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This article is about playable characters. For the animated short, see Hero.
The hero roster, as of Overwatch's fourth anniversary

There are 32 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]

Contents

Hero rosterEdit

GameplayEdit

Heroes are controlled using a mouse and keyboard. Every hero has a unique weapon. Some heroes have multiple weapons, which can be switched using 1 and 2. Abilities are normally keyed to Shift, E, and Q (the ultimate ability). Heroes have 150 to 600 HP and move at a base speed of 5.5 m/s (except Genji and Tracer, whose base speed is 6 m/s). Walking backwards reduces this speed by 10%. Crouching makes their speed 3 m/s (in every direction). Also, all heroes can jump at a height of 0.98 m.

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 dateEdit

There were originally 21 heroes at the launch of the game. Since then, 11 additional heroes have been added. New heroes are released roughly every 4 months, typically in March, July, and November. The November reveal happens during the opening ceremony of BlizzCon.

However, with the announcement of Overwatch 2, this tradition breaks. Multiple heroes are expected to released at once with the release of Overwatch 2 and "at least" 1 new hero was expected to release before then.[5] With the addition of Echo, the promise of "at least" 1 new hero has been fulfilled. It was later confirmed in an interview that Echo would be the final hero before the release of Overwatch 2.[6]

No. Hero Role Reveal Date Release Date
01 [7]   Tracer   Damage1 2014-11-07 7 November 2014
(Overwatch announced)
2016-05-24 24 May 2016
(Overwatch released)
02 [7]   Reaper   Damage1
03 [7]   Widowmaker   Damage2
04 [7]   Pharah   Damage1
05 [7]   Reinhardt   Tank
06 [7]   Mercy   Support
07 [7]   Torbjörn   Damage2
08 [7]   Hanzo   Damage2
09 [7]   Winston   Tank
10 [7]   Zenyatta   Support
11 [7]   Bastion   Damage2
12 [7]   Symmetra   Damage3
13   Zarya   Tank 2015-03-06 6 March 2015
14   McCree   Damage1
15   Soldier: 76   Damage1 2015-07-07 7 July 2015
16   Lúcio   Support 2015-08-05 5 August 2015
17   Roadhog   Tank 2015-09-22 22 September 2015
18   Junkrat   Damage2
19   D.Va   Tank 2015-11-06 6 November 2015
20   Mei   Damage2
21   Genji   Damage1
22   Ana   Support 2016-07-12 12 July 2016 2016-07-19 19 July 2016
23   Sombra   Damage1 2016-11-04 4 November 2016 2016-11-15 15 November 2016
24   Orisa   Tank 2017-03-02 2 March 2017 2017-03-21 21 March 2017
25   Doomfist   Damage1 2017-07-06 6 July 2017 2017-07-27 27 July 2017
26   Moira   Support 2017-11-03 3 November 2017 2017-11-16 16 November 2017
27   Brigitte   Support 2018-02-28 28 February 2018 2018-03-20 20 March 2018
28   Wrecking Ball   Tank 2018-06-28 28 June 2018 2018-07-24 24 July 2018
29   Ashe   Damage 2018-11-02 2 November 2018 2018-11-13 13 November 2018
30   Baptiste   Support 2019-02-25 25 February 2019 2019-03-19 19 March 2019
31   Sigma   Tank 2019-07-22 22 July 2019 2019-08-13 13 August 2019
32   Echo   Damage 2020-03-18 18 March 2020 2020-04-14 14 April 2020
33   Sojourn Unknown 2019-11-01 1 November 2019
(Overwatch 2 announced)
TBA
(Overwatch 2 release)

1Originally Offense

2Originally Defense

3Originally Support

DevelopmentEdit

Design ProcessEdit

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 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.[8]

Cut HeroesEdit

The following heroes were cut during development of the game:

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

Heroes in developmentEdit

  • Mauga was originally supposed to be Hero 31 as a result of the developers wanting another barrier Tank and wanting to expand upon Talon lore; however, when working on the hero's kit, they found it not in line with Mauga's personality. As a result, they created the hero Sigma instead. Jeff Kaplan says the team has big plans for Mauga and is still interested in making him a playable hero someday.[10]
  • Queen of Junkertown (speculation) is confirmed to have lots of concept art, and long term plans.[11] This could imply she is a hero in development.

TriviaEdit

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.[12] The string has long since been removed.

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  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. 2019-11-02, Overwatch 2 | Future New Heroes & Likely Release Window - Jeff Talks OW2. YouTube, accessed on 2018-11-02
  6. 2020-03-19, Echo Last Hero Character Before Overwatch 2. IGN, accessed on 2020-04-14
  7. 7.00 7.01 7.02 7.03 7.04 7.05 7.06 7.07 7.08 7.09 7.10 7.11 Blizzcon 2017 - Making of Overwatch
  8. 2018-11-03, OVERWATCH: BUILDING A HERO. Blizzpro, accessed on 2018-11-14
  9. 2017-11-05, OVERWATCH ARCHIVES PANEL. Blizzpro, accessed on 2017-11-19
  10. Sigma gameplay reveal 10am PDT! BIRTHDAY STREAM!
  11. 2019-04-16, Fareeha - Live at Blizzard HQ! EVENT HYPE. Twitch, accessed on 2019-04-16
  12. 2016-05-24, Overwatch Visual Source Book. pp. 168. Blizzard Entertainment. Retrieved on 2017-11-26.