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Heroes

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This article is about playable characters. For the animated short, see Hero.
All of the heroes, as of 2015

There are currently 29 playable hero characters in Overwatch. Each hero offers a unique style of play, and are generally classified under one of three roles: tank, damage, and support. In a standard game (i.e. quick play or competitive), players can switch between heroes during a game, though each team can not have more than one of the same hero at one time. Some Arcade game modes allow different rules to what heroes can be played. No Limits allows players to stack the same character multiple times on one team, while in Mystery Heroes, the game randomly picks the hero for which the player must play, making it possible that the same hero will be picked for two or more players.

Heroes come from a variety of national/ethnic backgrounds, and occasionally speak in their native languages during matches.[1]

Hero roster[edit | edit source]


Heroes in Overwatch
 
Icon-D.Va.png
D.Va
Icon-Orisa.png
Orisa
Icon-Reinhardt.png
Reinhardt
Icon-Roadhog.png
Roadhog
Icon-Winston.png
Winston
Icon-Wrecking Ball.png
Wrecking Ball
Icon-Zarya.png
Zarya
Icon-ashe.png
Ashe
Icon-Bastion.png
Bastion
Icon-Doomfist.png
Doomfist
Icon-Genji.png
Genji
Icon-Hanzo.png
Hanzo
Icon-Junkrat.png
Junkrat
Icon-McCree.png
McCree
Icon-Mei.png
Mei
Icon-Pharah.png
Pharah
Icon-Reaper.png
Reaper
Icon-Soldier 76.png
Soldier: 76
Icon-Sombra.png
Sombra
Icon-Symmetra.png
Symmetra
Icon-Torbjörn.png
Torbjörn
Icon-Tracer.png
Tracer
Icon-Widowmaker.png
Widowmaker
Icon-Ana.png
Ana
Icon-Brigitte.png
Brigitte
Icon-Lúcio.png
Lúcio
Icon-Mercy.png
Mercy
Icon-Moira.png
Moira
Icon-Zenyatta.png
Zenyatta

Gameplay[edit | edit source]

Heroes are controlled using a mouse and keyboard. Abilities are keyed to Shift, E, 1 and 2, and an Ultimate ability is controlled with Q. Heroes exchange specific dialogue with each other based on their character history during matches and background.[1]

Heroes will be added over time post-launch as free updates.[2] Jeff Kaplan has not ruled out removing heroes from the roster in the future.[3]

The idea of classes for heroes was to make it easier for new players to get into the game, and to easily understand how each character would play.[4]

List of Heroes by release date[edit | edit source]

No. Hero Role Release date
-- Icon-D.Va.png D.Va Tank Game release
(24 May 2016)
-- Icon-Reinhardt.png Reinhardt
-- Icon-Roadhog.png Roadhog
-- Icon-Winston.png Winston
-- Icon-Zarya.png Zarya
-- Icon-Bastion.png Bastion Damage
-- Icon-Genji.png Genji
-- Icon-Hanzo.png Hanzo
-- Icon-Junkrat.png Junkrat
-- Icon-McCree.png McCree
-- Icon-Mei.png Mei
-- Icon-Pharah.png Pharah
-- Icon-Reaper.png Reaper
-- Icon-Soldier 76.png Soldier: 76
-- Icon-Symmetra.png Symmetra1
-- Icon-Torbjörn.png Torbjörn
-- Icon-Tracer.png Tracer
-- Icon-Widowmaker.png Widowmaker
-- Icon-Lúcio.png Lúcio Support
-- Icon-Mercy.png Mercy
-- Icon-Zenyatta.png Zenyatta
22 Icon-Ana.png Ana Support 19 July 2016
23 Icon-Sombra.png Sombra Damage 15 November 2016
24 Icon-Orisa.png Orisa Tank 21 March 2017
25 Icon-Doomfist.png Doomfist Damage 27 July 2017
26 Icon-Moira.png Moira Support 16 November 2017
27 Icon-Brigitte.png Brigitte Support 20 March 2018
28 Icon-Wrecking Ball.png Wrecking Ball Tank 24 July 2018
29 Icon-ashe.png Ashe Damage 13 November 2018

1 Was initially classified on release as a support hero.

Development[edit | edit source]

Design Process[edit | edit source]

When a hero is pitched, a group of five developers examine the concept from the perspectives of gameplay, character concept, and story, to see if the idea if worth fleshing out. If that's in the affirmative, and the concept is settled, the team of five becomes a team of ten to fifteen, who are tasked with "finding the fun" in the hero and bringing out its "core." This includes work on art, design, engineering, audio, and quality assurance. Once this is completed, the hero gains (or will have gained) forty or more developers, which build its respective content (skins, emotes, voice lines, etc.)

After the hero is fully playable, a different group is brought in to build the hero's story; by this point around eighty developers. These individuals work on material such as origin videos, comics, and animated shorts. After that, the hero then needs to be publicized. By this last stage, over 150 individuals will have worked on the hero in some form.[5]

Cut Heroes[edit | edit source]

The following heroes were cut during development of the game:

Named[edit | edit source]

An early heroes pitch—some heroes are in the final version

Unnamed[edit | edit source]

  • A female Russian hero was pitched in the early days of development. She would be riding a bear and dual-wielding AK-47s. Her ultimate would be for the bear to also pull out dual AKs.[6]

Trivia[edit | edit source]

The Overwatch development team added a dummy string very early on containing the name of a fake hero: Dying Breed. This was done to identify if the game's files were datamined and uploaded to the internet. They forgot to remove the string when the beta was shipped, and it created some confusion among the team members who discovered it for the first time.[7] The string has long since been removed.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 2015-08-16, Reddit Q&A about Solider 76 | Overwatch. Blizzplanet, accessed on 2015-08-06
  2. 2015-12-07, DEV UPDATE TALKS FREE FUTURE HEROES, GAME SYSTEM AND OPTIONS UPDATES. Blizzpro, accessed on 2015-12-15
  3. Game Informer #81: Designing Overwatch: From Titan to Torbjörn
  4. 2017-05-17, Blizzard's Jeff Kaplan Answers Overwatch Questions From Twitter | Tech Support | WIRED. YouTube, accessed on 2017-05-18
  5. 2018-11-03, OVERWATCH: BUILDING A HERO. Blizzpro, accessed on 2018-11-14
  6. 2017-11-05, OVERWATCH ARCHIVES PANEL. Blizzpro, accessed on 2017-11-19
  7. 2016-05-24, Overwatch Visual Source Book. pp. 168. Blizzard Entertainment. Retrieved on 2017-11-26.