Overwatch, like any other competitive game, has had a number of changes made to its roster over the years. Between new characters, class changes, and patches, many of the game’s characters have seen some pretty major changes. With Overwatch 2 on the horizon, it seems like now would be a great time to rank the best Overwatch characters. After all, we did just rank all the maps in Overwatch.
Ranking a roster of characters from any sort of competitive game is hard work. There’s a multitude of factors to take into consideration. Are they fun? How viable are they in the game’s meta? Does playing against them frustrate you to the ends of the Earth?
For the purpose of this ranking, I’ll be looking at each character as they exist in Overwatch and not the upcoming sequel that is currently in beta. To keep things somewhat fair, I’ll also be ranking them by their roles.
The idea of ranking all 32 heroes in the game against one another is daunting. How do you compare Reinhardt against Mercy? They’re fundamentally different in what they do and how they play. The same can be said when comparing those within the same role, but their end goal is more or less the same.
Support heroes heal and offer assistance while tanks protect the team, break up enemies, and create space. Damage heroes are responsible for seeking out, damaging, and killing enemies. For the purpose of this list, we’ll be ranking from best to worst, but in some cases, worst doesn’t mean a character is bad. At least, not always.
So, what is the best character in Overwatch for each class? Let’s find out.
Best Overwatch Characters: Support Heroes
I would be lying if I said Moria’s sarcasm and a general disdain for everyone does not help her stand out in the support hero pool. Obviously, it doesn’t have a bearing on her ranking, but it certainly gives her a smirky charm.
As a hero, she’s excellent and currently one of the best picks for support. She has great mobility to evade the enemy with Fade. Her Biotic Grasp and Orb do not require precise aim and are perfect for picking off stragglers with low health.
Her healing for your team is good thanks to both her orb and Biotic Grasp. There is a balance because her healing relies on her biotic energy, which is restored by damaging enemies. Her ultimate, Coalescence, passes through barriers to damage and heal but she can be stunned out of it, like most ultimates.
Lucio is my guy. He’s been my main since the game started back in 2016. I’d consider him to be the best character in Overwatch, personally, but that’s just me. Like Moira, he has great mobility. Lucio can wallride and boost everyone’s speed using Crossfade.
When Crossfade is switched to healing, it is done so passively. You can also Amp It Up and increase both the healing and speed being done. It’s easy to fire off shots with his Sonic Amplifier to take out low-health enemies.
Don’t forget to boop enemies away with Soundwave to make room. It’s also great for knocking opponents off ledges. Finally, Lucio’s ultimate provides a safety net against many enemy ultimates. Lucio is a great asset thanks to his mobility, passive healing, and clutch ultimate against surprise enemy attacks.
Zenyatta is one of the best overwatch characters if you know how to play him. He is best used if you’re able to communicate with your team. His Discord Orb lets him tag an enemy and they receive more damage as long as they remain in the line of sight. It’s also great for keeping an eye on where an enemy is.
His Harmony Orb is great to apply to an ally who is diving into a group of enemies like Wrecking Ball. Unfortunately, he has trouble protecting himself if he is cornered. But in a group setting, he can save the team from many ultimates with Transcendence.
What makes him really stand out as a support character is his ability to do damage and amplify it for allies. This is just reliant on great communication and synergy with your team.
Baptiste is probably the best character in Overwatch to pair with Zenyatta. He has a little more mobility than Zenyatta thanks to his boots plus the ability to protect him and others with his Immortality Field. Baptiste works best from the back as his healing is primarily done by projectile, and that’s often where Zen is too.
If you really wanna shred through the enemy team, Baptiste’s ultimate allows for double the damage and healing through his Amplification Matrix. If you’re not hitting enemies, that’s likely because they’ve scattered to hide which can give you some valuable time.
Who remembers when Mercy could do a 5-man rez? Those were the days. In all honesty, Mercy is still in a good spot. In fact, pretty much all supports are. Like Baptiste, she works great with a great Zenyatta. She can heal him and boost his damage, and if attacked, she can fly away to a nearby character.
While she can’t resurrect her whole team anymore, she is able to bring one character back to life. If everyone’s health is topped off or no one is in critical danger, her damage boost can help skillful players pick off enemies.
Her ultimate is great for pushing forward or taking care against an enemy doing the same to you. It allows you to heal or increase the damage of multiple allies while also giving Mercy some more evasive maneuvers.
I want to reiterate that pretty much all supports are quite viable currently in Overwatch. Ana used to be not only one of the best Overwatch characters but also one of the best supports. For those skilled with her, that’s still the case. She’s also highly picked across the most competitive ranks.
Her primary healing output is very high albeit singular. She does have the ability to heal multiples with her Biotic Grenade, though. If she hits an enemy with it, it will negate any healing temporarily.
She’s best on the backlines, but that does leave her vulnerable to Wrecking Ball and Tracer. Her Sleeping Dart does give her some defense, though. Between her grenade, sleep dart, and higher healing output, she’s a good choice if you feel confident with her rifle.
Brigette is a very offensive healer. She is particularly great at offering assistance to Zenyatta or a busy Ana. Due to her lower healing output, though, she doesn’t work great with Lucio. You’ll wanna pair her with a support that has a higher output.
She’s especially adept at taking out an annoying Tracer or Wrecking Ball trying to cause havoc. Unfortunately, her healing is passive and depends on her causing damage so she has to get into the fray.
Her healing does linger on an ally once it’s there though. Unlike Lucio, your team doesn’t have to stay within a certain radius to get healed. If they’re nearby when Inspire is triggered and then go away, it’ll heal for that full duration of time.
Best Overwatch Characters: Tank Heroes
Reinhardt is good ole Mister Reliable. He was once at the forefront of most team compositions but recently he’s fallen behind in popularity. That doesn’t stop him from still being a great pick. With Wrecking Ball being a current favorite, Reinhardt can be a good counter to that.
Wrecking Ball seeks out ways to disrupt the enemy team, leaving his own vulnerable. By doing so, Reinhardt can move forward and potentially whack lower HP enemies around at vulnerable moments.
His Ultimate is still a great pick against teams that lack barriers to hide behind, too. He compliments a more aggressive off-tank like Zarya well.
Oh, what a ride Wrecking Ball has had. He’s been at the bottom of the rankings and near the top over his lifetime as a hero. Now he’s one of the best overwatch characters to play. He can be difficult to master but if you’re able to disrupt with him well, then your team will thank you.
Because of how tricky he can be to play right, he’s really only great in the right hands. He creates a lot of space with his knockback abilities and can help a team push forward with ease.
His Ultimate also helps create space. While it can be taken out to an extent with a shield drop from Winston or a careful Reinhardt, it still can impede an enemy team.
Zarya is currently the best off-tank in the game and pairs really well with Wrecking Ball. Her ability to bubble him as he dives into an enemy team to build up charge helps her melt enemies away.
It isn’t particularly hard to maintain a high charge, either. With so many teams using heroes like Wrecking Ball to disrupt, it shouldn’t be a problem to keep it up. If you time things right, you can take out lower health heroes while bubbled and then retreat back to safety.
Zarya is also still the best character in Overwatch to combo with. Her ultimate offers crowd control plus a number of ways to deal high damage when paired with another ultimate. Hell, even a super-charged Zarya can take out several enemies caught in her Graviton Surge if she plays her cards right.
Everyone’s favorite Gorilla is viable in the right team. While he isn’t quite as disruptive as Wrecking Ball, he can still take out some squishes like Tracer or Sombra who are being especially annoying.
Winston still has some of the best mobility in the game and it allows him to get in, do some damage or take out a weak enemy, and get out. Though, it does take some finesse to be great at it.
His barrier is good for protecting against larger, isolated attacks and abilities like a D.Va’s ultimate or a hacking Sombra. Plus, his ultimate Primal Rage can be used to disrupt and gives Winston a sort of second life if used at low health.
Sigma is another one of those heroes that can be hard to master. His shield is especially versatile as long as you aim it correctly. But he does require a fair amount of communication to work really well.
He is able to also do a lot of damage from behind his shield, but if you need to reposition it, you could be in trouble. His shield has a sizeable cooldown that can make things trickier when compared to Reinhardt.
A great Sigma can be an asset though. No matter what’s going on in the battle, his Ultimate can sweep up an enemy team and deal some major damage.
With dive being such a part of the current meta, one might think D.Va would be one of the best Overwatch characters and tanks. While she certainly isn’t a bad pick due to her mobility, she is very reliant on her Defense Matrix ability.
Defense Matrix allows you to negate some pretty major abilities. If you aren’t using it well, though, D.Va can’t really take a lot of hits before she’s demeched. This forces you to play outside of her mech, and you’re fairly useless.
Her ultimate ability is good at making space. It also does high damage to unsuspecting foes. Even if a team is hiding behind a shield, a well-timed EMP from Sombra can wipe them out.
Roadhog has a great kit. He can self-heal and one-shot squishy characters with his hook and a headshot combo. But he’s very much an off-tank. He doesn’t have a lot of utility to protect others besides just being a big sponge.
Despite his ability to be self-reliant, there are just better off-tanks to choose from. His ultimate does give you a chance to make space though and since he can heal himself, your healers can focus on healing others.
Orisa’s shield and its stationary positioning put her at the bottom of the tank barrel. While she’s gotten a major rework in Overwatch 2, she’s just not in the best place right now. Reinhardt and even Sigma work better with their shields,
Orisa’s Overcharger Ultimate is good, but unless you’re clever with its positioning, it can be easily picked off by an enemy team. Here’s hoping she becomes a lot more viable when Overwatch 2 releases.
Best Overwatch Characters: Damage Heroes
Tracer has been the poster girl for the series since its launch in 2016. She’s also one of the most consistent characters you can play. She has received a few adjustments to her kit since the game came out.
All of her abilities have lower cooldowns which allow her to get in, do some damage, and Blink or Recall outta there. She does best when played aggressively and thanks to her mobility that’s not difficult to do.
If there is an enemy with a Discord Orb on them, she can make short work of them. Her Ultimate is powerful too and charges pretty quickly. It can be used in a group of enemies in Graviton surge or to pick off a good healer. Don’t hold onto it just for bigger groups.
Cassidy (formerly McCree) can do high damage without having to get up close to his opponent. Though, being close range can be especially deadly if you know how to aim. This makes him one of the best Overwatch characters.
While he requires careful aim, he also has some good mobility options to help keep him away from danger. Going up against a good Cassidy can be deadly.
His ultimate is a great choice for unsuspecting teams. If you get behind them and line up his Dead Eye, the enemy is in a world of trouble. Just don’t be too obvious.
Sombra has had many ups and downs throughout her time in Overwatch. Even at her lowest lows, her kit gives her abilities that no one else can do. She’s a bit all over when it comes to other rankings, but in the right hands and in the right team composition she’s a huge nuisance.
If you’re up against heroes that thrive because of their abilities (like Wrecking Ball or Tracer), she can make them defenseless. If Wrecking Ball gets hacked by a Sombra in the midst of disrupting the enemy team, he’s as good as dead.
The biggest drawback with Sombra, though, is that she requires a lot of communication. If you’re playing with people you don’t know, they may already be upset at your choice of playing Sombra. She’s better in a team where you’re familiar with your teammates.
While she can be squishy and easily taken down if you haven’t mastered her maneuvering abilities, she’s a beast when played well. Her sticky bombs are punishing and she can melt enemies away with her Focusing Beam.
Players do need to be aware of what they plan to do with her, though. Her Ultimate, which turns you briefly into an enemy’s hero with a fast ultimate charge requires planning and communication. Like Sombra, you’ll want to let your team know what’s on your mind before using it.
Ashe, like Cassidy, is a great hitscan hero. She also has a movement-based ability to help her reach new heights that also can push back enemies. If you’re up against a team with especially squishy characters like Tracer and Zenyatta, Ashe is one of if not the best character in Overwatch to use to try and take them down. That is assuming you have a good aim.
Her Dynamite can finish off low health heroes and her ultimate is very disruptive. It can help a team hold their own in a frantic fight. It also doesn’t really require much skill besides aiming in a general direction and when to use it.
Hanzo is one of those characters who’s had a number of changes over the course of his life. While some have been significant (rest in peace Scatter Arrow), he still offers some high damage output. Much of this comes from well-placed headshots and burst damage from his Storm Arrows.
His Storm Arrows can help take down heavy hitters like Roadhog, Wrecking Ball, and D.Va. What puts Hanzon down is his inability to successfully go one-on-one against heroes like Tracer, Cassidy, and Reaper.
While he has the damage output, aiming and drawing his bow takes a little more time. Thankfully, he can wall-climb and double jump to escape opponents assuming they don’t soot you in the back first.
A good Widowmaker relies on pure power. She doesn’t have any overly flashy abilities. Instead, they enhance her ability to take down enemies from a distance by adding mobility and her Venom Mine that can alert her to a sneaky flanker.
Not all maps are completely viable for a good Widow, but for those that have long sightlines, the enemy team better watch out. In the right hands, she can be incredibly annoying and unless you have a sneaky flanker or another sniper, she can be hard to get rid of.
A good Genji thrives in the mid-tiers of competitive, but he isn’t super viable in higher ranks thanks to the current meta. If you’re a good Genji though, it can be easy to pick off lower health enemies and get away quickly.
Being Nano Boosted by an Ana, though, is still a thrilling experience. Especially if you pair it with Genji’s own ultimate. Unfortunately, there are just better damage heroes and Ana isn’t overly used now, either.
Mei can be a huge pain in the ass. While she’s not really one of the best Overwatch characters, she can be good in certain situations. If you need to try and hold on last minute to the payload, she’s great for that since she can use her ice wall and freezer herself to buy precious time.
Besides that, she’s able to freeze mobility-based characters like Wrecking Ball and Winston in place as well as slow down annoying Roadhogs. She doesn’t have high damage output though, so she’s best used sparingly and in clutch moments.
Junkrat is one of my personal favorite characters, though he doesn’t situate well into the current meta. In arcade modes like Total Mayhem, he’s great fun though. He can stop enemies in their tracks with his trap, though those can be spotted by skillful players.
His primary fire ability isn’t super accurate with the very nature of his grenades, but if you’re skillful, you know how to lob them for maximum damage. His Ultimate, while powerful in certain situations, leaves you completely vulnerable. In short, play Junkrat for fun, but not in any serious game modes.
Reaper has some great damage output when he’s in your face, but that requires him to be up-close and vulnerable. It’s also hard for him to hit enemies like Wrecking Ball, Winston, and D.Va if their movement abilities are up to be used.
He does well against Reinhardt and Zarya though, but right now they’re not found overly often in the game. If you’re up against a team that is using either of them or Orisa, Reaper is a brainer to take them down. His self-healing and teleportation are also nice. You also can’t go wrong with his ultimate.
Soldier is a great entry hero for players who are familiar with more typical FPS like Call of Duty or other similar franchises. Once you get the hang of him though, there are much better characters who do what he does.
While his ultimate can shred through enemies, it’s also reliant on them being vulnerable or surprised. He can heal himself and others, which is a nice bonus, but other DPS have better abilities that do damage and help get rid of those enemies who are damaging you.
Doomfist is good when played correctly, but he can be very tough to master. His combo-esque fighting style does good damage, but you need to know how to line things up. If he’s stunned or caught without an out because his abilities are on cooldown, he can easily be taken down.
I suspect he’ll become even more viable once Overwatch 2 comes out and he’s a tank. Based on feedback from the Beta, he’s much better in that role and is one of the most played heroes in that role.
Oh, Symmetra. She’s had quite the journey bouncing around with different builds and abilities. Her turrets can absolutely melt enemies away, but they’re easy to kill if you can find them. Symmetra’s teleporter can also be useful, but it’s also one of those things that’s easy to find.
Her ultimate can protect your team without fear of it being destroyed but she’s far from one of the best Overwatch characters. She can be fun to play if you’re just messing around with friends, but she isn’t particularly viable in competitive.
Torbjorn is the best character in Overwatch… if you’re playing Capture the Flag. It’s the only game mode I enjoy him in. Much of that is thanks to his turret his punishing ultimate that pairs well with the game mode. Outside of that, his turret is easy to spot and dispatch.
While waiting on his turret’s cooldown to pop back on, he is slow to deal damage and easy to take down. His turret can be very annoying if placed well to heroes that thrive in disruption, but again, they’re easy to spot and takedown.
Pharah was once Mercy’s darling and they were everywhere in the early years of Overwatch. As the series has evolved she’s fallen back as new heroes have been released who do similar things but better.
Her flying ability is outmatched by Echo and her rockets can be difficult to aim. She’s not hard to pick off with a good hitscan player. Her ultimate is powerful but best used on an unsuspecting group as it makes her a very easy target.
I am very curious to see where Bastion falls in Overwatch 2 with his rework. With his current kit, he’s often just a sitting duck. He can melt health away from enemies who aren’t prepared, but if a flanker can get to him, Bastion is done.
That’s our list of the best Overwatch characters, ranked. Now we’d love to hear about your personal preferences in the comments section.