Roles

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Each hero fills a different role in Overwatch.

Roles in Overwatch are loosely defined, and heroes can fulfill a role not designated for them. Roles, as they exist, are designed to help players identify which hero best suits their playstyle.[1]

Offense[edit | edit source]

OffenseIcon.png

Offense heroes possess high mobility and are usually great damage dealers. They are good at scouting, harassment, and pressing objectives. Movement abilities are often associated with offense heroes.[1]

Doomfist portrait.png Genji portrait.png McCree portrait.png Pharah portrait.png Reaper portrait.png Soldier76 portrait.png Sombra portrait.png Tracer portrait.png
Doomfist Genji McCree Pharah Reaper Soldier: 76 Sombra Tracer

Exceptions[edit | edit source]

McCree and Reaper have very low mobility in exchange for higher damage output, and as such are often treated more like slightly-more-mobile defensive heroes.

Sombra lacks the same level of killing power of the other offense heroes, and is generally a poor duelist. She relies more on team coordination than the other offense heroes to shine.

Defense[edit | edit source]

DefenseIcon.png

Defense heroes are good at guarding locations, creating choke points, and preventing objectives from being taken.[1] They are skilled at area denial and generally form the back line of their team.

Bastion portrait.png Hanzo portrait.png Junkrat portrait.png Mei portrait.png Torbjörn portrait.png Widowmaker portrait.png
Bastion Hanzo Junkrat Mei Torbjörn Widowmaker

Exceptions[edit | edit source]

Due to her self-sustain and utility abilities, as well as her relatively low damage output, Mei is often picked as a support-oriented, tank-replacement rather than a defense damage dealer; she is effective at contesting an objective, rendering many opponent ultimate abilities useless and can excel at setting up enemies for easy pickings by her team's damage dealers.

Tank[edit | edit source]

TankIcon.png

Tank heroes have high endurance and excel at protecting allies and disrupting enemies.[1] The primary role of the tank is to absorb incoming enemy fire through active abilities and a generally high health pool. Secondary to this, soaking the right amount of sustainable damage can help team supports farm ultimate charge before an engage.

D.Va portrait.png Orisa portrait.png Reinhardt portrait.png Roadhog portrait.png Winston portrait.png Zarya portrait.png
D.Va Orisa Reinhardt Roadhog Winston Zarya

Exceptions[edit | edit source]

While Roadhog has no defensive or mobility abilities, he has a large health pool in which he can float below maximum to help charge his healers' ultimate abilities. He is often chosen as a secondary tank and is a popular pick for attack phases, where enemy displacement and burst damage is rewarded. Due to his lack of defensive abilities, and debatably ineffective self-sustain heal, "Take a Breather", when under direct fire, he has better luck when situated in less-open areas where cover is a few steps away.

Although Zarya is classified as a tank, she has a significantly smaller health pool than the other tanks, and no armor. Because of the lack of defense she offers to the team, especially in comparison to Reinhardt or D.Va's barriers, she is often picked as a secondary tank, mostly to provide some additional close-range, sustained damage. She is most effective when used in and around cover, taking limited bursts of damage at a time and relying on her shield to regenerate between exposures. Zarya is a unique tank because of her regenerating hitpoints, which allows her to work effectively by herself as a proxy-positioned (offside) harassment, not requiring constant healing and only needing line of sight to her team to be able to provide barriers when needed.

Support[edit | edit source]

SupportIcon.png

Support heroes can heal allies, enhance their team's abilities, and debuff enemies.[1] They are poor duelists and perform best with their team around them.

Ana portrait.png Lúcio portrait.png Mercy portrait.png Symmetra portrait.png Zenyatta portrait.png
Ana Lúcio Mercy Symmetra Zenyatta

Exceptions[edit | edit source]

Symmetra does not heal allies or significantly enhance her team's abilities outside of her Ultimates; rather, she excels at killing nearby enemies, guarding locations, creating choke points, and preventing objectives from being taken, meaning she is primarily useful when taken as a Defense hero with Supportive Ultimates.

Zenyatta and Ana, when played with enough skill, are fantastic duelists and in some situations can outperform many far stronger heroes.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 2014-11-24, BlizzCon 2014 – Overwatch Unveiled Panel Transcript. Blizzplanet, accessed on 2015-03-10