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Overwatch Characters and Beginner's Guide


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You've probably already spent plenty of time playing Overwatch. But knowing how to make the most of each character and their abilities is tricky. Now, with Blizzard releasing the first post-launch character, Ana, the rock-paper-scissors gameplay has an added layer of complexity.

Each person has their own playstyle that suits a particular character type, but it's important to become competent with each character in the game so you're ready to switch on the fly when the fight isn't going your way.

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TrustedReviews has provided a guide for all the characters in the game, with a breakdown of their abilities and Ultimates, giving you an idea of how to play the game as each hero so you're well equipped for the arena.

Overwatch Character List – Ana

Class – Support



Biotic Rifle: Ana's rifle can shoot healing darts at her teammates or deal damage to enemies. It also comes equipped with a scope for increased accuracy.

Sleep Dart: Fire a tranquilizer dart at an enemy to knock them unconscious. However the sleeping foe will wake up as soon as you deal damage to them.

Biotic Grenade: Ana throws a biotic bomb which simultaneously heals allies and damages enemies within the area of effect.

Ultimate: Nano Boost: Hitting an ally with Nano Boost improves their movement speed, damage output and damage resistance.

Overwatch Character List – Zarya

Class – Tank

overwatch zarya


Particle Cannon: Discharge a short range beam of energy. Or you can throw an explosive charge to hit multiple enemies.

Particle Barrier: A personal barrier protect Zarya from attacks, with the energy redirected to enhance her own weapon’s damage.

Projected Barrier: Surround one of your teammates with an energy barrier that absorbs damage and boosts Zarya’s particle cannon.

Ultimate Ability – Graviton Surge: A gravity bomb that draws enemy combatants in an deals damage while they’re trapped.

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Overwatch Character List – D. Va

Class - Tank

Overwatch DVA


Fusion Cannons: D. Va’s mech is equipped with two short-range rotating cannons capable of dishing out continues high-damage fire without the need of a reload. However, while active, D. Va’s movement speed is slowed.

Light Gun: When outside of her mech suit, D. VA is still capable of dishing out damage with her mid-range automatic pistol.

Boosters: Her mech suit is capable of launching into the air, change direction and even lunge at enemies to knock them back.

Defence Matrix: Activating this will lock-on and shoot incoming projectiles out of the air to protect D. Va

Ultimate Abilities

Self-Destruct: Pretty self-explanatory – D. Va ejects from her mech suit and its reactor explodes, dealing massive AOE damage to nearby foes.

Call Mech: If your armoured suit is destroyed in battle, D. Va can call down a shiny new one, Titanfall style.

Overwatch Character List – Reinhardt

Class – Tank

Overwatch Reinhardt


Rocket Hammer: One of the strongest melee weapons around, Reinhardt’s hammer deals huge damage when swung.

Barrier field: A large barrier is erected which can protect Reinhardt and his allies from damage for a limited time. However you cannot attack while using the barrier.

Charge: Use this to ram past enemy defences and knock all enemies back who get in Reinhardt’s path.

Fire Strike: Reinhardt knocks his hammer forward, sending a lane of flames causing damage to all who touch it.

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Ultimate Ability – Earthshatter: Reinhardt slams his hammer into the ground, damaging all enemies stood in front of him.

Overwatch Character List – Roadhog

Class – Tank


Overwatch Roadhog

Scrap Gun: fires short-range blast of shrapnel with wide blast radius. Alternate fire launches shrapnel ball that can be detonated to scatter debris.

Take a Breather: Restores health over brief period of time.

Chain Hook: Latch onto a target and pull them towards you

Ultimate Ability – Whole Hog: Stick a top-loader onto the scrap gun to launch a tirade of ammo onto enemies capable of knocking them back.

Overwatch Character List – Winston

Class – Tank


overwatch winston

Tesla Cannon: Delivering short-range bursts of electricity. Fired for as long as the trigger is held.

Jump Pack: Assisted by Winston’s energy pack, he can lunge into the air and cover great distances, dealing heavy damage upon landing to nearby enemies and knocking them back.

Barrier Projector: Deploy a bubble-shaped projector to absorb damage. You can fire from within it, too.

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Ultimate Ability – Primal Rage: Embracing his inner animal, Winston gets a significant health boost and increased melee attack.

Overwatch Character List – Pharah

Class – Offence


Overwatch Pharah

Rocket Launcher: Launch rockets to deal heavy direct and AOE damage.

Jump Jet: Use Pharah’s jetpack to fly into the air.

Concussive Blast: Wrist rockets can knock enemies back.

Ultimate Ability – Barrage: Fire a mini-rocket salvo to destroy groups of enemies.

Overwatch Character List – Reaper

Class – Offence

Overwatch Reaper


Hellfire Shotguns: Twin shotguns deal massive damage at close range

Wraith Form: Turn into a shadow immune to damage for a short period of time. You can also pass through enemies, but cannot fire weapons.

Shadow Step: After selecting a location, Reaper teleports.

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Ultimate Ability – Death Blossom: Reaper rapidly empties the ammo in both shotguns for massive damage.

Overwatch Character List – Solder: 76

Class – Offence


overwatch solider 76

Heavy Pulse Rifle: Fully automatic rifle which remains steady while fired

Helix Rockets: A small barrage of rockets fires from Soldier: 76’s Pulse Rifle, damaging enemies in a small radius.

Sprint: He sprints...that’s it. Able to evade enemy fire while moving at rapid speed.

Biotic Field: Heal yourself and allies in a small field.

Ultimate Ability – Tactical Visor: Pinpoint accuracy with a visor which locks aim to your nearest enemy, quickly switching to targets once downed.

Overwatch Character List – Tracer

Class – Offence

Overwatch tracer


Pulse Pistols: Rapid fire dual-wielded pistols

Blink: Teleport rapidly through space. Can store up to three charges, regenerating over time.

Recall: Revert backwards in time to a previous point, restoring health, ammo and place on the map.

Ultimate Ability – Pulse Bomb: A large bomb sticks to any surface, exploding after a short delay to deal massive damage to all in its radius.

Overwatch Character List – Genji

Class – Offence

Overwatch Genji


Shuriken: Fire three stars in quick succession or throw three at once in a wider spread.

Deflect: Use you kitana to deflect incoming projectiles back at your opponent.

Swift Strike: Dart towards a target, slashing your sword through them. If the enemy dies, can immediately use the ability again.

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Ultimate Ability – Dragonblade: Genji’s kitana can kill any target he strikes.

Overwatch Character List – McCree

Class Offence

Overwatch McCree


Peacekeeper: McCree’s trusty six-shooter.

Combat Roll: Dodge roll in the direction McCree’s moving, reloading the Peacekeeper in the process.

Flashbang: Drop a flash grenade to stun enemies

Ultimate Ability – Deadeye: Mark and then fire at enemies. The weaker the target, the faster the killshot is lined up. Think John Marsden in Red Dead Redemption.

Overwatch Character List – Zenyatta

Class - Support

overwatch zenyatta


Orb of Destruction: Zenyatta can throw either a single damage-dealing orb, or rapid-fire multiple at opponents after a brief charge period.

Orb of Harmony: Throwing this orb onto an ally will allow them to regain health for as long as Zenyatta is alive. Only one ally can have an Orb of Harmony at a time, though.

Orb of Discord: Stick this on an enemy to multiply the amount of damage they receive from each attack. Like the Orb of Harmony, only one can be used at a time.

Ultimate Ability – Transcendence: For a brief amount of time, Zenyatta cannot use weapons or abilities, but becomes immune to damage and automatically restores his health and that of nearby allies.

Overwatch Character List – Symmetra

Class – Support

Overwatch Symmetra


Photon Projector: Her weapon emits a short-range beam, homing in on a nearby enemy to deal continuous damage. The amount of damage dealt increases the longer the beam is intact. The Projector can also release a charged energy ball dealing high damage.

Sentry Turret: A small turret that fires bullets to slow enemies. You can build multiple turrets at once.

Photon Shield: Deploy this to surround an ally to protect them from damage.

Ultimate Ability – Teleporter: Symmera drops a teleporter exit pad where she is standing, which connects to an entry pad at your team’s starting point. This allows allies to travel from entry to exit instantly, getting them back into the fight immediately.

Overwatch Character List – Lucio

Class – Support

Overwatch Lucio


Sonic Amplifier: Hits enemies with sonic pulses or you can knock them back with soundwaves.

Crossfade: Lucio energises himself and nearby allies with music. There are two songs: one improves speed and the other regenerates health.

Amp it up: Song effect is increased.

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Ultimate Ability – Sound Barrier: Lucio surrounds himself and nearby allies with protective waves.

Overwatch Character List – Mercy

Class – Support

Overwatch Mei


Caduceus Staff: Use this staff to heal allies or increase their damage output by connecting its beam to them.

Caduceus Blaster: When not healing, Mercy can switch to her sidearm to deal some damage of her own, but she’s most definitely a healer first.

Guardian Angel: Mercy is able to fly across the map, allowing her to maintain the Staff’s beam and provide help to those most in need.

Angelic Descent: Mercy can slow the rate at which she falls from the sky to avoid fall damage.

Ultimate Ability – Resurrect: Bring nearby allies back from the dead and return them to the fray with full health.

Overwatch Character List – Junkrat

Class – Defence

Overwatch Junkrat


Frag Launcher: Lobs grenades a great distance, bouncing to reach their destination and detonating when touching an enemy.

Concussion Mine: Can be manually triggered to send enemies flying or propel Junkrat through the air.

Steel Trap: Bear-trap-looking device can injure and immobilize any who wander into it.

Total Mayhem: When killed, Junkrat drops multiple live grenades.

Ultimate Ability – Rip-Tire: Send a motorised tyre bomb around the battlefield, capable of climbing walls. Can be remotely detonated to deal massive damage.

Overwatch Character List – Hanzo

Class – Defence

Overwatch Hanzo


Storm Bow: Hanzo’s basic arrow attack, which deals a solid amount of damage.

Sonic Arrow: This arrow can be fired into terrain, emitting sonar to locate nearby enemies and marking them for you and your allies.

Scatter Arrow: Hanzo shoots an arrow which splinters into multiple shards, ricocheting off walls to hit multiple targets. This is great in domination matches where enemies congregate in a small space.

Ultimate Ability – Dragonstrike: Hanzo fires an arrow that unleashes the spirit of a dragon, dealing massive damage to all who get in its way.

Overwatch Character List – Bastion

Class – Defence

overwatch bastion


Configuration: Recon: Bastion becomes fully mobile, equipped with a submachine gun capable of dealing damage at medium range.

Configuration: Sentry: Bastion sets up shop as a massive damage-dealing powerhouse with a front-facing barrier and a gatling gun ready to take down all who cross its path.

Reconfigure: Bastion switches between his two key configurations on the fly.

Self-Repair: Restores health but cannot move or fire weapons, leaving you very vulnerable.

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Ultimate Ability – Configuration: Tank: Bastion spawns wheeled treads and a long-ranged cannon, which deals explosive shells with massive AOE damage.

Overwatch Character List – Torbjorn

Class – Defence

Overwatch Torbjorn


Rivet Gun: Torbjorn’s rivet gun is capable of long range fire, or you can shoot molten metal in a short, close-range burst.

Forge Hammer: Torbjorn’s hammer can be used to build, upgrade and repair turrets as well as be used as a melee weapon.

Build Turret: A hammer for repairing turrets is no good if you can’t build one, so of course the Swede can. By collecting scrap from dead enemies, you can increase the turret’s health and add a second cannon and rocket launcher.

Armour pack: By deploying an armour upgrade, your allies can pick it up to absorb extra damage.

Ultimate Ability – Molten Core: Torbjorn gains a massive amount of armour and scrap and can build turrets much faster than normal.

Overwatch Character List – Widowmaker

Class – Defence

Overwatch widowmaker


Widow’s Kiss: Her sniper rifle can deal damage at long range, but can also be fired as an automatic rifle at close to medium range.

Grappling Hook: Reach those hard to reach sniping spots with Widowmaker’s grappling hooks.

Venom Mine: These mines can stick to any surface, and detonate when enemies walk past, delivering poison gas to any in the area.

Ultimate Ability – Infra-Sight: Widowmaker’s recon visor allows her to spot targets through walls for a moderate amount of time.

Overwatch Character List – Mei

Class – Defence

Overwatch Mei


Endothermic Blaster: A short range stream of frost that deals damage, slows and eventually freezes enemies. Can also shoot icicles at medium range.

Cryo-Freeze: Instantly surround yourself in a block of thick ice. Can heal and also avoid damage while encased, but cannot move or use abilities.

Ice Wall: obscures lines of sight and prevents enemies from using certain entranceways.

Ultimate Ability – Blizzard: Weather modification drone emits wind and snow across large area. Any enemies caught in the storm take damage, stay too long and you’re frozen solid.

Overwatch Beginner's Guide – Tips and Tricks


The only way to get good at Overwatch is to find the characters you're comfortable using. That doesn’t mean you should stick rigidly to your favourite, though – you should try to become familiar with at least one hero from each class. There’s nothing worse than being on defence and noticing there are three people on your team running around as Genji.

If you discover that someone else on your team has picked the person you were going to choose, take the opportunity to become familiar with someone else. Who knows, you might just find your new favourite.

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Learn when to switch

A well-timed character switch can turn the tide of battle. You should be malleable, willing to alter your tactics on the fly. Perhaps an enemy Bastion is holding your team off in its turret form, preventing you from getting close. Switch to someone agile such as Genji or Tracer and slip past unnoticed, only attacking when you’re on its flank.

Different characters also suit early and late-game situations. As an attacker escorting a payload, tanks can be great in the early game when trying to survive the defenders’ onslaught, but late on you need somebody such as Hanzo with his Dragon to ultimately push them back and get that payload to its destination.

Support and tank classes are important

As you may have gathered from the previous point, both support and tank heroes can be powerful when used correctly, and even more so if combined. Perhaps not surprisingly, many folk will just want to run in and shoot things, but they probably won’t be the deciding factor in winning a game in the way of well-used support and tank characters.

Another great thing about these roles is they don’t require professional Call of Duty-level shooting skills. Good timing, good positioning and prioritisation are far more important than headshots. Take Roadhog: he’s armed with a shotgun and a whip that you can use to pull enemies in before point-blank blowing them away. You can pop round corners and pull enemies away from their friends, isolating them. Combine this with his constantly refreshing health top-ups and you can be a deadly, ever-present threat.

Play your role

Whatever role you play, make sure you play it well. There’s no point in playing as Zenyatta if you’re just going to fling orbs of destruction everywhere. Debuff enemies with your orbs of discord and keep your allies topped up with health using your orbs of harmony. Zenyatta and other support characters generally drop dead when sneezed at – they’re not good at roaming the frontlines.

Likewise, if you’re playing a tank, there isn’t much point sitting at the back and trying to pick enemies off from afar. Get in close and soak up damage for your team, while also dealing damage to make the opposition think twice about rushing in and trying to get kills of their own.

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Overwatch Reaper

If you do play attack, play smart

Careful thought is a must while playing Overwatch. Which heroes in the enemy team are weak to your current character? How best can you plan attacks and when? It isn’t just about getting kills, but choosing the right target at the right time, opening up the objective for the rest of your team.

Playing as Pharah? Take to the air and bring down any enemy turrets peppering your team. Playing as Reaper, Genji or Tracer? Be aggressive, get in behind the enemy and take down snipers and anyone else camping out on the back lines. Speaking of offence…

Learn the maps

Whether learning to contend with the many flanking points of the Temple of Anubis or the chokepoints of Hanamura, there’s plenty to contend with in Overwatch’s world-hopping maps. Again, hero variation is key here, as you’ll find different characters work better on different maps.

If a map has a numerous places where enemies can fall to their death, a hero such as Lucio could just help them along. If there’s a map with a lot of high ground, perhaps Widowmaker could use these vantage points to her benefit – sitting on overwatch, if you will. Maybe you could take advantage of a map’s chokepoints with turret heroes Bastion or Torbjorn. There’s plenty to think about.

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Overwatch Symmetra

Learn the rules

Overwatch’s main game modes are pretty straightforward, but there’s plenty of nuance that can help you get ahead. Take Payload, for example, which is a mode where one team is tasked with escorting a cart into enemy territory. The cart is essentially on-wheels cover that you can strafe around to surprise your opponents. You can even climb on and ride it if you wish – a tactic that especially suits Bastion’s turret mode, transforming the payload into a rolling weapon emplacement.

Another thing to keep in mind is how Overtime works. If the defenders manage to hold out until the end of the game but the attackers are pushing forward, this will trigger, giving the attackers a final opportunity to push the assault. If the attackers are pushed back, the map ends in mere seconds, but if a single hero gets back to the objective then the bar resets and freezes. One person can make a big difference, but it’s the group effort that counts...


It doesn’t matter if you’re going all out on headsets, typing into the chat or using the in-game emotes to keep track of what’s going on – the winning team is the one that has the most information. Information is key and by far the most important resource.

Maybe Tracer has just phased into the back of the capture point and taken you down – let your team know. Perhaps you just caught a glimpse of an enemy tank lumbering towards your team – call them out. Overwatch teams that communicate will always dominate a silent team of randoms. Always.

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Don’t run solo

If you didn’t gather from that last point, teamwork is important. Unless you’re sneaking behind the opposition to take out a lone sniper or to cause disarray, there isn’t much point going at it alone. If you find yourself up against an entire enemy team, as you often will, you’ll be taken apart in seconds, no matter what class you are.

The reason these heroes are all so different is because their skills complement each other, but you can’t reap the benefits of this synergy by rushing into battle and promptly dropping dead.

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Plan your Ultimate

Ultimate attacks are devastating in matches, and can be the difference between wins and losses. Knowing when to use different types of Ultimate is really important for turning your team into a cohesive unit.

Mercy’s Ultimate, for example, brings any downed allies back to life. So when trying to take an objective as attackers, waiting until many allies have been taken out and rushing in to revive the whole team can lead to a last-gasp win.

Equally, D.Va can self-destruct her mech suit. Combining this Ultimate with her thrusters means you can send the suit flying towards enemies before ejecting and setting it to explode. This will lead to a devastating AOE damage and a bunch of kills, clearing an objective or payload.

Although it’s tempting to use an Ultimate as soon as you earn it, in order to start building up towards the next one, try to wait until the move becomes its most useful.

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