as he has passively regenerating health that also heals everyone around him, like a 21st-century bard. He can also switch to a speed song that disables that healing but gives nearby players a movement boost. Both of his songs can be boosted, which is great for mitigating damage and rushing to an objective.

  • Lucio moves very quickly, and his passive healing can make him particularly hardy, especially when stacked with the passive healing from standing near the payload on Escort game types. Don't be afraid to get into the middle of battle.
  • His Ultimate grants a shield boost to all nearby players, which is great for mitigating an enemy team's Ultimate or giving your allies a boost during an offensive push.
  • Lucio's alternate fire causes a knockback effect, which can be disruptive. You can use it to separate enemy healers from their allies, but most hilariously, it can be used to push enemy players off certain maps.
  • Lucio can run horizontally on walls, which not only helps him traverse certain areas inaccessible by some characters but jumping off adjacent walls can help him reach sniper nests occasionally, allowing you to heal passively in positions the enemy will not expect.
  • Harass the enemy team with Lucio's primary fire, which travels slowly but has great accuracy and range.

Lucio can be pretty annoying to take down, especially if his team is competently protecting him. He has no methods of escape, so focus firing him down, or catching him off guard with Reaper, Roadhog or McCree can remove him from battle quickly.

8. McCree

McCree is an incredibly dangerous Wild West gunslinger. Beyond his accurate single shot revolver, McCree's Fan The Hammer also empties his gun barrel in a near-instant, working almost like a channeled shotgun. McCree also has a stun grenade, which when used in tandem with Fan The Hammer at close range is a death sentence for most heroes. McCree's Ultimate, Dead Eye, can be hard to pull off, but it can wipe out an entire team if the stars align.

  • Despite the accuracy of his gun, McCree works best in close quarters, hiding in corners, or sneaking up on unsuspecting players.
  • Learning the maps is pretty pivotal to McCree play. I find him to be most effective fighting away from the group, attacking from places the enemy wouldn't expect, which often means behind enemy lines. Knowing to stand near health kit spawns will make you far more formidable.
  • Listen for footsteps. A surround sound headset or decent sound bar makes McCree a lot easier to play, simply because you can hear who's coming around the corner. Every character has very distinctive sounds while moving.
  • McCree also makes a lot of noise when he moves, which can make sneaking difficult. Moving while crouched can help you creep up on unsuspecting players, giving you the opportunity to close in for a Flashbang Fan The Hammer combo.
  • His dodge roll also reloads his weapon, so using Fan The Hammer, rolling, then using it again can help you take out tanks incredibly quickly.
  • Dodge roll can also be used aggressively, helping you close the gap to finish someone off quickly, or even avoid being seen.
  • Dead Eye takes a little while to charge up, during which time most players will have reacted to the call out and hid. This Ultimate is best used from high vantage points when enemy players are distracted. Don't feel like you have to use it as soon as you unlock it.
  • Dead Eye can also be canceled, allowing you save 50% of your Ultimate meter. Hitting the button will cause enemy players to scatter, which can disrupt aggressive and coordinated plays.

McCree has little defensive capabilities and can be killed very quickly. If he screws up his Flashbang Fan The Hammer combo, there's often not a great deal he can do to win a duel. Junkrat's traps and explosives are very effective against McCree, and characters with invulnerability moves like Mei and Reaper can negate his deadly combo.

9. Mei

Mei is a highly versatile hero, capable of pushing offense in the thick of battle, winning one on one duels and supporting her team with prominent utility. Her ultimate is one of the most powerful in the game when it comes to winning an objective, and her abilities have a sadistic slant.

  • Mei's main weapon emits a freezing ray that gradually slows down enemies into a stunned state. Hitting most frozen enemies in the head with her alternate fire will be an instant kill.
  • Mei's Ice Wall can block enemy turrets, snipers, Ultimates, doorways and choke points. It can also work as an elevator, enabling Mei and coordinated allies to gain access to areas typically available only to some of the most mobile heroes.
  • Mei's Ice Wall 'elevator' can also shatter the Ice Wall of an enemy Mei if used underneath it. This is great for winning Mei vs. Mei duels.
  • Mei's Ice Block makes her invincible for a few seconds, while also granting healing. It can be used as a portable health kit, but it can also be used to distract and bait enemies into wasting their more powerful attacks as you prepare to freeze them.
  • Mei's Ultimate, Blizzard, can freeze an entire team in a huge area of effect. Using this ability on groups of players stood on objectives is incredibly effective. I've seen some amazing plays where a skillful Mei has used Blizzard on a group of enemies, sat in Ice Block while it takes effect, and then solo-killed several enemies who were stuck in the frozen state. High risk, high reward.

Mei's versatility makes her a huge threat, and she should be focus fired down as soon as possible. Without her cooldowns, Mei will die very quickly, and attackers like Reaper can avoid her freezing gun completely with wraith form. McCree's Stun/Fan The Hammer combo can instantly kill Mei as well.

10. Mercy

Mercy is a support character that can change the outcome of matches in the right hands. She has almost no offensive capabilities, designed almost entirely as a healer. Mercy can be frustrating to play when queuing solo, as she often needs a lot of support from other heroes. She can rapidly heal or damage boost a single player using her staff, and can also aerial dash between allies. Her Ultimate can resurrect the entire team, making her more than capable of changing the whole course of a match.

  • Mercy's Ultimate charges very quickly if you're always healing people, don't be afraid to use it often, but resurrecting several players rather than one in a pinch can be pivotal.
  • Try to buddy up if possible. Mercy's Guardian Angel aerial dash works incredibly well with the airborne Pharah and players will have a harder time picking you off if you're hovering in the air, which Mercy can do by holding down the jump or staff ability buttons.
  • If you fall off the map, try to fly to a nearby player to save yourself. Guardian Angel is also useful for escaping from enemies, jumping between different players. Use it often.
  • Mercy's damage boost alternate fire can wreak havoc when used in conjunction with a friendly player's Ultimate, but don't forget to keep them healed!
  • Mercy's health regenerates after she's survived a few seconds without getting hit, use Guardian Angel to get out of harms way.

Mercy is very easy to kill due to her low health and her need to stand in the midst of battle to heal people. Heroes with knockback abilities like Pharah and Lucio can easily separate Mercy from her healing targets, and McCree's Fan The Hammer will shred a Mercy in seconds. Roadhog's hook and shoot combo also decimates Mercy.

11. Pharah

Pharah is a hugely mobile hero, who offers a set of offensive abilities seen in many first-person shooter titles. Between her powerful Jump Jets and overall maneuverability, Pharah is best seen in the most open areas of Overwatch's maps. When paired with her Barrage Ultimate ability, her attacks spread across the widest of play spaces.

  • As Pharah is one of the few truly mobile characters in Overwatch, keeping on your toes is the key to success. While her rocket launcher is still capable on the ground, attacks from the skies are more likely to catch enemies off-guard.
  • Pharah's Ultimate ability, which fires a barrage of rockets, is best used in open spaces, taking advantage from higher vantage points.
  • Be wary, though, Barrage's missiles do spread as they travel, sometimes it can be smart to use it at a closer range to maximize its damage.
  • Barrage works well in checkpoints, as it can clear a gathered enemy team in a matter of seconds.
  • Don't forget that while Pharah is an offensive hero that her abilities can also be used in a defensive manner. Using her Jump Jets, Pharah can quickly escape the battle, retreating to parts of the map other characters may struggle to reach.
  • Due to the nature of Pharah's Concussive Blast and Rocket Launchers, these can also be great for pushing enemies away from objectives and into the sights of other offensive allies.
  • Concussive Blast is also hilarious for knocking enemies off bridges.

Pharah has low health, and can't stay airborne forever. Finishing her off when she's grounded should prove easy for most characters. Pharah is also very vulnerable to Bastion and Torbjorn's turrets, as they can quickly pick her off if she's forced to hover in the air.

12. Reaper

Reaper's damage is rivaled only by McCree at close range, wielding dual Hellfire Shotguns and abilities that allow for quick traversal across levels. These skills place a huge focus on Reaper's close-quarters combat, but also allows for a fast entry and departure from combat.

  • Reaper's most powerful tools are his two trusty shotguns, which deliver significant damage at close range. Hellfire Shotguns can frequently provide rapid kills up close, but damage soon drops off when moving away from the target.
  • With Reaper's two shotguns being close to useless beyond a few meters, a careful balance of offensive and defensive play is required. Reaper's Shadow Step can be used to teleport into battle, followed by a quick exit with the Wraith Form.
  • Both of Reaper's main abilities can also be used to move around the map in a more efficient manner. Both Shadow Step and Wraith Form can be used to jump between usually inaccessible areas, while also safely bypassing key choke points. Use them to flank your opponents.
  • Use Wraith Form to avoid powerful Ultimates and dangerous combos, such as McCree's Fan The Hammer.
  • The Death Blossom Ultimate is best used in populated areas, such as objective markers or congested sections of the map. Like many ultimates, Death Blossom leaves Reaper in a vulnerable position, which makes both timing and positioning a major component for effective execution.

When playing against Reaper, beware of being flanked. Reaper moves slowly, and Tracer, McCree, and Mei can shut him down in close quarters, depending on which character makes the most mistakes.

13. Reinhardt

Reinhardt is one of Overwatch's few melee-centric characters, with heavy protection from projectiles but an inability to repel fast-moving enemies. Despite his armored exterior, Reinhardt can be easily taken down if exposed to multiple opponents. Reinhardt's only defense from long-range attacks is his Barrier Field shield, which can be used to lure enemies into the swing of his Rocket Hammer.

  • Reinhart's main contribution to a balanced team is the Barrier Field, which extends beyond his player model to easily block up hallways. The shield a great offensive tool for pushing forward towards an objective, protecting the surrounding team from incoming fire.
  • While Reinhart's hammer isn't extremely powerful, the speed at which it swings can effectively take out players with lower health. When pushing forward without a barrage of enemy projectiles, the hammer is a great tool for clearing up remaining opponents.
  • Reinhardt's Ultimate is his outstanding ability, outputting massive damage on a focused cone. Practice catching groups of players in the stun effect, so you and your team can finish everyone off.
  • Charge can be used to rip through a group of opponents or entirely clear the game's tight hallways and crevices. Like many of Reinhardt's abilities, this will leave his rear exposed for a significant amount of time.
  • Use your shield to defend Torbjorn and Bastion sentry turrets. This combo of abilities is particularly nasty on defense.

Reinhardt's biggest weakness is an attack from behind – an area with no protection from enemy fire. With a shield and primary weapon tailored for front-facing attacks, focusing on finishing off an enemy can leave Reinhardt's exposed to attack. McCree's Fan The Hammer, roll, Fan The Hammer while flanking can quickly kill a distracted Reinhardt, and his shield can be worn down quickly with focused fire.

14. Roadhog

Roadhog is a versatile tank that can be incredibly disruptive. His Chain Hook combined with his shotgun-like Scrap Gun can instantly kill weaker offensive heroes, and his Hook has a broad range of additional utilities. Roadhog can also heal himself, and his Ultimate turns his Scrap Gun fully automatic, giving him the ability to disrupt an entire enemy team with waves of knockback and damage.

  • Roadhog has a lot of health but can die quickly with focused fire. Stay near cover so you can slip out of the line of sight and heal yourself.
  • When you use Chain Hook, target weaker characters like damage dealers and healers and hold down your Scrap Gun primary fire, you'll instantly kill most of these types of characters.
  • Chain Hook can also be used on several maps to pull players into pitfalls, use this standing near the edge for maximum comedic effect. It can also be used to rip a Bastion out of Sentry mode.
  • Chain Hook can be used to grab Junkrat's RIP-Tire and D.Va's Self Destruct mech. While this might result in sacrificing your life, sometimes it might be worth doing to save the team.
  • Use Take A Breather often to top off your health. Sometimes it's a good idea to use this even in the middle of battle, as it might help you to survive an encounter.
  • Roadhog's Scrap Gun does pretty terrible damage at longer ranges, but his alt fire helps the spread travel a little bit further.

Roadhog is a walking meatshield, making him a difficult hero to counter due to his huge health pool and ability to self-heal. D.Va can stand toe to toe with Roadhog fairly well, and his large size means that D.Va gets maximum effect from her shotgun-like cannons. The same goes for Reaper, who can avoid Roadhog's Chain Hook using Wraith form, and then shotgun him in the back. Other characters should try to stay out of Roadhog's range, which isn't the largest.

15. Soldier: 76

Soldier: 76 is the perfect hero when moving from mainstream first-person shooter titles, with a range of abilities accustomed for accessibility. Soldier: 76 uses a pulse rifle as a primary weapon, alongside a rocket launcher and emitter to heal himself and nearby allies. The character is also able to sprint for an unlimited period, unlike any other characters in the game's roster.

  • Soldier: 76 is balanced in almost all aspects, with reasonable health, an accurate weapon at most ranges and a mixed collection of abilities. As a result of this balance, he performs well in most scenarios.
  • The Helix rockets used by Soldier: 76 have a fixed velocity and aren't affected by bullet drop. This makes the rockets a perfect long-range projectile to deal minimal splash damage to distant targets, such as snipers, and turrets.
  • Soldier: 76's rifle is very accurate, making him great at a medium range. It can be particularly effective at shutting down an airborne Pharah.
  • Soldier: 76's Ultimate auto-locks onto enemies over a short period. This is most effective on nimble enemies with less health, such as Tracer and D.Va (without her mech).
  • Use Soldier: 76's healing emitter frequently to keep your health topped off. It stacks well with passive healing from Lucio and others.

Soldier: 76 is effective in all scenarios and due to this, has no real flaws. That said, he doesn't stand out particularly well either, being a jack of all trades. Most damage dealers can defeat Soldier: 76 in close quarters, particularly McCree and Reaper, who can quickly close the gap to close range.

16. Sombra

Sombra is one of Overwatch's more recent additions, bringing an entirely new dynamic to multiplayer matches. As a hacker with a huge reliance on speed, Sombra's greatest strengths lay with her unique abilities to confuse enemy players.

  • At her core, Sombra is an offensive character, sharing some similarities with Tracer. With lower health but the ability to move fast, her skills are better used at taking down players rather than her firearms. Equipped with a fully-automatic Machine Pistol, Sombra's primary weapon can deal significant damage, but only at short range.
  • Sombra's advantage in close-quarters combat is complemented by her hacking abilities. Allowing for quick and stealthy movement across the map, her movement is best used when getting the jump on unsuspecting foes.
  • Her Translocator ability acts like a teleporter, which jumps Sombra back to the location where it was placed. Lasting for only 15 seconds, the Translocator should be placed in a safe location, before immediately diving into combat. When combined with her Thermoptic Camo, enemies will be downed before they even acknowledge your presence.
  • Don't forget that the Translocator can be used at any time after leaving your hands. This includes teleporting in mid-air to travel previously impossible routes.
  • Her EMP ultimate is a powerful ability in the right hands, with the potential to take down all barriers, shields and abilities in the blast radius. For the most effective use of the ability, use Sombra's Thermoptic camo to dash into a crowd of enemies, activate your EMP and back out with a Translocator.

Like other lightweight characters, make sure to control how far you push into the frontlines as Sombra. Make sure to not approach large groups of enemies alone, unless you have the opportunity to jump out with your Translocator.

17. Symmetra

Symmetra is one of the best defensive support heroes in Overwatch, with abilities that provide unparalleled defenses. Between a teleporter, protective shield, and miniature sentry turrets, Symmetra is one of the most team-oriented backup characters in the game's roster.

  • Symmetra's main role mostly benefits offensive heroes, providing faster entry into battle and protection on the field. While she still spends time on the front lines, offensive heroes should try to distract enemies away from her. Alternatively, taking advantage of Symmetra's traps are an effective way to deal damage to an offensive team.
  • Sentry turrets should be placed in unintuitive locations, to prevent the enemy team from easily seeking them out. While placing turrets in a more crowded area can leave them exposed, they can also be concealed among the chaos of choke points.
  • The Sentry turrets have a stacking movement impairing effect, and can trap unaware players easily and quickly burn them down.
  • Spread out their placement as much as possible, because area attacks will easily kill them.
  • The teleport sounds like a weak Ultimate on paper but can quickly become one of the most valuable gadgets on the field. Providing access to key objectives gives teams a huge advantage and should be a priority when pushing into the center of the battlefield.
  • Harass the enemy team by charging up blasts of her alternate fire, which sends slow moving but deadly energy balls across the map in a straight line.

With a relatively weak weapon that moves too slowly to perform at long range, Symmetra is best kept in the back row. Be wary of walking around corners, as they might harbor laser sentries on the other side. Most classes can very quickly kill Symmetra, and she's not overly dangerous by herself.

18. Torbjorn

Torbjorn is Overwatch's turret master, wreaking total havoc in defensive play. Similarly to Team Fortress 2's Engineer, Torbjorn can build a turret that will automatically fire on enemies at significant ranges. Torbjorn can also spawn armor pickups for his allies, and his Ultimate empowers both himself and his turret with improved health and damage. He's arguably one of the most dangerous heroes in the game.

  • Set up your turrets near cover so that you can repair and build them without being shot. Also, consider safe locations where your turrets won't easily be picked off by long-range characters like Pharah or Widowmaker.
  • Save your Ultimate for moments where your turret can quickly dispatch multiple heroes. You can repair damage dealt more rapidly for the duration, so it's entirely possible to keep it alive through heavy focus-fire.
  • Torbjorn's primary weapon has an excellent range, coupled with some bullet drop. Practice with it often to get a feel for how high you need to aim to hit far-off players.
  • Torbjorn's alternate attack works like a shotgun, and can be surprisingly devastating at close range. Don't be afraid to wade into close quarters combat to pick people off with Torbjorn, especially with his Ultimate up.

Torbjorn can be disruptive to teams who don't know how to deal with him, due to the automatic nature of his turrets. Use Pharah, Widowmaker, Junkrat, Hanzo or McCree to take out his turrets at long range.

19. Tracer

As seen on Overwatch's cover art, Tracer is one of the most iconic (and divisive) characters in the game's roster. With a truly unique skill set, the reasoning soon becomes apparent, but her abilities are among the hardest to truly master. Tracer's abilities consist of dual Pulse Pistols, Blink teleportation and her talent of rewinding time through the Recall ability.

  • With two powerful pistols, it's tempting to rush straight into battle with Tracer. Due to her low health, Tracer soon suffers under heavy fire and requires a careful balance of offensive maneuvers and cautious retreats.
  • Tracer's abilities allow for quick insertion into the field, which pairs perfectly with her Pulse Bomb ultimate. The bomb, which sticks to any surface it lands on, can be used to take out a group of enemies quickly or counter an enemy's Ultimate. It's also incredible for destroying turrets or a sentry Bastion.
  • Both Tracer's Blink and Recall abilities can be used in alternation to confuse oncoming enemies. While this tactic isn't as efficient on high-skill players, it still spares a few seconds for enemies to recover.
  • Recall also reverses any damage dealt to Tracer in the last few seconds, get a feel for using it as a healing ability.
  • Tracer's Pulse Pistols can deal heavy damage at close range, which is most effective while also using the Blink ability to dart between numerous positions.
  • Pulse Pistols do a lot of damage but have very small clips. Don't be afraid to melee attack to finish a player off.

Tracer's biggest flaw is her low health, which can result in a quick death if targeted by characters wielding accurate or explosive weapons. Heroes that deal heavy close-quarters damage, such as Reaper and Roadhog are also formidable foes for Tracer, in addition to McCree's stun combo.

20. Widowmaker

Widowmaker is primarily a scout character, utilizing a sniper rifle and high-ground positioning to spot and take out enemy players. Wielding a grappling hook to reach sniper perches, Widowmaker can quietly sit above the map and provide support during heated battles. Her Ultimate ability 'Infra-Sight' uncovers all enemy locations, exposing their movements for a few seconds.

  • Taking advantage of Widowmaker's unique Widow's Kiss rifle adds versatility to her skill set, with the ability to handle long and short range encounters. Keeping a distance from close-quarters situations is still key, to avoid shotgun damage to Widowmaker's low health.
  • Widowmaker's grapple is ideal for reaching obscure sections of the map but is also a suitable offensive and defensive tool. The grappling hook can be used to get the jump on enemies, but also as a fast escape route in close situations.
  • The Venom Mine is a valuable gadget to provide protection when looking down sniper sights, but should also be used as an offensive explosive. Throwing the mine into the battle is guaranteed to deal some minor damage.
  • Venom Mine can also alert you to the presence of a flanking player if you're sniping from an open position.
  • Widowmaker's Ultimate – Infra-Sight recharges fairly quickly, and hugely benefits close quarters heroes like McCree. Using her Ultimate will oust all the enemy team's positions, providing an opportunity to break through their defenses.
  • Remember that her sniper rifle takes a few milliseconds to charge, as displayed by the scope itself.

Widowmaker's low health makes her fairly easy to kill once she's gained the enemy's attention. Pharah's long-range rockets can often quite easily dispatch a distracted Widowmaker, and she's incredibly vulnerable if flanked by characters like Reaper.

21. Winston

Winston is everyone's favorite gorilla, armed with a close range Tesla Cannon and a plethora of animalistic abilities. Among these abilities is a Jump Pack ground pound and brutal Primal Rage. With high health, this leaves Winston as a great offensive and defensive hero, held back but his ground mobility.

  • Winston's traits are built around his beastly persona, which takes advantage of his muscular physique in combat. Winston's strength allows for powerful attacks backed by significant force, sending enemies flying among the chaos.
  • Use Winston's leap and shield to disrupt the enemy team, don't expect to get the most solo kills. Jump in, smack some people, leap out.
  • Winston's Tesla Cannon can inflict damage on multiple heroes at one time, which proves to be especially effective against groups of injured enemies. This also pairs well with Winston's Ultimate ability, which instantly disrupts enemy teams.
  • If you're playing on a console, consider turning your joystick sensitivity up. Since Winston doesn't rely on careful aiming so much, you'll benefit from the increased movement speed.
  • Winston's Primal Rage ultimate can also be used to survive heavy damage, as a result of the doubled health upon activation. Even when running low on health, Winston's maximum health will double upon activating his Ultimate. Don't forget to knock people off the map too!
  • Use Winston's shield ability frequently to guard objectives and shield allies. If you sense a lot of incoming damage, shield up.
  • With little mobility and no long-ranged attacks, Winston can soon be picked off by rifles in open sections of the map. Taking up an opportunity to duck or leap behind cover is always recommended, due to the power of the game's long distance rifles.

Winston isn't a particularly difficult hero to deal with but can be frustrating to play against in the right hands. His direct damage output isn't incredible, but he can disrupt coordinated teams. He's easily dispatched with focus fire, especially when stunned by McCree or Mei.

22. Zarya

Zarya abilities fail to stand out alone, but when paired successfully, deliver significant damage. As a tank character on the surface, Zarya can withstand enemy fire, and utilize this as an offensive measure. Using her Particle and Projected Barrier, damage Zarya takes can be transferred to her Particle Cannon, creating a valuable damage boost.

  • Zarya's abilities require careful balancing to be used effectively, ensuring damage is frequently taken to utilize her abilities. If operated correctly, her shields can withstand damage from Ultimate abilities.
  • If you spot that a friendly player is about to get damaged, project a barrier on them to charge your weapon damage.
  • Play defensively as Zarya. She's not as hard-wearing as some of the other tanks in the game.
  • The Graviton Surge Ultimate is among the most dominant in the game, with the potential to trap an entire enemy team. If allies are nearby to deal damage to trapped enemies, the Ultimate can be used to wipe out an entire team.
  • Graviton Surge can also suck enemy teams off bridges and into pitfalls, depending on where you stick the singularity. Look for opportunities where the gravity well might suck people off the map.
  • Zarya performs best in enclosed spaces, where incoming damage can easily be controlled. With a relatively weak weapon in long-range encounters, battles are best fought up close and personal.

While Zarya takes advantage of incoming damage, she's weak against flanking heroes like McCree and Reaper. More long-range characters wielding accurate rifles or rockets will be able to pick off Zarya from a distance, due to the short range capabilities of her weapons.

23. Zenyatta

Zenyatta is a balanced support hero, utilizing a variety of orbs to deal damage and maintain player health. The Orb of Destruction is Zenyatta's main attack, which allows his projectiles to be fired in succession. Zenyatta's two primary abilities, the Orb of Discord and Orb of Harmony, provide allies with health and increase damage received by enemy players. His Ultimate, known as Transcendence, provides Zenyatta and nearby allies with invincibility for a very short period.

  • Zenyatta operates best when holding away from the enemy team, due to his low health.
  • Zenyatta's Orb of Destruction might not be powerful up close but allows for multiple orbs to be rapidly fired in succession by holding down the fire button and then releasing. With non-existent bullet drop, these attacks can be used to catch enemies in the distance. When combined with the debuff Orb of Discord, they can drop enemies surprisingly quickly, even tanks.
  • The Transcendence Ultimate, which heals surrounding enemies, can be used to survive high damage attacks and opposing Ultimates. It's very brief duration can be hard to make it useful, but when the stars align, you might save your team from being destroyed.

Zenyatta's combination of low health and average speed means he can easily be taken out by accurate players. Widowmaker is particularly good at destroying Zenyatta from long distance, and flanking characters can frequently catch Zenyatta distracted as he monitors player's health.

24. Questions?

That's a lot of information to ingest all at once, but this isn't the end. We're here to answer your Overwatch questions and reply to your comments. What do you love about the game's characters? Where do you think they need better balancing? Let us know in the comments below!