Overwatch is such a great game. Matter fact, we gave one version of the game a 9 in our review. Made by Blizzard Entertainment, it's a testament to balanced (with constant tweaking) gameplay mechanics where you mix and mash different heroes depending on the situation, map, opposing heroes and a bunch of other variables. Well, where better to look than in competitive Overwatch scene to find out which heroes are the best, when best to use them, and in what combinations. In this handy guide, we will analyze heroes and put them in tiers as well as provide a slight statistical info on how players generally play them so you can choose which one is the best for you.
A small disclaimer – as Blizzard often makes big and slight changes to heroes, the information below is subject to change. Also, despite recommending the usage of certain heroes above other, that in no way means that you can't be skilled enough to use any other hero effectively. Overwatch is made with a relative balance in mind, and don't let any list prevent you from having fun. With that being said – let's get on with the guide.
TIER 1 – Heroes that are the most powerful and useful in many team compositions. You can almost always expect for these heroes to be nerfed as Blizzard often wants to encourage the use of all characters in the roster.
Lucio is all about that speed and the continual healing rate further enhanced by his healing boost makes him an absolute beast. He is one of the top three picks in competitive play and it is no wonder. His consistency in staying alive and boosting the speed of his allies makes him essential in rushing for objectives as well as running from a fight – which makes him one of the most important parts of the META.
Reinhardt is a no brainer. The tank among tanks. Number 5 in competitive picks. What he lacks in mobility, he plenty makes up in his defensive capabilities. His shield is an essential part of holding checkpoints, as well as pushing the payload while keeping his damage-dishing allies safe. He synergizes great with Lucio who boosts his speed enough to make him a viable enemy head smasher.
Soldier 76, pick number 2 for competitive play. His versatility and ease of use make him great for beginners who are used to a more standard FPS style of play – but in the hands of a more capable player can be an absolute beast. Both an offensive and supporting character, he can heal himself, as well as allies, and his high accuracy, medium range and relatively high damage make him absolutely essential in the META. Statistically, he has one of the highest Kill/Death ratios in the game and can dish out medals like crazy.
Tracer is the ultimate hit and run hero. Coming in at number 13 in competitive team compositions. Going in and out from battle at insane speeds is her specialty. She has a less of a supportive role with her abilities, but her usage can make her a real confusion maker in the hands of capable players giving your teammates enough time to stomp the opposition.
Genji is one of those hard to master characters. Insanely difficult to use for a beginner, but an absolute wrecker once you learn to manage his abilities. After an insane nerf, he still remains relevant in the META coming in at number 12 spot in competitive picks. He can protect himself from oncoming damage while getting in close for the kill.
TIER 2 – Heroes that are strong and are also used pretty often in competitive and quick play. They often form a backbone of a good team and their creative use can often push them in Tier 1, depending on the player using them.
Ana is pick number 5 in competitive play. Being a healing sniper that can also dish out some damage. She is a bit less effective after a nerf that reduced some of her healing potential but still an essential part of most high tier teams. She's got the range, she's got the healing and a bit of a damage potential making her a well rounded character.
McCree's damage dealing potential was subject of a nerf or two. Still a great offensive hero, he is best used to stop high-speed heroes dead in their tracks with his stun grenades and the go for the kill. Skilled players can also use him at long range and I personally got killed by him at long range more often than by the Overwatch resident sniper – Widowmaker.
Winston comes in 10 in competitive play picks. Although a tank, you will be surprised how easy it is to get killed while playing him. Still, he is best used in teams that like to make an aggressive push and his jump pack and abilities make him great at dismantling tightly grouped enemies with surprise leaps and high damage output.
Number 9 in competitive play picks. Pretty low considering that a lot of pro players use her in team compositions. Mobility and high damage dealing are key with Pharah. Hit and run tactics is the way you want to use her as she can't take a lot of damage, and her weapon is best used at mid to long range. Closed and confined spaces are a big no no. She can effectively harass the enemy team from far far away, and accuracy is not a big problem when you have a rocket launcher.
Zarya comes in 11 in competitive play picks. A tank with some supportive elements makes her a versatile hero. Her high durability, supporting allies and high damage dealing potential get her high up in the Kill/Death ratio scale and she is on of the top medal earners. She also synergizes great with plenty of hero ultimates which makes her a great pick for any team composition.
Tier 3 – A well-balanced heroes that are still found in plenty of teams out there, especially in quick play and can still be pretty devastating depending on the player using them
D.Va was a number 5 pick in competitive play but after a nerf that cut her health a bit she fell off to number 7. She's still a tank that combines Reinhardt-like shield for her allies, high mobility, damage, plus a devastating ultimate if used correctly. She has the highest Kill/Death ratio and her versatility still makes her one of the top picks in the META, even after the nerf.
Zenyatta comes in at number 8 in usage. This number could rise after Ana's healing potential fell off after the nerf. He has much more of a damage potential than her too due to his discord orb which can help his team break the opposition and even get him out of a one on one with a seemingly superior hero.
Roadhog is at a high number 6 in competitive play picks. His high damage dealing potential and the ability to single out opponents with his hook to go for an instakill make him a dangerous part of every team composition. Statistically, he is the highest medal earner.
Bastion comes in last, at number 24 in competitive play picks. This is expected to rise as a couple of months ago he received a buff that makes him pretty mobile while being able to heal himself and dish out an insane amount of damage. Competitively, players often use high mobility heroes to take him out, but I witnessed plenty of times when bad team compositions broke apart because they had no answer to his damage dealing turret mode. Best used on chokepoints and maps that are not very open.
Mercy is the top 1 pick in both quick play and competitive. An almost pure support hero with lowest Kill/Death ratio in the game. Still, you will be hard pressed to find any pro team composition without her. She can heal her teammates, as well as buff their damage dealing potential. She is often paired up with specific low health heroes or high damage dealing ones like Pharah. Her resurrection ultimate can turn the tide of an entire battle if used correctly.
Tier 4 – A bit unbalanced heroes that could become a subject of a buff. They can still be effective when complemented by heroes from the upper 3 tiers
Mei comes in at number 21 in competitive play picks. A defensive hero, she is best used to stall capture points, slow down enemy progress and separate tight enemy groups for easy pickings.
Widowmaker comes in at number 18 in competitive play picks. As mentioned, the Overwatch signature sniper can even rarely be found in top competitive teams. She is extremely difficult to use as her damage dealing potential really depends on the skill of the player using her. Her sniper has one-hit-kill potential against most heroes and she's great at picking them off from a distance.
Another character whose usage depends on the player. Coming in at number 15 in competitive usage. In the hands of a skilled player, he is also great at picking off enemy players from a distance. His arrow hitbox has been the subject of many debates as many players report arrows missing their mark completely and still registering hits. Still a bit harder to use than Widowmaker due to the absence of a scope when trying to hit enemies.
Reaper is a tricky one. In the past, he was used much more in competitive play, but recently, he comes in at a low number 17 in usage. Still great at taking out tanks, his high damage dealing and the ability to get out of a bind make him a great hero for beginners, as well as more experienced players.
Symmetra, climbed a bit to number 16 in usage after her rework. Creative usage of her turrets is key. Using them at key points can really slow down enemies while she's off somewhere else doing her stuff. A bit on the fragile side of things, she is best used away from the action, placing turrets, providing shielding and using the teleport ability to quickly get her team back into the action.
Orisa, being a relatively new hero, comes in at number 19 of competitive play picks. Top players are still reluctant to use her in place of other tank heroes but her damage mitigation and damage buff abilities are insane when used correctly. Abilities provide a less mobile shielding for her allies, but her chokepoint hold capabilities are almost second to none.
Tier 5 – A bit niche picks for any team composition. They are seen less and less in competitive play and often require the team to carry them forward in any game
Sombra is much like Tracer, an offensive hero best used in hit-and-run tactics. Her invisibility, hacking and teleporting ability make her great at harassing the opposition. She comes in at a low 23'rd place in competitive picks.
Torbjorn, much like Sombra is a hero for a niche audience. Almost never used in competitive, and even rarely in quick play, he's good at holding chokepoints. Even though he has one of the highest Kill/Death ratios in the game statistically, most players prefer other heroes who are not one trick ponies like he is, being all about them turrets.
You can often see Junkrat in the quick play. In competitive, however, he comes in at a low 20th place. Low accuracy, loose bombs, and whacky abilities make him a niche pick in the competitive play, mostly used to deal with Reinhardt's shield, but not for much else – some harassment potential, but skilled players are rarely concerned with his wild bombs and can dispatch him fairly quick.
You can check out more statistical info, as well as pro team compositions on the sites down below.