Over the past 4 years, Blizzard has slowly expanded its cast of characters for one of its newer and more popular games: Overwatch. There were only 12 characters when the game was first announced in 2014. Now there are 28 playable heroes and around 13 non-playable supporting characters.
Overwatch characters are vastly different, and even the similar ones are marked with clear distinctions that make them unique from each other. Plus, the design of each character is detailed with diverse backstories introduced through various media outside of gameplay. This is the reason why it is as successful as it has been. The characters are accessible and engaging.
These are the 6 most popular heroes for Overwatch players as of 2018 broken down per hero role:
These support heroes have been pretty much indispensable to teams since the beginning of the game. But players have increasingly picked them to fill their teams and for good reason.
A popular choice from the start, Lucio has only continued to get better. His abilities include the Sonic Amplifier, Wall Climb, Crossfade, and Amp It Up, but his most powerful ability is the Sound Barrier.
As a support hero, he’s also good at healing his team, providing a temporary shield to those near him, and boosting the movement speed of his team. Lucio is also a good duelist, unlike most support heroes. He’s also in the middle in terms of difficulty – not the easiest to play with but not as hard to use as the other support heroes.
Ana Amari is one of the founding members of Overwatch and is arguably the strongest support character right now. She has an ability for every occasion on the battlefield which makes her very useful for teams to have. Because of this, and thanks to her recent buffs, she’s actually one of the most difficult support heroes to master and use in gameplay.
Her arsenal includes the Biotic Rifle, Biotic Grenade, and the Sleep Dart. But her ultimate ability is the Nano Boost which gives her teammate of choice a boost in damage and enhanced defense.
They are usually the front liners and lead the charge for teams. Tank heroes are good for taking in damage and creating attack opportunities for their teammates.
One of the most popular heroes across roles, D.Va is quick and powerful. She’s not the easiest to use, but not the most difficult as well. It might take you a bit of time to get the hang of using her but nothing beyond what you normally experience with other characters.
D.Va’s ultimate ability is the Self-Destruct. It’s a timed bomb type of ability wherein D.Va sets the reactor of her mech to explode and ejects herself from it. This deals massive damage on her surrounding opponents. She has other abilities as well such as her Fusion Cannons, Light Gun, Boosters, and Defense Matrix, among others.
Still one of the all-time favorites since the game’s early days, Reinhardt is a shoo-in to this list. He’s also easy to use. Easier than most heroes, and not just compared to other tank heroes.
Reinhardt is good for leading charges in the battlefield thanks to his energy barrier. He has a wide range of abilities including the Rocket Hammer, Barrier Field, and Fire Strike. But his ultimate ability is the Earthshatter where Reinhardt slams his rocket hammer on the ground, causing his surrounding enemies to get knocked down on the ground.
There used to be two roles of heroes which belonged to the damage role. Heroes now classified under Damage were either Offense (Doomfist, Genji, McCree, Pharah, Reaper, Soldier: 76, Sombra, and Tracer) or Defense (Bastion, Hanzo, Junkrat, Mei, Torbjörn, and Widowmaker). They’re the best characters for dueling and basically engaging with the opposing teams.
Among the more difficult characters to master, Hanzo is a former assassin and mercenary who uses his bow and arrow to attack his opponents. His damaging abilities include Storm Bow, Sonic Arrow, and Storm Arrows. He can also climb walls that allow him to scale vertical surfaces. But his ultimate ability is Dragonstrike. With Dragonstrike, Hanzo fires an arrow which then summons a Spirit Dragon that devours enemies it encounters in its path.
Hanzo is best for targeting enemies at mid or long range using his bow and arrow. He used to have an ability called Scatter Arrow which effectively eliminates most heroes, sometimes even with a single shot. Because of this, there was a huge backlash from the players. As a result, Blizzard decided to remove Scatter Arrow in May of 2018 and replace it with Storm Arrows.
A damage hero that’s best in short range offense thanks to his high mobility and cybernetic gauntlet. Doomfist is actually among the latest heroes to be introduced, but he’s quickly gaining popularity among players. However, he requires some practice before finally getting to play him to his best potential. Others have likened him to a combination of Reinhardt and Reaper, with short-range attacks being his forte while sustaining his health during fights.
Doomfist has several close-range abilities. Specifically, his offense abilities are the Hand Cannon, Rocket Punch, Rising Uppercut, and Seismic Slam. He also has a defense ability called The Best Defense… which is a passive ability. But his ultimate ability is the Meteor Strike wherein Doomfist jumps into the sky when he gets surrounded by multiple enemies, and when he crashes back into the ground, significant damage is dealt onto his nearby opponents.
These are just 6 of the 28 total playable heroes in Overwatch. You might have a different set of favorites, and that’s completely fine. There’s nothing wrong with that. In fact, that’s kind of what Blizzard was going for. Each hero is given a unique backstory and a unique set of abilities so that they can appeal to different kinds of players from all over the world. It’s just inevitable that some will be more popular than others.