Overwatch: The Classes

Feb 22, 2016

Like Team Fortress 2, Overwatch is a class-based shooter, which means there are plenty of different of roles and playstyles for you to experiment with. Each hero comes equipped with some MOBA-like abilities and with 21 currently available to choose from there’s plenty of scope for players to contribute to their team in some really unique ways. Along with their standard abilities, each hero has a specific, game changing Ultimate they can unleash and these often come to define the way in which the hero is played. Whether you want to be the one dishing out the damage or the one shielding your allies from harm, or even the one fortifying your defensive positions with deadly turrets, everyone will quickly discover their favorite heroes.


Overwatch’s offensive class generally consists of agile, hard hitting fighters who can quickly move across the map to unleash huge amounts of damage, but will quickly get picked off without sufficient support. Popular heroes include Reaper, the wraith-like terrorist capable of devastating amounts of burst damage, Pharah with her jump jets and high-impact rocket launchers, and Tracer the time-lapsing adventurer who can blink in and out of combat. Tracer’s mobility and short range encourages her to play in a hit-and-run manner, harassing the enemy team before finishing them off with a Pulse Bomb. Playing the Offense class effectively relies on impeccable mechanical skill, fast reactions and the ability to judge how far you can push your limits.


Overwatch HanzoThe Defense class provides players with a huge number of tactical possibilities. By controlling specific areas with mines and turrets or by laying down long range covering fire, the defensive heroes are crucial to securing objectives. If you want to build turrets then Torbjörn the Swedish weapons designer is your best choice. If you’re looking for a sniper class then give Widowmaker a try – the French assassin packs a punch with her long-range rifle and has great mobility for finding decent vantage points. If you fancy something a bit different then check out Hanzo the Japanese archer. Hanzo has a high skill cap and can provide teams with a fantastic tactical edge thanks to Sonic Arrow – an ability that tracks enemy heroes. Defense is a class that really rewards smart players, since with a deep understanding of the maps you’ll be able to outplay your opponents at every turn.

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The backbone of any team, decent support players are highly valued across a wide range of eSports and tend to bring with them the utility and team-focused abilities that allow their sides to excel in critical engagements. Supports tend to be the poorest duelists and find their abilities often work against their opponents indirectly; however, whilst traditionally playing support is a thankless job, in Overwatch the support heroes come with some really awesome skill-sets. Although in Mercy you have a standard medic type hero, albeit a very dynamic one, Symmetra’s kit of Sentry Turrets and Teleporters makes her a huge controlling force on any map – and her Photon Projector shot gives her some serious damage output. With Lucío, on the other hand, you’ve got a support whose speed buffs and shields make him a decent harasser and he isn’t afraid to get close to his opponents.


The frontliners of Overwatch, tanks excel in redirecting enemy aggression onto themselves in order to protect the rest of their team. If you enjoy soaking up blow after blow and creating space for you teammates then consider playing the tank role. The German knight Reinhardt is your stereotypical shield (he actually has an ability called Shield), capable of absorbing incoming fire whilst disrupting enemy positions. In D.Va you’ve got a much more mobile tank. Proficient of dishing out decent damage with her mech’s short-range Fusion Cannons, D.Va can quickly reposition with boosters and catch opponents by surprise. Another option is Zarya, the ripped Russian trooper who fills the aggressive tank option and hits harder when she takes fire. Equipped with grenades and a strong area-of-effect ultimate as well as shields, Zarya a strong addition to any line-up

Nov 17, 2015
Nov 8, 2015
Alex Dyet
An English student and freelance writer from London, UK, Alex has spent far more time than he'd care to admit battling it out on FIFA's Ultimate Team mode, before moving on to the more competitive eSports out there, like Dota and Hearthstone. He's got big plans for Blizzard's upcoming shooter, Overwatch, and he's counting down the days until the game goes live in May. You can catch him on twitter @Alexcd13D.
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