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Overwatch 2‘s launch hasn’t exactly gone according to plan, but the competitive team shooter has proven to be shockingly popular so far. Of course, that sudden surge in popularity means that Overwatch players everywhere are suddenly finding themselves wondering which Overwatch character is right for them.
Even veteran Overwatch fans are still figuring out which of the game’s heroes are really the “best.” Not only were some legacy Overwatch characters drastically reworked for the sequel, but Overwatch’s 2‘s new 5 vs. 5 format (and the addition of a few new heroes) upended the nature of the game’s competitive meta. Strategies, team compositions, and hero picks that once worked suddenly feel questionable or even useless. It’s a whole new ballpark (even if the game itself is surprisingly similar to what came before).
Before we get into all that, though, here are a few points to keep in mind regarding these rankings.
- With a couple of possible exceptions (more on those in a bit), there really aren’t many Overwatch 2 characters that are so powerful that you’re basically forced to pick them. There are many times when the best character will still be the one that you’re most comfortable with.
- Consistency was the biggest determining factor in these rankings. The more reliable a character is in a greater variety of situations, the more likely they were to rank higher on this list.
- These rankings were determined with players of average skill level in mind. In other words, it doesn’t account for the possibility that you might be very, very good at a particular Overwatch character. Having said that, I have identified a few instances where the relative skill level of a player may impact the relative ranking of a specific character.
- Finally, Overwatch 2 is very much a work in progress. While these rankings reflect a character’s current standings, you should expect these rankings to change as subsequent balance updates are released.
With that out of the way, here are our rankings of every character in Overwatch 2.
Overwatch 2: Every Healer Character Ranked Worst to Best
A great Zenyatta player is still a wonderful thing to have on your team, but the difference between a great Zenyatta and a good one is more noticeable than ever at the moment. You really need to be able to manage his orbs as well as take care of yourself when an enemy jumps on you. The right Zenyatta is the best asset a team can have. The wrong Zenyatta will cost you a game. The swing is wild.
Mercy is interesting. You can’t really replace what Mercy brings to the party, but since Overwatch 2 only lets you roll out with one real tank, Mercy isn’t quite the obvious pick that she used to be. While Mercy still pairs well with a pure tank like Reinhardt, how much value you get out of her beyond that really depends on how good you are at bouncing between DPS players and keeping yourself alive. Such as it is, Mercy’s slow, single-target healing and lack of defenses are both notable drawbacks.
Brigitte is no longer the stun lock powerhouse she used to be, and you’ll certainly never be able to use her as a primary healer. However, Brigitte can be used as a kind of off-tank in a surprising number of situations. She won’t completely replace the second tank that Overwatch 2 got rid of, but she can open up some neat strategies. Good, not essential.
Baptiste exists in a strange kind of “meta void” at the moment. He’s a fine healer who is pretty easy to turn into a decent damage dealer. The problem is that Baptiste is just missing that certain…something needed to elevate him into the next tier. His survivability is excellent, but you kind of need to pair him with the right tank and DPS players in order to get the most out of him. He’s a perfectly fine pick that is best thought of as a nice companion to a great Lucio player.
I worry that I’m underrating Kiriko, but I’m not entirely sold on Overwatch 2’s newest hero quite yet. She’s a surprisingly capable damage dealer who is blessed with some fantastic defensive abilities and an amazing Ultimate. At the moment, though, I find that too many Kiriko players tend to focus too much on either healing or dealing damage rather than finding a way to balance both aspects of this character. That may be more of a user error issue than a character design flaw, though.
Some players hate (or just don’t care about) Moira, but I’m rarely sad to see one on my team. She was built for the kind of damage/healing role that a lot of second support characters need to emphasize at the moment. She has all the right tools (even if her Ultimate can sometimes whiff) needed to thrive at the moment, and she’s pretty easy to learn.
It’s hard to go wrong with Ana once you’ve learned how to use her toolkit. Her Ultimate and Biotic Grenade are two of the best support abilities in the game, and her Sleep Dart is now one of the few “stun” abilities left in Overwatch 2. It’s hard to properly use Ana if your aim is less than great, but her potential is undeniable.
Finally, there’s Lucio. Lucio was basically built to thrive in Overwatch 2’s speedy meta. There’s not a single situation in which a good Lucio player can’t help their team, and a great Lucio player can do so much more than that. At some point, something is going to have to be done about this character. He’s just that good.
Overwatch 2: Every Tank Character Ranked Worst to Best
9. Wrecking Ball
6. Junker Queen
Roadhog is really the odd tank out at the moment. As a secondary tank in the original Overwatch, he occupied a strange place in most of that game’s meta. As a solo tank in Overwatch 2, he doesn’t really have a clear home. Unless you’re a 1%, top-tier Roadhog hook user, you should look elsewhere.
Wrecking Ball suffers from a similar problem. As an off-tank, Wrecking Ball could easily frustrate the opposition. As a primary tank, Wrecking Ball just doesn’t bring a ton to the party. A good Wrecking Ball player that is able to coordinate with their team will be able to make the most out of Wrecking Ball’s hit-and-run style. Other Wrecking Ball players might be a liability.
Reinhardt has the opposite problem. He’s still the best shield tank in the game, but the increased speed of the Overwatch 2 meta can sometimes make his purely defensive style a liability. While he’s undeniably invaluable in specific situations, those situations aren’t as common as they once were. At the very least, you need to play him more aggressively than you’re probably used to.
Doomfist can usually be found at the very bottom or very top of these kinds of lists. I can honestly see arguments for and against him as your main tank. However, as the lead tank in a “dive comp,” he can bring a lot to the party. Doomfist excels at jumping into a group of enemies and causing chaos while picking off stragglers. It takes a while to learn how to use him, but a great Doomfist player shows you why that process may be worth the effort eventually
Junker Queen is arguably a DPS character wearing a tank disguise. While she won’t be topping many damage charts, her ability to cause chaos while surviving leaps of faith into the fray is certainly notable. Actually, her biggest problem at the moment is the fact that some of the best counters to her playstyle happen to be popular picks. In the right set-ups, though, her bleed package can be a nightmare to deal with.
Winston should suffer from the same problems that make Wrecking Ball a niche pick, but he offers a couple of notable advantages in some key areas. He’s built for the dive playstyle that Overwatch 2 emphasizes at the moment, and his bubble defense is powerful enough to let him stay in the fray a bit longer. You do have to learn to love his alt-fire ability (which can be more annoying than devastating), but Winston is currently doing exactly what he was designed to do.
Sigma is interesting. While he’s not the most obvious candidate for the one-tank meta, he does bring an interesting blend of survivability and damage to the table. My biggest problem with Sigma is that it can take a little while to learn how to both play with him and as him. A great Sigma player is a tremendous asset, though, so anyone looking to learn a more damage-oriented tank that still offers some more traditional tank tools should look into him.
Orisa is another divisive tank. While Orisa isn’t quite the defensive powerhouse she used to be, she does offer an undeniably appealing blend of survivability, damage, and crowd control. Think of her as a durable extra DPS that can also keep your team in the fight during big brawls. Her strengths make up for her weaknesses, and she’s by far the “toughest” character in the game.
Zarya is just amazing at the moment. Her bubbles allow her to keep herself, and any otherwise squishy DPS players, alive longer than they have any right to stay alive. Her Ultimate is also still one of the best ways to turn the tide of a fight or secure a victory. I see her as the Reinhardt substitute that a lot of people are looking for in Overwatch 2.
Finally, there’s D.Va. Between her Defensive Matrix ability that can shut down some of the most valuable enemy skills in the game and her devastating combination of mobility and damage, D.Va brings a lot to most teams. She’s also fairly easy to learn (though making the most of her hit-and-run playstyle will take time).
Overwatch 2: Every DPS Character Ranked Worst to Best
7. Soldier: 76
Opinions on Overwatch 2’s DPS characters can vary wildly, but Symmetra, Junkrat, and Torbjörn are generally found at the bottom of most DPS tier lists. None of those characters are an obvious fit for the current meta, so either they’re going to need to change or the game will need to be changed before any of them shoot up the power rankings.
Widowmaker, Pharah, and Bastion are also all in relatively similar places at the moment. In each case, the right player (or an “ok” player working in the right scenario) can easily make them viable. Most of the time, though, they’ll stick out like a sore thumb on the game’s smaller teams. Bastion is probably the most interesting of the three (especially for new players), but they’re all a touch more niche.
I don’t know what to make of Mei and could honestly be persuaded to move her far up or far down this list. In theory, Mei is able to slow down so many of the aggressive heroes and strategies that dominate the game. In practice, she tends to need a few too many things to go her way.
Hanzo is a bit more versatile than Widowmaker, which allows him to move with his team a bit more easily while still offering some long-range defensive capabilities. Even great Hanzo players may struggle to get the most out of him in this meta, but he’s definitely a viable option for the right player.
Cassidy and Ashe suffer from some of the same basic problems. They’re “straight-shot” DPS characters who are incredibly dependent on the aim of the person using them. While I think that Ashe’s tool kit offers a little more flexibility, both characters tend to require incredible aim, great map knowledge, and the ability to understand your very specific role in most team comps. If you don’t possess sniper-like skills, they may not be the picks for you.
I initially had Soldier 76 higher on this list, but it’s becoming more and more clear that a similar character is separating themselves from the pack. Still, Soldier is easy to use, versatile, and capable of putting out a steady stream of damage that helps them top the charts in a lot of fights. He rarely dominates, but he always contributes.
Reaper is pretty easy to love at the moment (or hate, depending on which side of him you’re on). Whether you’re trying to flank a group or just ruin a tank’s day, Reaper is capable of asserting his will in a variety of situations. You’ve got to pick your spots a bit, but he shines in those spots.
Echo is one of those characters that rewards the time you put into them. Echo may not look like a devastating damage dealer on paper, but their unique skills allow them to effectively counter some of the most popular picks at the moment. The right Echo can really force an opposing team to deal with them, which means that the right Echo can force a team to change their strategy in often uncomfortable ways.
Sombra is still the ultimate disruptor, though a few changes to her kit make her a little more flexible than she was before. While Sombra is still primarily responsible for shutting down problem opponents, she’s also turning into a respectable damage dealer in her own right. It will take most players a while to learn how to use Sombra, but some of the toughest teams you’ll face in Overwatch 2 will have a Sombra with them.
Tracer is an obvious star of the speedy Overwatch 2 meta, though the fact she spends less time frustrating slow tanks than she used to means that Tracer players will have to pick on DPS characters a bit more than they used to. Anyone familiar with Tracer should be able to handle the transition nicely, though.
Sojourn is just on a different level at the moment. She’s as consistent and reliable as Soldier: 76, but her charged shots allow her to pick off opposing players in ways that Soldier just can’t quite match. Her Disruptor ability is also a sneaky counter to a lot of heroes and strategies at the moment. She’ll be nerfed eventually, but she’s one of the best until then.
Finally, there’s Genji. While he’s still a high-skill character, Genji was made to thrive in the Overwatch 2 meta. He’s fast, he’s powerful, he’s quick, and his ultimate remains one of the best ultimates in the game. So long as you take the time to get Genji’s aim and movements down, you’ll be a consistent contributor in most flights. Once you get great with Genji, you can really take over a match.
Overwatch 2: Best Heroes for New Players
Finally, here’s a look at some of the heroes that new Overwatch 2 players should strongly consider using in order to familiarize themselves with the game. That being the case, these selections are limited to the characters that are available to new, free-to-play Overwatch 2 players.
1. Soldier: 76
As you can see, these rankings mostly follow the overall rankings outlined above, but with a few key differences.
For instance, Zarya is a better overall tank than Winston and Orisa, but she is a little more difficult to learn. New players will probably feel a little more comfortable with Orisa and Winston out of the gate and will be able to continue using them in the late game (unlike Reinhardt who is “easy to learn” but falls off a bit after that). That said, the lumps you take learning Zarya will build character.
New players are blessed with great healers. Lucio is still the best in the game, but the learning curve on Moira is incredibly generous given how powerful she can be. Mercy is not what she used to be, but she’s still a nice option for those learning the ropes.
To be blunt, Overwatch 2 does new DPS players no real favors. So many of the best DPS characters are locked behind a progress wall, and most new players will struggle to learn a character as complicated as Tracer. Thankfully, Soldier and Reaper offer two distinct playstyles that are valuable in most matchups. Soldier is definitely easier to learn, though Reaper is the DPS character more players may stick with in the long term.