Overwatch 2 is making me hate playing support

Close up of Overwatch 2's Mercy on white background.
(Image credit: Blizzard)

While no hero will ever come close to my hours spent on D.Va, I've taken a bit of a shine to support characters since Overwatch 2 launched. While part of that is born out of necessity—queueing flex these days saddles you with support 95% of the time—part of it also comes from my love for orb-sniping omnic Zenyatta. Sure he's awfully squishy for a hunk of metal, but he's a mighty powerful healer and damage dealer in the correct hands. It's such a bummer, then, that this game makes playing support so damn sucky.

With the removal of a tank and a new smaller team size, it's changed the way support has to think. The thing is, I actually like what 5v5 has done for support. Positioning is more vital now. With no off-tank for me to cower behind, I have to actually use my brain and a drop of spacial awareness. The shift away from the ol' double shield and hunker-down method of Overwatch makes the role feel more impactful and engaging, constantly darting around the map to heal up flankers before returning to the safety of the tank. It feels like the most important role in the game right now, but that's also its undoing.

I don't claim to be the best Overwatch player—my skillset lies firmly with JRPGs and MMOs—but Overwatch 2 generates a sense of 'every player for themselves' that makes being a support main—especially a Zenyatta main—so bloody frustrating. On multiple instances I've been on my way back to the point, doing my best to keep my wits about me before a Sombra appears out of nowhere behind me, gunning me down and disappearing into the night. Meanwhile, tanks are clueless and damage heroes are overextending, wondering why they're not being healed. I've had tanks literally walk or fly past me as I desperately try and keep up while fighting off flankers, frantically flinging my orbs as my panicked aim causes them to whizz all over the place.

anyone_else_not_enjoying_support_anymore from r/Overwatch

The issue doesn't feel as dire on supports like Kiriko or Moira who can quickly zip away from incoming trouble. But it's still been a problem since the first closed beta, especially back when Zenyatta didn't have his stun kick to help him out. I'm not the only one who feels this way, either. A peek at the Overwatch subreddit and you'll see dozens of other players who share the same sentiment as me: it's just not very fun right now. I do think some of that comes down to general fatigue with the role. When I'm queueing for all roles and getting support for 10 games in a row, my motivation and attention are going to diminish. But it's also clear that—particularly in lower-ranked casual games—support heroes are struggling to keep up in a game that favours diving and a degree of selfishness.

Overwatch 2 is still in its infancy, and both new and old players are having to adjust to a smaller team, more frantic gunplay, and more deaths. I'm sure it will level out somewhat as everyone becomes accustomed and those who no longer care saunter off to other games. It's a largely thankless role, one that goes unnoticed when performing well and is the first to receive the blame when things go awry. I'll still play as and sort of enjoy Zenyatta and other support heroes, but until flankers are reigned in and healers are given better opportunities to stick close to tanks and damage, it won't be nearly as fun as it used to be.

Mollie Taylor
Features Producer

Mollie spent her early childhood deeply invested in games like Killer Instinct, Toontown and Audition Online, which continue to form the pillars of her personality today. She joined PC Gamer in 2020 as a news writer and now lends her expertise to write a wealth of features, guides and reviews with a dash of chaos. She can often be found causing mischief in Final Fantasy 14, using those experiences to write neat things about her favourite MMO. When she's not staring at her bunny girl she can be found sweating out rhythm games, pretending to be good at fighting games or spending far too much money at her local arcade.