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 heroes in Overwatch. Each hero offers a unique style of play, and is classified under one of three roles: Tank, Damage, or Support. Each team can only have 1 of each hero, although some Arcade game modes allow multiple. Players can switch heroes in the spawn room.

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 normally keyed to Shift, E, and Q (the ultimate ability). Some heroes have multiple weapons, which can be switched using 1 and 2.

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] When the Looking for Group feature was added, it became possible to enforce these roles.

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

There were originally 21 heroes at the launch of the game. Since then, 8 additional heroes have been added. New heroes are released every 4 months in March, July, and November. The November reveal happens during the opening ceremony of BlizzCon.

No. Hero Reveal Date Release Date
1 [5] Icon-Tracer.png Tracer 7 November 2014
(Game announced)
24 May 2016
(Game released)
2 [5] Icon-Reaper.png Reaper
3 [5] Icon-Widowmaker.png Widowmaker
4 [5] Icon-Pharah.png Pharah
5 [5] Icon-Reinhardt.png Reinhardt
6 [5] Icon-Mercy.png Mercy
7 [5] Icon-Torbjörn.png Torbjörn
8 [5] Icon-Hanzo.png Hanzo
9 [5] Icon-Winston.png Winston
10 [5] Icon-Zenyatta.png Zenyatta
11 [5] Icon-Bastion.png Bastion
12 [5] Icon-Symmetra.png Symmetra
13 Icon-Zarya.png Zarya 10 March 2015
14 Icon-McCree.png McCree
15 Icon-Soldier 76.png Soldier: 76 7 July 2015
16 Icon-Lúcio.png Lúcio 5 August 2015
17 Icon-Roadhog.png Roadhog 22 September 2015
18 Icon-Junkrat.png Junkrat
19 Icon-D.Va.png D.Va 6 November 2015
20 Icon-Mei.png Mei
21 Icon-Genji.png Genji
22 Icon-Ana.png Ana 12 July 2016 19 July 2016
23 Icon-Sombra.png Sombra 4 November 2016 15 November 2016
24 Icon-Orisa.png Orisa 2 March 2017 21 March 2017
25 Icon-Doomfist.png Doomfist 6 July 2017 27 July 2017
26 Icon-Moira.png Moira 3 November 2017 16 November 2017
27 Icon-Brigitte.png Brigitte 28 February 2018 20 March 2018
28 Icon-Wrecking Ball.png Wrecking Ball 28 June 2018 24 July 2018
29 Icon-ashe.png Ashe 2 November 2018 13 November 2018

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 is worth flushing 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.[6]

Cut Heroes[edit | edit source]

The following heroes were cut during development of the game:

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

Upcoming Heroes[edit | edit source]

  • Echo, originally named "Iris," is planned to become a playable hero in the future.[8] She will not be Hero 30.[9] Echo appears in the animated short Reunion.

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.[10] 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. 5.00 5.01 5.02 5.03 5.04 5.05 5.06 5.07 5.08 5.09 5.10 5.11 Blizzcon 2017 - Making of Overwatch
  6. 2018-11-03, OVERWATCH: BUILDING A HERO. Blizzpro, accessed on 2018-11-14
  7. 2017-11-05, OVERWATCH ARCHIVES PANEL. Blizzpro, accessed on 2017-11-19
  8. Emongg's live Ashe gameplay stream with Jeff Kaplan
  9. Fran's live Ashe gameplay stream with Jeff Kaplan
  10. 2016-05-24, Overwatch Visual Source Book. pp. 168. Blizzard Entertainment. Retrieved on 2017-11-26.