Overwatch Character Guide: Abilities And Strategy Tips

With 22 heroes to choose from, there’s a lot of variety to Overwatch. Each hero has their own abilities, strengths, and strategies that really make them shine in combat, but figuring all of that out as you play can be both intimidating and time-consuming. I’ve compiled a positively massive guide to every hero in Overwatch that includes a breakdown of their abilities and a few paragraphs giving you some useful pointers on how to shine.

Updated Nov 15th 2016.

Contents

Offensive Heroes: Those who excel is dishing out damage and harassing the enemy.

Genji Abilities And Strategy Tips
McCree Abilities And Strategy Tips
Pharah Abilities And Strategy Tips
Reaper Abilities And Strategy Tips
Soldier 76 Abilities And Strategy Tips
Tracer Abilities And Strategy Tips
Sombra Abilities And Strategy Tips

Defensive Heroes: Heroes who shut down plays and control the flow of battle.

Bastion Abilities And Strategy Tips
Hanzo Abilities And Strategy Tips
Junkrat Abilities And Strategy Tips
Mei Abilities And Strategy Tips
Torbjorn Abilities And Strategy Tips
Widowmaker Abilities And Strategy Tips

Tank Heroes: Frontline fighters who can dish it just as good as they can take it.

D.Va Abilities And Strategy Tips
Reinhardt Abilities And Strategy Tips
Roadhog Abilities And Strategy Tips
Winston Abilities And Strategy Tips
Zarya Abilities And Strategy Tips

Support Heroes: Characters who specialize in healing and buffing their allies.

Lucio Abilities And Strategy Tips
Mercy Abilities And Strategy Tips
Symmetra Abilities And Strategy Tips
Zenyatta Abilities And Strategy Tips
Ana Abilities And Strategy Tips

As always, Overwatch is a game about embracing that variety and switching heroes often, so don’t get locked into playing just one. If a strategy isn’t working for you, swapping to a new hero is often the best course of action.

It’s also worth noting that, as with any competitive game, the balance and meta is expected to shift over time, so I’ve done my best to give you a good foundation without getting so granular that my advice risks falling out of fashion.

If you’re looking not for how best to play each Overwatch character, but how best to beat them, visit our Overwatch counters guide for tips on how to counter every Overwatch hero.

From this site

23 Comments

  1. airtekh says:

    Much like TF2, part of what fascinates me about Overwatch (and what will keep me playing for a long time) is the way the characters interact with each other.

    Blizzard seem to really have nailed the ‘rock paper scissors’ aspect of the heroes. There’s always another hero that can counter yours to keep you on your toes.

    Cannot wait to sneak in a few games before bed tonight when it launches

  2. Gunsmith says:

    i really want to pick this up but by god its expensive

    • HothMonster says:

      Only $40 us for the digital version. They hide that and try and make it seem like the $60 Origins Edition is the cheapest. But you can buy a version with no extra skins and Battlenet fluff for $40.

    • Warduke says:

      Yes, I thought the same thing when I saw the $60 price tag, then after a little clicking I realized they were defaulting to the more expensive version.. tricksy hobbits..

    • Wormerine says:

      Is it really? $40 seems to me like a reasonable price for a Multiplayer only shooter considering the usual Blizzard price is $60. I have a hard time imagening the new AAA release being cheaper. That is a very subjective issue though.

      • Jabberslops says:

        Somehow $40 seems like too much for Overwatch. We have no idea when more maps and modes will be released and if we will have to pay for them. I am not interested in getting sucked into another never ending bifurcation of a games community that happens with paid dlc map packs. This is actually half the reason I haven’t bought another Call of Duty after WaW.

        For right now though, I am thinking I may wait to see if Overwatch gets bundled with the GTX 1070 before I buy one.

        • cyrenic says:

          I’m pretty sure Blizzard has committed to not charging $$$ for new gameplay content. New characters will be free for sure, and I’m pretty sure maps were included in that statement.

          I expect they’ll sell more and more cosmetic stuff as the game goes on, though, which is fine with me.

          • Jabberslops says:

            I honestly don’t even remember reading that. If it’s true I may just pick up the game at $40.

          • cyrenic says:

            link to gameplanet.co.nz

            I was on the fence about Overwatch as well till they figured this out. Then I played the beta and I would have paid for it anyway haha

            Relevant quote: “Collectively, the Overwatch team and the Blizzard executive team were able to say that for this game, when we patch in new heroes or a new map, you’re going to be able to get it for free,” Kaplan told Eurogamer.

        • Reapy says:

          I normally agree with you except this is blizzard. While they don’t typically drop the price of their games, I haven’t once been disappointed with their update and support for games and when they do an expansion they typically add enough to the game for it to feel justified.

          I also wasn’t going to get it until open beta and I just got sucked in for whatever reason, the game is pretty fun and addicting.

          • Phasma Felis says:

            Case in point: Blizzard just, like yesterday, dropped a patch for Diablo II. Diablo II is 16 years old.

    • Zankman says:

      Well for me it definitely is given that I still “feel” like it “should” be free.

  3. Headwuend says:

    And don’t forget: git gud.

  4. Carra says:

    2 weeks ago: the origins version was €36 on cd key websites. Today: €48 on the same site. Man, the demand must be skyrocketing.

    I think I’ll just buy the €40 regular version from Blizzard.

    • fish99 says:

      That’s just how prices go on cdkeys, the cheapest preorders are months before release, they raise them as launch approaches and they keep going up after.

  5. Person of Interest says:

    I like the strategy tips in this guide! For someone like me who only skimmed the surface of most characters during the open beta weekend, the tips were very helpful.

  6. evolutiongenji says:

    Is there a video version of this guide? I feel like simple text doesn’t help all that much. Maybe I’m just too used to watching youtube videos these days lol…

    What are you guys using for video cards and what kind of performance do you get in Overwatch? I’m getting like 30 fps right now on medium/high settings so I think its time for an upgrade… Maybe the GTX 950 or GTX 960? I’m looking at the two they recommend here: link to daydull.com want to do some more research before I take the plunge.

    Definitely feel like the game being choppy for me in big action is ruining making me play worse. Even though it still looks nice as is, I want a smoother framerate…

    • B2ROM says:

      evolutiongenji: I’m using a ATI Radeon R9 380 Nitro 4G D5, which is like a SAPPHIRE improved version of the regular model, bought at around 200 euros, which makes it cheaper and better than what your link suggest for the corresponding price range. Game runs perfectly smoothly with at least 60 fps on high settings, and I haven’t tried tuning the settings yet to get better graphics without losing performance or uncapping the fps rate, because I’ve been so obsessed with actually playing the game since launch. And I can tell the game is very obsessive if you like a competitive game which reminds you of Unreal Tournament 2004, but with a class oriented system of the likes of Team Fortress 2.

  7. B2ROM says:

    I’m using a ATI Radeon R9 380 Nitro 4G D5, which is like a SAPPHIRE improved version of the regular model, bought at around 200 euros, which makes it cheaper and better than what your link suggest for the corresponding price range. Game runs perfectly smoothly with at least 60 fps on high settings, and I haven’t tried tuning the settings yet to get better graphics without losing performance or uncapping the fps rate, because I’ve been so obsessed with actually playing the game since launch. And I can tell the game is very obsessive if you like a competitive game which reminds you of Unreal Tournament 2004, but with a class oriented system of the likes of Team Fortress 2.

    • B2ROM says:

      B2ROM: Messed up the nested comment, so I copy-pasted it where it should have been. It’s my first time commenting after a while of reading. How do I not show the name of the person I am replying to ?