Overwatch is here and finally everyone can get a taste of Blizzard's first new IP in almost 20 years. While it may look like a typical cartoony shooter at first glance, Overwatch is much more than that, with a roster of 21 characters to play as, each harbouring unique abilities and suiting different play styles.
Learning the ins and outs of each hero will take hours, and mastering even one will take days, but to get you off to a flying start we have a complete beginner's guide to each hero.
Pros: High damage, self heal, explosive ultimate ability (ult).
Cons: Poor in open areas, immobile.
Overview: Bastion is a turret that can either roam the battlefield or plant himself on the spot and turn into a static, but powerful minigun, while his ult sees him become a mini tank. Great for locking down compact areas on defence, but weak against Widowmaker and Roadhog.
Pros: Large health (HP), mobile, quick charging ult.
Cons: Low damage, vulnerable out of mech.
Overview: D. Va can dash around in a mech absorbing large amounts of damage. If her mech is destroyed D. Va continues to run around and deal damage, before spawning a new suit. Great for securing objectives and absorbing damage, but limited kill potential.
Pros: Fast, high damage, returns damage and abilities.
Cons: Low HP, works best up close.
Overview: Genji is one of the fastest characters in Overwatch and deals a large amount of damage. Best used as a tool to pick off the backlines, one of Genji's abilities reflects incoming projectiles meaning you can kill someone with their own ability. Weak if locked down, but devastating if unnoticed.
Pros: High Damage, mobile, gives vision.
Cons: Predominantly single target, misleading ult.
Overview: The resident archer in Overwatch, Hanzo can dish out massive damage to a single target providing you have a good aim. His strong ult travels across the map, through structures, dealing damage, but has a smaller hit box than first appears. Great if you want to rack up some kills.
Pros: Holds up foes, can disable, strong area of effect (AoE) damage.
Cons: Relatively short range, less effective in open areas.
Overview: Junkrat holds more than a few similarities to TF2's Demoman, firing off grenades at a rapid pace. This makes him great at defending choke points but can struggle in more open spaces. His powerful ult can clear out an objective, making him a great offensive and defensive asset.
Pros: AoE heal, speed boost, high damage for a support.
Cons: Offers little when alone, low health.
Overview: Lúcio is a character that is easy to love, thanks to his AoE heal or speed boost abilities. His ult gives a massive shield boost to those around him for a short time, meaning he is a must for securing objectives.
Pros: High damage, strong disable, multi target ult.
Cons: Requires good accuracy, long cast time on ult.
Overview: McCree is the sharpshooting cowboy, equipped with a devastating revolver that deals huge damage with headshots. At close range he can unload the entire clip in seconds, but with a roll and a flash grenade he can always get away. Great for taking foes off the map.
Pros: Freezes foes, perfect for control, game changing ult.
Cons: Slow, short range.
Overview: Mei unleashes torrents of ice at foes which can freeze them in place. Her wall can block certain routes for a short time while her ult makes getting to the objective impossible.
Pros: Incredible heal, mobile, can revive allies.
Cons: Little kill potential, easily killed.
Overview: Mercy is the ultimate support; rocking a staff that will heal a single ally or boost their damage. Her ult can resurrect any recently deceased teammates, but alone she is of little use. Great for keeping others alive on the objective.
Pros: Mobile, decent damage, rocket jumping.
Cons: Slow projectiles, vulnerable during ult.
Overview: Pharah's jetpack and jump ability means that most of her time is spent off the ground, raining rockets down on foes. They do decent damage but won't kill many instantly, meaning her barrage of rockets ultimate is the best chance of kills. Good for defensive objective work, but very one dimensional.
Pros: Massive damage, teleport, regains health after kill.
Cons: Weak at distance, long reload.
Overview: Reaper can deal massive damage and kill some heroes with a couple of shots, but only at close range. His teleport helps him get there and his shift, which makes him invulnerable, can get him out. His ult can clear out objectives in seconds, but he is best used when picking off foes from behind.
Pros: Takes tons of damage, excellent distraction, disable.
Cons: No range, weak if flanked.
Overview: Reinhardt can single-handedly win a payload match thanks to his massive shield that can take 2000 damage and recharges. He can't attack when the shield is up, so needs support, but pushing him off the objective is hard. Great for pushing forward, but won't end up with too many kills.
Pros: Largest HP pool, self heal, strong damage.
Cons: Slow, weak at long range.
Overview: Roadhog's key selling point is his hook, which can pull enemies towards him. This can ruin a Bastion in seconds and his high damage shotgun can pick off many foes. His speed is a downfall and missed hooks can spell disaster so he is quite a situational pick.
Pros: Good damage, sprint, auto aim.
Cons: One dimensional, average heal.
Overview: Soldier: 76 is the closest thing you will get to a Call of Duty soldier in Overwatch. He has a standard assault rifle, can sprint, and his ult gives him auto aim. This makes him good at dealing damage, but also means he is one dimensional, okay at many things but great at none.
Pros: Incredible damage output for support, team teleporter, offers shields.
Cons: Low HP, poor on some maps.
Overview: Symmetra's best asset, outside of her teleporter ultimate, are her turrets that, when grouped together, can kill any enemy that walks past. Some maps have many good locations to place them while others have few. Great on defence on most maps, but average on offence.
Pros: High damage, gives armour, can stay out of trouble
Cons: All about the turret, poor on offence.
Overview: Torbjörn is a top defensive hero but isn't great on offence in most situations. His turret is his main source of damage, so keeping that alive is often the best tactic. A well placed turret, especially when his ult is active, can ruin weaker teams.
Pros: Extremely mobile, quick, good damage.
Cons: Low HP, difficult to master.
Overview: The poster girl of Overwatch, Tracer has a lot to offer if played correctly. She is all about fast movement and staying out of the way, with her blink ability making this relatively simple. Her rewind can get her out of trouble, so she is good at picking off foes and objective play.
Pros: Long range, massive damage, provides vision.
Cons: Squishy, average up close.
Overview: The most obvious sniper of the bunch, Widowmaker excels at long range, picking off foes unnoticed. Her weapon doubles up as an assault rifle up close, but its damage is average, meaning she is best used as a back line damage dealer while others hit the objectives.
Pros: High HP, mobile, disruptive.
Cons: Low damage, needs backup.
Overview: Winston is one of the best time wasters in Overwatch, which is more important than you may think. He can jump in from distance and distract enemies for a long time smashing around and causing them to panic. His low damage output outside of his ult is an issue, but if you need to pause a push he should be your go to.
Pros: Self and ally shield, controlling ult, decent damage.
Cons: Slow, can be bursted down easily.
Overview: Zarya is a tank that isn't quite as tanky as others, but is much more versatile. Her shields can help out allies, while her explosive charges and beam weapon can do good damage. Her ult can change a fight, restricting enemy movement and dealing damage, but works best when part of a wombo combo.
Pros: Ally heal, strong ult, decent damage.
Cons: Difficult to master, low HP.
Overview: Of all the supports Zenyatta is the most challenging but can offer massive rewards. His orbs can heal friends and debuff foes, and when combined with his auto attack can deal a lot of damage. His ult makes him invulnerable and offers AoE healing, making him perfect for pushing onto, or holding, objectives.