If you're looking for tips, this Overwatch 2 tier list - compiled after many hours of play with all 33 heroes - is here to answer the call. Now available as a free-to-play experience, these tips are tried and very much tested.At first glance, it might seem that the biggest change from Overwatch is team sizes.
In Overwatch 2, teams have shrunk to 5v5 from 6v6. It may sound like a small difference, but this change has caused monumental knock-on effects. You'll have to field fewer Tanks than before - meaning you will have one less protector looking after you and your teammates. The change means that certain Overwatch 2 characters are excelling, whilst others see themselves struggling.
To give you a headstart on how the meta has changed, we've played through hours of games with each of Overwatch 2's heroes to see how they fare in the new killing field. Of course, a skilled player could make any character shine - but if you need a bit of guidance on who's doing well right now, read on to find our current ranking of every character
With the game now officially available, here are some top tips to get ahead as any character in Overwatch 2.
Overwatch 2 tier list
Overwatch 2 tier list: S-Tier
The S-Tier's reserved for the best of the best. These are the heroes that are hands down the best options in Overwatch 2 right now. If you want to win games, you'll probably have the most success with these heroes.
Best DPS (damage per second)
- Soldier 76
Understandably, many of the best heroes in Overwatch 2 are the ones who are toughest to kill, especially if they can heal themselves and play well solo. That's where Lucio really stands apart: he can use his wallride and speed boost to get out of (and into) dangerous situations quickly, and using his passive heal, Speed Boost, and Sound Barrier ultimate he can lift and empower his team.
Lucio's hard to kill, he has utility, can take on fights, and can heal his team. He can do it all right now.
Solider 76's hands down, the best damage per second hero in Overwatch 2 right now. His kit hasn’t changed since the original Overwatch, however, but with one fewer enemy tanks on the field most of the characters he'll face can be taken down in a few shots. He's even deadlier when you take into account the fact Blizzard has reduced the amount of damage every character's barrier can take. Now Soldier 76 can easily take out enemies from a safe distance.
On top of that boost to Soldier 76's damage, he also has the ability to heal himself, meaning he can go on wide flanks and sustain some damage. He's a menace and an excellent choice if you want to get a lot of kills.
People will hate me for saying this, but not only is Moira top tier, “DPS Moira" is top tier.
A “DPS Moira” is a Moira who'll leave her team and, instead of healing, go and secure kills with her damaging orbs. With one less player on the field, kills are much more meaningful than in the original Overwatch, making kills more beneficial than babying your team. Her orbs make Moira one of the best duelists in the game, any player she encounters one on one is in for a tough fight.
That doesn't mean you should forget your duties as a healer, Moira has massive potential as a healer. Just don't feel bad about leaning into a more aggressive style when the moment calls for it.
Overwatch 2 tier list: A-Tier
A-Tier heroes are great options. If you plan on using any of these heroes while playing Overwatch 2, you can have a great time. There's nothing wrong with an A-Tier hero, they're just not as powerful as the S-Tier characters in the current meta..
Best DPS (damage per second):
D.VA's a strong choice, her Defense Matrix, which blocks all incoming projectiles, now lasts for three seconds instead of two, so she can eat a lot of damage. She has the ability to both defend her supports or go aggressive and take space, both in front of her or vertically. Her versatility and ability to close distance are doing really well for her.
Genji could easily have found himself lower on this list, he's not been relevant to the meta in some time. In Overwatch 2 he received no changes, and with a global nerf to Ultimates, the key part of his kit, his Dragon Blade comes out less. It all spelled trouble for the ninja...
How wrong we were. The shift to 5v5 means not just fewer characters in each game, but also fewer abilities being fired off by players, making a safe battlefield for Genji to navigate. Couple that with more vulnerable support characters and Genji's more deadly than ever.
Tracer has seen a small nerf to her damage output but, as has often been the case in Overwatch history, she remains strong. She's particularly benefiting from supports having less cover from an off-tank and can run rings around most heroes. She doesn’t quite have the distanced damage of Solider 76 or Genji, but she's still lethal.
Ana's a powerful support. She can output a ton of healing and kill other players from range. Her Nano-Boost can save players about to die or set them up for devastating attacks. If you can hit your shots, she’s a strong option.
That said, she's a little tricky. While she can heal from relative safety, with no second tank protecting her, she's very vulnerable to getting ambushed by mobile heroes like Winston, Genji, or Tracer. She has a get-out-of-jail card in her Sleep Dart, but that can be a tricky skill-shot to hit, especially when your life depends on it.
Sombra's a little complicated to place on this tier list as her rework has changed her role on the battlefield. She's no longer a disabler and is now more of an opportunist. She's an absolute menace to supports, especially Zenyatta, and will have any isolated players constantly checking their back as she excels at killing lonely heroes.
She's lost some use in coordinated teamplay, as her hack and EMP are worse in Overwatch 2 for coordinated assaults. That said, most teams aren’t coordinated, and this makes Sombra much more reasonable to play as a solo player.
For more info on how to play her, check out our in-depth Overwatch 2 Sombra guide.
Zarya's in great shape in Overwatch 2. With one less player, the more damage a team does, the quicker it will outpace the other team. Zarya’s pure damage output can be massive if she has a full charge on her weapon. She can also save herself or teammates who are about to die with her Bubbles. On top of that, she still boasts one of the best ultimates in the game in Graviton Surge.
If you can manage your cooldowns, you will overwhelm the enemy. That said, if you are caught out without a Bubble to protect yourself, Zarya won’t offer much protection for herself or her team.
Overwatch 2 tier list: B-Tier
B-Tier heroes are good picks. Especially if you are a specialist in these heroes, you can probably move many of them into the A-Tier, but they still have weaknesses that make them harder to recommend.
Best DPS (damage per second):
Doomfist's a fascinating tank character. His transition from DPS to this role is an interesting rework, and his mobility makes him an interesting pick, akin to both Winston and Wrecking Ball. If he gets going he can be a handful, and skilled players can dart him from one side of the battlefield to the other in the blink of an eye.
He does suffer a little currently though as Doomfist's Power Block, which is key to his tanking and offensive utility is easily disrupted by Sombra hacks and Ana sleeps… or simply not shooting at him. He's great, but he feels very counterable right now.
Reinhardt's an awesome pick right now. Being able to throw two Fire Strikes is great, and his increased maneuverability makes him a formidable force on the battlefield. He's much like his current state in the original Overwatch but turned up an extra notch or so. If you play a rush style, he can run over opponents.
However, he's hurting a little bit with the loss of an off-tank. Zarya and D.VA both enabled Reinhardt in different ways, all of which helped keep him alive. If Reinhardt finds himself out in the open with no shield, he's in trouble.
This might be a bit speculative, but Winston seems like a hero with some untapped potential. Many think he's weak because, in the original Overwatch, he's hyper-dependent on an off-tank. However, his mobility and dive potential make him a real threat, especially to weaker supports. On top of that, he's also benefiting from a new ranged attack which gives him a way to do damage without committing to a leap.
It'll take some skill and good instincts to stay alive, but if you can get your head around him, there seems to be a lot of potential here.
Mei feels like somewhat of a sleeper pick right now, but she tends to be a real menace when she's picked in Versus. She no longer freezes enemies with her weapon, but her blast now slows and does more damage. If teams are playing close together, she can deal a lot of damage to multiple targets at once. Do not sleep on Mei. She can (frost)burn teams very quickly.
Cassidy's a solid choice. Like Ashe and Solider, he benefits from the reduced shields and being able to hammer enemies at mid-range. He doesn’t have the self-heal of Solider 76 though and has seen a change that hurts his current loadout.
A hit from Cassidy’s Flash Bang in the original Overwatch was essentially a death sentence, it was one of the few things you could use to halt a Reinhardt charge, too. Thanks to a nerf, if you get flashed in Overwatch 2 you now have a good chance of surviving. Cassidy really feels the pain of losing the stun.
Reaper does a lot of damage and a lot of damage in Overwatch 2 is a lot more damage than in the original Overwatch. Reaper is exceptionally good at killing heroes quickly, particularly tanks. Played well, Reaper can make teams crumble.
The real challenge is closing the distance between yourself and your enemy. If Reaper comes up against a good mid or long range hero, you're in real trouble.
Sojourn came in hot, and it’s clear that she has some massive potential. She can build her Railgun up from a distance and take down enemies in one shot. Her mobility also makes her a powerful pick.
However, with Solider 76 filling the same role, and filling it better, Sojourn feels a little lost in the pack. Perfectly viable if you’d like to use her, but you might just be better off with Soldier.
For the best tips on how to master this new hero, check out our Overwatch 2 Sojourn guide.
Widowmaker's always been a glass cannon, and that's true in Overwatch 2. Thanks to the reduced shields, if your aim's up to the task then no one on the enemy team is safe. It’s easier than ever to click heads and get kills as the sniper.
On the other side, with one fewer tanks on the field, she has less protection from flanking heroes. She's more vulnerable than ever, even with a 25hp buff. No other hero lives by the rule ‘get kills or be killed’ more than Widow. It’s a confidence pick, and if you are up to the task, you will be rewarded. If not, you will fall quickly.
Baptiste benefits nicely from the reduced number of tanks, as he has to heal less and can shoot with fewer obstacles in the way, but he remains in a similar spot to the original Overwatch.
However, the main issue is that his Immortality Field is much less useful. In the original game, Baptiste would place the generator and other players would shield it, the field would protect them and they would protect the field. With fewer tanks and fewer shields, there aren't as many characters protecting the Immortality Field generator and it's much easier for the enemy to destroy it before Baptiste's allies can feel the benefit.
Brigitte losing her stun could have ruined her, it was probably the most powerful aspect of her kit, but that loss is countered by the increased range on her Shield Bash, giving her a boost to maneuverability. Her healing can be immense too and her Ultimate remains strong.
With the removal of a potential second shield tank, Brigitte's also the only way to get a second shield on the field of play. This really helps her protect herself, something most supports struggle with right now.
Mercy has always been a tricky hero demanding a lot of skill to play her well, and that remains true in Overwatch 2. The key to Mercy is to remain out of danger and evasive, while giving healing and boosting the right players at the right time.
Also, Resurrections are now so much more important with one less player on the field. That said, they are equally hard to pull off with less protection and invisible Sombras waiting in the wings to interrupt you.
Ashe really benefits from fewer shields on the field and her ability to deal damage at long distances.
However, while she's able to operate at a greater range than Soldier 76, she doesn't deal the damage of a sniper, like Widowmaker, so to get kills at that distance you'll need to have the aim to land multiple shots on a target. She can still excel if you're great with her, but there are easier characters to pick.
Overwatch 2 tier list: C-Tier
C-Tier heroes can still be good (even great) picks if you are especially skilled with them. That said, if you're just picking these heroes up at random, you might struggle.
Best DPS (damage per second):
Orisa’s rework is awesome and has made her one of the most fun tanks in Overwatch 2.
However, she's struggling to find a place in the game as, while she can easily get in the faces of enemy tanks and more stationary heroes, more mobile, ranged characters can tear her apart from a distance. Thanks to her Fortify ability she can mitigate a lot of damage, but it doesn't feel like an effective counter.
Sigma has consistently been top-tier since his arrival in Overwatch 1. He is a tank that can do everything, with a mobile shield, he can eat incoming projectiles and has a great ultimate. That said, his lack of mobility and his preferred 'off-tank' role make him a weird fit as a solo tank in Overwatch 2. The game feels like it's currently too open and too fast for Sigma to truly keep up.
There is a lingering feeling that he has a lot of unrealized potential and that his optimal playstyle hasn't been worked out yet, but for now, he feels a little lost.
Bastion's rework is interesting and does make him a more complex hero. He now has some mobility while in Turret Form, but it's on a timer meaning low-ranked games won't be terrorized by a Bastion just sitting in one place and mowing down uncoordinated teams.
That said, his new ultimate is not very good, and his primary fire feels a little weak. He certainly has some utility and can surprise opponents, but it feels like many other heroes do what he does, just better.
Echo still has massive potential to do lots of damage, however, ranged heroes are strong right now, meaning it’s hard to survive in the air. She also got a nerf where she can only use her Ultimate to replicate a hero up to 300hp, which hurts her a lot. Even if she becomes a Tank now, she is severely capped in what she can do due to the smaller health pool.
Hanzo can certainly see traction and with less shields around, can get more of those random spam headshots he’s so good at. However, he really excels at busting shields, of which there are less of, and unless he can get a stray headshot, he is susceptible to being flanked.
Pharah is largely unchanged, but she’s a tricky pick right now. This boils down to her best partner, Mercy, being less favored and ranged heroes being good. That said, she’s still Pharah and lower-level players will always struggle to shoot her.
Symmetra has always been a bit of a sleeper pick, often with one of the highest win rates across all play. In Overwatch 2, the annoying oppressiveness of her turrets and Ultimate remain, however, the loss of a second tank and fewer shields mean it’s much harder to get her beam fully powered.
Torbjorn is best when he can great a crossfire with his own turret, which he can still do. However, his turret is less likely to be protected now and easier to get at. He can still be a menace if he can keep his turret alive, but that coupled with the loss of 2 checkpoint maps where he could be more defense-minded, make him less viable.
Zenyatta’s pluses could make him an S-tier hero. His discord orb can devastate enemies when paired with a DPS who can capitalize, like Sombra.
However, he is also probably the least survivable hero in Overwatch right now. Equally, Sombra is a hard counter to him, and he has close to no options for protecting himself (besides his new kick which pushes enemies away) or getting out of trouble if a flanker comes for him. If protected, he can do great things, but that is a concerted team effort.
Overwatch 2 Tier List: D-Tier
D-Tier heroes are heroes that had a rough go of it in the beta. They're not unplayable and in the right hands, it's possible to get some production. If the beta was anything to go by, they just aren't favorable picks and could use a little buff to get them in a better spot.
- Wrecking Ball
Best DPS (damage per second):
Wrecking Ball is not in a great spot. He really struggles without an anchor Tank partner like Sigma, and with his only way of protecting his team being disrupting the enemy's positioning, his teammates will often find themselves out in the open.
Junkrat is just… he’s kind of bad. His ultimate is good, though you have to be more sneaky with it with less protection around. Junkrat always excelled on maps that had tough chokes like the kind in Assualt maps, which are no longer in the game. He can do damage if you can get close to vulnerable characters, but good luck doing that with the amount of ranged damage flying around.
Roadhog is lost in the current tank line-up. He was always best as a flanking tank who could secure one-off kills with his hook. In Overwatch 2, if your only tank is flanking, you're not going to be getting a lot of protection.
He can take some punishment, but besides getting some frontline kills, it’s hard to see where he fits in in Overwatch 2. He feels primed for a rework.
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Patrick Dane is TechRadar Gaming's Guides Editor. With nearly a decade in the games press, he's been a consistent voice in the industry. He's written for a plethora of major publications and travelled the world doing it. He also has a deep passion for games as a service and their potential to tell evolving stories. To wit, he has over 2000 hours in Destiny 2, over 1000 in Overwatch and is now deeply into Valorant.