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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]


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 deals less damage and requires good tracking. She can deal damage, but it is very skill reliant. She relies more on team coordination than the other offense heroes to shine and is some times considered an off-support.

Defense[edit | edit source]


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 tank-replacement who can guard choke points 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]


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 engagement.

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. After his self-healing ability "Take a Breather" received a buff, Roadhog can survive through significant bursts of damage even from otherwise deadly ultimates such as D.Va's Self Destruct or Junkrat's Rip Tire , and and its relatively short cooldown allows Roadhog to sustain himself without having to rely on constant healing from other sources. He is often chosen as a secondary tank and is a popular pick for attack phases, where enemy displacement and burst damage is rewarded.

Although Zarya is classified as a tank, she has a 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 an off-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]


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 Moira portrait.png Symmetra portrait.png Zenyatta portrait.png
Ana Lúcio Mercy Moira 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 such as her Teleporter and her Shield Generator.

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

Moira deals damage in order to heal using her Biotic Grasp and her Biotic Orb, so she is a capable duelist.

Lúcio can push people off the map using his Soundwave, resulting in an easy kill. Using his soundwave, Lúcio can be a decent duelist against most 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
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