Roles

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Each hero fills a different role in Overwatch.

Tank[edit | edit source]

New Tank Icon.png
Tank heroes soak up damage, create space for your team, and break apart fortified positions, like closely-grouped enemies and narrow choke-points. If you’re a tank, you lead the charge.
D.Va
Orisa
Reinhardt
Roadhog
Winston
Wrecking Ball
Zarya

Exceptions[edit | edit source]

While Roadhog lacks a barrier to absorb enemy attacks, his Take a Breather ability reduces incoming damage by 50% while healing back half of his health, allowing him to survive soaking up large amounts of damage. This leaves the door open for his teammates to pick off distracted enemies and for Roadhog himself to single out enemies with his Chain Hook. While he excels at staying alive, his lack of ability to actively protect his teammates tends to cast Roadhog as a secondary tank, preferably while his team is attacking an objective rather than defending.

Wrecking Ball offers very little protection to the team, making him weak when defending. Unlike other Tanks, he is not meant for long engagements, with his only protection ability, Adaptive Shield, having a long cooldown and a relatively short duration. Instead, Wrecking Ball's role is to disrupt the enemy team with Piledriver, or to simply deny space with Grabbling Claw or Minefield. This makes Wrecking Ball an extremely aggressive Tank.

Zarya has a smaller health pool than the other tanks, no armor, and is incapable of protecting multiple members of her team. However, her ability to project barriers onto one ally at a time can help her and her teammate survive large bursts of damage while dramatically improving her firepower. Because of the lack of defense she offers to the team, especially in comparison to Reinhardt or Winston'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.

Damage[edit | edit source]

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Damage heroes are responsible for seeking out, engaging, and defeating the enemy using their varied tools and abilities. Playing a damage hero means it is your duty to secure kills.


Ashe
Bastion
Doomfist
Genji
Hanzo
Junkrat
McCree
Mei


Pharah
Reaper
Soldier: 76
Sombra
Symmetra
Torbjörn
Tracer
Widowmaker

Exceptions[edit | edit source]

Due to her self-sustain and utility abilities, as well as her relatively low damage output, Mei is often considered a Damage/Tank hybrid, focusing less on damaging incoming enemies and more on guarding choke points. She is effective at contesting an objective, rendering many opponents' ultimate abilities useless and can excel at setting up enemies for easy pickings by her team's damage dealers.

Sombra deals less damage and requires good tracking. She substitutes the burst damage of her fellow Damage heroes in exchange for incapacitating key targets with Hack for her opponents to swarm. She's far less self-sufficient than other Damage heroes, relying on team coordination and communication to operate at her strongest. She is often considered a Damage/Support Hybrid.

While Symmetra has the potential to output tremendous amount of damage when fully charged, she is often picked for her utility role instead. Her turrets are effective at slowing down mobile targets and disrupting the enemy team, while her teleporter is useful for providing mobility to traditionally immobile heroes in addition to allowing unorthodox strategies exclusive to her kit. Much like Sombra, she lacks self-sufficiency compared to the other damage heroes and requires a highly coordinated team to reach her highest potential. She is also often considered a Damage/Support hybrid.

History[edit | edit source]

This role was introduced in the June 5, 2018 Patch by merging the two roles that existed before: Offense and Defense. Doomfist, Genji, McCree, Pharah, Reaper, Soldier: 76, Sombra and Tracer belonged to the Offense category while Bastion, Hanzo, Junkrat, Mei, Torbjörn and Widowmaker belonged to the Defense category. Prior to the release of her second rework, Symmetra was also intended to switch from support, to defense. Blizzard gave the following explanation of their decision to merge these categories into one: "Since the line between Offense and Defense heroes has become increasingly blurred, we’ve decided to group all those heroes into a single new “Damage” category. We believe that the term more closely matches the role name that is now being used in Overwatch League and across most of the game’s community."

Support[edit | edit source]

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Support heroes empower their allies by healing them, boosting their damage, and providing vital utility. As support, you’re the backbone of your team’s survival.


Ana
Brigitte
Lúcio
Mercy
Moira
Zenyatta

Exceptions[edit | edit source]

Brigitte's healing is limited, as Repair Pack can only heal one ally at a time and has a lengthy cooldown while her Rocket Flail's healing requires nearby enemies to strike. She compensates for this with her small barrier, which can protect her and nearby teammates from minor enemy fire, as well as her strong offensive ability to quickly incapacitate flankers via Shield Bash. As such, it's generally best to pair her with a more dedicated Support such as Mercy or Moira so she can fill in healing gaps without being overly pressured to keep her whole team alive on her own.

References[edit | edit source]